Le Meurice, Paris
Le Royal Monceau
Le Bristol exterior
Le Bristol pool
Le Royal Monceau
Paris is for lovers. And,believe it or not, luxury family holidays. With its beautiful parks, fantastic museums and general "joie de vivre," Paris serves as a wonderful destination for families. There’s far more than Disneyland to keep the little ones happy here (though they adore it, of course) with the countless merry-go-rounds and old-fashioned puppet shows to specially designed kid-themed attractions. And with many of the city’s finest hotels and restaurants going out of their way to cater for children, parents can still enjoy all the luxury and glamour that Paris has to offer.
Banke Hotel Paris
What was once, literally, a bank is today the Banke Hotel Paris, a stunning and very luxurious family favourite in the heart of the City of Lights.
What was once a bank in an ornately classical building in the heart of the French capital's Haussmann quartier is, today, a luxury Parisian hotel with 91 rooms. The Banke Hotel Paris retains some very cool features from the original bank such as the counters which now fringe the bar and restaurant but the overall...Baby-friendly / Pre-Teen friendly / Summer Sun / See this Hotel & Book »
Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris
Philippe Stark interiors, an ideal location and the fantastic Le Petit Royal children's program make Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris the perfect Parisian pitstop.
Given that this seriously chic hotel is in Paris, one expects a certain pomp and Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris more than delivers. To start with, the entire interior (including the all white Clarins spa) is designed by Philippe Stark. The 1940's and 1950's inspired interiors, never more flamboyant and fabulous than...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Terrass Hotel Paris
Terrass Hotel Paris is a bourgeois escape in bohemian Montmartre.
Set above the city on Montmartre, this four-star Terrass Hotel Paris offers sweeping views of the city's skyline and, most importantly, of the Eiffel Tower. There are spacious suites and adjoining rooms for families with children. Its airy location allows most of its rooms to offer breathtaking views over Paris. All...Baby-friendly / Pre-Teen friendly / Summer Sun / See this Hotel & Book »
Victoria Palace Hotel Paris
The Victoria Palace Hotel is a Parisian classic in stylish Saint Germain.
The Victoria Palace Hotel Paris is situated in the swanky 6th arrondissement of Paris; this elegant address oozes style with its charming French interiors and elegant surroundings. But behind that old-world façade, you’ll find every modern convenience as well as a friendly staff willing to go above and beyond to...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Le Bristol in Paris is an opulent 8th Arrondissement favourite.
One of the most famous luxury hotels in Paris, Le Bristol is popular with celebrities, and you may even recognise its lavish interiors from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. But here, even the youngest guests get the star treatment with an array of family-friendly goodies...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Le Meurice lays on royal treatment right in the heart of Paris.
Known as ‘The Hotel of Kings,’ this celebrated five-star hotel goes the extra mile to ensure that children enjoy their stay as much as their parents. Le Meurice is ideally situated on the Rue de Rivoli in the 1st Arrondissement, between the Concord and the Louvre, just opposite the beautiful Tuileries...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
109 Rue Vieille du Temple
Located in the Marais district of Paris, Breizh Café is a traditional Breton crêperie that is sure to please even the fussiest eaters with is wide choice of fillings. The savoury galettes, (buckwheat crêpes) make for a simple, yet satisfying dinner when filled with cheese, meat or vegetables. Grown ups can enjoy a requisite cup of cider with their meal and children will marvel over the dessert menu with its all tempting sweet filling and toppings.
226 Rue de Rivoli
Those after proper tea and cake must try Angelina in Paris at least once. When in the French capital, don’t forget to observe the sacred heure du goûter, or snack time, when it’s perfectly acceptable for both the young and young at heart to indulge in a mid-afternoon treat. For something special, head to Angelina tearoom, where you’ll find some of the finest cakes and pastries, as well as the best hot chocolate, around – an ultra rich chocolat à l’ancienne. Breakfast or Brunch at Angelina is also a popular choice. The set menu comes with a hot drink, choice of eggs, and a selection of Angelina’s wonderful delicacies.
16-18 Rue Gaillon
Cafe Drouant is a historic restaurant offers young diners a haute-cuisine experience with an inexpensive kid’s menu, which includes three child-sized courses and even an alcohol-free aperitif. Meanwhile, celebrated chef Antoine Westermann will regale adult diners with his widely acclaimed hors d’oeuvres and unique take on classic French cuisine. The set lunch menu is a particularly good option.
Cafe Drouant Paris dish
Le Petit Bofinger
5-7 rue de la Bastille
Often cited as the most beautiful brasseries in Paris, Bofinger is a Belle Epoque legend. The menu includes traditional brasserie fare with a heavy Alsatian influence, as well as excellent seafood options. Located across from the original restaurant, Le Petit Bofinger offers the same great food, albeit with a more limited menu, in a more relaxed, family-friendly setting. There’s a children’s menu and smaller portions for young dinners.
You don’t have to pass up on Paris’ cultural highlights to keep the kids entertained – many of the city’s famous museums include special attractions for younger visitors and the added bonus of shorter queues for those with children. The Centre Pompidou, Paris’ modern art museum, offers special workshops for young visitors. Older kids will enjoy the Louvre, with its fine collection of mummies in the Egyptology section.
Jardin de Luxembourg
All around the city, you’ll find plenty of green spaces for the children to run off any excess energy (or the sugar rush from all those tempting French treats). Paris’ largest park is the Bois de Vincennes where you’ll find boating lakes, a baseball field and even a small farm. The Jardin de Luxembourg is excellent for families as there you’ll find everything from puppet shows to ice cream stands, Pony rides to sandpits. The playground does seem to incur an entrance fee.
Jardin des Plantes
Tucked away in the Jardin des Plantes, the Menagerie is another toddler-sized treasure. Small enough for short attention spans, children will be so fascinated by the inhabitants of the monkey house that only the thought of brightly coloured parrots, flamingos, kangaroos and red pandas in the zoo will tempt them away.
Canal St Martin
A walk along the Seine is one of Paris’ big pleasures, but head a little further out of the centre and you’ll find somewhere most tourists miss. The Canal St Martin is known as one of the city’s trendy areas, but it’s also home to a lot of families. So as you wander the waterfront with a buggy, you’ll not only feel like you’re experiencing real Parisian life, you could spot anything from a game of petanque to a tightrope walker on the way.
Cruise the River Seine
A cruise on the River Seine can be a fun way to discover the city and most come with informative audio guides. The hop-on-hop-off busses also offer and easy way to get around and take in the beautiful architecture without wearing out the kids.
Carousels, crepes, farm animals, a puppet theatre and a playground – even the entry to the Jardin d’acclimatation is child heaven. Take the ‘petit train’, complete with buggy trailer, from Porte Maillot metro into the garden itself and, you’ll find rides and activities galore for children.
Centre Pompidou and the Stravinsky Fountains
With all its fantastic museums and some great child-friendly activities and exhibitions, you needn’t pay a single entry fee to see some of the city’s most accessible art. In the square behind the Centre Pompidou – itself a great stop for slightly older kids – are the Stravinsky fountains, with bright bold sculptures. Adults can appreciate the designs based on the composer’s works; toddlers will love the primary colours and quirky shapes, as well as the water splashing around them.
For medical emergencies, dial 15 from any phone. For fire services the number is 18 and dial 17 for the police. Health care is not free in France, so be sure to take out insurance before you travel. Located on the outskirts of town, the private American Hospital (01 46 41 25 25), offers English-speaking practitioners and excellent care facilities, although more expensive than other local hospitals. The Hertford British Hospital (01 46 39 22 22) is a more affordable option for English speakers. If it’s not an emergency, pop into your local pharmacy, where they can advise you on medicines or even call a doctor on your behalf.
When to go
“Paris is always a good idea”, in the words of Audrey Hepburn, but if you’re travelling with children, you may be limited to the school breaks. Try to avoid late July and August, when the French go on holiday en masse and many places close for annual leave. During the spring and autumn months, you’ll usually find less crowds, pleasant weather and far better deals on travel and hotels.