Travel to France with Teen

We are headed to France this summer and wanted to get any tried-and-true tips that worked for a family traveling with teenage son. Hotel recs are appreciated as well as insider tips on visiting museums and other attractions. We intend to be camped out mostly in Paris but are interested in taking the train south to the Bordeaux and Arcachon beach areas as well. Teen is interested in food and cooking, and filmmaking. I found a good walking tour of the great foodie areas - this should please all of us!  Also, I have disability/mobility issues and I understand that there is not much we can do about 14th century sidewalks, but any info would be helpful about navigating Paris.  Hotel recs appreciated (mid-level budget, not George V for us). Places to eat are a bonus! Merci!

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RE: Travel to France with Teen ()

I recommend visiting Lyon. It’s not as crowded as Paris in the summer but is beautiful with interesting places to visit.  Easy transit. There’s a performance festival in the summer that’s held in the old Roman amphitheater.  It also had a very particular food tradition that might be of interest.  I bet there are cooking classes. We stayed in an apartment hotel called La Loge du Vieux Lyon, which was lovely.  

RE: Travel to France with Teen ()

Sounds wonderful! 

I visited Paris and St. Remy de Provence with my family, including two young teens, a couple of years ago. We stayed in an apartment in Paris and a home in Provence, which we found to be more cost effective than hotels, particularly since we ate at least one meal in each day and had access to a washing machine. We appreciated a bit of space as we like a little down time in our travel days. We rented through Haven in Paris (https://havenin.com/destinations/paris). The process was easy and secure. Although, looking at the website now, they may have gone a little more upscale. Perhaps you can find more affordable options.

We took a walking tour with Context Tours (https://www.contexttravel.com). The guide was an engaging, native English speaker, and expert in French Revolutionary history (the subject of our tour). I would book with Context again.

RE: Travel to France with Teen ()

I went to Paris a couple years ago with my sister and 11-year-old daughter. We stayed at Hotel Prince (66 Avenue Bosquet), which we pulled out of a Rick Steves guidebook (which I highly recommend). We were very happy with the location. It's near Rue Cler, a street closed to traffic with lots to appeal to foodies. We got the best blackberries I've ever tasted at a produce market on the street and enjoyed dining while watching Parisian parents walk their kids to preschool. It's located practically on top of the Ecole Militaire Metro station. It's definitely not luxurious, and be warned that the rooms are small and bathrooms are tiny (no clearance between knees and door when on the toilet and shower was as small as I've ever used), which could be an issue for you depending on the nature of your mobility issue. But even if the hotel doesn't work for you, I recommend the neighborhood.

We found the Paris Museum Pass to be very much worth the cost. We did get a bit "museumed-out" but having the pass let us pop into the Musée de l'Orangerie for the sole purpose of seeing Monet's Water Lilies. I adored the Rodin museum. 

You will have to go through metal detectors pretty much everywhere. We made the mistake of carrying a pocket knife for a picnic lunch on our first day there, which resulted in delays since we weren't willing to let it be confiscated.