Over the school holidays this summer I travelled to Paris with my kids (Olivia - 9yrs & Max 7yrs). During our four day trip, Paris captured our hearts and is now one of our favorite cities.
Here are our recommendations, all tried and test by us:
Eurostar is fast & comfortable from London (St Pancras Station) to Paris (Gare du Nord) travel time 2hr 15 minutes. We bought standard seats which honestly were perfect. There are so many great shops at London St Pancras Station: John Lewis, Hamleys, The White Company. Once you arrive at the Paris train station: Gare Du Nord Paris it is short taxi drive to all the main hotels. Once in Paris we Ubered everywhere and did not bother with the subway.
We stayed at the Westin Vendome, the hotel has a superb location opposite Jardin Tuileries which is a stunning park & playground. Our room was not huge but we were barely in our room, the bathrooms could do with a little sprucing up! If money was no object I would stay round the corner at The Ritz, mainly because I love this location especially for a short visit.
A short walk from our hotel is my favorite shopping street - Rue St Honore (3 min walk), Place Vendome for stunning buildings great for photos (3mins walk) Louvre museum (15 minute walk) through Jardin Luxembourg. I love walking as much as I can around Paris, each time I gasp at the architecture and landscape.
Here are a few of our favorite restaurants and less of a tourist trap. Paris restaurants are notorious for crappy service, despite your French fluency! Below are our favs”
Breakfast - Cafe Florre Eggs, Cappuccino & croissants!
Lunch - NOTE nearly everywhere will close service at 2pm or 2.30pm!
Maison Maison Overlooking the Siene. There is a cute kids play area next door.
Pizzeria Iovines delicious pizza, wine & salad. Round the corner from my favorite store Sezane.
There are boulangeries on most corners. One day kids & I just grabbed a-to-go quiche, baguette sandwich and carried on admiring Paris!
Hotel Costes: Perfect. Kid & adult friendly. Lovely setting and so easy for first night.
Note - Buy tickets in advance and allow time for security checks! We did not buy tickets in advance and in the red hot sun we queued for an hour for some sights but was well worth it!
Louvre - Beautiful! Kids loved the Mona Lisa but we also enjoy stunning setting, architecture and incredible curation of art. Admission free for kids!
Eiffel Tower - Magnificent! We loved so much, truly one of the most stunning monuments I have every seen. The views are spectacular, we all have our own interpretation of a city but I loved seeing Paris through my kids eyes! We bought tickets for the elevator up & down!
Notre Dame - Worth a visit, line moves super fast and is donation based! My kids recognized the the historiacal cathedral from the movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This was super quick visit for us!
Palais Garnier, Opera National de Paris - This was huge hit for all of us! They recognized this beautiful opera house from the movie LEAP, my kids remembered every scene from in Palais Garnier. Indeed an extraordinary building surrounded by the busy streets of Paris!
Jardin des Tuileries - This incredible public park links you to Louvre Museum from our hotel The gardens were designed by the same architect of gardens at Versailles . It has playgrounds and the kids loved it. It also had a small pop up fun fair for the summer months which was a huge hit in the evenings for my two! During the Christmas months they have a pop ice rink and winter fair.
Jardin du Luxembourg - Napoléon dedicated the 23 gracefully laid-out hectares of the Luxembourg Gardens to the children of Paris! Beautiful public park next to Luxembourg Palace, lots to do for the kids including playground and there is a pond in front of the palace where you can rent sail toy boats which they push round the pond using sticks! Cute kiosks selling ice-cream and coffee! Also a great place for a picnic!
Arch de Triomphe & Champs-Élysées - One of the most famous boulevards linking to the most famous Arch. We did a drive by which was fabulous to avoid the sea of people.
Le Bon Marche - Temple of Paris Department stores.
Monoprix - Target of France, we stocked up on reasonable toiletries and cheap chic clothes for kids!
Shop Rue St Honoré - My favorite shopping street. Isabel Marant, Bash, Goyard. These street is close to our hotel and Lourvre.
Louis Vuitton Place Vendome Flagship Store is worth visit for the history and stellar views of Place Vendome. The building was designed in 1714 by a Versailles architect which showcases Paris artistry at its best. The store is magnificent and you have endless options of their incredible collection. They have an artist onsite who can personalize your Louis bags.
Sezane - Gorgeous French collection which I covet online, so wonderful to view and buy their collection in their Paris store.
My family adore Paris and can’t wait to visit with Christopher.
Thanks for reading and sorry it took so long to write!