Paris, France (Rachel Wynne)
Paris is always a good idea.
- More about your oliver guide: Rachel Wynne
- Trip type: Family, City
- Activity level: easy
- Ideal length of trip: 9 DAYS
to & from
- Boston to Paris on Air France.
Where to Stay
We are fortunate to stay with friend while in Paris. My suggestion is to find an apartment/flat so you have space and a kitchen. There are tons of great short term rentals in Paris.
Where to Eat and Drink
There are so many great spots to dine that range from really high end to picnics in a park.
- Monsieur Bleu Palais de Tokyo: Beautiful restaurant with amazing views of Eiffel tower. Great date night spot. We brought our kids there at lunchtime and sat on the patio. They loved the desserts.
- Pastavino (18 rue de Buci): This is a 'hidden' italian restaurant that is above a small shop called Pastavino in Saint Germaine. This small quaint restaurant was fantastic- they only seat about 18, so reservations are recommended. The best course was the starter: Burrata, Tomato, Basil.
- Le Comptoir Général: If you want to experience something really different, without kids, this is the spot for you. "The spot leading the way in bringing African vibes to Paris is undoubtedly Le Comptoir Général. The name translates to something like ‘standard drinking post’, a major (and of course deliberate) understatement for what it really is: an important Parisian institution showcasing a subtle, original and compelling side of Africa."
- Flow Paris (4 Port des Invalides): Great for an afternoon drink on the Seine. Super casual and often crowded (watch your bag)- fun place for kids to run around. There is a kids climbing wall right near there on the river.
- Restaurant Café Georges: The restaurant on top of the Centre Pompidou. The food is okay but you really come here for the view and a glass or two of rosé. Once again the kids gave the desserts high ratings.
What to Do
Our Paris trips with our kids are very art centric. I try to combine an art excursion with a fun trip to a park or patisserie. While we have seen most of the major museums in Paris, I find the smaller ones more approachable and kid friendly.
- Musee de l'Orangerie: An art gallery of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings located in the west corner of the Tuileries Gardens next to the Place de la Concorde in Paris. The two oval shaped galleries with Monet's Water Lilies are spectacular. The kids can run in Tuileries Garden after the visit.
- Musée Rodin: (79 Rue de Varenne): Contains most of Rodin's well known creations, including The Thinker, The Kiss, and The Gates of Hell. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum's extensive garden. The gardens alone are worth the visit. We walked through the neighborhood to Musée d'Orsay from here.
- Centre Georges Pompidou (in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil, and the Marais): Even if you just go to ride the escalators it is worth it. We saw a great interactive show where images of our kids were projected on Paris cityscapes. From here you can head to the Marais (Picasso Museum if you are not too tired).
- Marais: So much to love about the Marais- in particular, the lifestyle store Merci (111 Boulevard Beaumarchais) where we always buy their signature necklaces as presents.
- Fondation Louis Vuitton: An art museum and cultural center sponsored by the group LVMH. Make reservations before you go. The building designed by Frank Gehry was like walking in a waking dream. Daniel Buren installed color panels around the exterior-- the translucent colors lit the entire interior- pinks, blues,oranges. We ate at the café which was not super remarkable except for their artful display of food. The Fondation is surrounded by a huge park where there is an old fashioned amusement park. Something for everyone.
- Eiffel Tower: Years back we did the Fat Tire tour, which was too long for my then six year old but it was thrilling to go to the top. This trip I went with my 13 year old at midnight to see it lit up-- it was a really cool experience.
Greet in French. More often than not you will be answered in English but interactions will be more pleasant.
Louvre if you are traveling with small children.