I had been wanting to do this for a long time. The first time we were in Paris together was in 2010, on a trip with extended family. She was 5 years old, yet somehow, was able to appreciate Paris’ dazzling qualities and fell in love with the city. Her memories included: Riding carousels, eating crepes, walking wide shopping streets, playing in incredible city playgrounds, and picnicing underneath iconic monuments; What’s not to love?
So as an early birthday celebration (for both of us) we hopped on the Eurostar for a weekend in Paris.
We left early on a Saturday and arrived home late on the first Monday of Easter break. (Tip: Splurge for first-class seats on the way there. The extra comfortable seats and lovely meal had us bubbling over with excitement. I went with regular seats on the way home, and after a few snacks from the café car, we slept most of the way.)
I selected a great little Airbnb studio apartment in Le Marais. I wasn’t very familiar with this area, but loved the abundance of pre-revolutionary buildings and the quirky bohemian feel. It’s a great central location, not too far from the river, Louvre and Notre Dame.
Since it wasn’t our first time in Paris, we didn’t worry too much about going into museums or monuments, but preferred to do a walking tour of our own. If you can catch Paris in the springtime, when the cherry trees have blossomed, it’s quite spectacular. Who wants to go inside when you have this outside?
So we walked…and walked. When we became tired of walking we took a water taxi or a bicycle tuk-tuk, stopping multiple times for ice cream or crepes along the way. You can buy a one-day pass for the water taxi, which ends up being a good value if you use it multiple times throughout the day. The tuk-tuks (not pictured) are a bit of a splurge, but definitely worth it if tired feet can’t get you home – and much more fun than the metro or a regular taxi.
For some reason the Louvre courtyard is the place for some silly, touristy photos. It’s easy to indulge, when your travel partner is a fun-loving-11-year-old.
She received a new camera as a birthday gift, so it was a real treat to be able to enjoy taking photos together. Paris is a dream to photograph, as there are so many beautiful buildings, parks and corners.
Apparently, 11 years old is still young enough to enjoy some of the fantastic playgrounds and carrousels around Paris. I love all the family-friendly spaces in this city. It’s a great way to interact with the locals (although my French is appalling, unfortunately).
Hope you enjoyed our little tour as much as we did. The one-to-one time with my growing girls was so special. I can’t wait to do it with my younger daughter when she gets a little older. Where will go next time?
Au revoir, Paris! Until we meet again!