Paris with kids: 10 seriously cool experiences the whole family will love
It's the city of love.
And so sure, Paris pretty much is the perfect destination to visit a deux, on a romantic break away, just you two.
But did you know that the French capital is also perfect for a family-friendly city break? It's true. Take it from someone who has been there, done that – Paris has tons of things to see and do that children will love, many of them completely free of charge too. Meaning, of course, you have more money to spend on macaroons and cute fridge magnets to take home.
Do some research before you go, so that you have a vague idea of the things you want to experience once in Paris, because it is easy to get lost in the sheer amount of sights and experiences once you get there.
Paris is vast. And beautiful. And you'll forever long to come back once you go.
These 10 are a great place to start when travelling with kids in tow:
1. The Eiffel Tower
You cannot go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower, really. And the kids will love it. For younger kids, it might be enough to see it up close, from the ground, for slightly older kids, they will no doubt want to get up to the top.
You have two choices, take the stairs (great exercise) or wait for the lift (which often has a waiting time of up to an hour, especially during day time, when it's busy). Note that the stairs will only get you to the 2nd level, so that if you want to get to the very top, you'll need to get the lift from there up to the 3rd level.
2. Sacre Coeur
Go for the church itself, which is nothing short of magnificent, but also for the incredible views of Paris from the front of the basilica.
The surrounding neighbourhood of Montmartre is perfect for strolling around an afternoon, with lots of little shops, windy streets and cozy cafes.
Sacre Coeuer is open daily from 6am to 10:30pm.
3. The Louvre
Warning. You won't get to see it all, not in just one visit, so be picky about what art you really want to see, and try to stick to a plan. This is a place you'll be coming back to every time you visit Paris, and you'll still never feel like you have seen it all.
The Louvre is open from 9am to 6pm on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, from 9am to 9:45pm on Wednesday and Friday. Closed on Tuesdays.
4. Natural History Museum
This one will be a big hit with kids, and they'll no doubt love exploring both the exhibitions (lots of animals) inside the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, as well as the surrounding park, Jardin des Plantes.
The Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle is open daily from 10am to 6pm, closed Tuesdays.
5. The Pompidou Centre
Great for kids aged school age and over, who will love to explore both the gallery inside, and also the building itself. All the pipes and escalators are on the outside of the structure, making it feel like the building has been constructed inside-out.
The Pompidou Centre is open daily 11am to 10pm, closed Tuesdays.
6. Notre Dame Cathedral
Think Paris and you can't help but think of the Notre Dame – and rightly so. The impressive buidling, which dates back over 800 years, has a firm place in Paris' history, and is a fascinating place to explore.
Notre Dame Cathedral is open 8am to 6:45pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:15 on Saturdays and Sundays.
7. Luxembourg Gardens
When you travel with kids, especially in big cities, few things can beat finding a great park where they can run around for a bit, not having to worry about traffic or crowds. In the Luxembourg Gardens, you'll find a brilliant playground kids will love, as well as a marionette theatre and a huge, old-fashioned carousel.
Luxembourg Gardens is open daily, 7am to 1 hour before sunset.
8. The Jardin des Tuilleries
Yet another beautiful park not to miss when in Paris. At the Jardin des Tuilleries, you'll find two playgrounds, a carrousel and a boating pond too.
The Jardin des Tuilleries is open daily 07:30am to 7pm. In April, May, & September closes at 9pm, while in July & August, it closes at 11pm.
9. Paris Catacombs
This might be best for older kids, as younger children can find the Catacombs rather scary. It's funny to think that, when it Paris, underneath you is an entire maze of tunnels and caves, and inside these Catacombs lies the skeletons of six million Parisians. Six million! The reason they all ended up here is because back in the late 18th century, the cemeteries of Paris were a breeding ground for disease and illness, and so at the time, the authorities solved this by emptying the graves, and storing the bodies underneath the city in the Catacombs.
The Catacombs are open daily 10am to 5pm, closed Mondays. Last entrance 4pm.
Technically not an experience as such, but the hot chocolates at the famous tea house Angelina is something you do not want to miss when in Paris.
The famous "African" hot chocolate is composed of three carefully selected kinds of African cocoa, and the secret recipe for this chocolate mix is specially put together for Angelina.
The luxurious tea house, which is located at 226 Rue de Rivoli, opened its doors back in 1903, and is pretty much the perfect place to wind down after a day spent sightseeing in the city.