When we planned our trip to Europe, we each got to pick one location and Paris was, of course, my teenage daughter’s choice. I immediately started researching what some of the best things to do in Paris with teens were and I can’t believe how many I found.

I’m not sure the city would have made my list had she not chosen it, but it ended up being one of our family’s favorite cities to explore! There were so many amazing things to see & activities to do in Paris with our teenagers. We had the best time exploring together.

Fun things to do in Paris with teens on a family trip to France.

We flew directly into Paris. It’s a really easy airport to fly into which makes the city a great starting point for any Europe itinerary.

Why I loved Paris With My Teenagers

One of the things I loved about Paris so much was that the whole city is basically a huge H.O.A. making it extremely walkable and pretty.

After it’s reconstruction by designed by Haussmann after WWII, the city instituted all of these rules to the point that people that live in Paris actually have to get permission from the city before painting their shutters!

This creates a very cohesive city that is well designed and wonderfully laid out for wandering.

I loved how the city seemed to flow from one structure to the next.

It felt really safe for our family to enjoy and I was happy to let my teenagers walk down to grab a croissant in the mornings on their own.

where to stay in Paris to fit a family with teenagers.

Where To Stay In Paris With Teens – Downtown

We stayed in Paris at the Hôtel Le Presbytère, which I recommend 1,000%.

They have a family suite on the top floor with pretty views and it had plenty of beds for our entire family. I loved that it was right downtown so we could walk to most places.

One note: There is no lift at this hotel, so it’s not a good option if you have mobility issues. 

We had originally planned to stay at the Hyatt which would have been easier in some ways, but further out of the city. I am so happy we chose to stay right in the city instead. I quickly learned being close to things in Paris was more important than anything – the driving situation in the city is insane!

The hotel had cutest (PINK) cafe right at the bottom which had great croissants for the morning and cocktails at night that made our stay even more cozy.

How to Prepare To Travel To Paris

One of the things we did when we traveled was to give our kids a little printable packet that had the history of the city, some language hints and fun cultural tips they might want to know.

It also included important details about places that we’re going to explore. Here’s the link to history of Paris, which is really great to include in your own packet.

All in all, Paris was a wonderful city to visit with teenagers. Here are some favorite things that we did while there.

Best things to do in Paris with your high school students

3 Day Paris Itinerary With Teenagers

If you’d like to see our full day Paris family itinerary, here are links to the google maps that we used to plot each days course.

Day 1 google map here

Day 2 Google Map here

Day 3 Google Map here

And here is our actual itinerary I printed out for everyone, which we stuck to pretty well. Read on for all the details of what we loved and what I’d skip next time.

Paris 3 day Itinerary with teens

Sainte Chapelle

We landed in the morning, as most flights coming into Europe do and after dropping the bags we walked the couple blocks to see Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame.

The walk took us over the Seine River and was a great way to start our tour of the city.

Notre Dame was packed and under construction so we didn’t spend much time there, but we had bought tickets ahead of time to see Sainte Chapelle and I’m so glad we did! The windows and beauty of this building were mesmerizing and the kids loved the tiny stairwells we had to duck into.

Afterwards, we kept walking and stopped into Shakespeare & Company to each buy a little something. If you buy a book they will sign copies and give you a little stamp that shows that you shopped here in Paris, which makes your purchase a fun souvenir to keep.

We also popped into Odette for coffee which we all needed at this point and really good.

Luxembourg gardens activities.

Luxembourg Gardens

Then we continued walking to see Luxembourg Gardens. I had read a lot about this spot and about the toy boats that you can sail across the ponds. Honestly, I wanted to see it, but wasn’t sure if my teens would be fans.

I was so surprised they had a blast with these little tiny boats! We stayed the entire hour rental as they ran back and forth across the pond to push out again and again.

You can rent the boats right there for an hour at a time and use the sticks to get them directionally across the pond. It was a beautifully iconic Paris afternoon with families everywhere.

The flowers and trees in the gardens were so wonderful to walk around while the kids played. Such a breath of fresh air in the busy city.

We wandered a little further to see Musee de Luxembourg, but didn’t stay long because it was time for food!

Favorite food stops in Paris, food tour with teens.

Food Your Teen Will Love In Paris

Finding food your kid will love with that right balance of fun makes food an important factor for the growing things to do with teens in Paris ideas list. Here are a few of my family’s favorite spots and food related activities we did while traveling.

The Best Crepes

We set out on a journey to find the perfect crepes as it was one of my daughters prime reasons for picking Paris as a location to visit.

We started by walking through the park for Crepes Ti Jos, but quickly learned it wasn’t open on the day we tried to go.

We had already tried out Les Meilleures Crepes right at the start of our exploring and although the place was adorable, we thought we could find better.

And we did….

The best crepes in Paris were found when we walked a bit further to a street stall at Rue Mouffetard and stopped at a small little storefront called; Au P’Tit Grec.

This was it!

These were hands down the best crepes we had our whole entire trip. They were so good and you need to for sure stop here.

If crepes are not what you are after, this area had many cute little shops & stalls to stop into for any kind of lunch you might be looking for.

After lunch we were ready for a rest, so we headed back to the hotel to nap & get ready for our 1st night in Paris.

There are a couple things that we did miss out on this day just because of our timing and jet lag.

We didn’t get to:

Next trip these gems will be first on our list.

Food Tour With Teens

After freshening up we went on this Le Marais Twilight Food Tour.

Food Tours are one of my favorite family activities to do for every trip. They are such a great way to get to know the city, and walk around together trying different foods. They are always great fun! This one doubled as a way beat jet lag & make sure we stayed awake until a reasonable hour to go to bed. 🙂

Pro Travel With Teens Tip: Book a food tour on your first night to keep everyone awake, fed and exploring. It will help with time zone adjustment for sure.

One thing we all enjoyed about this food tour was exploring the Jewish Quarter. My teens have learned a lot in high school about France’s occupation during WWII and it was compelling to see many of the synogogues with names of those lost upon them.

A couple of our favorite stops on this tour were:

  • The famous Cafe Hugo for escrago, which was a fun way to kick off our first dinner in France.
  • The amazing wine and really good French cheese at Cave Des Pyrenees
  • And we tried a beef burgundy pita at Miznon which was possibly my favorite thing I ate all trip. It sounds strange, but was so very good!

It was amazing to walk and hear the history in this place, learn stories about what transpired there during World War II, and see the culture that has grown up since in this space.

With the food energy coursing through our veins, we headed to the top of The Arc de Triomphe for sunset. You’ll be tired, but this is worth it – trust me.

Note: you have to buy tickets beforehand, so look up what time the sun sets and try for about 30 minutes beforehand. 

It’s fun to be able to go up on top and get this view of the city.

Restaurants

Other than the food tour and Crepes we tried out a number of restaurants that we all enjoyed.

We went to a traditional French family dinner one evening at the restaurant Julene. The food here was just so-so, but very traditional & the atmosphere + decor was worth the trip.

I’d recommend it for dessert or appetizers just to see it and grab dinner elsewhere.

We also loved:

Matt and I took a date night on our second night and we let the kids chill at the hotel, so they could catch up with friends and rest.

Pro Family Travel Tip: Always take a date night away from the kids. It gives everyone space and keeps you and your partner connected while traveling.

We went to Bar Hemingway at the bottom of the Ritz and then it poured rain on us… in true Paris RomCom style.

Great photo spots to stop at in Paris

Take Great Social Media Photos

I heard the best place for dreamy sunrise photos in Paris is at the terrace of Trocadéro. Located across the Seine in a direct line of sight from the Eiffel Tower. Here it is said, if you go early you’ll get some of the best views of the icon without the crowds. I promise… we had good intentions to get here, but sleep got the better of us. 😉

We still ended up with great photos though of the Eiffel from a couple different spots… my favorite being on the adorable carousel across the street! And obviously the photos from the top just can’t be beat.

Once we got up and moving, we started our day grabbing pastries at PariSeven boulangerie.

We ate them at this cute little park with great views of the Eiffel Tower then walked over to visit the grounds.

Top of the Eiffel tower, how to see it the right way.

If you want to go up the Eiffel Tower make sure to book tickets ahead of time. We booked the elevator all the way up, and then walked up and down the first 2 stories.

Teen Fun Tip: Matt and our girl ended up running down racing, on either side as a race of the tower, which was maybe not the safest thing… But I’ve found it’s jumping into moments like this that make our trips fun and memorable for us parents and our teenagers. 

After leaving the Eiffel Tower we walked back to our hotel.

We walked through Jardins de Tuileries which was jaw droppingly beautiful and stopped at La Droguerie to pick out cute Paris charms to bring home as gifts.

We also walked past the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature which had a crazy display of rats in the front window! The boys stopped in another time and loved getting to see all the taxidermy up close.

cute car ride tour paris

How To Get Around Paris

Getting around Paris was a whole vibe in itself. The traffic is crazy, there are bikes everywhere, and oftentimes the sidewalk we were walking down quickly also became a street. It was wild and fun. Here are some of the ways we got around and activities we did to see the city while in motion.

Take A Private Car Ride

For the afternoon, I had booked a private car through La Petite Frenchie to see Montmartre. This is one of my favorite things we did the entire trip. The car was so fun and our tour guide was both informative and engaging.

He told us all about the history of the city and as we drove, he stopped so we could get pictures in front of the the Arc de Triomphe and other fun places.

We headed up the hill to tour Sacre Coeur Basilica. Which looms atop the tallest point in Paris, at Montmartre. After taking us up, we jumped out to explore the cute shops, restaurants and the streets – even stopping by the cemetery.

This area was one of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris and not easy to get to from downtown so the car was part fun & part function as well. A wonderful way to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time and give our legs a break from all that walking.

Boat ride on the seine river.

Boat Ride

The last night we had in Paris we ventured out onto the water and for a river cruise down the Seine with Green River Cruises. What a great addition this was to my list of to do with teens in Paris.

Travel Tip For Teens: Always get out onto the water if you can. Every city has a different perspective from this point of view.

It was neat to see the city by river, a whole separate view of the architecture and going under the bridges was beautiful. There are many companies that offer these river cruises, we did the Green River and were happy with our private boat that included wine and snacks!

There were lots of larger “party” style boats on the water as well if that’s your thing.

Our small boat also included the kindest captain who doubled as our family photographer for the evening. I’m still thinking about how beautiful Paris looked from the water at sunset.

Get around Paris with the Turtle bikes, best way to explore with teens.

Take A Turtle

After leaving the Louvre one day, we decided to take the turtle pedicab bike company instead of attempting driving or walking and this easily became our favorite way to get around in Paris.

They have these little pedicabs everywhere and they are the most convenient and fun way to travel the city. You pay directly to the app and they drive you on their bikes.

It’s great because they move faster than the cars, and as opposed to the subway, you get to stay above ground and see the city while traveling to your next destination.

Try the Subway

For the times that we opted to not take the Turtles or walk, we used the very-easy to navigate Paris Metro System. The Metro was clean, so simple our teenagers could navigate it with ease and perfectly on time.

The one and only downside is that 90% of the time you are underground so you miss out on seeing the city while you travel.

We left this trip thinking how great it was that our kids could find their way around this big city via the Metro system if needed.

Taking teens to museums in Paris with map.

Paris Museums With Teens

One of the biggest draws to traveling to and exploring Paris is to visit the many museums here. We tried our best to hit the ones on our list, but much like my last trip to Washington DC, I could come back here and spend a month on my own seeing everything there is to see.

Here are the highlights from our favorite the cultural, the fun & most important to my teenager daughter… the fashion museums in Paris with our teenagers.

Louvre basement with family.

Go to the basement of the Louvre

The Louvre opens early, so be there to take photos in courtyard 7:30/8 if you don’t want hoards of others in your shots.

We started our day off at the Louvre with pre-purchased tickets. Get your tickets as soon as they become available online. They go quick!

Once we had our dates set for the trip, I looked online and noted on my calendar the day tickets would be released.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget about the timezone when timing your advance purchase tickets. Both for the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower you’ll need to try for exactly when they are released France’s time, not your own.

Since my timezone was wacky, I ended up with tickets for 9:30am, but the museum opened at 8am. We tried our luck and went at eight and we were able to get in a little bit early.

I’m so glad we went early. From the time that we got in line to the time we got to enter the line grew tremendously.

Get your tickets early, get in line early. It’s it’s worth it to get there earlier in the morning.

Obviously, there are some big name items to see at the Louvre, but I think what my teens loved the most was going down into the basement.

Somebody gave us this tip that the basement is where it’s at and they were right! It was so cool to see the ruins and ancient artifacts.

  • My daughter enjoyed the Egyptian artifacts
  • My husband loved the ancient tablet manuscripts
  • My son loved the ruins
  • I adored the actual building design the most

The family could have spent three days exploring the Louvre there were so much to see.

We also popped into the Modern Art Museum which was right by our hotel. It was such a different dynamic than the Louvre and fun to see two dramatically different artistic displays.

Fashion Museums

My daughter was most excited about exploring the many fashion museums in Paris.

Our fashion museum hunt started at The Galleria.

We went to the galleria which sits in a beautiful building and had fascinating exhibits. Like the one we saw that was active wear fashion through the centuries. How fun!

They have a gorgeous patio garden area to grab a quick bite to eat from and the drink menu that is crafted after famous designers.

Best museums in Paris for fashion and fun.

Our next stop was the House Of Dior

It is no exaggeration to say this was easily my favorite museum I’ve ever been to in my entire life, my daughters as well.

If you go to Paris, you have to go to Dior!

It was one of my favorite things we did on our entire Europe trip honestly.

Everything about this museum was so fun for us girls to experience together. From the crazy interactive exhibits, to seeing so much fashion history, to the dresses… Oh the dresses! I will dream about these dresses my whole life.

Get tickets ahead of time for this museum, we did not and had to wait on the street for about and hour to get in. Although, worth the wait if you have to do it that way.

Dior fashion museum, how to take your family to see it.

The Foundation

Lastly we stopped in to see The Foundation, which is another highly rated fashion museum.

This one felt more static to us and wasn’t a favorite, although I did enjoy the exhibit on vintage workwear they were showing. I think had we seen it before our favorite museum ever – it might have been a different story.

The Nature Museum 

While the girls lived up the fashion, the boys explored the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature and had some guy time. The space sounded amazing and it’s on my list for our next trip to Paris.

History and preparation for Paris

The last day we got up and checked out of the hotel. Three days in Paris was not enough!

We rented a car to drive out to the French countryside stopping for one final crepe at Krugen before heading out of the city.

If you’re headed to the Loire Valley here are some of the really great things we did there with our teens.

I wish we would have planned for more days in Paris with our teens. I can’t wait to go back one day. Have you been? What was your favorite thing about the city? I’d love to know!