Paris is often considered to be one of, if not, the most romantic cities in the world. With couples flocking to France’s capital, often referred to as the ‘City of Love’, to soak up the culture, see the world famous landmarks, eat the great food and maybe even get engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Mr ESLT and I celebrated my 30th birthday by taking a holiday to Paris. Therefore, I have first-hand experience of how romantic the city can be. From moonlit walks along the Seine and dining in fancy Parisian restaurants to late nights at the Moulin Rouge and sipping champagne at the numerous rooftop bars dotted around the city.
As Mr ESLT and I are currently wading our way through the lengthy (and I’ll be honest intrusive) adoption process, our romantic and often spontaneous getaways will soon be replaced with well planned, family-friendly holidays. As we want our little one to see the world, we are currently compiling a list of towns, cities and beach destinations that we want to visit with Mini ESLT in tow. A holiday to Paris is very high on that list. Amongst other reasons, its location is great for us, as it is actually somewhere where we can fly to from our local airport. Albeit only twice a week, but still.
Therefore, here are 7 ways Paris is a great choice when choosing your next family holiday.
Pick the Perfect Accommodation
Picking the perfect accommodation is vital regardless of where you visit and something we consider from the outset when planning any holiday. However, when travelling with kids, there are obviously more things you need to consider. Therefore, when planning holidays to Paris, why not consider the outdoor holiday specialist Eurocamp? The parcs offer a lot of family-friendly facilities and amenities including swimming pools, sports and gym facilities, shops, bars, restaurants and not forgetting kids clubs for all ages. Also, the modern mobile homes are equipped with all the essentials you’ll need when travelling with little ones including cots, highchairs and booster seats, meaning you don’t have to worry about lugging your own equipment on holiday with you. The self-catering aspect also gets a big thumbs up, especially if you have a fussy eater on your hands.
Visit the Main Attractions
Of course, when planning your holiday to Paris visiting the main attractions needs to be high, if not top, on your list of things to do. Imagine visiting and not checking out Notre Dame or Sacré-Cœur. When visiting with kids, you just may need to do a bit more research about when are the best times to visit (i.e. first thing in the morning) certain places. Booking tickets in advance. especially queue jump tickets where possible, so little legs don’t become tired and irritable stood waiting to get in is always advisable if your budget allows. Also, check out if the attraction offers tours which are designed specifically for children. They are likely to be more interactive so the kids won’t get too bored too quickly. Or why not consider a private tour, yes they are usually more expensive than group tours, but they can be tailored to your and your children’s interests.
Spend a Day (or Two) at Disneyland
I was 15 the first time I visited Disneyland (I remember it like it was yesterday) and I instantly felt 5 again. Even as a moody teenager, just the mere sight of Mickey Mouse made me want to run over and give him a big cuddle. Mr ESLT appreciates my love of the characters so much he even took me to Disneyland Paris when we took a holiday to Paris for my 30th birthday and let me run wild. There is enough there to occupy all the family – kids and big kids (ahem…like me) alike, for at least a day or two. It is super easy to get to from Paris city centre via the Metro, however, I would recommend getting there as early as possible to avoid the inevitable queues that start to form around mid-morning. Maybe tie the early start in with breakfast with Disney characters at Plaza Gardens Restaurant? With only two seatings a day (8:15 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.), be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Hit the Museums
The museums of Paris are considered to be some of the best in the world, however, for small children, I imagine some of them could be considered extremely boring. I know for a fact if my parents had taken me to the Louvre when I was little I would not have been happy. I appreciate this may be some children’s dream come true, but it wouldn’t have been mine back then. Therefore, if your little ones have no interest in the Mona Lisa, not to worry, as there are plenty of kid-friendly museums dotted throughout the city. Therefore, when planning your holiday to Paris why not check out the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Museum of Sciences and Industry), Musée des Arts Forains (Fairground Art Museum) or Le Palais de la découverte (Discovery Palace) and add them to your itinerary? The museums are also great places to head if the Parisian weather is not treating you kindly.
If visiting Paris during the summer months, there are lots of outside spaces and attractions you can visit, which are particularly great for allowing the little ones to run around, get some fresh air and burn off some energy. With numerous parks, gardens and green spaces to explore in the city, you could in fact base your itinerary for your holiday to Paris around just visiting them. One of, if not the most popular is the stunning Jardin du Luxembourg which offers loads for things to keep kids occupied, including pony rides, ice-cream stands, puppet shows, pedal karts, sandpits, metal swingboats and merry-go-round. If you are willing to venture slightly off the tourist trail, then why not pack a picnic and check out Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a public park located in northeastern Paris, in the 19th arrondissement.
Cook Up a Storm
For me when I travel I love to try the local cuisine, even though I am quite a fussy eater (although less so as the years go by). Therefore, it is something that I will encourage our little one to do too. A great way of getting kids to understand and often appreciate what they are eating is by involving them in the cooking or making of it. There are a number of great cooking classes you and your children could take while on your holiday to Paris. If sweet treats are something your family love then a macaron making class is a must, especially as you get to take away what you have made to enjoy at your leisure. If cooking is not your idea of fun when you’re on holiday why not simply try a food tour? A local guide will take you around selected restaurants, markets, shops in the city, where you can try the homemade and often traditional dishes and produce.
Take a Tour
We love an organised tour. By taking one we know that we are going to see all, or if not most, of the cities top attractions. There are lots of different types of tours you can take and Paris offers a number of them. If you have little ones in prams or papooses then a guided walking tour could be what you are looking for? If your children are slightly older but walking a long distance is still not doable, why not check out the hop on hop off buses that operate in the city? They are a great way of getting around a large city, such as Paris easily. Or if your children are older or teenagers, you could opt for a guided cycling tour of the city. Some companies offer traditional bikes and some electric bikes, which makes the journey a lot easier if your fitness level is not up to par. And if you fancy something completely different, yet totally fun, then the best option is definitely a Segway tour.
We hope our guide has helped you plan your perfect family-friendly holiday to Paris. It is a great city and we cannot wait for our little one to come along so we can plan our own as soon as possible. Paris is a large and diverse city and one that is full of history, art and culture. It is a great place for children to learn and see new things, as well as indulge in local cuisine, oh and visit Disneyland of course! 🙂
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