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What to do on first day in Paris with teenagers

Hello - I am taking my two teenage daughters to Paris (for their first time, my second) in February. We land early in Paris, so will have almost a full day to explore on our arrival day. I don't want to do any major sightseeing, but would rather be outside simply exploring (and beating jet lag) and introducing my girls to the magic of Paris. We are staying on Rue Cler, so we will start our adventure by getting oriented to that neighborhood, but where to go from there? Was thinking we'd walk down to Champ de Mar, check out the Eiffel Tower, then maybe hop on the 69 bus for a cheap orientation tour of Paris, then meander through the Marias.

Any other suggestions?

Posted by
8139 posts

I'd ride the Metro to the Trocadero Station arriving just before dark--if it's a clear evening.
Come up the escalator and the Eiffel Tower is down the hill and across the river from you--towering far, far over you.
When those strobe lights start blasting off, the view is simply breathtaking.

Posted by
13932 posts

Yes definitely walk along Rue Motte-Picquet toward the Ecole Militaire (military school where Napoleon studied!) and then turn down Champ de Mars toward the Tower. If you are hungry after you drop your bags I’d eat first before you set out. I’d actually walk back along the Seine toward d’Orsay, the Louvre and Notre Dame instead of taking the bus if the weather is pleasant.

What day of the week will this be?

I’d probably save the Marais until another day but if it’s a Sunday that might change things.

I’d probably do part of Rick’s Ile de Cite walk and cut thru Place Dauphine on the way to Notre Dame.

Posted by
52 posts

We arrive on Sunday, and I remember the Marais being pretty vibrant on Sundays. They love boutique shops so that they would enjoy that experience.

Posted by
13932 posts

Yes, it is. Everything is open and there is lots of activity.

Posted by
2299 posts

hey matt
how fun for dad to take his girls to paris, they will love it. dress warm. couple things you can check out: withlocals.com the princess private tour, a walk in montemarte with local artist, best of paris on a unique ride and other things. paris-walks.com. tuktukinparis does some tours which is nice in case your "paws"
get sore from walking. angelina's on rue rivoli for hot chocolate and a nice array of pastries. take them to le souffle on rue de mont thabor near place de la concorde or la cuisine de philippe on rue servandoni near luxembourg gardens for dessert souffles. the girls will love when the eiffel tower starts sparkling, if going to top buy your tickets early. couple years ago i went on a mission with a few friends which restaurant had the best french onion soup and creme brulee, ot was a tourist thing. had a lot of fun. enjoy
aloha

Posted by
4823 posts

...thinking we'd walk down to Champ de Mar, check out the Eiffel Tower...

Very good idea. We've found the more time spent outdoors in the light and fresh air the less the long term effects of jet lag. On Sunday there are also other parks / gardens that come to mind such as Luxembourg Gardens and Tuileries Gardens.

Posted by
2109 posts

Your plan for the first day sounds good.

If you can swing it, I highly recommend an evening tour of Paris in the iconic Citroen 2CV. Take this another evening when you're not as jet lagged.

Wait until 8:00, that way traffic will be better. We took the 2 hour tour, which was just right. We went in December and bundled up. In February if it is not freezing and you're hardy, it would be great fun! It will be cozy with three. They also offer tours in the classic Peugeot 504, but it is pricier.

Posted by
1103 posts

On one of our trips to Paris, we went to the Pere Lachaise cemetery on our arrival day. It was interesting but not too taxing, and it was nice to be outdoors.

Posted by
2252 posts

I will be taking my two oldest granddaughters to Paris next summer so I thank you, Matt, for posting the question and also all those who gave such terrific answers! Lots of great ideas here.

Posted by
2109 posts

On one of our trips to Paris, we went to the Pere Lachaise cemetery on our arrival day. It was interesting but not too taxing, and it was nice to be outdoors.

This is a great suggestion. The cemetery is gorgeous and easily reached by Metro. We spent a wonderful autumn morning wandering through the grounds. We saw Chopin's grave, but ran out of time before visiting Oscar Wilde's grave.

There's a very nice café just outside the gates where we had lunch. We had already put down our "touristy" bags by the time the waitress arrived at our table. I greeted her with a cheerful "bonjour" and she began to rattle off the lunch specials - in French. I did my best to keep up, but my confused expression gave me away. She laughed and said "OK, now in English!". I was flattered we weren't immediately recognized as tourists.

Posted by
362 posts

I like your plan as well with adding stops for refreshments at a few cafes along the way. May I suggest a crepe, crossaint, warm chocolate milk.