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Kid’s City Guides

We are all about making budget travel with children manageable and fun.

Paris With Kids: What to Know Before You Go

Paris With Kids: What to Know Before You Go

Paris With Kids

Paris is so fun with kids! This is actually a great place to visit with babies or toddlers because of all the beautiful open spaces to run around. This is a city where you can really take your time. You can easily fill three days or one month and likely never get tired of what Paris has to offer. The French have had a big push in recent years to get people to have kids, so you’ll find playgrounds everywhere!

Stroller or Baby Backpack?

We brought a baby backpack and a small foldable umbrella stroller. Leave your big strollers at home for this trip. They won't fit in many of the places you would want to bring them. Also the cobblestones and Metro stairs make this city difficult with a stroller, though we did use ours for some of the bigger museums.

Where to Stay:

The lower the arrondissement (neighborhood) the closer you are to all the great sites! It’s not hard to get into the city from the outer arrondissement, but if you want to return for naps your life will be easier if you stay in 1-3. If you can, see if you can work out a home exchange. If not, here are some good housing options that hopefully won’t break the bank!

Book in Advance

Here are the things that require advance booking to avoid lines or selling out. Browse our guides on the activities, decide if your family would be interested, and then book them! A bit of advice: try to avoid booking anything timed for the first few days as you don’t know how jet lag is going to affect your kids and you don’t want to risk missing your reservation.

  • Download Rick Steves’s Heart of Paris walk and any other guides you think look interesting.

  • Decide if you want to climb the Eiffel Tower and book tickets. Note: this is definitely not required to have fun in Paris. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the Eiffel Tower for free (see our post) and I prefer the view from The Arc de Triomphe because you can see The Eiffel Tower (covered by the Paris Museum Pass!

  • Reservations at Angelina. The best hot chocolate in the world. The one by the Louvre is the most beautiful and the most crowded, so best to make reservations. Click Rivoli to get to the reservation calendar.

  • Reserve time to enter The Catacombs. Make this reservation for a day your Museum Pass will NOT be active because it’s not covered by the museum pass (days 6/7 if you’re following one of our itineraries).

  • If you're renting bikes, book your Velib Pass. See our Arrival in Paris post for more about Velib.

  • Decide if you want to do the Seine Cruise and book it because it’s a bit cheaper online.

Books/Movies to Prep For Your Trip

Movies:

  • Midnight in Paris. I love this one because it talks about all the great periods of Parisian history. Plus, there's a scene at the flea market!

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame. it brings the cathedral to life so beautifully.

  • APE**** Music Video by Beyonce and Jay-Z. They filmed in the Louvre and it's AMAZING! Watch on mute if swearing bothers you.

  • Les Miserables: I mention it a lot in this guide. I am a musical person.

  • Marie Antionette with Kristen Dunst: One view on Marie Antionette.

  • The Three Musketeers: The Mickey Mouse version and the real version both show Versailles!

Books:

  • Madam Tussad by Michelle Moran. This is an amazing view on the French Revolution.

  • This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek

  • Paris: A Book of Shapes: This is a great board book about Paris.

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

  • The DaVinci Code (movie or book). You'll look at the Louvre pyramid differently!

Harrod's With Kids

Harrod's With Kids

Arrival in Paris

Arrival in Paris