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Traveling to Paris with teenagers… I won’t start this post by saying how tough it can be to travel with teenagers just to find common ground.. because .. it’s not true! Well, at least not all the time haha. You “just” have to keep them engaged!
Honestly, if there is a place even teenagers will easily fall in love with – it’s Paris.
Know why teenagers love Paris:
- Paris has a huge range of activities for every gusto
- it looks just like in the movies – Paris really does!
- it’s easy to keep them engaged in Paris
- the food is delicious, even for fuzzy eaters – who can resist a fresh Croissant?
- It’s perfect for shopping
- there are many fun things to do in Paris
- Paris it’s a once in a life time experience
- maybe they even can show off with their french?
- Traveling abroad is always a life-enhancing experience
- it’s expensive and they know they won’t be able to fund a trip to Paris anytime soon on their own haha
What fun things to do with teens and tweens in Paris?
Don’t skip the basics! Classic Paris sightseeing with Teenagers
When traveling with Teenagers to Paris, you clearly wanna trudge around all the sights. But don’t image this as impelling them through dusty museums or visiting the 15th building of high historical importance in a row… Even I get bored to death just thinking of it! But THIS IS PARIS! There is none of the above – only if you make it a theme and search for it. But who would want that anyway??!
So what is there to see that your Teenager will love? What are the fun things to do in Paris?
≡ The Louvre – know how to keep your teenager engaged!
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I can literally see every teenager rolling their eyes now. True, the section of the Etruscan Antiques is very niche and you probably don’t wanna spend an hour observing the Coptic Egyptian section neither – or observe anything for an entire hour really. But: A visit of the Louvre is a pretty engaging activity, even for those that are not into art.
But just don’t go there and hope for the best. The Louvre is HUGE and you won’t come very far without a plan. You need to be clever about it. And you best book your ticket in advance, it can be sold out! Click here for rates and availability.
►▷ Tips for visiting the Louvre with Teenagers:
Frankly, I would advise against booking a tour guide if you are visiting the Louvre with Teenagers. The tours are great if you want a big take away, but probably kinda wasted on most kids and teenagers. Plus, and this is the main reason: the entrance for the Louvre is free for everyone under 18 (26 when living in the European Economic Area), why would you spend 50€+ for a tour, when you just could get the audio guide for a fiver?
It’s best to visit the Louvre independently when visiting Paris with young adults. But make sure to plan your trip in advance though. You can either check the free visitor trails (check them here, they even have a Beyoncé and a The Da Vinci Code trail) or get the official Audio Guide. (the official one, not the ones that are offered with tours by 3rd party tour companies!)
►▷ Get the Audio Guide!
The Louvre has an amazing audio guide! It really has. It’s in cooperation with Nintendo and comes as a Nintendo 3Ds. You can either rent the Nintendo at the Louvre for 5€ or download it on your smartphone.
I am not a teenager, but I am heavily NOT into art, so I do think I can count as a reference. I visited the Louvre a couple of years back and envisioned 2h max… I did not even realize how time flew when I walked around with my audio guide; I have been there for 6h – watching, understanding AND enjoying art!
►▷ Plan ahead!
The Louvre can be sold out, It’s best to purchase your tickets in advance. “Skip the Line tickets” are not letting you skip actually really a line, they just save you from the long ticket queues. It’s still worth it, especially if you visit on a weekend. However, you will still need to queue for security checks.
Pro Tip: Avoid the entrance at the glass pyramids – the queues at the other entrances are always shorter.
≡ The Eiffel Tower – a must for everyone
Visiting the Eiffel Tower when traveling to Paris with teenagers is a no-brainer and I am positive that it doesn’t require much motivation to get your kid up the iron lady.
However, to save yourself from disappointment, do purchase your tickets in advance. The tickets queues at the Eiffel Tower are huge. Huge like in: up to several hours waiting time!
►▷ You have several options to do save yourself from that misery!
The official Eiffel Tower ticket shop sells tickets up to 60 days in advance. Pick your time and the floor, chose whether you want to walk or take the lift and off you go. It’s the best option you have, but you need to be quick, tickets are quick sold out!
You also can purchase your tickets from a 3rd party web page. They tend to be a bit more expensive but they are usually available also on a late notice! If you don’t get tickets anymore at the official page, that’s where you should check. Personally, I like to buy tickets at Getyourguide.com and can recommend them based on my own experience. Click here to see the Eiffel Tower tickets they offer!
Good to know: no matter the kind of ticket you get in advance, you still will need to queue for security check!
Tip: If you’re teens are competitive and/or energy loaded, let them take the stairs!! It’s cheaper and actually quite fun 🙂
≡ Catacombes de Paris – a creepy underground adventure
How does visiting the world largest… grave sound? The catacombs of Paris are exactly that: a massive graveyard that holds the remains of more than 6 million people. It’s part of an underground tunnel system beyond the streets of Paris. It’s half creepy, half fascinating and a pretty cool activity in Paris.
►▷ What are the Catacombs?
The catacombs are former quarries that where used in the 18th century to bury the dead. The Parisian cemeteries where overflowing at the time. Later, the tunnel system itself was also used over centuries for mainly illegal activities – underground parties, events, or movie screenings. Once, even a fully equipped restaurant was discovered down there by the police, and during WWII the French Resistance used the tunnels as their head quarter!
Pro Tip: Visit also the Resistance and Liberation Museum just across the street, it’s free!
However, today parts of the ossuary are open to public and one of the most visited museum of Paris! But here as well, purchase your tickets in advance and do think about a skip the line billet. Contrary to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, you actually really can queue at a priority line.
►▷ Good to know: Admission for visitors under 18 is free! However, if you decide to get a fast pass ticket, the admission for your teenager will be 5€.
The best rates are available at the official catacombs web site. They include a skip the line ticket and an audio guide.
I visited the Catacombs a few years back and have to admit, that I didn’t like their audio guide that much. I possibly was spoiled by the amazing Louvre audio guide, but I simply did not understand when I had to push which button and gave up shortly.
However, alternatively you can book a tour with a guide. Those tours are usually super fun and interesting and include also access to parts of the catacombs that are usually not open to public! Click here to check availability and rates!
≡ Take a cruise on the Seine
I am not revealing a secret when saying that it’s kinda cheesy and touristic AF, but it is actually also super nice! (read more about it here!) The perspective on Paris from a boat is just stunning, and completely different than what you get if you walk around. A great plus for teenagers: they can leave their headphones in and continue listening to their spotify playlist ^^. And that’s alright!
►▷ There are several cruises with plenty of extras you can take but frankly, the basic one is just as good. Click here to book!
≡ Disneyland Paris or Parc Asterix ! A must when traveling with teenagers to Paris
No Paris trip with teenagers is complete without visiting one of the two: Disneyland or Parc Asterix. Both are amazing and your family will have a blast. It’s just very hard to decide which one to chose, isn’t it? Parc Asterix is surely more original, it’s not a chain and Asterix itself is a french icon! However, if you are really into Disney, you probably don’t wanna miss the occasion.. either way, you can’t do anything wrong no matter which one you pick.
Note: Parc Asterix is closed during the winter months, except the week around Christmas and New Year.
≡ Le café des chats – the cat café
It is what it sounds like – a tea house that is home to a few cats. 11 of them to be precise! It’s a classic Parisian tea house with a good choice on teas and coffees, and of course cake and pastries. However, they do serve as well classic french brasserie dishes like Croque Monsieur or a salad with goat cheese. If that’s nothing your kid would possibly eat – they do serve burgers as well, even veggie burgers!
≡ Take a virtual reality flight over Paris
If you’re up for some thrills, you’d love this one! (Virtually) Fly over Paris and explore the city from a birds perspective! Click here to know more.
≡ Make your own perfume!
If you’d love to share an experience with your son or daughter and like a personal souvenir from Paris, a perfume workshop is the perfect activity for you! Create your own fragrance as a souvenir from Paris! Click here to know more about the popular 2h parfum workshop!
≡ Play some games at La Tête dans les Nuages
Never heard of La Tête dans les Nuages? Likely, but know that it’s the biggest game room in Europe! It’s in the very center of Paris and it is the center of fun, not only when traveling with teens to Paris: bowling, racing simulators, pool tables, video games, arcade games, games for kids.. They also serve food. The entry is free but you obviously need to pay the game tokens.
≡ Learn how to bake Macarons
A skill is the best souvenir from your trip to Paris with teenagers, especially when you’ve learned it together with your teenage kid! Join a Macaron baking class and learn how to create those little pieces of pure deliciousness – click here to know more about the baking classes! Or check out our post about the different pastry baking classes in Paris!
≡ Cheer for Paris – visit a Soccer Game
The Parisian soccer club is PSG – Paris Saint Germain – and many of the players are world famous! Not surprising, they did win the world cup in 2018! You could just visit the fan shop on the Champs Élysées on your Paris trip, but why not seeing a match together with your kid? PSG is playing during season every other weekend in Paris. But even if they are not playing, you can still join a behind the scenes stadium tour or book the PSG Premium Experience – click here to know more!!
≡ Have a hot chocolate at Angelina
This place is an institution in Paris and has supposedly the best hot chocolate in town. Angelina is also one of those places that look great on Instagram, too.
≡ L’Atelier des Lumières – get enchanted!
This place is pure magic. L’Atelier des Lumières is an immersive exhibition of images and sounds, that cover the entire location, from floors to ceiling on an area of 3.300m². It’s hard to describe, but imagine yourself not only seeing a painting of Klimt or van Gogh but actually float through it with the perfect background music. No, they are not handing out drugs with your admission ticket, no worries 😉
≡ Shakespeare and Company – the most beautiful bookstore
Probably THE most famous book store in Paris and clearly one of the nicest. It’s great for just having a look, but also a nice spot to take some instagrammable photos. Or you can just sit there and pet the cat that lives upstairs. However, they also host quite frequently free author readings (in English) that you could attend, too.
≡ Visit one of the big conventions in Paris with your teen
There are a few conventions held in Paris that are very popular. For example the Paris Games Week, Paris Manga and the Paris Comic Con. But we’ve got also the Salon de Chocolat if comics and geek stuff are not really your kids thing.
≡ Admire Parisian Street Art
Yes, Street Art! There is plenty in Paris! The areas where you can find the most are at Butte-aux-Cailles and Belleville. Both neighborhoods are pretty much off the beaten track and well worth a visit. They kept their authentic a village charm and are perfect for a little afternoon walk. For the full experience, book a Paris Street Art tour! Click here for rates and more information.
≡ Grévin Wax Museum
Ever wanted to take selfie with Mbappe? Or pose next to Angelina Jolie? That’s your chance! The Grévin Wax Museum is a fun and entertaining place to take pictures with celebs and to strike cool poses. Check here for tickets and rates!
≡ Cité de Science
Not less then the biggest science museum of Europe with 5 million visitors a year. It features a planetarium, a submarine, an IMAX theatre and many more themed areas for kids and teens.
≡ Shop comics at Rue de Dante
If your teenage kid is up for comics, rue de Dante is a great address. It’s a little street in the Latin Quarter with quite a few comic book stores. Many also sell collectibles, like figurines of Asterix and co.
≡ Have fun at a Segway sightseeing tour through Paris!
Sitting hours in a Hop on Hop off Bus is probably a teenagers worst nightmare.. but luckily there are way cooler ways to explore Paris! For example by joining a Segway sightseeing tour!
≡ Shopping in the Marais and Montmartre
Those quarters are not famous for high street fashion but for little boutiques and stores where you can find literally everything: jewelry, clothes, bags, decoration, candles, soap, tea, vintage fashion, all sorts of pastries and candies, souvenirs, hand made items, … you name it.
≡ Play video games: Meltdown
Another geeky place in Paris, with a high focus on video games and e-sports. Just note that the Meltdown is a regular bar where alcohol is served, but obviously your child won’t be allowed to drink any. However, if you want to avoid the night life scene, simply come early. They are opening at 5pm and at this time you don’t have to fear to encounter any party people.
They are having several gaming PCs, different consoles and arcade machines – all are free to play as long as you are a buying drinks/food.
≡ Explore Paris by bike!
Are you keen to do a sightseeing tour but you fancy something more active than just sitting on a bus for hours? I got the perfect solution: Join a bike tour! Ride with an experienced guide through Paris and enjoy the beauty of this town! It’s super fun and some even have e-bikes!!
Cycling through Paris may sound a bit frightening but don’t worry – most big streets have bike lanes and you’re with an experienced guide! Alternatively you could get a bike from a bike sharing service like vélib. It’s pretty easy, just get the app before!
►▷ What you should not do: Rent an e-scooter!
If you are in Paris, you will notice the black and green e-scooters that are standing around everywhere. I know many are suggesting this as a really cool activity when traveling to Paris with teenagers and it surely is.. just, it’s not allowed. The minimum age for electrical rental scooters in Paris is 18 and it is also prohibited to use them by more than 2 people. And frankly.. it can be quite dangerous, especially if you’re riding without a helmet!
Want to know more things you shouldn’t do in Paris? Don’t miss our “Paris Mistakes” Post 🙂
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