10 Best Destinations in France to Visit with Kids

There is so much to explore in France with kids, from sophisticated Paris and the outdoorsy French Alps to historic Normandy and beyond. Where to begin? Family travel experts share their favorite places to visit in this beautiful country in this list of the 10 best destinations in France for families!

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
The iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (Photo credit: frenta, Depositphotos.com)

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1. Paris

The City of Lights

Paris may have a reputation as being a city for lovers. But when my husband and I visited with our daughters, we discovered it’s a great place for families as well. There’s something for everyone in the City of Light. Expect history, famous landmarks, and fabulous French cuisine.

Art museums abound in Paris. First-time visitors can’t miss viewing da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa among thousands of other works at the Louvre Museum. Another favorite is Musée D’Orsay, housed in a beautiful former train station with artwork by impressionist masters like van Gogh, Degas, and Renoir.

Visiting the city’s famous parks is a must when in Paris with children. Be sure to walk through Luxembourg Gardens and take your children for a spin on the old-fashioned carousel in Tuileries Gardens.

A cruise on the River Seine offers a unique perspective on the famous landmarks of Paris as well as a chance to rest weary legs after a busy day of walking. Finally, ascending the Eiffel Tower and taking in the view over Paris is something your kids will always remember.

— Lisa Goodmurphy, Gone with the Family

The Dordogne River in France with children
The Dordogne River with kids (Photo credit: Ciao Bambino)

2. Dordogne

Castles, Caves, and Adventure Parks

Located in central France, Dordogne is a lesser-known gem for families. This town offers a huge variety of great things to do and see. It has some of the oldest cave paintings in Europe, fantastic medieval castles perched over the Dordogne River, adventure parks that wow kids of all ages, and much more. Plus, idyllic villages offer authentic apartment rentals where families can live like locals for a week or a longer stay.

— Amie O’Shaunessy, Ciao Bambino

The carousel and opera house on La Place de la Comedie in Montpellier
La Place de la Comédie in Montpellier, France (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. Montpellier

Student City with Stunning Center Square

When considering where to go in France, do not overlook Montpellier with kids. Located in the Occitanie region in the South of France, this student city is filled with universities aplenty and a youthful, hip vibe. It’s also where I studied abroad during my junior year of college!

The town’s large center square, La Place de la Comédie, is one of the prettiest you’ll find in all of Europe. La Comédie is flanked by an ornate opera house at one end and the tree-lined Esplanade Charles de Gaulle at the other. The plaza is surrounded by cafés perfect for people-watching, too.

Parents and young artists will appreciate Musée Fabre, a small but impressive art museum featuring works from the Renaissance to the modern day. Then, take a stroll along Promenade Royale du Peyrou to see a statue of Louis XIV on horseback, Port du Peyrou (the town’s refurbished Arc de Triomphe), and a Roman aqueduct and water tower.

For a break from historical and cultural sites, take the kids to the local zoo, Montpellier Parc Zoologique. There, families can visit more than 128 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and more. 

During summer holidays, the beaches just outside of town are filled with French and foreign tourists seeking sun and sand at a more affordable price than what can be found to the east along the French Riviera. Parfait!

Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas

Strasbourg, France
Canal in beautiful Strasbourg, France (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Strasbourg

A Blend of French and German Cultures

Located just across from Germany along the Rhine River, Strasbourg is a picture-perfect strollable French city with a German accent in the Alsace Region.

While in Strasbourg, be sure to do a walking tour of La Petite France. Arguably the cutest neighborhood in Europe, you won’t want to put the camera down.

Located in the Grande Île is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, the second-tallest cathedral tower in France and the sixth-tallest church in the world. It is undoubtedly Strasbourg’s finest architectural highlight and a must-see when visiting the city.

Strasbourg is filled with great restaurants and brasseries. Be sure to try some local favorites like a tarte flambée, an Alsatian take on pizza. Every morning, try a different bakery in the square for some of the best café au lait served with a kugelhopf, an Alsatian brioche cooked in the shape of a crown.

— Nicole Wears, Traveling Canucks

Les Arc Ski Resort in Savoie, France with kids
Snowy fun at Les Arcs Ski Resort in Savoie (Photo credit: Nichola West)

5. Les Arcs

Adventure in the French Alps

The French Alps make a beautiful destination for families to ski together and enjoy the outdoors. Take in breathtaking mountains everywhere, including the majestic Mont Blanc.

My family loved Les Arcs Ski Resort in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Savoie. In addition to skiing, families can toboggan down the slopes on a run for children ages 4 and older.

After you tire from fun on the slopes, splash in the swimming pool at Centre Aqualudique d’Arc 1800. This water park features water slides, fountains for kids, and amazing views of the skiers and mountains beyond.

Then, warm up in mountainside restaurants with traditional cheese fondue. End your day by gathering around bonfires to toast marshmallows.

— Nichola West, Globalmouse Travels

Medieval town of Albertville Savoie
The medieval town of Albertville Savoie (Photo credit: javax_ber, Depositphotos.com)

6. Albertville

Olympic and Medieval History

Also located in the Savoie Region of France, Albertville is known as the site of the 1992 Winter Olympics. But the city’s roots go as far back as 14th-century medieval Europe. Remnants of both the Olympics and the age of castles remain in a pastoral setting surrounded by mountains.

The site of the Olympic Stadium is now an open-air park where citizens congregate for outdoor play. The Olympic Hall in the center of town features costumes, medal stands, and other collectibles from the games.

The cobbled streets and narrow alleyways that were traveled centuries ago remain the same today in Albertville, giving visitors a snapshot of a medieval city. The Maison Rouge is a highlight in the city center. This brick building was built in the 1300s and now houses a historical museum.

For a full sensory experience, follow your nose to the Beaufort Cheese Factory where a museum display guides children in the process of making soft Beaufort cheese. Visitors can view the factory from the elevated gallery to see the large wheels of cheese at various stages of production. Tasty samples and products of every kind are available to purchase in the gift shop.

— Jessica Bowers, Suitcases and Sippy Cups

Beach in Nice, France with kids
Families love playing at the beach in Nice, France (Photo credit: gianliguori, Depositphotos.com)

7. Nice

Queen of the French Riviera

Nice is the main hub along the beautiful Côte d’Azur, or French Riviera. It feels small for such a large city and is very walkable. Nice has beautiful Belle Époque architecture, miles of beach on the Mediterranean Sea, and lots to see and do. It’s a great idea to base your family in Nice while you explore the surrounding areas.

With 300 days of sunshine a year, the best family-friendly activities in Nice are outdoors. Walk the Promenade des Anglais and soak up the beachfront atmosphere before taking a dip in the water on one of the beautiful beaches. Then visit one of the best playgrounds in the world at the Promenade du Paillon.

Before leaving town, you must indulge in an ice cream cone or sundae from the famous Fenocchio’s. There are upwards of 70 flavors on offer at this classic French ice cream parlor.

— Bethaney Davies, Flashpacker Family

Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux, France with kids
Children love to splash in the mirror fountain in front of Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux, France (Photo credit: dvoevnore, Depositphotos.com)

8. Bordeaux

Unesco World Heritage Site City

Bordeaux is a city that instantly makes families feel welcome yet still has that je ne sais quoi that makes it distinctly French. Located 300 miles southwest of Paris, this city is ideal for day trips to the beach or into the countryside for winery visits, several of which are geared toward families.

Be sure to take a free historic walking tour since the entire city center is a designated Unesco World Heritage Site. Along the way, you’ll pass plenty of carousels and big open squares for playtime. Afterward, splash around in the water in front of the Place de la Bourse (Royal Square).

Also, visit the Chartrons Market for amazingly fresh French food. The roast chicken and macarons were my family’s favorites!

— Nicole Wiltrout, Arrows Sent Forth

Omaha Beach War Memorial of fallen soldiers in Normandy, France
Omaha Beach War Memorial of fallen soldiers in Normandy, France (Photo credit: merc67, Depositphotos.com)

9. Normandy

Unforgettable Lessons in World War II History

Located in the northwest corner of the country, Normandy is an important place for adults and children to visit in France to remember and learn world history lessons.

While in this region, be sure to stop by the Caen Memorial Museum. This impressive institution will give your whole family the history lessons you need before further exploring Normandy.

Then, take a trip to each of the American, Canadian, and British beaches well known for their important role in World War II: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.

Finally, you must go to the American Cemetery of Saint-Laurent, the final resting place of almost 10,000 Allied soldiers who died in Normandy during the Second World War. Upon viewing so many rows of crosses and stars on graves, older children and parents can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of their sacrifice.

— Cacinda Maloney, Points and Travel

Museum of Lavender in the town of Coustellet in Luberon
Museum of Lavender in Luberon (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

10. Luberon

Ultimate in Provençal Charm

Luberon is a picturesque area in the French countryside filled with dreamy hilltop villages. If you have ever read A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle, then you have longed to enjoy the languid days and local warmth of Luberon, the primary setting of the series.

From its namesake river that encircles the town to fountains and watermills, water seems to be everywhere in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (Island on the Sorgue River). This village is home to a darling antique toy and doll museum that will entertain children.

Also in Luberon, Gordes is a picturesque town cut into the side of a mountain with a gorgeous view of the verdant valleys of Provence below. Weave in and out of the town’s darling shops that sell decorative ceramics, herbes de Provence, and other French goodies.

Meanwhile, the Museum of Lavender in Coustellet is worth a visit to smell the purple flowers in photogenic lavender fields and purchase lavender-themed souvenirs.

— Colleen Lanin, Travel Mamas

Eiffel Tower and carousel in Paris with kids
Eiffel Tower and carousel in Paris (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Book Your French Family Vacation

No matter where you choose to travel in France with kids, you’re sure to find tempting things to taste, see, and do during your family holiday. Have we convinced you yet? Book your France Package Holiday with Expedia now!

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Explore More of France with Kids

Delight small children and older kids by adding theme park play to your France vacation with these helpful Disneyland Paris tips.

Spend time in the French countryside at the kid-friendly Chèvrefeuille Bed & Breakfast in Dordogne.

For a nature-focused family trip, consider a stay at CenterParcs Trois Fôrets Resort in the remote area of Moselle Lorraine.

Best Places in France to Visit with Kids

Save These Places in France for Kids

Dreaming of a family vacation in France? Keep this list of the best destinations in France for families. Just pin the image above or below to Pinterest. Be sure to follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

10 Best Destinations in France for Families ~ France with Kids

Which of these destinations would you like to visit in France with kids? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from Travel Mamas: We received monetary compensation related to this article from Expedia.co.uk when it was originally posted. All opinions are mine and the quoted travel bloggers. This blog post is regularly updated to ensure information and advice is accurate.

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  1. We need to return to Montpellier!! There is a ZOO there?!? Wow. Your photos make every destination so enticing – Strasbourg is added to the list!

    1. Karen – Mais, oui! In fact, I used to go to the zoo in Montpellier almost weekly. It was one of the only places open on Sundays AND it was free! (Now there is a nominal entrance fee.) And Strasbourg is absolutely gorgeous — I’m sure you will love that French city with a German accent!

  2. France is an exquisite nation. While Paris receives ample admiration, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the country boasts much more than just its capital. The diversity and beauty found beyond that iconic city are genuinely remarkable.

  3. The only French city we had the pleasure of visiting was Paris years ago. There’s so much more to France than that, although Paris was one of my memorable travel destinations. We are planning a trip back to Europe next summer and this gives me a very good starting point for my planning. Thank you. I may have to add some of these to my travel buck list.