- Seeing the Eiffel Tower in all its glory from previously seeing it only on TV and books
- Exploring the parks and the freedom to run around
- The double-decker train to get to Paris
Prepare in advance
Paris is a big city; it helps to have public transportation figured out before you head out for the day, especially when traveling with a pushchair or wheelchair. Pin your destinations to Google Map and look at transport options, transit times and accessibility. To avoid queues with restless children, purchase tickets online in advance of your trip.
Good to know
Most metro stations have many steps and few or no elevators. So when visiting Paris with little children, it's easier to take the bus or walk. Traveling above ground, you’ll have a much better view of the city anyway.
Visit Paris with children during off-peak holiday seasons to avoid long queues and overcrowding.
If you are traveling to Paris via Eurostar from the UK, try purchasing your ticket well in advance, or even better, keep a look out for their deals where you could buy tickets for as little as £28 each way. Children under 4 also travel for free on Eurostar. In Paris, buy a book of 10 Metro tickets at a time, instead of paying for individual rides. Bringing your own snacks also helps save money.
About This Day
Paris may not look especially kid-friendly at first glance. Between its less than stroller-friendly metro and the endless list of cultural attractions, it can even feel daunting to families, especially when visiting Paris with younger children. The first impression for many is that the city seems built primarily for culturally savvy adults. But visiting Paris with children does not need to be a headache: If you plan ahead, there are plenty of great things to do in Paris with kids. It's just a matter of planning your vacation around a few attractions and not to overcommit.
This itinerary takes you to two of the must-see attractions in the French capital and shows you how to enjoy them as a family, even if you are traveling with a toddler. Start your day at the Eiffel Tower, and after admiring its grandeur, explore nearby Parc du Champs de Mars. The area offers tons of amazing photo opportunities and is a heaven for children. There's ample space for little ones to run around and multiple playgrounds to explore. If it's warm out, bring a picnic and enjoy a lazy morning in the park people-watching.
From Champs de Mars, take Bus No. 72 to Pontes des Arts, where you'll find Musee du Louvre, one of the largest and most renowned art museums in the world. Based on your interests, take one of their self-guided tours and soak up as little or as much culture as your family enjoys. We had to see the Mona Lisa!
The Eiffel Tower was definitely a must-see for my daughter whilst in Paris, and not just at a distance, but up close. When you stand under it, it's just spectacular. She was in awe at how large and big it was. Unfortunately for us, the top of the Eiffel Tower was lost in the fog, but we could not resist returning at night to see it all lit up. At Parc du Champs de Mars, right next to the Eiffel Tower, there is a huge, big, grassy area where children can run around till their hearts are content. There are also three playgrounds in the Champs de Mars. At Avenue Anatole France, in the middle of the park, there's an old-fashioned carousel, a little play area with a sandbox, and a cafe. In the southwest section, allee Pierre Loti, there is also a playground with climbing frames, slides and imaginative play areas. And for younger children, tucked away further south inside the park is another small playground.
DIRECTIONS The closest Paris Metro station to the Eiffel Tower is Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel on Line RER C. Other Metro stations close to the Eiffel Tower include Ecole Militaire on Line 8, and Bir-Hakeim on Line 6. Since we arrived that morning with the Eurostar, we opted for the Bus Route 42 and got off at the stop Tour Eiffel. From there, walk up Avenue de la Bourdonnais and then turn left onto Avenue Sylvestre de Sacy, which leads you directly to the Eiffel Tower.
The Louvre is massive, so come prepared with a plan of what you and your family want to see. If the Mona Lisa is on your list, head straight to the Denon Wing, Level 1 for the Paintings/Italy exhibition. I checked out the Louvre Floor Plan PDF online before going and mapped out a route within the Louvre based on what is where. Like most art museums in Paris, the Louvre is free for kids up to 18 years old. Thankfully, there are lots of space in and outside of the museum, which my daughter thoroughly enjoyed making use of whilst taking in her surroundings. There is also a separate entry for pushchairs and plenty of changing facilities.
DIRECTIONS There are multiple entrances to the Louvre. The Pyramid in the outer courtyard is the most obvious and possibly worst way to get into the museum, because it has the longest lines. Word on the Internet was that the Porte des Lions entrance was the best way to avoid lines, because no one uses it. It worked for us!
TIP The Louvre has already mapped out a number of routes you can take, based on your interest and time frame -- genius!