Your Ultimate Family Guide to Paris

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Family Guide to Paris

This content was originally crafted by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

Picture this: petite pooches in designer purses, fountains that seem like they’re straight out of a fairy tale, doppelgangers of Lady Liberty, and pastries that could double as works of art. Ah yes, Paris is a multi-sensory wonderland that captivates everyone, from toddlers to grandparents. Whether you’re angling for that iconic selfie with the Mona Lisa or hustling to the summit of the Eiffel Tower, the City of Light never disappoints. Yet the real magic lies in strolling through community parks, sauntering down elegant avenues lined with towering trees, gawking at awe-inducing storefronts, indulging in crepes covered in powdered sugar, and being serenaded by buskers on Seine-spanning bridges.

Navigating Paris is a breeze thanks to its walkability and a myriad of family-friendly transport options. From hop-on-hop-off riverboats to rooftop buses and everything in between, you’ll spare those little legs without a hitch. On the metro? Let your imagination run wild as you pretend to be the conductor on automated Lines 1 and 14, or just people-watch from the elevated Lines 2 and 6.

What to Do in Paris, No Matter the Age

Toddlers: Take your mini Monets to the Musée en Herbe, conveniently situated just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Louvre. With rotating exhibits featuring kaleidoscopic tunnels and mirror mazes, it’s like stepping into a real-life art installation. They even offer art workshops that last as long as an episode of “Paw Patrol.”

Young Kids: For a dose of old-world amusement, make a beeline for the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Nestled in the sprawling Bois de Boulogne forest, this nostalgic funfair is a labyrinth of retro carousels, playgrounds, and festival-style games. On a hot day, the misting stations and splash pools are practically a mini oasis.

School-Age Children: For the young Einsteins, the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in northern Paris is like a playground for the brain. Pre-book a slot online for hands-on sessions targeted for kids between two and seven years old. Then, chow down on a picnic in the surrounding Parc de la Villette, which is essentially Disneyland for the sandbox set.

Tweens and Teens: Give them something to Snapchat about at the macabre Catacombes, a labyrinth of tunnels that serve as an underground tomb. You’ll need to book a week in advance, but it’s worth it. For a less grim activity, there’s the Éternelle Notre-Dame VR experience, which offers a digital tour of the cathedral while it’s under renovation.

Where to Grab a Bite with Kids

Toddlers: Try the all-day brasseries for early-bird dinner options, or opt for some pastries from Du Pains et des Idées for a stroller-friendly snack stop.

Young Kids: A visit to Breizh Café for a crêpe or a gourmet pastry from Cédric Grolet’s shop is a must. If you’re up for an experience, Le ReCyclerie offers farm-to-table brunch options and plenty of space to burn off those calories.

Tweens and Teens: For older kids with an Instagram agenda, Le Perchoir Porte de Versailles offers rooftop dining in an urban farm setting, complete with evening DJ sets. Or try La Felicità and Italian trattoria Libertino for a lively dining atmosphere.

Where to Park Your Clan

Toddlers: Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc in Le Marais offers tranquility, while Pepper & Paper provides family-friendly apartments in the Left Bank.

Young Kids: For families with an affinity for the unusual, Yooma features robot concierges and out-of-the-box breakfast options, not to mention convenient laundry facilities.

Tweens and Teens: Choose between the nautical-themed Hôtel Off and Mob Hotel for its on-site cinema and garden dining. For a room with an Eiffel Tower view, Adagio Paris–Tour Eiffel has got you covered.

Travel Tidbits

Eurostar links London and Paris in a jiffy. Children under four can travel for free on public transport, and cost-saving options are available for the rest of the tribe.

When to Pack Your Bags

Spring is fresh and mild, while summer can be scorching. So pack accordingly, folks!

If you’re digging this, don’t forget to subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine. Available in select countries only.

And there you have it, the ultimate guide to exploring Paris with your familial entourage! Who says you can’t teach kids about culture while having a bucket-load of fun? Au revoir and happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Family Guide to Paris

What is the primary focus of this article?

The article serves as a comprehensive family guide to Paris, aiming to help parents and guardians make the most out of their trip with children of various ages. It covers activities, dining options, and accommodation suitable for families.

Who is the target audience for this article?

The target audience for this article is families planning a trip to Paris. Whether you have toddlers, young children, tweens, or teenagers, this guide aims to provide something for every age group.

Does the article cover transportation options for families in Paris?

Yes, the article discusses various transportation options suitable for families. These include hop-on-hop-off river boats, open-top buses, bikes, electric scooters, and details about the Paris Metro system.

Are there any art-related activities for children mentioned in the guide?

Absolutely! The article highlights the Musée en Herbe, which is a kid-focused art museum offering seasonal exhibitions and interactive elements. It’s a great way to introduce kids to art heritage in a playful manner.

What are some dining options suitable for children?

The article suggests various eateries for all ages, from Parisian brasseries offering early dinners suitable for toddlers to rooftop meals at Le Perchoir Porte de Versailles that are sure to impress teens.

Does the guide offer any suggestions for a rainy day in Paris?

Yes, for those drizzly Parisian days, the article recommends a visit to Le Marais’ Musée des Arts et des Métiers, an 18th-century museum filled with historical gadgetry that is sure to intrigue young inventors.

What kinds of accommodations are recommended for families?

The article covers various accommodations suited for families, ranging from the quaint Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc in Le Marais for those with toddlers, to more adventurous options like floating Hôtel Off on the Seine for families with older kids.

Is there any historical trivia included in the article?

Indeed, the article includes a fun fact about Gustave Eiffel, mentioning that before constructing the iconic Eiffel Tower, he designed and built the internal frame for Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty.

Does the article provide any tips on when to visit Paris?

The article suggests that springtime temperatures in Paris average around 17C-20C and are generally pleasant, while July and August can be hotter and, at times, less comfortable for outdoor activities.

How can I subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK)?

The article includes a link at the end for those interested in subscribing to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine. Subscriptions are available in select countries only.

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10 comments

SarahTheExplorer August 30, 2023 - 12:45 pm

Whoa, this guide is awesome. like finally something that thinks of the kids too! cuz Paris isn’t just romance and wine, y’know?

Reply
NostalgiaNed August 30, 2023 - 12:47 pm

Vintage toy sailing boats in Jardin du Luxembourg. Takes me back. Some things never change, huh?

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MovieBuff August 30, 2023 - 1:47 pm

Éternelle Notre-Dame sounds like some VR inception stuff, can’t wait to try. Seems like it’d be straight out of a sci-fi movie.

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MusicLover August 30, 2023 - 7:26 pm

where are the music spots tho? you know, for the teens and all. Paris got more than just the ol’ sights and museums, gotta give a shoutout to the music scene too.

Reply
SportyMom August 30, 2023 - 7:38 pm

okay so Parisian brasseries open all day? Count me in. But, where’s the love for sports activities for kids? guess Paris is more for the art & history kinda families.

Reply
GeekyDad42 August 30, 2023 - 10:19 pm

Solid info on the Musée des Arts et Métiers. Never knew an 18th-century museum could get my teens off their phones for a sec. Respect!

Reply
BudgetTravel August 31, 2023 - 1:57 am

Catacombes? On my bucket list now. Teens gonna love the spooky vibe. but book 7 days in advance? Thanks for the heads up!

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TravelGuru99 August 31, 2023 - 8:52 am

Musée en Herbe sounds like the Louvre for kiddos. Definitely checkin it out next trip.

Reply
JennyTheFoodie August 31, 2023 - 9:40 am

Breizh Café in Le Marais? you got me at crepes. But don’t underestimate the magic of a good Paris-Brest ice cream. Heaven, I tell ya.

Reply
TechieTom August 31, 2023 - 10:06 am

Robot concierge at Yooma? That’s the future man. Also, where can I find the robot tour guides? Asking for a friend.

Reply

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