Not many cities are as well known as Paris, France. For anyone who calls themselves a travel lover, visiting Paris is a staple on their travel to-do list. And even if you only have time to complete a Paris 3 day itinerary, spending time in the city is definitely worth it.
The city of light, as Paris is often affectionately called, has dazzled many an artist, musician, writer, and everyday traveler. Millions of visitors come to this ancient Roman city each year. And there are so many Paris points of interest to see. It would be impossible to visit all of them in one visit.
The last time I was in Paris, I was a young 20-something Peace Corps volunteer, passing a long layover in the city on my way home for a mid-service visit. This time around, I came to Paris with kids and husband in tow after spending three weeks exploring things to do in Lyon. My experience this time was quite different than my experience over twelve years ago. But even still, I had a memorable time, as did my family.
This post was updated on May 31, 2020.
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Why you want to include a Paris 3 day itinerary on your trip to France
Family travelers may wonder whether visiting Paris with kids is a good idea. It’s a big city, with a lot of people. But rest assured, Paris is a fun city to visit with little ones. And there are plenty of things to do in Paris with kids.
We loved stumbling upon some of the Paris parks during our visit. There are the usual Paris points of interest, like the Eiffel Tower or the Jardin de Luxembourg, but there are also small neighborhood playgrounds scattered throughout the city. And sometimes these are the best places for kids to play!
Other things to do in Paris with kids include checking out the Paris carousels, walking through museums, and even sampling typical Parisian cuisine. There’s nothing more quintessentially Parisian than having a pastry and coffee at a local patisserie or cafe! Rick Steves has a great pocket guide book of Paris that you can leaf through to find kid-friendly suggestions.
If you are planning to explore more of Europe, take a look through my Europe posts.
A Paris 3 day itinerary for families
We normally travel slowly when we visit a place. However, in Paris we only had about a week to spend. This felt like a short stay for us, but luckily we were able to do a lot of things during that time. But even if you can only do a Paris 3 day itinerary, there is still so much of the city you can visit in that short period of time.
The key for families planning a trip to Paris is to try not to pack too much into your day. You’ll be tempted to try and see as much as you can during your 3 days in Paris. But all that will do is guarantee melt downs and travel burnout! Instead, focus your activities on things that will maximize your time in Paris. This way, you’ll get to experience French culture without overloading your days with activities.
I recently partnered with a company called isango! to put together an easy Paris 3 day itinerary that’s perfect for families. It combines seeing the Paris points of interest with a bit of culture and history. If you’re looking for things to do in Paris with kids, check out my suggestions below.
Day 1: Start you Paris 3 day itinerary with a bus tour
We enjoy doing bus tours when we get to a new big city. We did a hop-on hop-off tour in Rome and loved it! Paris has a number of hop-on hop-off style tours that families can choose from. These types of tours are a great way to maximize your Paris 3 day itinerary, because you get to see the tourist sites all in one day.
While we were in Paris, I reached out to isango!, which works with local tour companies in over 300 cities around the world, to help us discover the city sites. Through isango!, my family and I took a hop-on hop-off style bus tour and spent a day driving through the various neighborhoods (known as Arrondissements) to see the Paris points of interest.
Through our bus tour, we saw famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Musee de Louvre, and Sacre-Coeur Basilica. We drove along Champs Elysees and through the famous Montmarte district. Bus tours range from one day to three days, and start at around $27 (USD) per person. They can be combined with other tours, like a night tour or a boat tour. You can work with isango! to plan a tour that works for your family. It’s a perfect way to start your 3 days in Paris.
Book your bus tour here: Big Bus Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Day 2: Exploration day
After kicking off your Paris 3 day itinerary with a bus tour, you can spend your second day in the city diving deeper into some of the places you passed by the day before. We enjoyed visiting the Louvre, which houses an extensive collection of ancient, classical, and premodern art.
But a trip to the Louvre can take the whole day. So alternatively, you can choose some lesser known museums like the Musee d’Orsay or the Musee de l’Orangerie to make better use of your time in Paris with kids. We particularly liked the Atelier des Lumieres, which presents famous works of art in an immersive visual and sound experience.
Another idea for things to do in Paris with kids is to stroll through the Jardin de Luxembourg, or take a walk through streets like Champs Elysees. The once bohemian and seedy neighborhood of Montmarte is now lined with trendy shops and bars, and it’s quite kid-friendly for families visiting Paris. You can also visit Galerias Lafayette or Printemps, two very famous and high end department stores, to do a bit of window shopping during your Paris 3 day itinerary.
If you’re looking for a guided tour of the museums for your exploration day, book one of these tours:
Day 3: Visit Versailles to end your Paris 3 day itinerary with a bang!
No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Palace of Versailles. Be sure to reserve your last day of your Paris 3 day itinerary for exploring Versailles.
The Palace of Versailles is just a twenty minute train ride from Paris. You can purchase tickets via the Metro and train at any Paris Metro station or online. The trip cost us less than 15 euros round trip per person.
Versailles is a stunningly grand place. It was built by Louis XIV, and was home to French kings up until the French Revolution. Many of the rooms have been preserved, and a lot of the art work is remarkable to see.
While you may be tempted to do other things on your last day of your Paris 3 day itinerary, hear me out. A visit to Versailles is a worthy reminder of the decadence of the French upper class at the time, and helps you understand contextually why the French peasants were protesting.
Seeing how Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette were living in luxury, while their subjects were starving just outside the gates, puts into stark perspective why the French strive to create as egalitarian a society as they can today. A visit to Versailles can help spark conversations about privilege with your kids.
Learn more about how you can incorporate learning and worldschooling into your travels.
Finding fun things to do with your kids
It’s not difficult to find things to do in Paris with kids. If you only have 3 days in Paris to explore, than this itinerary is an easy way to get a feel of the city and its history. And if you have more time to explore, you can work with isango! to plan a more complete itinerary that works for your family.
Our recent visit to Paris with kids was so enjoyable. We loved walking through the streets of the city, riding through the Metro, and getting a glimpse of what Parisian life might be like. We hope to someday return to France, and spend another few days or more visiting Paris. It truly captured our hearts.
Have you done a Paris 3 day itinerary with your family? What would you change or add to this itinerary? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. My family and I received complimentary tickets for a Paris bus tour from isango! in exchange for writing this post. However, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
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