Tips for Visiting Paris with Babies, Toddlers and Kids

Traveling to Paris with kids can be a wonderful experience for everyone in the family. Not only is there lots to do and see for all ages, but crepe stands, toy stores, and wonderful playgrounds make the city an easy destination.

More Information On DeliciousBaby:
Paris With Kids City Guide
Books and other Resources To Help You Plan Your Trip

Emergency Numbers

SAMU (Ambulance): 15
Police: 17
Fire Department: 18
SOS Medecin (doctor house calls): 01 47 07 77 77
SOS English Language (3pm-11pm): 01 46 21 46 46
Children's Emergency: 08 00 05 12 34

Where to Stay
We prefer to stay in the 6th, close to the river. This location is fairly central, making it easy to walk most places and has a nice mixed residential and retail feel. Families might also enjoy staying close to the Luxembourg Gardens, in the Marais or close to the Louvre.

Paris also has lots of vacation rental companies, and you can find apartments throughout the city. We prefer apartments to hotels because they give you a little more space, a washing machine, and a kitchen. If you are staying for a week or more, prices can be very reasonable in comparison to a hotel.

Young children are welcome in most hotels, and some luxury hotels go out of their way to make their stay special. Hotel rooms are small, so make sure that you find out how big your room will be before reserving, and look for a hotel with larger rooms. If you need a crib, ask which size room is required (some hotels require an upgraded room).

Getting to and from the Airport
We had a good experience with Airport Connection Shuttle Services They provided a minivan, car seat, and courteous driver for our trip to and from the airport. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend Paris Airport Service which provided a driver who refused to allow us time to install our car seat properly, drove recklessly (chasing after another driver and shouting obscenities, and more. When contacted repeatedly for comment, the company did not respond to our email messages.

Getting Around Town
Paris is an incredibly walkable city, and the fact that it's mostly flat with wide sidewalks makes it easy to get around with a stroller. Be aware, however, that most subway stations do not have elevators or escallators, meaning that you'll be carrying that stroller up and down stairs. People often offer to help carry the stroller if you're on your own.

With older kids, it would be fun to use the Velib Bike Rentals located around the city. Short term subscriptions are available for tourists at a very reasonable cost (1 euro per day at this writing) and you can pick up a bike at one location and drop it at another.

In our experience, a good map is indispensible when we’re travelling with the kids. We simply cannot afford to spend time wondering where some small street is that’s not represented on the tourist map. For Paris, we love Michelin’s Paris Par Arrondissements

Baby food is available in most supermarkets, with better markets (such as Le Bon Marche) and organic markets ( Naturalia) carrying organic baby food. It’s fun to see how different cultural ideas about what’s healthy impact the baby food selection!

Formula is available in pharmacies, though lactose free and soy based formula may be difficult to find and expensive, so if your child needs special formula, you might want to bring it from home. While you're visiting the pharmacy, check out all the options for clearing baby noses! Our favorite is the saline solution packaged in individual-use sizes. No more throwing away an entire bottle when it gets dirty. We also loved the variety of baby soaps and had fun trying something new.

Few restaurants have high-chairs and tables are very close together. We often ate in sidewalk cafes where we could place the stroller alongside our table.

Baby Gear
Diapers and wipes are available at most supermarkets and pharmacies. We found good prices at Monoprix.

Babysitting agencies also rent cribs, strollers, and other gear. Here are some well-known companies:

Kid Services
75, Bd Pereire
75017, PARIS
01 47 66 00 52
fax: 01 42 67 76 88

Many museums allow children under 18 in free and most will allow families with stroller age children to skip the entrance line. Check the weekly entertainment guides (such as Pariscope) for special children's programs.

Museum passes may not be a great deal for families with children. While they'll enable you to skip the lines, you generally need to be able to visit more than one museum per pay to make them pay off. We recommend booking your museum tickets in advance instead. Often you can find advance booking options on the museum website. FNAC Spectacles sells tickets to many popular attractions (including the Louvre and the Orsay) and you'll be able to pick up your tickets at any FNAC store.

For a listing of upcoming events for children and families, visit ParisInfo's Paris With Kids

Related Links:
Paris With Babies, Toddlers and Kids City Guide

Guidebooks, Children's Books, Maps and Toys to Help You Plan Your Trip