Do you want to take your family on a trip to Paris? Use the following tidbits (from a mom who learned the hard way) to help you make your trip more enjoyable.
Try to make your Parisian vacation a week-long excursion at the least. There is so much amazing art and architecture to see as well as just enjoying the Parisian lifestyle. It’s difficult to do either when you’re rushed.
If you’re traveling with children, elderly, or physically disabled loved ones, be warned that most places in the city are not handicap accessible. We eventually got brave and became pros at using the stroller on the escalators in the subway system.
In the same line of thinking, we noticed that the majority of restaurants where we ate did not cater to children. (no high chairs or kids’ menus) Please note: we stayed away from touristy restaurants, so perhaps you’ll find more kid-friendly options if you opt for establishments that cater to Americans and other tourists.
The parks are great places for kids. But be warned, they are not the uber-safe type of set-up you’ll find back in the states. They are not fenced in with gates (for the most part) and the equipment can be exhilarating for the kids, but a bit anxiety-provoking for the parents. I highly recommend the trampoline park across from the Louvre.
Plan some time into your itinerary to make use of the gardens. They’re free, beautiful, and all over the city. What a great way for the kids to stretch their legs.
It can be easy to get lost in Paris (although we did just fine by paying attention to our map(s) and the subway stops). I recommend memorizing the address of your accommodations (in French) before you even arrive in the city. Another useful trick is noting/memorizing what major attraction is nearest to the place you’re staying. Our closest subway stop to the apartment we were renting was the Bastille. So as long as I could ask for help to get there, then I could find my way back home from any part of the city.
Learn some key french phrases before you go, such as asking for the nearest restroom and hospital.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when thinking about taking your family to Paris. I hope you go; you won’t regret it.