The Paris of the kids

While traveling as a family, it is not always easy to find activities that will please the little ones as well as the adults. It is true that Paris is packed with various museums, historical museums and possible walks that could well fill one's entire life (and a busy one, that is). But at the intensive pace of a week of tourism, you will often find that the little feet of children get tired along the many staircases of Montmartre, and that their attention starts to fail at some point in one of the Louvre rooms. Remember...

While traveling as a family, it is not always easy to find activities that will please the little ones as well as the adults. It is true that Paris is packed with various museums, historical museums and possible walks that could well fill one's entire life (and a busy one, that is). But at the intensive pace of a week of tourism, you will often find that the little feet of children get tired along the many staircases of Montmartre, and that their attention starts to fail at some point in one of the Louvre rooms. Remember... So, in order to enjoy your family trip to the French capital, here are a few ideas for fun yet instructive activities among which you will certainly find something your kids (and perhaps even you) will enjoy !

 

Museums that speak to kids

 

  • The Natural History Museum

 

Located in the charming Jardin des Plantes, the Natural History Museum of Paris is spread over several buildings. It will allow you to get a wide view on hundreds on animals, minerals, dinosaurs, not to forget mankind ! Between the great gallery of evolution, the mineralogy gallery and the children gallery, you will not have time to get bored. The Museum is currently hosting an exhibition on big apes, that will teach your kids plenty about their ancestors and cousins. And to complete your visit, do not forget to go take a look at the impressive vivarium next to the main museum (noly if you are not afraid of reptiles!), as well as the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes.

 

Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Jardin des Plantes

Access : Gare d'Austerlitz metro station (lines 5 et 10)

Timetable : open everyday except Tuesday from 10 a.m to 6 p.m

 

  • The Grevin Museum

 

How would you like to have your picture taken next to Michael Jackson, Madonna or Barack Obama … or perhaps only to see them up close ? If the answer is « yes, very much », then it is time for you to book your ticket to Musée Grévin. The famous museum and its wax mannequins continue to please thousands of visitors, big and small, year after year. So much so that it has even developped visits and animations especially for children ! After having been thrilled to encounter famous characters from all around the world, they could for instance learn more about the very interesting process of making these famous (and so convincing!) life sized dolls.

 

Musée Grévin, 10 bd Montmartre (Paris 9°)

Access : Grands Boulevards metro station (line 9)

Timetable varies according to seasons, check their website : http://www.grevin-paris.com/fr/paris/horaires

 

A trip to the aquarium ?

 

Out of ideas to please the kids on a rainy afternoon ? How about a nice walk in a beautiful aquarium to discover the most colorful and strangest creatures of the sea ? The city of Paris has two different aquariums that will ravish the little ones !

 

The first and most famous is the one in the Trocadéro gardens : the « Cineaqua ». It is open everyday from 10 a.m to 7 p.m and offers – on top of the regular visits – a good amount of shows, workshops and fun activities for children. You can check their programme on their website : www.cineaqua.com

 

Prices

 

Adult : 20€

Child between 13 and 17 : 16€

Child between 3 and 12 : 13€

Child below 3 : Free

 

Access

 

Metro : Trocadéro station (lines 6 and 9)

RER : Champ de Mars station (line C)

 

The second is the Tropical Aquarium of Porte Dorée. Cheaper and less crowded, this one promises a quieter visit. Located in the Palais de la Porte Dorée that also hosts the Immigration History Museum, it offers paired tickets at very agreeable prices. The Palais is open from tuesday to friday from 10 a.m to 5.30 p.m and on saturdays and sundays from 10 a.m to 7 p.m.

 

Prices

 

Individuals

 

Adult (26 and over) : 5,00 €
Child below 4 : Free
Youngsters between 4 and 25 ans : 3,50 €

 

Families

1 adult + 1 child (-18) : 7,00 €
2 adults + 2 children (-18) : 11,00 €

 

Aquarium + Museum

 

Adult

With no temporary exhibition : 8,00 €
With one temporary exhibition : 9,00 €
With two temporary exhibitions : 10,00 €

Family (2+2)

With no temporary exhibition : 17,00 €
With one temporary exhibition : 20,00 €
With two temporary exhibitions : 22,00 €

 

Access

 

Metro : Porte Dorée station (line 8)

Tramway : Porte Dorée station (line T3A)

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The best flea markets in Paris

Now more than ever, the time has come to recycle ! In a world that massively produces new products every day, giving a second (or even a third) life to objects has become a true economical, ecological, and – provided that you like snooping around – sometimes more enjoyable alternative to « traditional » shopping. Paris is filled with flea markets in which you will be able to walk around and look for second hand treasures ! You might be looking for furniture, utilitarian or decorative objects, clothes, jewelry or accessories... Regardless of what you are searching for, you can be sure that you will find many car boot sales, flea markets and thrift shops all around Paris. Everything is within easy reach ! So, here are a few suggestions to help you begin your abandonned treasure hunt...

Now more than ever, the time has come to recycle ! In a world that massively produces new products every day, giving a second (or even a third) life to objects has become a true economical, ecological, and – provided that you like snooping around – sometimes more enjoyable alternative to « traditional » shopping. Paris is filled with flea markets in which you will be able to walk around and look for second hand treasures ! You might be looking for furniture, utilitarian or decorative objects, clothes, jewelry or accessories... Regardless of what you are searching for, you can be sure that you will find many car boot sales, flea markets and thrift shops all around Paris. Everything is within easy reach ! So, here are a few suggestions to help you begin your abandonned treasure hunt...

 

Flea markets around Paris

 

The city of Paris is full of various markets. Just take a look at one of the city programs available on the internet, and you will find that the capital hosts many different markets everywhere in the city every day. Stamp markets, car boots sales, antiques, food markets, regular or occasional, outside and inside : the list goes on and on and there is always something to do ! If you like to browse through second hand products, furniture and objects, here is a small list of some of the most famous and worthwhile flea markets in Paris.

 

The more authentics

 

  • The Saint-Ouen market

     

Behind the very big Clignancourt flea market hides the more authentic Saint-Ouen market. It is a very nice antique market for those of you who are looking for vintage furniture. It is one of the most ancient in the capital, and even though it is crowded with treasures (with some 2500 antique merchants!), it often feels very cosy and intimate.

 

Avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt – Paris 18°

Open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m to 6 p.m and on Mondays from 11 a.m to 5 p.m

 

  • The Vanves market

 

The Vanves flea market hosts a great number of antique merchants, many of whom have come from the Montreuil flea market when its offer became more modern. If you are only looking for vintage furniture and objects, this is the market for you !

 

Avenue Georges Lafenestre & avenue Marc Sangnier – Paris 14°

Open on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m to 2 p.m

 

The more accessible

 

  • The Montreuil & Clignancourt flea markets

 

The Montreuil and Clignancourt flea markets are without a doubt the biggest ones and the city. There is not a thing you cannot find there : clothes, supplies, furniture, souvenirs, etc, and even some food to snack along the way. They offer a mixture of old and new, although some say the vintage offer is getting slimmer and slimmer. However, they certainly are cheap (all prices are negotiable), and crowded with locals and tourists looking for a bargain. A small piece of advice : do not forget to close your bags when you go !

 

Avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt – Paris 18° : open from Saturday to Monday, from 9 a.m to 7 p.m

Avenue du Professeur André Lemierre – Paris 20° : open from Saturday to Monday, from 9 a.m to 7 p.m

 

  • The market of Place d'Aligre

 

Open six days a week outside, the market of Place d'Aligre is still one of the few places where you can still feel the popular atmosphere of the Old Paris. There, you will find a lot of food, but not only, as many artisans and merchants have invested the market and sell vintage furniture, objects and clothes next to the meat, fish or vegetable stands. If you are specifically looking for them, you will find them quite easily as they traditionally occupy the central square. The market of Place d'Aligre is a general market, but a true parisian and picturesque one.

 

Place d'Aligre – Paris 12°

Open everyday except Monday, from 9 a.m to 12.30 a.m for the antiques and exterior merchants

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Car boot sales in Paris

Now more than ever, the time has come to recycle ! In a world that massively produces new products every day, giving a second (or even a third) life to objects has become a true economical, ecological, and – provided that you like snooping around – sometimes more enjoyable alternative to « traditional » shopping. And places that give pride to this second-hand trade are growing and developping all around. You might be looking for furniture, utilitarian or decorative objects, clothes, jewelry or accessories... Regardless of what you are searching for, you can be sure that you will find many car boot sales, flea markets and thrift shops all around Paris. Everything is within easy reach ! So, here are a few suggestions to help you begin your abandonned treasure hunt...

Now more than ever, the time has come to recycle ! In a world that massively produces new products every day, giving a second (or even a third) life to objects has become a true economical, ecological, and – provided that you like snooping around – sometimes more enjoyable alternative to « traditional » shopping. And places that give pride to this second-hand trade are growing and developping all around. You might be looking for furniture, utilitarian or decorative objects, clothes, jewelry or accessories... Regardless of what you are searching for, you can be sure that you will find many car boot sales, flea markets and thrift shops all around Paris. Everything is within easy reach ! So, here are a few suggestions to help you begin your abandonned treasure hunt... In this article, you will read about a few permanent shops you must visit. If you are interested in reading more about flea markets and car boot sales, please consult the following article.

 

A few permanent places you must visit

 

« L'interloque » : the cave of Ali Baba

 

« L'interloque » was the first « ressourcerie » to open in Paris. What is it ? The idea came from a desire of friendliness and public service : to enable locals to get rid of objects they no longer had use of, while allowing others to find various vintage objects for a small price. The principle of a car boot sale, simply put, but in a permanent indoor place. You can find a little of everything there : furniture, clothes, accessories, jewelry, table and kitchenware, various appliances... What is a bit special about this place is that the concept of recuperation is not only commercial, but also artistic : a good amount of objects that arrive at the depot are then transformed, put to pieces and then back together, then decorated to form unusual and funny pieces. Also, if you bring your bike to be repared there, your new saddle might very well end up with a pair of eyes on it … a house special !

 

Created in 2007 in the 18th arrondissement, L'Interloque now has several addresses in the capital. And the idea of the « ressourcerie » has also spread – as good ideas do : many new such shops have opened their doors in and out of Paris.

 

Practical information

 

Collection et depot at :

  • 8 rue de Trétaigne – Paris 18°

  • 13 rue Léopold Bellan – Paris 2°

     

Shops at :

  • 7 et 7ter rue de Trétaigne – Paris 18°

  • 14 et 14 bis rue des Cloÿs – Paris 18°

  • 22 rue Duc – Paris 18°

  • 13 rue Léopold Bellan – Paris 2°

 

The « Comptoir Général » : a place to hang out and look for hidden treasures

 

The Comptoir Général has auto-proclamed itself « Ghetto Museum ». But do not be afraid, behind this confusing name hides one of the most unusual and intriguing secret places in Paris. Why « Ghetto Museum » ? Because the vocation of this place is to defend, support and represent the exotic and little-known cultures that are often marginalized from traditional cultural places. The african continent, most of all, is very much represented there. In this immense and somewhat hard to label place, you will find a tangle of rooms, attics, courtyards and gardens in which one can have a bite, a drink or a coffee, or two, or ten... But you will also be able to browse in the thrift « shops », and the general car boot sale that spreads all around the place. A polyvalent place ? Add to that regular movie projections, various exhibitions, concert nights, a library, a disc store... and you may have an idea of the various programs that the Comptoir Général has to offer. It is a huge and yet friendly and intimate place, very poorly known (even by locals) and definitely different. In short, an extra stop you must add to your trip !

 

Practical information :

 

84, quai de Jemmapes – Paris 10° (metro station : République or Goncourt)

Open everyday from 11 a.m to 2 a.m

 

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Where to have brunch in Paris ?

A few years ago, the American tradition of brunch made its way across the Atlantic to conquer the East. In France, the brunch – this witty combination of breakfast and lunch in one generous and savory meal – first gained its devotees in the summer season, enlivening the terrasses of cities across the country on Sundays. Now, this privileged moment of the week end is no longer limited to sunny days, and florishes in many restaurants and cafés on Sundays and Saturdays. So during your stay in Paris, if you fancy a bit of morning idleness, or perhaps if you simply want to discover what the Parisian gastronomy has to offer, go brunch ! Be it family time, a romantic moment or a friendly reunion, the hardest part certainly is to pick the option you like best. Here is an overview of some of the best brunches served across the capital... Take it from a Parisian !

A few years ago, the American tradition of brunch made its way across the Atlantic to conquer the East. In France, the brunch – this witty combination of breakfast and lunch in one generous and savory meal – first gained its devotees in the summer season, enlivening the terrasses of cities across the country on Sundays. Now, this privileged moment of the week end is no longer limited to sunny days, and florishes in many restaurants and cafés on Sundays and Saturdays. So during your stay in Paris, if you fancy a bit of morning idleness, or perhaps if you simply want to discover what the Parisian gastronomy has to offer, go brunch ! Be it family time, a romantic moment or a friendly reunion, the hardest part certainly is to pick the option you like best. Here is an overview of some of the best brunches served across the capital... Take it from a Parisian !

 

At walking distance from Hotel du Danube

 

Close, simple and delicious

 

Le Hibou

16, carrefour de l'Odéon – Paris 6°

 

On Sundays from 12 p.m to 3 p.m

Indicative price : 25€/person

 

In a chic atmosphere with an original vintage setting, Le Hibou serves a simple yet quality brunch, at a very affordable price in this neighborhood. The traditional French cuisine interprets the classical elements of the american brunch, with fresh orange juice and a hot drink, eggs, bacon, salmon, caesar salad, while adding a French touch with nice viennoiseries and the « pain perdu » (french toast), a must.

The atmosphere is cool and friendly, but do not forget to book a table beforehand !

 

The gourmet option

 

Georgette

44 rue d'Assas – Paris 6°

 

On Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m to 5 p.m

Indicative price : 35€/person

 

Right opposite the Jardins du Luxembourg, this new luminous restaurant perfectly sunbathed for a brunch on a terrasse has soon become one the great ones in Paris. Its very special brunch particularly has made its name in the capital. As a tasting session, the Georgette offers a totally free « à la carte » formula (not to mention the special kids menu!). You will be able to enjoy the traditionnal brunch courses such as benedict eggs, caesar salad, bacon, but also more elaborate dishes, juicy meat, burgers and even foie gras ! All of it comes with a wide range of cool and hot drinks to choose from, before moving on to one of the desserts of the house (raspberry millefeuile, french toast, fruit salad, etc).

A very nice address for gourmet families ! But there again, do not forget to book your table in advance to avoid the wait.

 

 

Also worth the distance ...

 

Farago

11, cour des Petites Écuries – Paris 10°

(metro line 4 : Château d'eau)

 

On Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m to 4 p.m

Indicative price : 25€/person

 

Situated in the bucolic setting of a little paved courtyard of the 10th arrondissement, the Farago is a young restaurant that mixes pintxos (tapas from the Basque country) and Parisian modernism. The brunch formula is flexible. You will be able to enjoy pintxos as well as « à la carte » dishes, going from the brunch classics (eggs benedict, norwegian, etc) to the tapas (chorizo croquetas, bellota plate...) cooked with quality products imported straight from Spain. On top of that, the restaurant offers a hearty and affordable formula to share, to get a taste of everything, and a kids menu (13€). All of this will come with a side of hot drinks and juices of « morning cocktails » of the house, before moving on to the unavoidable dessert stage, when you will be left with the difficult task of choosing from the various pastries (basque cake, churros with chocolate, chocolate and berries cake with Espelette pepper, or the famous « Russian » cake).

 

Kong

1, rue du Pont Neuf – Paris 1°

(metro line 7 : Pont Neuf)

 

On Sundays from 12.15 p.m to 5 p.m

Indicative price : 40€/person

 

If you have a higher budget and fancy an unforgetable moment, the Kong brunch might just be what you are looking for. The restaurant, placed on the top floor of a building right on the Seine, in the center of Paris, offers a unique view on the capital and a tremendous light thanks to its glass canopies. All of this in a very special Franco-Japanese style signed by Philippe Starck. An exceptional place, but not only, because the Kong offers a gourmet brunch elaborated by great chefs and pastry cooks (Pierre Hermé is in charge of the desserts) ! The brunch menu is entirely « à la carte », you can pick whatever you like (count about 40€ per person) and offers the American and French classics (various eggs, smoked salmon, blinis, pancakes, etc) with a side of fresh juices and smoothies. An address to remember for a gourmet brunch in the sun... but inside !

 

And also …

 

Frame – californian healthy

28, rue Jean Rey – Paris 15°

(metro line 6 : Bir-Hakeim)

On Sundays from 12 p.m to 4 p.m

Indicative price : 30€/person

 

Chez Zaza – trendy buffet

24, rue de Rivoli – Paris 4°

(metro line 1 : Saint Paul)

On Sundays from 12 p.m to 5 p.m

Indicative price : 27€/person

 

Café Marlette – girly and organic

51, rue des Martyrs – Paris 9°

(metro lines 12 & 2 : Pigalle)

On Saturdays from 8.30 a.m to 7.30 p.m & on Sundays from 10 a.m to 6 p.m

Indicative price : 25€/person

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