Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Rome vs Paris; length of stay, small children, preference?

Rome vs Paris; length of stay, small children, preference?

Old Feb 7th, 2002, 02:05 PM
Posts: n/a
Rome vs Paris; length of stay, small children, preference?

Which city would be easier for a family with two small children under 6? Which city demands more days to see the sights, and how many days would you recommend for each city to see the sights. Assuming you have been to both, which city do you prefer and why?
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 02:14 PM
Posts: n/a
I think this is a tough question but since I've been to both places I'll throw in my 2 cents.

I would go with Paris. I think that it is more laid back, easier to get around in, has more parks (although I do love the squares in Rome they are more concrete vs. grass), wider variety of things to do and see.

Rome is fasinating but I also found it busier, faster, more "masculine" if that makes sense. I also think the Metro in Paris is easier and more useful than the one in Rome.

I think either city really needs a minimum of 5 to 6 full days to enjoy if it's your first time.

I really do love both cities but if I was picking for kids I would go with Paris.
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 10:28 PM
Posts: n/a
Looking at my Paris and Rome maps, it looks like Paris is more spread out, and Rome's sights all seem to be close together. This would make me think that it would be easier to be in Rome with kids. We stroll one in a stroller and the other goes on my shoulders, or walks for a little bit. Are the maps deceiving me? Is Rome more spread out than I think, you think?
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 11:39 PM
Posts: n/a
Have to disagree about Paris on this one. Having been to both as well, Rome seems much easier on kids. First, because of the restaurants-there are many casual places where they can sit and eat pizza or spaghetti in a family-friendly environment, whereas Paris restaurants are not usually as much so, particularly since many Parisian parents leave their kids at home when dining out and the food choices may not be as easy.

About the parks, the Villa Borghese in Rome is a main attraction and is filled with cool kid things. They've got a man-made lake where you can rent boats, and I believe bicycles built for four, plus they've got great playgrounds. We saw lots of local and tourist kids there and thought it was a great place for the parents and their children. In addition, the Gallerie Borghese is one of Rome's finest museums and is situated in the park-so would make a good combo.

Also, just thinking of sights...Rome's Colosseum and Forum are right next to one another and both are great areas for kids to run around. They are fairly open spaces, granted filled with some beautiful ruins, but you won't have anyone telling your kids not to touch something and it will be very easy to find a quiet spot if one of them starts crying or gets cranky. I guess the difference to me is that in Paris so many of the sights are indoors and involve museums that it could get trying for a child. In Rome, so many things are outside that it would probably be more fun for them and easier to deal with. Hope this helps!
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 04:57 AM
Posts: n/a
Agree with Amy, my vote is for Rome, it is a much more kids friendly place, and in addition to Villa Borghese there are many other beautifull parks like the Gianicolo (great view of the all city), Villa Doria Pamphily (my favourite), and the Giardino Botanico in Trastevere. Rome is very close together and maybe those parks are less known to tourists because they are a little bit offcenter, but they are full of local kids. As Amy said, even the Forum can be considered a park, and it is a great area for kids. To apreciate Paris, they need to be a little bit more grown up.
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 05:41 AM
Posts: n/a
Who doesn't love both places? But in direct response to your question about traveling with young kids, my vote will have to make it 3 for Rome so far. Rome is as you noticed much more compact to see, so walking around with kids would be easier. The major "must" attractions are all within relatively easy stroller distance from each other. Just take your time moving about and soak in all the sites, sounds, people, atmosphere, food treats, piazzas. Especialy if you stay in a Centro Storico area hotel (area in the middle of the city), you'll be right in the midst of what you want to see. Also, I agree that Rome is easier to find fun things for kids to eat, and places to eat them in. Rome too is full of sidewalk cafes/eateries so no need to haul the kids, stollers, bags inside if the weather is nice. Rome generally is warmer than Paris too, so this may be another consideration if you aren't going during the summer.

Paris is just larger so it's more spread out and will require public transport. I was just there again in January, and thought that this time I will make it a point to walk from site to site. The freezing weather didn't help, but I ended up taking buses and subways to cover the long distances, as I find it just too big of a city to try and walk all over. As for having lots more subways than Rome, it does, but are you really into taking strollers up and down all those stairs and transferring lines? Try Rome, you'll be able to see all you want, you'll end up loving it and the food. Rome has a wider variety in the types of sites to see, so your kids will end up haivng a good time too.

Old Feb 8th, 2002, 06:04 AM
dan woodlief
Posts: n/a
This is indeed a tough one. Maybe someone who has taken kids to both will answer at some point.

My first thought was Paris because it is not quite the traffic nightmare of Rome, and it has more easily accessible parks.

After a bit of thought maybe Rome is better for kids. I do agree about the more family atmosphere with dining, and it is less spread out as others have said. I remember before going to Paris how all the guidebooks said things are so close together. Well, that just isn't true. I have never walked more. The metro helps a lot, but you have to walk so much to get to the cars at most stations.

I have flip flopped twice on this one and came to the conclusion that Paris is slightly ahead - slightly. The reason is sights. Kids that age might enjoy the Eiffel Tower, boat rides on the Seine, the Luxembourg Gardens, the Tuileries, and other parts of a visit to Paris more than they would to Rome. The art won't likely mean much to them, and the ruins may not either at that young of an age. They probably would enjoy the Spanish Steps, maybe the Colosseum and Pantheon, the Borghese Gardens, St. Peters square, and the Tiber. I know my own daughter (who is nearly 3) would like Rome better for one reason if nothing else - she loves Italian food:}
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 10:51 AM
Posts: n/a
Great responses and clear thoughts from all of you. I really appreciate your ideas. Believe it or not but we were in Paris for 3 days just 2 years ago and I did carry the stroller up and down to the subways, not too bad, but I wouldn't look forward to that again. Looks like Rome it is (maybe for 2 weeks). Thanks again.
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 12:55 PM
Posts: n/a
Dear Joe,
We took our 7 and 3 year old to Rome last year and they loved it. They never tired from all of the many sights to see and still talk about how wonderful it was.
I went to Paris as a child and remember being very bored from all of the museums. I loved the Eifel Tower and our hotel with robes and breakfast on our balcony.
My husband and I will be in Paris in June and I can't wait. But my vote still goes to Rome with kids.
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 03:41 PM
Posts: n/a
Rome. Italians are so lovely and accomodating with children. All your kids favorite dishes are served in basically every restaurant. Traffic will stop when they see that you have a child. Piazza's and pigeon chasing is a great past time...counting cats in Piazza Argentina is fun...Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain, the Borghese Gardens (ride a tram, very fun!)will delight them, and they can have gelato every day.

Churches and the Vatican Museum may be a bit difficult but the Capitoline Museum may be interesting.


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:21 PM.