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Our 7 Day Paris Itinerary

This summer, right after we got back from Japan, I said to Bart, “I can’t even get excited about another trip yet!”

And then about a week later, some super cheap direct flights to Paris came up on Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) and . . . . suddenly I was excited about another trip.

Paris with our girls had been on my bucket list for a while (we’d visited with the two older girls 9 years ago, but it was at the tail end of a month of traveling around Europe and we were all SO TIRED by the time we got to Paris), plus my cousin lives in Paris right now but will be leaving next summer, so our chance to visit with free lodging was ticking down.

We grabbed those tickets and started preparing for our trip.

And it was wonderful! We saw so many things, spent so much fun time together and absolutely walked our feet off.

Here’s what our Paris itinerary looked like:     paris itinerary


  • The girls went to school and Bart and I worked in the morning. Around noon, Bart went to pick up the girls while I finished some last minute packing and prep and then when they got home, we loaded up the car and headed to the airport.
  • One of the reasons we’d jumped on these cheap flights is because they were direct from Salt Lake City to Paris and so after grabbing a little lunch at the airport, we boarded our flight and ten hours later, landed in Paris on Thursday morning. 


  • Although it was about nine a.m. when we landed, it felt like we’d mostly been awake all night (we’d all slept a bit on the flight, but mostly in the range of 30 minutes to a few hours, so no one felt at all like it’d been enough sleep to make it through a full day. We went through customs, collected our luggage and then took a cab into Paris to my cousin’s apartment where we were staying for the trip. He and his wife were both at work, but they’d left us the door codes and we let ourselves in, changed in pajamas and took a two hour nap. When we woke up around 2, we got ready for the day and headed out into Paris.
  • Our first stop was the Arc de Triumph, where we bought some street crepes since we were all starving. We’d purchased six day Paris Museum Passes for Bart and me before we left and they activate when you first use them so this started the clock ticking (we didn’t buy them for the girls since children under 18 are free at the majority of museums and sites in Paris). We went through security and climbed the steps to the top of the Arc and spent a fair amount of time looking at landmarks and orienting ourselves to the city.
  • When we came back down, we headed out onto the Champs Elysees and walked past dozens of icon shops before stopping in a toy store (this was not nearly as nice of a toy store as Hamley’s in London or the ones we visited in Japan, but the little girls were thrilled and the other four of us were happy to sit down for twenty minutes while they carefully inspected every stuffed animal).
  • We walked down to Rue Clear, which is an incredibly picturesque street with lots of fun shops, bakeries and restaurants. We bought baguette sandwiches and some fruit and sat down to eat. A very lovely elderly French couple stopped and chatted with us for a solid ten minutes while we ate and when we told them we were going to Eiffel Tower later that evening, the woman exclaimed “We live right by it! She is my best friend.” It was just so sweet.

paris itinerary

  • After our meal, we headed down to the Eiffel Tower. I’d watched for online tickets to the top for weeks before our trip but could never snag them (they seem to open a week or two beforehand for online purchase). We weren’t in any hurry and since we’d skipped the Eiffel Tower the last time we’d come, Ella in particular was determined we WOULD NOT miss it. We stood in line for about 40 minutes and bought tickets to the top. Several giant elevators later and we were at the top. It was windy and a bit chilly up that high, but we loved looking out over the city all lit up at night. We took the elevator back down to the second floor and then the girls opted to walk down the last flights of stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. The tower started sparkling on the hour as we walked down and it was absolutely gorgeous – we were all thrilled we hadn’t waited for the elevator!
  • We walked back along the Seine toward my cousin’s apartment and stopped in a little grocery store to pick up some yogurt and cheese and crackers and chocolate since everyone’s internal clocks were saying “FEED ME!” and took it back with us. By now, my cousin and his wife were home and while we ate our food, we spent nearly an hour visiting with them before we all got ready for bed. I’d never used melatonin before but especially because we were staying with other people, I really didn’t want my kids awake in the middle of the night being loud (and I did NOT want to spend hours staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night like I had on our last two Europe trips), so I gave everyone some melatonin gummies and we went to bed. To my absolute delight, every one of us slept through the night and woke up around 7:30 or 8:00 a.m.  


  • Once everyone was up and ready, we took the metro to Monmarte and walked up the street to a bakery (I cannot find the name of it!). The girls all got pain au chocolat and Bart and I had the best quiche of the trip there. After the bakery, we walked around the corner to a grocery store and bought some plums and water bottles and then walked up many hills until we reached Sacre Ceour on the top of the hill. We walked around a bit outside and took photos and then went inside the beautiful cathedral. Our Museum Passes did NOT include going up to the Dome but the girls were thrilled at the idea of all those stairs (they were VERY into stairs on this trip for no reason that I could tell) and we bought tickets and walked up the 292 stairs to the dome and enjoyed looking out over the city before walking back down.
  • After the dome, we headed down to the Place du Tertre where there are tons of artists and we picked on we liked and had her draw portraits of the four girls. While we waited, Bart convinced me to have my portrait done too, so I walked around again and decided on a watercolor artist. While I was sitting for that, a pigeon pooped right on my pants (my cousin later told me it’s not a real trip to Paris if you don’t have this experience). Once all our art was one, we grabbed some baguette sandwiches and walked down to the Metro.

things to do in paris

  • Many people had said that a bike tour was one of their favorite family activities they’d done in Paris so we’d booked an afternoon bike tour with Fat Tire Bikes. We took the metro back to the correct neighborhood and then walked to the office where we got our bikes and helmets and were assigned to a small group (there were 13 of us plus the guide). The bike tour was about 3 hours long and it was terrific – we did a 6.5 mile loop and saw lots of big sites with a little intro from the guide at each one (plus, he was happy to take family photos at each one!). The girls did a great job, even Tally who is 6, and it was one of my favorite activities that we did on this trip. 

paris itinerary

  • After we got back, we dropped off our bikes, went to the bathroom, and had some water, and then started walking toward Notre Dame to find some dinner. We didn’t have anywhere particularly in mind, but when we spotted a Korean restaurant (Big Bang IV), we walked right in and happily sat down for a delicious meal (it was especially fun because we had Korean food as our first big meal in Japan earlier this year, so it felt like a little bit of a throwback to that delightful trip). Our plan was to go to Berthillion after dinner, but when we looked it up, we realized that it closed at 8, so we stopped by Notre Dame, recreated a photo we’d taken there with the two big girls in 2014 and then got gelato at Amorino. My sister Merrick had highly recommended Le Flan de Notre-Dame, so we walked over there, arriving a few minutes before closing time, only to find that it was already shut down for the evening. It was getting late and we were all pretty worn out, so we called an Uber and headed home. 

paris itinerary


  • On Saturday morning, we slept in a bit more and then got up and headed down to the Catacombs for a tour we’d booked (tickets open a week beforehand online and you can’t buy them on site). We stopped at a little patisserie (Moisan – Leclerc) just outside the metro station and bought a bunch of pastries and some quiche and ate them, along with some fruit from the grocery store, at the tables outside. The weather was perfect and the pastries were TERRIFIC. The chocolate almond one was especially good (and by the end of the trip we all agreed it was the best one we’d had).
  • We lined up for our entrance time at the Catacombs and after a few minutes, we were inside. Our adult tickets included an audio guide, so the three younger girls shared one (Star loved managing it) and Bart and Ella and I shared the other. It was really interesting and definitely a touch creepy, although not scary, and we all really enjoyed it.

things to do in paris with kids

  • An hour later, we emerged above ground and walked down to the Luxembourg Gardens. Bart found a spot in the shade and we rented a little boat for the girls to float along the pond. After a few minutes, Ani decided to spend some of her Good Traveler Budget on her own and they all had the best time until it was time to turn them in. After we’d returned them, we walked down to the carousel (apparently the oldest one in Paris!) And the girls did two rounds on it. This one is especially fun because if you’re on the outside ring, you get a little wand/stick and then as you past the conductor, he has a little device that drops rings and you try to spear them as you ride by. The girls LOVED that. We walked over to the playground and Bart paid for the girls to go in while we sat on the sidelines and watched them play.

paris itinerary

  • Everyone was getting fairly hungry, so we walked to the other side of the gardens and out into the streets and up to Breziah Cafe where we got a table and had some excellent crepes and enjoyed a break from walking for a bit. My crepe – country style ham with cheese and a fried egg – was particularly good.
  • We had tickets at 4 p.m. to the Louvre (they were free with our Museum Pass, but I’d reserved a specific time with them on the Louvre site) and so we walked over to the Louvre and entered through the mall side (rather than under the pyramid where the wait looked at least an hour long). We went right in and scanned our tickets, where we discovered that they were actually booked for Sunday, not Saturday (I’d originally had them on our plan for Saturday but then only Sunday slots were available so I’d written them ALSO on Sunday but forgotten to take it off Saturday). Since we had our museum pass and there was no line, they scanned our museum passes and let us through. Ella enjoyed being in charge of the map and we spent about 90 minutes hitting the highlights, including the Mona Lisa (which the girls were all VERY excited to see after listening to The Mona Lisa Vanishes a few weeks earlier), Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory. We loosely followed the Rick Steves tour map and I used the script to read aloud highlights as we went, which worked quite well.

things to eat in paris

  • The girls were dragging a bit by now, so we headed to Berthillion and everyone got a double cone which really perked everyone up. We stopped by a grocery store and picked up some cheese and chips and fruit and then walked down along the Seine until we found a night river cruise. It was just about 8 p.m. and the next available tickets were for 8:45, so we sat down at a table and ate our snacks and then lined up so we could get good seats on the boat. The river cruise was really fun and beautiful and it was a fun way to learn a little more about the city. It was slightly chilly but not uncomfortable.
  • After the cruise, the girls were all still quite hungry, so we stopped at a grocery store to pick up another round of snacks and treats, then grabbed an Uber back to my cousin’s house, and ate our food there. The girls got ready for bed and Bart and I caught up on some emails and I booked tickets for Saint Chapelle for the following day (again, free with our Museum Pass but Preethi had warned me the lines were VERY long and I was glad to snag a time slot). 


  •  We were up a bit later this morning and everyone got ready and we headed out into the city. We took the metro over to the Notre Dame area and tried Le Flan de Notre-Dame again, this time with success. The employees pushed two tables together for us and set up the shade umbrella and we had some pastries, quiche and sandwiches (Ella and Ani especially LOVED the roast chicken sandwiches – so much so that after they’d split the first one, we ordered a second one and they ate that one too).
  • We walked over to LDS chapel for the 12:30 service (we’d looked up the time when we were planning our trip) only to discover that the 12:30 service is for summer only and had ended the week before. The girls used the bathroom and we chatted with a few people, including meeting the friends of some of our dear friends, and then we headed back out.
  • It was time for our Saint Chapelle tickets, so we walked that way and got in the (indeed very long) lines and were glad we had a reserved time spot. Tally was really starting to lose it and did NOT want to go but once we got to the bottom floor of the church and she realized there were lots of stairs up to the main floor, she was inexplicably happy again (I told you – they were so weirdly into stairs on this trip!) And everyone enjoyed the beautiful stained glass windows. It was a sunny day with light pouring in and I watched a little video about the restoration of the windows which was really fascinating.
  • We walked down to the Musee d’Orsay, stopping along the way to get some berries and water at a little market. Ella had a headache and when Bart asked the owner if there was Tylenol or something similar, he said no, only pharmacies carry that, not markets, but then pulled out an aspirin tablet from his own bag and offered it to Ella who gratefully took it (it was the kind that you drop in water and it fizzes and as he handed it to her, he joked, “Champagne!” Which gave us all a good laugh. Then he handed the girls each a caramel, which made all their days.
  • There was another LONG line at Musee d’Orsay but because we had our museum passes (no timed tickets), we walked right in and headed immediately up to the fifth floor to see the Van Goghs, Monet and the other impressionists. We especially loved loved looking out through the giant clock face onto the city below at the end. This museum was a HIT, especially with Ella.
  • We crossed the street and walked down to the Tuileries gardens where the girls quickly spotted a carousel and hopped aboard for two rides and then we went to the playground across from it where the girls happily played for 30-40 minutes while Bart and I enjoyed sitting in the shade.
  • Afterward, we walked down to the L’Orangerie where we got in for free (again, Museum Passes) and saw the unreal Monet waterlily paintings. I hadn’t been here before, so this was a delight. Tally was wearing sandals (she’d been wearing her Kiziks all the other days) and although she’d worn them many times before, they were starting to rub her feet from all this walking and we asked at the desk if they had any bandaids. The woman told us that unfortunately they couldn’t give us any bandaids because of liability but then showed us how we could get to a hospital 20 minutes away by Metro. Clearly, we were looking at a language barrier here, since we were unlikely to sue or go to a hospital over a bandaid, so we headed out (not to the hospital).
  • We walked down to the Galleries Lafyette Gourmet Food Halls and stopped in at H&M and bought some socks for Tally which she put on under her sandals and instantly solved her blister problems. We wandered around the food halls, got some sushi for the girls, and then had dinner at the Indian restaurant upstairs. We grabbed a few treats on our way out as they closed and then stopped for more gelato and crepes, before catching an Uber home. 


  • We were up early this morning because my cousin’s wife had a call from home and needed quiet, so we got dressed and out the door and then stopped at the grocery store for some fruit, drinks, and hot pastries, then walked through the park until we found a shady spot to sit and eat.
  • I hadn’t realized it but we were in the park that houses the Jardin d’Acclimatation which we’d visited back in 2014 with the two big girls (in fact, Ella’s room has a photo of her riding a pony there!). Bart noticed that it was set to open in about 15 minutes, so we walked over and the girls were BESIDE themselves when we told them we could go. The unlimited passes for four people were a really good deal, so we got those for the girls and then just 7 euro entrance tickets for Bart and me and the girls rode every ride (many multiple times). Tally was just a bit too short for several of them, so she rode other ones (and she was a great sport about it).

paris itinerary

  • After about an hour and a half, we left the park and walked to a little Italian restaurant Bart had found with stellar reviews. We got some pasta and sandwiches and then the kind woman at the counter gave us two free desserts. We sat down nearby and ate our lunch and then hailed an Uber to take us to Giverny where we were meeting up with my parents. 
  • There was some construction and a big accident so it took us longer than we expected (and cost more too!), but most of us napped on the way there and we arrived with plenty of time. My parents weren’t quite there yet, so we went into the gardens and wandered around then met them about thirty minutes later. We visited the gardens, took lots of photos and then went through the house and the gift shop (where the girls bought some little music boxes and mirrors with their Good Traveler Budgets and my mom and I bought matching Christmas ornaments). 
  • My dad drove with the girls to a gorgeous little restaurant (Le Petit Giverny) nearby while my mom, Bart and I walked over (it was less than 5 minutes away on foot). We enjoyed a delightful dinner including Bart ordering escargot which the girls had all wanted to try on this trip (and they all ate one!).

paris itinerary

  • After the costly Uber ride, we weren’t excited to repeat that on the way home, so my parents dropped us at the train station and we took the train and then the Metro (much cheaper!) back to my cousin’s house in Paris and went to bed! 


  • Bart found a patisserie with great reviews and we went there for breakfast (the croque madame was our favorite) and then hailed an Uber to take us to Versailles to meet up with my parents again (the Uber waited a minute or two extra for us while I took the two little girls to the bathroom in the basement of a grocery store!).
  • When we arrived, we got in line (this was another place our Museum Passes got us in for free, although I’d reserved timed tickets, plus bought my parents tickets too) and went through security. My parents joined us a few minutes later and we had a lovely time wandering through the beautiful rooms of the palace.
  • After about 2 hours, we headed into the gardens and bought tickets to enter, then my dad and I stood in line to rent golf carts while Bart, my mom and the girls walked down to one of the cafes to grab some lunch. My dad and I each got a cart and then drove around to meet up with the rest of the family who hopped aboard and then we headed out into the gardens. I was REALLY glad we’d done golf carts because the grounds are huge and there is no way we could have done all that walking at this point in our trip (plus, it was HOT). We returned our golf carts an hour later (almost to the minute!) And then my parents dropped us at the train station so we could return to Paris. 
  • The train dropped us just outside Shakespeare and Co, an English bookstore I’d wanted to visit. I’ve never stood in line to visit a bookstore before, but there was a decent line for entrance. We waited maybe 15 minutes, visiting with the Korean family in front of us, and then got into the store and headed straight for the kids section. I knew I wanted to get a book as a souvenir, and I looked around for a while, looking for just the right thing. I finally landed on The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a book I’ve long loved but don’t own a copy of and then saw Shakespeare Stories, a staple in my childhood home, and picked up a copy of that too for my sister. I’d told my mom about this bookstore and their custom stamps that morning and she’d requested I get her a book too. I found a lovely copy of Anne of Green Gables. I bought the books and had them do their custom stamp inside, then we walked out to the little street on the side. 
  • The girls wanted to spend some of their travel budget, so Bart took them down to a few shops while I sat on the steps and caught up on Instagram DMs and answered questions about the Yoto Player which was on sale for Prime Day. 
  • When the girls were done, they met back up with me and we walked to dinner at an Italian restaurant nearby – Respiro (the pistachio pasta was FAB and by far my favorite thing we got) 
  • We’d been planning to hit Berthillion again, but our dinner went to long, so we walked to a patisserie and picked out some fancy desserts instead and took those back home in an Uber, where we ate them and then went to bed. 


  • This was our last day in Paris and we took it pretty easy in the morning – the girls were happy to play together and I spent about two hours working so I didn’t get too behind. We finally all got dressed and out the door around 11 a.m. 
  • We took the Metro down to the Tuileries and went to Angelina’s which my grandparents had visited decades earlier and loved (I’d heard about their hot chocolate all my life from them!). The line was LONG  – they don’t take reservations – and we almost bailed, but then Bart, knowing how much I wanted to go, suggested he run down to a grocery store and pick up a little fruit to tide everyone over while I waited in line with the girls. About 40 minutes later, we were seated and had a glorious lunch, including the hot chocolate (Bart got one with his meal and we got a pitcher for 2 and that was plenty for the other 5 of us!). My eggs Benedict was terrific and the avocado toast was like nothing I’d never seen. I was so glad we’d waited it out! 
  • Afterward, we met my cousin at the embassy where he works and he gave us a private tour. I don’t know that the girls were that thrilled by it, but Bart and I were fascinated by it and it was so fun to see it plus get a feel for what he does on a daily basis. 
  • Afterward, we walked back across the river to the Dome Church which I’d wanted to visit if possible, and we got free tickets for the girls at the desk (there was no line!) and then scanned our museum passes and went inside. The main attraction was Napoleon’s tomb but  there were also lots of other beautiful statues and art and then we went out and into the 20th century wars section of The Musée de l’Armée. Our Museum Passes had JUST expired, but when we scanned them and the desk clerk saw how close the timing was (and there was no line at all), she let us in anyway. 
  • We browsed in the gift shop for a bit and then we started making our way over to L’As du Falafel. It was more than a hour long walk and we stopped along the way for the girls to browse and do a bit more shopping plus pick up some Laura Todd cookies (some for us, some for my cousin) before we made it to dinner. Happily, there was no line at all and we had a table within moments and quickly ordered. The girls REALLY wanted one last trip to Berthillion before we went home, so Bart and the two big girls ran the whole way to get in line before it closed, while the little girls and I stayed to finish up our food and pay. When we were done, we walked across the bridge and met up with them coming back victorious with six cones. We ate them standing along the bridge and the girls’ night was MADE when a French couple with two cute Pomeranian dogs stopped to chat with us and they played with the dogs for several minutes while we visited. 
  • Afterward, we stopped at one last shop for the girls to do a bit of shopping, then grabbed an Uber home. We got most of our things packed up and then went to bed. 

what to do in paris


  • We got up early, got ready and packed, then grabbed an Uber to the airport where we checked our luggage and then caught our plane for the long flight home (which I spent a good portion of working on this post before I forgot all the details!). What a trip!

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  1. Sounds like a great trip! We’re hoping to go to Paris with our kids next year so I’m bookmarking your post for inspiration. Can I ask, what’s the Good Traveler budget you mention for your girls?

  2. I always enjoy your travel posts, the information and tips you share, and the joy of your family travels! Now subscribing to Going! We hope to go to Japan or Korea in the near future and will keep your itineraries handy! I also want to go back to Paris now!

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