Traveling with young children can be scary for some parents who are concerned about the logistics involved. But with proper planning, Paris will quickly become the family trip that everyone will remember with fondness!
There is no shortage of attractions in Paris. From the Jardin des Tuileries, to the roller coaster at Disneyland, to the enchanting Montmartre district, your children will never be bored in the French capital. And neither will you!
Here are our tips for a memorable stay in Paris.
The comfort solution for the first and last day: have your luggage collected or delivered to the station or airport
When traveling with a large family, or with children, you may be encumbered with equipment…If you want to visit upon arrival or travel light, you have the Alfred Travel Solution. Alfred picks up and delivers your stuff from the airport/station/hotel etc. and delivers it at the time and date of your choice (and vice versa).
Combien de temps faut-il pour visiter Paris avec des enfants ?
Il faut prévoir entre 5 et 7 jours complets afin de découvrir les merveilles de Paris à votre rythme et celui de vos enfants. Cependant, si vous n’avez que 3 ou 4 jours devant vous, ne vous inquiétez pas ! Vous aurez suffisamment de temps pour visiter les quartiers essentiels ainsi que ses monuments, tout en arrivant à divertir vos enfants.
What to take with you when traveling with young children or babies in Paris?
Knowing that taking on trips is the main hassle for parents…Between diapers, bottles, strollers, it can get pretty heady. Advising you to take the minimum…We wouldn’t dream of it. But here’s what you need to know when it comes to taming Parisian life with young children.
Strollers in Paris
Is it possible to rent strollers in Paris to travel light?
You can also rent a stroller once you arrive in Paris. There are several companies that rent out all kinds of childcare equipment by the day, such as Loue Ta Poussette or Kidelio.
Is it possible to walk everywhere in Paris with a stroller?
Yes, it is technically possible to walk around Paris with a stroller. They are practical to enjoy long walks without tiring the youngest. However, you should know that it is not suitable for all routes. Some neighborhoods are cobbled, or simply crowded with people. And some monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Catacombs, Versailles, etc. do not accept strollers.
Plan the days when it is not indicated and have a plan B, like a baby carrier.
Is it possible to take public transportation with a stroller?
Taking the Paris metro with a stroller
The metro has very few escalators and elevators. And some monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower, do not accept strollers.
Only 3% of the Paris metro stations are wheelchair accessible (and therefore stroller friendly). The metro was built at a time when concerns about reduced mobility were not a topic of urban planning and is modernizing very slowly.
A baby carrier will therefore be more practical to visit Paris.
The best subway stations to use with a stroller
If you are a single parent, you should either avoid the stroller or avoid the metro (or select the stations that are easy to access). If you choose the stroller, prefer the following stations (non-exhaustive list – to be updated probably), the bus or the tramway:
|1||La Défense / Gare de Lyon | most of the other stations have escalators|
|2||Rochechouart / Jaurès|
|4||Porte d’Orléans | most of the other stations have escalators|
|6||La motte Picquet Grenelle|
|14||most of the other stations have escalators|
|RER A||Gare de Lyon / Nation / Etoile (escalators)|
|RER B||Parc des Sceaux / Antony / Fontaine Michalon|
Streetcar and Bus with a stroller
Concerning tramways, they are recently built and therefore all accessible to strollers or people with reduced mobility. This is also true for the Bus lines which see their fleet evolve every 5 years or so, to comply with the new standards of urbanism and mobility.
The only difficulty for these two modes of transport is the sometimes randomly changing schedules in Paris.
What baby equipment is available in the accommodation?
If you decide to stay in a hotel or an airbnb, be aware that baby equipment is not available everywhere and in limited quantities if at all. The same applies to restaurants. The lower equipments are basic to have for young children but not systematically available. We invite you to call the places of visit to verify that they are available!
Hotel: Baby baths / Crib / Changing table
Restaurant : High chair / Milk warmer / Changing table
When should you come to Paris with your children?
For a mild weather, come and visit the French capital between April and October.
The weather gets milder from March onwards in France. However, this month is often still cool and/or rainy.
From April to June, the sun comes out and the days get longer. You will be able to enjoy the flowering of the parks, the spring scents and a more animated local life. If you have the opportunity to come to Paris for the Easter vacations or before the beginning of the summer, don’t hesitate!
July and August are the hottest and longest months of the year. Temperatures can exceed 30° Celsius on weekdays.
The best seasons to visit Paris
The month of August is often deserted by Parisians who go on vacation elsewhere, the city empties little by little and the subways are generally less busy than the rest of the year. On the other hand, July and August are the most frequented months by tourists… You won’t be alone in the lines.
As for September, it is ideal for visits! The weather is generally still nice and warm in the capital. Life starts again at the beginning of the month, the terraces and the ice cream shops are still open but the tourists are less numerous. Choosing the month of September is to allow you to sneak into the streets and monuments more easily. It is the best month to visit Paris.
The end of the year is generally colder and sadder. However, the Christmas period remains magical. When the windows of the department stores are illuminated simultaneously with the Eiffel Tower, and the Christmas markets multiply, one can only be conquered by the magic of Paris!
Tips for getting around Paris with Children
The modes of transport are varied in Paris. As you can see when you arrive, urban life is dense with cars, scooters, bikes, scooters, pedestrians, etc. So, how to visit Paris, while keeping your children safe?
Tips for visiting Paris by METRO
Of course the metro is not practical with a stroller (as explained above), but it is by far the most efficient way to get around Paris, even with children. Its network will take you everywhere in a limited time, and often faster than the car or the cab. We have listed the metro stations to choose from, which will already allow you to get around the capital.
On the RATP website you can find all the information you need about your itinerary, travel time, and fares. Tickets can be bought directly in the metro stations. REALLY, download their mobile application, it gives you all the information you need, including delays and departure times for the next metros.
Good to know
- Metro tickets are valid for a maximum of 1.5 hours. You are allowed to alternate between bus, metro and streetcar during this time.
- The metro and buses are free for children under 4 years old.
- Children between 4 and 9 years old pay half price
- Weekend and holiday tickets are available for children under 26. Very advantageous, they allow to circulate during 24 hours from 4.10€. They are not well known, so don’t hesitate to consult this RATP web page, or ask for help at the metro station ticket office.
- Forfait Paris Visite : if you plan to take the metro about 5 to 6 times a day, then this ticket is for you. It is valid for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days and will cost you between 11.65€ and 63.90€ depending on the time and zones chosen. Children always get a 50% discount.
- If you wish to go to the airport, the Château de Versailles, La Défense or Disneyland, a different ticket must be purchased. You will not be able to use the same tickets as in Paris. Ask about the terminals in the metro.
Tips to visit Paris by METRO
Why we recommend visiting Paris by foot
Paris can also be visited on foot, and it is better to be comfortable in your shoes to do so. Strolling through the streets of Paris will allow you to discover many authentic corners and some of the most pleasant alleys. Some areas are almost exclusively pedestrian such as the Marais or Montmartre. Others like the Latin Quarter or the Ile de la Cité are much more pleasant on foot than by car!
Many neighborhoods also have parks where your children can run around. We mention them a little bit further down. They will also prove to be very useful for an improvised picnic or a snack in the grass.
You can find all our recommendations for walks on our MAPSTR account.
Equipment to bring when visiting Paris by foot with children
Sneakers and flat shoes are mandatory for children as well as for parents!
Think about taking a backpack, it will be useful for the day. You will be able to put some snacks, water, camera, sunglasses, sunscreen, and potentially something to change baby during the day.
Ideally, if you are nomadic and want to give yourself every opportunity to wander around the city, you should bring a baby carrier, a large backpack and rent strollers at key locations.
If you forgot your bag at home, go to the nearest Decathlon. You’ll find one for cheap!
Visit Paris by Tourist Bus HOP-ON HOP-OFF
A day ticket costs between 30 and 40 euros per adult, depending on the current promotions. It’s half price for children and free for babies.
Tourist buses are an excellent way to get from one tourist site to another, without thinking about anything else than to make your eyes glaze over. The downside of this choice is the relatively high price compared to public transportation
Visit Paris with an UBER type VTC
Uber is available in Paris as well. Download the application before you arrive in Paris to make it easier for you once you are there.
Beware, after a certain time and for short distances (5 to 10 minutes), it is sometimes more interesting to hail a cab on the street. Uber increases its price according to the demand, and can therefore suddenly become more expensive than traditional city cabs. This happens more often in the evening.
Visit Paris with a TAXI
Is it possible to hail a cab in Paris?
Hailing a cab is not part of the French culture, but it can be done, so don’t deprive yourself. Look if the lights on the roof of the car are “green”, and try your luck. Another option: find a cab stand. You can spot them by a line of cars and/or a blue sign and reserved parking spaces. There are many in the capital.
Should I tip Parisian cabs?
A 10% tip is appreciated by the drivers but is not mandatory, nor is it part of the French culture. Do not feel obliged!
On the other hand, always ask if the cab driver takes the credit card if it is your means of payment. Some drivers claim that their device does not work when paying, in order to collect the money in the “black”.
Minivan rental or private shuttles
You can benefit from a chauffeur-driven trip to or from the airport, or even daily rentals with G7 Events. You can also rent a Blue Taxi (€9.90 payable at the time of booking and then the price of the trip). Their minibuses can accommodate up to 7 passengers. G7 has also developed an offer for families including child seats and booster seats: G7 KIDS.
Private shuttle services are available to move around Paris and the Paris region for a fee that can be set in advance. If there are several of you traveling, you can find the most suitable transportation for your group: minivans, MPVs or minibuses are offered by France Luxury Cab, Le Transport Smart, Connect Smart Drive or Imediat Services.
How to get from the airport to downtown Paris?
There are three main airports leading to Paris:
- Charles de Gaulle (30km): the largest airport in France and the second largest in Europe. It is located 30 km from Paris and takes about 50 minutes to reach the center of Paris, traffic permitting.
- Paris Orly (15km): The preferred airport for European and international medium-haul destinations. It is the closest airport to Paris. It only takes about 30 minutes to reach the city from Orly by car and about 45 minutes by public transportation.
- Beauvais (75km): very far from Paris (it will take 1H30 by bus to reach the capital), it is the place where low cost companies like Ryanair have decided to land.
Take a cab or VTC, the best solution with babies
Why it is better to choose this mode of transport with young children
If your children are 5 years old or younger, you are probably loaded with a few extra things that will be difficult to carry through public transportation. Besides, even if your children are older, as long as you are a family of 4, a cab is an almost economical solution. Between a cab for the whole family and the price of individual tickets for public transportation, there will not be a big difference.
What if all the suitcases don’t fit in the cab?
You have two choices: either you book an XL cab or you use a suitcase delivery company.
If your suitcases and belongings are too bulky, all personal transport companies such as lex cabs or VTC such as UBER, have 7 to 9 seat vehicles. For families traveling with a lot of luggage, this is a good solution.
In case there are only two of you and you don’t want to be burdened with your luggage and why not take public transportation, you have the Alfred Travel Solution. Alfred collects and delivers your belongings from the airport/station/hotel etc. and delivers them at the time and date of your choice (and vice versa).
How to find the cab stands at the exit of the flights?
If you arrive in Paris by plane, after passing through customs, look up and look for the “Taxi” signs. Beware, if cabs approach you outside the Taxi zone, their transportation is illegal. Do not take them!
For your safety, follow the cab signs and wait in the outside queue for a registered cab.
How much does a cab or a VTC cost between the airports and Paris center?
It is important to know that the cab rates are approximately the same as with Uber for example. The price difference is based on two criteria, which we advise you to look at:
- Destination or departure Paris or small suburbs: the rates from Paris to the airport are standardized. So you know what you are going to pay. However, if you leave from a nearby suburb, you may pay more.
- Traffic: the longer the wait or the longer the time, the higher the meter goes. Thus, Uber changes its flat rates based on traffic and user demand. It is becoming increasingly rare for VTCs to offer more attractive prices than licensed cabs to and from airports.
Average prices per cab ride
- CDG to Paris: The cab fare will cost you between 55 euros and 80 euros, depending on the traffic conditions.
- Orly to Paris: The average cab fare from Orly to the center of Paris is between 35 and 45 euros.
- Beauvais to Paris : out of price, you will have to turn to the shuttles by bus which make you the journey from and to the capital. It will cost 29€/adult and 20€/child to make the round trip.
Taking public transportation
How to find the RER at the exit of the flights?
Finding the RER at the exit of the airport is not an easy task, depending on the terminal you are arriving from… For some, you will have to walk 20 minutes to get there. Again, look up and look for the signs.
How much does it cost to get to or from the airport?
- RER train from CDG to Paris = 10-11€. You can buy your ticket in the airport stations and in any other Metro-RER station. But be aware of the special RER pricing: the “t+ ticket” is not valid for trips outside Paris.
- RER train from ORLY to Paris = 12,10 € for adults, and half that for children.
The CDG airport station is connected to the “RER B” line which serves two stations at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport:
- Terminal 1 & 3 ⇒ Gare Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1 station. From Terminal 3, you can walk to the station. However, passengers in Terminal 1 will need to take the automatic CDGVAL shuttle bus to reach the terminal.
- Terminal 2 (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) ⇒ Gare Charles de Gaulle 2 station. From Terminal 2, you can walk to the terminal with a little bit of walking.
Access to Orly airport
The airport is also connected by the RER B train. You will have to take a shuttle bus called ORLYVAL for about 10 minutes and stop at the RER B Anthony station. From there, take the RER B train to the capital for about 30 minutes. Pay attention to the bus schedule and to the purchase of your RER+Shuttle ticket which is a special ticket.
Where to stay in Paris when visiting with family?
Location of accommodation
To facilitate access to the capital’s tourist attractions, it is preferable to find accommodation that is as central as possible, or failing that, close to public transport. The cost of accommodation will be significantly higher and this represents an additional budget for the family, but it will make your trip more enjoyable and for your children as well.
From a security point of view, you should avoid the north east (towards Porte de Pantin or Porte de la Chapelle) and north west (towards Nanterre or Saint Denis).
We recommend the 1st, 5th, 6th and 19th arrondissements.
Types of accommodation: what to choose between an Airbnb or a hotel?
Airbnb type accommodations will be more affordable and comfortable for weekends or long stays than hotels. The reduced price of your home cooked meals and breakfasts will allow you to
activities or a more central location.
Just be aware of what this means…stairs. Very few apartments in Paris have elevators, so you will have to do without your stroller and often have to leave it on the ground floor.
What to do in Paris with children?
Don’t try to do everything, take your time. You will probably walk a lot and your children will also need to rest.
A plan can be useful, it will allow you to discuss with your children their interests, and to find the itineraries not to miss during your stay.
If you want to visit museums or monuments, it is always better to book your tickets in advance. Many museums in France are closed on Tuesdays, so be careful with your schedule.
What to do in Paris with children on rainy days?
- Catacombes (les plus petits peuvent avoir un peu peur)
- Cité des sciences
- Musée grévin
- Manoir de Paris (attention : c’est une maison hantée, pas conseillé avant 15 ans)
- Musée de l’illusion
- Atelier des lumières (THE BEST OPTION)
What to do in Paris with children when the weather is nice?
Places to visit
- Montmartre. Les marches + Moulin Rouge
- Parc Asterix
- Eiffel Tower – il peut faire frais au sommet!
- Arc de Triomphe
- Père Lachaise
- Zoo de Vincennes
- Marché aux Fleurs et Oiseaux
Cruises on the canals and the Seine
- Bateaux Mouches
- Marin d’Eau Douce
Best outdoor walks
- Parc de la Turlure + Montmartre
- Jardin du Luxembourg + Quartier latin
- Parc Monceau`
- Jardin des Tuileries + Le Louvre + Champs Elysées
- Champ de Mars + Trocadero
- Quais de Seine