The 10 Best Things to do in Montmartre with Kids
The romantic and whimsical nature of Pairs makes it a difficult city to explore with young children. Many of the more enticing neighborhoods thrive on elements of fine art, alcohol and sex & are not the kind of place you’ll likely spend a Sunday with your offspring.
But as I always say, Paris is a city of inclusion. While some areas are best avoided when with kids, there are others that offer great activities for family excursions.
The Montmartre district is a charming hilltop suburb in the 18th arrondissement. It is a former artist’s village and was once home to some of the greats; including Pablo Picasso.
As the centuries turned, Montmartre was where many Europeans looking for a more free, more satisfying life came to settle. The remnants of this today makes Montmartre one of the most child friendly neighborhoods in all of Paris, since there is simply so much to see and do.
Take your family into the district for a pre-planned day of adventure. I love that in Montmartre there are some activities that kids will do completely alone, and others as a family. This sense of independence is so invaluable when traveling a foreign land and gives them a chance to connect to the experience much more intensely.
1. The Little Train of Montmartre with Kids
The landscape of Montmartre are hillsides and cobblestones, so walking for long periods with young children can fast become tiresome. Just outside the famous (or infamous?) Moulin Rouge you’ll find The Little Train of Montmartre.
This activity is suitable for both adults and children, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your little one alone just yet. Hop aboard and enjoy a locomotive meander through the Montmartre streets.
A guide will entertain both you and your children for the duration of the ride; offering facts and information about many of the passing points en route.
The train ride covers a good portion of the district and is an easy (and cheap) way to see a lot in a short space of time. It is entirely suitable for individuals without children as well, many tourists use it as a means of simply learning more about Montmartre.
The Petit Train de Montmartre leaves from outside the Moulin Rouge every 30 minutes in the summer, and every 45 minutes in the winter.
Fare: Roundtrip Adults €6, Children under 12 €3.50
2. French Cooking Class in Montmartre with Kids
The cooking class takes your children on a journey of three hours of basic culinary skills and baking. What’s great is that no adult supervision is needed so you’ll be able to drop your children off and spend the waiting time as you wish.
Cook’n with Class also offers a range of adult dessert courses that you can join should you fancy learning a thing or two yourself.
This cooking class is a great way to get your kids into the know when it comes to foreign cuisines. Even better, they’ll walk away with a box of all the sweet treats they learned that day for you to take home. C’est délicieux!
Cost: €95 per child
3. Salvador Dali Museum in Montmartre with Kids
A French museum is not typically the place I would usually recommend taking a child. Boredom being the main side effect that we are looking to avoid. There is, however, much to be said about the work of Salvador Dali and its undeniable appeal to even the youngest of critics.
The whimsical and humorous nature of Dali’s work makes it endlessly entertaining for people of all ages. This, in conjunction with the colors, makes enough content to hold the attention of your young ones for at least a few hours.
The Salvador Dali museum in Montmartre is a space filled with some of the artists finest works and sculptures. It is as much of an excursion for you as it is for the kids.
The best part is that children under 8 years old enter absolutely free. All you really need to worry about is how you are going to explain to your kids why that clock is melting… and why that man is riding a snail…
Admission: €12 for adults
4. La Mur des Je t’Aime in Montmartre with Kids
Street art in the form of murals are abundant on the streets of Paris. Any free guided walking tour of the city will reveal the intricate works that scour the town walls. Being so arts based, Montmartre is no different.
While you could essentially spend an entire day looking for street art with your children if you wanted to — I’m going to recommend my personal favorite.
La Mur des Je t’Aime is a 40 square meter big mural in Jehan Rictus Garden Square in Montmartre. The wall is the collaborative work of Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito. It features the words “I Love You” written in every language from around the planet.
When I visit the wall I often observe parents playing little games with their children in which they challenge them to find different languages from the hundreds present. It’s also a great spot for some memorable family photographs.
5. Place du Tertre in Montmartre with Kids
The Place du Tertre is a square in the centre of Montmartre that offers 140 spaces to artists to sit and create day in and day out.
The square is rich in history and dates back to 1133 during the reign of King Louis VI. Today, sketch artists, painters and poets fill the space and draw the attention of tourists from around the world.
The square is entirely kid friendly. You might enjoy roaming the rows of artworks with them and encourage them to pick out their favorites. You could also attempt to explain the history of the square to them — in layman’s terms, of course!
If you really want to get involved then commission one of the live artists to sketch or paint a portrait of your kids. It’s fun watching them squirm while trying to stay still as the very serious French artiste captures their essence. A day not easily forgotten.
6. Square Louise-Michel in Montmartre with Kids
A day in the park is always a worthwhile excursion for families with small children. Particularly in the warmer seasons, Paris is littered with parks in which you can lay back and watch the day go by without a care in the world.
Square Louise-Michel in Montmartre is located at the very top of the hill and features ample garden space for the whole family to enjoy. Pack a picnic with enough snacks for both you and your kids as there is not much family friendly food to buy once you get to the top.
Getting up to the park is quite a walk, especially if you are coming from lower Montmartre. You can double the fun for the kids by incorporating the Montmartre funicular into the journey. Your kids will love watching the world go by through the glass windows during the 2 minute ride up the hill.
Funicular cost: 1 metro ticket
7. Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre with Kids
Since you’re already up the hill and in the park you’re in the perfect place to explore the grand monument that is the Sacré-Cœur. The Square Louise-Michel are actually the gardens of the Sacré-Cœur; the exquisite Roman Catholic Church that overlooks the whole of Paris.
This won’t be a lengthy visit, but spending a few minutes inside of the building can hold a child’s attention for some time. The intricate architecture within the church is a marvel and they will definitely appreciate the interesting light rays bouncing between the panes.
Your children will also enjoy lighting candles at the alters as a form of good wishing. Like most churches entrance is donation based and at your own will.
Follow your Sacré-Cœur visit by walking down the church steps and into the courtyard where there is a carousel for them to ride. I’ve noticed that this attraction tends to be seasonal and likely wont be an option during the colder months.
8. Scaramouche Paris in Montmartre with Kids
I probably don’t have to tell you the degree of guaranteed happiness and enjoyment that comes with satisfying a child’s taste buds. After a long day of sightseeing there is no better treat than the tastiest, creamiest ice cream in all of Montmartre.
Scaramouche Paris brands itself as an “Artisan Glacier”. The parlor is a childhood dream. There are over 50 flavors to choose from in a range of vibrant colors.
What I love most about coming to this ice cream shop is the atmosphere that the staff work to keep at its peak throughout the day.
The amount of flavor options can be overwhelming for kids at first. The staff take their time and are incredibly patient with each child in helping them find their favorite one.
Your kids will be able to sample a few of their first choices and then select from a cone or cup to hold their frozen treat when they are ready.
9. Piscine Georges Drigny in Montmartre with Kids
Swimming is a popular European past time. The inland city of Paris relies on public pools and swimming facilities during the Spring and Summer months.
If you are visiting Paris during the warmer season then it is inevitable that there will be a day when a pool is all you need.
Piscine Georges Drigny is a public swimming facility right on the edge of Montmartre where the hillside meets Pigalle. It is a well-kept facility and for a small fee you’ll have full access to the pool, changing rooms and lockers for the day.
The vicinity is almost always packed to capacity, so your children can enjoy mingling with others their age and having hours of fun within the facilities.
Be sure to take your own towels and snacks, there is nothing to purchase once inside.
Admission: €5 for adults / €2.50 for kids
10. Roam the Streets of Montmartre with Kids
While there are many area specific activities to do to keep your little ones occupied in Montmartre, there is also much to uncover by simply walking with them.
Montmartre is the kind of place where hidden-gems lurk around each corner. Hidden passages, secret nooks, vintage toy shops. The amount of fun it can be to uncover these by foot with your children should not be underestimated.
While there are a number of ways to come into the district, my recommendation when arriving with children would be to take the metro into the Abbesses stop and start there.
It is the perfect Montmartre entry point that will lead you to many of the above mentioned attractions with just a short walk further into the arrondissement.
Before you head out, ensure that everyone is wearing comfortable walking shoes and sufficient layers of clothing depending on the season. The avenues of Montmartre can at times feel like more of a hike than a stroll… but that’s all part of the fun!
If you are visiting Paris with children then it is crucial you stick to the kid-friendly neighborhoods. Both you and your kids deserve to enjoy their Parisian experience whole heartedly.
Montmartre is definitely a place where you’re able to do this — without breaking the bank.