Paris, the city of love. This stems from the romance of the old city and the fact that Paris has long been in demand as a honeymoon destination. The often tight hotel rooms certainly have contributed to this. Yet you cannot speak of tightness in the apartment we stay in, since it features 160 m2 inside and 90 m2 of a garden and has 3 bedrooms, with 2 bathrooms to enjoy. Not to forget the hamman / steam shower inside!
But that’s not the main reason we chose to stay here. We are attracted by the seldom combination of art, design and fashion here with facilities as a TV room / cinema, perfect for the ending of a day with children. The owner is an art collector so you will enjoy many art pieces from his collection and from the Artists he is defending. You will so travel into a world where Primitive arts are nearby. And indeed as interior lovers, we love the design here; primitive arts are nearby contemporary artists and designers, from Eames to Cappellini & Cartell & Lapalma and lighting are designed by MOOOI. Nice detail pieces are for sale (on demand), so you have the rare possibilities to enjoy it for a few days and later on decide if you are still in love with it. And some of the items on the pictures might have been sold in the meanwhile. The apartment itself has a history, leading to some fragile details in for example doors and closings at the time of our staying. It could use some fresh paint and updating. But living in an old house ourselves, we are not surprised and feel at home.
The apartment really suits the environment, the 16th arrondissement of Paris. With its ornate 19th-century buildings, large avenues, prestigious schools, museums, and various parks, the arrondissement has long been known as one of French high society's favorite places of residence to such an extent that the phrase le 16e has been associated with great wealth in French popular culture. Whether you like art, sports, shopping, culture or going out, there is always something to do in Paris. Paris occupies a central position in the field of art and culture within the Republic of France plays an important role at European and global level. For centuries important works of art have been brought to Paris. These can now be seen in a number of leading museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. The latest museum is housed in a former railway station and holds mainly French art, including paintings, sculptures, furniture and photography.
In Village Auteuil, close to Eiffel Tower, this apartment will fit both your family and your sightseeing journey in Paris. It’s very easy to have your own dinner in the apartment with a fully equipped kitchen and huge eating table. But this is Paris and you will find many French bistrots and restaurants around, if you don’t feel like cooking.
Probably your children want to climb the Eiffel Tower; it is a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; so make sure you buy your ticket online long before or book a short-term tour where a visit is included. The alternative with less long rows are the stairs, with a little basic condition; everyone can do it and it is also great fun.
There’s much more: all major attractions are a few minutes walk: Maison de la Radio, Place de l’Etoile, Champs-Elysées, Invalides, Pont de l'Alma. Major Business Hubs are also at 10 min - Parc des Expositions de Versailles, Villepinte, La Défense, Etoile, Trocadero, Neuilly, Levallois, Boulogne, Issy les Moulineaux and Sentier. And you are 5 minutes walking from the Mirabeau Subway's station (Line 10) or Michel Ange Auteuil (Line 9) to reach even more.
With children Cité de Science is a beautiful interactive museum where both parents and children can play. The marine aquarium at Trocadero is fun and don't forget the Bois de Vincennes with its zoo. Your family will also enjoy the museum at the Dôme des Invalides, especially the old knights and large bronze cannons. A bit bizarre but our daughters are excited to walk through the sewer of Paris.
What certainly impresses us and the girls is the National Historical Museum. There’s also a zoo, but there is much to discover in the museum itself. Nowadays there is a separate department for children where they can do everything themselves. A must if the weather is less.
Paris from the water? Then take a hop-on-hop or ticket. Not on the double-decker bus but on the water with the Bato bus! Children will really appreciate the trips on this boat. Children who are not afraid will never forget Les Catacombes. You go about 25 meters below the ground via a spiral staircase. You take a walk among the artfully piled up skulls and bones of former inhabitants of Paris.
Then there are numerous options such as a discovery tour of the beautiful parks of Paris such as Le Jardin de Luxembourg or Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. In many parks is also a playground for the children from the neighborhood. In the Jardin du Luxembourg, children can enjoy playing in a large playground with a merry-go-round, pedal go-karts and ponies. The parks are often equipped with beautiful playground equipment. Le Jardin d’Acclimatation on the edge of the Bois de Bologne is not free, but very nice and one of the oldest. There are animals, a roller coaster, boats and mechanical horses for a special ride and much more. Walking along the Seine is also very special, the Berges de Seine have become largely interactive.
We decide to go for a daytrip to the Palace of Versailles, once the principal royal residence of France and now a historic monument and UNESCO World Heritage site, especially for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors and more overwhelming rooms, just as for the gardens, fountains, canals and geometric flower beds and groves. The Palace was stripped of all its furnishings after the French Revolution, but many pieces have been returned and many of the palace rooms have been restored.
And finally, after years of asking and begging, the children have won: we buy tickets for Disneyland Paris. Unfortunately lots of people also take the day of right after Eastern… so try to visit off-peak. You’d better buy tickets online in advance. For sure, it’s a real pleasure seeing the smiling and surprising faces or our girls. Disney focuses hard on girls aged 3-8; Fantasyland dominates the park. Space Mountain and other rides for older kids feel like afterthoughts. Just some suggestions in case you want to dive in as well. Don’t promise your children too much: they probably will not see characters close-up and might have to wait several times. Do plan your circuit and only try to line up for the rides you really want to do, or use FastTrack: some of the rides – like Peter Pan and Buzz Lightyear- have this system where you can swipe your ticket and get a ticket to return to a ride at a specific time later in the day. And yes, do stay for the parade. You’re tired, and it’s tempting to leave soon and avoid the crowds, but at around 7 pm each evening Disney puts on a real, extravagant spectacle with the Parade.
# Of course Paris itself is such a wonderful place to wander around, with many family friendly opportunities.
# Bring your children some idea of art and culture, not just in Paris but you will find this combination in the apartment itself.
# Enjoy the tranquility of the Zen garden or relaxation in front of the huge cinema screen, after a long day in Paris.