Tips for visiting Paris with kids

Here are my top 10 travel tips for visiting Paris with kids. I live in Paris with two young children and want to share my advice on navigating this iconic city in an enjoyable way for the whole family.

visiting paris with kids

1. Plan your itinerary

One of my top tips for visiting Paris with kids is to research and plan your itinerary in advance. Look at the map, choose places of interest in the same part of town, and prepare for regular stops at cafes and playgrounds.

I’ve put together some fantastic family-friendly Paris itineraries you can use for your next trip to Paris. These itineraries are practical for families, ensuring days are exciting but not too tiring. You’ll get highlights of Paris’s history and culture, plus discover hidden spots for an authentic touch. I’ve done each one of the itineraries with my kids, so they are well tried and tested! They include a good mix of what the entire family may want to do in a day – for example, a museum in the morning and a park with a playground in the afternoon.

2. Get your kids involved in Paris planning

Let your kids feel included in the sightseeing plans, and let them choose a few things they want to do. This way, everyone gets to do something they like. Whether it’s a PSG football stadium tour, a bike tour, a family-friendly cooking class, flea markets or hunting for Space Invaders on the city walls – give kids a chance to have a say in your trip planning.

paris with kids, cooking class

3. Use public transport

If everyone feels tired of walking, use the metro or the bus to get around. The public transport system in Paris is excellent, and it’s straightforward to get around the city. Children under four years old travel for free. Be aware that most metro stations don’t have lifts, so be prepared to ask passers-by to help you lift the pram. Depending on the length of your stay, you may consider buying a Paris Visite travel pass or a Navigo card at any metro station, offering unlimited travel within certain zones.

4. Check opening hours

Be sure to check the opening hours of places you plan to visit, which can also change due to seasons.

Most shops close on Sundays unless you are in tourist areas and major shopping malls. Similarly, many museums and monuments are open every day except for one closed day, usually Monday or Tuesday. For example, The Louvre Museum is closed on Tuesdays. Restaurants typically don’t stay open all day long. After lunch, they generally close and reopen around 7.30 pm for dinner.

5. Book family-friendly museum tours

Trying to see everything with kids can be rather overwhelming. To keep things fun and stress-free, consider booking a guided tour to see the most popular attractions like the Louvre Museum. Such tours offer fast-track entry, so you avoid the crowds and get straight to the highlights with an expert who knows their way around. Plus, you’ll learn fun facts and stories about the artwork, making the visit more enjoyable. After the tour, you can even explore more independently if you like.

6. Plan for breaks

Paris is home to numerous beautiful parks, playgrounds and carousels. Let your children have a break between museums and attractions in Parisian parks like Jardin du Luxembourg or Jardin des Tuileries. If you’re searching for a playground near you on Google Maps, try typing “Aire de jeux,” which translates into “playground” in French.

playground in paris, park de la villette

7. Explore child-friendly attractions and activities

There are plenty of kid-friendly attractions just waiting to be explored in Paris, like the science museum Cité des Sciences et l’Industrie, the natural history museum Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, and the largest amusement park in Paris, Jardin d’Acclimatation. Family-friendly boat cruises, bike tours and the hop-on and hop-off bus are also always popular with kids. 

8. Learn a little French

Teach your children to say Bonjour, Merci and Au Revoir to people in shops, cafés, and other public places you go. This will go a long way, and locals often appreciate the effort.

9. Try French food and food markets

Nothing is better than a freshly baked croissant or pain au chocolat from a local bakery to start your day. Don’t fret about finding food that your kids will eat. Many kids’ menus in French restaurants have predictable options involving pasta, pizza, steak and French fries. Coming to Paris, though, is a chance to experience authentic French food, so order foods you can’t try back home. For example, some French foods you can try with kids are crepes, croque monsieur, escargots, frog legs, and many desserts.

french macarons

Several French restaurant chains, such as Le Relais de l’Entrecôte and Breizh Café, have great food and are always popular with children, so check them out on your next trip.

Going to an outdoor French food market is a real experience. Come here to experience the way locals shop and get to try high-quality produce to eat on the spot or take away as your picnic. Marche Bastille, Marche des Enfants Rouges and Marché Président-Wilson are just some of the many open-air food markets worth visiting. Just check the opening hours in advance because the markets are not open every day.

10. Ask for tap water in restaurants

Tap water in Paris is safe to drink, so remember to ask for “une carafe d’eau, s’il vous plait” at restaurants to avoid being charged for bottled water.

In conclusion, I hope you’ve found the tips for visiting Paris with kids helpful. Share your thoughts, comments and feedback from your own trip to Paris with other travellers in the Comments section below. Merci!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I receive a commission if you visit a link and buy something on my recommendation. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I trust. 

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