We were watching Pixar movies's Ratatouille. My 7 year old son made me promise to take him to Paris. He expects to find Gusteau's Restaurant there as well as the river Sienne and Eiffel Tower. I figure a 5 day trip would be enough. Does anyone have recommendations on where to stay and and friendly restaurants that a 7 year old may enjoy.
The list of hotels is quite long in Paris ! The best for a 5 day trip is to stay Paris downtown and near a Metro station to get access to all main sites easely. In Paris and around Paris don't stay in the North or East, prefer West/South or center. Don't stay in Marriott Disneyland too far from Paris and in the middle of nowhere. The main issue will be to find a family hotel. As French my prefer hotel brand in France is Novotel as the rooms are for 4 peoples, breakfast are free for children and there is most of the time a swimming pool, a child area with a game stations etc...
For restaurant with children, try one which will be very special :-), "Nos ancetres les gaulois", they have a web site, you will eat as the first french guys in middle age, not the finest cuisine but an incredible diner ! Try with your son he will remember this restaurant. About Gousteau restaurant, it does not exist :-( ! If you want to do a dream for your son look at the Ritz Hotel (5*), the chief gives some trainings in his cusine, it is a 2* Michelin restaurant, call the hotel or check web site for details. I would not recommand to do a 2 or 3 * Michelin restaurant with your son as the diner will be too long, usually 3 up to 4 hours !
For your stay in Paris, take a ticket for a tour on the Seine river in a "Bateau Mouche", those boats will show you in 1 H 30 all the main buildings along the river, show to your son the Disney called : The Hunchback of Notre-Dam you will see in real also the cathedral Notre Dame de Paris which is in this Disney cartoon. Take the boat trip end of the day just before sunshine, color will be wonderfull.
Enjoy Paris !
Lots of options in Paris. I agree with Moumoune that you should avoid the North and East. Try to stay central. I stayed at the Novotel Les Halles (1st arr.) in May for week with my mother (73 years old and hates to ride the subway/metro). I picked it as it's in the very heart of Paris and we could walk to most of the key attractions (Louvre is 5 minutes, Notre Dame is 10 minutes, the Seine is 4 minutes, Beaubourg/Pompidou Centre is 2 minutes). It's also only 2 stops by RER from Charles de Gaulle airport. The rooms are larger than typical Paris hotel rooms (which are much smaller than what we're used to in North America).
Last year I stayed at the Marriott Rive Gauche in Paris (14th arr.) and really liked it. The rooms were very clean and again, a bit bigger than typical Paris rooms. Service was great. It's a very short walk to the Denfert-Rochereau metro/RER so it's easy to access all of Paris by metro and easy to reach from the airport (5 stops on the RER). The entrance to the Paris Catacombs tour is also steps away from the hotel. I found it fascinating, but if your child is at all sensitive to underground places (small and dark) or to the subject matter (bones of 6 million former Parisians placed there when the cemetaries got too full), you might want to avoid it. Hotel restaurant was good.
Restaurants -- there are some nice cafes by the Stravinsky fountain (Beside the Pompidou Centre)-- your son would find the fountain an interesting distraction. There are usually some street performers in the same area. Make sure you let him try some crepes from the street vendors.
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