Paris is a great travel destination, especially with kids! There's so much to do. Although Paris is considered expensive, you can do it on a budget.
To me Paris = Yummy food, beautiful art, amazing sites to see, friendly people, and easy transportation.
Most likely your biggest expense will be traveling there. Make sure you check airline carry on restrictions. We flew into Dublin first and then took Ryanair into Beauvais France, it was a lot cheaper this way and we got to see two countries! One bus ride from Beauvais and we were in Paris!
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Your second biggest expense will be lodging. To keep costs down I recommend finding a two-star hotel in Paris. We stayed at Hotel Reims with reasonable family friendly rooms, WiFi, TV with cartoons, and breakfast on site. It’s also very close to the Stalingrad Metro stop. You will take the Metro everywhere so it's important to be close to a stop.
Two main things to buy to keep costs down: Buy a multi-day metro pass the first day you get there, this is your key to the city. Do not store it next to your cell phone because it will erase the magnetic strip. Also, purchase an international plan from your cell provider. Make sure to turn off data roaming and use WiFi only.
Itinerary for four days (Bring good walking shoes):
First day Montmartre, it’s a beautiful collection of shops and artists on a hill. The Basilica of Sacre-Coeur rests on top of the hill. I recommend visiting the church for the beautiful artwork and architecture. Visit the top. It was amazing! All you need to do is take the Metro to Anvers and walk up the hill. I also recommend stopping in the many bakeries on the streets like the Biscuiterie de Montmartre. The cookies are amazing there. The kids will love to get their pictures drawn by a street artists and they will absolutely love crepes from the street vendors. Try it with Nutella and Banana! My younger siblings loved it .
The next day we walked around the Ile de la Cite, the island in the middle of the Seine river. It dates back to before Roman times. This is where Paris originated and it has many amazing sites to visit including the Notre Dame de Paris and the Sainte-Chapelle for some of the best stain glass you will ever see! For more historical sites you should visit La Conciergerie where many people were held prisoner during the revolution.
The third day we walked around Paris and saw the Louvre, the Jardin de Tuileries and the Tour d’Eiffel. All are easy to get to by Metro. If the kids get bored, step outside of the Louvre to watch the locals feed the birds! They are so tame they will sit on your fingers. One note, if you wish to go up in the Eiffel Tower purchase tickets in advance! Otherwise you wont be able to. We missed out on that.
My favorite place was the Chateau Versailles, the former royal home of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. It is gorgeous. A bonus, kids tickets are free! The animals in the Hamlet are fun for kids to see. To get there you must go to a metro stop, and get on the RER C ligne. You will need additional tickets. Versailles is an all-day trip.
With a little planning, you too can have a great family vacation to Paris, France. On a budget it's an affordable and amazing experience! We had a lot of fun with the family and my younger sisters loved it.
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