This year, myself and my son were lucky enough to spend a few weeks in this beautiful city! Commonly referred to as the romantic capital, as a family it may not be your first choice, but it was actually perfect for us. After all, love is universal and a mothers love is like the mother of all loves! Perhaps more accurately it’s the capital of love!… so, I thought I’d share a few of our favourite spots, activities and family time loves. What’s more, is this child friendly edition is also friendly to your pocket! Enjoy!
Probably one of my favourite parts of the city! It’s an arts hub where the streets are adorned with galleries, murals, art and artists selling and making their work. If your child is anything like mine, they’ll be asking to have their caricature done… yes, there are artists dotted around all of the city doing these, but if you’re going to get one done, I really recommend getting one from here!
Montmartre also houses one of the best viewing places of the city. If architecture, photography and getting those great holiday snaps are your thing then this is the place to be. It’s home to the Sacré – Cœur Basilica, wall of love and artists market. The wall of love and the artists market are all on route uphill to the Sacré – Cœur. The ‘I love you’ wall written in every single language was great! Next to the wall is a little bit of greenery and a few benches, we arrived at lunchtime so we sat and ate whilst finding ‘I love you’ in the languages we knew.
View from Sacré-Cœur Basilica © Caroline Denton 2017
Heading through the artists market, it is surrounded by beautiful cafés and gelato shops – the coffee and tiramisu gelato from Tutti Sensi was delicious, if you’re looking for a treat! It is here that you’ll see the wonderful art pieces and artists at work. Even if you don’t get that caricature, it’s truly inspiring to see how they work and their unfinished masterpieces!
Through these streets and up those staircases you’ll get some good photos of culture, rooftops and city views. The Sacré – Cœur Basilica, at the top of this hill, is free to enter the church and only €13 for one adult + one child to climb up to the dome! The picture above was taken from the dome – yes, it was worth all of those steps! If you have smaller ones and don’t fancy the dome, the city view from the foot of the Basilica is just as amazing and you can play ‘find the leaning house!’ – facing the Basilica, its to your right, and it’s not actually leaning, it’s an illusion created with your camera, my son loved it!
Topsy-Turvy illusion house ©Caroline Denton 2017
There are lots of free parks in the city and we tried pretty much the majority of them. The one we kept coming back to was Tuileries Garden. You can stroll between the greenery, venture into the trees, spot a few statues and sit on one of the many scattered seats throughout the grounds as you watch the world go by. We sat by the fountains and read our holidays books, watched the ducklings and sipped coffee and hot chocolate from one of the nearby food stalls. And had a croissant or two of course. It was blissfully perfect, even on a busy day!
Tuileries Garden ©Caroline Denton 2017
As you stroll from Tuileries Garden towards Le Musée du Louvre, which happens to be right next to each other, there’s another small area of green that William called a maze. Through the love of a child’s imagination, it was great fun!
Musée du Louvre
Sitting outside Le Musée du Louvre next to the pyramids was also a favourite spot. I could sit with pen and paper and write or draw to my hearts content, whilst William would practice his handstand and get me to video the good ones. Sitting here, you see lots of wedding, birthday and general photography happening. We did the holiday shots of holding the pyramid and treated ourselves to macarons from the cafe that sits there.
A scarce Louvre Pyramide ©Caroline Denton 2017
Of course we went into the museum, I love art, William loves history and children go free. We set aside a whole day for this and still didn’t manage to see everything. We could have spent longer, but we saw the Mona Lisa which undoubtedly had a crowd surrounding her and we saw so many other pieces that we were content. Obvious one I know, but make sure you book your tickets beforehand to save a fraction of the queuing time.
Love Locks Bridge
This bridge was a couple of bridges away from the Musée du Louvre, heading in the direction of Notre-Dame. For us, walkers in general, it wasn’t far and it was nice to walk along La Seine. We took a good look and a photo of all of this love. Sometimes you need to see that there is love in the world. We didn’t have a lock to do a mother-son love lock, but said that next time we will!
Love Locks Bridge ©Caroline Denton 2017
If you mange to walk, or get the metro to Notre-Dame, you’re in for treat, it is beautiful! I’ve been inside before and loved it, me and William didn’t go in this time due to the massive queues. In any case, you can still admire the beauty of this building that took nearly 200 years to build.
I’ve only touched on the tip of our trip and I could easily go on and convince myself we need to go again, sonner rather than later. However, I’ll leave you with these few family and pocket friendly gems to put on your list.
Happy travels and much love
– Caroline xo