Paris is a city that offers something for everyone, including teenagers. However, planning a family vacation to Paris with teens can be a bit challenging. In this article, we'll share ideas to help you plan the ultimate family vacation to Paris that will keep everyone engaged, entertained, and happy.
Involve your teens in the planning process
One of the best ways to get your teens excited about the trip is to involve them in the planning process. Ask them what they would like to see and do in Paris, and try to incorporate their suggestions into your itinerary. Some teens may be interested in visiting iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, or the Louvre, while others may prefer exploring local neighborhoods, parks, or markets. Encourage your teens to do some research on their own, and share their findings with the family.
Consider a guided tour
Paris is a city rich in culture, history, and art, and there are many guided tours and workshops that cater to teens. Whether your teens are into street art, fashion, or cooking, there's a tour or workshop that will fit their interests. For instance, you can take a bike tour to keep everyone active and engaged, tour the Latin quarter to see cool spots like the Shakespeare & Co. Bookshop and try crêpes. These tours offer a fun and interactive way to learn about Parisian culture and history while engaging your teens, and keeping them off their phones.😉
Give your teens some independence
Teenagers crave independence, so it's important to give them some space to explore on their own. Depending on their age and maturity level, you can let them go to a nearby café, take a solo walk around the city. Just make sure to establish clear rules and guidelines beforehand, make sure they have the hotel information and a paper map and agree on a meeting point and time. Giving your teens some independence will make them feel more grown-up and responsible, and will help them appreciate the city on their own terms.
We would recommend you to take our Paris by foot & metro stroll that will allow your whole family to learn how to use Paris public transport and quickly feel acquainted with the city. We are sure your teens will be happy to take the lead and help you transit the city once they learn.
Opt for accommodations that suit your family's needs
Choosing the right accommodations is crucial for a successful family vacation in Paris. Depending on your family's needs and preferences, you can choose from a variety of options, such as hotels, apartments, vacation homes, or even hostels. If you're traveling with children, you may want to opt for a hotel with family-friendly amenities, such as a game room, and ideally it to be located near a park. If you're traveling with teens, you may want to rent an apartment or a vacation home, so you have more space and privacy. Whatever your choice, make sure to read reviews and do your research to find the best accommodations for your family.
Explore beyond the tourist sites
While the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, and the Louvre are definitely must-see attractions in Paris, there's so much more to the city beyond the tourist sites. Encourage your family to explore the lesser-known neighborhoods, hidden gems, and off-the-beaten-path spots that give Paris its unique charm. Especially if you have been to Paris before, it can be nice to discover new things along with your teenager. Some of these hidden gems include the Canal Saint-Martin, a picturesque canal with trendy cafes and boutiques, the Buttes-Chaumont Park, a scenic park with waterfalls and grottos, and the Belleville neighborhood, a vibrant area known for its street art and diverse food scene. The forests of Boulogne (West) and Vincennes (East) are also a good option if you're looking for large green spaces to bike, run or just enjoy the open air.
Take advantage of free activities
Paris can be an expensive city, but there are also many free activities and attractions that you can enjoy with your family. Some of these include visiting museums and galleries on their free days, such as the Louvre on the first Sunday of the month, or the Center Pompidou on the first Sunday of the month for visitors under 26. Some museums are free all the time for EU citizens under 26. You can also explore the many parks and gardens in Paris, such as the Luxembourg Gardens or the Tuileries Gardens, which offer a peaceful and relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Check out this link for a full list of free museums and attractions.
Learn some French together
Finally, encourage your family to learn some basic French phrases and expressions before your trip to Paris. Teens may already have language classes ini school, but if not, try out an app like Duolingo (also available on the computer) to compete with who can get the furthest before heading on your trip. While many Parisians speak English, making an effort to speak their language will show your appreciation for their culture and will enhance your overall experience in the city.
You can also practice your French skills by ordering food, shopping, or asking for directions in French. Don't be shy, even if they don't always take the time to let you know; Parisians appreciate when foreigners try speaking French.
Taking teens to Paris can be a rewarding and enriching experience for the whole family. By involving your teens in the planning process, you can create a memorable and enjoyable vacation that will cater to everyone's interests and preferences. So start planning your trip today, and discover all the magic and beauty that this city has to offer!