Paris_Family_Travel_Guide

Paris Family Travel Guide

Paris is a great place for families to explore culture, food, art and so much more. There’s something there for everyone to enjoy and planning your trip is as easy as planning a trip to the next state.

Paris_Family_travel_guide

My first trip to Paris was with my husband for our 10 year Wedding Anniversary. I never expected to fall in love with a city that is overpopulated with tourist and offers no chill from the crowds. On a return visit a year later for the Vin Expo, I found myself even more in love with the City of Lights.

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Standing at the center of Paris in front of Notre Dam Cathedral.

For my birthday this year I wanted to create a memorable travel experience with my family. A family trip to Paris, France is the epitome of memorable moments and I was eager to begin our planning.  Our kids, 7 and 9, was excited.  They’ve heard us rave about Paris and was eager to see it for themselves. I couldn’t imagine a perfect destination to share with our family.

Paris Family Travel Guide

Everything you need to know to plan your family trip to Paris.

Booking Flights to Paris

Traveling to Paris is easier on the pockets during off-peak season. Non-summer or holiday months.  You can catch deals from the US for as low as $250 roundtrip in advance if you don’t mind making a connection or two.

If you’re flying standby or on a buddy pass the cost per round trip ticket ranges from $100-$250 for pass and taxes.  Because it’s such a popular city, don’t expect First Class upgrades.

Paris has two airports Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly International Airport (ORY). Both are within a reasonable distance to the city.

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Celebrating family in Paris!

I recommend traveling on a major carrier and with few connections as possible, especially when traveling with kids. Be sure to confirm your seats when you pay for your ticket. It’s also a good idea to buy travel insurance to cover any mishaps.

Find more great travel tips for families here.

Paris Airport Transfers

Both airports are outside the city and offer several options for getting there. I’ve always flown into CDG so I’ll give my recommendations based on this airport.

Public transportation, railroad or bus, from the airport is cheap and efficient. Paris is 35 minutes by train from the airport.  It’s a good option  if you’re on a fixed budget or have older children that don’t mind the ride.

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We took the bus a lot in Paris, though we opted for UBER from the airport.  The kids had an up close view of all the sites and Paris city life.

More than likely after your flight you’ll want comfort and convenience. The Super Shuttle offers private or shared rides to the city and takes you to your hotel or apartment. Reservations should be made in advance and the price is based on the number of passengers regardless of age. The cost for a family of four starts at 76 €.

Uber has great service in Paris and is my top recommendation for Paris airport transfers. The cost for our family of four was 45€ from the airport directly to our door. Uber prices change based on your destination and time of day. Our driver met us outside of our arrival terminal. He was pleasant and the ride was enjoyable. Because we arrived in the early morning we didn’t have much traffic.

Where to Stay in Paris With Kids

I can not say enough about the benefits of staying in an apartment rental while traveling with family. Not only do you get to experience the city like a local, but you also get more living space.

There are many Paris apartments available for short and long term rental. The prices are comparable if not more reasonable than a hotel room. A standard hotel room in Europe is smaller than what most Americans are used to. That’s why renting an apartment makes more sense for families. You don’t have to worry about squeezing in a rollaway bed or spend extra money booking a second room that may or may not connect.

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The living room and sitting area inside of our apartment in Neuilly.

Our go-to neighborhood in Paris is Neuilly. We stayed here on two of our visits at the Movenpick Hotel and an apartment rental. Neuilly is part of the suburbs of Paris so it’s not inside an arrondissement, yet it’s convenient to public transportation. (There are 20 arrondissements in Paris that begins in the center and spirals out.)   This area is ideal for families. Residents are friendly and welcoming. There’re lots of patisseries (bakeries), marchés (markets), churches, brasseries (restaurants), and small businesses to choose from.

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A view of the Eiffel Tower from the balcony of our Neuilly apartment rental.

We book our rentals on Airbnb. I’ve also found Home Away and VRBO to be helpful when comparing rentals and reviews. One of the newer vacation rental companies I’m eager to try is Innclusive. It’s committed to providing a non-discriminatory experience for all guests.

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Dessert in France is second to none. There’s no shortage of patisseries in the Neuilly neighborhood.
Getting Around In Paris

Please do not rent a car. Too much traffic and the hassle of parking will ruin your vacation. Paris’s public transportation is efficient and accessible. You can buy the Multi-day RATP passes for your family and there’s a kids rate.

While in Paris we use the train,  bus, and UBER to get where we needed to go comfortably. There are maps at every bus and train station that are easy to follow. At the bus stop, there’s also a countdown of when the next bus will arrive and a convenient USB charging port.

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When you buy the Multi Pass at the train station you  only need it for Zones 1-3. These zones include all 20 arrondissements and cover some of the neighborhoods beyond. Be sure to pick up a complimentary map when you buy your passes. There are several to choose from but I prefer Map 2. It’s easier to read and include landmarks. Map 1 is smaller and doesn’t have all the street names and details so it was difficult to navigate.

We had no problems getting around on the bus or train and felt safe with our kids.  Everything is color coded and labeled with clear signs. Paris is a melting pot and the city was considerate of other languages when creating their public signs. If you happen to get lost on the bus or train, no worries, you’re in Paris. Every part of the city is worthing seeing and exploring.

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The kids loved getting around Paris on the train but bus was their favorite.
What to See and What to Do In Paris

There’s absolutely no way to see everything you want on a short trip to Paris. You’ll need several weeks to explore all that Paris has to offer. But with just a few days you can totally make the most of your trip by deciding what’s most important for you and your family. Be sure to balance all the touristy stuff with downtime and relaxation.

Black Paris Tour

At the top of our list was the Black Paris Tour with Madame Ricki Stevenson, who happens to be a former American journalist.  We had the honor of taking the tour on our first visit in 2013. It was then that we vowed to bring them back for it. If I had to put my finger on the single thing that sparked my passion for Paris it would be the Black Paris Tour.

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Part of the Black Paris Tour is a visit to the Dumas family monuments celebrating 3 generations of Black Excellence.

We opted for the partial tour instead of the full day tour but hung around through lunch. The kids enjoyed Ms. Stevenson and learned so much about Black history in Paris. We walked around to see important sites and snacked at some local eateries in between stops. Ms. Stevenson knows her history and in the end, we were proud to be a young African American family exploring Paris.

Eiffel Tower with Kids

We knew we wanted to take the kids to the Eiffel Tower but preferred not to waste time in line going up. There’s a menage (French for carousel) located west of the Eiffel tower next to a creperie. We ordered banana and Nutella crepes and authentic french fries with mayonnaise while the kids rode the carousel. Surely the kids enjoyed that more than waiting hours on line.

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Taking a ride on the menage near the Eiffel Tower.
Sacre Couer With Kids

Also on our list was the Sacre Coeur located in Montmartre. My husband and I visited and climbed the stairs on our first trip so we knew it would be a challenge for the kids and opted out. This time we rode the funicular, using our RATP tickets, up to the entrance and took in breathtaking views of the city. There was no need for us to explore inside, we knew the kids wouldn’t get bored quickly.

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To the left of the Sacre Couer is a street that leads to the artist market and is filled with lots of tourist shops. Here we picked up of our souvenirs and some artwork to take home. The street also leads to some wonderful dining choices so we had lunch before heading back down.

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The Louvre With Kids

Also on the top of our list was the Louvre. We chose the cloudiest day to visit so we wouldn’t miss being outdoors. The Louvre is free for kids and we purchased our two adult tickets online that morning which saved us a long wait. Look for the signs that say E-ticket entry so you’re not waiting unnecessarily on line.

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At the entrance of the Louvre. It was a cloudy day best spent indoors!

Our family did the Ancient Egyptian Family Tour using the DS device. At first, it was difficult using the map on the DS. It has a built-in GPS that seemed off at first. But once we found our way the kids enjoyed every minute.  We didn’t want to push too much art on them so after the Ancient Egyptian Tour we went straight to the Mona Lisa.

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Along with these places we checked a few more sites of our list including the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dam, the Latin Quarters, and Luxembourg Gardens.

There’s so much more information to share about Family Travel to Paris.  Stay tuned for ideas on your spending budget and more details on The Louvre and Black Paris Tours.

If your’e looking for more tips for your family experience in Paris, please check out one of my favorite sites MyLittleNomads.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Paris Family Travel Guide”

  1. Thanks for share this. I know Travel is the most important for human life. After read this article I known about paris. Actually you are a member of happy family. I really loved it. I think you should have share the total amount of spending , It will have very useful for all users.

    1. Hi there! That is a great idea and I will absolutely add my Paris Family Budget to my post list! Thanks for checking me out!!

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