Paris really is the most romantic city in the world, if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, you’ll be queuing in the rain for the Eiffel Tower and getting ripped off in a tourist trap Champs Elysees restaurant along with the other poor souls who didn’t do their research.
So where do you go to get it right on a romantic Paris getaway? From restaurants to horse-drawn carriage rides, we’ve got romantic ideas that’ll show you really care and won’t break the bank either (most of the time)…
1. Go to a romantic Paris restaurant
No trip to Paris would be complete without that intimate candle-lit meal beneath the stars accompanied by a bottle of fine wine. Fortunately, Paris has no shortage of restaurants that will more than fit the bill for you and your sweetheart.
If you really want to impress your loved one you might want to give one of these eateries a try:
Le Baron Rouge
Ok, so Le Baron Rouge on rue Théophile-Roussel may be more of a wine bar than a restaurant. However, with soft music, tables in dimly lit corners and fresh oysters on the menu, who cares? A perfect couples’ hangout.
1 Rue Théophile Roussel
Ooh, fancy. Les Ombres on the 5th floor of Musee Quai Branly is Paris’s smartest window on the Eiffle Tower, its latticed glass dome roof offering spectacular views of Le Tour’s hourly light show. A seasonal French menu goes heavy on the lobster, foie gras, truffles and caviar, and the restaurant also serves afternoon tea. If you want to feel a bit flashy, this is your first stop for a blow-out date.
27 quai Branly
La Dame de Canton
As you enter what was once a wooden barge you’ll be confronted by a busy bar and loud, live world music where you won’t be able to hear yourself think. However, if you venture below deck and into the bowels of the barge you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a cosy, lantern-lit restaurant that serves all your classic French cuisine.
For the best seats in the house, reserve the cushion-filled, shag-pile carpet at the very back of the barge.
Port de la Gare
If none of these take your fancy, there are a number of cute little restaurants within Montmartre‘s picturesque cobbled alleys. A visit can be combined with a stroll up to the Sacre Coeur.
2. Best Paris bars for a date
Whether it’s a bottle of champagne or a couple of your favourite cocktails, a romantic drink or two is a couples’ holiday essential. Nowhere does it quite as good as Paris. Again there are plenty of options, here’s our top three:
In a tiny side-street just off the place de l’Etoile, Flute has all the ingredients for that romantic drink- quiet alcoves, comfy red velour sofas and champagne cocktails by the bottle. There’s not a lot of room inside but this only adds to the bar’s charm and allure.
The best part is that the prices aren’t in keeping with the quality of the bubbly. Go during Happy Hour on Tuesdays from 5-8pm for two champagne cocktails for the price of one – lovely bubbly!
19 Rue de l’Étoile
Prescription Cocktail Club
This elegant 30s-style cocktail bar is the perfect place for a couple of apertifs before you head on for that candle-lit dinner beneath the stars. Sophisticated and intimate, Prescription Cocktail Club has all the classic cocktails for your delectation but if you’re feeling adventurous and want to get closer to your amour why not share one of the bar’s creative cocktails?
The only danger with Prescription Cocktail Club is that you won’t make it to your dinner reservation!
23 rue Mazarine
Drink by the River Seine
You don’t have to splash the cash on champagne cocktails in swanky bars to be romantic in Paris. One of the best options is also the cheapest – buying your own bottle of bubbly and sitting out by the Seine and looking at the stars and the moon’s reflection in the water’s surface.
The views from the quays of the Île St-Louis are breathtaking at sunset but there are plenty of places for you to set up camp along the Seine. Make sure you pack a blanket to snuggle up with as the night draws in.
3. Romantic Paris walks
There are few things more romantic than going for a walk hand-in-hand with the one that you love. And few cities, if any, do romantic walks better than Paris. Here’s our top three places we’d recommend for that lovers’ stroll and possible embrace:
Banks of the River Seine
This isn’t exactly a secret as almost every romantic scene ever filmed in Paris involves a stroll by the Seine followed by a smooch on one of the numerous little bridges; but there is a good reason for this: it’s really romantic!
The views from the Seine are breathtaking and there’s something about sight of others strolling hand-in-hand, the sunshine, river and beautiful bank side greenery that makes the lure of a Seine-side stroll, clichéd as it is, just too good to refuse.
Top tip: Take a stroll to the Ile Saint Louis near Notre Dame. This tiny island within the Seine is perfect for boutique shop browsing, a quick bite to eat in one of the cute little eateries and Berthillon – a delicious ice cream shop unlike any other in Paris!
Paris is blessed with beautiful gardens for you and your cherie to loose yourself in. Featuring beautiful plants, immaculate lawns and stunning views of Luxembourg Castle, the Luxembourg Gardens are amongst the best in town and are a popular spot for canoodling couples; so you won’t feel out of place if you fancy practicing your French kissing!
From beautiful architecture to iconic monuments and stylish Mademoiselles taking their rabbits for a walk (yes, rabbits!), there is no shortage of contenders for the most breathtaking views in Paris. However, you’ll struggle to beat the panoramic views of the city offered from the top of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.
Make sure you take time to savour the breathtaking views which are your reward for making it up the steps to the top! The steps up to the entrance of the Basilica provide the perfect vantage point for you to take it all in (while hugging your sweetheart of course!).
4. Romantic things to do
With beautiful architecture like the L’Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower to see and explore as examples of just a couple of the romantic things you can do in Paris, there’s no danger of you being at a loss for what to do. However, if riverside walks, sightseeing and fine dining isn’t romantic enough for you, you might want to consider one of these options:
Seine Dinner Cruise
A cruise down the River Seine accompanied by a glass of bubbly and a slap up French meal freshly prepared by a Chef Gras is something most people dream about.
However, with Bateaux Parisiens, it’s no fairytale. As you glide down the river taking in all the sights and sounds of Paris like the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower eating your top-class meal accompanied by entertainment from the boat’s band, you’ll feel like you’re the most important people in the world.
The reality check is the price tag – at just shy of €70 a head the tour certainly isn’t cheap. However, in its defense you do get dinner, sight-seeing and entertainment for your money. The other big bonus is it’s sure to go down as a big, big hit with your partner!
Horse and Carriage Ride
Few ways of exploring Paris are more romantic than being pulled by horse and carriage. Simply sit back, relax and snuggle up to your loved one and take in all of Paris famous landmarks.
As you cruise like royalty down Paris’s beautiful boulevards and pass the likes of the Champs Elysees, Trocadero and Arc de Triomphe in your elegant carriage, you’ll completely lose yourself in the moment.
Departing from the Eiffel Tower, the tours are an hour in total and leave daily at 1 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm. If you really want to push the boat out, upgrade to the 1.5 hour long ride at 2.30 pm for an extra half an hour and a bottle of champagne!
5. Where to stay
Hotel Taylor is ten minutes from the Marais and has cosy, modern decor plus rooms with coffee-makers, flat scren TVs and Wi-Fi. You can also order breakfast in bed. Double rooms start at €80pppn.
A cheaper alternative is Hotel Avalon a few minutes from Gare du Nord. It offers smart, clean double rooms with private bathrooms and free Wi-Fi for €31.63pppn.