So we’re going to visit two of the most iconic cities in the world, and we’re taking your baby with us!
A transatlantic trip is a big deal for me. I get super excited, and cannot believe I am so lucky to get to take this trip. I feel blessed that I can take my daughter along the ride with me.
I always feel guilty when I think about leaving her, that I would rather go through the extra hassle that it is to have a child on a trip with you. Of course, I also want her to experience and see things even though she’s only two. A lot of times, her and I have experienced things for the first time, at the same time.
I understand that we all have different itineraries, so I will be relaying my story, and please make adjustments if you’re thinking of taking a trip like this yourself. Learn from what I am about to tell you, and make the decisions that are best for your children. Always keep them first!
Before the flight
We live in Houston, but flew from Austin to London with Norwegian Air. The drive from Houston to Austin is 3 hours, so we drove to Austin the night before the flight. We could’ve driven from Houston to Austin the same day of the flight, since our flight was at 4pm, but we wanted to break apart the time spent in a car and an airplane. You know, because we have a 2 1/2 year old with us. We didn’t want her to be in the car three hours, and in an airplane for 9 all in the same day.
So that night, we went to one of our favorite restaurants in Austin, Home Slice Pizza. We had a relaxing dinner, walked around Congress Avenue for a bit, and checked into our hotel later that night to call it a night.
The flight to London:
Norwegian Air is an economy airline that offers different packages. We chose the cheapest one. We paid about $550 round trip per person. The airplane itself was nice and spacious. It was an 787 Dreamliner. They do have entertainment in the plane, but the selection was limited. At least, they had less options and older movies that when I flew with British Airways or American Airlines. The option we chose did not include a blanket, pillow, headset, meals, or drinks. These are things, that have been included in other international flights I’ve taken. We are all different, but for me, it was not a big deal to pack my own items. Who cares if I have to pack these items for myself? I was going from Austin to London nonstop for $550 round trip.
Arriving in London:
We arrived in Gatwick Airport on at 8:00 am. We were tired, because it was 3:00 am in Texas.
Once in the London Victoria station, we took the tube to our hotel. We checked into our hotel and dropped off our luggage. We took out the things we were going to need throughout the day such as: water, rain jackets (because it’s London), rain cover for stroller, and some snacks.
Once we organized the items we were going to carry throughout the day, it was time to begin experiencing London.
By this time it is around 10 am. We ate brunch at a restaurant by the hotel.
Day 1 in London
Our first stop was the Westminster area. Our hotel was in this area, so we walked 12 min before we got to our 1st area of interest.
Westminster Bridge- we stood in the middle of the Westminster bridge for a while and took it all in! From there you can see Big Ben, Parliament, and the London Eye. You will find people making bets, artists standing there for pictures and of course, a ton of us, tourists.
From Westminster bridge we walked to Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey- our goal was to make it to mass, but we didn’t, so we just took some pictures outside.
Down Whitehall, we saw the Cenopath, the monument that honors those who died in World Wars I and II. We came across the most popular address in London, 10 Downing Street. In this street you will also find, the ministry of defence and a memorial honoring the women of World War II. We turned and started walking to the Churchill war rooms.
Adults ages 16-64 £23
Children ages 5-15 £11.50
Children ages 0-4 Free
Hours of operation: 9:30 am to 6 pm
Last admission is at 5 pm.
They are closed December 24, 25 & 26.
I recommend booking the tickets in advanced because they do sell out, and they are by time frame. This will save you time waiting in the longer line to purchase tickets. Our time frame was 1:30-2:00. We got there at 1:00, and we were told to wait until our time. The Churchill war rooms are in front of St. James Park, so we walked around to enjoy its Fall beauty, and to use the restrooms. They do charge 50 pence for you to use.
At 1:30 we went back to the war rooms. Inside you’ll find the different rooms in which he lived during World War II. We were told most of the things were untouched and just like they were when they announced the war had ended. We were lucky that my daughter fell asleep at this time. It’s quiet and dark down there, so that helped her stay asleep most of the tour. This was a good thing, because it’s dark and the spaces are small. This is something that of course, my daughter doesn’t take well. My husband enjoyed seeing the different rooms, but he said he could’ve done without visiting them. For me, it was a great experience, but I love history.
At around 3:00 pm we walked to Trafalgar Square, the square regarded as the center of London. We stood in the square and looked at all the streets that meet in this square. The National Gallery is located here. We went inside because admission is free. They are open daily from 9am-6pm and on Friday, they close at 9pm. It’s beautiful inside, but we did not stay long. My daughter was not willing to roll around in her stroller at a low voice.
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening walking. From Trafalgar Square through Covent Garden and ended up having dinner at Mother Mash. The flavors were good, but a meal with mashed potatoes and sausages is not favorite.
1st night in London-
Our first night in London was spent at the Point A hotel in Westminster. We paid $77 for one night. The hotel was within a 12 minute walking distance of the attractions in Westminster, 14 min walk from Trafalgar Square, and about a 3-5 min walk from the nearest tube stop (Lambeth North). Next to hotel was a Costa coffee shop that had seating. Across the street was a restaurant called The Hercules with decent food and prices. We ate there once for brunch. The inside of the hotel has your essentials, a clean bed, and a private toilet and shower. The rooms are really small, but even then, we were able to fit a stroller and our big luggage inside. The bed was a little small for the three of us, but it was just one night. We slept all right, I would say!
Day 2 in London
We started day 2 in the Westminster bridge because we purchased a one way ticket on Citycruises.com for a river cruise from Westminster to Greenwich. The cruise was about an hour in length. The boat was clean and there was ample seating. The guy giving us the tour was a little funny.
We paid £13.25 for each adult and Michelle was free. Kids 0-4 are free and kids’ tickets for 5-15 years old costs £8.50.
An hour later, we arrived in Greenwich! From the Pier, we passed through the iconic ship, the Cutty Sark, and walked about 12 minutes to find a restaurant for lunch. Here you can see us about to eat some Fish and Chips and Michelle not really into taking pictures 🤣. She did like the fish though. I was surprised.
After the restaurant, we walked through back through Greenwich park and to the Royal Observatory. This is where they have the Prime Meridian line. The line that marks the world’s 🌍 0 degrees longitude line, and where East meets West! I felt excited and privileged to be there.
When we arrived, we paid our entrance, £14.40 for each adult and Michelle was free. We took the pictures you see, and then we toured the house 🏡 in which different Royal Astronomers lived and saw a BIG telescope 🔭. The museum, in my opinion, is interesting and houses great information. We just couldn’t slow down to read it because Michelle didn’t want to stay in one place for long 😆. To return to central London, we walked about 15 minutes then took the DLR back via Greenwich DLR station 🚉.
We got off in King’s Cross St. Pancreas station 🚉 because we had a train that left for Paris at 8:00 pm 🕗. Since we were in the area, and its admission is free, we walked to the British Library 📚. In the British library 📚, we visited their Sir John Ritblat: Treasures of the British Library Gallery. They have a wonderful collection of original manuscripts, Jane Austen’s notebook 📒, handwritten lyrics by the Beatles, some Shakespeare and many more than you can enjoy. If you have time, I highly recommend visiting. They do not allow photography inside.
After the British Library 📚,we walked to have dinner 🥘 at restaurant with Indian food! It’s right in front of St. Pancreas station 🚉.
We booked a Eurostar train 🚊 ticket 🎫 from St. Pancreas station in London to the Gare Du Nord station 🚉 in Paris. Our train left at 8:01 pm and arrived at 11:17 pm. It was a 2 hour 16 minutes journey. We paid $90 for a round trip ticket 🎫 per person, and Michelle was free, considering that she sat in our lap. The trains 🚊 have restrooms and even a snack bar you can purchase from. The train had WiFi, but we experienced limited connection.
Day 1 in Paris
We are in Paris! This is our first morning in Paris. It is my husband’s first time and my second time here. We feel blessed and fortunate to be able to take this trip. You know, Paris is one of those magical unreachable cities you hear about all your life that when you’re finally here, it seems unreal!
We stayed in the Rue Cler neighborhood in Hotel Malar.
We stopped at the first cafe we saw, and our language barrier prevented us from a better experience. Besides, we are just actually getting acclimated and we had not completely woken up. We just ordered a coffee and continued walking towards the Rue Cler market. On our way there, we stopped at this Boulangerie or bakery you see pictured here.
We continued walking through the Rue Cler market. It’s very neat and feels like a small neighborhood even though we’re within a few minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower and the Invalides. They have several bistros, fruit and vegetable markets, cheese and wine shops. We did not buy anything since we have a full day of tourism ahead of us, and we did not want to be carrying them around all day.
We arrived at the Eiffel Tower through the Eiffel Tower Plaza park. As you can see, we had a rainy day. The good thing is that we were prepared with our waterproof jackets and shoes, so we could continue enjoying the sights. We also prepared Michelle’s stroller with the plastic you see here. It is very practical to use, it protects her from the rain and wind, although she does not like to have it. She fought us until she realized its value.
We had an appointment to go up the Eiffel Tower at 12:00pm. We knew we were probably going to be there for a few hours, so we stopped at a nearby restaurant to for lunch 🥙 🍴. My husband, in an effort to try new things in a new country, ordered a steak tartare. He said it was good, but at first glance, it’s just raw ground beef with seasoning. We laughed a little when we first saw it. That’s what we get for ordering things off the menu, without googling them first.
The Eiffel Tower- If you’re planning on going up the Eiffel Tower, be sure to pack your patience. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world with about 7,000,000 visitors per year. Even though we purchased tickets in advance (which I highly recommend), in total, we ended up standing in line for about 3 hours. You do make a line to go up, and a line to come back down. The Eiffel Tower offers different ticket prices depending on whether you just want to go to the second floor, or all the way to the top, or if you want to take the stairs, or ride on an elevator. You can find more information on their website.
We purchased tickets to go all the way to the top using an elevator. We had our 2 year old daughter with us and a stroller, so we chose that extra convenience. We paid 25,90 euros for each adult and Michelle was free. Some people say you get better views from the second floor than all the way to the top, but my opinion is, you’re only in Paris for a little while. If you have the opportunity, might as well ride all the way to the top. It is an amazing view!
The Arc de Triomphe! The cost of tickets 🎫 was 13€ per adult and Michelle went in for free. I think I liked this view better than the Eiffel Tower’s, because from here you see the Eiffel Tower. 😊.
You do have to leave your stroller at the entrance, so be prepared to carry your little ones. Then, you have to go up some stairs to get to the top, but they have an elevator that will take you ALMOST there.
After the Arc de Triomphe, we walked down Champs-Elysees for about an hour. On the way, you’ll find several world 🌎 renowned brands such as @disney @louisvuitton @chanelofficial @sephora @zara and many more. You will also find coffee ☕️ shops 🏬, restaurants, and sandwich shops. We were a little tired 😓 of walking 🚶, so we zoomed through Champs-Elysées. My recommendation is that you take a leisurely stroll and take 2-3 hours. We only had 3 days there and wanted to take in as much as possible in as little time.
Paris traffic has no 👎 effect on Michelle!
We walked from The Arc De Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. Michelle fell asleep 😴 halfway through the walk. For those of you afraid 😦 about traveling with toddlers, this is proof that once nap 😴 time rolls around, they sleep without caring what is happening around them. Here she is passed out 😵 even with all the noise coming from the traffic.
First dinner in Paris. Today we had dinner at a restaurant called La Coincidence. We found this gem because it had good reviews on Yelp and we were very satisfied with the food 🥘. The owner accommodated us even though the restaurant was almost full. We paid a little more than 100€ but that included a bottle of wine 🍷, a plate of charcuterie, and our main courses. Anyway, after a long day of sightseeing and walking, it was a good way to relax and enjoy our first dinner 🍽 in Paris. 😊 @yelp @la.coincidence.restaurant
Eiffel Tower at night! After dinner 🥘, we took an Uber 🚗 from La Coincidence restaurant to the Eiffel Tower because it was cold and we were tired 😓 of walking 😂. Even though we were full, we couldn’t pass on a crepe with Nutella in front of the tower. It was the best way to end the night. After we enjoyed the view and took a few pictures, we walked to our hotel 🏨. Remember that we were within walking distance of the tower, so we just walked back.
Lights at the Eiffel Tower! Every hour, for the first five minutes of the hour, you can see the tower light up as such. It’s an amazing view to see, this is only my second time here, but I don’t see how this can ever get old. I love ❤️ it!
Be sure to read part 2 of our London and Paris itinerary with our toddler!
Contact us if you have any suggestions, tips, and/or questions. I would love to help and improve!
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