Guess Where We Went This Weekend!

#Paris

So since my husband is away, he said “Hey! How about you go somewhere this weekend! Take the kids somewhere that they will love and have some fun. ” So.. guess where I picked?  Paris!  Now before I jump into the ugly part of this trip… I do want to say that my children and I had a wonderful time together!  Now keep in mind our itinerary is only for 24 hours! 2-4 hours in Paris! Yes I am insane… some. 🙂

Our Accommodations

We booked via Bookings.com for the Citadines La Defense ApartHotels.  The hotel is rather difficult to find.  It took us an extra 30 minutes to find it after we arrived.  So we ended up just parking at the Saisons garage, but I couldn’t find the parking garage for the hotel.  For 24-hour it was 36€ to park in a secured garage.  Though we found out that it was the same parking garage anyways.  Citadines La Defense is a rather nice hotel.  We could see the Arc d’Triomphe from our 7th floor balcony.   I really loved the layout of this apartment (you will see in the photos).  One room was the “2nd bedroom” which had a pull-out double twin couch (it was awesome! I want one!) and a dining area and then the second room had a queen sized bed.  The kitchenette had everything that we needed stove-top, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave and everything we needed to cook!

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City Transportation

We used the city metro and it was great! My kids have always loved riding on the subway.  Kids unfortunately are not free to ride the subway (well at least mine were not).  I went ahead and bought 2-day subway/bus tickets. I SHOULD have just bought 1-way tram passes to save some money, but with hauling 3 kids around I didn’t want to have to keep buying tickets.

What Did We Do?

The first day, of course we saw the Eiffel Tower (several times).  If you are wanting your kids to release some stream there is a park nearby!  We also rode the carousel by the Eiffel Tower & the river.

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Then we took a 90 minute river cruise (which is amazing).  Paris was beautiful when we were there.  Not one cloud in the sky and the sun was shining!  The boat cruise does have commentary in English!

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We did a lot of walking around.  We were going to go out to dinner, but instead the kids wanted some spaghetti.   So we stopped at a grocery store near the apartment we stayed at the first time we were in Paris and plus it was right next to the Metro.  Since Saturday was the only night we were going to be in Paris we had to see the Eiffel Tower twinkle.  It is amazing! My daughter is in LOVE with the Eiffel Tower.  So we stood outside of our hotel waiting for to go on.  By the way, it goes off on the hour for about 10 minutes. The second day, we ate and checked out of our hotel.  We left our vehicle in the garage and went back out.  We went to the huge ferris wheel, but unfortunately it was not open when we arrived.  If you are interested, it was 12€ for adults and 6€ for kids 3+.  Then we went to the playground at Parc Tuileries and the kids really enjoyed it!

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After we left, we decided to start making our way back to our vehicle to head home.  But of course we couldn’t leave without buying some candied apples! After that, we noticed that the entrance to the Metro was closed so we had to figure out another Metro station. We ended up walking towards Arc de Triomphe on Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau (which is also a huge shopping district).  We ended up stumbling upon the George Metro and of course RIGHT next to this station is a Disney store (FYI).  We had to splurge (kinda).

My daughter's hair was a mess since her hood was on and "Elsa" took it off. 'Elsa" was in awe with Alyssa... maybe she was the Princess.
My daughter’s hair was a mess since her hood was on and “Elsa” took it off. ‘Elsa” was in awe with Alyssa… maybe she was the Princess.

The Drive

Now this is the grueling part.  Driving there was NOT bad at all, but the driving IN Paris was horrendous.  We were stuck in traffic forever.  I should really thought about the fact my hotel was clear on the other side of Paris.  So in total our drive time was about 10 hours-ish. Keep in mind it is only a 4 hour drive. Coming from Kaiserslautern, there are 3 tolls going there and of course 3 coming back.  Those tolls are about 30€ each way.  I did buy gas leaving from here, but I ended up paying 75€ coming back and I still had to fill up the next day. It is a beautiful drive and you should certainly take it… especially going to Disneyland Paris!

CAUTION:

There are a LOT of scammers there!  The ones you have to really pay attention to are the teenagers and women that are wanting you to sign a petition. They will ask you if you speak English.. DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY! It is scam and THEY will pickpocket you! Also watch your items while you are on the subway.  These people are VERY skilled in what they do.

If you are looking for our other experiences in Paris look for further:

Disneyland Paris

Next To The Eiffel Tower

Thank you so much for reading! Please feel

About Kid Friendly Europe 101 79 Articles
Jennifer is a US-expat living in Europe. She is a travel blogger specializing in Kid Friendly travel. She loves travelling, spending time with her family, drinking coffee (about 1x per month... so she is a little crazy) and an overall awesome person. Well at least I think I am awesome. Thank you for reading!

36 Comments

  1. I can’t imagine driving in Paris. That sounds awful. And everybody mentions the pick-pocketing, which is a bummer. I’ve never experienced it, but I’ve heard that from so many people.

    • Rob, if you know the scam it is easy to avoid. It’s generally young kids that come up to you and say they are gthering money for a petition. Point being that they have a good look at your wallet and the amount of cash you have on you, to determine if it is worth pickpocketing you. Just don’t go near the kids with the clipboards. It has sadly become a lot worse in recent year. But in general Paris is pretty safe..

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jennifer. I’ve definitely got to go back to paris, as my 1st trip there left something to be desired. But I do appreciate the city’s beauty, and the quality of its chocolate. So hopefully … one day.

  3. I haven’t been to Paris in a few years but it is on our family travel bucket list. I recall the park by the Eiffel Tower and can definitely see my children running around there. Good tip about the scammers. I didn’t encounter any on my last trip but always good to be aware.

    • There are so many amazing parks in Paris as well. We wanted to check out the Parc d’Acclimation, but we didn’t get to it. We also have been to Parc Luxembourg on a previous trip. Every park there has a nice play area for kids. Many of them even have carousels too!

  4. Besides the driving part, it sounds like a great but quick weekend! Your apartment seems like it was a great score. It’s always nice to able to prepare your own meals, especially with kids.

    • It really is a “fun” drive huh? When we took the train in the first time we went to Paris we took a taxi to our apartment. I think it took almost a hour to get there. Taking the metro back to the train station took maybe only 30 minutes. Highly recommend doing the Metro.

  5. Jennifer your kids are so lucky! I also appreciate the fact that you showed them the city and a lot of culture rather than just heading to Disneyland the whole weekend. The Disney shop was a great treat! I would not want to drive in Paris! I leave that up to my mum ha! I’m not sure where in Germany you live but you might want to check if there is a train. Booked early those can be very cheap. Are your kids growing up multilingual?

    • They certainly are very lucky! We are having a 3-year vacation in Europe! My kids are unfortunately NOT multilingual, but we are working on that. I told them it is very important to know more than one language. We HAVE been to Disneyland Paris. We went in September, but we did come into Paris for a few hours before heading back home. This was our 3rd time in Paris and I am sure we will back for more!

  6. I never thought Paris would be good for a one day trip with children, but you proved me wrong! I loved the idea of the river cruise, I definitely need to check that out. Your lucky kids look like they are having the time of their lives. 🙂

  7. You are super brave for driving in Paris–I hate driving in big cities! 🙂 I completely agree with you about the pickpockets and the subway scammers: when we were in Paris a few years ago, we were pretty violently mugged in the Metro, which left a terrible taste in our mouth for the city in general. I’ve been to many large cities, and Paris (so far) has made me feel the most uncomfortable with the amount of pickpockets, scammers, and muggers.

  8. My brother is going to have a baby in May, and I bet they’re planning all sorts of trips with him. I wonder if they’ll go for amusement parks or castles/countryside – they live in Poland.

    • Huge congratulations to your brother!! Babies are so much fun and they are even more fun when they are older! No more diapers! We have not been to Poland yet but it is certainly on our list places to go to. Thank you for your comment.

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