family trip to Paris

Planning a Family Trip to Paris

family trip to Paris

When most people think of Paris they automatically think of romance. The city is certainly a very popular destination for couples, but it is also a great place for a family holiday.

Kids love Paris. In all likelihood they will have learnt about this iconic city in school, so will be quite excited about going there. Paris is as much a destination for children as it is for adults, especially if you include a few days at Disneyland Paris in your itinerary.

Family trip to Paris

Paris is an incredible destination. There are many attractions that cater to all age groups. Read on to check out how to plan a family trip to Paris.

When to visit the Disneyland Resort Paris

In fact, most kids would be very disappointed if you visited Paris and did not go to Disneyland. It really is worth visiting at least once.

family trip to Paris

You need to bear in mind that during the school holidays, the queues get very long. In addition, during those times of the year, the tickets are quite expensive.

Check out here for things to see on the Seine River.
When planning family trip to Paris, you need to bear in mind that the just over 50% of the resort’s visitors are from France. Therefore, it is also wise to avoid those weeks when French kids are off school. You can check the dates online.

Be aware of closing times

It comes as a surprise to many tourists to learn that most of the big museums, galleries and cultural attractions in Paris shut completely for at least one day a week. The fact that the majority of them choose to do so on a Monday means that the Disneyland resort gets very busy on that day. Therefore, while planning a family trip to Paris you may want to avoid going there on Mondays.

Before you travel, it makes sense to make a list of the attractions you want to visit and check the opening times of each venue using the Official website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau for Paris. That way you can avoid disappointing the kids, and plan your days better.

Visit the Eiffel Tower

family trip to Paris

In Paris itself, a visit to the Eiffel Tower is essential for most families. If your children are four or under they get to enjoy this iconic tourist destination for free. However, you have to bear in mind that some kids, when faced with the fact that they have to go up so high, will refuse to do so. Many toddlers get excited when they see photos of this fantastic landmark, but sulk at the idea of climbing it.

family trip to Paris

When that happens it is normally best to go with the flow and just go straight to the nearby Champ-de-Mars Park. You can still see the Eiffel tower from there and the children can enjoy the vintage merry go round, the pedal cars and swings. It is also a nice place for an impromptu picnic on a sunny day. A great alternative is to enjoy a light lunch or crepes in the park’s cafe.

If you know your kids will want to go up the tower, try to book your tickets in advance. It is the best way to avoid the often extremely long queue.

A Visit to the Magical Parc des Buttes Chaumont

family trip to Paris

Another one of Paris’ great parks allows you to combine sightseeing with letting the kids run around to let off steam. The beautiful Parc des Buttes Chaumont is a magical place.

At the center of this beautiful lake is an island that is topped with the Temple de la Sibylle. It is quite unlike anything your kids would have seen before. If you are adventurous, you can climb the rock that the temple is set on and enjoy a spectacular view, but it is steep, so it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

The park is also home to a large grotto and several lovely waterfalls. If you have the time to explore further, you will also find some other interesting structures scattered throughout the park.

It is also worth spending a couple of hours in the Jardin du Luxembourg if you get a chance. There is a lot to enjoy including puppet shows, pony rides and the chance to hire a sailboat.

family trip to Paris

There are many more parks and playgrounds in the city that you can use to break up the day, but these three are the best. However, in Paris, there is more than just great parks for your kids to enjoy.

The Cité des Enfants

Spending a day in the City of Children is well worth doing. There is an IMAX cinema, a children’s museum, and a science museum, which are all located within a stone’s throw of each other. The displays are multi-lingual and very engaging.

Tours

family trip to Paris

There are some fascinating ways to get around the city and see the sights. The Seine river cruise and Paris canal trips and walking tours are great for families. If your children are older, they may also enjoy a bicycle tour.

Planning family trip to Paris

family trip to Paris

The key to enjoying Paris is careful travel planning. It is a big place, so if you are not careful you can waste a lot of time crisscrossing the city. Working out what you want to see and do before you go will help you to make the best use of your time.

It is important to bear in mind that despite your planning things can, and almost certainly, will not work out quite as you expect. You need to be prepared for that eventuality and ready to change your plans when necessary. Downloading maps and Paris apps before you travel will help you to adapt fast and still get the most out of your family trip.

Packing tips

Packing carefully will save you from having to rush around the city trying to buy the missing items. Paris is an expensive place, so as much as possible you want to take what you need with you.

In the summer months, packing men’s shorts  and other lightweight items of clothing is the best approach because the city gets very hot. However, you need to bear in mind that it can also rain there even in the summer. Therefore, always pack a lightweight, fold up waterproof jacket for each member of the family.

Before you put together your packing list, check the luggage allowance. Many families choose to travel to Paris on the Eurostar, and some make the mistake of not realising that even on the train there is a limit to how much luggage you can take.

Apart from making sure that you pack the right clothes, it is important to keep oneself fit and healthy. So it is imperative to take carry your travel health kit which has some basic medications and first aid items with you. There are plenty of very good chemists in the city, but you really do not need the stress of trying to explain in French that you need medication for a child who has a cold.

Hope the above tips will help plan your family trip to Paris and ensure you have an amazing time with your family in Paris.

family trip to Paris

family trip to Paris    family trip to Paris

 

 

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95 thoughts on “Planning a Family Trip to Paris

  1. Paris is high up on my bucket list. I think I would prefer to leave the kids at home, though 😉 Thanks for the awesome tips if we do decide to take them along.

  2. Paris is definitely at the top of my list of places I must visit. I’ve never thought about it being a great place for the entire family to visit and had never considered that option. Thanks!

  3. I was lucky enough to visit Paris a few years ago. I was able to visit Disneyland though wasn’t able to watch the fireworks since my friend was rushing home. I was also able to visit Eiffel Tower and I’m glad I visited the place early which meant not much queue yet.

  4. Paris is such a beautiful city and I agree that it is also an ideal destination for families too. Thanks for the tip about which days to avoid when visiting Disneyland Paris. Huge crowds and long lines are a no-no for me.

  5. I have never thought of Paris as a place for a family trip. You are right about us thinking of Paris as a romantic place for two. I had no idea there was a Disney Resort there. Pinning this to my travel board. So informative.

  6. I have never been to Paris, but these tips will def come in handy when that time comes. One tip about most museums being closed on a Monday, so avoid Disney that day is a huuuuge tip. I just got back from Disney World and when it’s packed it definitely kinda takes away from the fun…well only a little cuz Disney is so magical 🙂

  7. There is so many places in Paris that I would love to go visit! My brother and sister-in-law went there for their honeymoon and they said it was worth every cent. I would love to put this on my travel list in the near future.

  8. I would love to go to Paris. It is one of the cities on my list to visit in Europe. Maybe I’ll get to take my kids there eventually!

  9. I would like to travel to Paris one day. I also want to travel to Disney Paris. These are great tips and points about the best time to visit Disney.

  10. What a beautiful Trip! Paris is certainly a place to dream about visiting, let’s hope that dreams become a reality sometime soon. You have certainly made it sound like an amazing place to visit with your family.

  11. Such a different read about Paris! You are right – When you say Paris, romantic couples are what comes to my mind. But it’s great to know that Paris is perfect to travel with kids. The park seems to be a good place for kids and yes, proper planning goes a long way in making a family trip memorable.

  12. Paris is one of those cities you can enjoy with anyone, Ive had some great family trips when I was younger. Some great ideas and tips!

  13. Great tips and recommendations! We are heading to Paris in July so your post got me super excited. It’s great to know Paris makes a fun trip to families and children too, glad you enjoyed your time there.

  14. Paris is such a beautiful and historical place to visit. We have not gone with our family yet, but we need to. They would enjoy it.

  15. It is so true that many people, including myself, think of Paris as a romantic destination. We had not thought about bringing the children there since we visited pre-kids. But lately, our eldest had become obsessed with seeing the Eiffel tower. So, it helps to read articles such as these that show Paris can be a family travel destination.

  16. Now I really want to go to Paris. I have always wanted to see the historical and beautiful sites of the city, but now I want to go to Disney World too. I need to plan a trip for my girls and myself.

  17. When we took our family to Paris, the kids were much older — teens and young adults. They would have killed me if I’d suggested we go to Disneyland because they wanted to see things that were different from home. Their favorites were the Contemporary Art museum (Pompidou) and St. Chapelle with all the beautiful stained-glass windows. But just like yunger children they also loved hanging out on the green near the Eiffel Tower and practicing their jumps for photos!

  18. We are planning to take a family trip with our daughter at some point so these are helpful tips, thanks! I totally forgot there was a Disney there! I’m sure my daughter would love it…although I don’t know if I want to spend my time at a Disney park while I am in France (maybe I just won’t tell her about it- ha!) Your pictures are beautiful!

  19. Paris is a such a magical city. We have been planning our Disney Land trip for quite sometime now. The weather, the architecture everything about Paris is so beautiful. Traveling in Europe also gives me an opportunity to visit those WW2 memorial sites, Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation in Paris makes it to my list.

  20. I agree that Paris is a great destination for kids! I went when I was 11 with my family and loved it. I still remember playing in the Jardin du Luxembourg and seeing the Eiffel Tower. I also think kids who are interested in weapons will like the Musee de l’Armee.

  21. Great tips! I would also say, teach your kids just a word or two of the language – literally there is nothing cuter than a five year old saying “Bonjour” or “Merci.” For older kids, give them a book about it before you go so they know a little bit about the history, etc. I’ll take my future children anywhere 🙂

  22. What a great post! I absolutely love Paris and agree really make sure you plan your Mondays! Disneyland Paris is so great, such a fun day for the kids. I loved it! Great pictures.
    Kristie – you.theworld.wandering

  23. Goog guide to plan a family trip to Paris! Years ago I went there with my sister and my parents and it was a bit chaotic but still lots of fun! Under the skies of Paris is always a good idea 🙂

  24. Paris is one of our dream destinations. I would love to go there with my other half and it will be a perfect getaway. Unfortunately, as far as I know, it is not cheap to visit Paris. Just like in my case, I need to secure a tourist visa first which is quite costly. Going back to your post, I must say that those are really helpful tips. It will definitely benefit all those who plan to spend their holiday in Paris.

  25. I’ve been to Paris four times, I love that city, but now it’s more that 10 years that I miss from there.
    I remember that last time I climbed my way up the Tour Eiffel by stairs only, I wanted to count every step to the top hahaha. More than 2000 stairs, if I remember correctly.

  26. This is exactly what I required. We have a little over a day to spend in Paris on our upcoming trip. And we want to make the most of it. I am feeling reassured after reading your post because most of the places that you suggest here are the ones that we chose as well 🙂

  27. Paris is easily one of my favorite places in the world. It really is a great place for the family! I second Disneyland, it’s great! Gorgeous photos!

  28. I’m heading to the Paris in May (though sans kids and by myself)! Still, love the idea of checking out Parc des Buttes Chaumont –I hadn’t heard of that before. Plus, I obviously want to see the Eiffel Tower like you did; you captured some beautiful photos of it!

  29. It was really interesting to read about Disney Paris because it’s good to check up when the French kids are on holiday that way you can have the most fun. This great for single travelers too because I for sure didn’t know you could enjoy a crepe at the Eiffel Tower’s nearby park.

  30. You have definitely shown how Paris is a great destination for a family holiday. Disney Parks are always designed for family fun. And the gorgeous landmarks and rich history is an enriching and educational experience for all – especially kids. Your practical planning tips are so helpful too for making the most of the time there.

  31. I’ve completely missed the Parc des Buttes Chaumont on my previous trips to Paris and this will be the first place I check out next time! Especially the waterfall and grotto!

  32. Thank you for saying that Disneyland Paris is awesome. I loved it so much and would venture to say that it’s my favorite Disney Park. And yes: OMG, things close early. Paris is totally a city that requires planning.

  33. I agree that Paris is a great family holiday destination. To be honest, despite the decades-old marketing spiel about it being a city for lovers, find it one of the least romantic cities for a couples weekend, though it’s still a wonderful place to visit as a couple… not sure how they persuaded the world on this whole romantic label though!!

  34. Paris is always a beautiful place! I’ve been there many times and I really enjoyed your guide, it was well written, good photos as well, very useful 🙂

  35. Great tips here on my second home. Paris is huge and there are lots to do and planning is required. Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame really needs to be done first thing in the morning to beat the crowds (but have to mingle with the locals during the morning rush hour on the metro….ugh!)

  36. Awesome tips! We got to do a lot of these things on our trip last fall. I’m an adult and I loved Disneyland Paris. I’m so glad I got to check it out.

  37. Paris is one of those incredible cities that is wonderful for solos, couples and families. There is so much to do, so much that isn’t on the “tourist” list. You’ve highlighted some of the great spots here.

  38. We have been to Paris thrice and we have enjoyed it every time. Garden of Luxembourg is definitely a great place to visit with kids and we have seen a lot of kids climbing up the tower so we believe kids would enjoy that too. Disney remains to be visited as we avoided it for our kid was very small. Hopefully next time.

  39. I really love Paris! I would have loved to go to Disneyland Paris when I was a kid (and still might now that I’m an adult haa). These are some great recommendations to keep kids interested in a trip to the city.

  40. I always forget that there is a Disney Land in Paris. With the combination of a theme park like Disney Land and all the great iconic sights in the city, Paris does look like a great place for the whole family to visit. Good idea to pay attention to the dates in which French kids are out of school when going to Disney Land. You don’t want long lines to ruin the day.

  41. Cool tips for anyone who wants to visit Paris with kids! Just for info: the grotto and (lovely) waterfalls in Park Buttes Chaumont are under restoration since long time and I don’t see any progress . . :-/

  42. Great tips. I would love to explore the Parc des Buttes Chaumont and see the grotto and waterfalls. Sounds like a fun time, especially if you bring along some goodies to eat.

  43. Thank you for the tips. Closing times is a very important one which gets overlooked. Also carrying a basic medical kit with you really helps. Once we carried a medical kit and left it in our luggage when we went sightseeing. Then we had to run around town to look for a band-aid.

  44. Great tips for family travel to Paris. It can be thought of such an ‘adult’ destination – being a city of romance and what not – so it’s nice to see a guide tailored to those with little ones.

  45. Paris is a fascinating city not only for adults but for kids too. Every time I read the name Paris, I simply wanna rush there. It seems to be a really huge and expensive city so careful planning; what to explore and must carry essentials should be on the list. I like the tips you mentioned for Disney tour and city. Will keep all these in mind while planning a visit. Thanks for sharing.

  46. What a super article on Paris. I loved Paris and have taken my parents and my kids – both seeing much different sides! We have never done the disney park, but it sure looks like fun! Love that park, I have actually never been there. Next time I will have to check it out.

  47. Well thought out locations. The euro Disney does get really crowded and your tip on the same is welcome. I would say go for the fast track passes. I would not say no to a cruise with kids on river Seine 🙂

  48. Both times we were in Paris we didn’t have our kiddo yet, and even so, these are all great tips! We had friends who went with two littles and commented on how amazed they were with how many parks and green spaces there was in such a big city: so another thing to consider for budget travelers is to just find a great park 🙂

  49. Those are some great tips for visiting Paris! Sadly, I’ve never made it to Disneyland Paris and want to check it out! Good to keep in mind school holidays in France! #feetdotravel

  50. We enjoy visiting Paris as a family, but haven’t been to Disneyland. Thanks for the info about visiting – it is good know that half of the Disney guests are from France. I will try to avoid holiday season in France.

  51. I am actually thinking about spending my 30th birthday this year at Disneyland Paris, and hopefully visit a little bit of Paris as well in the same trip. Even if I live in the UK and we have the Eurostar, I ave never actually made it to the city of love. Would love to go one day.

  52. Great tips and ideas if visiting Paris with kids – another thing I would say is avoid August! Also stay near a metro stop. I took my daughter aged 8 and my sister aged 13 a few years ago and it was the hottest August for years. I love Paris in the spring and had a good weekend there last May though you also need to beware of pickpockets too as there was a lot of evidence of crime in some areas (around the Eiffel Tower, on the metro and around Montmartre in particular) #feetdotravel

  53. I agree that careful planning is the key to most trips especially if you include a trip to Disneyland. I went to Disneyland during winter time cause I thought there would be less people, but I was wrong. And since I wasn’t prepared enough, I mostly spent my time inside the restaurants and shops because it started to snow. LOL.

  54. I visited Paris before turning eighteen. I did not like the Eiffel tower at all. Felt like it is overrated and just a big piece of metal. I think also the kids would also hate standing in the long line there. Otherwise Paris is lovely and definitely, kids can enjoy it too 🙂

  55. Parc des Buttes Chaumont is my favorite park ever!!! We stayed at an airbnb and couchsurfed nearby so it was just a short walk away. We visited multiple times and we took our hammock with us too. Once we fell asleep in the hammock for 3 hours as people around us were having picnics and soaking in the sun. It was nice to be able to get away from the busy city center flocking with tourists.

  56. Paris is simply one of the greatest places to visit. Be it as a couple, among friends or as a family! It’s great to find listings for everyone. Children’s museum and Science museum must be a special treat for the young ones! 😉

  57. “most kids would be very disappointed if you visited Paris and did not go to Disneyland.” – I’m 24 years old and would be very disappointed if someone visited Paris and didn’t go to Disneyland haha. I’ve never really thought of Paris beyond Disneyland as a family destination. It always springs to mind as a couple’s destination, but on reading your post I can totally see myself going there with family in the future! I need a family first of course haha.

  58. Paris is one of my favourite memories of a family trip from when I was a kid. We didn’t ever do disney though, and I certainly wish I’d seen more of the parks when I was little. Great post!

  59. Great tips that are bringing back some lovely memories. I haven’t been to Disney although I lived closed to Paris for one year and a half.

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