It may be cliché to say, but Paris truly is a romantic city. Unfortunately, this causes some parents to believe it is not the best choice for families. But Paris is actually extremely kid-friendly, and I’m always amazed by how helpful Parisians can be towards children and pregnant women. Although most restaurants do not have high chairs, they will do their best to accommodate strollers, and will work with you on menu items. So do not hesitate to plan a trip with your kids, especially now that you have this guide to lead you to the most stylish spots.
GUIDE TO glimpse
Each recommendation lists address, phone number, website (if available), and gives a basic overview for all of you busy parents. There are also a few words listed to sum up each restaurant, including the type of food they serve, and I have also included whether or not a restaurant has high chairs and a kids’ menu. Keep in mind, even if there is no specific menu, all restaurants on the list will work with families to come up with simple dishes.
Here is the guide to those words:
Contemporary – the décor is simple and modern
Classic – the décor is conservative yet elegant
Cont/classic – the décor contains elements of each
Constant – the spot never goes out of style
Hot – this is the place to be at the moment
Stylish – your outfit should be smart and sophisticated
Casual – jeans and flats are okay here
Posh – men grab your coat and tie, ladies, your heels and diamonds
226 Rue de Rivoli, 1st arr.
+33 1 42 60 82 00
Children will love the famous hot chocolate at Café Angelina, and parents will love the beautiful setting in the 1st arrondissement on the Rue de Rivoli near the exciting amusement rides of the Tuileries Garden. Also the perfect resting spot between museums, it is great for breakfast, lunch and tea, as well as gifts, like the beautifully packaged candies and jams.
French • Classic • Constant • Stylish
Bistrot Paul Bert
18 Rue Paul Bert, 11th arr.
+33 1 43 72 24 01
Even though it was established during this century, Bistrot Paul Bert has impressively created the feel of a historic French bistro. With its dark wood furnishings and flea market touches, patrons flock here from all over the world to enjoy the friendly staff, seasonally changing dishes and thoughtfully selected wine list. This would be better suited for older kids and teenagers.
French • Classic • Constant • Stylish
151 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th arr.
+33 1 45 48 53 91
For a step back in time to the 1920’s in Paris, Brasserie Lipp on the Left Bank is a must. The art deco interior is truly stunning, and the lively atmosphere and inexpensive dishes have attracted hordes of diners for decades. Since the restaurant loves to boast about its celebrity following, be prepared to wait for a table.
French • Classic • Constant • Stylish
17 Rue des Ecoles, 5th arr., +33 1 43 54 50 28
4 Rue Mahler, 4th arr., +33 1 42 72 40 21
Serving breakfast all day long (plus other typical diner food), Breakfast in America is a huge hit, not just with rowdy families but with all kinds of patrons. There is often a line out the door and they do not take reservations, but luckily service is very quick so the wait is not long. Kids will love most items on the menu, and crayons are available for the little ones.
American • Classic • Constant • Casual • High chairs
172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th arr.
+33 1 45 48 55 26
While this suggestion may be a little obvious, Café de Flore is still worth reporting on, as it is the most historic of all cafes, and has the best people watching around. Famous for over a century as the meeting point of writers, artists and the like, it still attracts the curious and well-known. Kids will love the hot chocolate.
French • Classic • Constant • Casual
1 Rue du Mail, 2nd arr.
+33 1 42 60 07 11
If you are looking for a truly French experience, go to Chez Georges. This historic bistro has not only preserved its classic décor since its opening in the 60’s, it has preserved the dishes, as well. Typical steak and frites, fish cooked in butter, perfect béarnaise sauce – you won’t be disappointed. Full of locals and tourists and recommended by those in the know, it was also a favorite of Julia Child. Note there is not much room for a stroller.
French • Classic • Constant • Stylish
12 Rue de Richelieu, 1st arr.
+33 1 42 61 49 48
Once a hot spot for fashion designers, rappers and socialites, the scene at Davé may have slightly cooled down, but it is still some of the best Chinese/Vietnamese food you will find in Paris. While there is no menu, the friendly owner Davé will cater to your family’s specific tastes and allergies so you can enjoy your meal surrounded by photographs of the celebrities who have all passed through.
Chinese • Classic • Constant • Stylish
239 Rue Saint-Honore, 1st arr.
+33 1 42 44 50 00
While dining at the Hotel Costes may be a little cliché, it is still a place to see and be seen in Paris. Yves Saint Laurent used to come here with a bevy of models, which is just one of many reasons it is still interesting. The other reasons include the beautiful velvet sofas and chairs, the dark, moody lighting, and the boisterous center courtyard. The DJ and beautiful patrons don’t get going until about 10 pm, so bring the kids early and enjoy a bottle of French wine and the famous scented candles.
French • Classic • Hot • Stylish • High chairs
1 rue Villedo
+33 1 47 03 33 65
According to many, Kunitoraya has the best udon in Paris. This small Japanese restaurant in the first arrondisement may be tight but it is bursting with energy and good food. A great choice for kids because of the convenient proximity to many attractions and hotels, and also because of the loud atmosphere.
Japanese • Classic • Constant • Stylish
Le Café Marly
93 rue de Rivoli, 1st arr.
+33 1 49 26 06 60
This quintessential Parisian café is on every travelers list, not just for the French cuisine but also for the impeccable view. Situated on a grand balcony overlooking the courtyard of the Louvre, patrons come here to see and be seen. The location and ambiance are unrivaled, and there is a ton of room to park a stroller when eating outside.
French • Cont/classic • Constant • Stylish
129 avenue Parmentier, 11th arr.
+33 1 43 57 45 95
Constantly landing on top restaurant lists, Le Chateaubriand serves modern French food with a focus on vegetables and ingredients not commonly found in the kitchen. Be prepared to wait a bit for your table, and it is probably best to leave the smaller kids at home – not only is the food worth savoring, the atmosphere is so exciting that patrons want to enjoy the experience and not rush.
French • Classic • Hot • Stylish
31 Avenue George V, 8th arr.
+33 1 49 52 71 54
The decadent restaurant at Four Seasons George V is a great choice for families wanting one of Paris’ Michelin-star meals, as it is very kid-friendly. Coloring books await children and special menus are available. This is also a great choice for a special occasion.
French • Classic • Constant • Posh • High chairs • Children’s menu
15 Avenue Matignon, 8th arr.
+33 1 56 43 90
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant, Market, is a nice contrast in a city full of gilt-mirrored decor. The setting is very contemporary, with lots of wood elements to accompany the Asian-French cuisine. Friendly hostesses and waiters are happy to welcome children, and there is even a special kids menu. Located just off the Champs Elysees, it also provides a leisurely walk from hotels in the 8th arrondissement.
French • Contemporary • Constant • Stylish • Children’s menu
19 Avenue Kléber, 16th arr.
+33 1 58 12 28 88
On the 6th floor of the gorgeous Peninsula Hotel lies L’Oiseau Blanc, a stunning rooftop restaurant with unparalleled views of Paris. Whether dining inside or out, both parents and children will love seeing the Eiffel Tower from a different angle.
French • Contemporary • Hot • Stylish • High chairs
173 Boulevard Saint Germain, 6th arr.
+33 1 44 77 76 00
Set in the beautiful Ralph Lauren flagship store on the Boulevard Saint Germain, Ralph’s is one of the latest American restaurants to hit Paris. Burgers and steaks are imported from Mr. Lauren’s ranch in Colorado, and the rest of the menu contains dishes like pea soup and lobster salad. There are two dining areas – one in the courtyard, with beautiful wrought iron tables and cushions, and the other inside, where the space resembles a grand hunting lodge. Patrons are a mixture of posh Parisians and American tourists.
American • Classic • Constant • Stylish • High chairs
80 rue de Charonne, 11th arr.
+33 1 43 67 38 29
One of the hardest reservations to get in Paris, Septime is an unforgettable meal attracting both celebrities and major foodies. Plates are small with carefully chosen ingredients, and the décor at this modern bistro has a very urban feel to it. Lunch would be the better option with kids as the wait time for a dinner table can be daunting.
French • Cont/classic • Hot • Stylish
4 place Saint Germain, 6th arr.
+33 1 53 63 60 60
Always a scene, La Société is one of several hot Paris restaurants by the well-known Costes brothers (as in the hotel, also in this guide). Located on the right bank off the Boulevard St. Germain, the décor is contemporary with lots of gold accents, and the clientele is dressed in the latest Parisian fashions. While kids are welcome, little ones might prefer to stay at the hotel.
French • Contemporary • Constant • Stylish
7 rue Chambiges, 8th arr.
+33 1 47 23 51 62
In a city overloaded with French cuisine, Le Stresa is a wonderful substitute with its delicious Italian dishes. An unassuming façade and simple dining room with cozy velvet banquettes has been attracting diners for decades. The paparazzi are also known to lurk nearby, waiting on a famous face to emerge.
Italian • Classic • Constant • Stylish
27 Quai Voltaire, 7th arr.
+33 1 42 61 17 49
If there is one restaurant all chic Parisians adore, it is Le Voltaire. Located on the banks of the Seine in the 7th arrondisement, it is the perfect spot for a break between the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre, or for an elegant dinner. Both the fashion crowd and long-time Paris residents love the traditional space with its cozy banquettes and large mirrors, and the menu is characteristically French with a beautiful wine list.
French • Classic • Constant • Stylish
32 Rue du Vertbois
+33 1 48 87 77 48
For years L’Ami Louis has been the British/American outpost celebrities and socialites love but don’t talk about for fear the masses will come running. With it’s power players hiding behind an unassuming exterior, discretion was one of it’s charms, and although the secret is now out, the cuisine is so good that patrons have remained loyal. No website
French • Classic • Constant • Stylish
43 Rue Godefroy Cavaignac, 11th arr.
+33 9 80 75 32 08
The latest sensation to hit Paris by acclaimed Australian chef, James Henry, Bones is a relaxed dining environment that attracts a young, vibrant crowd. The bare concrete floors, unfinished walls and exposed pipes lend to the restaurants name, while the food is anything but. Beautifully composed seafood and meat dishes make up the prix fixe menu, and it is constantly changing.
Australian • Contemporary • Hot • Casual
17 Place de la Madeleine, 8th arr.
+33 1 42 65 33 32
For an opulent dining experience, Caviar Kaspia is hands down a top choice since 1927. It seems like everyone ends up here late at night for the caviar, seafood and fine wines. Make sure to wear the latest French fashions and be prepared for amazing people watching.
Seafood/Russian • Classic • Hot • Posh
5 rue du Nil, 2nd arr.
+33 1 40 39 96 19
This bustling bistro and wine bar in the 2nd arrondissement provides a nice escape from the typical Parisian cafes and Michelin starred restaurants. The exposed stone walls and wooden beams on the ceiling lend a quaint French farmhouse feel, but the banquettes and lighting give it a modern twist. Reservations are very difficult to get, although Frenchie To Go located across the street is a good take away alternative, especially if kids are in tow.
French • Cont/classic • Hot • Stylish
52 Rue de Richelieu, 1st arr.
+33 1 42 97 54 40
Verjus is on dozens of lists by travel experts, and for good reason. The combination restaurant and wine bar is frequented not only by tourists and celebrities, but also by French critics – even though it is run by an American husband/wife team – because the food is that good. The 19th century house overlooking the Palais Royale provides a lovely atmosphere, reminding diners that even though they’re eating American food, they are still in France.
American • Cont/classic • Hot • Stylish
112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, 8th arr.
+33 1 53 43 43 00
Long-time choice of the fashionable crowd and other discerning travelers, Le Bristol is steeped in history and French sophistication. Since 1925 the palace hotel has been pleasing its guests, and families in particular, as it is also a family run hotel. Upon arrival your little ones will receive a personalized booklet full of ideas on how to explore Paris, as well as a stuffed bunny named Hippolyte (after the founder of the hotel) to keep them company. Other highlights include a treasure hunt for garden tools with the chance to plant seeds in the beautiful outdoor space, an indoor pool for a break from sight-seeing, and best of all, a Kids Club with attendants, so parents can enjoy the adjacent La Prairie spa while little ones are left to play with a variety of toys and activities. Children will also love looking for the resident cats that wander around the hotel and greet each guest.
239-241 rue St. Honore, 1st arr.
+33 1 42 44 50 00
The Hotel Costes, located on Rue St. Honore in the 1st arrondissement, has quite a reputation as an upscale party hotel for the jet set crowd. With the infamous restaurant holding the prime spot in the center courtyard as well as most of the main floor, and a DJ spinning all night long, wild nights are definitely quite common here. Although many people shy away from staying at the Hotel Costes with their children, we found it wonderfully kid-friendly. Many of the rooms have separate sitting areas which is the perfect place for a rollaway or crib, and the dark lighting actually lulls children to sleep while the sound proof windows keep the downstairs noise out. The hotel also provides many baby amenities, such as high chairs and bottle warmers, and with an indoor pool in the basement, kids will be quite pleased. The location is perfect for strolling around the city, or leaving the nanny in charge for a day of shopping.
31 Avenue George V, 8th arr.
+33 1 49 52 70 00
Undoubtedly the most glamorous of all Four Seasons hotels, the George V is truly a decadent, over-the-top luxurious affair, with ornate chandeliers, gilt furnishings and gold accents, all in the Louis XVI style. While some may find it too formal for children, for others it is the only hotel that matters in Paris, and is actually very doable with little ones. With amenities like welcome gifts, coloring books, games, special bath products, kids menus and more, families will be very well looked after at this, and any, Four Seasons. The concierge service is also on hand to provide appropriate itineraries and activity suggestions for all ages, and special events are held around the major holidays.
33 Rue Dauphine, 6th arr.
+33 1 43 29 43 43
An elegant boutique hotel in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, the Hotel d’Aubusson is a former 17th century grand home that has been completely updated to meet the standards of today’s travelers, while retaining all of its historic charm. With its stone fireplace in the reception room and the courtyard conservatory, there is not a cozier hotel in Paris. Rooms may not seem as luxurious as other hotels on our list, but the history and service of the hotel makes up for it. Jazz concerts in the Café Laurent bar are wildly popular, and guests love to learn about the famous intellectuals who used to frequent the establishment, including Voltaire, Rousseau and Sartre. Plus with many members of the international fashion crowd choosing to stay here over some of the large palace hotels, you will be in exciting company. While it does not have the amenities for kids like the other hotels on this list, they are still welcome.
228 rue de Rivoli, 1st arr.
+33 1 44 58 10 10
An iconic hotel in a part of the city that is perfect for museum hopping, Le Meurice attracts the most discerning of travelers from all over the world. A member of the luxurious Dorchester Collection, the hotel combines exquisite contemporary décor by Philippe Stark alongside more opulent pieces in the Louis XVI style. The suites and rooms are all very spacious with large marble bathrooms, and guests will adore the fine dining at Restaurant Le Meurice, overseen by acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse, and featuring a view of the Tuileries Garden. Children will be particularly delighted with the endless amenities, including activities and toys on arrival, treasure hunts in the hotel, and passport books with directions to secret spots in Paris.
25 avenue Montaigne, 8th arr.
+33 1 53 67 66 65
With its well-known red awnings and ornate balconies overlooking the Avenue Montaigne, the Plaza Athenee is one of the most beautiful hotels in the city. It is also one of the most welcoming, with some of the friendliest staff members you will find in Paris. We always find ourselves receiving upgrades to gorgeous suites filled with velvet settees and gold accents, and with the Eiffel Tower on view in the distance, this has the most Parisian feel of the hotels on this list. Children will fall in love with the hotel as much as adults, as the concierge provides endless lists of activities and entertainment. The hotel also has many interconnecting rooms, a wonderful selection of children’s gifts available, and in the winter, the center courtyard is turned into an ice skating rink. It is also the perfect place to take advantage of the babysitting service, with one of the most popular bars in the city downstairs, and world class shopping all along the street.
3 rue Christine, 6th arr.
+33 1 40 51 60 80
A very quaint boutique hotel on the Left Bank in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, the Relais Christine is everything you would imagine a French hotel to be. Set in a former 16th century private mansion, the approach through the large iron gates into the center courtyard is breathtaking, with its stone walkway and flowers spilling off of the surrounding balconies. Once inside, guests will feel as if they are in a beautiful old home rather than a hotel. It is a perfect mixture of old world charm and new world contemporary, with oil paintings and modern furniture situated under large wooden beams on the ceilings. Rooms are also a nice mix, with some featuring minimal furniture and neutral colors while others are more eccentric with vibrant wallpaper and furnishings. Children will enjoy the duplex suites with their staircases and lofts, as well as the bicycles the hotel keeps for its guests, and adults will love the secret outdoor garden and expansive vaulted spa.
Place Vendome, 1st arr.
+33 1 43 16 30 30
The Paris Ritz is one of the most fashionable hotels in the world, period. Situated on the Place Vendome right in the center of the most expensive and well-known French fashion houses, it is no wonder it has been attracting the wealthy and famous for over a century. Coco Chanel lived in a suite here, and Ernest Hemingway held court in the infamous bar, now named for him. He is quoted as saying, “When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Paris Ritz.” After a major overhaul beginning in 2014, the hotel is set to be more luxurious than ever. Bathrooms have been updated, rooms have been refurbished, yet maintain their Louis XVI appeal, and the formal restaurant and school, Escoffier, will unveil a brand new kitchen with which to train future world-renowned chefs. Children are always welcome here and treated just as well as their guardians.
**The Ritz will re-open its doors in March 2016
What is cuter than dressing kids in little French clothes, and what is better than buying adorably wrapped French bon bons?
Anais et Martin – consigned and vintage kids clothing and other items
- 13 rue des Récollets, 10th arr.
Berthillon – the best ice cream in Paris
- 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 4th arr.
Le Bon Bon au Palais – every French bon bon ever made
- 19 rue Monge, 5th arr.
Bonpoint – the iconic French children’s brand
- 6 rue de Tournon, 6th arr.
- 50 Rue Etienne Marcel, 2nd arr.
- 49 Avenue Montaigne, 8th arr.
- 15 Rue Royale, 8th arr.
- 320 Rue Saint-Honoré, 1st arr.
La Châtelaine – smocked childrenswear in a marble townhouse
- 170 Avenue Victor-Hugo, 16th arr.
Finger in the Nose shop – trendy children’s clothing with a rock ‘n’ roll edge
- 60 rue de Saintonge, 3rd arr.
Lilli Bulle – great selection of children’s clothing by young European designers
- 3 rue de la Forge Royale, 11th arr.
Le Marchand d’Etoiles – many items, but mainly adorable children’s pajamas
- 4 rue du Pont aux Choux, 3rd arr.
- 85 Rue de Levis, 17th arr.
Popelini – patisserie with the new macaron – cream puffs
- 29 rue Debelleyme, 3rd arr.
Rue Vavin – a street full of kids shops, including Jacadi, Petite Bateau and Catimini
- South of the Luxembourg Gardens, 6th arr.
Soeur – clothing and accessories boutique for young girls aged 4-16
- 88 Rue Bonaparte, 6th arr.
SHOPPING FOR ADULTS
One of the best things about Paris is the shopping. Obviously. Pretty much any boutique you enter is full of wonderful finds, and listed below are some favorites.
Alaia – the iconic designer has some iconic spaces
- 7 rue de Moussy, 4th arr.
- 5 rue de Marignan, 8th arr.
Au Bain Marie – the most beautiful china and silver
- 56 rue de l’Universite, 7th arr.
Le Bon Marche – one of the greatest department stores in France, but go mainly for the indulgent food hall, La Grande Epicerie
- 24 rue de Sevres, 7th arr.
Boulevard St. Germain – Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré’s cooler counterpart on the Left Bank
- In the 6th arrondissement
Buly 1803 – a perfumery not to be missed
- 6 rue Bonaparte, 6th arr.
Catherine B – all vintage Chanel and Hermes
- 1 rue Guisarde, 6th arr.
City-Pharma – this pharmacy in the 6th arrondissement is a must for all of the amazing French beauty products you can’t find anywhere else
- 26 Rue du Four, 6th arr.
Colette – huge, famous concept store close to the Place Vendome
- 213 rue St. Honoré, 1st arr.
Comptoir de l’Image – tiny magazine and book shop in Le Marais full of hidden treasures. Very popular with designers and bloggers
- 44 rue de Sevigne, 3rd arr.
Cos – every magazine editor’s secret clothing store for high quality pieces without the hefty pricetag
- 3 rue de Grenelle, 6th arr.
- 60-62 Rue de Passy, 16th arr.
- 4 Rue des Rosiers, 4th arr.
- 9 Rue Tronchet, 8th arr.
Didier Ludot – vintage designer clothing
- Jardin du Palais Royale, 24 Galerie de Montpensier, 1st arr.
Dior Home – a carefully curated selection of beautiful dishes, vases, glassware and more at this Dior boutique
- 30 avenue Montaigne, 8th arr.
Dries Van Noten – this store is a must, and carried many pieces not found anywhere else
- 7 Quai Malaquais, 6th arr.
Galeries Lafayette – high end department store with stunning Belle Epoque architecture
- 40 boulevard Haussmann, 9th arr.
Ladurée – a café famous for its macaroons
- 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arr.
- 16 Rue Royale, 8th arr.
- Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 8th arr.
- 14 Rue de Castiglione, 1st arr.
Librairie Galignani – a great bookstore in Paris
- 224 rue de Rivoli, 1st arr.
Lydia Courteille – all the vintage jewelry you will ever need
- 231 rue St. Honoré, 1st arr.
Maison Michel – great hats found at Colette, Merci, Montaigne Market
Merci – giving all of its profits to charity, this store is full of home goods, stationery, flowers, clothing, perfume, you name it
- 111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 3rd arr.
Montaigne Market – must see clothing store carrying every designer you’ve ever loved
- 57 Avenue Montaigne, 8th arr.
Muriel Grateau – porcelain home goods, yet very cool
- 37 Rue de Beaune, 7th arr.
Parasolerie Heurtault – exquisite parasol shop
- Viaduc des Arts, 85 Avenue Daumesnil, 12th arr.
Piasa auction house – amazing gifts
- 118 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th arr.
Les Puces de Saint-Ouen – famous Paris flea market full of paintings, vintage jewelry, clothing, antiques, and one of a kind finds
- In the 18th arrondissement
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Rue Royale– Chanel, Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Celine, Lanvin, the boutiques go on and on
- In the 8th and 1st arrondissements
Rue Montorgueil – a street full of patisseries and fromageries that the Queen of England reportedly loves
- In the 1st and 2nd arrondissements
Sennelier – art supply shop with Japanese calligraphy pens
- 3 Quai Voltaire, 7th arr.
EXPERIENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Bateaux Mouches cruise – board a boat and cruise along the Seine
- Port de la Conférence, Pont de l’Alma, 8th arr.
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie – the science museum houses two interactive, adventure playgrounds, one for 2-7 year olds and one for 5-12 year olds
- 30 avenue Corentin Cariou, 19th arr.
Disneyland Paris – what more can we say?
- 77777 Marne-la-Vallée, France
The Eiffel Tower – the most famous of all Parisian attractions, kids will love taking the elevator to the top
- Champ de Mars in the 7th arr.
Jardin d’Acclimatation – a children’s zoo and amusement park, opened in 1860. Also features a train and puppet show
- Bois de Boulogne, 16th arr.
The Louvre – the most famous museum in the world has family tours and scavenger hunts for kids
- In the 1st arr.
Luxembourg Gardens – the famous gardens featuring a playground, vintage carousel and puppet theater
- In the 6th arr.
Mombini – store and café with play area and activity room for kids
- 22 Rue Gerbert, 15th arr.
Musée de l’Orangerie – while not the most kid-friendly, although there are some family guided tours, the museum that houses Monet’s famous Water Lillies paintings, along with a wonderful collection of Impressionist pieces by other famous artists, is not to be missed
- Tuileries Garden, 1st arr.
Musée d’Orsay – the grand museum on the left bank features interactive guided tours for kids and is the most child friendly of all the art museums
- 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 7th arr.
Musée en Herbe – an art museum for children, with exhibits and workshops
- 21 rue Herold, 1st arr.
Musée Picasso – even children and teenagers will be impressed with art by Picasso
- 5 Rue de Thorigny, 3rd, arr.
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle – the Galerie des Enfants features hands on kid friendly exhibits and science museum in the Natural History Museum
- 36 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 5th arr.
Parc Andre Citroen – home to a hot air balloon for visitors
- 2 rue Cauchy in the 15th arr.
Parc Zoologique de Paris– large zoo and aquarium
- Route de Ceinture du Lac Daumesnil, 12th arr.
Velib – the popular bicycle rental system set up all over Paris. Credit cards can be used to pay at the rental machines
Versailles – it is worth the trip to this historic, opulent palace south of Paris, and they can arrange a scavenger hunt for kids
- Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France
Listed below are three sample itineraries appropriate for all ages. I have kept them light because we all know kids moods can be unpredictable. For more age specific activities, please go through our Experiences for the Whole Family section, which also gives more details on each recommendation listed below.
- After breakfast at your hotel, which I find much easier to manage when traveling with kids who have woken up hungry, head to the Musée d’Orsay for a guided tour
- The Musée d’Orsay has a great café that is very kid-friendly
- Hop on a Bateaux Mouches river boat for a relaxing cruise on the Seine
- Next play in the Tuileries Garden with its open space and large ferris wheel with views of the city
- Le Café Marly is right across from the Tuileries Garden
- Begin the day with a climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower (don’t worry, there are also elevators).
- On the way to lunch, you will pass a few great shopping destinations like Montaigne Market and Dior Home
- Lunch at Le Stresa for a fun, yet glamorous, Italian meal
- Head nearby to the Jardin d’Acclimatation
- Choose any spot on our list. Cafés are open all day, as opposed to restaurants which typically open at 7 pm
- Start the day in the Luxembourg Gardens with a carousel ride and running around
- Follow with great shopping on the Boulevard St. Germain, including tons of great children’s stores. Also nearby is City-Pharma, carrying all cult French facial products not available anywhere else
- Enjoy a chic lunch at Ralph’s in the Ralph Lauren store
- Head to the Galérie des Enfants at Paris’ natural history museum for some hands on learning
- With older kids head to Verjus, with younger kids, Breakfast in America
If bringing a nanny or hiring a sitter, we suggest the following:
- Shopping on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore
- Tour the Musée de L’Orangerie
- Le Voltaire is one of our favorites
- Choose between the Louvre or the Musée Picasso
- Sunset cocktails at L’Oiseau Blanc, the rooftop bar and restaurant at the Peninsula Hotel
- Head to L’Ami Louis for a very French meal among the most discreet Parisians
- Spend midnight in Paris at Caviar Kaspia with vodka and caviar-filled baked potatoes. This is a must
CITY TIPS AND HELPFUL INFORMATION
Baby food, diapers, etc
- Pharmacies are the best places for baby related items, and just like for adults, they have an amazing selection of beauty and health-related items you can’t found outside of France
- For organic baby food, try Le Bon Marché or Naturalia
- Each hotel we have listed is able to find reputable babysitters, but most require at least 24 hours notice
- Make sure you carry small change with you because most public restrooms will charge a fee. You can find them in most of the tourist locations. There are also above ground pods located on random street corners so be sure to watch for them
- Restaurants and museums have restrooms for free if you are dining or visiting. Don’t count on places like McDonald’s because some require codes to enter that are only found on receipts
- If you see a Starbucks, they will usually have signs that say the restrooms are for customers only, but you can usually sneak in. Or this is always a good spot for a snack
- Cafés can be accommodating, especially if you purchase a coffee while there
- For dinner, restaurants typically open at 7, so try to get there first thing so you beat the crowds (which typically begin dining at 8).
- Most restaurants do not have high chairs, so if bringing a stroller, be sure to check for space ahead of time
- Check out the website under Police and Emergencies below
- France is very kid friendly and the airports will allow you to go in special customs lines with kids, go to special security lines, and will even gives you rides on carts through the airport. If assistance is not offered, just ask
- Buses in Paris are the easiest way to get around with strollers. There are apps for iphones with all city routes
- It is very difficult to hail a taxi in Paris so you have to look for the queues, mostly found on large boulevards. They do not have car seats but if you are traveling with small children you can skip to the front of the lines
- The Metro is the subway/tube system and takes you all over Paris for one price, but it is not stroller friendly. There are lots of stairs and small entrance gates
- All hotels can set up chauffeured car services, either around town or to and from the airports
- The minimum fare in taxis is 7 euros. They will usually charge an extra 3 euros for a fourth person
- While there have been tons of issues because of Uber, we find it the easiest way to get around in Paris
- See here for a complete list of hospitals
- The American Hospital of Paris has a pediatric unit for infants, children and teenagers
- 63 boulevard Victor Hugo
- See the website under Police and Emergencies for help with lost items
- You can also go to 36 rue des Morillons which is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to about 4:30 pm, with the exception of holidays
Police and Emergencies
- For an ambulance dial 15
- For the police dial 17
- The European Union emergency number is 112
- For all police questions, including lost items and a list of embassies, head here
- If you live outside the EU, ask for a tax refund form at checkout and don’t forget to turn it in at the airport before you leave. Some department stores will also give you discount cards if you let them know you will be stopping by, so be sure to check out their websites for more details.
- Many museums and sights have stroller parking areas, although they cannot be held responsible in the event of theft. Depending on the size of the venue, it may be wiser to coat check them and let kids walk or be carried in a sling. But always come with a stroller because you will usually be allowed to skip the lines
- Most restaurants do not have high chairs, but strollers are welcome if there is room. When in doubt, have your concierge call ahead to confirm space.
- A 15% tip is always included in the bill wherever you go, but lots of people will leave a little bit more
- Give 1 euro per coat at a coat check
- Give 1-2 euro tips to taxi drivers
- 1 euro per bag at a hotel is customary upon delivery to your room
- A concierge should receive 5 euros per restaurant reservation; at least 10 if it is particularly difficult to secure
- The official Office of Tourism website is here