We had a great time visiting France and really enjoyed a week in Paris. I have been to Paris many times before but never with the eye of a parent. I loved seeing how many parks and child friendly areas there are! I have talked about my day out and about while N was visiting Vimy Ridge but the following are the top tips that I would tell anyone travelling to Paris with a little one!
- Getting around Paris can be a breeze or a pain… prepare accordingly! The Metro is totally do-able with a stroller… but you may end up hiking it up a few flights of stairs! The best thing we did was take a lightweight umbrella stroller which two people would easily maneuver! Not all stations have elevators and even when they do, half the time they are closed. There are so many lovely walks that we ended up walking the vast majority of the time! I also noticed that most of the hop-on hop-off tours seemed very accommodating to babies!
- The Louvre is already big, and having to take a million elevators up and down, so double the time you think you need there! It literally took us an hour to leave when we decided we were done! All the elevators don’t go to all the levels and then some elevators are closed, but you don’t know this till you get to them. Then there are half levels with little lifts… but it’s the LOUVRE!
- Don’t be afraid to eat out, but you might want to be ready to make a few compromises! We ate lunch out at a few fancy and more casual restaurants, but we chose to make dinner for ourselves at our AirBnB, which worked out very well for us! People were very accommodating and happy to see a baby at lunch. Be prepared to eat without a high chair… but then you may be pleasantly surprised when they have one! The ones that have them however, are not necessarily quite the same as North American ones. At one delightful café we were pleasantly surprised when they offered us a high chair. They brought us the cutest wicker highchair, which I loved, but it had zero straps so we had to keep a very close eye on our little climber!
- Be prepared to change your little one anywhere! Fortunately there are change tables in the large museums, but rarely anywhere else! Paris is filled with park benches that can do the job, as long as you keep a hand on your wiggly one! When we were checking out the Arc de Triomphe we ended up using a bus shelter as it was lightly raining… another family was eyeing us up and as soon as we were done they did the exact same thing! haha
- Be prepared for all types of weather in an hour period… this mostly applied to spring in my experience. It always seemed it was raining one minute and beautiful the other!
- If staying somewhere where they provide a highchair or crib, make sure to clarify this numerous times prior! We had a crib at all of our AirBnB locations but at a few of them they forgot they had agreed to have one so we had to dig around to find it!
- Get ready to have French people fawn all over your little one… we couldn’t believe the attention that little H received! The grumpiest French waiter would suddenly be kissing H! Another time the owner of a lovely Italian restaurant was carrying H around giving her a tour! It was rather different than in North America, but I must admit I kinda loved it and more importantly so did H!