Ahh Paris, the city of love. Many people visit Paris for a romantic getaway, a proposal or a weekend of fine dining and extravagance but what happens when you have to drag your teenager or two along with you for your epic Paris visit? Is visiting Paris with teenagers even a good idea?
Suddenly your trip to Paris may have to include a few activities that you didn’t expect but what do you do with teenagers in Paris to make it an epic visit that will last a life time?
There are so many things to do in Paris that you could visit numerous times and still not see it all. A city of this size is forever changing even though it is centuries old. Here are some of the activities in Paris that we did with our traveling teens in Paris.
Go to the Top of the Arc
The views from the top of the Arc d’Triompe are amazing and they have some of the best views of the main attractions in Paris. You can also just watch the round about below which is an attraction in itself…how does no one crash their cars there?
Travel with teens tip:
You do have to have your bag checked before you go up so we suggest a small back pack that is easy to open. Some people were surprised when the guards actually moved things around in the bags. They are allowed to do this and if you ask them not to you can be denied entry.
Place Charles de Gaulle,
75008 Paris, France
Open 7 days a week from
10.00am – 10.00pm
Free entry to EU residents 18 – 25
Free entry to children under 18
€ 12.00 for all others
Walk the Champs Elysee
If you haven’t wandered the Champs Elysee have you been to Paris?! While the prices are not for the faint hearted in some of the shops they are great to wander and have a look at.
Do be aware that some shops will limit access so be prepared to be turned away if you are not sporting your Paris best!
Some shops on the Champs Elysee are
- Louis Vuitton
- Dior Homme
Travel with teens Champs Elysee tip:
There are also some amazing places to sit and eat but I can assure you they are ridiculously priced and you will pay more for eating on Champs Elysee than you will for the actual food. It would be a better idea to go off this street to find some amazing Paris street food.
Food Tour of the Marais
We have been to Paris 5 times and I can tell you I wish we did a food tour of this amazing city on our first visit. We wandered around the Marais district and had some of the best food that Paris and France as a whole is known for.
We suggest a tour with the team from Devour Food Tours. They are a family friendly Paris food tour and they will have you returning to all the local, unique places they take you to.
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Ride the hop on hop off bus
Paris has a brilliant metro and it is easy to find your way around but you don’t see much travelling through the tunnels under Paris. Up on the roads you can see all the sights and plan to go back if you feel that it is a spot for you and your teens to visit.
We love riding the hop on hop off buses and they get you to the sights very quickly especially if you are on a strict time frame. It also saves your legs as the biggest and best sights in Paris are far away from each other.
Go to a museum
You can’t go to Paris with teens without visiting one of the many museums. Picking a museum is probably the hardest part. With the Louvre receiving over 10 million visitors last year here are some alternatives to visiting the world’s most famous museum.
Other museums in Paris for teens:
- Musee d’Orsay
- Musée Marmottan-Monet
- Petit Palais
- The Center Pomidou
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs
Visiting museums in Paris with teenagers tip
Many people do go to the Louvre though as it houses some of the most famous pieces on the planet. I think it would be a much easier museum to visit with older kids too. Make sure you take the time to organise your tour though so you see all of the artworks and don’t end up missing them. You can also ask for an activity at the information desk if your teens still like that.
Visit Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie
Churches are also a place you can visit with your travelling teens. Now that they are older they may understand the rules of the church better than younger children…although no one ever holds it against the little ones.
Saint Chapelle is a church that was built in the 13th Century. The upper Chapel has some of the most stunning stained glass windows you will ever see. The lower Chapel is stunning in navy blue and gold.
8 Boulevard du Palais,
75001 Paris, France
Open 7 days a week from
9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Full price : 15€
Reduced price : 12,50€
Now with Norte Dame under construction Sainte Chapelle can get very busy and crowded at times.
The Conciergerie is the place where many prisoners were kept during the French Revolution before being taken to Place de la Concorde before being beheaded. The most famous of these prisoners was Queen Marie Antoinette. There is the courtyard where she did her daily exercise and some things that may have been hers on display.
There is also information on what happened during the revolution which is a great world schooling for teens activity.
Below is a combined price ticket for both Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie
2 Boulevard du Palais,
75001 Paris, France
Open 7 days a
from 9.30 am – 6.00 pm
Full price : 15€
Reduced price : 12,50€
Do a Seine River Cruise
There is nothing better than seeing a city from the water that is the bloodline from years gone by. Many cities were built on a river and Paris has one of the best to tour on. You can get a beautiful view of Notre Dame, The Conciergerie, Pont Neuf and the Eiffel Tower.
Picnic under the Eiffel Tower
Lining up for hours may not be your thing and I can tell you it was not one that our teens were keen on doing so what we had to was to find a way of enjoying the Eiffel Tower from the ground. There is no better way to do that than having a picnic under the Eiffel tower.
Grab yourself a baguette, some amazing cheese and sit down under the Eiffel tower and have and epic picnic.
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Open Daily from 9 am util 12.45 am.
Prices are very dependent on how you plan to get to the top.
Saving money in Paris tip: You can also find a butcher that has a rotisserie chicken in many places in Paris. We did this very often to save some money. We got a traditional baguette, a chicken and some of the potatoes that were cooking under the chicken and had that often for our meal. It was about 13 Euro for all of that.
Wander the streets of Montmarte
This is such a bustling part of Paris and one we absolutely love. It has changed over the years of us visiting. What was once a run-down area with many little discount shops is now being taken over by big brand shops.
This doesn’t change the fact you need to go up the famous street, passed all of the little souvenir shops, get a picture of the Sacre Coeur Church.
You can then take the funicular up to the Church or walk the steps.
From up at the Church you can get amazing and free views over Paris. Behind Sacre Couer is a maze of little streets with artists, souvenir shops and gorgeous little French cafes for you to explore. It is a hot tourist spot so you will pay a little more there.
Some top things to do in the Montmatre area are:
- Visit a funky little store called Pylons. I love all the quirky little things it has in it and you don’t find the shops often out of France.
- Grab a bagutte and sit on the stps to enjoy it
- Ride the gorgeous carousel…even the adults love this one
- Look for souvenirs. They are the common ones around Paris but I find they are a good price and you do have to go home with a couple of traditional touristy Paris souvenirs.
- Watch an artist at their easel paint a picture, or get one done yourself
- Enjoy free views over Paris is you don’t pay for the cable car up!
Visit the Catacombs
Another place that is a massive part of French History is the Catacombs under Paris. You can go on a tour of them and we highly suggest it for travelling teens.
Do a Segway Tour
There is nothing more fun than zipping around a city on a segway and for teens, this has to be one of the best things to do in Paris. It will give them the opportunity to learn and have fun doing it.
The Moulin Rouge
The Moulin Rouge may not be for everyone but many people flock to see the dancing show. Please be aware that women’s breast are exposed while they dance. If this is something that you are not comforatable with seeing or your teens then this may ot be the show for you.
You can get lovely pictures of the Red Windmill out the front though during the day and see it lit up at night.
Some alternatives to Moulin Rouge shows in Paris are:
- Crazy Horse
This is a top place to visit in Paris with teens. It has the burial tomb of Napoleon there as well as some other Military Commanders. You will be able to see the gold dome of Les Invalids from many places around the city and it is stunning on the inside as well.
129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France
Open daily from 10 am until 5 pm
Children are free to enter
Adults are 9.50 euro
Next door to Les Invalids is The Army Museum which is absolutely fantastic. It is well worth a visit for a lesson in French history.
We have missed this amazing Paris site on the times we have previously been and it was not happening this time. We really enjoyed wandering around and seeing the artworks including the murals depicting the rise and fall of Joan of Arc.
The crypt is also another amazing place with the likes of Voltaire, Victor Hugo as well as Marie and Pierre Curie.
Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France
Open daily from 10 am until 6.30 pm
Tickets start at 11.50 euro for priority entry
After the devastating fire on April 15th, 2019 Norte Dame is closed until further notice to allow the restoration. We will update this post as the dates are released and a rough date for completion is known.
It is still worth a visit to see the skeleton of the once-mighty church. We have visited it every time we have visited Paris and it is a stunning sight. Even with our recent trip, we made the effort to visit the church still although it is fenced off and getting a good look at it is still difficult.
Many refer to this as an absolute eye-sore in Paris but it does have some magnificent views over the city as well. There is a viewing platform at the top as well as a viewing level that is enclosed.
33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris, France
Open daily from 09.30 am until 11.30 pm
15 euros per person
Have a photoshoot done with a photographer
Having photo’s of your trip to look back on and display is a brilliant way to document what you did. Having a professional photographer accompany you and your family around to some of the most iconic places in Paris and have them in your picture will last a lifetime and look stunning displayed in your home.
Make a bottle of perfume
This one may be for some of the mom’s with teen girls. You can go to many shops in Paris and make a perfume that you pick yourself. This would be a great bonding exercise for the family and you would have a souviner for a long time after you leave Paris
Escape Rooms in Paris
For those new to Escape rooms, this is a quick run down.
An escape room, also known as an “escape game”, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.
Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your teen likes this stuff it is definitely one of the top things to do in Paris with teenagers.
You will have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and find the truth. Below you will find a map with locations of Paris Escape rooms.
You can find a list of great escape rooms in Paris in the Trip Advisor list. Paris is just too big to give locations around the city. Just check the above link
Cinema in Paris
Watching a movie is popular with teenagers anywhere in the world. Going to the cinema in Paris with teenagers is a great evening activity. You will find state of the art screens and sound. You’ll find the largest cinemas around Montparnasse, Odéon, and Les Gobelins.
10 pin bowling in Paris
If you’re looking for a bit of fun, friendly family competition in Paris then 10 pin bowling might be just the activity for you and your teenagers. You can go 10 pin bowling in Paris at a number of different location in the city centre, even on the Champs Elysees. You can find a great list of bowling alleys in Paris on Yelp
Top Tips for visiting Paris with teens
Like most cities you need to be aware of your surroundings and so do your teens. With theft on the metro a problem this is something you need to discuss with them if they are going to carry money or device with them.
- Be aware of pickpockets of you are carrying a bag, especially with your teen
- If you are travelling with a large amount of luggage make sure you have it all
Even though our girls are older we still have many things that we go though to make sure if we are separated that we know how to get back to one another.
Day trips from Paris with teens
If you have time there are so many day trips from Paris you can do with your teens. Here we have some of the best we have done.
Visit the amazing Palace of the French Royal Family. The Palace is divided into sections and it can take hours to get through them all. You may need to find the rooms you would like to visit first and then plan your trip around them.
Euro Disney is a great place to take the kids especially if you are from a country that does not have any of the Disney Brand Parks located in it.
Disney land Paris is an easy train ride our from Paris.
Normandy D-Day Beaches
A visit to these beaches will be an epic learning experience for the whole family. You can walk on the beaches where history was made and then take your time to visit the museums.
This will be a long day but the graves sites and the battlefields that remain from WWI are a stark reminder of what our past held for some.
Dotted all over yhe country side you will be heart broke at the amount of graveyards that dot it.
Where to eat in Paris with teenagers
There are so many places to eat in Paris with teenagers. It will really depend on what your budget is and what your teens like to eat.
Eating in Paris on a budget
We found that we could get a round of cheese, a baguette and a rotisserie chicken for around 13 Euros for dinner for our family of four. This was a great way for us to save money and it was delicious.
As we bought our chicken from a butcher they would sometimes have cooked potaotes in the roasdter that we could add to eour meal.
Another good place to eat on a budget in Paris is the Marche des Enfants Rouges Market. You can pick up some amazing food there to eat on the go for a meal. It is also a great place to get some fresh fruit and vegetables.
39 rue de Bretagne –
Tuesday-Saturday: 8.30 am-7.30 pm
Sunday: 8.30 am-2 pm
Where to stay in Paris with teenagers
The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements or neighbourhoods. The lower the number of the arrondissement the closer to the city centre you will be.
No matter where in the 20 Paris arrondissements you stay, you won’t be far away from a Paris Metro station that can take you anywhere in the city. Some of the most popular places to stay in the Marais, Saint Germaine de Pres and the Montmartre district.
You will find hotels, apartments, hostels all available to suit most budgets. Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world so it pays to start planning as soon as possible for your Paris accommodation.
How to get to Paris by plane
Paris is generally served by 3 different airports. The main airport is ‘Paris-Charles de Gaulle’ also somewhat confusingly referred to as AéroportCharles de Gaulle’ (CDG). Then you have Orly which is located 14km south of central Paris.
It has two terminal buildings West and South. Then you have Beauvais which is a small airport 90 km northwest of the city of Paris.
Beauvais is home number to budget airlines including Ryanair, Blue Air and Wizzair.
You can get to the city centre from the airport by train, bus, taxi and private transfer. Taxi from Charles de Gaulle to Paris city centre costs 50 Euros (August 2019 price)
How to get to Paris by train
Paris is connected to most of Europe by the high-speed TGV network, Direct trains from England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Spain will get you to Paris by train in no time.
For the best train tickets prices click here
How to get to Paris by bus
Buses arrive in Paris every few minutes of the day. Paris-Gallieni international bus station is located in Bagnolet in the east of Paris. This major bus station is one of the most important stations for European coach companies. Eurolines and Flix bus departs hourly from here.
How to get to Paris by car
French Highways are world-class providing a smooth driving experience. The French roads are heavily tolled and expensive to drive on. You can pick up a rental car in major cities and airports.
Getting around Paris with teens
If you are planning on spending a few days in Paris you may be better off to buy a Paris Pass which entitles you to free public transport, entries and discounts to major attractions and so on.
Paris Bus system has over 400 lines servicing over 13,000 stops along the way. Not as efficient as the metro but still an easy way to commute Paris.
Taxi’s and Uber operate in the city. Expect your journey to be expensive in either of the 2. Uber in Paris charges by distance and time much like a cab.
Money in Paris, France
The official National Currency in France is the Euro. Euro’s come in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 banknotes (the 200 and 500 are very uncommon) as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Euro cent coins. There is also a 1 and 2 Euro coin. You will find it easy to withdraw Euros from ATM’s and there are plenty of options within stores to pay with your card.
Paris is a city that keeps giving more and more every time you visit it. We absolutely love visiting and finding a new hidden gem when we go. Many either love it or hate it but I cvan tell you there is mnothing like Paris in any season!
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More about the Author
Bec Wyld is a mother, wife and once reluctant traveller. Bec has been to over 30 countries across the globe. I have planned and stressed in all of these places. Becs writing can be found on Wyld Family Travel and as a guest poster and contributor on many other travel websites including Lonely Planet Kids