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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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