Category Archives: travel

By Toutatis – what a ride! At Parc Astérix

The chief!

The chief!

I don’t really have a bucket list as such, but if I had, then right at the top would have been a trip to Parc Astérix, just outside Paris. Ever since its opening back in 1989, I’ve been wanting to go. No idea why it’s taken me this long, but in any case the 27-year wait was worth it.

I think my indomitable wife, Sarah, only told half the story when she said about our Family Trip to Paris on a budget that it was really all my idea. No, the actual idea for the trip was the brainchild of our little book addict daughter (yes, the serial book reviewer you may remember from a couple of blogs). But of course when she announced she wanted to go to Paris, Dad was all for it, in order to finally meet his childhood hero Astérix.

I have to confess, I’ve read every The Mansions of The Gods “>Astérix book (in various languages), and watched every film. In fact, I’m quite excited that there seems to be a concerted effort to re-launch Astérix in the UK, with big names like Jack Whitehall, Catherine Tate and Dick & Dom providing voices for the most recent Asterix: Asterix: The Mansions Of The Gods [DVD]“>”The Mansions Of The Gods” movie. Yes, went to see it in Germany over a year ago already, but I wouldn’t want to miss the UK release for anything … but more on that in a later blog.

Back to Parc Astérix. When I first heard about it, I had only just started secondary school. Now with children of my own, there were many more reasons for going. Kids love theme parks, and for a polyglot family like ours, Parc Astérix was certainly a more genuinely French experience than the (according to feedback from other parents) overhyped and overpriced Disneyland Paris. We spent remarkably little time queuing, even the most popular rides (including Discobélix, a brand new ride which had only just opened) had a maximum of 15 minutes waiting time! Prices in general didn’t seem excessive, compared to what we’re used to from other theme parks, and getting there with the shuttle bus from CDG Airport was nice and easy.

wp-1465773300969.jpg

The biggest surprise, and one of my favourite attractions, was the sea lion & dolphin show. Absolutely amazing! As far as the rides are concerned, I was really impressed that there seemed to be plenty of options for different age groups: From high speed rollercoasters for the older thrillseekers, like Oziris, to family friendly rides and attraction for the “Young Gauls”, there is plenty to choose from. Finally, the spectacular live action show “Romains – Gaulois: Le Match” was a fitting and entertaining conclusion to our day at Parc Astérix

I think I’ll have to find a new excuse to ensure I won’t have to wait for our next visit as long as I had to for the first one!

Family trip to Paris on a budget.

wp-1465678138152.jpgAs a family of five travelling is an expensive business. We had a brilliant time in Paris on a budget. We’ll share with you our secrets so you can do the same. We think travelling is great way to encourage learning languages and we learned and used a of French on that trip Language learning a Paris

Eurostar
As a family of five travelling is an expensive business. We often opt to drive when travelling in Europe but I did not relish driving in Paris so we found a good deal for Eurostar. The week we travelled there were petrol blockades and airtraffic controllers strikes so we were very pleased to have chosen Eurostar! Before we even booked we checked out money saving expert so we booked a long way in advance.
As our girls are still fairly small, toilet trips can be numerous and so expensive. Before we went away we downloaded the find free toilets in Paris app to have on Google Play or iTunes. There were self cleaning toilets by the Eifel tower and in many public places.There are 400 free self-cleaning sanisettes throughout Paris. We had a long queue at the one at the Eiffel Tower as many none French readers pressed the emergency door release to try shut the door which meant the toilet went through a cleaning cycle so we all had to wait again!

Champs Elysees

As there are many sights on Paris we decided to book in an open top bus tour l’open tour Very touristy I know. When we began to price it up we realised it only cost a few euros extra for another day. The first day we took the main route and stopped of at a few spots. The following day we took a different route to see a few more of the many sights. It was a wet few days so the open top tour was not ideal for the weather! The view from the top was brilliant though so worth getting a bit wet and cold at times.

The other days, we used the Metro to get around and a carnet of 10 tickets worked well for us (with five in our family that was only a there and back.) Buy at any Metro station for €14.10, saving €3.90 on buying individually.

Eating out is quite expensive for five so an apartment with a kitchen was high on our priorities list. Buying food in local shops is a real authentic experience and great for everyone to use their French skills. We had a few supermarkets and bakeries near the apartment which was brilliant. We were so pleased to be able to buy nice bread for breakfast and to make a picnic for each day so saving money and hassle of finding food when out for the day.2 CV bed

We were really excited to find Le Loft apartment in near Saint Denis stadium. It was really easy access into the centre and a fun quirky apartment with a kitchen. Yes, that is a 2CV bed, our girls loved it! Check out the website for a look at the eye popping fun decor. It’s location is close to Gare du Nord so great for access to Parc Asterix and Disneyland . The other quirky fun family apartments owned by the same guy are Paris Champion Paris Circus

Finally meeting Asterix

Finally meeting Asterix


I think the REAL reason we went to Paris is because Maik, my hubby had wanted to visit Parc Asterix for the last twenty five years! We booked tickets a long way in advance and took the bus from CDG airport as this was the best price and running regularly. Tickets are easy to buy at the airport. We wished we’d have gone for the flexible option with booking parc tickets as the SNCF were striking that day and the trains were rammed! Parc Asterix was lot of fun (I’m not really a fan of theme parks, so high praise indeed from me). It felt like good value for money as there was a really fun dolphin show, a multisensory, multilevel, multimedia competition between the Romans and the Gauls as well as all the rides with short queues.

I hope these tips inspire you to visit Paris with your family (and improve your French). Do you have any top tips on traveling to Paris with your family? Let us know in the comments below.