Paris is an absolutely lovely destination. However, every so often, people wonder if traveling to Paris with kids is such a good idea. Here at INSIDR, we absolutely think it is! We understand that planning and organizing your family trip might seem like a daunting task. But there’s no need to fret! We’ve prepared a Paris travel plan for you that has everything you need to know: what to do, what to eat, where to stay in Paris with kids, and where to shop! We’ve gathered the best local insight with updated reviews of the best activities in Paris for you and your little ones to ensure your trip goes smoothly. Some might even surprise you like spending the day at a department store!
In Paris, they’re not just places to shop. The stores are housed in beautiful buildings. You can of course find clothing but also kid-friendly services, numerous activities and other fun things to do! Everything is in one spot so it’s a great option if your kids are tired of walking around the city or if you just want a break. Personally, our top choice is Galeries Lafayette. It’s has the widest selection of activities and the stained glass dome is breathtaking. Finding things to eat in the city is a breeze.
There are numerous kid-friendly classic French staples including crêpes, croque monsieur and endless delicious pastries. Whether you’re planning on spending three days or an entire month in Paris, here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect family vacation in Paris with the kids!
What to do in Paris with kids
Best activities in Paris with kids
Paris is full of lovely parks with fun playgrounds and activities for kids. The Luxembourg garden is not only beautiful but also a great place for a quick break. The Bois de Boulogne is another great choice for an oasis of green just next to the city. There are rowboats and islands, the kids will love it.
To show the best skyline view of Paris to your little ones, head to the rooftop of the Galeries Lafayette. On the upper level of the rooftop, there is a wonderful secret garden of 2000 square meters with a thousand of different plants, fruits even beehives! You can even pick fruit with the kids during special tours of the secret rooftop garden!
It is one of the best unusual outdoor activity to do on a sunny day in Paris! We also get you an offer of saving 10% with the code “INSIDR” so you may enjoy an even more exclusive and special experience in this secret rooftop garden in the heart of Paris! Your kids will remember picking fruits on a Parisian rooftop forever!
Best museums in Paris with kids
Paris has tons of great museums. Some are more kid-friendly than others.
Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac is a great museum to take kids to as they have fun and interactive workshops that are ideal for helping kids learn more about art! They have all types of different workshops for kids of all ages so you are sure to find something that suits you and your children! They have family guided tours, workshops for families and workshops solely for the kids! Their gardens are also a great place for them to run around and explore after going to the museum! It’s a really great place where both you and your kids can enjoy learning about art!
INSIDR Tip: While young kids can enter the museum for free, INSIDR readers can get a 25% discount on the entrance ticket! All you need to do is present your INSIDR voucher at the museum. Download it here for free!
The Centre Pompidou is a great choice when traveling with children. The have a dedicated “galerie des enfants”, or kid’s area with free fun art activities related to the visiting temporary exhibit.
Fun and unique experiences in Paris with kids of all ages
The French capital is not short on activities. However after a few days of museums and historic visits, your kids might want something more interactive. There are plenty of fun guided tours and family friendly activities.
While in Paris, world capital of Gastronomy, we really recommend doing a family cooking class! It is very unique to Paris!
The Galeries Lafayette’s family macaron-making class is our absolute favorite. Not only is it the sole English-language cooking class in Paris for families, it’s also super affordable! Not to mention tons of fun. The cooking class takes place every Wednesday from 10 am to 11:30 am – it costs 65€ per adult and 49€ per children (for additional adult – count 49€ and 20€ per additional children). Book in advance with our exclusive INSIDR code “INSIDR” to save an extra 10%.
Galeries Lafayette department store also organises all year long weekly fashion shows for fashion lovers of all age. When traveling with wannabe fashionistas this will be a memorable activity to attend. The Fashion Show takes place every Friday at 3pm and Saturday at 11am. Tickets cost 12€ for adults and 9€ for children – they can be booked here. (Get a 10% discount with INSIDR traveler code “INSIDR“!)
Best shopping in Paris for & with the kids
The fashion capital of the world, as you might expect, the shopping in Paris is fantastic.
Shopping with kids, however, can sometimes be challenging. Our secret? Find THE best store that has all the brands you could ever dream of, instead of dragging everyone all around town. The 5th floor of the Galeries Lafayette is as close to shopping heaven as you can get and it’s a completely kid-friendly zone. Your little ones are sure to love the 370 square meter Disney store inside the Galeries, which is far less busier than the one on Champs Elysées and where you will find exclusive toys and clothing.
Shopping for Kid’s Clothing at the Galeries Lafayette
We definitely recommend picking up some adorable and sophisticated French clothing for your little ones during your trip. Paris’ well-dressed citizens include even the youngest ones. One of our favorite brands is Petit Bateau, the classic French children’s clothing brand. Kids look absolutely adorable in the iconic marinière.
Bonpoint is perfect if you are looking for items for a fancier occasion. Jacadi, Cadet Rousselle and IKKS have options combine everyday options with a touch of sophistication. Getting kids to be patient while shopping and try on items is a pain so we recommend heading to the Galeries Lafayette where you’ll find all brands in one spot. You can even tempt your little ones with a visit to the Disney store as a treat after!
Best toys to get in Paris for kids
Paris is home to delightful local, old-fashioned toy brands. Kids love all toys, but these are just a little bit more special. A little bit more Paris. The most iconic French toy is Sophie the giraffe. Created in 1945, this adorable stuffed animal is great for younger children. Janod and Jeujura are two more French brands known for their traditional wooden toys that are also great quality.
The 5th floor of the Galeries Lafayette has the best toy selection in Paris, with a large choice of items Made in France toys, lovely French dolls and traditional toys.
During the Christmas season this floor is absolutely magnificent. You will find gift for all budget. This is as well the best place in town to find children costumes.
What to eat in Paris with kids
Plan for the meals with the kids
Croque monsieur, cheese, crêpes, baguettes and more! Impossible to think of France without thinking about food. Food is omnipresent in Paris. From the beautiful bakeries to the chicest eateries, there is something for everyone. Paris has lots of restaurants that serve all day, which can be convenient if you have kids with specific or picky meal times. You’ll also find a wide variety of meal options – even the most difficult eater will find something yummy to enjoy.
Best food for kids in Paris
We’ve already mentioned it, but we’ll say it again – crêpes are our number one choice for kid-friendly meals in Paris. Choose from a wide variety of toppings, there’s something for everyone. They’re also an easy-to-find, budget-friendly option as well as a French classic. They really can’t be beat! If you want to mix things up a bit, you can go for a Croque Monsieur. It’s like a French version of grilled cheese. They’re available at most bakeries and cafés around Paris and are also a must-eat during your trip.
Best restaurants in Paris with kids
Eating out is a national sport in France. Children are expected from a young age to accompany their parents. This makes eating in restaurants with kids a breeze! Local brasseries tend to be open all day and often have special lunch menus for kids that include smaller portions, a drink and dessert. If you have difficult eaters, food courts can be the ideal option. There are multiple gourmet food courts around the city. Our favorite is located at the Galeries Lafayette. You’ll find a wide range of culinary options and decadent desserts. Even the pickiest eater will love it!
Fun food experiences in Paris with kids
France’s culinary culture is unbeatable. Paris is a great location for your kids to learn about French cuisine, experience new tastes and expand their culinary horizons. We particularly recommend Chez Drouant, this authentic (and delicious!) French Chef restaurant has a kid-friendly menu that starts at just 15€.
Cooking is by far the best way for kids to learn and enjoy French cuisine. The Galeries Lafayette has a special Macaron cooking class for the whole family. Spend quality time together while learning how to make this classic French cookie.
The cooking class takes place every Wednesday from 10 am to 11:30 am – it costs 65€ per adult and 49€ per children (for additional adult – count 49€ and 20€ per additional children). Don’t forget to enter our code “INSIDR” for saving an extra of 10% in the reservation page! Bon appetit!
Where to stay in Paris with kids
Best districts in Paris with kids
Each one of Paris’ 20 districts has something special. Some of them are easier to navigate with children than others. Our top picks include the Latin quarter. With the Luxembourg garden nearby, It’s convenient to have a place where the kids can run around and enjoy some green in the city center.
Near the Palais Royal and Opera Garnier is also a great choice. The area is in walking distance of all of the city’s main museums. Transportation is also simple as there are numerous bus lines available. The neighborhood is lively during the day but quiet at night, so you can rest after a long day of sightseeing! If you’re not sure what area is best for you, check out our advice on best places to stay in Paris.
Best family friendly hotels
Choosing the best hotel for your family is critical to the success of your trip. Hotel location is of course important but you should also take into account the rooms types available – family rooms, suites, etc. based on your needs. Make sure the hotel has breakfast option suited to your family’s morning routine.
Some of our favorite family-friendly hotels in Paris include the Hotel Villa Nicolo, the Hotel des Arts in the lovely Montmartre neighborhood and Eden Hotel Opera. They all feature family rooms, a delicious breakfast and extremely friendly and helpful staff.
Best apartment rentals for families
Renting an apartment is often the best choice when traveling as a family. It makes everything so convenient. Being able to cook, especially if you have picky eaters, is a life saver. Everyone has their own space to relax after a long day of sightseeing. It’s also a more authentic way of visiting Paris. Your little ones are sure to remember staying in a “real French house” as opposed to a standard hotel room that could be anywhere in the world.
Best practical tips for Paris with kids
Spot the toilets
Bathroom breaks are of the utmost importance when traveling with toddlers and kids! Unfortunately, the Parisian public bathroom situation is not always ideal. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to finding restrooms in Paris.
The Galeries Lafayette department store has by far the best facilities for kids and toddlers. The fully equipped changing rooms on the 5th floor has saved more than one parent from restroom desperation. You will love the fully equipped nursery space with micro-wave, changing tables.
How to avoid waiting with the kids
Traveling with kids requires some advance planning. You can definitely make your life easier by reducing potential wait times as much as possible. Paris is a huge tourist destination, so depending on when you’re traveling, expect crowds. No need to panic though! You can buy skip the line tickets at most major attractions. Passes can be purchased online, ahead of time, so you can avoid the crowds. Museums and other sights are less busy in the morning, before 11 AM. We recommend getting an early start to the day!
Children fares for museums and sites in Paris
France has a generous policy concerning youth admission to national monuments and museums. Anyone under age 18 can enjoy free admission to the Louvre, Orsay Museum, the Fontainebleau castle, Sainte Chapelle and the magnificent Versailles palace. European citizens under the age of 26 also get free access to these sights. The Louis Vuitton Foundation has a family package for one or two adults and up to four children. For most other attractions, admission is free for kids under four years old (Eiffel Tower, Louis Vuitton Foundation, etc.). They will ask for ID cards, but this is definitely good news for your travel budget!
Plan for transportation with the kids
Paris has a great public transportation network. Children under four years old ride for free. There’s no need to purchase a ticket for them, simply have them pass through the turnstile while holding your hand. Children aged four to ten benefit from a 50% discount, ask for the “ticket tarif réduit”. The easiest transportation option for kids is Paris is the bus. You should definitely take a ride on the Batobus, a bus-boat that floats along the Seine river. We’ve also put together a detailed guide on getting around Paris.