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Paris in April 2022 (Easter week) with 16 year old

I am planning a mother /daughter trip to Paris in April
2022. Looking for suggestions of what to do with a teenager (she will be 16) and possible itinerary suggestions . It is the week of Easter and the reason for my trip is a gift to my daughter for her 16th birthday . I have never been to Europe so I am both excited and nervous . We are coming from New York and arriving on a Thursday at 8 am. We will be staying for 8 days. I booked a room with a view of the the Eiffel Tower at Le Walt which is in the 7th district within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower . I am thinking about day trips to Versailles and the Loire Valley. Has anyone done any specific tours that they really loved ? I was considering a chocolate tour because my daughter loves sweets , especially macaroons . Thoughts on visiting the catacombs ? Ideas on what to do at night that a teen would enjoy . Trying to decide if taking a dinner cruise on our last night in Paris would be worth the money . It is pricey but looks beautiful! Would love to hear any suggestions from anyone who has been to Paris with teens. We will also be there for Easter so a little worried about crowds and what to plan for Easter Sunday as well as Easter Monday . I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences and suggestions . I have been saving my money and in lieu of a sweet 16 party , she chose a trip trip to Paris. I have 6 months to plan and I want it to be a special memory that my daughter never forgets .
Thank you all so much !

Posted by
1139 posts

Your daughter is 16. Have her Google things to do in Paris and let her pick some and you pick some. It's hard not to have an enjoyable trip to Paris.

Posted by
291 posts

We took a daytime cruise on the Seine soon after we arrived in Paris. It was a great way to get an overview of the city and would be less expensive than an evening dinner cruise. It was a beautiful narrated ride. We loved all of the bridges and sights on the cruise.

Posted by
7977 posts

Take the boat ride on the Seine on your arrival day. The breezes will keep you awake and you will be given a view and introduction of many of Paris’ monuments. We always do this!

Posted by
184 posts

Agree with others on the Seine cruise. I prefer dusk/night however, my Teenager loved it (I also went just with my daughter - was Oct 2018). My Daughter loved the Marais, going to top of Eiffel Tower, eating outside at cafes (food is big with a teen, and I found with my kids (I have 5, and have done 1 on 1 trips to Europe with each) that it depends on how adventurous they are). One thing I do with my kids is I give them a budget for shopping/spending, and they can use it on whatever they want. My daughter loved shopping in the Marais and bought a cool pair of sun glasses. With Teens, I limit indoor activities, unless bad weather. But I took my daughter to the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay, but planned only a few hours in each. In general, my daughters (I actually took my oldest to Paris as well a number of years ago)loved walking around, exploring, and getting into the vibe of Paris.

One other thing I always do, I teach each child 10 phrases before we go, and they need to use it on the trip. Simple things like thank you, please, where is the toilet, etc. I found this helped them get into the local spirit a bit more, and was fun.

Its difficult, as each child is different, but in general, go local, stay outside activities, limit Museums (unless they really like that them!), let them sleep in (better for both of you lol), and let them have a say on plans, etc.

Have fun!

Glenn

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for all of your responses. So fast and so helpful! Looking forward to reading more.
My daughter keeps saying its up to you Mom but she does want to see the Louvre museum but I agree on limiting the time inside at museums. I loaded the duo lingo app on both of our phones so we can practice and hopefully be able to speak a little French by the time we go. So thank you for that suggestion! I totally agree.
Shopping and food seems to be her number one priority! I guess that's normal for teen girls. Lol. That's why I asked about the chocolate walking tour and was wondering if anyone actually took any food tours that they'd really recommend. I love the idea of giving her an allowance for shopping. The seine river cruise is a must I think and I am leaning towards night since they say its the city of lights.
Love hearing people's personal experiences as opposed to what I read in books . It's a little overwhelming so I am very, very thankful for your suggestions . I know it will help me .

Posted by
8857 posts

I would advise against a dinner cruise. They are expensive and from what I understand the food is mediocre. Do a regular cruise instead. Bateaux Parisians and Vendettes de Paris are two companies that embark from the Eiffel Tower. My first 3 trips to Paris we did a cruise on our last night. Seeing Paris all lit up is quite a wonderful sight and it’s a nice way to end the trip. On our first trip to Paris we got passes for the batobus, a boat bus that has stops on both sides of the river. It’s like a hop on/hop off bus on the water. There is a stop by the Eiffel Tower and it would be a fun day to use the boat as transportation and also get to see Paris from the river during the day.

Versailles is an easy day trip. For the Loire you would probably have to do an organized tour from Paris to make the day worthwhile. I have a friend who did that and quite enjoyed it.

We took our daughter when she was 20 years old, so not quite a teen. Before the trip the two of us took a conversational french class (fun, but not totally necessary) and she learned how the metro works. We went to the Louvre, D’Orsay and Orangerie museums all in one day. It was a lot. Eight days will go by fast, but if you cram the days too full it will be like a forced march and things will blur together. Plan maybe one big thing per day and allow yourselves to wander a bit. Sit at a sidewalk cafe and people watch. For a special treat you could go to Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées for lunch or even just an afternoon break for macarons (not macaroons) or another of their very tasty desserts. See the Arc de Triomphe while you’re in the area. Climb to the top for a great view that includes the Eiffel Tower.

My husband an I are arriving on Easter 2022 for a one week stay. It will be my 7th trip. We are staying in an apartment just off Rue Saint-Dominique, very close to your hotel. I’m looking forward to hearing tips for how to spend that Sunday and Monday.

Have a wonderful trip making special memories with your daughter.

Posted by
63 posts

We loved our day trip to Vaux le Vicomte. It was the inspiration for the house and gardens at Versailles. We made it a long day and also went to Fontainbleau that day too. I actually enjoyed that day more than our day at Versailles. These chateaux have furniture in the rooms - which Versailles does not. We rented a golf cart to tour the gardens at Vaux le Vimcomte. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
184 posts

@ Andrea - My recommendation was for the Dusk/night Seine cruise - not the dinner cruise. The cruise on the Seine is an hour or so, and a lot of fun for teens - night was even better given the sights look cool.

Glenn

Posted by
804 posts

You have already received some very good advice. My granddaughter and I really enjoyed the nighttime boat ride on the Seine. It was just magical with all the pretty lights. It was a narrated tour pointing out all of the fabulous buildings and sites along the river. The company we used is called Vendettes de Pont Neuf.

https://www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/home/

We also visited a perfume “museum” called Fragonard to learn all about perfume and how to choose a scent that is personal to you. On the same day, we watched a wonderful fashion show at the department store, Galleries Lafayette. It was a lot of fun looking at the upcoming Spring fashions. There were about 8 models showing off all manner of outfits that were typical of what any Parisienne would wear daily. Not sure if the department store is still doing that but we had a real fun time.

The advice of others to have your daughter do some of the planning is excellent. Even if it is just a suggestion from her, you both will get more out of the trip with her input.

Whatever you do, I’m sure the trip will leave you both with fond memories. My granddaughter and I reflect often of our time in Paris, the beautiful city of light.

Posted by
4 posts

Wow! Thank you all again. These are all such great suggestions. I could not be happier that I posted this today. I will show this to my daughter and get her ideas as well. If anyone has ever gone around Easter, I would love to hear your experience. I am not booking through a travel agent. I booked air and hotel myself so all of these posts are helping me plan the rest. I think the Seine river cruise for sightseeing at night without dinner, is a great idea! I was reading some mixed reviews about the meal itself. So is the hop on and off boat, batobus. That sounds like fun and I hadn't seen that. I saw the hop on and off bus tour and wasn't sure if we should do that. Thank you all again! Much appreciated . And yes Andrea, it is macarons not macaroons. Oh boy, I have a lot to learn about France but thankfully 6 months to do so.

Be sure to involve your daughter in the planning. Although I'm comfortable with the Paris Metro I told our 15 year old she was in charge of metro navigation. She studied up online and never put a foot wrong although she was raised in the country and had never been on public transit in her life. She loved the ET and shopping on Rue Montorgeuil. Taking a Segway tour was another huge hit as was an electric bike tour.

I wouldn't take a bus tour to the Loire Valley. You're better off taking the TGV to Tours (centre) and taking a tour from the companies operating from in front of the tourist office. You'll spend a lot less time en route to the Loire and back (the scenery enroute is no big deal) and you'll likely save at least 100 euros.

Bon voyage!

Posted by
4 posts

I love the Segway tour idea as does my daughter! Thank you . Also, good to know about taking a train vs a bus if we do a day trip to the Loire Valley.

Posted by
8857 posts

@Glenn, the OP mentioned a dinner cruise and I was agreeing with you about not doing dinner, just a cruise.

There is an organization called Paris Greeters that I really enjoy. When we are there in April I plan to do our 5th walk. You submit an application a couple of weeks in advance with your dates and interests and they match you up with a volunteer. There is no requirement to accept any specific proposal. There is no cost to you, but you can choose to give a donation to the program. No tips allowed, but it’s nice to offer to buy a meal or drink for the volunteer. I’ve only been taken up on my offer once.

https://greeters.paris/en/

Posted by
28080 posts

Your daughter, and you, may enjoy a night-time driving tour around Paris by ancient Citroen Deux-Chevaux. The company https://2cvparistour.com/ 2CV Paris Tour has great photos on its website - yes you really can stand up with head and shoulders above the roof, like in the second picture, with the blue car.

I don't think that they are the same company I have seen before which used to pick up at Place des Vosges. Wow, if your daughter loves (window!!!) shopping she'd love the Place des Vosges. (or run a fundraiser first)

It isn't possible to run down all the fabulous places in Paris. You'll have a great time....

Here's another - https://www.parisinsidersguide.com/paris-2cv-tours.html

I'm sure somebody will remember the one which starts at Place des Vosges.

Posted by
3 posts

I'm in France right now with my sweet-toothed teenagers -- very generally speaking I'd advise researching whatever sweets she's into and heavily annotating a Google map (I use the green "Want to Go" for food and the yellow stars for shopping). That way, wherever in the city you happen to find yourself with a hangry or jet-lagged teenager, you can say, ''Oh hey, there's a place just up here with famous caramels (or falafel, or egg rolls or...)" and head off the grumpiness. Easter can be a bit tricky because many of the smaller places may close for a week before or after. So organize now but check to see if they've updated opening hours on Google, as you get closer. I was in Paris with my daughter for Easter a few years back and we ran into a number of patisserie/boulangerie closures. Anyhow, happy to give you suggestions as I am obsessed with sweets and spend the main part of my vacation planning where I'm going to eat. The Paris food scene is really changeable so what was hot in early 2020 may not be hot now, or may have closed up shop due to Covid.

For organized tours I recommend Secret Food Tours and Context Travel. Though not in Paris, earlier this year we did a bordeaux food tour with No Diet Club (https://www.nodiet.club/paris-food-tours) and it was pretty good. Heavy on food, but maybe a tad lighter on culture than I would prefer, though. They have a good selection of Paris tours (if we were hitting Paris this trip, I would defitely do the pizza tour with my 19yo). In January 2020 we did a Context tour focused on Paris during the Nazi occupation (my daughter is super into WW2 fiction). The guide (English guy with a PhD in history, concentration in WW2-era Paris IIRC) was great -- highly recommend -- though they have many other topics and guides. A bit pricey if I recall...? For a completely different way to see a museum, check out THATmuse (https://thatmuse.com/) -- my daughter still talks about how fun it was. Not a tour because you're on your own but you have tasks to complete which really make you look at the museum and the art in a different way, vs just checking the Mona Lisa and Winged Victory off your list and moving on with a herd. We did the Beauty and the Beast (or maybe it was beauty and the bestiary?) Louvre "tour" and the street tour as well, the non-competitive version. IMO don't bother with the Seine dinner cruise but definitely do the bateau-mouche on its own.

For evenings I had great success with circuses (not the animal kind), the ''spectacle'' at the Ecurrie of the Chateau of Chantilly (https://journees-des-plantes.chateaudechantilly.fr/fr/event/il-etait-une-fois-les-grandes-ecuries/), and somewhat randomly, a ballet and also the last Paris performance of the Queen musical. So plug your dates into the SortirAParis site and see what you come up with (generally I search on "spectacle"). There's always a ton going on in Paris whether it's little local things or huge international touring acts. If all else fails you can catch a movie in English at one of the zillions of theaters around.

Feel free to contact me -- I lived in Paris for a while and have been back several times with my daughter, and at the moment spending the fall in France with both kids and my husband.

Posted by
1204 posts

Several years ago we took our two kids (then aged 16 and 14) to Paris. They enjoyed the Eiffel Tower, the Montmartre area, the Louvre and Orsay Museums, Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle, and Versailles. They also liked wandering around and dropping into places of interest. When they started to get bored we moved to another site/place of interest. Have fun!

Posted by
48 posts

Berthillon ice cream! Extraordinary. Their original shop is on Ile St.-Louis, a great neighborhood to explore that's very near other areas you'll be likely visiting. Also available at many other cafes if you don't make it to the source.