Are you thinking about visiting Paris with toddlers? Admittedly when you think about Paris you may think about romance before you think about family friendly travel destination, however we had a great time visiting Paris with toddlers. In this guide we will round up our top tips about visiting Paris with young children from the best way to get around and what to pack as well as tell you the best things to do in Paris for toddlers alongside our Paris toddler itinerary.
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Visiting Paris with toddlers tips
Now as I mentioned above, Paris does not immediately spring to mind as a family friendly travel destination. However using our tips we think you will find that Paris is a great European city break to do with toddlers in tow.
So without further ado here are our tips for making a Paris with toddlers trip a success!
Best way to get to Paris
Eurostar with Kids
If you are traveling to Paris from England with kids then your best option is to take the Eurostar.
The Eurostar departs from London St Pancras Station and arrives at Paris Gare du Nord. It only takes 2 and a quarter hours and has amentities such as a food car on board and is a relatively stress-free way to travel to Paris with toddlers.
And if you are visiting London with toddlers be sure to check our this post.
Flying into Paris
However if you are traveling to Paris from outside of London or the Uk the best way to get to Paris is to fly. The best airport to fly into is Charles de Gaulle and there are regular trains from the airport to get into the center.
Best time to visit Paris with toddlers
In my opinion there is no bad time to visit Paris with toddlers but one of the best things about trraveling with toddlers is that you don’t have to travel in peak time.
If you can avoid it, then I would avoid Paris in summer when the crowds, prices and temperatures sky rocket!
Paris in Winter with toddlers is always a great idea when there are beautiful lights and Christmas markets, and Christmas is one of my favorite times to visit Disneyland Paris too.
Otherwise the shoulder seasons are great cost and temperature wise to visit with toddlers.
How to get Around Paris with Toddlers
Paris Metro with toddlers
One of the most convenient ways of traveling around Paris with toddlers is via the Paris Metro. You can buy a carnet of 10 tickets for around 15 Euros. These are very convenient and allow for full flexibility in your travels.
But the good news is that if you have a toddler under the age of 3 then they do not need a ticket. however toddlers over the age of 3 will be required to have their own ticket for travel.
Also it is worth noting that if you are thinking about taking your stroller (or buggy or pram) on the Paris Metro be aware that the gates to get onto the metro are very narrow. Much narrower than on the London Underground for instance.
Some stations on the Metro will have wider more accessible gates but these are not at every station.
We recommend using a light travel stroller in Paris but we will discuss using strollers in Paris more later in this guide.
Buses in Paris with toddlers
The great thing about buses in Paris is that you can use your Metro tickets on them also. Although we perfer using the Metro in Paris, buses are useful to getting to places that the buses don’t go.
Walking in Paris with toddlers
Paris is one of Europe’s most walkable cities. It is easy to walk around with either a carrier or stroller so do bring the option you prefer.
Using a Stroller in Paris
One of the questions we get asked about visiting Paris with toddler is whether or not it is easy using a stroller in Pari.
And I would have to say that using a stroller in Paris is relatively easy with some notable exceptions.
For instance while it is easy to walk around parks and many streets in Paris with a stroller, it can be challenging using the stroller on the paris metro. Not all stations are accessible or have wide gates so if you want to take a stroller on the MEtro we recommend using a compact travel stroller.
For the best double stroller for travel in Europe check out this post.
Also some neighbourhoods are more stroller friendly than others. For instance Montmarche can be a more challenging arrondissement with a stroller due to the cobbles and uneven surfaces.
Also we don’t recommend taking your stroller to walk down by the waters edge of the Seine. It is tricky and not very enjoyable to try and get your stroller up and down to the waters edge so we recommend sticking to the sidewalk above the Seine.
Pick your Attractions Carefully
Although Paris has some of the world’s best museums and finest dining establishments, the truth is not all of them are toddler friendly.
For this reason the places we have picked as the best places to visit in Paris with toddlers may have some surprising omissions. For instance, although an amazing art museum, The Louvre does not have many amentities for toddlers or even a childrens or hands on gallery to keep little ones entertained.
This alongside the queues and crowds in the Louvre has meant we have skipped this on our best things in Paris for toddlers list.
However if you want to visit the Louvre with toddlers we recommend buying skip the line tickets in advance, getting their early and taking some toys for your toddler as there will be little in this museum for toddlers specifically.
Instead we have tried to pick things that your whole family will enjoying doing while in Paris.
Best things to do in Paris with Toddlers
Eiffel Tower with toddlers
The Eiffel Tower has to be top of your Paris bucket list whether or not you are traveling with toddlers or not. And the Eiffel Tower has to be one of the few tourist attractions in the world that your toddler is likely to recognise.
Thanks to the Disney Pixar film Ratatouille and the Cbeebie’s Geography children’s show Go Jetters they are likely to be famliiar with the Eiffel Tower.
If you decide to go up the Eiffel Tower we recommend buying your tickets in advance to make sure you are not waiting to long in the queue.
On the first floor, which is actually surprisingly high at 58 meters tall, there is a family friendly animation which even toddlers can enjoy.
Depending on how you go up will depend on the cost and if you plan to also take a boat trip down the Seine it would be worth buying a combined ticket.
And once you have been up in the Eiffel Tower be sure to spend some time in the local area with kids as there is lots to do.
Toddlers will love the carousel in front of the Eiffel Tower which also make for some great photo opportunities in front of the tower.
There are also lots of food trucks in the area which offer a good array of food even for toddlers or you can have a picnic if you are visiting Paris in Summer or Spring or Fall.
Boat Trip on the Seine
One of my favorite ways to get around Paris with toddlers is via a boat trip on the Seine. THere are several differnt options including:
- a hop on hop off boat
- boat tours with commentary
Personally when we are traveling with toddlers we prefer the hop on hop off boats as this is good for toddlers short attention spans.
However if you have a toddler with good concentration there are some tours with kid friendly commentary.
Usually these boat trips have stops near:
- Musee d’Orsay
- Champs Elysees and
- Notre Dame to name just a few.
Jardin de Luxembourg
The Jardin de Luxembourg, in my opinion is the best park in Paris for kids.
The gardens are the grounds of the Luxembourg Palace and are filled with beautiful flowerbeds and it is the perfect place for a picnic in Paris with toddlers.
And if you need added entertainment there is a lovely boating lake with very reasonable boat hire.
On top of that there are plenty of playgrounds in Jardin De Luxembourg. But it is worth noting that the there is a charge to use these playgrounds. Although it is minimal.
There are also pony rides and puppet shows in the summer for an additional fee.
Train Ride Around Montmatre
Montmatre is one of the most popular arrondissements to visit in Paris. As this is not the most stroller friendly areas to visit in Montmatre one of the best ways of traveling around this district is via a little tourist train.
There is a stop outside the Moulin Rouge and is a great way to tour this historic district with toddlers.
Toddlers under 2 are free and the hours of operation are extensive from 10am to 10pm and in my opinion is a must do with toddlers.
And once you have finished on the train, we love to go hunting for street art in the Montmarche area.
Take a Ride on a Carousel
I was shocked to find out that Paris actually has over 20 permanenent carousels within the city. My toddlers go crazy for a carousel and while the carousel in front of the Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous, your kids will honestly love a ride on any of them.
Watch a Puppet Shows
Puppet shows are very popular toddler entertainment in France. Luxembourg Gardens have one of the most popular shows in Paris. But there are also shoes at Champ de Mars and Guignol in Paris.
The shows last for about an hour and aren’t for every toddler, but if your toddler has a good attention span they may love a puppet show.
Day Trip to Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris with toddlers is a must do on your Paris toddler itinerary. It is very easy to get from central PAris to Dinseyland Paris or alternatively you could stay on-site at one of the Disneyland Paris toddler friendly hotels.
There are lots of toddler friendly rides and characters to meet at Disneyland Paris and is sure to be a highlight of the trip for your little one.
And if you are visiting Paris in Winter with toddlers it is a great day trip to take because of all the festive activities. In fact Disneyland Paris in december is one of my favorite time to visit. But really there is no bad time to go to Disneyland Paris in our opinion.
Parc Zoologique de Paris
If you have a toddler who loves animals then the zoological park is a great pick. The zoo is home to over 3000 animals and is a great activity for toddlers in Paris.
Cite des Science et de l’Industrie
Now while the Louvre is the most famous museum in Paris, one of the best for toddlers is the Cite des Science et de lIndustrie.
Now this is a bit of a trek from the centre but is certainly doable with toddlers. This museum is out at Cite des Enfants and is science center with hands on activities for toddlers. A highlight is the science show.
AS this is relatively close to Gare Du Nord it is easier to do on your arrival or departure day if you are traveling by Eurostar.
If you don’t fancy heading out to Cite des Science et de lIndustrie then the best museum in central Paris for toddlers in the Centre Pompidou. Inside there is a gallery designed for children.
This is galleryb is designed for children 3+ and is full of interactive activities and at weekends there is also child friendly workshops.
What not to do with toddlers in Paris
Although Paris is very toddler friendly there are a few things we recommend avoiding with toddlers which include:
These are dark and macabre and are something that would frighten many toddlers. We recommend avoiding these on your visit to Paris with toddlers.
Though this is Paris’ most famous museum we don’t recommend visiting with toddlers as there anren’t any toddler activities or attractions here.
Also the crowds and queues can be overwhelming for toddlers.
And there you have our ultimate guide to Paris with toddlers? Have you been to Paris with toddlers? What is your favorite thing to do – tell us in the comments.