After staying close to home for the past few years, we are so grateful for the chance to travel internationally again. For our first big trip as a family since the before times, we decided to take the kids to France. My husband and I visited a few years ago for our 10th wedding anniversary (see our guide for planning a romantic couples vacation in Paris here), and the kids were so jealous and have been asking for a family trip to Paris ever since! We went in March while the kids were on spring break and had the most fabulous time. The kids loved every moment, which made it a great trip for everyone. Today we’re sharing our guide for visiting Paris with family, including where to stay in Paris with kids, tips for traveling to Paris with kids, our specific recommendations for what to do while visiting Paris with kids, and our tried-and-true Paris with kids itinerary. You’ll want to save this article if a family vacation in Paris is on your bucket list, too!
Need more france travel ideas in addition to traveling to Paris with kids? Check out these other resources:
- Everything you need to plan a romantic vacation in Paris
- What to wear for a vacation in Paris, France
- Loire Valley travel guide
- Scenic Loire Valley Chateux driving route
High-level Paris with kids itinerary
We’ve got our detailed recommendations for our Paris itinerary with kids below, but first, here’s a high-level Paris with kids itinerary to help your planning. This doesn’t include many specific restaurants (aside from Angelina), but as Paris is one of the food capitals of the world, you practically can’t go wrong wherever you decide to stop to eat.
- Eiffel Tower
- Champ de Mars
- Arc de Triomphe
- Château de Versailles
- Dessert at Angelina
- Musée du Louvre
- Jardin des Tuileries
- Musée Marmottan Monet OR Musée d’Orsay OR Centre Pompidou
- Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
Optional (if you have extra days):
- Disneyland Paris
Tips for traveling to Paris with family
- With Paris being a culinary mecca, there are lots of amazing restaurants, many with some dishes that could be unfamiliar to young children. Travel is always a good opportunity to experiment (my youngest loved escargot!), but if you have picky eaters, rest assured that most restaurants will have a simple pasta dish or other yummy bread and cheese starters that are very kid-friendly. Our kids especially loved all the baguettes, pastries, and croissants during our family trip to Paris.
- Be prepared for a LOT of walking. Not just in town, but at your activities. We put many, many miles in on our days at Versailles and the Louvre. For this reason, make sure the kids are prepared and make sure everyone has comfortable shoes.
- If you are visiting Paris with a family of 4 or more and intend to use Uber, you will need to order larger van Uber cars, as most of the standard Ubers in Paris fit a max of 3 people (plus the driver). The cost is a little more and you sometimes have to wait longer, but we were still able to get reasonably-priced Ubers when we needed them. The metro is also a good (and economical) option for larger groups. I don’t recommend renting a car in Paris, as driving and the narrow roads can be intense. Instead, we opted to rent a car on our way out of Paris for the rest of our France trip.
- All of the activity coupled with jet lag can make a family vacation in Paris a bit tiring. Like any trip with kids, try to pace yourself and allow buffers in your schedule for when you just need a break. On at least one night we opted to turn in early to chill at our hotel and have room service for dinner while watching French TV. It was very rejuvenating before we got back out to explore the next day.
Where to stay in Paris with kids
Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero. When we were researching the best places to stay in Paris for families, we had a few criteria in mind: a safe area, a clean and comfortable hotel with room for two adults and two pre-teen kids, easy access to our desired activities, a view of the Eiffel Tower (we wanted to make it special since it was the kids’ first trip to Paris), and a reasonable cost (knowing Paris hotels are generally pricy, especially with Eiffel Tower views). The Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero met all these needs, and we recommend it if you’re looking for where to stay in Paris with kids. I’m a die-hard Hilton gal, so I knew I could trust the level of cleanliness and service at the property, and we were not disappointed. The hotel is located in the 16th Arrondissement “steps from Jardins du Trocadero and Trocadero Metro stop. The Eiffel Tower is a kilometer away and we’re less than 10 minutes from the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, and Bois de Boulogne.” While not right in the center of everything, it was quick and easy to get where we needed to go by a quick car ride, or if you have the stamina, by walking across the Seine from the Trocadero. There are also several fantastic restaurants just on the corner. The hotel’s breakfast was incroyable, as were the other meals we tried from room service after long days exploring. We stayed in a King Junior Suite with Eiffel Tower View, and the price was very competitive considering the size of the room and the Eiffel Tower view. We were very happy with this choice of hotel and location, and would gladly stay there again.
What to do on a family trip to Paris (detailed Paris itinerary with kids)
Here are details on what we recommend checking out on a trip to Paris with family. For some context, our kids were about 10 and 12 years old when we visited, and they love museums and history, so we incorporated a lot of both into our Paris with kids itinerary. Even then, I was pleasantly surprised how engaged the kids stayed even after hours (and multiple days) of museums. Don’t underestimate how cool things like that could be from a young person’s perspective, and how it might tie-in with what they’re learning about in school.
Trocadero. One of the first things I recommend doing on a family trip to Paris is to take in the view of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero. This is free, and this spot across the Seine (and conveniently close to our hotel) is the perfect place to get an unobstructed view of the tower. My kids see Le Tour Eiffel as synonymous with Paris, so I wanted them to see the romance of it as soon as we could. As it can get crowded, I recommend visiting early in the morning if you’re trying to get the perfect photo opp. Though if you don’t care about the Instagram opportunity, it’s an amazing view any time of day, and you can still snap your quick photos!
Eiffel Tower. While you don’t need to do this every time you visit Paris, when traveling to Paris with kids for the first time, you should take a ride up the Eiffel Tower. I recommend getting tickets in advance. You can choose from options to visit the second floor via stairs or lift, or adding the additional lift to go all the way to the top. It is REALLY high up at the very top, so not for those who are afraid of heights. We are really glad that we made the choice to go all the way to the top. My kids still talk about it, and my youngest even wrote a short story for his class last week (6 months after the trip) on going all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It’s clearly a memory that sticks with little ones!
Champ de Mars. This lovely park adjacent to the Eiffel Tower is a great place to relax, picnic, enjoy some street crepes (a very fun treat for the kids to try), and get more photos of the tower from the opposite side (compared to the views from the Trocadero).
Arc de Triomphe. After seeing the quintessential Tour Eiffel, we recommend spending the rest of the first day visiting Paris with kids doing some casual, self-paced sight-seeing. We walked to the Arc de Triomphe to take in the view of the world-famous monument before walking down the Champs-Élysées.
Champs-Élysées. Whether or not your kids care to go into the shops, it’s worth even a short walk down the iconic avenue during your family vacation in Paris. Even my kids thought it was cool to see the fabulous window displays at the flagship stores for some of the world’s biggest fashion houses. There are also several restaurant options to grab a meal if you’re hungry and want to rest your legs.
Château de Versailles. As I said, we love history, so a visit to Versailles was a must for us. Even though it may seem like more of an “adult” activity, we recommend it if you are traveling to Paris with kids. Our kids hadn’t learned much about French history in school yet, but were still really intrigued and really enjoyed their time there. I love that they have this historical context now for when they do study it in history class or see it in movies. Note that a visit to Versailles is pretty much an all-day activity, and as the grounds are massive, you might not have much energy for much else in your day afterwards. To break up the day and keep things fun for the kids, we recommend taking a break between the seeing the main palace and the Trianon (which I definitely recommend seeing) with some ice cream at the stand next to the Grand Canal or even renting a boat to float around the canal. Fab Everyday Tip: We also strongly recommend renting one of the electric vehicles to get around the grounds, as it will save your legs and add something fun for the family. They only allow you to go on certain roads (so you can’t take it for a joyride) and includes an audio tour. We learned a lot about the grounds and gardens from the audio tour on the electric vehicles!
Angelina. If you’d like to feel like you’ve been transported to Paris during the Belle Époque and enjoy some fabulous desserts, you must visit Angelina while visiting Paris with kids. There are a few locations, but I recommend visiting the original location on Rue de Rivoli. Why is this such a great thing to do while visiting Paris with family? The exquisite French pastries, of course, and their famous hot chocolate – the richest, most thick and creamy hot chocolate I’ve ever had.
Musée du Louvre. One of my husband’s and my favorite spots in Paris is the Louvre, so it was important for the kids to experience it as well during our family trip to Paris. Like Versailles, the Louvre can be an all-day activity (or at least most of the day) as well, so allow time so you can pace yourself. The line can get really long, so I recommend booking your tickets in advance for a specific entry time. In addition to iconic art pieces like the Mona Lisa, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo, you can just wander and explore for hours seeing ancient artifacts, works by the great masters, and even just people watch the artists studying and sketching. Despite our legs and feet being tired and sore, our kids wanted to keep going! It was a pleasant surprise that we had to be the ones to convince the kids when it was time to leave. We were also very happily surprised when, after returning home from our trip, the kids immediately recognized a specific painting in a scene in a movie filmed at the Louvre. It’s amazing the things that stick in their mind, creating memories and learning culture at the same time. Fab Everyday Tip: One way to keep little kids engaged at museums is to plan a little scavenger hunt to guide their exploration. For example, we said we wanted to find a piece of art by every namesake of one of the Ninja Turtles (Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael). It was a really fun challenge!
Jardin des Tuileries. This massive, historic park is a great way for the kids to use up any restless energy after visiting the Louvre. Our kids loved the playground, and though we didn’t have time to ride the carousel, it was really cool to see (and I’m assuming a fun activity while visiting Paris with kids).
Musée Marmottan Monet and/or Musée d’Orsay and/or Centre Pompidou. Depending on how many days you have for your trip to Paris with family, I recommend trying to fit in at least one of these museums. Paris is chock full of epic, world-class museums, so it can be hard to fit them all into a single trip. The Musée Marmottan Monet houses the largest collection of paintings by Claude Monet in the world, including his Waterlilies (Nymphéas) series and Impression, Sunrise. They also have lots of other works by other Impressionists. Musée d’Orsay (also near the Jardin des Tuileries) houses one of the largest collections of Impressionist paintings in the world in the former rail station. Not just paintings; you can see sculpture, photography, and more at this museum, which features mostly French art and artists. The Centre Pompidou I’ve never visited, but I hear it has an impressive collection and lots of activities for children. If the kids are feeling a little burnt out from the traditional art museums, some of the kid-focused, hands-on workshops at Centre Pompidou could be a great change of pace.
Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. If your kids like a little bit of spooky history like mine do, you will want to visit Père Lachaise Cemetery during your family vacation in Paris. At this large cemetery you can see the graves and tombs of such historic and cultural figures as Jim Morrison, Oscar Wild, Frédéric Chopin, Marcel Proust, Édith Piaf, Jane Avril, Marcel Marceau, Honoré de Balzac, Georges Bizet, Molière, Gertrude Stein, and so many more.
Catacombes. Speaking of spooky history, if your kids wouldn’t be frightened being 20 meters underground and surrounded by the skulls and other bones of more than six million people, a visit to the Paris Catacombs is a memorable addition to your Paris with kids itinerary. We were glad to make the visit through the labyrinth and take some time to learn the history. If you’re traveling with really young kids or if anyone in your party has mobility issues, be mindful that there are no elevators… just 131 steps to go down into the Catacombs, and then another 112 steps to climb back up.
Disneyland Paris. While we didn’t have time to visit Disneyland Paris, if you are on an extended family vacation in Paris, you may wish to add this to your Paris with kids itinerary. It has been recommended to us a few times, and as it’s smaller than the parks in the US, you can experience it within a day (and more affordably than the US Disney tickets). I’ve heard it joked that you can fly to Paris for a family vacation and visit Disneyland Paris cheaper than a family trip to Disneyworld. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was true.
I hope this inspires your own trip to Paris with family! If we missed any key spots to see while traveling to Paris with kids, let us know in the comments!
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