The Arc de Triomphe is definitely a must-see attraction in Paris. However, it’s located on one of the busiest intersections in Paris and there are no sidewalks. This can be intimidating for families with small children. I’m here to assure you that it’s not only doable, but it can be a blast with a baby and preschooler. See our full itinerary here.

First off, there is an underground pedestrian tunnel to get to the base of the Arc de Triomphe. It’s on the Avenue de la Grande Armee side of the circle. You can access this tunnel from the Wagram exit of the Metro.There are stairs to get down, so be prepared if you have a stroller. Once you are in the tunnel, you will see a line forming. This is to pay to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe.

Stroller parking at Arc de Triomphe
This is the security area at the base of the Arc de Triomphe. To the right is the stroller parking area.

We bought our tickets and then headed up more stairs to get to the base of the Arc de Triomphe. From here, we had two choices: Walk around the Arc de Triomphe or head up to the observation area. We decided to start at the top. My husband parked our stroller in the designated area near security. We went through security and they told my husband that his camera bag was okay to bring up. That meant we just left the empty stroller.

Attic Room of Arc de Triomphe
Our 3-year-old studied this model very carefully in the Attic Room. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

When we got through security, the ticket taker saw that I had a baby and told me to wait for the lift. We waited for awhile in that area until an employee invited us to head to the elevator on the other side. The elevator ride was surprisingly quick and brought us to Attic Room. This area housed the gift shop as well as a video and displays of the Arc de Triomphe.

Next, we climbed the 46 steps to get up to the Terrace. The stairway was a bit narrow. Thankfully, it was one-way and we had to encourage our 3-year-old to climb as quickly as he could.

Terrace of Arc de Triomphe
One of the many views from the Terrace of the Arc de Triomphe. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

As we walked out onto the Terrace, we were in awe. Not only is there an incredible view of the Champs Elysées, but you can also see the Eiffel Tower. The whole Terrace felt very safe to me. We let our 3-year-old explore a bit. He even climbed up on the protected ledge they had so he could see a bit better.

Terrace of Arc de Triomphe
Our 3-year-old enjoyed the wind in his face as he soaked in the awe-inspiring view atop the Arc de Triomphe. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

The Terrace was very well contained and there were lots of places to sit down. There were also telescopes available, which was a hit with our preschooler. Our baby napped the whole time we were up there. I put a red beret on our baby thinking it would be cute for photos. We ended up using it to keep his head warm in the chilly wind.

Selfie at Arc de Triomphe
This is the ultimate selfie spot on the observation area at the Arc de Triomphe. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

One of my favorite things we did on the Terrace, was take a selfie. I know that sounds super cliche, but they have a raised platform that is especially for taking selfies. It’s set up so the background is the Eiffel Tower. I feel like this is the ultimate travel selfie spot in Paris.

Once we saw as much as we wanted, we headed back down to the Attic Room. My husband and preschooler perused the gift shop while I nursed our baby. Then, we headed back near the elevator and waited for a staff member to take us back down.

Under the Arc de Triomphe
One of the many detailed views from underneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

We decided to spend some time walking around the base of the Arc de Triomphe. My preschooler is pretty cautious, so I wasn’t worried about him running into traffic. Instead, he ran around me to burn off some energy. We tried to take some photos of our family in front of the Arc de Triomphe, but we were just too close. After spending a bit of time staring up at this massive monument, we decided to continue exploring Paris.

Finally, as we left Paris a few days later to go to the airport, our taxi driver actually drove us around the Arc de Triomphe. It was the first time we’d been near it in a car. It was the best way to end a phenomenal trip to Paris.

6 Tips for Arc de Triomphe with a Baby + Preschooler

  1. Children age 17 and under get free admission. That’s almost reason enough to bring your kids. It was 12 Euro each for my husband and I to enter.
  2. Park your stroller. They have a designated area to stow your stroller while you go up to the top. It’s right outside the security area.
  3. Take the elevator. As soon as we passed through security, were were told to wait for the lift. They said it was because we had a baby. That’s all we were told. We ended up waiting at least 5 minutes near security before a security staff member came inside and asked us to meet up with the rest of the elevator riders. The elevator is located away from the regular entrance. The elevator will let you out on the gift shop level. You will still need to take a flight of narrow stairs to get to the top.
  4. Bring a carrier. Strollers aren’t allowed inside the monument. It makes sense because even though you can take the elevator, you still need to take 46 steps to get to the observation deck. Wearing our son in his carrier made it easier for us to climb the steps and help our 3-year-old climb at a reasonable pace.
  5. Visit the gift shop. My husband’s motto is “I haven’t met a gift shop I didn’t like.” I’m more discerning, however I was impressed with their selection of children’s items. They also had lots of Eiffel Tower souvenirs, in case you aren’t planning on going up to their gift shop.
  6. Take a photo from across the street. This was the best way for us to get photos of the kids in front of the Arc de Triomphe without getting a weird angle. Plus you get the whole traffic circle, which is cool.

6 Tips for Exploring Arc de Triomphe with a Baby + Preschooler

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42 Comments

  1. I have always wanted to go to Paris. Someday I will, but not with the kids 🙂 That will be a big anniversary trip for myself and my hubby 🙂

  2. I had no idea you could go up! That is so exciting! I also didn’t know about the lack of sidewalks that’s scary! What an adventure!

  3. aish das-padihari Reply

    When we went to Paris, we went alone. But we are planning another trip to Paris soon and hopefully this post will come handy.

  4. Wow the views are incredible! I love that you didn’t let go of your desire to see this even though you had a toddler and a baby!

    • marciecheung Reply

      If I want to travel, I gotta bring the kids. We make it work and have made amazing memories!

  5. Elizabeth O. Reply

    It’s definitely more exciting when you have a child with you that’s eager to learn and excited to explore! I’m sure he had so much fun touring Arc De Triomphe!

  6. Aren’t preschoolers so much fun to travel with especially when you’re exploring places like this! This reminds me of my trip with my youngest to Paris last year! It’s always such a beautiful place to take the kids to.

  7. I did feel that the arc de Triomphe was really safe when I went there, it’s so nice that there was the option of a lift for you x

  8. That is so cool that children under the age of 17 get free admission! You can take your kids there for free for quite awhile 🙂

  9. How fun! I have always wanted to go to Paris. Would love to take my kids and explore, I think it would be really awesome and really a great experience for the kids!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s such a fun city filled with amazing sights and experiences!

  10. I have never been to Paris, they say lot of walking and hard with kids. But this post adds to my list of things to watch out for with small kids

    • marciecheung Reply

      I thought Paris was a super kid-friendly city and easy to navigate.

  11. I love this post, as a soon to be mom I am sooo looking forward to traveling with the little. Thanks for the great tips.

  12. Oh the view is wonderful from there – I’ve only visit it once but it was so memorable! Looks like you’ve had a wonderful time – and you had your hands full (literally haha!) xx

  13. It’s funny, I’ve been Paris twice but have never gone up the Arc de Triumphe. I really should give it a go next time I’m there. The view looks incredible and I love learning about the history of architecture.

  14. I’m headed to Paris in a few weeks, and I honestly had no idea that you could actually enter the arc LOL. This is great intel! Thanks for posting!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I didn’t know when I went for the first time, either. I did much more research this trip 🙂

  15. You are such an inspiration! So many people wait to travel until their kids are bigger and you’re showing them just how possible it is!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s always good to know when to bring a stroller and when to babywear. It can be a lifesaver!

  16. Oh my gosh, I would love to take my daughter there some day! And hopefully sooner, rather than later. Traveling with younger kids can be tricky but still so fun.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes, it’s super tricky, but they are over the moon excited!

  17. What an amazing visit. It looks like you had a great time with your family and make me think I could absolutely do this too!

  18. This looks like a stunning place to visit! It’s so cool you’re taking your kids on these trips!

  19. Lol…I love your hubby’s “I haven’t met a gift shop I didn’t like” philosophy! I feel the same way. You can always find at least one keepsake to fit your budget.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Hahaha! Exactly! I think he feels like we can always pick something up!

  20. This looks so cool! I think my son would be terrified since he is scared of heights. We are working on overcoming our fears so maybe we can go one day!

  21. Incredible views of the entire city from there. It’s nice that you can get such a view while at the same time feeling comfortable about children’s safety. From the looks of the streets, it’s a good thing they have an underground tunnel to get there or you might never make it.

  22. I didn’t even know you could go inside and how amazing is that view. Its good to know that it is doable with kiddies. I am hoping to get here one day so thanks for these tips and hopefully I can put them into use one day.

  23. What an impressive structure and landmark. Not to mention the fabulous views! I also loved the detail that your photo underneath showed. No wonder this is such an icon in Europe. I can’t wait to visit it one day.

  24. I have been to Paris several times and, you’re right. That intersection is crazy. It’s like a spinning vortex of crazy cars. I would be afraid to take kids without the underground. That is a solid bit of advice.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes! But, despite all the signs, I saw tourists look like they were going to cross that intersection!

  25. Great selfies – I have to agree that the view from the top is one of my favourites in Paris. I have only been up there at night time but would love to see that view during the day! I have to agree with your husband, I don;t feel like I’ve seen the whole of an attraction until I’ve browsed the gift shop too!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Hahaha! Next time I hope to go up at night. I’m sure the view is spectacular!

  26. I would be worried about my 3 year old daughter around the Arc de Triomphe and the whole of the Champs-ÉlysĂ©es. They can suddenly run like crazy can’t they and they are quick! Good tips about parking for the push chair and taking a kangaroo pouch for carrying the baby. Good to know it is secure at the top as well.

  27. Very detailed explanation of Arc de Triumph of Paris. I went to Paris 2 years backs but seen this monument from outside. I was not knowing that we can go up and other useful details like children under 17 have free entrance.

  28. Abigail Sinsona Reply

    I love that you shared tips for checking this landmark out with kids! It can be difficult for most families to travel with kids, but at least you’ve shown that not only can you go but that you can enjoy it as well (even the kids). What a view up top – it’d be a shame to miss out on that!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Thanks! Yes, not all attractions are kid-friendly. But, it was one of the places my 3yo still talks about! I’m so glad he was able to experience it!

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