When thinking about visiting Paris, France most people imagine romantic walks along the Seine, sipping coffee in a quiet café, fine dining, and spending long hours in art museums studying the world’s finest art. But for a child, this sounds like the worst vacation ever! Planning a family trip to Paris can be a daunting task in figuring out which activities the whole family would enjoy. With so much to see and do in Europe’s most famous city, where do you begin? To make things easier for anyone planning a trip to Paris, we have compiled a list of the top 5 activities that the whole family will love.
1. Catacombs (Catacombes)
Just 90 steps down a spiral staircase below Paris has you entering, “The Empire of the Dead.” In 1786 the French Government decided to free up valuable real estate around the city by emptying the cemeteries. Over the next few decades, priests led processions of carts loaded with the skeletal remains of nearly 6 million people outside the city to the new official ossuary. The location they chose was a former lime quarry, which had 65 kilometers of underground tunnels. The priests neatly stacked the bones, some artistically, and left a plaque from which church they had come from. The tour takes you along 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of the underground tunnels and you emerge far from where you started. While a bit creepy, this is guaranteed to be a hit for the whole family.
2. Sewer Tour (Les Egouts)
Ever wanted to see what happens after you flush the toilet? I bet your kids do. This one hour long tour takes you to the stinky underbelly of Paris. Paris has the world’s longest sewer system at over 2400 kilometers long and conveys around 317 million gallons of raw sewage daily. This tour is educational about the importance of modern sanitation and the history of the Paris sewer system. Plus, what kid doesn’t like talking about poop!
3. Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
The Eiffel Tower is the ultimate Paris icon. Built in 1889 for the World’s Fair and standing at 320 meters (1052 feet) tall, this attraction will impress everyone, especially your kids. When the Eiffel Tower was first built it was the tallest structure ever to have been built and offers amazing views of the city from the 3 viewing platforms. The first 2 levels are accessible by elevator or stairs, and your kids will most likely want to take the stairs, while the 3rd level at the summit is only accessible by elevator.
4. Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph) was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate his victory at the battle of Austerlitz. The monument was finished in 1836 and is the site of France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The arch itself is impressive, the history is interesting, but the excitement is at the top. The arch has 12 streets radiate out from it making it look like the center of a star. From the top you have an amazing view of Paris and you can watch the traffic whirl around the base of the arch. There is an elevator, but most kids enjoy taking the stairs and climbing the 284 steps to the top.
5. Luxembourg Garden (Jardin du Luxembourg)
This is without a doubt Paris’ most beautiful park. The park’s 60 acres are filled with an assortment of family friendly activities. From the beautiful palace, puppet shows, merry-go-round, pony rides, rentable toy sailboats, to enjoying a nice picnic, this park is a great place to spend the day. The park also has playground equipment and can be a great place to let your kids have the chance to play with other children.
We hope you found our Top 5 activities for families visiting Paris helpful. When looking for places to stay in Paris consider using Trivago to compare hotel prices and read reviews of hotels in Paris