At Our Whole Village, we plan meaningful vacations for families who want to create lifelong memories and show their kids the world in a more conscious and intentional manner.
We help families take meaningful vacations so that they can escape everyday life, show their kids the world and make lifelong memories - with care, confidence and peace of mind.
Your (free) guide to the top travel destinations for families with babies, teens and everyone in between.
Everybody knows that Paris is for lovers. And artists. And Francophiles. But did you know it’s also a fantastic destination when traveling with teens? The “City of Light” packs a powerful punch when it comes to history, sophistication, art, fashion, and lifestyle. There’s no other place like it on Earth, and when you plan the perfect itinerary, you can keep teens engaged, excited, and ready for more fun activities!
Besides the entertainment value, visiting Paris can be highly rewarding. But there’s a lot to experience. Creating a list of must-see priorities will ensure you and your teen experience the best of the city, forging unforgettable memories in the process. So, what’s not to miss? Keep reading for our favorite things to do in Paris with teens.
Few monuments are more synonymous with Paris for families than the Eiffel Tower. No wonder it attracts more than six million guests every year! Not only will you enjoy stunning views of the city from the tower, but you’ll also gain access to restaurants, gift shops, and educational exhibits. In other words, set aside a few hours to enjoy this incredible experience. But be forewarned. Your visit to Paris’s most iconic symbol requires a little planning. Due to its incredible popularity, you’ll want to book tickets well in advance.
Constructed between 1887 and 1889, the metal spire marked the crowning achievement of the World’s Fair of 1889. But it proved controversial, with noted artists and writers of the day compiling a petition to guarantee its demolition after the fair. Fortunately, Parisians came to their senses, realizing the tower added a certain je ne sais quoi to the city that you and your teen will love discovering firsthand. And don’t forget to schedule a fun family photoshoot with a professional through flytographer. Get all the details on hiring a flytographer to immortalize your vacation memories (and provide your teen with social media worthy pics!)
On the Ile de la Cité, you’ll find two of Paris’s oldest and most impressive monuments, the 13th-century churches of Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle. Sadly, the fire of 2019 devastated the interior of Notre-Dame de Paris, which means it remains unavailable for walk-throughs. But the exterior of the building is an incredible testament to medieval architecture.
Next, stroll to Sainte-Chapelle, one of the most stunning examples of Rayonnant Gothic architecture in the nation. The church contains 1,113 stained glass windows and King Louis IX envisioned it as the chapel for the Palais de la Cité, his royal residence. Besides serving as the royal chapel in Paris, Sainte-Chapelle was also designed to house relics associated with Christ’s crucifixion. From the rich history of the site to the walls of light created by the stained glass, Sainte-Chapelle will leave you and your teen astounded.
Linking the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde is the Champs-Elysées, a one-mile-long thoroughfare that captures the heart of Paris in a way few other places can completely encompass. Consider it the “City of Light’s” main street. Chock-full of boutiques, shops, restaurants, cafes, and shows, it’s the place to be.
On the first Sunday of each month, pedestrians gain total access to the street because cars are banned. And if you happen to be in France’s capital city during Bastille Day (July 14), get ready for an incredible celebration as the street becomes ground zero for celebrating France’s nationhood. On a family trip to Paris, there’s no better place to experience the “City of Love’s” vibrant and incredible energy.
A Seine River cruise remains one of the best ways to see Paris from a new perspective. Along the way, you’ll see the city’s major landmarks, including Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre. And you’ll also enjoy expansive, panoramic views of Paris and its many picturesque bridges.
Depending on what you’re after, there are many ways to customize a river cruise experience. For example, you’ll find everything from sightseeing cruises to dinner cruises. You can even book a private tour of the Seine, depending on the experience you’d most like to have. You’ll want to set aside approximately three hours for a river experience, which makes it the perfect icing on the cake after a day of sightseeing.
Paris is known for its stunning museums. Some are absolute must-sees, like the legendary Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, and we highly recommend these attractions. Especially if your teens can’t get enough of fine art. But for those fascinated by cutting-edge innovations and technology, nothing beats the City of Science and Industry.
Situated at La Villette, everything about this museum is impressive, from its avant-garde exterior to its interactive exhibitions, themed presentations, and activity centers. For example, learn about robots while playing video games, or explore the nighttime sky at the planetarium. Interspersed through the City of Science and Industry are tasty places to eat, and you’ve got to stop by the large gift shop to check out its eclectic and unique mixture of gifts.
The Paris Catacombs continue to fascinate, encapsulating more than 600 years of the city’s history. Constructed to house the dead, the catacombs represented a stop-gap measure by the civic government to deal with overcrowded and unhygienic conditions at local cemeteries. The Paris Catacombs officially opened for their macabre business in the late 18th century and would continue to be used throughout World War II.
What can you expect to see on a visit? Guests should prepare for an eerie array of bone-lined walls that will fascinate and send a shiver down your spine. On a catacomb tour, learn about important episodes in French history and view relics. Whether your teen’s an engaged travel companion or one who tends to reserve judgment (and interest), the catacombs will excite their curiosity. For fans of Les Misérables, exploring the underbelly of Paris also comes with special significance as you discover passages like those Jean Valjean used to secret Marius to safety.
Part of the fun of traveling is trying your hand at something new and unique to your destination. In Paris, you’ll find many fun classes that let you immerse yourself in local culture while learning a new skill. For example, master the art of baking Parisian treats by enrolling in a Cook’n With Class Paris course. During three hours of French pâtisserie instruction, make macarons from scratch. In the process, you’ll craft a handful of different flavors, which you and your teen will get to savor.
Or master the art of perfume by designing a custom fragrance. Perfume-making workshops abound in Paris, and they appeal to all ages. They include perfumer’s apprentice workshops at Le Studio des Parfums and the Musée du Parfum Fragonard. There’s no better souvenir of your stay in the French capital!
When it comes to things to do in Paris with teens, you’ll find an endless array of potential activities. Some monuments and destinations are must-sees. They include icons like the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, and the Paris Catacombs. But you should also leave room for unique experiences like taking a macaron cooking class or a perfume apprentice’s workshop. Of course, the list above represents just the beginning when it comes to exploring the “City of Lights.”
What else do you need to see and do for the perfect teen-friendly getaway? We can help you craft the ideal itinerary based on your family members’ ages and interests. Not only have we traveled the city with our children, but we’ve got excellent local connections. This translates into your pick of the best accommodations and a perfect mix of independent exploration, hands-on experiences, and tours that will bring the city to life. Find out why we’re the top pick for families looking for kid-friendly vacations.
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