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4-5 days in Paris

Hi all! My family of four (one boy and one girl ages 14 & 16) will be traveling from Ireland to Paris for 4 nights this June.

Arriving midday on a Monday and departing on the following Friday/Saturday.
1. We were thinking of renting an apartment (is this a good idea?) vs. hotel?
2. We need help planning an itinerary that our kids will enjoy as much as we will.

3. We enjoy architecture, walking, eating local foods, and travelling to places off the beaten path!

Would it be feasible to take a day trip somewhere and where would that be.

Any help would be very appreciated!

Posted by
2261 posts

With regards to renting, a lot of people see one full week as a minimum to make it worthwhile, and indeed many apartments are let on a one week minimum, though certainly not all. At issue is the time it takes to meet the apartment owner/manager, get oriented, pay final money due, if any, oh, and learn how to use the crazy washer-dryer common in so many rentals, though being in Ireland you may have an advantage there. When departing it is sometimes necessary to schedule another interaction with the owner/manager. With a hotel, albeit a quad room or two doubles, there is none of this time used up in that fashion. For simplicity and maximizing time for touring, I'd suggest a hotel, or perhaps one of the several "apart-hotels" in the city which are part hotel, and part apartment.

Posted by
7175 posts

At ages 14 and 16, it probably makes a huge difference if your teens are boys or girls. Passive cultural pursuits can be received quite well by girls at this age, but somewhat less so by boys.
You know your own offspring.

Posted by
7175 posts

It is best to give your teens some ownership.
I would suggest you take turns to choose 3 places each, making for 12 sights all up over 4 days. (Of course your youngest gets first pick). Then set about weaving together a workable plan, with perhaps some easy additions.

Posted by
8 posts

You will probably get a million suggestions about places to go and see. I've rented an apartment for a 2 week period the last three years in Paris, and though I am grandmother-age, I was a teacher and always look through a child's eyes. You are talking about teenagers, however, so it depends on their interests! Children of all ages have traditionally gone to the Luxembourg gardens and rented sailboats to float around the central pond - it is, for sure, simple but quite beautiful and something that would connect them to history and the day, while you just enjoy people watching. Be aware that there is almost no such thing as a picnic, and in most places you can't walk or sit on the grass unless you see the Parisians doing it. However, if you stroll down Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter, you will find all kinds of great shops, a feel of old Paris, and lots of Creperies where you can order a huge crepe at a window and walk down the street eating it, no problem. A word about the Eiffel Tower undertaking: unless you want to spend hours waiting in line, and experience the most crowded place in Paris, I don't think going to the top is worth it. It is tedious. I did do it on my third trip, feeling it must be done, but it was a huge time and patience drain. If they've been in high buildings before, this is not so different. Likewise, never mind trying to see the Mona Lisa - you have to fight to get anywhere near it, and you are fighting very determined tour groups who are all taking pictures but not really looking at it! Going over to Notre Dame at dusk, watching the lights come on, seeing the boats and reflections of light in the Seine is really beautiful and memorable. If they are into books, go to Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the Seine, and if they are artists, go into Sennelier very closeby where Picasso bought his art supplies. Those are my highlights!