10 Tips for the Best Family Trip to Paris


Paris is often thought of as a place for adults and older kids, but in reality, the city of lights offers many kid-friendly attractions. No matter how old your kids are, there are opportunities for family travel all around the French capital and family memories that last a lifetime.

From the famous Disneyland Paris to family days at the art museums, here are Gowhee App’s best tips for the best family trip to Paris.

Family trip to Paris cover, kids with Eiffel tower in the background
Photo by local Travel guide @Le.Petit.Guide

1. When In Paris, Live Like a Parisian

Some of the best memories are made when you enjoy what a new destination has to offer its residents. When you’re in Paris, take time to people watch, and eat delicious food. Sit at the terrace of a bistro or enjoy some of the many unique restaurants the city has to offer. Visit places like La Recyclerie which offer cafes where kids can have experiences they simply can’t have anywhere but on a family trip to Paris. 

Kids making art work in La recyclerie restaurant.
La recyclerie restaurant kids' activity in Paris

2. Spend Time Outdoors

Kids have lots of energy, and spending time outdoors means they can run around and play. It’s a great thing to do before or after museums or things that might not hold their attention. Paris has a lot of open green spaces– there are about 450 public parks and gardens! No matter where you are in the city, there’s a park nearby. These include major parks like the Jardin Acclimatation, the Tuileries Gardens, and the Jardin des Plantes, an enormous botanical garden that even has a zoo. There’s very likely to be a beautiful park within walking distance of your Parisian accommodations.

>>> Find more playgrounds and parks in Paris, here.

Kids enjoying rides in the Jardin D'acclimation in Paris.
Jardin D'acclimation in Paris

10 Tips for the Best Family Trip to Paris

3. Take a Day Trip Away from the Capital

Paris is a beautiful city, but sometimes it can feel a little bit crowded and overwhelming for kids. After all, grownups are used to the hustle and bustle of the city, but when you are little, everything seems much louder and busier than it actually is. The calmer areas outside of Paris are great to visit with kids and have tons to see and do.

One surefire kid-pleaser is taking a day trip to Versailles. You can explore yourself, but taking a guided walking tour makes seeing this incredible palace so much easier. Kids can marvel at the Hall of Mirrors and the King’s Grand Apartments, but one of the most popular parts of Versailles for kids is the Trianon Estate– the farm of Marie Antoinette. This working farm was the queen’s private retreat and a place of education for the royal children, and today it is home to a group of friendly, familiar farm animals that kids really enjoy meeting. Versailles is just outside of Paris, and there are lots of transportation options to get you to and from the palace. 

Other day trip options include Disneyland Paris, located about 30 kilometers from Paris. Disneyland Paris is the most-visited theme park in Europe, and unlike the sprawling Walt Disney World resort in Florida, it’s easy to do in a day. Like all Disney parks, it’s a haven for families with little kids, and it can be a great way to end a Paris vacation since it has its own airport transportation.

>>> Find tons of things to do with kids in the rest of France, here.

4. Skip the Line with Lesser-Known Attractions

Many of the sights of Paris are just that– sights. It’s hard for little kids to happily wait in line, so you might want to try seeing the sights from alternative spots. This way you can do something unique and less crowded while still seeing the sights and getting great pictures. For example, the Montparnasse Tower lets you get the best views of the Eiffel Tower, and the dome of the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre offers a panoramic view of the whole city. 

To make sure you are getting the most out of the city on your family trip to Paris, we recommend you hire a guide that specialized in kid-friendly tours like this one from Zoe Petit! She offers budget-friendly options where she provides a full itinerary or does a full tour guide experience if you want to ask questions and discover all the hidden gems. 

5. Look for the Family-Friendly Exhibits

When you’re visiting museums with young kids, it can be challenging to strike a balance between what you want to see and what they are engaged with. While some attractions, like zoos, are always going to be fun for kids, they can find art museums to be a little more challenging.

Fortunately, many museums and attractions have family events, exhibits, or activities to keep kids entertained, even if the museum doesn’t at first appear family-friendly. For instance, The Louvre has a website especially for kids to make the museum more interactive and engaging for them. Other museums might offer scavenger hunts or other activity packets. Check online or at the front desk of the museum to see what they have on offer for kids. 

Additionally, many museums will have special exhibits designed with families and children in mind. Check online before your family trip to Paris to see what’s on at the museums that you’re interested in. Knowing which ones have kid-friendly activities can help make your choices easier and get your kids involved and engaged in creative expressions and art.

>>> Find more kid-friendly museums and galleries near you, here.

6. Take Advantage of FREE Days

Traveling with kids can be unpredictable, and unpredictability can be expensive if you’re paying full price for admission to attractions. Fortunately, some of the famous museums have free days in Paris. The louvre for instance offers free entry for all aged 25 and under Friday evenings.

Additionally, many museums offer free admission for the whole family, every day of the week. (i.e Le petit palais) And Paris also has other types of attractions completely free to offer, to name a few: the Paris flower market, le Sacre-coeur…

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7. Take Lots Breaks for Sweets & Coffee

Little kids need breaks… and so do you, Mom and Dad! Fortunately, Paris has lots of cafes that offer sweets for them and coffee for you, like Ernestine Café. Kid-friendly coffee shops can offer familiar treats like ice cream and basic, kid-friendly pleasers like pan au chocolat and croissants. They may have a kid-friendly drink menu as well that skips the caffeine! 

Paris’s café culture is expansive, so don’t be afraid to just take a break and enjoy a café. Little legs will enjoy getting to sit back and take a break, and you don’t need to always be going top speed on vacation. Simple, sweet moments make meaningful memories, too!

For instance, use their nap time to plan a late lunch at a quiet restaurant and score a date with your spouse

If your kids are more attentive and composed in the morning, use that time for educational visits and keep the fun/playground stops for afternoon chaos.

The GoWhee app is perfect to find locations like restaurants, coffee shops, and more using the “Quiet” filter or educational places using the “culture” category.

Inside a kid friendly cafe in Paris called Ernestine
kid friendly café in Paris called Ernestine

8. Shop at a Local Market & Cook at Home

Adapting to a new cuisine can be hard for little kids, and nobody likes a restaurant meltdown because they can’t find their favorite thing. Additionally, eating out for every meal can add up fast. If you’re staying somewhere with a kitchenette, Paris is a city of markets that can make food preparation much easier. Even little kids can get involved by helping to select fresh, local ingredients like fruits and veggies to try. 

While there are many street markets on Paris’s market streets, the market at Rue Mouffetard is one of the best and one of the largest. You can find all kinds of ingredients there, including over 200 types of cheese. Hold onto your kids’ hands, because the markets can get crowded! These markets can also be a great way to introduce your kids to new foods since the shopping atmosphere is so fun and inviting.

9. Rent a Car the Paris Way

Public transportation can be very challenging with little kids, especially babies and toddlers. But renting a car can also be difficult because tots that small need car seats. Fortunately, ZITY is there to make Parisian travel a breeze. These all-electric cars are rented by the minute, so you can just hop in one, drive it to your next destination, and park it without paying for the time you’re not using it. Many ZITY cars also come with car seats– and you can easily tell because they have a pacifier decal on the outside. The cars also have huge trunks, so you can easily fit your stroller. It’s a great, worry-free way to travel in and around Paris.

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10. See Paris from the Water

It doesn’t have to be hard to see all the sights of Paris. All you have to do is take a cruise and see Paris from the water! After all, the River Seine cuts right through the city, and many of its most interesting sights and buildings are right on the water. 

There are a few ways to see Paris from this unique vantage point. A lunch or dinner cruise is a great way to enjoy French cuisine while seeing the best that Paris has to offer. But if that doesn’t fit into your schedule, or if you have other dining plans, the regular bateau-mouche tours are some of the best in Paris. You’ll see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris, the Conciergerie, the Musée d’Orsay, the Arc de Triomphe, and so much more– all without waiting in line or having other tourists block your view! It’s a must when visiting Paris. These tours last a little over an hour and are narrated by a friendly, knowledgeable guide.

Don’t forget: you might plan the perfect vacation, but the perfect vacation might not go to plan! Kids can be unpredictable and have quickly changing needs. The best tip for any family trip is to be flexible. 

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