Paris with children (6 and 8): restaurants, activities recommendations please!(19 Posts)
We're off to Paris in half term and looking for recommendations. Staying in the 18th arondissement, near metros Lamarck/ Caulincourt, Blanche and Abbesses.
The DC (aged 6 and 8) have never been although DH and I have. DC want to go up the Eiffel Tower (although online advanced tickets seem to be sold out), on a bateau mouche, maybe to the Louvre. Also plan in hanging out in cafes and eating much patisserie/ croissants etc.
Any good recommendations for things to do, or specific restaurants to eat in? Thinking of some lovely bistro with checked table cloths etc. DC don't particularly need activities specifically for children (not least because we're going to Disneyland for a couple of nights before staying in Paris proper).
Wandering round Montmartre is always nice, and there's a little funicular railway the children might enjoy. Notre-Dame might interest them, especially if they've seen the Hunchback of Notre Dame film.
We went at Easter with same age kids, short trip, we did the Eiffel Tower and similarly could not get prebooked tickets but the queues were not that bad when we went mid afternoon on a Friday, probably waited 30 mins. We really enjoyed the open top bus tour which was a great way to see all the sights, we didn't necessarily want to go in them all and do all the associated queuing but we got a great overview of the main buildings. We also visited the Arc de Triomphe which was stunning. We managed to get pre booked tickets for the Louvre for 9am. It got very busy very quickly so get there as early as you can. In hindsight I would have picked a different museum or gallery to visit where the kids might have recognised more art.. things they've studied at school which we didn't really get from Louvre, although the Egyptian area was great. Can't really recall too many specific restaurants, we found eating out to be very expensive and drinks cost a fortune too. They don't seem to have kids menus, ours shared a main a few times. We had a great Italian meal after Louvre at Domenic, great pizza and pasta. We also enjoyed going up to Sacre Coeur and pottering around Montmartre.
There is kids park in the middle of Paris with play stuff and a small farm etc and a little train etc. Can't remember what it's called but google should bring it up.
What dates are you there? I've recently booked tickets for the 31st may whixhbis in half term and just gone on site and still tickets showing for 31st plus 1st june
The Jardin D'Acclimatation is fab, here
Could easily occupy a whole day.
Plus if you want to do Eiffel tower you must book tickets, it's essential.
We're there 31 May - 4 June. The Jardin D'acclimatation looks lovely - never heard of it!
Brie - when I put in 2 adults and 2 children on the Eiffel Tower website it says there aren't enough tickets available. Mycaverties - do you mean you won't be able to go if you don't pre-book, because there are then no tickets available on the day, or that the queues for on-the-day tickets are so horrendous that you should book?
You need Chartier to eat( no booking needed,serve quick,fab atmosphere and building),right next to one of Les Passages that has an amazing toy shop.
There is a website I can't link to.
It is an Aladin's cave in Passage Jouffrey,think the exit came out near Chartier.
The staff were lovely with our DC in Chartier but you can't linger for ages after finishing. It's packed,busy and very frenetic but lovely atmosphere.Kids adored it. We all had steak and frites which were fab as was the wine. Dd had snails and the waiter taught her how to eat them properly.
If you are up to it you can walk up the Eiffel tower to the Second Level then get tickets for the lift to the top. The view from the second level is good as you are closer to the city. It all looks rather tiny from the top.
The hop on off tourist bus was brilliant too. We loved just walking around taking in the atmosphere.
There were thousands of little Bistros with wicker chairs and checked table cloths.
Honestly the Jardin D'Acc is lovely if you live in a Paris appartement and need to take your kids somewhere green and fun. But it is "just" a park with some rides and I would consider it rather a waste of my Paris time if I were a tourist!
Instead try the Louis Vuitton Foundatiin which is in the same Park, stunning building.
Try Musée Marmottan for an off the main beaten track museum with Monets galore.
Try L'Orangerie if you are a fan of the water lily series.
Beaubourg is always fun with kids, riding up the elevators and the view from the top floor is terrific. If you are feeling flush, have lunch at Georges at the top, they have good but expensive options suitable for kids )simple pasta, steak and frites, best spring rolls anyway but $$$).
Get up super early and go to Sacré Cœur before the crowds. The steps make a fun place to hang out and eat croissants for breakfast IF you get there early before the hawkers, the pickpockets and the masses.
There's a Dorling Kindersley guide book to Paris for families which we had, but has gone astray after lending - worth trying to track down as for the areas and attractions it also has info like where the nearest toilets/play areas/ice cream vendors are.
Our kids also love Pain d'epices, and the shops in the Passages.
We've also done the Grands Magasins before (Printemps and Galleries Lafayette) - great toy departments (and beauty and house departments, if kids let you spend any time looking at that boring stuff) and the restaurants there aren't a bad lunch option.
Ours quite liked Pompidou Centre and Musee d'Orsay though are a bit older (9 and 12).
Thank you for suggestions!
DH and I have actually been to Chartier, pre-DC - I had no idea what it was called but looking at its website it's definitely the place we went. Will definitely go back. The Trip Advisor reviews are funny - sounds like the waiters are very...French...! I think the DC would do snails - the 5 year old is very happy with a big bowl of moules and they do like trying out bizarre food. Whereas I think the whole idea of snails sounds disgusting (even though I'm quite adventurous usually with food).
Other ideas really helpful too, thank you. Going to be there in three weeks - very excited (and that's just me and DH...).
This was lovely,very pricey but you can try the crocs for free. Supposed to be the oldest sweet shop in Paris. Amorino in Monmartre sells lovely ice cream in the shape of a rose( as many flavours as you can fit on a cone). Bertillons is the best ice cream but you only get a tiny cone. Lovely park behind Notre Dame nearby to eat it in.
I'm guessing you've got the sailboat hire on the little boating lake in Le Jardin Luxembourg on your list. Very reasonable and my DC played there for hours. Shakespeare and Company book shop has a fab English children's section in the basement.
Have you tried booking tickets to the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower if the summit tickets are sold out online? We did this and the VIP treatment to skip the queues with those tickets was awesome - definitely worth a try. And the view from the 2nd floor was perfectly fine - the queues for the lift to the summit were pretty long....
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