Paris, the City of Light, is not only a romantic destination for couples but also a fantastic city for family holidays. With its iconic landmarks, charming streets, and rich culture, Paris offers a wealth of experiences for families to enjoy together. From exploring world-class museums and indulging in delicious pastries to taking leisurely boat rides on the Seine River, Paris has something for everyone. In this article, we will guide you through the top 10 destinations and attractions that make Paris a must-visit city for families seeking unforgettable adventures. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the beauty of Paris, and get ready to create cherished memories on your family holiday.
Overview of Paris
Paris, the capital of France, is a city that needs no introduction. Its allure as a global cultural hub, fashion capital, and culinary paradise has made it a must-visit destination for travelers of all backgrounds. In this guide, we will delve into the top 10 destinations that define the essence of Paris, from the iconic Eiffel Tower to the artistic treasures of the Louvre Museum.
Prepare to be enchanted by the beauty of the City of Light as we take you on a journey through its most beloved attractions and hidden gems.
Top 10 Best Destinations in Paris and Why They Are a Must-See
1. Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower: The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of Paris and a must-visit landmark for families. This towering iron structure, designed by Gustave Eiffel, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city from its observation decks. Families can take the elevator to the top or enjoy the journey up by climbing the stairs to the second level.
At night, the Eiffel Tower is illuminated with sparkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere that children and adults alike will cherish. You can also enjoy a meal at one of the tower’s restaurants while taking in the magnificent views.
- Consider visiting the Eiffel Tower during the daytime to appreciate its intricate ironwork.
- Purchase tickets in advance to avoid long queues, especially during peak tourist seasons.
2. Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum: The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum, and it’s a fantastic destination for families to explore. While it’s renowned for masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, the museum’s vast collection includes artworks from various cultures and time periods.
Families can embark on a treasure hunt within the Louvre, searching for famous artworks while engaging in educational activities designed for children. The museum also provides interactive tours and workshops tailored to young visitors.
- Plan your visit with a focus on the artworks and sections that will interest your family the most.
- Consider renting an audio guide or joining a family-friendly guided tour for an enriching experience.
3. Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral: The Notre-Dame Cathedral is not only a marvel of Gothic architecture but also a captivating destination for families. While the interior is currently closed due to restoration efforts following the 2019 fire, you can still appreciate its grand exterior.
Families can climb to the top of Notre-Dame’s towers for panoramic views of Paris, providing a memorable experience for children. Along the way, they can learn about the cathedral’s history and architecture.
- Arrive early to beat the crowds when climbing to the top.
- Explore the nearby Square René-Viviani, which features a charming playground and a relaxing garden.
Champs-Élysées: The Champs-Élysées is a famous avenue in Paris known for its luxury shops, theaters, and historic landmarks. Families can take a leisurely stroll along this iconic street, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere and taking in the city’s energy.
Near the western end of the Champs-Élysées, you’ll find the Arc de Triomphe, another Parisian landmark worth visiting with children. Families can climb to the top for panoramic views and learn about France’s military history.
- Stop at a sidewalk café for a snack or a meal and soak in the ambiance.
- Visit the Arc de Triomphe and take the time to appreciate its historical significance.
Montmartre: Montmartre is a charming and bohemian neighborhood that offers a delightful experience for families. While exploring its picturesque streets, families can visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, located at the neighborhood’s highest point.
Children will be enchanted by the artistic and cultural atmosphere of Montmartre, where street performers and artists create a lively environment. Families can also visit Place du Tertre to witness artists at work and even have their portraits drawn.
- Visit the Sacré-Cœur at sunset for a magical view of Paris.
- Explore the neighborhood’s unique shops and cafés, offering a taste of Parisian culture.
6. Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris: For families with children, Disneyland Paris is a dream come true. This magical theme park offers thrilling rides, live shows, and the chance to meet beloved Disney characters.
Disneyland Paris is divided into two main parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. Families can enjoy attractions like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the enchanting Sleeping Beauty Castle. The park also hosts parades and fireworks displays that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.
- Plan your visit in advance, and consider purchasing tickets online to save time at the entrance.
- Download the Disneyland Paris app to check ride wait times and schedule character meet-and-greets.
7. Luxembourg Gardens
Luxembourg Gardens: The Luxembourg Gardens, or Jardin du Luxembourg, provide a serene escape from the bustling city and offer family-friendly attractions. The gardens feature beautifully landscaped areas, including fountains, statues, and manicured lawns.
Families can enjoy activities like sailing miniature boats in the pond, exploring the playgrounds, and watching traditional puppet shows at the Théâtre du Luxembourg. Children can also take pony rides or simply run and play in the open spaces.
- Pack a picnic and enjoy it in the garden’s tranquil surroundings.
- Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Medici Fountain and the Luxembourg Palace.
8. Seine River Cruise
Seine River Cruise: A Seine River Cruise offers a family-friendly way to admire Paris’s iconic landmarks from the water. Whether you opt for a daytime cruise or a mesmerizing evening dinner cruise, you’ll have the chance to see famous sights like the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre Museum from a unique perspective.
Many cruise companies offer special family packages, complete with commentary suitable for children, making it an informative and enjoyable experience for the entire family.
- Choose an evening cruise to witness the city illuminated at night, creating a magical atmosphere.
- Opt for a guided cruise with informative commentary to engage children with the city’s history and landmarks.
9. Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles: The Palace of Versailles, or Château de Versailles, is a magnificent royal residence located just outside Paris. It’s an excellent destination for families to explore the opulent palace, its grand gardens, and learn about French history.
Families can take guided tours designed for children to make the visit engaging and educational. Exploring the Hall of Mirrors and witnessing the stunning musical fountain shows in the gardens are highlights for families.
- Plan a day trip to Versailles from Paris, and consider booking tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
- Check the schedule for the musical fountain shows, as they add a delightful touch to the visit.
10. Jardin d’Acclimatation
Jardin d’Acclimatation: The Jardin d’Acclimatation is a family-friendly amusement park located within the Bois de Boulogne park. It offers a wide range of rides, attractions, and activities suitable for children of all ages.
Families can enjoy attractions like carousels, a miniature train, and a petting zoo. The park also features puppet shows, pony rides, and a science and nature exploration area, making it an ideal destination for a fun-filled family day out.
- Check the park’s website for information on seasonal events and special activities for children.
- Plan to spend several hours exploring the park and enjoying its various attractions.
These top 10 destinations in Paris provide a diverse range of experiences that cater to families, ensuring that both adults and children can create lasting memories while exploring the City of Light. Paris’s unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment offers something for everyone, making it a captivating destination for family vacations.
Top 10 Attractions in Paris and Why They Are a Must-See
1. Musée d’Orsay
Musée d’Orsay: The Musée d’Orsay is a world-renowned museum located in a stunning Beaux-Arts railway station. It’s a treasure trove of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and families alike.
Inside the museum, families can discover an extensive collection of artworks by famous artists like Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and Renoir. The museum’s light-filled galleries provide the perfect setting to explore the evolution of art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
For families, the Musée d’Orsay offers engaging activities, workshops, and educational programs that cater to young art lovers. These experiences provide children with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the artworks on display.
- Check the museum’s website for information on temporary exhibitions and family-oriented activities.
- Consider visiting the museum during quieter hours to ensure a more relaxed experience for the family.
2. Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie: The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is a science museum that engages visitors of all ages with interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and immersive experiences.
Families can embark on a journey of discovery as they explore exhibits on topics ranging from astronomy and space exploration to biology and technology. The museum’s hands-on workshops and interactive displays encourage children to explore and experiment, fostering a love for science and learning.
The adjacent Parc de la Villette offers opportunities for outdoor exploration, picnics, and relaxation, making it an ideal complement to your visit to the science museum.
- Check the museum’s program for age-appropriate exhibits and activities for children.
- Plan to spend several hours at the museum to fully immerse yourself in its educational offerings.
3. Parc de la Villette
Parc de la Villette: Parc de la Villette is a vast urban park that offers a diverse range of outdoor activities, cultural events, and recreational spaces for families to enjoy.
Families can explore the park’s architectural wonders, including the striking Geode, an IMAX cinema, and the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. The park’s expansive lawns are perfect for picnics and outdoor games.
Throughout the year, Parc de la Villette hosts a variety of cultural events, including outdoor concerts, theater performances, and film screenings, providing entertainment options for all ages.
- Check the park’s event calendar to see if any special events or performances are scheduled during your visit.
- Bring a picnic and enjoy a relaxing meal on the park’s lawns while taking in the surroundings.
4. Palais de la Découverte
Palais de la Découverte: The Palais de la Découverte is an educational museum that sparks curiosity and fosters a love for science through interactive exhibits and live demonstrations.
Families can explore a wide range of scientific topics, including physics, chemistry, astronomy, and mathematics, through hands-on experiments and engaging displays. The museum’s dedicated sections for children offer age-appropriate activities and learning experiences.
One of the highlights for families is the live science demonstrations, where skilled educators perform captivating experiments that demonstrate scientific principles in action.
- Check the museum’s schedule for live demonstrations and plan your visit accordingly.
- Take advantage of the museum’s educational programs designed specifically for children and families.
5. Paris Aquarium
Paris Aquarium: The Paris Aquarium, located in the heart of the city, provides families with a captivating journey into the underwater world. It’s an ideal destination for children to learn about marine life and experience close encounters with various aquatic species.
Families can explore a range of themed aquariums, including tanks housing colorful fish, mesmerizing jellyfish, and even formidable sharks. The aquarium’s educational displays offer insights into marine conservation and the importance of protecting our oceans.
The Paris Aquarium also hosts interactive activities and feeding sessions, allowing children to interact with marine animals and gain a deeper understanding of their habitats.
- Check the aquarium’s schedule for feeding sessions and educational activities.
- Allow sufficient time to explore the various aquarium exhibits and learn about marine biodiversity.
6. Tuileries Garden
Tuileries Garden: Situated between the Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Garden is a tranquil and beautifully landscaped park that provides a serene retreat for families amidst the bustling city.
Families can enjoy leisurely strolls along tree-lined paths, admire the elegant fountains, and relax by the picturesque pond. Children can engage in classic Parisian pastimes like sailing miniature boats in the pond or enjoying rides on the traditional carousels.
The Tuileries Garden’s central location makes it a convenient spot to rest and recharge while exploring nearby attractions.
- Consider bringing a picnic to enjoy in the garden’s serene surroundings.
- Let children unwind with a visit to the park’s playgrounds and enjoy a classic Parisian outdoor experience.
7. Musée Grévin
Musée Grévin: Musée Grévin is a famous wax museum in Paris, offering families the unique opportunity to encounter lifelike wax figures of celebrities, historical figures, and beloved fictional characters.
Visiting Musée Grévin is like stepping into a world of artistry and imagination. Children can interact with their favorite historical personalities, sports heroes, and iconic film characters, providing memorable photo opportunities.
The museum’s carefully crafted exhibits showcase the art of wax figure creation, offering insight into the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into each figure.
- Allow ample time for exploring the museum and taking photos with the wax figures.
- Check the museum’s schedule for special events and exhibitions featuring new additions to the collection.
8. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont: The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a hidden gem among Parisian parks, offering families a picturesque escape with its stunning landscapes and unique features.
Families can discover hidden paths, cross charming bridges, and relax by the serene lake at the heart of the park. The park’s towering cliff, known as the Belvédère, offers panoramic views of the city, making it a rewarding destination for families who enjoy hiking and exploration.
With its playgrounds, walking trails, and picnic areas, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a perfect spot for a family outing and a peaceful retreat from the urban bustle.
- Bring a picnic and enjoy a meal with a view at one of the park’s designated picnic areas.
- Explore the park’s diverse flora and fauna, including its famous weeping willow tree.
9. Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine: The Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine is an educational institution where families can learn about the history of architecture in France through exhibits and interactive displays.
Families can explore architectural models, historical artifacts, and multimedia presentations that showcase the evolution of French architecture. The museum’s engaging exhibits help children and adults alike appreciate the artistry and innovation behind iconic buildings and structures.
The Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine also offers educational programs and workshops that allow children to explore their creativity and design their own architectural creations.
- Check the museum’s schedule for guided tours and family-friendly activities.
- Consider participating in workshops that provide hands-on architectural experiences for children.
Bateaux-Mouches: A Bateaux-Mouches sightseeing cruise on the Seine River offers families a captivating way to admire the iconic landmarks of Paris from the water.
These guided cruises provide an informative and scenic journey along the Seine, allowing families to view landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum from a unique perspective. The cruises typically feature multilingual commentary, making them educational and engaging for children.
Whether you choose a daytime cruise or an enchanting evening cruise, the Bateaux-Mouches experience offers a memorable way to see the beauty of Paris.
- Opt for a daytime cruise to appreciate the city’s landmarks in natural daylight.
- Choose an evening cruise for a romantic and magical experience as the city lights up.
These attractions offer a diverse array of experiences for families visiting Paris, from art and science exploration to outdoor relaxation and cultural immersion. Whether you’re interested in engaging with interactive exhibits, marveling at lifelike wax figures, or simply enjoying the beauty of Paris’s parks and gardens, there’s something for every family to enjoy in the City of Light.
Top 10 Festivals In Paris
Paris is a city known for its vibrant cultural scene, and it hosts a wide range of festivals throughout the year. Here are the top 10 festivals in Paris that offer unique and exciting experiences for both locals and visitors:
Bastille Day (Fête Nationale):
- Date: July 14th
- Description: Bastille Day is France’s national holiday, celebrating the French Revolution. The festivities include a grand military parade along the Champs-Élysées, fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, and various street parties and concerts throughout the city.
- Date: First Saturday in October
- Description: Nuit Blanche, meaning “White Night,” is an annual all-night arts festival. Paris transforms into an open-air museum with contemporary art installations, performances, and exhibitions scattered across the city, and many museums remain open all night.
Paris Jazz Festival:
- Date: June to July (Sundays)
- Description: Held at the Parc Floral de Paris in the Bois de Vincennes, the Paris Jazz Festival features a diverse lineup of jazz musicians from around the world. Concerts take place in a beautiful outdoor setting, allowing visitors to enjoy music and nature simultaneously.
Fête de la Musique:
- Date: June 21st
- Description: The Fête de la Musique, or Music Day, is a nationwide celebration of music. On this day, amateur and professional musicians perform in streets, parks, and public spaces, covering a wide range of musical genres. It’s a vibrant and festive atmosphere that fills the city.
Paris Fashion Week:
- Date: February/March and September/October
- Description: Paris Fashion Week is one of the most prestigious events in the fashion industry. It features haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion shows by renowned designers and brands. While the shows are primarily industry-focused, the city comes alive with fashion events, parties, and pop-up shops.
- Date: July
- Description: Paris Cinema is an international film festival that showcases a wide variety of films, including premieres, classics, and independent cinema. Screenings take place at various venues across the city, and it’s an excellent opportunity to explore Paris’s cinematic heritage.
Festival d’Automne à Paris:
- Date: September to December
- Description: The Festival d’Automne à Paris is an annual arts festival that encompasses theater, dance, music, and visual arts. It presents innovative and experimental performances by international artists, making it a hub for contemporary culture.
Nuit des Musées:
- Date: May
- Description: The Nuit des Musées, or Night of Museums, is an event where museums across Paris stay open late into the night, offering free or discounted admission. Visitors can explore the city’s rich cultural heritage under the cover of darkness.
Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain:
- Date: Late January/Early February
- Description: This international circus festival showcases the talents of young circus performers from around the world. The event features acrobatics, juggling, aerial acts, and clowning, providing a thrilling and family-friendly experience.
Paris LGBT Pride (Marche des Fiertés LGBT):
- Date: June
- Description: Paris’s Pride parade is a celebration of LGBTQ+ rights and diversity. The colorful and lively parade winds through the city streets, accompanied by music, dance, and vibrant costumes. It’s a joyful event that promotes equality and inclusivity.
These festivals in Paris offer a diverse range of cultural, artistic, and entertainment experiences throughout the year, ensuring that there’s always something exciting happening in the City of Light. Whether you’re interested in music, art, fashion, or simply celebrating French culture, there’s a festival in Paris for everyone to enjoy.
Top 10 Best Destinations in Paris Summary
Paris offers an enchanting blend of history, culture, and entertainment, making it an ideal destination for unforgettable family adventures. From iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum to charming neighborhoods and family-friendly attractions, the city provides endless opportunities for exploration and fun. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Paris, indulge in delicious cuisine, and create lasting memories with your loved ones. Whether you’re strolling along the Seine River, exploring world-class museums, or enjoying the magic of Disneyland Paris, the city will captivate the hearts of both children and adults alike. So, plan your family holiday to Paris, embrace the joie de vivre of the city, and embark on an unforgettable adventure with your loved ones.
Jake is an avid sports enthusiast with a passion for both travel and adventure. Jake seeks new cultures and experiences whilst travelling with his young family and trying keeping on budget.