Our guest bloggers keep on sharing their experiences with their young toddlers in cities around the world. This time, family travel blogger Kids And A Compass takes us around Paris with toddlers, France, in one of her prettier journeys. And she’s been to many!
I’m Emily and my family and I live in Gloucestershire, in the UK. I’ve got two small children; a daughter aged 5 and a son aged 3. We travel as often as we can in the school holidays and we love cultural travel so a trip to Paris was perfect for us! I went to Paris when my children were aged 4 and 2, and we travelled at the end of October.
Α perfect day in Paris with toddlers
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend hitting the big churches and museums in Paris as queues can be really long and they’ll try the patience of the most angelic toddler. I would take a hop on hop off boat ride up the Seine to see the main attractions (you can get off if your little ones have had enough!). They’ll love the Eiffel Tower though!
There are lots of carousels that they will go crazy for – you can find them near most main tourist attractions, including the Eiffel Tower and at the Sacre Coeur.
I’d then make sure you visit a garden so they can let off some steam – there are plenty of large green parks in Paris.
You should definitely get them to try some crepes or macarons (or both!) as mine went crazy for the sweet treats in Paris!
Best activities for parents with toddlers in Paris
The best park is Luxembourg Gardens, without a doubt. Here you can hire a small sailboat and pole and push the boat around a lovely pond – all kids will love doing this! There are sometimes puppet shows put on in the gardens, and there’s also an amazing playground and swings at the far end (you have to pay to use these).
Museum-wise I’d recommend the Cite des Sciences. It’s not very centrally located but it’s an easy journey from the Gare du Nord. There’s all sorts of things you can get up to here but the Cite des Enfants was my children’s favourite thing to do here. There are all sorts of activities aimed at small children and themed around different scientific experiments. You need to pre book your slot in advance as they fill up quickly!
As a centrally located alternative try the Centre Pompidou which puts on family friendly activities (check to see what’s on before you travel).
And of course, there’s DisneyLand Paris – not too far away and it has plenty to keep small kids happy!
Toddler friendly restaurants and cafes in Paris
You want to get a chocolate fix when you’re in Paris so I’d head to the area around Boulevard St Germain for its amazing chocolate shops – try Chocolat Chapon!
If you want to have a really French experience then go to Montmartre and eat in any brasserie you can see that doesn’t have any other tourists in! The staff know all their regulars and you’ll get an insight into typical Parisian life. If you’ve seen the movie Amelie then you can try the 2 Moulins restaurant where Amelie worked.
Make sure you get your breakfast from the local boulangerie too. There’s bound to be one near your hotel – my kids insisted on going to pick out their pastries every morning!
Family friendly accommodation in Paris
We tend to travel on a budget so we chose to stay in an apartment through AirBnB. Hotels can be very expensive in Paris and you want to stay as close to the centre as possible to save little legs. We find that an apartment has much more space for our family than a single hotel room when we travel.
We stayed in Montmartre (not very central I know, but it’s a beautiful district). Other areas I’d recommend include the Latin Quarter (you’re near the Luxembourg Gardens) and around the Eiffel Tower.
Perfect day trip from Paris with young toddlers
If you don’t want to go for the obvious choice of Disneyland Paris then why not try the Palace of Versailles?
While toddlers might not be interested in the palace itself (it’s spectacular for adults though) the gardens are beautiful and extensive. Small children will have a whale of a time with the fountains, hedge mazes and simply running about!
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