How many times have you been to Paris? Never, five times, more? What about experiencing Paris with kids?
No matter how often you travel to Paris, this diverse city shows itself from a different side with every visit.
Whether you find the city of more than 2 million inhabitants on the Seine stressful or romantic is always up to you. I experienced my last Paris tour with my family – with 9, 12 and 15 year old kids.
Our idea was to schedule only one fixed sightseeing appointment per day. Because we wanted to enjoy Paris and not goose-step to explore.
Are you curious how it was? Here’s how we experienced Paris with kids.
If your kids are older, check out: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Paris with Teenagers
Arrival in Paris
Ideally, you can get from London to Paris in 2.5 hours by Eurostar. The train runs 14 times a day without changing trains to the Gare du Nord in Paris. There are similar connections from Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Cologne via Brussels with the Thalys and TGV, which take around 4 hours.
Especially for families, this is an extremely relaxed way of getting to Paris.
See also: A Guide to Using the Metro in Paris
Make sure to stay connected during your Paris trip with an eSIM from aloSIM. It starts at only $6 for the fastest, cheapest local data package to ensure that you stay connected without paying for the cost for roaming.
I can heartily recommend the Hotel Melia Villa Marquis in Rue Jean Goujon. Compared to many surrounding hotels, it is also recommendable from the price-performance ratio.
Since it is located in a small side street, it is pleasantly quiet. The staff is incredibly welcoming, so we felt at home from the first second.
The hotel is only a 2-minute walk from the banks of the Seine. So you are at the Place d’Alma and the Pont d’Alma in a flash, from where you have a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower.
Every evening on the hour, in addition to the wonderful illumination of the city’s landmark, there is also a light show with thousands of flickering points of light.
Paris with kids sightseeing highlights
When sightseeing in Paris, we highly recommend getting the Paris Pass.
Here are a few top sights to explore in Paris in kids.
See also: Top Things to Do in Paris
Of course, if your kids have never been to Paris before, you should definitely climb the Eiffel Tower.
Here’s an important tip: make sure you get tickets early. We booked a tour through “Get Your Guide” after my teenage kids pointed out to me that buying tickets on the spot is oldschool. 😉
I didn’t believe it, but they were right. The line at the counters was huge and we were very thankful that we had booked a tour in advance.
A week before I only got the tour to the 2nd floor, the tour to the top floor was already fully booked. Also on site there was no chance despite all attempts to do so.
So: Be early with your booking!
And definitely walk up.
It’s a much greater experience to climb the stairs, experience the construction of this tower up close and personal and work your way through the visit this way than just getting in the elevator.
Our tour guide was really funny, kept the kids and adults well entertained, and it was an all-around chill Eiffel Tower visit with lots of humor and gorgeous views of the entire city.
Because even from the 2nd floor the view is breathtaking!
Here is the guided tour:
Seine boat tour
Just below the Eiffel Tower, at the Port de la Bourdonnais, the Bateaux-Parisiens depart, the excursion boats that let you experience the city from the river.
If you book the ticket in advance through “Get Your Guide“, you are free to choose which ride you want between 10am and 9pm.
The start for our boat was pontoon 3. If you’re there at lunchtime, there are also a couple of food and drink stalls down right on the banks of the Seine. It takes 1 hour to cruise down the Seine towards Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.
A super relaxing moment to unwind, observe and recharge your batteries.
Notre-Dame de Paris
Paris without once standing in front of the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral is actually unthinkable.
We asked the cab driver to just let us out there on our way to the Sacre Coeur, waited and then continued on our way.
I love the pilgrimage church Sacré Coeur.
Because of its special shape in the confectioner’s style, because you can see from a distance how it towers elegantly over Paris, because right next to it begins the artists’ district of Montmartre.
Perhaps also because of everything.
On the railing in front of the church, as on many bridges in Paris, you can find countless locks. The signs of the everlasting love of couples in love.
I hope that they are all still happy with each other to this day. 😉
Once up here at the Sacré Coeur, a stroll through the artists’ quarter around the famous Place du tertre naturally follows.
So many artists exhibit their diverse paintings here – everything from oil to watercolor or acrylic can be found here. We were particularly fascinated by the silhouettes.
Within a few minutes, very individual souvenirs were created here, which now have their place on my wall in the office.
I wasn’t a fan of online vouchers for sightseeing until now. But times are changing and it makes it super easy of course.
Tickets for the Louvre are available at Tiqets from €17.
An insider tip: Instead of ending up in line despite pre-booking tickets, don’t line up at the top of the glass pyramid or the main entrances, because that’s where it clogs up. With the pyramid behind you and walking toward the Jardin des Tuileries, you’ll see an underpass on the left that leads to the Carousel, the underground shopping area. There are also entrances to the Louvre from there and you don’t have to wait a second.
I have been to Paris so many times but have never seen the Mona Lisa. We didn’t wait in the never-ending line, we just kept walking left to the next room and this way you can also get a very close view of the artwork and even take a souvenir photo.
Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile
On the famous street Champs Elysées is the famous Arc de Triomphe. You can get a super photo if you use the pedestrian islands as a photo position.
I couldn’t resist playing the song: Aux Champs Elysées by Joe Dassin to my kids.
It’s not one of their favorite songs, but at least they know it exists now. 😉
Stroll through Paris
Of course, the Galeries Lafayette are considered the mecca for shopping. We personally favor small stores and liked our stroll on Rue de Rennes. There are many hip stores here, for teenagers especially Subdued and Brandy Melville. Enchanting tea stores, new brands and really lots to discover.
There are some wonderful stores in the Carousel below the Louvre. Colorful art objects at Pylones and delicious macarons at Ladurée. Certainly the most expensive but also absolutely delicious macarons you can buy here.
We found the Iris Gallery particularly fascinating. You get wonderful artwork of your eyes here. Who would have known how beautifully colorful, individual and expressive each iris is. This is a truly magical souvenir from Paris.
A stroll in the Marais is also highly recommended. From the intersection of Le Marais, simply stroll along Rue Vieille-du-Temple until you reach the Halle des Blancs Manteaux and then turn left into Rue du Marché des Blancs Manteaux. The street makes a bend to the right here and you will see the Librairie du temple, a very old bookstore, on your right.
On the left, the road continues into the Rue des Roisiers. Here, after a few meters on the right, you will find the Patisserie Yann Couvreur with delicious pastry specialties and ice cream.
Just follow the street until it doesn’t go straight anymore and turn right into Rue Malher. At the end of the street you will see the Brasserie La Favorite Saint-Paul, decorated with countless pink flowers.
Café de Flore on Boulevard Saint-Germain was on our to-visit list. It looks wonderful but we discovered a restaurant for dinner right nearby that had us all even more excited.
La Socété, right by the Église de Saint-Germain des Prés, just a minute walk from Café de Flore. Super delicious food, you sit beautifully and are surrounded by very stylish and friendly people.
Who doesn’t dream of having dinner with a view of the shining Eiffel Tower. Very close to our hotel Melia Villa Marquis is Chez Francis. The service is not particularly affectionate but you sit in the front of the restaurant with a view of the illuminated Eiffel Tower.
On Avenue New York, a few steps away, are other and slightly more elegant restaurants with views of the Eiffel Tower, such as Monseur Bleu or 6 New York. If you want to eat there, you should book a table very early and consider if it is suitable for your kids or if you rather choose Chez Francis like we did.
The end of our trip
At the end our trip went like this: We were sitting in the cab to the airport. It was 3 p.m. and the cab driver asked from which terminal we were departing.
To be honest: from none, because the flight was spontaneously cancelled. What to do now? Take a cab home! And so it happened that at 11 p.m. a black cab from Paris drove into our driveway. 😉
If you’re thinking about visiting Paris in winter, check out our experience below: