- Tips to Know Before You Go (When to Go, Budgeting and Transportation)
- Best Arrondissements to Stay with Kids (including my Family Hotel and Rentals Spreadsheet)
- Kid-Friendly Restaurants for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and Dessert (sorted by cost ????)
- What to Do with Kids in Paris organized by Top Things to See, Best Museums with Kids, Incredible Parks, Free Things to Do and Off the Beaten Path
- Map of all 40+ Recommendations listed in this Guide so you can plot out your perfect family vacation!
- Helpful blog posts from local parents and frequent family travelers
Updated May 2020. I check comments often, so let me know if I can help with a specific travel question below in the comments! ????)
Tips to Know Before You Go to Paris
When to Go?
There are hundreds of great travel blogs on the internet but it can quickly get overwhelming and time consuming to read them all. So, I’ve put together all the “best of the web” parent tips, lists and hidden gem for Paris with kids!
Paris is always lovely (and busy!) but its good to know that the high season for tourists is June through mid-September. Songs are written about April in Paris for good reason and Paris for the winter holidays is lovely too. Check out mid-September to mid-November for some good deals!
Visiting Paris with kids is definitely one of the more expensive destiantions but there are ways to save:
- Check out the Apartment Hotels below so you can save money on food by cooking at home.
- Focus on the free activities, markets and check out the must see sights without going inside.
- Eat at the tons of cute affordable cafes and creperies. Great for kids, great for your wallet.
Santorini Dave has a great money saving tip to look into purchasing a booklet of 10 metro tickets (french: carnet) which will save on each ticket. You can purchase a kids booklet and save more.
Where to Stay in Paris with Kids
Area Map: The city of Paris is delightfully organized by a shell of 20 different districts called Arrondissements (abbreviated “Arr.”)starting with #1 in the center and unfurling outward like a snail’s shell. Check out this clickable map on Wikipedia to get the lay of the land.
Central Paris has so many charming neighborhoods that you are never far from cafes or beautiful streets. One recommendation is to decide first what you would like to see and do during your visit (read below for ideas!) and then pick which Arrondissment you would like to stay in.
2 locations stand out for families:
- Marais in the 4th Arr. is close to many attractions and also very charming with many restaurants and that Parisian feel. On the banks of the River Seine with Notre Dame.
- St. Germain is in the 6th Arr. and also very centrally located with lots of cafes and parks including the famous Jardin du Luxembourg.
A word on staying outside Paris: Most locals and travel experts do not not recommend staying on the outside central Paris. As the saying goes for other larger cities, ‘if you want to see Paris, stay in Paris.’ You will save time and money on transportation if you find a good priced hotel or rental inside (see below!)
Apartment Rentals in Paris
- Note: It is very important in Paris to check if the apartment rental is legal and has a registration number.
- VRBO or Airbnb are great places to look for apartments to rent in Paris.
- Booking.com has great apartments and hotels for rent.
- Mom Tip! Filter the reviews by month that you are traveling in to see how travelers like the area for that season. You can also search the reviews for “with kids” or “children” and see if its a great hotel for kids.
- Other “Apartment Hotel” chains with kitchenettes:
???? Hotels for Families in Paris
|Name & Location||Cost||Kid Friendly Notes|
3rd Arr. (Marais)
|$361 for 2 double rooms in August 2020 for an example rate.||“Suburb” 9.0 rating on Booking.com in an great location.|
4th Arr. (Marais)
|2 connecting double rooms for 4 ppl $414 in July 2020. Cheaper in off season.||Charming hotel in an incredible location.|
4th Arr. (Marais)
|$744 in August 2020 for an example rate.||Modern higher end 1 bedroom + living room suites with “Suburb” 9.0 rating on Booking.com.|
5th Arr. (Latin Quarter)
|Quad Room with 2 double beds and breakfast included Ex. Costs $284 in July 2020||Amazing location on the left bank, close to Notre Dame. 2 star clean and nice hotel in the Latin Quarter.|
|Holiday Inn Saint Germain|
|$342 with Breakfast included for a King bed (rare!) and sofa bed in Sept. 2020.||Great location, family friendly. Book early. Close to the famous Luxembourg Gardens.|
|Gardette Park Hotel|
|Junior Suite 1 double, 1 sofa bed for 4 ppl $439 in October 2020.||Out of the touristy area but still central and lovely location with a playground close by.|
|ibis Paris Place d’Italie|
|Room with 3 single beds $175 in July 2020||A good clean budget option for families.|
|Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel|
|Double bed with sofa for 4 people mid rang of $260 in July 2020.||Walk to Eiffel Tower and with a swimming pool! Chain hotel that has clean simple rooms and a swimming pool!|
???? Kid Friendly Restaurant Matrix
Some notes on eating out in Paris with kiddos:
- Most restaurants don’t open until 7 PM, so check out cafes or creperies for early dinners for your little ones.
- Budget tip: Order “une carafe d’eau” — a carafe of tap water which is free and safe to drink.
- Click on the bold titles of each restaurant to be taken to the TripAdvisor entry so you can see pics of food and read reviews.
Breakfast Restaurants with Kids in Paris
|Name & Address||Location, Hours & Cost||Notes|
12 rue Pasquier, 8th Arr.
|Hours: Mon – Fri: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, Sat. 9 – 4 and Sun. 10 -3 Cost: $||Crepes can be found everywhere in Paris but check out this highly rated location.|
|Du Pain et des Idees|
34 rue Tves Toudic
|Hours: M-F 6:45 AM – 8 PM Cost: $||Famous bakery but more expensive than others.|
|Strada Cafe |
94 rue du Temple
|Hours: M- F 8:30 AM – 5 PM, Weekends 10 AM – 6 PM Cost: $||Delightful french cafe with breakfast toasts and quiche.|
Lunch & Dinner Restaurants with Kids in Paris
|Name & Address||Hours, Cost, Reservations?||Notes|
|Pick up picnic items at Rue Cler and eat under the Eiftte Tower||Tons of market stalls and cafes to grab food.||Market street a couple blocks away from the Eiffel Tower. Earthtrekkers had this great idea in their Paris Guide.|
|Les 400 Coups|
12 bis, rue de la Villette, 19th Arr.
|Open 11 AM – 10 PM (Closes at 3 PM on Mon. and 7 PM on Sun.) Cost: $||Cafe with play area for kids and vegan food. Close to the beautiful Parc des Buttes Chaumont.|
|Le Comptoir General |
80, quai de Jemmapes, 10th Arr.
|Open Wed – Sun: 10 AM – 1 AM, Mon and Tue. 6 PM -1 AM. Cost: $$-$$$||Unique dining expereince in an indoor/outdoor “bazaar” that’s very family friendly. Check photos. On weekends there are flea markets.|
|Pink Flamingo Pizza|
30 rue Muller, 18th. Arr.
|Open Tue – Sun. 7 PM – 11:30 PM and Weekends 12:30 – 2:30 PM.||Great in combo with a visit to Sacre Coeur|
|Marché des Enfants Rouges|
39, rue de Bretagne, 3rd Arr.
|Open Tues. – Sat. 8:30 AM – 7:30 PM. Sunday 8:30 AM – 2 PM. Closed on Mondays.||Created in 1615, this wonderful market has fresh foods as well as stalls serving everything from North African to Lebanese to Asian.|
4 Cite de Ameublement, 11th Arr.
|Open Tue – Sun. 11 AM – 3 PM and 7 PM – 11 PM. Cost: $$ – $$$||Chinese restaurant, with a kids playground in the basement with cameras for the parents to watch kids.|
Dessert Restaurant Recommendations for Families in Paris
|Name & Address||Hours||Notes|
Many locations for Crepes, 3rd Arr. 6th Arr. and 2nd Arr.
|Check websites for each location but generally 10 AM – 10 PM.||Incredible sweet and savory crepes.|
31 Rue St. Louis en I’lle, 4th Arr.
|Wed – Sunday 10 AM – 8 PM. (Closed Mon and Tues!)||Popular ice cream on Ille St. Louis near Notre Dame.|
|Pierre Herme Bonaparte|
72 rue Bonaparte, 6th Arr.
|Sun – Fri: 10 AM – 7PM. Sat. 10 AM – 8 PM||One of the most famous patisseries for macrons and croissants.|
|Debauve & Gallais|
30 Rue des Saints Peres, 6th Arr.
|Mon – Sat 9 AM – 7PM||Oldest candy store in Paris and even made candy for Marie Antoinette.|
???? What to Do in Paris with Kids
Paris has so much to do with kids! You couldn’t see everything no matter how many days you are blessed with in Paris. So, I organized this section based on the following 5 sections:
- Top Things to See
- Best Museums with Kids
- Can’t Miss Parks for Families
- Free Things to Do with Kids:
- Off the Beaten Path
- Day Trips from Paris:
- Versailles: Kristi Marcelle has a great write up of Ciao Bambino’s expert advice for Visiting Versailles with Kids.
- Disneyland Paris – 45 minutes away from Central Paris
- Rouen – there is a high speed train from Paris which is around 1 hour. Clare from Suitcases and Sandcastles shares all you need to know about this charming ancient town famous for Joan of Arc.
Top Things to See:
|Eiffel Tower |
Cost: 5€ – 16€ euros based on age and how many elevators.
|Make sure your book ahead of time and look into a combo ticket with a Seine River Cruise. Santorini Dave has a great explainer on the different levels and costs.|
|Arc de Triomphe|
Cost: Adults 13€ Children under 18 are free!
|Open every day from 10 AM to 10:30 PM (and later in summer). Climb the 284 steps and be rewarded with some of the best views down the Champs Elysée and of the Eiffel Tower.|
|You can walk up the 270 steps or take a ride on the little train of Montmarte to the top. Beautiful basilica and lovely neighborhood surrounding it with street performers and yummy foods. Tip: Go at sunset 🙂|
Cost: 14€ -29€ with audio guide
|For older kids, unique view of the city with a labrynith of undergraound tunnels 20 meters below Paris filled with history and… skeletons! Open daily except Monday 9:45 am to 8:30 PM. Book online to avoid crowds.|
|Batobus Boat Taxi|
Cost: Various passes, but 24 hour pass 17€ Adult 8€Child
|Great way to see the city on this hop on hop off boat that takes you to 9 different stops around the city!|
Best Museums in Paris with Kids:
- Lourve: The most famous museum in the world could take months to see everything! But don’t fear, mom tips to help you enjoy your trip with kids.
- Cost: 17€ Adults and free for 18 and under!
- Hours: Closed Tuesdays and open 9 AM – 6 PM Wednesday to Mondays. Varies with some late nights so be sure to double check official website.
- Mom Tip: Book tickets online to get quick entry to the museum. Go first thing in the morning or in the later evening.
- Musee D’Orsay: Many travel experts recommend this converted train depot museum as a less overwhelming option to the Lourve. Beautiful light, impressionist paintings and sculptures are the draws.
- Cost: 14€ Adults and free for 18 and under!
- Hours: 9:30 AM to 6 PM everyday, closed Mondays and open until 9:45 PM on Thursdays.
- Mom Tip: From the Earthtrekkers, use the guide of featured artwork as a scavenger hunt. Includes 6 pieces on each of the 3 levels. Focuses kids and you see the most important pieces!
- The Cite des Science: Largest Science museum in Europe! Also has a children’s museum called Cite des Enfants, with two sections for young kids (ages 2- 7) and older (5 – 12) Recommend buying tickets online for a timed slot.
- Cost: Each museum 12€ Adults and 9€ under 25.
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM. Closed Mondays.
- Pompidou Center – Large modern and contemporary art center in the 4th Arr. with specific workshops for kids listed here.
Can’t Miss Parks for Families:
- Luxembourg Gardens: Stunning palace gardens in the 6th Arr. Perfect for small children, there is a small fee of 2.50€ to enter a lovely play area with playgrounds and carousel. Don’t miss renting a remote boat on the pond and the famous Marionnette Puppet shows in the west side of the park.
- Jardin des Plantes: Located in the 5th Arr., encompasses 11 Gardens, 18th century Zoo called La Ménagerie and Natural History Gallery. Great map at the link to plan your day.
- Tuileries Garden: One of the most famous gardens near the Lourve and the Arc de Triomphe and free admission. one of the most kid-friendly spots in Paris, and also one of the most beautiful. Beautifully landscaped and also kid friendly with in-ground trampolines, a carousel and an large sculptural playground.
- Parc des Buttes Chaumont: One of the largest palace parks in Paris in the 19th Arr. with a pony rides, sandpit and carnival games!
- Jardin d’Acclimatation: Great alternative to Disneyland Paris, this is a 19th century Amusement Park in the 18th Arr. with pony rides, puppet shows, acrobatic obstacle courses, miniature train you can ride. Some attractions are free and others have a small fee.
Free Things to Do with Kids in Paris:
- Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux – Flower market is open every day and Sundays becomes the famous Bird Market from 8 AM to 7 PM in the 4th Arr. near Notre Dame.
- Paris Plages: In the summer, the right embankment of the Seine becomes a free beach with sand, beach chairs and volleyball nets.
- See the Eiffel Tower at night! The tower lights up every night for 5 minutes on the top of the hour.
Off the Beaten Path for Families:
- Ride a Hot Air Balloon above Paris! – Located at Parc André Citroën in the 15th Arr. balloon stays on a rope but beautiful views of the city for Adults 12€ and Child 6€.
- Behind the Scenes Bakery Tour – 2.5 hour tour of a real French bakery and learn how to make the perfect baguette. Current price $95 per person.
- Champagne Toast on Rooftop of Luxury Printemps Department store. (They also have non-alcoholic beverages for the kiddos!) Relaxed vibe on the 9th floor rooftop terrace. Recommended by Katy Clarke of Untold Morsels.
Interactive Map of Paris with Kids
All the locations mentioned in the Guide are included in an interactive map here and embedded below. Click the drop-down arrow in the top left corner of the map to select different color-coded layers including Family-Friendly 1) Hotels 2) Restaurants 3) Things to Do 4) Museums 5) Free Things to Do 6) Off the Beaten Path.[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/embed?mid=1It_QyNZ8P-N4Cgt5ce-i66xSJeL_GD3Y&w=640&h=480]
Other Helpful Family Travel Blogposts
- Jennifer Hamerman on Mama Loves Paris shares her 12 of the most wonderful books about Paris for children to get your kids excited about the trip!
- New York Times Paris for Kids – Little dated from 2013 but delightful article by Pamerla Druckerman. Love this section: “The secret to a successful family visit is to discover these sites at a leisurely pace, and to explore your neighborhood’s microcosm of parks, bakeries and cafes. In other words, forget the Paris you think you’re supposed to see, and you’ll get much more out of the Paris that’s actually there.” (Reading time: 9 minutes)
- UntoldMorsels Paris with Kids has tons of great info! (Reading time: 13 minutes)
- Travel Mamas has a huge table of contents including a whole section on getting to and around Paris, Disneyland Paris and guided tours with kids. (Reading time: 18 minutes)
- Travel For Kids has an incredible list of family hotels in Paris by Arrondissment number! Check it out here.
More Family Trip Guides below and if you have a specific question for traveling to London with Kids, please leave a comment below and I would love to help! ????
Photo Credit: VV Nincic on Flickr. CC by 2.0.