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Need help grouping our sight seeing stops in Paris.

We have a little over 2.5 days in Paris and I’m trying to be efficient with our time, so would welcome thoughts on how to group our sight-seeing. Wife and I have been to Paris a few times and have seen a lot of the sights, but it was years ago. We are bringing our kids for their first trip (ages 13, 10, 9), so we want them to get a flavor of the city. The goal isn't to see everything -- I hope the kids will come back to see more when they can. We are staying in the Latin Quarter, very close to the river, so we are centrally located.

Here is what I have on the list to visit:
1. Notre Dame (and the island where it’s located). I wasn’t planning to climb to the top, but could be talked into it.

2. Sainte-Chapelle
3. Louvre – We plan to spend about 2 hours here, at most 3 hours. Kids will lose patience after that.

4. The gardens around the Louvre
5. We are taking professional family photos at 8am (sunrise) the 2nd morning at the Trocadero. We will be done by 10:00am. I’m am guessing after an hour or more looking at the Eiffel tower, the kids may not feel strongly about going up it. At least, that’s what happened last year in front of the Roman Colosseum. We will be there for sunrise, so if we go up the tower I think it would be nice to go at sunset.

6. Sacre Coeur/ Montmartre – Not a must visit, but a nice to have. Wife and I haven’t visited this in prior trips
7. Galeries Lafayette/roof top – Not a must either, but it looks cool, and we haven’t seen it in prior trips. We would only go if it on our way from other stuff.

8. Luxumburg Garden – also not a must, but it’s close to our apartment, so if we have time. I realize it’s autumn, so maybe not ideal gargen visiting time.

9. Montparnasse tower? If we don’t do the Eiffel Tower or climb Notre Dame, I thought we should go to the top of something. Not a must -- only if we don't go to the top of something else.

What we plan not to do --
• Additional museums beyond the Lourve – I think the Lourve hits the kids art quota for 2.5 days.

• Catacombs – that would freak them out
• Versailles – We are heading to Loire after Paris, so they will see lots of other chateaus, even if they aren't as grand as this one

Any logistical advice on which things to do and in which order? Have I missed something great that the kids would love?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
4749 posts

We took our kids to Paris last fall. My husband and I had previously spent time in Paris and I have lived in France. Our focus was on the kids’ wants.

  1. Buy the museum pass to save yourself time at the entry points. You can use it for several places you’ve listed.

  2. We turned our Louvre visit into a scavenger hunt, having the kids find 3 items in the museum. We loved taking a selfie of people taking selfies with the Mona Lisa.

  3. We visited a lot of bakeries.

  4. For a view, go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe at night to see Eiffel Tower sparkle.

  5. My kids’ favorite thing was taking the Pont Neuf boat down the Seine at night. The next best thing was watching the amazing acrobat at Sacre Coeur.

Posted by
40 posts

Thanks Emily. Can you please tell me more about "amazing acrobat at Sacre Coeur?" Where can I find that

Also -- A boat ride on the Siene is on the list, if we have time.

Posted by
1944 posts

hi aaron
Check withlocals.com, has few family friendly things for kids, under 10 is free. Think the one with a ride with julian for 2 hours thru streets and alleys in a golf cart with picnic at park for ending. Your kids will love it. Probably you too. No tired feet from walking so much. Have fun and enjoy
aloha

Posted by
2163 posts

Firstly, congratulations on what you have decided to miss: the Catacombs and Versailles. With only 2 full days, you really do not have time. Musée d´Orsay would probably be more tangible for your children but do not waste your money on a Musuem Pass for just going to le Louvre and Sainte Chapelle. Lines at Sainte Chapelle are minimal this time of year and if you just purchase Louvre tickets from their website, you can use the same entrances as do pass holders (and skip the ticket lines) and save money. Your children get in free and they can enter with you at the pass holder´s entrances.

There is a company that does special museum tours just for kids. You might want to contact ThatLou for pricing.

Procedures for the tower entrance at Notre Dame have changed and you will need to download a special app and check in at the entrance for an access time. I would definitely go inside Notre Dame, which is free of course, but with the other lookout ideas you have, I might skip climbing the tower.

You probably should visit Luxembourg garden, it´s maintained year around. Have your children find the Statue of Liberty, (it´s in the southwest quadrant of the park).

Check on the lines at the Eiffel Tower when you are there. If you can go up, do so. It´s something that your children will never forget.

You can never ride the river boats too often. I prefer Vedettes du Pont Neuf which should be near to where you are staying and they offer reduced tickets when purchases are made from their web site.

One thing you should not miss is to take your children to a crêperie. There are a number along rue d´Odessa and rue du Montparnasse just to east of the Montparnasse tower. Crêperies are inexpensive, a lot of fun, and you rarely need a reservation. My favorite crêperie is Plougastel on rue du Montparnasse in the 14th arrondissement but there are many others.

Surrounding the Jardin des Plantes in the 5th, there are a number of museums which children find fascinating. The Paleontology museum is one. The Grande Galerie de l´Evolution is another. You might want to take a look.

Sounds like a great trip.

Posted by
129 posts

If you go to D’Orsay, pop into Deyrolles. Children should find interesting. The Egyptian section at the Louvre as well. On Ilse St Louis, behind Notre Dame, I suggest ice cream at Berthillon, (the sit in restaurant not, from a street front). Have fun!