All You Need to Know: Where to Stay in Paris with Kids
Here, we're sharing the very best neighbourhoods in the City of Light for families. From parks and gardens to peace and quiet, there's something to suit everyone's taste on this list.
Although Paris is touted as the romance capital of the world, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to travel as a family – far from it, in fact. The French capital and France in general is well-equipped for children of all ages, from fractious toddlers to cool-seeking teenagers. Picture Paris as a snail. (If your toddlers are as fascinated with crustaceans and molluscs as most are, then this fact is sure to capture their imaginations.) The city itself is laid out in a spiral design, and divided into neighbourhoods which are known as arrondissements. With so many to choose from, picking which arrondissement is right for you and your family can be a little overwhelming, so we here at Plum Guide have taken care of that for you with this guide to where to stay in Paris with kids.
Map of Paris split into arrondissements
When you’ve got children in tow, you don’t want to be spending a lot of time getting from place to place. Those miniature attention spans are short and precious. Saint-Germain-des-Prés is where to stay in Paris with kids if you still harbour fantasies of living in a drafty garret while working on your novel. With plenty of buzzing shops, boutiques and cafes, its lively atmosphere will keep children engaged and thrill older travellers. The lush lakes and palm trees of the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg are perfect for running off some steam. In terms of where to stay, you’re spoiled for choice, with myriad luxury Paris holiday rentals in this part of the country.
Again, le Marais is incredibly central, but what makes it a great place to stay in Paris with kids is the culture and space that’s here. This area is spread across the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. With many beautifully kept parks and the river within arm’s reach, the Place de Vosges is a green highlight. The recently refurbished Musée Picasso will keep children quiet as they try to count the number of abstract faces they can see. Notre Dame and the Louvre are both within walking distance, so even if your darlings throw a tantrum in front of the world-famous cathedral, it won’t be a long walk home.
The biggest selling points about staying in the 1st arrondissement from the point of view of your children are the playgrounds in the Tuilleries gardens. Sit and watch them play while entertaining fantasies that they’ll become effortlessly bilingual. Teenagers will love the shopping here, so be prepared to bring your credit card to Rue Saint Honoré, Place Vendôme and the Les Halles district. The Louvre is the heart of this district, so you can spend a day teaching the bambinos how to pull a face just like the Mona Lisa before returning to your very own pick of the luxury short term apartments in the French capital.
Parents after a quiet, peaceful option when looking for where to stay in Paris with kids should consider the 12th arrondissement. On the outer east side of Paris, it’s far removed from bustling tourists and high central city prices. Even better is the ample green space in the close by Bois de Vincennes, with play areas, football pitches and horse riding. The Paris Zoo can also be found here, so your little monkeys can make friends with the other animals. The 12th arrondissement is also on a direct RER line to, gulp, Disneyland Paris. If you’re braving a trip there, it’s better to be 30 minutes away than have to travel even further to get to the Magic Kingdom. The thought that there are many adorable bars and restaurants in the 12th might make the thought of meeting Mickey that bit more bearable, not to mention the plethora of remarkable Parisian aparthotels that you'll have to choose from.
Found in the north east of Paris, you can really get away from the noise of the city in the 19th arrondissement. Ideal if you’re less fussed about being near tourist attractions, the 19th is a winner because it contains the truly enormous Parc de la Villette, which makes your own local park look scruffy. That’s right - it’s time to pull out your daydream of moving to Paris and opening a boulangerie again. You could even stay in one of the luxury Paris vacation rentals in our collection. Here, you and your children can ride horses and thrill in the wide open spaces, the playgrounds, the outdoor events taking place and the myriad of other kid-friendly activities. You’ll barely feel like you’re in the city.