Paris with kids: top 29 attractions!
What is there to do in Paris with kids? Obviously enough to easily spend a few days in the capital of France. We have visited the city several times now and are always amazed at its beauty and how much there is to do. Because there is so much to do, we’ve divided all the sights and activities into five main categories for you, so it’s easy to see what there is to do in Paris with kids.
Table of contents
How do I get to Paris?
You have different ways how to get to Paris with kids. We list some of the modes of transportation below.
By car: Many Dutch families travel to Paris by car. From Utrecht, you can get to Paris by car in about five hours.
By train: more and more Dutch families are traveling to Paris by train. From Amsterdam, you can be in the center of Paris in about four hours. Besides being a very quick way to get to Paris with kids, it is also an option that is environmentally friendly.
By plane: of course, it is also possible to fly from the Netherlands to Paris. Several flights depart daily from the Netherlands to Paris. To compare different flights flying to Paris, we always use Skyscanner’s website to book our flight tickets.
Not-to-be-missed sights in Paris with kids
You have a number of attractions in Paris with kids that should not be missed during your city break to the city. We list the most famous sights here. Whether they are all equally enjoyable for you and your family there you must make your own choice of course.
Paris with kids #1: the Eiffel Tower
Few tourists will skip this sight. The Eiffel Tower is part of the city of Paris and how fun is it to go to the top for a fantastic view of the city of Paris. You can choose to climb the tower yourself or take the elevator, but especially if the kids are not super small, the most fun is of course to climb the tower itself.
We also climbed the Eiffel Tower by ourselves with our daughter and climbing the tower was very doable with our six-year-old daughter. The Eiffel Tower consists of three different floors and you can climb the first two floors by stairs. To the third floor you can only go by elevator. For the view, you already have a really great view from the second floor and you really don’t need to go any higher. We also included the Eiffel Tower in our list of the most beautiful views of Paris.
In between on the different floors, you can read some information about things like the origins of the tower and you can take a rest and enjoy the view. We ourselves had purchased tickets online in advance, so we didn’t have to stand in line on site. With us, the biggest line was also for the elevator going up and there was no line for the stairs going up. For more information on climbing the tower, check out the blog Climbing the Eiffel Tower. For all information about the Eiffel Tower, check out the Eiffel Tower website itself.
Paris with kids #2: Arc de Triomphe
This is another one of the city’s iconic buildings and one of the most famous landmarks of the city of Paris. You can enter the structure and go up to the top, but we didn’t see much value in that during our first visit. That was a misjudgment, because on our second visit to the city, we did climb the arch and it turned out that it gave you a great view of the surrounding area and also of the Eiffel Tower.
We had purchased our own Paris museum pass, which allowed us to visit this structure “for free. Kids under eighteen have free admission to Arc de Triomphe anyway. Even if you are not going to climb the structure, it is fun to take a moment to visit this impressive building.
Also, the street (Champs de Elysee) on which the structure is located is of course very well known from, for example, the arrival of the Tour de France every year. On the Champs de Elysee there are quite a few stores of various expensive brands and it is fun to take a walk around.
Paris with kids #3: Notre Dame
This cathedral is also a not-to-be-missed sight in Paris with kids. The fire in 2019 destroyed much of the church and they are still working hard to restore everything, but despite everything, it remains an impressive structure to see. When we were there, the cathedral was still completely under scaffolding and you could not enter the cathedral. Still, from a distance, it remains a very impressive church and since it’s right in the center, you’re bound to stop by at some point to snap a picture with your family!
Paris with kids #4: Sacre Coeur
This world-famous basilica is located in the cozy Montmartre neighborhood, and it’s fun to take a look here as well. It has a nice atmosphere and everywhere you see artists putting people on a canvas. The Sacre Coeur is on a hill in this neighborhood and you can reach the basilica by stairs. You can also do this with a streetcar, but we didn’t see the added value of that. You can go up on foot with your kids just fine.
When we were there, the weather was sunny and there were lots of people lying on the grass in front of the basilica enjoying the sun. We ourselves also spent an hour here and found it to have a very relaxed atmosphere with young people here and there with music and various vendors selling drinks walking among the people.
You can visit the basilica for free, but it is very crowded there. By the way, you can also go into the dome of the basilica, if you want a great view of the city for a few euros. We also did this (entrance is on the left when you stand in front of the cathedral) and this is also definitely fun to do with kids. The stairs and corridors get narrower and narrower, and at the top the view is superb. The Montmartre district is fun to walk through and you’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes for a bite to eat and a drink.
Fun parks in Paris with kids
In Paris, you also have some great parks where you can do all kinds of things with kids. We already wrote about this in the blog funniest parks in Paris with kids, and in this overview we also reflect the best parks in Paris.
Paris with kids #5: Jardin du Luxembourg
This is a very beautiful and fun park to visit during your city break to Paris with kids. First, it is a very beautiful park and you can walk through it just fine. In addition, there are reclining chairs throughout the park, so you can sit here in the sunshine just fine. There is also a large pond in the middle of the park, where kids can ride boats on the lake.
You can rent these boats at the pond for a few euros for half an hour. Kids can then launch the boat into the water with a stick and watch where the boat is driven by the wind. Our daughter found this a very fun activity and constantly ran around the pond, as the wind made the boat go in all directions. As a parent, you can then sit by the pond and have a drink. In fact, there is a little restaurant near the pond where you can buy something to drink.
There is also a nice (paid) playground in the park. This is a great playground to keep your kids entertained for an hour. A fence surrounds the playground, giving you a good overview of your kids, and there are also toilet facilities. There are plenty of restaurants and eateries around the park, where you can pick up food and eat it in the park.
Paris with kids #6: Jardin d’Acclimatation
Located in the vast Bois de Boulogne park, this amusement park also has plenty of fun activities for kids. Near this park is a subway station and you can walk to the park in a few minutes. Every visitor pays a few euros entrance fee to the park and it is possible to buy a card to have unlimited use of all the attractions. Do buy this card online eight days in advance, as it saves a lot of money with if you buy it on the day.
We spent a whole day at this (fun) park and had a great time. The amusement park has about 25 different rides and for our six-year-old daughter, these were all rides that were very appropriate for her age. You have several roller coasters, though these are mostly fun for kids up to 10 or so. Don’t expect spectacular roller coasters suitable for adolescents here. For parents with young kids, this park is ideal.
#7 Jardin des Tuileries: this park has a central location between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. This park is also very spacious and there are plenty of opportunities for your kids to let off steam. First, it is a beautiful garden with fountains, statues and flowers, but there is also plenty for kids to do. For example, in the summer months this park seems to have trampolines and a Ferris wheel, but when we were there this was not there. However, the park does have a small playground for kids.
What we especially liked about the park was that, just like in Jardin du Luxembourg, there were also very relaxing chairs where you could lie back and enjoy the sunshine.
#8 Jardin des Plantes: this park is also one of the nicer parks, which you can visit in Paris with kids. They have two nice museums and a zoo here that you can visit with your kids, and there is also a maze and a small playground (despite the latter not being much). We will return to the zoo and the two museums later in this blog.
#9 Parc de la Vilette: This park is really recommended for families with kids up to 12 years old. There are really super many playgrounds here in this park with cool climbing equipment, merry-go-rounds and nice grassy areas to play soccer and picnic. You can easily entertain yourself for half a day here in this park. There are also a number of family-friendly museums here, but we’ll look at these in more detail in the next section.
Family-friendly museums in Paris with kids
Paris is also home to several museums for kids. Yet it cannot be compared, for example, to the museums in the Netherlands and Belgium. In many museums in Paris, for example, many explanations are not in English, there is often a separate children’s section rather than, say, a scavenger hunt throughout the museum, and you often have to reserve a time slot for the children’s section in the museum.
Because of this, visiting a museum in Paris with kids does require some preparation. We list for you the most important museums in Paris with kids.
Paris with kids #10: Centre Pompidou
The outside of this museum already looks special and it looks like a big slide running through the museum. Because the museum is located right in the center of the city, it is a great activity to walk by and enjoy the view from the top floor of the museum. In fact, you can take the escalators up and there you have an excellent view of the city.
In the museum itself, they have four sections for kids/youth and each section is for a different age group. For example, for kids from 2 to 10 you have Galerie des Enfants and the Ateliers des Enfants, for kids from 8 to 12 Le Fabrique and for kids from 13 to 16 there is the Studio section. They also have workshops and tours for kids. You can find the times of this on the website.
We visited the Galerie des Enfants in the museum itself with our museum pass, which we ourselves did not think was very much. Kids can do crafts here and there is some interactive entertainment, but that didn’t amount to much either. The museum features modern art and since we ourselves are not super into that, we skipped the rest of the museum. Of course, if your kids or you love this immensely, it could be a good option.
Paris with kids #11: Louvre
The Louvre is perhaps the largest and most famous museum in the world and is of course known for the painting the Mona Lisa that hangs there. In the outdoor area you can see the glass pyramid, where you see many tourists taking pictures. Of course, we also took a picture here with our daughter.
We also briefly visited the museum itself with our museum passes from Paris. For kids under 18, the Louvre is free to visit. In addition to paintings, you will find art from the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, among others. The museum is really huge in that regard and you really need a map to not get lost.
Of course, we visited the Mona Lisa briefly and this room was extremely crowded with tourists who wanted to have their picture taken with the painting. What impressed us most about the museum is the building itself. Every room looks beautiful and if you look at the ceilings you will see really beautiful statues and paintings. For the building alone, a visit to the Louvre is a must.
Tip: Behind the museum the Louvre, there are two large playgrounds in the Nelson Mandela Garden, for two different age groups. Our six-year-old daughter actually really liked both playgrounds. Definitely a good option if you just visited the museum and want to let the kids blow off some steam.
Paris with kids #12: Grande Galerie de l’Evolution
This is a museum which can be combined with other museums also found in the park Jardin des Plantes. The Grande Galerie de L’evolution focuses on nature and wildlife, and inside it is truly a wonderful museum to visit. For example, the animals that have been stuffed are beautifully arranged and the building gives off all kinds of colors of light.
We always find it interesting when we can see all these animals so close up, and the museum is also interactive. So you have quite a few screens where kids can play educational games and learn more about nature and animals. We spent over an hour inside the museum here, but feel free to take two hours.
In fact, there was also a children’s section in the museum, but you had to have a separate ticket for that, so we did not visit that section. The museum also has a little restaurant where you can get something to eat and drink.
Paris with kids #13: Galerie de Paléontologie et d’anatomie comparée
Another museum we visited in park Jardin des Plantes is Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie Comparée. This museum is known as the bone museum. Hundreds of skeletons can be found here of all kinds of animals. The bones of a dinosaur can also be found in this museum.
What we really liked about this museum is that with each skeleton you can have your kids guess which animal it is. We were also really amazed at some animals by how many bones the particular animal is made up of. Just keep in mind that this museum is mostly viewing and is not interactive.
#14 Galerie de Geologie et de Mineralogy: the third museum in park Jardin des Plantes is mainly about our galaxy and all that goes with it.
#15 Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie: This is a science museum in Paris. You have three different sections in this museum: the planetarium, explora and a section especially for kids. In the Explora section you will find mostly experiments that you also find in the science museum Nemo. Consider experiments involving sound, energy and the brain.
You can watch a movie at the Planetarium, but you must book this in advance. If you would like to watch a movie, it is advisable to reserve the movie you would like to see as soon as you enter. In the children’s area, you have sections for two age groups. For children ages two to seven and one for kids ages five to 12.
The focus in these spaces is on playful learning and discovery. Kids can test how flexible they are, their senses are stimulated, they can look at themselves in mirrors and they can play with balance, sounds and letters. For the older kids, there are also many games they can play in this section.
#16 Palais de la Découverte: Located in the west wing of Grand Palais, this museum is also dedicated to science. Kids can do experiments here and there are quite a few demonstrations related to math, physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology and biology.
Moving around Paris with kids
In Paris, you have so many different options for discovering the city of Paris with kids that we have listed them all for you conveniently.
#17 Subway: the subway in a city is usually preferred by us if we want to get around the city quickly. Paris is a big city and walking obviously won’t get you everywhere with your kids. Therefore, the subway is then a very good option. The most beautiful metro station is Arts ét Métiers (line 11), where it feels like you are in a submarine, as this metro station is lined with copper plates.
Children under the age of four can ride the subway for free, and kids between the ages of four and nine get a discount on a subway ticket. Of course, day passes for the subway are also available for purchase, so you don’t have to buy a new ticket each time. These are only attractive if you take the subway more than 5 times in a day. We used the metro every day and it is a very nice way to get around Paris with kids. There are metro stops all over the city, making it very easy to get everywhere.
#18 Train in Montmartre: this is a tourist train you can take in the Montmartre district. Our daughter always really likes this kind of train, and it’s also kind of nice to just have to sit alone and look around. You will be given information about the neighborhood in English during the tour.
#19 Walking: of course you can also walk through the city of Paris with kids. There are also walks for kids offered. For example, you can join a guide on a three-hour walking tour of the city to see its highlights and the kids can go on a treasure hunt. Of course, it’s just as fun to take a nice walk yourself. We ourselves walked entire sections of the city every day and took more than 25,000 steps each day. Walking often allows you to see the most of the city.
A must in terms of walking is along the Seine River. A must here is to walk from the Pont des Arts along the water to Pont Nortre Dame. This is a 15-minute walk and here you will come across all kinds of playground equipment for the kids. Of course, here you also have a wonderful view of the bridges and there are some terraces near the water.
#20 Hop on Hop off bus: there are quite a few companies that offer bus service that pass all the major attractions. We always like a bus like this. You can sit at the top by the open roof and see much of the city of Paris within a short time.
#21 Hop on Hop off boat: since quite a few sights are on the water, there is even a Hop on Hop off boat in Paris. You can choose between a 24-hour and 48-hour pass here. The boat stops at nine different points along the water. The total duration of the boat tour past all the stops is two hours. Especially in nice weather, a relaxing way to explore Paris with kids.
#22 Cruise on the Seine: You can also take a cruise on the Seine River and see Paris from the water with kids. These canal boats are open at the top, so when the weather is nice you can sit outside and enjoy the view. The cruise on the Seine takes an hour, which we always find a fine time for young kids. After an hour, our daughter is usually done with it.
Paris with kids #23: Cycling through Paris
How much fun is it to explore the city of Paris with kids by bike? In any case, we really enjoyed it! The Dutch company Baja Bikes organizes numerous bike tours throughout Paris and also bike tours with kids. We also booked a bike tour here and must say we really enjoyed it.
You will cycle around downtown Paris with a Dutch guide and pass most of the city’s famous landmarks. In total, the bike tour takes about three hours, but along the way you will stop frequently for explanations and to take a picture. Especially if it is your first time visiting Paris with kids, it is a fun introduction to the city.
They have kids’ bikes as well as rear seats for kids. Since our six-year-old daughter is not a huge cyclist, she went on the back of our bike, but most of the kids from the different families just cycled by themselves. For more information on the various bike tours offered in Paris with kids, check out Baja Bikes’ website.
Amusement parks in Paris with kids
In addition to the Jardin d’Acclimatation amusement park we mentioned earlier, you have other amusement parks you can visit in Paris with kids. We briefly name them below.
Paris with kids #24: Disneyland Paris
This is obviously the most famous amusement park in Paris and perhaps in all of Europe. It consists of two different theme parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. If you want to see both of these two amusement parks properly, you will need at least two to three days with your kids. We visited both parks twice for two days and again enjoyed them as much as when we visited the Disney parks in Orlando.
Because we only decided to go shortly before we went, we couldn’t really find discounted tickets and an overnight stay at one of the Disney hotels was still the cheapest option. Partly because it also allowed us to park for free, get two-day tickets to both parks and take advantage of the extra hours (Magic Hours) in the park.
We used the full two days on our first visit and were in the park from early morning until late at night. This allowed us to do most of the attractions in both parks. The second time, we focused on the best attractions and visited them several times. We wrote about the Disney parks the separate blog Disneyland Paris with kids, in which we provide all the information you need to visit both theme parks.
Paris with kids #25: Parc Asterix
You can go to another really fun amusement park in Paris with kids. We found this amusement park very fun to visit and also found this amusement park very atmospheric. There are as many as 41 attractions suitable for both young and older kids. In addition, the amusement park has several shows you can go to.
For example, the amusement park has as many as eight different roller coasters that you can go on with kids. Do check the amusement park’s website in advance to see which roller coasters your kids are all allowed on, as there are length restrictions. The amusement park also has a whole section of rides for young kids and several fun water rides, where you can get wet. Definitely a pleasant change if you visit the park on a hot summer day, for example.
When we visited the amusement park on a Sunday morning, it was very quiet and we did not have to wait in line anywhere for a long time. Parc Asterix is on the route from Holland/Belgium to Paris, making it great to include the amusement park in your city trip to Paris with kids. It’s best to visit the amusement park on the first or last day then. We wrote about the amusement park the blog Parc Asterix with kids, in which we give all the information about this amusement park in Paris.
#26 Parc Zoologique de Paris: you can also go to the zoo in Paris with kids. Most animals can be found here (only the elephant is missing), and kids ages 3 to 12 pay a reduced rate for this zoo.
Paris with kids: other children’s activities
There are a number of other activities you can do in Paris with kids that we couldn’t really fit into the previous categories, which is why we just put them under other activities.
Paris with kids #27: Ballon de Paris
A very cool activity to do in Paris with kids is to see the city from a high altitude from a hot air balloon. Located in the southwest of the city in the André Citroën park, this hot air balloon takes you to a height of no less than 150 meters. The hot air balloon is on a rope, so you stay in one spot in the sky.
The activity takes about 20 minutes and you have a 360-degree view of the city. In the tray of the balloon you can walk around freely. We thought this was a really fun activity and Sophie also thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful view you have from the tray of the hot air balloon over the city of Paris.
Be sure to check the balloon’s website in advance to see if the balloon will be airborne that day, as the balloon is very dependent on good weather conditions.
Paris with kids #28: Le Zoo Jardin des Plantes
You can still visit a zoo in Paris with kids. In fact, in the nice park Jardin des Plantes there is a small zoo that is fun to visit. In the zoo you have different animals to admire such as the red panda, the orangutan and the wolf, for example. The zoo is not super big, but you can have a great time for an hour or two.
Especially if you visit the two museums in Jardin des Plantes, you can spend a nice afternoon here in Paris with the family. In addition to the animals you can admire mainly outside, the zoo also has a reptile house with various snakes and spiders. There is also a small playground in the zoo and the possibility of eating and drinking. Because this zoo is a lot more central than the other zoos, it is definitely a fun option to visit this zoo with your kids.
#29 Tour Montparnasse: If you can’t get enough of shooting beautiful pictures of Paris from a great height, then this observation tower is for you and your kids. We also visited this tower and you have a beautiful view here. You will take Europe’s fastest elevator to the 56th floor of the building, after which you will have a great view from the observation platform over the city and also the Eiffel Tower.
Where to sleep in Paris with kids
Paris has more than 1,500 accommodations to sleep in, and there are plenty of great options for families with kids.
We slept during our city break at the Ibis Maisons Laffitte which is just outside the city and close to the train station and we liked it immensely. The price of the room was reasonable, the room was spacious and there was also a playground right outside the door. We were in the city center by train in 15 minutes and in the village of the hotel there were plenty of nice restaurants to have some food.
Other options in Paris that are suitable for families with kids and have good ratings from many reviews are the following:
Budget hotel: Hotel Cluny Sorbonne
Mid-range hotel: Elysées Ceramic
Luxury hotel: Hotel Monsieur & Spa
To search for other hotels in Paris with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.