Visiting Paris, France with a baby

My husband and I go on a Spring Break trip every year since he is a teacher. For our first trip with Knox we chose to get a stamp on his passport and go to Paris at 6 months old. We chose Paris because it is a very walkable city with decent weather in March. The public transportation is also very easy to use. We don’t like traveling with car seats everywhere if we can help it so those we like to walk or take public transport. Knox also sleeps well in his stroller so walking around is key.

After researching all of the things we wanted to do and getting tips from friends, we decided the Paris Pass was the way to go so we could easily see everything and save money doing it. Paris Pass allows you to skip the line at many attractions and has several fun walking tours. The walking tours require reservations so make sure you do these in advance.

Itinerary

Day One

When we landed in Paris I had scheduled Welcome Pickups to be at the airport waiting for us. I love to use them in any city we are visiting. They have friendly drivers with nice cars and will arrive with a car seat.

We decided to stay at the Maison Astor Paris in the 8th Arrondissement so we would be walking distance to most attractions within 45 minutes. It is a boutique hotel with a delicious continental breakfast and friendly staff. It takes a while to check in but that may be normal in Paris. They provided a crib for Knox so it was easy to stay with a baby.

After checking into the hotel we went to a pharmacy to get our vaccine pass. All we had to do was show our vaccine card and pay money. Check in advance to see which pharmacy is closest to you that will give you a pass.

Our next stop was to pick up the Paris Museum Pass which was a 21 minute walk to Big Bus Ticket Shop 11 Avenue De Laopera 75001 Paris. This is also one of the Big Bus locations so it could make sense to do the Big Bus tour this day however we wanted a full day to use it.

Because you will be doing so much outside, I would plan out your days as well as you can. Visit indoor museums on a rainy day.

We stopped by a local bistro for lunch. The food in Paris is so good everywhere. You really don’t need to make reservations unless you are trying to go to one of the hot spots. With a baby we decided to skip the really popular restaurants as they are more crowded, longer waits and louder. This allowed us to go with the flow more. The locals are very nice and will often ask to hold your baby.

We did the Montmartre Walking Tour during the afternoon. I always do a bike or walking tour on the first day so we can get rid of our jet lag and make sure we can stay up late enough. The fresh air helps. This was such a cool area to explore. The only thing that we didn’t plan for was that we ended the tour way further away from where we started. It was an hour and a half tour and we then had an hour walk back. I wish we would have known that in advance. You end the tour in a very busy market which would be cool to explore. There are also a lot of really cool restaurants right there.

Some of the highlights:

  • Walk around to the back of Sacré Coeur, the view from the back is just as good as the front!
  • Staircases of Montmartre. There are staircases scattered around the hill and are a well-known feature of the neighborhood.
  • Place du Tertre, a square where artists are out drawing, painting, and selling their pieces. 
  • Le Consulat restaurant, a well-known and cute restaurant
  • La Maison Rose, another famous and adorable restaurant, located on the super cute street of Rue de l’Abreuvoir
  • Rue de L’Abreuvoir, one of the prettiest, quaintest little streets in Paris. In the fall time, the leaves on the vines turn vibrant colors – gorgeous!
  • The Bust of Dalida. Tradition holds that it is good luck to rub her breasts, and as you can see, a lot of people have tried their hand at good luck. 
  • Le Moulin Radet, one of four windmills in Paris’ Montmartre area. “Moulin” means windmill in French, and there actually used to be over 300 windmills in Paris!
  • Rue Lepic, a charming street with some really pretty doors. There’s also a fantastic chocolaterie (A La Mere de Famille) on this street.
  • Moulin Rouge. Admire the iconic Red Windmill!
  • Mur des Je t’Aime, a wall with ‘I love you’ written in 250 languages. This wall is found in a little garden area tucked behind Place des Abbesses.
  • Creperie Brocéliande – a fantastic restaurant serving galettes, buckwheat crepes from the Normandy region. You can order both sweet and savory galettes, and the flavor combinations are really interesting and delightful. I recommend ordering a savory galette for yourself and a sweet galette to share!
  • Champagne Gourmand for free glass of champagne with your Paris Pass

Day Two

We decided to do the Paris Eiffel Tower Guided Climbing Tour which I highly recommend. A lot of people say it isn’t worth it because you are just seeing a close up view and not the tower itself on the climb but you can see the tower before or after. I thought it was a great workout, really informative and you get to skip the line. You can pay extra to view the observation deck which we did. You have to check your stroller for the climb but we were able to carry ours since it is so small and I had Knox in the carrier. It is a good workout so make sure you are active if you do this.

Before or after you do the Eiffel Tower, depending on weather, I would recommend doing the river cruise on Paris Pass. It is nice to get on the water and you are able to see and learn about the attractions from a different perspective.

  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre Museum
  • Tuileries Gardens
  • Orsay Museum
  • Grand Palais

If you have time, stop by Rue Cler, a market street by the Eiffel Tower. Here I would pick up baguettes from the boulangerie, cheese from the fromagerie, and fruit from the fruit stands, and make your way back to the Champs de Mars, the green space in front of the Eiffel Tower. Linger over your picnic on the grounds.

In the afternoon we did the Hidden Gems in Le Marais Walking Tour which was part of Paris Pass. I really loved this tour in the Jewish and LGBTQ area.

This 90-minute tour takes you to all the hidden hotspots you won’t find in a typical guidebook. You’ll wander through the beautiful Rue des Rosiers in the Jewish Quarter, along the cobblestone streets of Village Saint-Paul, and around the Place des Vosges – a 17th Century square where Victor Hugo lived. Along the way, your local guide will point out hidden gems steeped in history, trendy shops, and unusual attractions that travelers often miss.

Paris’ Hidden Gems in Le Marais – Walking Tour highlights

  • Pompidou Center – admire the unusual ‘inside-out’ architecture of this innovative building and learn how Parisians came to love it.
  • Rue des Rosiers – explore the 12th-century street of rosebushes and take snaps of the storybook-style buildings.
  • Stravinsky Fountain – marvel at this colorful fountain filled with 16 unique art pieces that move and spray water. It’s like nothing you’ve seen before!
  • Bibliothèque de la Ville de Paris – this historic library is housed in one of the oldest mansions in the Marais – the Hôtel de Lamoignon.
  • Village Saint-Paul – your tour will end in this chic area which is full of art galleries and artisan boutiques to explore. Your guide will offer tips on the best places to eat and drink if you want to spend the rest of the afternoon here.

After the tour you can have a late lunch for some of the best Shawarma you will try. Chez Hanna is the most popular which you will see with the line. All of the restaurants are great as we were told by our guide. This area is fun to explore and there are a lot of shops and bakeries to explore.

Check out the Picasso Museum after the tour as it is a 5 minute walk.

Eiffel Tower at Night

After relaxing at the hotel we decided to take the train to the Trocadero stop which has the best views of the Eiffel Tower. We were able to see the Eiffel Tower at night which is something I feel like you shouldn’t miss. The light show is 5 minutes long every hour on the hour.

Day Three

We still had our Hop-on Hop-off bus pass and decided to do it this day because the weather was just OK and we wanted to get a lot done this day. There are 10 stops along the way and you can get on/off at any stop.

We decided to start the morning early and do a few sites before getting on the bus. We walked past Palais Royal to take a picture before our reservation at the Louvre at 9:00AM. You can bring a stroller here which is nice for all the walking but keep in mind that it will be packed and you will have to maneuver to get around.

We made it a point to visit the Mona Lisa first and then were going to go to Napoleons Apartments. An alarm went off right after we saw the Mona Lisa and everyone had to exit. We decided not to wait around all day to see what was going on as there was obviously a security risk. I would recommend doing everything you want to see first as it gets busier as the day goes on. There is a champagne tasting as part of the Paris Pass you can sign up in advance for.

After the Louvre you could stop by Franprix grocery store or Japanese Cheese Shop: Salon du Fromage Hisada to get lunch and have a picnic Jardin des Tuileries. You can also stop by the famous Angelina Café for some hot chocolate or try it when you visit Versaille.

We walked by Place de la Concorde (Public Square) on our way to the first stop. Below is the list of stops. We went to each one and walked around some of the museums and tourist attractions at each. If the weather is bad you can definitely just ride the bus around and listen to the “tour”. I will say the information they give is very basic, I would have liked more.

BUS STOP 1: TOUR EIFFEL / CHAMP DE MARS / PALAIS DE TOKYO / TOUR EIFFEL / MUSÉE DU QUAI BRANLY

BUS STOP 2: CHAMP DE MARS  / ECOLE MILITAIRE  / CHAMP DE MARS  / HOTEL DES INVALIDES

BUS STOP 3: OPÉRA GARNIER / GALERIES LAFAYETTE / PLACE DE LA MADELEINE / OPÉRA GARNIER

BUS STOP 4: LOUVRE-PYRAMIDE / BIG BUS INFORMATION CENTRE / PLACE VENDÔME / PALAIS ROYAL

BUS STOP 5: LOUVRE-PONT DES ARTS PYRAMIDE DU LOUVRE  INSTITUTE DE FRANCE HOTEL DES MONNAIES MUSÉE DU LOUVRE

BUS STOP 6: NOTRE DAME MUSÉE DU LUXEMBOURG NOTRE DAME SAINTE-CHAPELLE PALAIS DU LUXEMBOURG CONCIERGERIE JARDIN DU LUXEMBOURG THE PANTHEON

BUS STOP 7: MUSÉE DE L’ORANGERIE / MUSÉE D’ORSAY /ASSEMBLEE NATIONALE / PALAIS BOURBON TOUR / MONTPARNASSE / JARDIN DES TUILERIES / MUSÉE RODIN

STOP 8 CHAMPS-ELYSÉES / LIDO / AVENUE MONTAIGNE / ARC DE TRIOMPHE  / CHAMPS-ELYSÉES / SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY BOOKSTORE

STOP 9: GRAND PALAIS / AVENUE MONTAIGNE / PETIT PALAIS  / CHAMPS-ELYSÉES  / GRAND PALAIS / PLACE DE LA CONCORDE

STOP 10: MUSÉE DE LA MARINE  / PALAIS DE CHAILLOT / TROCADÉRO / L’AQUARIUM DE PARIS  / MUSÉE GUIMET

If you have time I would recommend having lunch at Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore which are the most famous in Paris. Cafe Louise also has a free breakfast or glass of champagne as part of the Paris Pass.

Day Four

8:00 AM 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. 

We had a 10:00AM time slot for the Palace of Versailles. I would highly recommend booking an early time slot so you can spend hours there before it gets too crowded. There are earlier times but with the baby I didn’t want to rush the morning too much. I would recommend bringing a travel stroller and a baby carrier as well as more diapers and food than you need as it is a long day away from your hotel. The gardens are really big and we spend a few hours exploring so you will want a stroller here.

I would visit the palace first since it will be busier and tighter with space and walk the gardens when its nice and sunny in the afternoon.

  • Tour the Palace and stop at Angelinas for a bathroom break, hot chocolate and to feed your baby
  • Visit the Chateau and the Gardens and groves 
  • Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and the Queen’s Hamlet. 
  • Casual lunch somewhere or Restaurant La Tour for burgers or steak

There are touristy lunch spots in the gardens or you could go to Restaurant La Tour for burgers or steak which is a short walk.

Day Five

We were planning to go to Disney today which is an hour train ride from the hotel. The weather didn’t cooperate so we decided to visit the aquarium and museums that were near each other.

I highly recommend visiting Paris with a baby. It was relatively easy to get around, explore and there wasn’t much we missed with baby in tow.

Paris Pass Savings

The Paris pass cost us $192 per person, Knox was free. It would have cost us $382 per person to do all of the things we did. Keep in mind we wanted to visit all of the sites and do tours. I would make a list of what you want to do to see if it makes sense for you. It also made us feel better when we just walked in somewhere and walked out 20 minutes later.

Paris Eiffel Tower Guided Climbing Tour$34
Seine River Cruise$17
Musee Rodin$13
Hop-on Hop-off bus day$39
Louvre$17
Champagne Tour in Las Caves$35
Arc de Triomphe$13
Opera Garnier$14
Paris Montmartre Walking Tour$34
Champagne Gourmand$18
Arrival Palace of Versailles$18
Cafe Louise Breakfast$18
Champagne Cafe Louise$18
Pantheon$9
Jardin De Luxemburg$0
Musee d’Orsay$16
Paris Montparnasse Walking Tour$39
Montparnasse$16
Picasso Museum$14
$382

Map of Arrondissements

Packing Tips

I wanted to include some essentials for our trip to Paris. We packed a lot more but these are some of the items we found the most beneficial.

  • Baby carrier: Many places don’t allow strollers so the carrier is key. Especially if you want to do things like the Eiffel Tower Climb. It is also key on a long flight with baby so you can walk around and be able to use your hands.
  • Extra baby wipes and diapers: I always bring 2 extra days worth because you never know what you will need.
  • Extra outfits for you and baby for the flight as well as pajamas.
  • Baby food: We were combo breast and formula feeding at this time. For formula, we like to bring a lot of the premade formulas so you don’t have to worry about water and you have a lot more room on your way back.
  • Pre measured formula: I like to use the ones that have 3 compartments so you have enough for the day.
  • 3 Bottles since we were out and about all day and didn’t always have a place to clean them.
  • Travel toys to entertain baby on plane. I like the spinners and a rattle. Very simple at this age.
  • Pack diaper essentials in a ziplock to bring to bathroom. There is not enough room for your entire diaper bag.
  • Cozy blanket for the flight and for sleeping on the go.
  • Babyzen Yoyo stroller: This was key as we could easily fold into the overhead bin. We were also able to carry it because it is only 11 pounds. This allowed us to avoid checking the stroller at some of the tourist attractions.

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