Ghent - Paris
We took the car. It took us door to door 3 hours. That is the same time we would need to go by Thalys door to door.
Parking Marbeuf (55 € for 3 full days of parking)
Highway toll: 2 x 17,34 €
Lodging - Eiffel Tower View Residences
We had the standard apartment. Small, but reasonable sized for Parisian standards. (too) Large entrance where we could put luggage, shoes, umbrella's (didn't need them though), coats... Large bedroom where the kids could sleep and play. Big wardrobe. Pleasant lighting. Good coffee, big fridge, nice plates, cups, etc... Next to the bedroom is a kitchen area with a sleeping couch. Well done. Practical. Not too cramped. Large marble bathroom (needed some refinnishing after they apparently had a leak).
There was construction going on. So quite noisy during the day. Which didn't bother us too much. One afternoon when we came passed the apartment to take a short break before heading back out and there was no running water. The owners apologized and made a very generous offer. We got a 25% discount and a nice bottle of wine. When we returned to the flat after 10pm we could wash and shower.
All in all a good convenient location for us. Great service.
A family of 3 is the most the standard apartment can take though.
- Champs Elysées
- Grand Palais
- Place de la Concorde
- Les Tuileries
- Rue Rivoli
- Palais Royal
Bistrot Richelieu (see below)
TOOT bus company. Open top bus tour through Paris city center.
It's a very touristy thing to do, but with 2 kids (7 and 11) it's very convenient. It gives them an overview of different Paris highlights without wearing them out completely. Also, it's fun for them to spot cool buildings, people, cars, shops and take pictures with their phones. Highlights on the Toot tour: Trocadero, Eiffel Tower, Hotel des Invalides, Grand Palais, Place de la Concorde, Tuileries, Louvre, Seine, Eglise Madeleine, Grand Boulevards, Opéra Garnier, Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame, Saint Germain, Panthéon, Musée d'Orsay, Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe.
We had a short walk through the narrow Quartier Latin streets. Feeling the vibe of a Parisian evening in this bustling neighbourhood filled with all sorts of restaurants, bars and clubs.
Definitely check out Cour du commerce St. André.
We had dinner at Bouillon Racine in Quartier Latin (see below).
Cereal and fruit at the apartment.
Famous for Miraculous episodes. Your kids will explain. There's a famous scene on the steps there. The fountains are nice of course, but the most impressive is the superb view of the Eiffel Tower.
For me, and the kids, it was the first time actually going up the Eiffel Tower. Mind you, this a visit to Paris just after Corona, with a war going on in Ukraine, big Chinese cities in lockdown and very few visitors from the American continent. We booked tickets for a 10h30 elevator visit to the top, via the official website. There are all sorts of websites selling all sorts of (expensive tickets). There was no line, nowhere. So the visit went very smooth and was extremely pleasant. We stopped at all different levels and had a second breakfast at the 2nd floor, admiring a splendid view over Paris.
Buy your tickets in advance. Be on time. And take your time exploring the tower. Do get the elevator tickets to the top floor. We took the stairs down from the first floor. Which was also a nice experince, because it gives you a sense of vastness of the construction.
20 Eiffel (see below).
There are 2 structures the kids know are in Paris. One is the Eiffel Tower, the other is the glass pyramid of the Louvre. The Miraculous series and other movies helped with that.
First of all. Get tickets in advance online. You'll skip a huge line. There were no waiting lines anywhere in Paris, except for the Louvre and to see Mona Lisa.
Some websites charge over 75 $ for a (skip the line) ticket. Adult admission is 17 €. Kids go for free.
Go on wednesday late afternoons or friday afternoons. Louvre is closed on Tuesday.
We spent about 1,5 hours at the museum, plus another half hour at the gift shop ;-).
My suggestion when you go with kids:
- Ancient Egyptian Art
- Ancient Greek art
- Venus de Milo
- Mona Lisa
- Wedding at Cana
- Coronation of Napoleon
- Liberty leading the people
- Van Eyck
- Johannes Vermeer
Take the télépherique to reach Sacre Coeur. Enjoy the view, the buskers, the street artists, be aware of con artists. Don't let guys put bracelets around your wrists.
You can also visit the Church, which is quite huge, but not extremely impressive otherwise. What was nice when we were there was that there was a service in progress with nuns singing amazing latin songs.
Place du Terte
The ultimate mass tourism experience is usually Place du Tertre. Painters painting Paris sceneries. Shops selling overpriced prints made in china and other cheap touristy stuff.
But, post corona, it was not bad at all. No huge crowds, barely any people actually. Lot's of places to sit down and have some drinks. We had juices and wine at Chez Eugenes. Staff was friendly and helpful.
Kids had fun running around the square checking out the painters and sipping juices.
This lively neighbourhood near Montmartre has a lot of nice bars, good restaurants where you can feel right at ease. It's not all red lights and strip clubs. There are nice shops, coffee places, hip bars and restaurants and great places to sip cocktails (Les Justes - Pigalle).
Le relais de la butte (see below).
Le Grand Corona (see below)
Hotel des invalides
Great spot to take some pics with the Eiffel Tower and the Seine.
- Hotel de Ville
One of Miraculous venues.
- Tour St Jacques
Very good warehouse: furniture & DIY
- Centre Pompidou
Always cool to go up the escalatorsCheck out a modern art exhibition
George V is a nice, but posh restaurant on the top floor. (see below)
One of my favorite neighbourhoods in Paris. Narrow streets, a lot of nice little shops and boutiques with good shopping. Nice bars and cute and good restaurants. And of course the wonderful Place de Vosges.
Another highlight in Marais is the Picasso Museum. The Paris Jewish quarter is also located inside the Marais.
Have a stroll throughout the neighbourhood. Get lost, have some drinks, shop some nice clothing, shoes, things...
Le petit Marché (see below)
Jardin de Luxembourg
Located next to the French Senate, Jardin de Luxembourg is the nicest park in Paris.
There is a nice coffee shop in the park, grab a coffee, and let the kids run around, caress the fish and enjoy the typical Parisian backdrop, Eiffel Tower included.
Butte aux Cailles
Off the beaten track, you'll find the Butte aux Cailles neighbourhood in Paris' 13th district.
Unlike the rest of Paris, no tall stately houses, no big buildings, no palaces. It feels like a village in the center of Paris. Cute little bars, local hangouts, eateries... A very nice place to escape the bustling city center and walk around a different part of town and have a drink outside.
The advantage is that it's very close to Tolbeac subway station, the Vietnamese hub in Paris, where the best Vietnamese places in town can be found.
L'age d'or. (see below)
A lively place, where locals love to have breakfast, meet and want to be seen.
Inside an old train station, Musée d'Orsay is a must see place to enjoy the impressionist painters. Much smaller than Louvre so much easier to navigate with 2 young kids. You'll see a lot of good stuff during a 1,5 hour visit.
Canal Saint Martin
Walk from Gare de l'Est down to Place de la République alongside the canal. Nice shops, boutiques, bars, summer bars and restaurants will be met on your walk. Check rue de Lancy, rue Beaurepaire and rue Yves Toudic near Place de la République.
Lunch: Fric Frac: best croque monsieurs in the world.
A very nice and very cute and elegant museum to end a wonderful 4 days in Paris.
A very nice, laid back, typical Parisian bistrot near Palais Royal. They serve French classics, have a good kids menu and service is relaxed, excellent and very friendly and amusing. We had an amazing meal here.
This is a very nice, decent restaurant in Quartier Latin. A restaurant that oozes Parisian style and class. It can't look more Parisian than this, walls lined with art deco mirrors, waitors dressed to the nines. Very professional and friendly service. Full house. My endives soup was very memorable, really spectacular. The spare ribs that followed were succulent, tasty and accompagnied with very delicious veggies. The cheese cake afterwards was spot on. Very well done. The kids really enjoyed their hangar steak (onglet) and world class ice cream.
This is probably the best restaurant in the world based on value for money! This was our best meal in Paris. 20 Eiffel has Eiffel tower views. Well actually it's probably shaded by the Eiffel Tower in the mornings. I started with beets and burrata. It was a feast! So tasty. Very enjoyable. Next up was cod with parsnip and cauliflower. It was to die for. So very good. The chef knows what he's doing and should be very proud with what he produces.
The kids had a wonderful kids menu with rack of pork (very tasty as well) and fries and delicious ice cream and sorbet.
The service was so good as well. Very sweet staff. We felt very at ease and could really recharge our batteries after our Eiffel Tower visit.
Le relais de la butte
The prize for the best service ever goes to Le relais de la butte. Our online reservation apparently didn't get registered, but we managed to land a table in the restaurant (to be honest, don't take a table in the bar next door).
We were followed by a large group of French locals. The waiter immediately came up with a plan to make sure our dishes would not get lagged because of the group.
The kids and I enjoyed snails with parsley and garlic, Loïs had the best hamburger ever (her quote). And Otto had an amazing steak.
Very good wine was proposed to me. No idea where it came from exactly, but somehow it felt right to trust the waiter. I had a very tasty chicken, but the highlight food wise, were the potatoes! I would kill to find potatoes like that in Ghent.
We finnished our meal with a plate with a selection of very yummie cheeses.
We'll definitely be back!
Le Grand Corona
This is a nice place. Lush, fancy interiour, nice seats, nicely lit. Wonderful service. The chef came up with a cereal breakfast for the kids, so that was awesome. Especially because they both loved it, and they're picky. The american breakfast was good. Very good cappucino. Lovely spot to start the day.
Le petit Marché
A very lively spot, typical Parisian style Bistro (think of Emily in Paris sort of stuff and vibe). It's very close to place de Vosges in Le Marais. They serve good food, for good prices. But apart from the lovely atmosphere and perfect location, the pièce de résistance was: deserts! Do get desert there. (most of the locals do as well).
A very vibrant place in the XIIIth. A cramped, lively, bustling local hang out. But they serve good food, there's good music, and the vibe is fun. Local produce, fine drinks, and very reasonable prices.
La companie des vins surnaturels
Cheese, wine, charcuterie
Qui plume la lune
La fille du boucher
Lekker - Khoncept Store
La Belle Hortense - Wine bar + Books
La chambre aux confitures
Les Justes - Pigalle
La vache dans les vignes
Un Zèbre à Montmartre
To Do List
Hotel du Nord
Le Mary Celeste
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