by Stéphanie Deroubaix
Traveling to Paris with kids is much easier when you have an itinerary. Whether you want to visit Disneyland or the Louvre, a little planning can go a long way! After spending five days in the city, I decided to compile a 5-day itinerary in Paris with kids to share some of the favorite places to visit in the city!
Day 1: Disneyland Paris Paradise
We spent our first day in Paris at Disneyland, which definitely takes the crown for being the biggest and best theme park in the vicinity of Paris. There are some experiences that words simply cannot do justice – kids and adults alike will never forget the first time they shook hands with Mickey Mouse or got a hug from Goofy. Disneyland Paris is divided into Disneyland and Disney Studios parks, which are both must-sees (to say the least!)
Day 2: Paris Aquarium and Sightseeing
Our second day began at the aquarium. What the locals call CinéAqua, tourists will know as Paris Aquarium – an attraction that recently underwent a complete and total overhaul, and in no way resembles its previous incarnation. What was once the Aquarium du Trocadero and the oldest aquarium in the world is now the CinéAqua, with cutting-edge multimedia installations and world-class attractions for children to explore.
1:00 PM: River Cruise/Bateaux Parisiens
Visit Duration: 1 hour.
We then decided to take a River Cruise up the majestic Seine and see Paris’s most famous sites from a new perspective. The cruise is included with a Paris Pass. From the water, it’s possible to see the bridges and monuments of Paris as you could never hope to from land. An informative historical and cultural commentary is available in English, and on-board guides occasionally take the microphone to inform Paris visitors about current events, exhibits, and festivals. The main Bateaux Parisiens pier is located close to the Eiffel Tower.
2:00pm: Champ de Mars
Visit Duration: 45 mins.
After the River Cruise, we went to The Champ de Mars, a large public green park located just between the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire. Perfect for families, The Champ de Mars is one of the best spots in Paris for picnics or just for hanging out. Kids are even allowed to walk on the grass, which is very unusual for Paris! The park also contains a playground.
3:00 pm: Eiffel Tower
Visit Duration: 1 hour, 45 mins.
From there, we walked to the Eiffel Tower, a must-see when staying in Paris and one of the most recognizable monuments in Europe. Over time it’s become a permanent part of Paris’s view, remaining in the hearts of Parisians as the symbol of the city, and providing visitors with the most beautiful view of the skyline during the evening. It’s possible to climb up the stairs as far as the third floor with kids. Going up to the top is only possible when using the elevator, however. You can reserve your ticket or book a guided tour online, which will skip the lines as well.
5:20 pm: Pompidou Center
Visit Duration: 2 hours.
The Pompidou Center is one of the most unique looking buildings out there. This museum of modern art hosts about six million visitors every year, strolling through hundreds of artworks created during the modern world. Kids will be wowed upon first sight of its exterior, and the inside has an activity area with an interactive screen that should keep them entertained for a while, too.
Day 3: The Louvre and Sightseeing
9:05 am: Louvre Museum
Visit Duration: 1 hour, 45 mins.
The Louvre Museum is the largest art museum in the world, and home for one of the finest art collections anywhere to be seen. Younger children may find it a little boring, but tweens and teens interested in art will definitely find something they like throughout the thousands of works on display. Plus, The Lourve is a must-visit one reason alone: getting up close to the Mona Lisa.
11:10 am: Notre Dame/Notre Dame de Paris
Visit Duration: 30 minutes. 21 minutes away from the Louvre.
Notre Dame is a historic cathedral on Ile de la Cite, known for its Gothic architecture. Kids may not be that interested in its history, but they will be wowed by the architecture. To make it more fun, you can play a game of “Eye Spy” with the statues on the facade. You’re also able to climb to the top of the stairs and view Paris from above, for an extra fee. Luckily kids under 17 can enter for free!
12:00 pm: Luxembourg Gardens
Visit Duration: 1 hour.
The Luxembourg Gardens are adjacent to what was one the Luxembourg Palace, home to France’s past monarchs. Here, children can enjoy the grounds by riding a ponies, sailing one of the toy boats, or going to the southern part of the garden, where they’ll find the urban orchards alongside the Rucher du Luxembourg (where honey is produced.) Plus, if you’re looking for a family photo, the famous Medici Fountain located within the gardens makes a perfect backdrop!
2:55 pm: Champs Elysees
Visit Duration: 1 hour
This long avenue is lined with the most prestigious and expensive stores in Paris. At the very beginning of the street, you’ll find the Place de la Concorde, an important site among Paris’s landmarks and attractions list. Though it’s mostly for show, families can also do some high-end shopping here. As it happens, Place de la Concorde Paris is also the largest square in the French capital.
4:00 pm: Arc de Triomphe – An iconic Paris site which is the world’s biggest and tallest triumphal arch
Visit Duration: 1 hour, 30 mins.
Inspired by Rome’s Arch of Titus, the Arc de Triomphe is located in Paris in the world’s largest traffic roundabout and is the biggest and tallest triumphal arch in the world – a fact sure to impress any child. Arc de Triomphe is located northwest from the Place de la Concorde in the middle of the well known and extremely busy “Place Charles de Gaulle.”
Day 4: Science Museum
10:25 am: Science Museum Kids/Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie – discover scientific principles through hands-on, multimedia
Visit Duration: 3 hours
The Paris Science Museum, officially known to the locals as Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, is the biggest museum of its kind in all of Europe, and in my opinion, one of the coolest in the whole world. Even without stepping inside, the remarkable and awe-inspiring steel and glass building it enough to spark wonder in kids and adults of all ages, as it has been doing since its opening in 1986. On the inside, the Paris Science Museum boasts a remarkable planetarium, an IMAX theatre, and areas dedicated to children and younger teenagers – known as the cite des
pm: Parc de la Villette – A huge park and site of several cultural venues
Visit Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
The Villette Park, also known as Parc de la Villette, is certainly not what you’d call your run-of-the-mill park, and for this reason alone is an absolute must-see when traveling to Paris. As opposed to the traditional definition, Parc de la Villette is instead an enormous expanse of cultural facilities such as the Musée de la Musique or the Philharmonie de Paris, alongside public sculptures and other installations. It’s all sprinkled throughout an array of meadow, playgrounds, and themed gardens, so kids can stroll and play to their heart’s desire.
3:35pm: Orsay Museum/Musee d’Orsay
Visit Duration: 2 hours.
The Orsay Museum is the second most visited museum in Paris, and should be paid a visit even if you have to miss all the other museums after the Louvre! It’s located in a beautiful renovated former train station that holds the world-famous collection of Impressionist and Postimpressionist Kids will be mesmerized by Monet’s Water Lillies, but it’s likely adults will enjoy the visit a bit more. Admission is free for the little ones, however.
Day 5: Picasso Museum
10:45 am: Picasso Museum / Musee Picasso
Visit Duration: 1 hour, 30 mins
We spent our final hours at the Picasso Museum. Located in a 17th-century mansion, it’s one of the most visited art museums in Paris, and definitely a must visit for any Picasso fans everywhere. It holds an impressive collection of Picasso’s 3, 500 works – including drawings, paintings, sculptures, and ceramics – that represent the changes he went through over the years, starting from the Blue Period and up to Surrealism. Give kids a bit of a backstory to get them interested, and when you arrive, you can purchase an audio tour that is specifically geared toward explaining the art to children. The Picasso museum also holds a sizeable private collection that Picasso owned and by which he was influenced, including paintings by Cezanne, Braque, and more.
Paris is a beautiful city and I’m glad to have once called it my home. I hope you’ve enjoyed my 5-day itinerary in Paris with kids!