France with Babies and Toddlers

France is such a beautiful country with a rich culture, and a fairly easy journey from London and Amsterdam (our home bases over the last few years). We have been able to take a trip to the French Riviera, as well as multiple trips to Paris.  We only had a first son on the French Riviera trip, and both kids by the time we took the Paris trips. Here are our key take-aways from our trips there.


Where to stay:

When we take our city trips, we love to stay as close to walking distance to at least the main sites we would like to see. In the last two years, we have done three trips to Paris and stayed at three different hotels. We had good experiences with the locations of each of them! Because we are Marriott and Hilton Loyalty members, we usually prefer to stay at these chains to continue building rewards points with them. Here are the three hotels we stayed and our thoughts in each. 

Name Neighbourhood Notes
Hilton Opera The Paris Hilton Opera is located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France. Specifically, it is situated on Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, near the Palais Garnier (Opéra Garnier), which is one of the most renowned opera houses in the world.  This hotel is lovely, and we really enjoyed the Hilton Honors suite. The hotel’s central location provides convenient access to various attractions, shopping districts, and public transportation options in Paris. 

For our family of four and my mom, we booked two adjoining rooms together.

Westin Vendome This hotel is in the Louvre/Tuileries neighborhood, which lies in the 1st arrondissement of Paris.  It is central for many attractions, full of restaurants, beautiful architecture, and shopping. If you are traveling with young kids, and prefer a spot that easily walkable and central to many big sights in Paris, this is the place to stay!

This hotel is very strict about the capacity of number of people in the room, so make sure to read the fine print beforehand!

Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel It is situated at 70 Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.  This prime location offers easy access to the famous Champs-Élysées avenue, renowned landmarks, luxury shopping, and various dining options in the vicinity. 

Although we always take an Uber to the Eiffel Tower during our visits, we usually opt not to stay closer to the Eiffel Tower because of its distance to the rest of the sites. Overall, our favorite area has been the 1st Arrondissement.

In the Hilton Lobby, where our extended family spent quite a bit of time whenever we needed to re-energize.

What to do:

Based on our recent trips, these are our favorite activities with our young kids. It is not always as thorough as we would have done if we didn’t have young children, but we move slowly and enjoy where we are – Paris!

Eiffel Tower:

  • We love to visit the Eiffel Tower during Golden Hour to experience running around the grass while the sun is still up, but but also the twinkling of the tower when the lights turn on.
  • Our kids loved riding the carasouel in front of the tower as well.
  • Cafe Trocadero is nearby and a great place to grab a croissant from and and enjoy the views from the stroll over.
  • We also enjoyed a great Italian dinner at Chez Pippo, where our kids also loved the pizza.
  • We also have done two photoshoots at the Eiffel Tower, one with an amazing photographer, Anna. We also arranged a more affordable photoshoot through a Get Your Guide Paris Photoshoot experience, which connects you to amateur photographers with nice cameras who are building their portfolios. Although it was a different experience from our initial shoot, this one was quick, affordable, and efficient to capture pictures of our young kids.

Seine River Boat Ride

  • Near the Eiffel Tower are several boat tour options to go down the Seine River. We booked this boat tour experience, and our entire extended family was pleased with the experience of seeing the city lit up at night!

Louvre and Tutlieries Gardens:

  • We took a visit to the Louvre. My sister-in-law has older kids, which she pre-booked ‘scavenger hunt’ tickets through the Louvre with them so they would be more engaged. Because my kids are much younger, we simply appreciated the art that we wanted to see and quickly head out for the toddlers to run around the fountains infront of the museum.
  • We picked up McDonalds and macaroons from Pierre Herme and had a picnic at the Tutlieries Gardens right next door! It was a very pleasant experience. Also note that France is very breastfeeding friendly, and I was able to comfortable nurse here.

Luxembourg Gardens

  • Luxembourg Gardens is so beautiful! We rented small sail boats to push in the fountains. We laid out a blanket on the grass and enjoyed a picnic while our kids ran around.

Grand Mosque of Paris

  • The Grand Mosque of Paris is a unique place to visit with the kids. You can take a guided tour; if you are Muslim and simply want to pray that is an option as well.

Day Trip to Disneyland Paris

Browse the streets, shop, and eat 

  • Enjoy hot chocolate at Angelina, pastries and croissants on every street, and of course, a selection of high end shopping – check if you qualify for VAT savings!

Day trip to Versailles

  • I have done Versailles pre-children; and although I am not familiar with taking them on a domestic Paris train, I feel that visiting the Versailles grounds with kids would be perfectly fine. Perhaps I would opt out of the indoor guided session with young kids based on their temperament and schedule for the day; but the exterior grounds where they can run around beautiful sites is up their ally.



We primarily used Ubers or walked around the city. We have always had our double stroller (the Cybex Gazelle) or our more lightweight stroller, the BabyZen YoYo with a buggy board.  For warning, many of the streets of Paris are narrow and not completely flat; but I pushed around our large double stroller, for the most part alone, and managed and enjoyed. I was able to take in beautiful sights of the city, while my kids ate snacks, napped, and sometimes fussed in the stroller.

Nice and Monaco

Where to stay:

We spent four days based in Nice, walking distance from the city center. As with all cities, I love being able to walk to the town within 10-15 minutes, without having to take a cab or public transportation, in order to more easily push our stroller around without folding.

In Nice, France in February 2020. Exploring on our walk from the hotel to the city center.

What to do:

We took one day trip to Monte Carlo, Monaco, one day trip to Eze Village (along the way we stopped by Menton and Villefrance-sur-Mer) and stopped by ‘Le Jardin Exotique’. Both of these day trips are must-dos, in my opinion.

For Monte Carlo, it is beautiful to walk around the city, take in the architecture, but keep in mind the Monte Carlo casino is adults only, and you won’t be able to take your young kids inside. My husband and I swapped waiting outside with our then 10-month-old.

In Monte Carlo, Monaco in February 2020.
In Monte Carlo, Monaco in February 2020
In Monte Carlo, Monaco in February 2020.

We were so happy to be able to stop by Menton to take in the views, although we wish we had gone during daytime as well to explore the city.

Our favorite day was definitely our visit to Eze, particularly the beautiful gardens. We stopped by to take in the views of Villefrance-sur-Mer.

Once we arrived at the gardens in Eze, we absorbed the beautiful cobblestone roads, tropical plants, and stunning views.



We rented a car and a carseat, which made it easier and more flexible to take the road trips we wanted and stop along whichever sights we preferred or at pretty viewpoints. We picked and dropped the car off at the Nice Airport.


Leave a Reply