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 Arc de Triomphe with kids is not only doable, but it can be a blast even with babies and toddlers. See our full Paris itinerary here.

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Our Visit to the Arc de Triomphe with Kids

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.

Photo of the Arc de Triomphe, which is a top kid-friendly attraction in Paris, France #arcdetriomphe #paris #pariswithkids #familytravel #parisattractions
View of the Arc de Triomphe from across the street. Photo credit: Philippe Berthé / Centre des monuments nationaux

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.

Photo of the stroller parking at Arc de Triomphe, a great tip for traveling to Paris with kids #arcdetriomphe #pariswithkids #parisattractions #familytravel
This is the security area at the base of the Arc de Triomphe. To the right is the stroller parking area. Photo credit: Marcie 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.

Phot of the Attic Room at the Arc de Triomphe with kids, a stop on our self-guided Arc de Triomphe tour #arcdetriomphe #pariswithkids #visitparis #parismonument
Our 3 year old studied this model very carefully in the Attic Room. Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Next, we climbed the 46 steps to get up to the Terrace. This was the tricky part for our family. The stairway was a bit narrow. I’m glad I had our baby in a carrier, so I could hold the handrail. Thankfully, the stairway was one-way. But, we had to encourage our 3 year old to climb as quickly as he could so we wouldn’t hold up other visitors.

Photo of the Arc de Triomphe Terrace, overlooking the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysées in Paris, France #eiffeltower #champselysees #arcdetriomphe #paristour #pariswithkids
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.

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Photo of kis on the Terrace of Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, which is a kid-friendly attraction in Paris #eiffeltower #arcdetriomphe #pariswithkids #familytravel
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.

Photo of the Selfie Spot at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France #parisselfie #parisphotospot #arcdetriomphe #parisfrance #familytravel #familyselfie
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.

Photo of the roses under the Arc de Triomphe, a top Paris attraction for families #arcdetriomphe #napoleon #parismonument #visitparis
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.

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Arc de Triomphe Tips with Kids

Photo of the Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc de Triomphe on a Paris family vacation with kids #eiffeltower #arcdetriomphe #pariswithkids #familytravel
Exploring the Arc de Triomphe with kids was a highlight of our Paris family vacation! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

ARC DE TRIOMPHE TICKETS

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.

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.

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.

BRING A BABY 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. So, if you have a baby or toddler, bring a baby carrier. Wearing our 6 month old son in his carrier made it easier for us to climb the steps and help our 3 year old climb at a reasonable pace.

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. If you find items you love but don’t want to pack home, take a photo of it and see if you can buy online later.

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.

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10 Arc de Triomphe Facts for Kids

  1. The Arc de Triomphe costed 9.3 million French francs (around 1.6 million USD) a huge amount of money in the 1800s.
  2. The white walls under the vault contain the names of 128 battles of the first French Republic and Napoleon’s Empire plus the names of the generals who took part in them.
  3. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WW1 is located under the vault. It represents the 1.5 million soldiers who died during the war.
  4. Andre Maginot lit the eternal flame of remembrance on November 11, 1923 and it’s never been extinguished. If you go at 6:20pm, you can see the flame rekindled and veterans laying wreaths.
  5. It was the largest triumphal arch until 1982, when North Korea deliberately built a larger one.
  6. There are 284 steps from the ground level to the top of the arc.
  7. Although Napoleon is the one who commission the Arc de Triomphe, the construction was completed many years after he died. But, he got to pass through the completed Arc de Triomphe in 1840 when his body was moved to Les Invalides, his final resting place.
  8. At the end of WW1, pilot Charles Godefroy flew his fighter plane through the Arc in tribute to the airmen killed in the war.
  9. The Arc de Triomphe almost didn’t happen. French architect Charles Ribart tried to build an elephant-shaped building where people could climb inside, but the French government denied his request.
  10. It’s rarely cleaned. The last cleaning happened in 2011 and it had been almost 50 years since the prior cleaning.
Photo across the street from the Arc de Triomphe, which is a top photo spot in Paris, France #parisphoto #parisphotospot #parisattraction #visitparis #pariswithkids
We were so excited to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Arc de Triomphe Tours for Families

Paris Skip-the-Line Arc de Triomphe Guided Tour and Climb

Get the inside story of one of Paris’s most iconic monuments with a one-hour guided tour and climb of the Arc de Triomphe. Plus, save time with skip-the-line access.

Napoleon: the Man and the Legend – Full day tour including Arc de Triomphe

If your kids have the stamina for an all day tour, this one combines a visit to the spectacular gold-domed Invalides, home of the army museum and Napoleon’s final resting place, the charming Chateau de Malmaison where he shared his private life with the love of his life Josephine, and the monumental Arc de Triomphe, built to celebrate his glorious victories.

Things to do in Paris with Kids

What to Do in Paris in 3 Days with a Baby and Toddler: Tips + Itinerary
Get an Insider’s View of Paris with a Paris Greeters Walking Tour
Paris by TukTuk is the Ultimate Way to Sightsee with Children
15 Tips for a Disneyland Paris Day Trip with a Baby and Preschooler Top tips for the Arc de Triomphe with Kids, which is a top Paris attraction for families #arcdetriomphe #paris #pariswithkid #familytravel #paris Heading to Paris with a baby or toddler? Find out my top tips for the Arc de Triomphe with kids #arcdetriomphe #paris #parisfrance #familytravel #parisattractions Wondering if the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is kid-friendly? Find out how you and your family can easily get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe with my tips for families #arcdetriomphe #pariswithkids #familytravel #parisfrance #parisattractions #visitparis
6 Tips for Exploring Arc de Triomphe with a Baby + Preschooler


Author

Marcie writes the family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. When she's not traveling the world, she's home in Seattle with her husband and two little boys.

54 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!

  16. What a great post! I would love to go back to Paris and bring my little ones this time, so I love that you gave tips for getting around with strollers/carriers

    • marciecheung Reply

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

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

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

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. David McClane Reply

    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!

  27. I would be worried about my 3 year old daughter around the Arc de Triomphe and the whole of the Champs-Élysées. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

  30. Aww your 3-year-old looked like he really enjoyed himself at the top! You listed some great tips for people travelling with small children here; good that they have an elevator! You took some great photos too, the detail is wonderful on the Arc.

    • marciecheung Reply

      He thought it was super cool! He keeps asking me if we can go back!

  31. I LOVE Paris! It is such a beautiful place to visit. I have had the luxury to visit three times. Once when my oldest daughter when she was a baby. She actually sat up for the first time in Paris. I was super excited about that, lol. I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing the tips!

    • Oh how special! I’ve been twice and I’m already dreaming of going back. I’d love to stay longer so I could do more day trips!

  32. Wow! What a wonderful and amazing trip!!! I love seeing all your happy photos and it looks like a fabulous time!

  33. What a fun trip to do! I didn’t know the arc was tourable? Then again I went to Paris for one day, haha
    Thanks for the info.

    Madelain

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