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Travelling to Paris with a grandchild

(118 Posts)
JaneAnn Mon 20-May-13 16:30:46

Hello everyone

I am planning to take my grandchildren to Paris - singly - starting with the 12 year old. I thought we would stay for three nights, in the centre somewhere and I would love to hear about other people's experience and to have some advice about things to do, places to stay, places to go etc. We'd probably fly as it would be from Newcastle.

HildaW Mon 20-May-13 16:37:09

We had a week in Paris recently, but without any children!
However, I'd still say get a 3 day Riverboat pass....like a hop on hop off bus but on the Seine...brilliant.
The Louvre is wonderfull as is the d'Orsay if art is an interest. I'd watch out for some very creative pick pocketing though. They usually use diversionary tactics, so have EVERYTHING zipped up in inside pockets.

grannyactivist Mon 20-May-13 16:43:41

HI JaneAnn it's worth posting the same query on Fodor's website; or check out answers to similar queries: www.fodors.com/community/europe/ideas-for-paris-with-12-year-old-daughter.cfm

JaneAnn Mon 20-May-13 16:46:22

Thank you grannyactivist - will do.

JaneAnn Mon 20-May-13 16:47:27

Many thanks HildaW Riverboat pass sounds fun.

HappyNanna Mon 20-May-13 16:54:37

My granddaughter aged 12 has recently been to Paris on a school trip.
Some of the things they did: the Science & Industry museum, Arc de Triomphe, Pompidou centre, Louvre, Montmatre, Sacre Coeur, River Seine and the Eiffel Tower. Also they had a trip to Versailles for the day.

Bez Mon 20-May-13 17:36:39

I always look on Late rooms or booking.com for hotels and have had some bargains. The nearer to places like the Eiffel Tower etc the more expensive they are. We usually stayed in the. 8th or 17 th arrondissement which are next to each other and not too far from the Sacre Coeur area. There are a number of Metro stations there and it is not too far from the big stores like Galleries Laffayette. Incase you don't know it is cheaper to buy carnets (books) of metro tickets from a tabac shop - most of them sell them - and then you are sorted for a few trips.
There is another train system RNR I think which goes deeper than the Metro and to different stations and of course I imagine you need different tickets. Normal train tickets need to be validated at a machine before you start your journey but the Metro ones you just put i to the machine at the gate. The Metro is so easy to use - you can download a map before you go too.
There is a big Geodome there but I forget where. There are open top bus rides which are good - we did one a year or so ago and it does give you a good perspective of places.

Have a good trip.

HildaW Mon 20-May-13 19:00:52

The river boat thingy is called the 'Batobus' you can google it for details.

Tegan Mon 20-May-13 19:10:37

The latest pickpocket type thing is for someone to point to a ring on the floor and say 'did you drop that ring?' When you pick it up a gang of heavies appear and say you've stolen it and demand money.

Tegan Mon 20-May-13 19:11:56

Oh; might be an idea to watch the film Hugo with the child before you go [if they haven't seen it already] and you could take in a trip to the station [a bit Harry Potter'ish, stations].

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 19:21:18

My best tip for a younger one (I did it with a 4yo) is Luxembourg gardens - there is a lake/pond and for a couple of Euro you can hire a little wooden sailing boat and a long pole to push it about when needed - we had a great time watching our pirate ship race about for an hour grin

JaneAnn Mon 20-May-13 19:55:41

Fantastic advice coming in - many thanks everyone. Keep going!

JaneAnn Mon 20-May-13 19:56:31

Fantastic advice coming in - many thanks everyone. Keep going!

Tegan Mon 20-May-13 20:20:12

I've just googled the Luxembourg Gardens and it looks fabulous [they do pony rides as well]. We're having a few days in Paris soon and I'm trying to work out an itinerary. There are trips included but I don't want to go to Versailles again so I'm hoping to take in the Louvre. Not the sort of thing to take a child to I know but I've always wanted to got to the animal cemetary in Paris [where Rin Tin Tin is buried]; we tend not to think of the French as animal lovers, but they are.

annodomini Mon 20-May-13 20:32:12

The RER system runs from the airport into the city centre and you can buy a ticket that's also valid for the metro. I've been to some 'quaint' hotels in the Marais and Left Bank, but Late Rooms or and equivalent booking site will find you what you are looking for. Bonne Chance!

Tegan Mon 20-May-13 20:39:19

I think we should have a gransnet meet up in Paris one day wink.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 20:42:23

Tegan I will volunteer to be the Gransnet rep smile

We didn't do the pony ride but there was a lovely carousel and a fab play park (you have to pay to get in but not much) but the boat was our favourite bit. We did an actual boat ride too and she was also very taken with the Eiffel Tower. Other than that mainly mooching but she got far more out of it than I'd though she would at 4.

annodomini Mon 20-May-13 21:41:31

We could take over an entire bateau mouche if there were enough of us... grin

JaneAnn Tue 21-May-13 16:55:21

Brilliant idea Tegan!

jeanie99 Wed 22-May-13 08:56:01

Paris is one of the cities you walk round and just soak up the atmosphere calling in at the cafes along the way.
A visit to Paris for me is a visit to the Louvre museum I could walk round there for hours.

Museum website
http://www.louvre.fr/en

check this out the Official Paris website
http://en.parisinfo.com/

Free walking tours
http://www.newparistours.com/

Have a great time.

Gally Wed 22-May-13 09:27:09

Start with the hop on/off bus and then decide where to visit although it's a good idea to have a plan before you go so not to waste any valuable time - there's so much to do. I used to take the small children to the Tuileries to sail boats on the Bassin Rond. Wandering round markets, would be a good bet - e.g. Rue Mouffetard; Musee d'Orsay is great and for a ghoulish teenage grandson, a visit to Pere Lachaise cemetery where the good, the bad and the great are buried grin. Slog up the hill to Sacre Coeur for the views. Apart from a look, I wouldn't bother with all the 'touristy' places - far too expensive and busy. Enjoy the trip!

Butty Wed 22-May-13 10:14:14

Tegan I love the idea of a Paris meet-up!

JaneAnn - You had some wonderful suggestions and I'd definitely recommend one of the many boat trips that are available. Enjoy.

Tegan Wed 22-May-13 13:50:04

Is Pere Lachaise where Jim Morrison is buried?

Gally Wed 22-May-13 14:08:47

Tegan Yes he's buried there as is Oscar Wilde whose grave was covered in lipstick 'kisses' but I understand they have now been cleaned off and a glass partition put round the grave so no more kisses for Oscar grin

Eloethan Wed 22-May-13 15:20:54

I agree with others - Pere Lachaise is well worth visiting - we just found it by accident and were very glad we did. Also the Tuileries Gardens.

I agree with Tegan and Hilda re street thefts. We went up the steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and somebody stepped on the back of my sandal, holding me back for a moment. I turned immediately and a young man moved away quickly. I saw that my bag had been opened - luckily nothing was missing.