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city break with toddler(10 Posts)
DH and I love Paris and he has suggested going there for a few days in September, when DD will be 20 months. So far we have only been on self catering holidays in Britain as a family, and I am unsure about what it would be like having a city break. Usually we would stay in a cheap hotel, do sightseeing and spend a lot of time in art galleries. Of course we're happy to adapt our plans now we have DD. She is easygoing and enjoys going to new places.
Has anyone got experience/advice about Pars for families? Is it hard getting around a city /finding toddler-friendly activities?
No advice but watching closely as we are in the same space. Been there as a couple pre baby and did what you mentioned. I am not quite sure what to plan/book with 2.8 yr old active toddler!
Not Paris but we took DS aged 22 months to Brussels. It was much easier than we thought it might be. We all had a fab time, we booked a suite, though, as didn't think we could cope with sitting in the bathroom with a bottle of wine and whispering when he was asleep!
DS is pretty easy going and he had fun just seeing new things. One tip, we used a Patapum carrier rather than his pushchair and it made getting around v v easy.
Ooh, Brussels, lovely! A suite is a good idea. I haven't heard of a Patapum but yes, it's the buggy that adds hassle, so good tip.
We have been away twice with friends for city breaks - this was before we had DCs but our friends had a little DS - first time we went to Bruges when he was 9 months, second time we went to Paris he was 21 months. Both times were great fun
In Paris we rented an apartment within walking distance of Place de la republique - it wasn't this one but I think same complex (couldn't see the one we rented on the website)
We got the Eurostar and he loved being on the train - also it's good to be able to walk up and down the train for toddler distraction
We spent a lot of time walking and getting metro, went to a nice park on the island nr notre dame, went in the louvre and up to sacre couer, up the Eiffel Tower etc - as I recall he was very happy to sit in his buggy a lot as was a late walker so depends on your DD. I also remember a lot of carryibg pram up and down metro stairs but if there are two of you and you get a light buggy it's fine.
Hope you have a good time! We used to love city breaks before we had DCs but haven't braved it ourselves yet - we have twins and it makes everything harder!
I think that age is ideal as she will still sit in a pushchair and have naps. When they get older and more active than the trouble starts.
DD is great with Citybreaks but I find you need to adjust your program quite a bit. Look for entertainment for them when they are awake and when they have naps you can go more to places they would start getting fussy soon. WE found that castles, churches and museums always went well but galleries didn't. Nothing to touch or see which they can incorporate into their life, just pictures.
We also had it once or twice that DH stayed with her in a cafe and let me go to one display on my own as I really needed some time to look at some items in peace.
I would always go for an apartment as I found nothing worse then sitting in the same room with a light sleeping DD
We took DS to Budapest when he was 23 months. It was a nightmare. He was very active and refused to sit in the buggy for more than 5 minutes. We spent a week from playground to playground and only managed to see part of the city on the day that our travel partners offered to babysit.
We had an apartment, so at least the evenings were ok.
We never took him on a city break again until he was 7. :-)
I went to paris alone with dd who was almost 3 at the time, you don't realise how much walking is required in paris until you go with a toddler!
Plan an itinerary and your routes between places in advance, as well as strategic stop off points for food and toilets.
if you go on the tourist boats on the river be prepared for the chinese tourists to want to take loads of photos of your dc
the metro is not particularly easy with a toddler due to loads of steps
montmartre may be a good bet, there are also some lovely parks in paris which have child friendly activities - fairground rides, puppet shows etc.
If you go to the louvre be prepared for massive queues.
How about Barcelona? Much easier to navigate on foot. And there is tourist stop off bus that does a loop of the main tourist bits. Lovely park, zoo, aquarium, beach. The Gaudi buildings are fantastic as is Parc guell - lots of running around space. The Spanish are very tolerant of babies and you will see lots of kids out in the evening.
Lots of interesting points - thank you! It's the walking I'm wondering about. It's so hard to look 7 months ahead. DD only has a 1 hour nap these days so that might have even gone by then - eek! I just wonder how much of Paris we would be able to see and if it would be worth it. At the moment DD can manage a short day out in the buggy but we tend to get her out every hour as she gets restless and wants to totter round.
Barcelona had crossed my mind too - I used to live there so I know it fairly well, and it is definitely an easier city than Paris to get around. The Gaudi buildings are quite Disney-esque and lovely.
Hmm, much to think about! On the plus side, I didn't think we'd be able to have a holiday at all, so I am just delighted to be able to go abroad for the first time in three years.
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