Our youngest child was 2 when we took a trip to Paris and we also took along my husbands parents as his mum had never been before. We took the Eurostar straight into the Gare du Nord and I had booked a charming little apartment on rue Hermel, 75018 which was very close to the beautiful Montmartre. We found an amazing boulangerie just around the corner where we bought our croissants and pastries each morning. Our host kindly took us around the neighbourhood and pointed out all the best places to eat, and when we told him that Ben’s parents had just celebrated their wedding anniversary, he brought round a huge bouquet of flowers. He was such a lovely kind man. https://www.housetrip.com/search-rentals/18th-xviiie-montmartre/
I think that it’s important to learn a few words in the language of wherever you’re visiting, and I always make sure that my kids can say a few polite words such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ etc. So on this trip I had taught my 2 year old daughter to say a few words in French and although she is usually very shy, she was happily saying ‘bonjour Madame’ to everyone she saw. This particularly tickled one old gentleman on the train when she said it to him and so he then taught her how to say ‘bonjour Monsieur’!
Here are some of our highlights…..
- Bouillon Chartiers restaurant – quite simply the most authentically French dining experience of our trip! Meals are reasonably priced, the atmosphere is electric, it’s family friendly and the food is top quality. This restaurant is legendary and should be at the top of your list of places to see in Paris. The menu is only in French so if you’re not fluent, make sure you have either a book or translation app as the waiters are super busy and may not have time to translate everything for you. http://www.bouillon-chartier.com/en/
- Rooftop terrace cafe of Printemps Haussmann Store – this is where the locals come so it’s not overly touristy and for the price of a coffee, or lunch if you have time, you will get unrivalled panoramic views of the city with the Eiffel Tower in the distance http://departmentstoreparis.printemps.com/services/w/restaurants-34013
- Funiculaire de Montmartre – this takes you from the bottom of the hill to the Sacré Coeur at the top. The ticket costs the same as a metro ticket and if you have small children with you or are not feeling very energetic then it is well worth it for the stunning views at the top. https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/103125/Funiculaire-de-Montmartre
- Palace of Versailles – tickets to see the whole of the estate cost 20€ and we spent about half a day here. We could have spent much longer as we didn’t even get to walk around the gardens, but this was long enough for the little legs of our 2 year old! See the website to plan your trip: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/
- The Eiffel Tower at night – I knew that the Tower was illuminated at night but a friend of mine gave me this tip…. at night time, on the hour, for a few minutes the Eiffel Tower lights twinkle! Our daughter was completely mesmerised by this and it really was magical! We didn’t go up the tower as I have a crippling fear of heights, but maybe one day I will feel brave enough….