The Exceptional Travel Guide For Your Family in Paris

If you’re making travel plans for your family in Paris, prepare to be amazed. Your experience will likely be unforgettable. From easily recognizable landmarks to great food and being easy to navigate (via metro and walking), Paris is a great choice for families. With it being such a spectacular city, it’s quite possible to plan a trip that will leave everyone happy.

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TOP THINGS TO DO FOR A FAMILY IN PARIS

Eiffel Tower

One of the most recognized landmarks in the world is a prominent focus of most itineraries. Despite its relatively simple construction, it is an amazing structure. The surrounding areas are enjoyable as well. Whether you spend time in the Champ de Mars or the Trocadero Gardens, you’re going to enjoy an amazing view of such a remarkable attraction.

Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France

Click here for ticket info for entry to the Eiffel Tower.

Palace of Versailles

Just a short ride of about an hour by train lies one of the most spectacular statements of luxury you’ll ever witness. You can easily spend a day here between the many rooms that are available to visit, the gardens, and then the additional apartments. The Hall of Mirrors is a particular highlight and its opulence is astonishing.

Address: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

Click here for info and to reserve your tickets for a tour of this magnificent location.

Jardin des Tuilieries

One of the most beautiful and recognizable green spaces in Paris lies in the heart of the city. With its proximity to the Louvre, it makes for a nice place to add to the itinerary for the day. The kids will enjoy the playground as well as the carousel and the cotton candy stand right next to it. They’ll also love getting lost in the many rows of perfectly manicured trees that the park is known for. 

Address: Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris, France

Info: https://smilesonarrival.com/visit-a-park-and-playground-paris-is-known-for/

The Louvre

So many people come here for the Mona Lisa, but the museum has so much more. The best way to see the Mona Lisa is to visit early, immediately upon opening, or to wait until just after lunch in the afternoon on a weekday. The Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo, and the Coronation of Napolean are also points of interest.  

The museum is huge, so it’s best to have a plan when visiting with kids.

You can find a downloadable pdf of the Louvre floor plan here.

Visiting in the afternoon is good to avoid crowds, but be sure not to overexert the kids before making it to the museum.

The Louvre is free on the first Sunday of each month and from 6:00 pm to 9:45 pm on the first Saturday of each month.

Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

Click here for tickets to the Louvre as well as various tour options.

Jardin des Luxembourg

This park is not only beautiful but also has activities that the whole family will enjoy. From taking a walk to enjoy the art sculptures displayed throughout the grounds to playing with the remote control sailboats that are on the pond, this is a great place to visit with family. The park is also full of flowers and other greenery which creates a beautiful atmosphere.

Address: 75006 Paris, France

Info: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71393/Jardin-du-Luxembourg

Champs Elysees

This beautiful tree-lined boulevard makes for a nice route to walk after you’ve visited the Arc de Triomphe. Even if you’re just window shopping you’ll want to make your way down the row of designer boutiques as well as some more common stores. 

Address: 8th Arrondissement, Paris, France

Info: https://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/walks-in-paris/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-champs-elysees

Arc de Triomphe

This monument is amazing to see up close in person. But to get the full experience, you’ll have to make the climb to the top. It’s there that you’ll get to enjoy a truly jaw-dropping view of Paris in every direction. Some of the best views of the Eiffel Tower can be seen from this point. The way the city opens up in such a panoramic view is unforgettable.

Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France

Click here for ticket info to gain access to this iconic Paris monument.

River Cruise

The perfect way to get a great view of so many Parisian landmarks while at the same time saving some steps for your little ones is a cruise down the Seine River. Make your reservations early so that you can get the coveted times as the sun is setting. It’s a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time. It can also be a great way to preview the city on your first day or two in Paris.

Click here to make reservations for your Seine River cruise.

Galeries Lafayette

After all of the sightseeing, it’s time for a bit of shopping. This mall is more than a mall and is worth a stop for the family. The best thing is that there are some fairly reasonable options available if you want to do more than just window shopping. 

Address: 40, Boulevard Haussmann

75009 PARIS

Info: https://haussmann.galerieslafayette.com/en/

Chateau de Vincennes

If you want to see a castle but don’t want to travel too far outside the city, this is your best option. Located just outside of Paris, it’s accessible by metro and easy to find.

Just take the 1 Metro line to the last stop and you’re there. This medieval fortress is a great place for kids to explore. 

Address: Avenue de Paris, 94300 Vincennes, France

Click here for your tickets to the chateau.

ITINERARY FOR PARIS

You can likely see the best of what Paris has to offer in four days with your family. The metro makes it easy to get around and if you plan accordingly you can group several main attractions. 

Those four days could easily include the Palace of Versailles, but if you plan to add other day trips, then five days would likely work better.

Here is the five-day itinerary that our family used for our trip to Paris.

If you only have one day to visit Paris, you should consider this itinerary. 

WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS

Batignolles/17th 

There is certainly no shortage of expensive and luxurious areas to stay in Paris. But if you’re traveling with family, looking to save some money, and still want an authentic experience, the 17th/Batignolles is a great place to stay.

You can choose between hotels and other home-sharing apps and enjoy a neighborhood that’s lived in and full of Parisians. The costs for food, accommodations, etc. are much lower than if you stayed in the city center. The time to travel to most points of interest via the metro from this area is not long at all.

Find out more info to help you plan your stay in this area or the other amazing areas throughout Paris.

WHAT TO EAT IN PARIS

Crepes

First, it’s good to remember that Paris is an international city, so there is much more variety than you probably would think. You can get some really good Italian and Vietnamese food in Paris. Besides that, Paris is well known for its culinary exploits so there’s a list of things to experience that is uniquely French. 

One of the simplest, most enjoyable treats is crepes. They’ll also likely be a hit with the kids. You can find them in patisseries, as well as stalls around the city. It’ll be one of the best things that you do in Paris.

WHEN TO GO TO PARIS

For families, early summer before it gets too crowded and expensive is a great time to visit. This means that June is one of the best times to go to Paris.

It’s also not as expensive or crowded as waiting until later in the summer. If you can manage the family calendar and make it in the fall, that is also an ideal time to visit.

HOW TO GET AROUND PARIS

Metro/Walking

The metro in Paris is nearly a work of art. It is incredibly clean, prompt, and easy to use. It would be pretty difficult to get lost when using the Metro. For added ease of use, you can use an app like Google Maps and you’ll be all set.

But even without that help, the way the maps in the stations are set up as well as the stations themselves, make it easy to get around.

Here is the info you’ll need to use the metro effectively.

BEST DAY TRIP FROM PARIS

Loire Valley

Taking a fast train from Paris will take just over an hour from the city. You’ll be transported to a land of chateaus, castles, and beautiful villages. There’s so much to see that you could ideally stay for several days, but if you only have a day you will still see some amazing sights.

WHAT TO DO WITH KIDS IN PARIS

Ride the Carousels

Paris is a city that is known for its carousels. Most are very elaborately designed, are quite beautiful, and they add to the charm of the city.

For families, they’re an excellent place for children to stop for a few moments of enjoyment because as beautiful as they are, most importantly, they’re fun.

You can easily check out the locations of carousels and see if there are any where you plan to be. This way you can make a quick stop along the way. Your kids will thank you! 

Here are some of the best carousels in Paris. 

Check out some other awesome things to do in Paris with kids.

WHAT ABOUT CURRENCY IN PARIS?

The official currency of France is the euro. Some people like to purchase a small amount from their local bank before they arrive and that can be helpful.

The best option is probably to simply use the ATM when you arrive. There is likely going to be a transaction fee, but depending on your bank it will be less than whatever your bank charges you to purchase foreign currency. 

Once you’re in Paris, there is no shortage of ATMs that you can use to withdraw cash if you need it.

Debit and credit cards are accepted in most places that you’ll visit, so the need for cash will likely be minimal. Just be sure to alert the bank of your travels and you should be fine.

Also, check to see if your card charges foreign transaction fees. This is especially the case with debit cards. The fees may seem small at only 1% or 2% but they can add up in a hurry.

HOW TO BUDGET FOR PARIS

Food

If you want really expensive gourmet food in Paris, it can be found in abundance. It’s one of the culinary capitals of the world. However, if you’re a family and/or on a budget, you’re likely looking for other options. A key to reducing food costs is to purchase breakfast and/or lunch foods at markets, boulangeries, or patisseries. Grabbing snacks to eat on the go can also help with costs.

If you follow that plan and have dinner in a restaurant, a family of four could spend anywhere between 80 and 120 euros per day on food. With some planning, you could easily find yourself closer to the 80 euro end of the estimate.

It also helps to stay in an Airbnb type of accommodation where you can save, reheat, or cook food.

Staying in apartments in a residential area and away from tourist areas provides a better selection of markets, boulangeries, and patisseries to stock up on food as well as a more reasonable selection of restaurants for dinner.

Transportation

The metro is the best means of transportation in Paris. It’s clean and easy to use and inexpensive. A single ticket is 1.90 euros, but you can purchase a carnet (pack) of 10 for 16.90 euros.

Those are for adults and children 10 and older. For children between the ages of 4 and 9, the cost is 8.45. Children under 4 are free.

Transfers are allowed for 2 hours after the initial validation of the ticket. This means that one ticket will likely get you wherever you want to go to Paris and possibly more.

Accommodations

Like food selection, you can find some of the most opulent, luxurious options in all of Europe in Paris. Those aren’t hard to find. If you’re looking for a bit of a deal, it will require a bit more work, but they can be found.

If you’re looking to stay in an apartment they can be found for between $100 to $180 per night. Hotels stays in Paris will likely go for between $100 and $300 per night and they’re more likely to be a boutique hotel the cheaper the price.

Apartment hotels are another great option for your stay in Paris and may provide more flexibility than typical hotels.

For families of four be careful when searching for hotels and check for bed count and type. Even if you enter the desired beds and the number of people in the room, the bedding situation may not be what you’re used to. What may seem like a good deal may instead be less than ideal on closer inspection.

ADAPTERS

One of the most necessary things that families travel with now is electronics. They are imminently useful keeping young (and older) ones occupied on international flights, layovers, and other periods of waiting.

When it’s time to charge those devices once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll be in for a surprise if you’re not prepared. That’s because the outlets are different and run on a different voltage level. 

This means that first, you’ll want to make sure that your chargers and assorted devices can handle the European standard of 220 volts.

Second, you’ll want to make sure that you have adapters that will allow you to use the outlets. This is a great example of a little bit of planning preventing a whole lot of headaches.

What you need is not expensive and often comes in multiples. You can purchase an adapter like the one we used. 

WHAT TO PACK FOR PARIS

This of course is highly dependent on the time of year that you expect to be visiting. Paris is an extremely walkable city and if you plan to use the metro extensively along with walking as your primary means of transportation, you’ll want to make sure that you have comfortable shoes for yourself and your family.

Of course, being in such a fashionable city as Paris, you’ll have the desire to be as stylish as possible, but when it comes to it, choose comfort over style every time.

Nothing can ruin your day quicker than your feet giving out on you, or worse, your little ones wearing out as well.

If you want to look Paris chic and try to blend in, try to avoid white sneakers, shorts, and sports gear. But again, a high priority should be placed on comfort.

THE LANGUAGE IN PARIS

French is the official language and of course, it’s spoken everywhere. That being said, Paris is an international destination and a city full of tourists so French isn’t the only language spoken. Much of the signage is also in English, so getting around isn’t a problem at all. Many menus also are in English.

To make things even easier if you’re in a tourist area and especially at popular landmarks, there is nearly always someone that speaks some English and likely someone that speaks fluently.

With all of those things making it easy for English speakers, it’s tempting to think that French isn’t needed at all as a tourist. That would be incorrect.

A little bit of French is always well appreciated and can make a big difference in any interaction. Especially if you’re asking for a favor, such as directions or any type of help.

Besides, French is such a beautiful language, why not learn a phrase or ten before you go!

SIM CARDS AND PHONE OPTIONS FOR PARIS

There are several options for phone plans when you arrive in Paris. Some carriers have international plans that will work fine for what you need. Even if you have such a plan, it would be beneficial to check into a carrier like Orange. They’ll have options for unlocked phones. Purchasing a sim card is a quick and simple process.

You’ll then be free to use the extremely helpful Google Maps app for navigating the city as well as WhatsApp for communication. Another benefit is that compared to international plans that your carrier may offer, there are no hidden or surprise fees, you just pay for the card and you’re done.

Author

  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog, smilesonarrival.com, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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The Exceptional Travel Guide For Your Family in Paris
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