Paris may not be the first place people think of when planning a trip with their baby, but trust us when we say that Paris with a baby is wonderful. Imagine yourself having a picnic looking up at the Eiffel Tower while your little one plays in the sand in the nearby play area…
Those little moments are what make the best memories and you’ll have plenty of them while in Paris with a toddler or baby!
Here’s everything you should know about visiting Paris with toddlers or babies:
Find out why visiting Europe with a baby is so amazing!
Paris with a Baby or Toddler – Table of Contents
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Where to Stay in Paris with a Baby or Toddler
For our first three trips (Barcelona with a baby, New Mexico and New York City with a baby) we stayed in hotels, as we always had before kids. We wanted to enjoy eating out and not worry about cooking our own meals. All we needed was a hotel on a quiet street that provided a baby crib.
For this trip to Paris and London with our toddler, we stayed in vacation home rental apartments for the first time. We discovered that vacation homes are often a better option for traveling with a baby. You will appreciate having a separate room for your baby, laundry facilities and a kitchen.
Take a moment to There are plenty of family-friendly vacation home rentals in Paris.
When we visited Paris with a toddler, our vacation home rental apartment was in the 7e arrondissement, just east of the Eiffel Tower.
We were drawn to this location by the amazing view of the Eiffel Tower we had from our bedroom, but the disadvantage was how far it was from the majority of Paris’ top sights. The location meant lots of walking and taking the subway, but for us the view of the Eiffel Tower was worth it.
Getting from the Paris Airport to your Hotel
We don’t recommend renting a car in Paris. You’ll enjoy your trip more if you don’t have to worry about parking or traffic. You’ll find plenty of suitable options to get from the Paris airport to your hotel.
If you want door-to-door service from your Paris airport without lugging your car seat with you, we recommend you book a private transfer. We have used them in the past after long flights to Europe and they are such an affordable luxury. You can prebook an infant car seat and your driver will meet you at the arrival gate. Strollers are also acceptable luggage, but factor this in to the size of car you order.
There are several alternate ways to get to your hotel from the Paris airports including airport buses, shared vans and RER trains. For more information on private transfers and the other ways to get from the Paris airports to your hotel, visit Getting from your Paris Airport to your Hotel.
For our trip, we arrived at the Paris Gare du Nord train station. We had just finished a week in London with our baby. From here, we took the RER train to a stop near our vacation home rental. We found this option challenging with luggage and a stroller, but it is another option if you choose to travel without a car seat.
While we had a car seat with us for the flight with our toddler, the only time we used the car seat in Paris was on the taxi ride to the airport on our way home. The taxi driver was patient and did not complain about the extra time it took to install the car seat in the back seat.
Getting Around Paris with a Baby or Toddler
Walking around Paris
Paris is a very walkable city and contrary to what you might read online, if you plan to do a lot of walking then you should bring a stroller to Paris.
The Paris metro stations can be a challenge with a stroller, so make sure to travel to Paris with a lightweight travel stroller (for the times you need to carry it up stairs).
Paris Metro and RER with a Stroller
Taking the metro or the RER in Paris with a stroller is doable. Just go into it with the expectation that you might need to carry your stroller up and down sets of stairs.
Although the Paris subway system advertises that many of the stations have elevators, be prepared to find some of them out of service. In addition, there are often turnstiles which you must enter/exit through which can make it difficult with a stroller.
If you must bring a stroller on your subway travel days, bring a baby carrier as well. This enables you to carry your baby up or down the stairs, while your partner or a generous stranger carries the stroller.
Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Buses
Like most major cities, Hop-On Hop-Off buses are an easy and interesting way to get around and see Paris.
Paris Hop-On Hop-Off buses are great as they take you to many of the top sights in Paris while giving an an excellent vantage point to view the town while en route.
Depending on your schedule, a potential disadvantage of Hop-On Hop-off buses are that they can be a slow way to get around.
The stairs to the top deck are steep and winding and as a result, you cannot bring your stroller up, but there is room to store your stroller on the bottom deck. If sitting on the upper deck is attractive to you, bring a baby carrier instead of (or along with) your stroller and also bring along some sun protection for your baby.
Get a free 1-day Hop-On Hop-Off bus ticket with Big Bus Paris with the Paris Pass.
Where to get Baby Food and Diapers in Paris
If you need to buy diapers in Paris, you’ll need to go to a pharmacy, which are easily recognized by their flashing green crosses hanging outside the building.
Franprix, Carrefour and Monoprix are the most common grocery stores if you need to buy baby food while in Paris. A good list of central Paris options is found here.
Where to Eat in Paris with Toddlers or Babies
Paris is considered by many as the one of the best culinary cities in the world. There are several types of restaurants in Paris and if you are traveling to Paris with a toddler or baby, it’s important to know the difference:
Cafés: A staple of Parisian life, cafés offer simple menus throughout the day. A great place for breakfast or an afternoon snack, cafés are a great option if you wish for a quick meal or a meal during off hours.
Bistros: A great place for lunch, bistros are less formal than restaurants. Paris bistros are typically only open for lunch and dinner, usually have their menu displayed on a blackboard and are a good place to get a hearty portion of French food.
Brasseries: Are typically larger than a bistro with a more extensive, classic French menu. Brasseries were originally breweries and today, many of them retain that same ancient charm. They can be very busy and loud, with lots of good beer, wine and food.
Restaurants: Parisians will go to a restaurant for a full meal, which typically consists of several courses. A typical lunch will take 1.5 hours, while dinner will last 2.5 hours or more. Restaurants are typically open between 12-2PM for lunch and open for dinner at 7PM, although it won’t get busy until 8PM when the locals arrive. Do not go to a Paris restaurant if you are in a rush.
You may take your baby to any dining establishment in Paris, but cafés and bistros are certainly the most baby-friendly places to eat in Paris. If you wish to go to a restaurant, try going at 7PM which will give you a one-hour head start before the locals arrive.
Plan to bring a portable travel high chair, as Paris restaurants aren’t likely to have high chairs. We used a My Little Seat fabric high chair, but the Inglesina Fast Table Chair is another portable high chair that would work.
Best Things to do in Paris with a Baby or Toddler
Wondering what to do in Paris with a baby or toddler? At this age, we found we could still visit all the places we wanted to see. Even with a toddler in Paris, we still managed to visit all the museums, parks and famous places we were dying to see.
Many of the top things to do in Paris close one-day a week. Check the Paris Tourism website before you head out to make sure your Paris attraction is open.
Arc de Triomphe
Commissioned by Emperor Napoleon in 1806 after a victory in Austerlitz, the Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France in the Napoleonic and French Revolutionary wars.
We do not recommend bringing a stroller to the Arc de Triomphe. There is an elevator which will take you halfway up, but from there the only way to the top is via a tight spiral staircase which makes bringing your stroller infeasible.
The views of Paris from the Arc de Triomphe rooftop are well worth the effort to climb up the 284 steps. We visited the Arc de Triomphe as our first activity in Paris and it gave us a good perspective where everything in Paris is.
Tour Suggestion: Skip-the-Line Arc de Triomphe Rooftop Tickets
Paris Pass: free admission to the Arc de Triomphe is included.
One of the most famous and exclusive streets in the world, the 2km/1.2mile long Champs-Elysees runs between the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde.
You will have no issues with a stroller as Champs-Elysees has very wide and flat sidewalks on both sides of the street the entire length of the boulevard.
With French gothic architecture, beautiful stained glass windows and bell towers with gargoyles it’s easy to see why Notre Dame is one of Paris’ most visited attractions.
Thankfully, we were able to visit the famous Notre-Dame prior to the devastating fire on April 15, 2019. The cathedral is currently closed to the public and is projected to re-open by 2024. Check the Notre Dame website for updates.
For most of our visit to Notre Dame we had our 14 month old walking (with assistance). It made for a nice slow meander through Notre Dame while we appreciated its impressive interior. After our visit was over, we explored the park area on Notre-Dame property and were happy to see there was a little sandbox play area for little children.
Jardin des Tuileries
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Jardin des Tuileries is a 28 hectare formal French garden which shares borders with the Louvre, Place de la Concorde and the Seine river.
Tuileries Garden is a perfect place for a stroll with your baby! Even better, for parents like us traveling with a toddler, there is a playground and a carousel near the centre of the park.
Home to the famed Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum.
Visiting the Louvre is the perfect time for babies or toddlers to have a nap on the go!
In theory, the Louvre is stroller accessible. It has many sets of elevators to take you between floors, but there were still times when we had to lift the stroller up or down a few stairs.
When we got to the Louvre, we went to the ticket office located under the glass pyramid, which has significantly shorter lines than the main ticket office on the ground level.
Tour Suggestion: Louvre Museum Skip-the-Ticket-Line Guided Tour
Paris Pass: free admission with fast track entry to the Louvre is included.
Dramatically perched up high on the top of the highest hill in Paris, visiting Sacre-Coeur not only provides sweeping vistas of Paris, but is also worth the climb up to admire the beauty of the basilica.
You’ll likely need to take the metro to get to Sacre-Coeur like we did. There are two metro stations (Abbesses and Anver) that will take you close Sacre-Coeur. From here you can take a funicular up to the basilica or you can climb a steep set of stairs up (as we did).
We recommend using a baby carrier for when visiting Sacre-Coeur with a baby, since you’ll also find several sets of stairs in the metro stations.
Tour Suggestion: Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre Tour with Expert Guide
Palace of Versailles
Situated in a suburb of Paris, the Palace of Versailles is one of France’s most famous palaces. Several kings held court here between 1682-1789, until Louis XIV was forced to move back to Paris at the start of the French Revolution. In addition to the opulent palace, there are 800 hectares of finely manicured French gardens.
We took the RER C line from Central Paris to Versailles. You will need to take a train destined for the Versailles Rive Gauche Chateau de Versailles station. It is approximately a 5 minute walk to the palace from here.
When you visit the Palace of Versailles with a baby, we recommend traveling with a stroller and a baby carrier or wrap. Strollers are not permitted within the palace, but they have a place to store them while you tour the palace. The Versailles gardens are so big that you will want to have your stroller with you.
We found the Palace of Versailles gardens was the perfect spot to let our toddler have a nap on-the-go in the stroller. It was also perfect for letting her play around prior to visiting the palace.
The tour of the palace is a set route and was very crowded, slow and hot. Make sure you get all your diaper changes out of the way before the start of the tour.
Tour Suggestion: Versailles Palace & Gardens Full Access Ticket & Audio Guide
Paris Pass: free admission to the Palace of Versailles is included.
Uniquely set in a building which was designed to be inside out, the Centre Pompidou museum houses the largest collection of modern art in Europe.
The views of Paris from the 6th floor are exceptional. As a bonus, there is a highly recommended restaurant called Georges on this level which enjoys the same view.
Our daughter especially liked the second floor display specifically for children. It was actually an area for children over six with a guided audio tour story that takes them through a series of teepees. Our toddler had fun ‘walking’ inside the teepees and playing peek-a-boo with some of the kids who were inside listening to their story.
Tour Suggestion: Center Pompidou: Priority Ticket to Permanent Collections
Paris Pass: free admission to Centre Pompidou is included.
Housed in a beautiful former rail station with giant arches and a dramatic towering curved ceiling, Musee d’Orsay is home to the who’s who of the art world: Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and more.
You will be able to visit most of Musee d’Orsay with your stroller without effort. If you want to see all of it, be prepared to lift your stroller up and down a few sets of stairs and/or bring it on an escalator. There are a few elevators in the building, but they don’t take you to the very top.
The handicapped bathrooms have a baby change table.
Tour Suggestion: Musée d’Orsay Reserved Access 1-Day Admission Ticket
Paris Pass: free admission to the Orsay Museum is included.
A former hotel and its lush gardens are the setting for the Musee Rodin museum, which features the art of Auguste Rodin. In addition, you will be treated to some works by Van Gogh and Renoir.
You will be able to see all of the sculptures in the garden with your stroller, including the famous “Thinker”. You will, however, be asked to check your stroller at the entrance of the former hotel, so be sure to also bring a baby carrier for this portion of the museum.
There is a baby change table found in the washrooms on level -1 of the entrance hall.
We had purchased a combo ticket at Musee d’Orsay so we were able to bypass the line and walk right in. The Musee Rodin gardens are a spectacular setting to view world class sculptures.
Tour Suggestion: Rodin Museum Guided Tour
Paris Pass: free admission to the Auguste Rodin Museum is included.
Quite possibly the most famous landmark in the world, the Eiffel Tower needs no introduction.
You will be able to bring your stroller up the Eiffel Tower only if it is small and folds up. Given the limited usefulness of the stroller up the Eiffel Tower, we recommend not bringing a stroller and using a baby carrier for this visit. Do not leave your stroller unattended while up the tower as it will be considered a suspect item and confiscated.
The line-ups for tickets at the Eiffel Tower can get very long. You can buy Eiffel Tower tickets online ahead of time, but you typically need to do it well in advance and you need to specify what time you will be arriving.
We planned to walk up the stairs to the second floor, so we left the stroller at home and put our daughter in the carrier. Being a sunny Sunday afternoon, it was quite busy and our ticket line took nearly 25 minutes, even though the line-ups to take the stairs are quite a bit shorter than the elevator lines.
Tour Suggestion: Eiffel Tower: Second Floor Direct Access
The Paris Pass
If you plan on seeing a lot of the top sights in Paris, you should consider picking up a Paris Pass. You’ll enjoy free entry to more than 60 sights and attractions in Paris, get full use of public transport within Paris Zones 1 – 3 and a 1-day Hop-on Hop-off bus tour with Les Cars Rouges.
Should you Use a Stroller in Paris?
We had done a lot of research prior to visiting Paris with a toddler and many people suggested not using a stroller. We brought a stroller to Paris anyway as we wanted to do a lot of walking, even though it was a bit challenging on public transportation.
If you prefer to spend your time walking, which we highly recommend in Paris, then you should definitely bring a stroller to Paris. Make sure it’s a lightweight travel stroller since you’ll likely still take the metro and you’ll want one you can easily lift as necessary. We also recommend a baby carrier for those times where you have to check your stroller or it’s just not feasible to bring it.
Another option for those traveling to Paris with a toddler is to use a hiking backpack carrier. We used one for traveling to Rome with toddlers and found it quite convenient for walking around. We have even more information on flying with hiking backpack carriers too.
Paris Playgrounds for Toddlers or Babies
If you are looking for things to do in Paris for kids, then you’re likely looking for playgrounds. Even if you are traveling to Paris with a baby or toddler, you’ll want to find spots to let your baby crawl around or let your toddler burn off some energy and the playgrounds in Paris are perfect for this.
We were visiting Paris with a toddler and we knew that giving our daughter time in play and burn off some energy would leave her tired and happy while we were checking out the top sights in Paris. Luckily for us, we easily found playgrounds near some of the best places to visit in Paris. Finding these great playgrounds makes Paris with toddlers so much more enjoyable.
Don’t make the same mistakes we did while in Paris with a toddler. We hadn’t researched the playgrounds in advance and looking for green parks on Google Maps wasn’t the best strategy, since most grass is off limits. I’m not going to be too hard on Paris though, the grass may be off limits but we soon came to realize most of the top sights in Paris has some type of play area in the vicinity.
It took us a few days to catch onto this and several we found by chance, but we made good use of them! Learn from our mistakes, make note of this list of playgrounds in Paris and plan to stop at them!
Jardin des Tuileries Playground with a Baby or Toddler
At 14 months old, our toddler wasn’t quite toddling around yet. She was crawling, but not really walking. Entering the Jardin des Tuileries we were faced with dusty paths and fenced off grass. Not the ideal situation for a crawling baby or toddler.
Thankfully, we found an incredible little playground that was perfect to let her explore. She even found a little friend her own age to play with (a family travelling from the US in a similar predicament). The playground is on the northern section of the gardens (the areas closest to Rue de Rivoli) where you will also find a trampoline and a carousel.
We made use of the Jardin des Tuileries playground a couple of times. We made sure to stop at it before visiting the Louvre to tire our daughter out so she would enjoy some time in the stroller during our visit.
The play areas, including the playground, are geared towards older kids but again, with some assistance our daughter was able to enjoy the teeter-totter and the hammock-swings.
The surface of the playground was a rubber material so she could easily crawl around on it. There are also several chairs under the canopy and benches around for parents to relax. A great place to stop if you are visiting Paris with children.
Eiffel Tower Playground
There is no shortage of playgrounds near the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars. Our Paris vacation home rental apartment was only a couple of blocks from the Eiffel Tower, so we would often make the short walk over after breakfast to give our daughter some play time.
As wonderful as it was to have rented an apartment, it wasn’t completely baby-proof. Rather than chase her around the apartment, we opted to visit the nearby Eiffel Tower playground and just let her play.
Getting to look up at the Eiffel Tower while playing at the playground with our toddler made for some wonderful memories.
The Eiffel Tower playground we frequented was to the South-East of the Eiffel Tower (follow Av. Gustave Eiffel heading East from the Eiffel Tower and turn down the pathway Allee Maurice Baumont. As the pathway forks, stay right.).
This Paris playground has a large sandpit, a slide and other climbing structures. Our daughter loved to crawl around in the sand and go down the slide. This small contained playground is perfect for toddlers.
Other play areas near the Eiffel Tower are:
- Further to the south in Champ de Mars at the intersection of Av. Charles Risler and Av. Pierre Loti, is a large playground with a café.
- Now going the other way to the North-West of the Eiffel Tower, you will find the Carousel of the Eiffel Tower at the corner of Quai Branly and Pont d’Iena.
- Just across the river from the Eiffel Tower is another carousel and play area. Don’t forget to look back for amazing views of the Eiffel Tower!
Needless to say there is an abundance of choice for parents looking for playgrounds near the Eiffel Tower. If you’re looking for things to do in Paris for kids, then this is the area to come to!
Paris Playground near La Seine River
Walking along La Seine River is a must when visiting Paris with a baby or toddler. We came upon this Paris playground about halfway between the Eiffel Tower and the Jardin des Tuileries. Given its proximity to where we were staying, this was a perfect spot to give our daughter some time to play. It’s a small playground, but it’s enough for toddlers to enjoy!
Paris Playground near Sacre Coeur
For our visit to Sacre-Coeur we opted to leave our stroller behind and take only our baby carrier (which we recommend). We knew using a baby carrier would make climbing all the stairs up to Sacre-Coeur so much easier.
Square Louise-Michel is a city park on a hill just beneath Sacre-Coeur which offers excellent views of Paris and the basilica. At the very bottom of the park is a plaza called Place Saint Pierre with a carousel and playground. Our daughter wanted out of her carrier, so it was good timing! We let her play for a while and by the end she was happy to go back in the Ergo for our trip back home.
Playground near Notre Dame
The time of our visit to Paris was prior to the devasting fire in Notre Dame. We were able to fully enjoy the interior with a slow paced “walk” with our toddler. Once back outside, we were pleased to find a play area including a sand pit on the south side.
Until it reopens, the closest options for other playgrounds will be in the Jardin des Plantes, Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Jarden des Tuileries playground mentioned above.
Other Paris Playgrounds or Play Areas
As we continued our sightseeing throughout the week we were always on the lookout for areas where we could give our daughter some time to play. Here are a few worth mentioning:
Centre de Pompidou
At the Centre de Pompidou we did make use of the Gallerie d’Enfants to let our daughter play. The Gallerie d’Enfants is a large area up one level from the main entrance where they have interactive exhibits for children.
The Gallerie d’Enfants is geared towards children 2 and up. Our daughter was only 1, but it was an enclosed area with plenty of space for her to crawl around and explore. During the time we were there, we only encountered one other family so she was able to play without getting in anyone’s way.
Palace of Versailles
The Gardens and Park of the Palace of Versailles was the perfect spot to just set her down in the grass and let her play. She loved to push her stroller around, so we found a quiet pathway and let her push away. It was an opportunity to just sit with a nice hot latte and watch her play.
Jardin d’Acclimatation and Jardin du Luxembourg Playgrounds
Jardin du Luxembourg and Jardin d’Acclimatation are two additional beautiful city parks in Paris, which we unfortunately didn’t get to in our week in Paris with a baby. If you find yourself in one of these parks, each has a playground for children.
A Final Note on Playgrounds Around Paris with Toddlers or a Baby
Paris playgrounds are rated for specific ages with the lowest age we saw being 2 years old. That didn’t stop our little girl! With our very close supervision our daughter, who was 14 months old at the time, was still able to play and enjoy herself.
For the playgrounds that we visited, we found they were either sand pits or the surface was rubber material.
What to Pack for Paris with a Baby or Toddler
We have a complete packing list for travel with a baby, but we included a few items to pack for Paris with a toddler or baby below. If you are looking to pack light, renting baby equipment while traveling is an excellent way to do that.
We also recommend reading our tips for flying with a baby and if you are traveling to Paris with a toddler, we also have tips on flying with toddlers and the best ways to get your toddler to sleep on an airplane.
- The most important things to pack for traveling to Paris with a baby is a good baby carrier for travel and a lightweight travel stroller. Protect your stroller in one of these stroller travel bags.
- We also recommend a CoziGo Stroller Cover to keep your baby out of the sun.
- We had a My Little Seat travel seat for restaurants which meant we never had to worry about a restaurant having a high chair. This was our favorite portable travel high chair because it packed down so small and was easy to bring with us on our daily outings.
- If your hotel doesn’t offer a baby crib, you can pack your own baby travel crib or a toddler travel bed. If you are sharing a hotel room with a baby or toddler, we recommend a SlumberPod privacy pod to create a private sleeping area for your baby.
- For the international flight with our baby, we packed her favorite toys from this list of best airplane travel toys for babies and toddlers. We have even more suggestions for screen free airplane activities for toddlers here.
- Be prepared for diapers changes anywhere with a travel wipes case and a portable change mat in your backpack diaper bag.
- Other items to pack for Paris are a travel bottle warmer, a travel snack cup and a good baby sun hat.
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This post was written & edited by:
Celine is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's been helping new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has contributed to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.