Ah romantic Paris – where love has been celebrated for centuries – it is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world. Many dream of spending Valentine’s Day in Paris or to propose to a loved one or just to spend some romantic time together in this City of dreams and love.
Where do you go to celebrate your love in Paris?
Really it’s a matter of personal taste and there is so much to choose from – art galleries and museums from the Louvre perhaps via Treasure Hunt with ThatLou, to the quirky little Museum of Romantic Life at Rue Chaptal (9th Arrondissement) which is free to enter. Boat rides on the Seine, retro bus rides, horse and carriage drives through the park. Antique markets, theatre, opera, live music and dance. Wine tasting, sitting on a terrace, whispering sweet nothings and watching the world go by with a glass of wine or a chocolat chaud, cookery classes and fine dining.
Why not start with a stroll – there are lots of beautiful places to choose from.
How about the Place des Vosges, one of the most beautiful squares in Paris, surrounded by wonderful buildings, chic art galleries and restaurants and where you’ll find the house that Victor Hugo lived in.
Or the Père Lachaise Cemetery? It might sound a bit odd and not so romantic but apart from being the resting place of those like Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde you will also find the Gothic tomb of Héloïse and Abélard – the legendary 12th Century tragic lovers whose story continues to fascinate people to this day.
Or how about the Quartier du Sentier where the locals love to peruse the shops and grocers stores and eat at the brasseries and restaurants in a pedestrians only street where you’ll feel like you’re really living the Parisian life.
While you’re walking over a bridge like Pont de l’Archevêché from Notre Dame to the left bank why not produce a padlock with both your initials scratched on and attach it with the many hundreds of padlocks which are left, the keys thrown into the Seine while you declare your undying love. Stop off at the Pont-Marie which is known as the “bridge of lovers” – legend has it that if you kiss under the Pont-Marie and wish for eternal love, your desire will be granted.
All this walking will leave you with an appetite and the choice for lunch in Paris is immense from sitting in a park – perhaps the Jardins du Trocadero at the Eiffel Tower with a picnic, to a typically Parisian brasserie for a Croque Monsieur (toasted cheese and ham sandwich!) and a glass of red wine to a full on lunch in an exquisite restaurant.
Afterwards take in an art gallery or museum and while away the hours in harmony with the arts.
In the evening enjoy a cocktail, perhaps a Kir which is very popular in France before a meal. Named after Félix Kir – a former mayor of Dijon in Burgundy. If you order a Kir in France, the waiter will sometimes ask if you would prefer it with Créme de Cassis (blackcurrant) or de pêche (peach). It is 9 parts white wine, and 1 part Créme de Cassis (Blackcurrant liqueur). A Kir Royale is made with champagne or sparkling wine instead of white wine.
After that on to dinner – you’re spoiled for choice in Paris for romantic corners and idyllic views in the country where gastronomy is actually registered as a UNESCO cultural heritage. From a restaurant up the Eiffel Tower to a small brasserie – strolling around Paris you are bound to find somewhere that has caught your eye and taken your fancy!
6 historic restaurants you’ll love in Paris
Insider guide to bars and restaurants in Paris
Paris for Free