The ultimate romantic guide to Paris

By Katherine Sparshatt,

The capital of romance, Paris is fluent in the language of love. Taking a stroll along the Champs-Élysées, visiting Rodin’s Kiss, or stuffing your face with impeccable French cuisine: there really is no other city with the charm or panache of Paris.

Perhaps it’s the French joie de vivre or the quaint cobbled streets and chic silhouette of the Eiffel Tower but Paris is a city that has witnessed more proposals and budding romances than any other. So let us share our romantic guide to Paris, the perfect place to take your loved one.

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Sleep

Four Seasons George V

George v Foyer

George V foyer | Photo by Spencer Blake (CC BY-NC 2.0)

There can only be one choice if you’re looking to splurge, the Four Seasons George V, is the most prestigious hotel in Paris. Just off the Champs d’Elysee, the George V offers a unique hotel experience with incredible service, private terraces with vistas over Paris, restored 16th century tapestries, gourmet restaurants and palatial style rooms.

The hotel also offers various unique experiences, one of which is Run My City. Set up by two employees of the hotel who are both accomplished athletes, the aim is to give guests a tour experience that celebrates the city through jogging its streets. An active alternative to all the candle lit dinners and romantic strolls.

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7 Eiffel

7 Eiffel

The epitome of chic, 7 Eiffel is just a hop, skip and jump away from the Eiffel Tower as the name would suggest. It’s modern décor, bright room and comfortable furnishings make it the perfect Parisian escape. There is also a hidden roof terrace for secret liaisons, what more could you want?

The Premium rated rooms offer stylish design along with free Wi-Fi, speakers, LCD televisions, and either a large shower or bathtub accompanied by Fragonard signature floral-scented toiletries.

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Hotel Istria

Istria hotel paris

Situated on a quiet street in an artistic neighbourhood, the Istria hotel is perfectly positioned in Montparnasse and conveniently located near the Latin Quarter for nights out and the Luxembourg Gardens for your culture fix. The hotel is open 24 hours and includes free Wi-Fi.

The rooms are well lit and functional, with either a street or courtyard view. The hotel has been home to numerous artists and writers, including Marcel Duchamp and Elsa Triolet who lived in room 12 from 1924-1929 and wrote her novel Camouflage there.

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See

There’s lots to see but if you’re just on a weekend getaway then here are our highlights:

Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower at night

Eiffel Tower by night | David Meenagh (CC BY-NC 2.0)

It’s iconic and presides over most of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is synonymous with romance and therefore should be the first stop on your tour. Beware there may be large queues to go up to the viewing platform, so plan your arrival carefully to ensure you’ll be able to get to the top. If not, there are many beautiful photos to be taken from outside the tower that include large swathes of Parisian landscape.

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur basilica

The Sacre Coeur by night.

The basilica of the Sacred Heart in Montmartre is well worth a visit even if you find yourself in a flood of tourists. The views from the Sacre Coeur over Paris are incredible, why not try to capture this romantic spot at sunset or sunrise? The 200 steps to the top are well worth it and a good start to the day if you’re willing to beat the crowds and get there in the morning.

Galeries Lafayette

galeries lafayette mall

The magnificent halls of the Galeries Lafayette | Photo by Cristian Bortes (CC BY 2.0)

If you decide not to go up the Eiffel Tower then don’t despair, the Galeries Lafayette has a viewing platform at the top of its vast shopping halls that boast panoramic views over the whole of Paris. Once you’ve had a look around the shops, enjoyed the beautiful guilt archways and stunning rotunda ceiling, head up to level eight where there are 360-degree photo opportunities of the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur and Opera Garniere.

Champs-Élysées

champs elysee

Arc de Triomphe at the end of the Champs-Elysées | Photo by Loïc Lagarde (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The most famous shopping street in Europe, Champs-Élysées is where you can buy a Louis Vuitton handbag alongside a Marks and Spencer’s dress. This spectacular boulevard ends with the magnificent Arc di Triomphe, which you can also pay to go up, for views down the Champ-Élysées.

Don’t miss highlights such as macaroons from La Durée and taking a peek at the George V hotel, iconic in its design and has seen many famous guests over the years.

Pont d’Alexandre III

Pont d’Alexandre III

The ornate carvings on the Pont d’Alexandre III | Photo by Eduard Díaz i Puig (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Linking the Champs-Élysées quartier to Invalides, Pont d’Alexandre is widely considered to be one of the most ornate bridges across the River Seine and is well worth a romantic stroll. Unfortunately visitors can no longer attach love locks to Paris’s infamous Pont des Artes on the other side of town, after a part of the bridge collapsed last year. So taking a selfie on Paris’s most opulent bridge could be the next best thing.

Do

Rodin’s Museum

Exterior Rodin Museum

Rodin’s Museum | Photo by J. Manoukian – Agence photographique du musée Rodin

The famous 19th century sculptor Auguste Rodin created many impressive works, but perhaps his most renowned is The Kiss. Depicting a young couple’s impassioned embrace and standing more than six feet tall, it’s an impressive and moving piece of art.

Set in a beautiful Parisian Chateau which used to be a grand hotel, the museum details Rodin’s life and career. Visitors to the museum will have the chance to appreciate his larger sculptures, such as The Thinker, which are featured in the museum grounds.

Bateaux Parisiens

Bateaux Parisiens

Bateaux Parisiens | Photo by Fabrice Terrasson (CC BY 2.0)

Take in the UNESCO-listed banks of the River Seine, aboard a Bateaux Parisiens. The boats leave from the Eiffel Tower and cost around €14 per person. The tour lasts around an hour and along the way you’ll see sights such as Notre Dame cathedral and the Pont Alexandre, all accompanied by an audio guide with more information on each historical building.

If you’re heading to Paris for Valentine’s Day, then checkout their Valentine’s Day dinner on-board for candle-lit cruising down the Seine with live music and champagne.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral | Photo by Sathish J (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Notre Dame is iconic for so many reasons but Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame left the cathedral with legendary status. The imposing building is as intricate as it is grotesque with daemonic gargoyles leering down at you from two beautiful bell towers. For a fee you can look inside the cathedral although there is often a queue.

If architecture isn’t your thing then maybe consider visiting the cathedral at night after dinner in the Latin Quarter. The entire façade is lit up and looks extra spooky with the gargoyles casting looming shadows.

Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles | Photo by Jake Bellucci (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Just outside of Paris, romantics will find the magnificent Palace of Versailles. Set in the French countryside, the palace is considered to be the jewel in the crown of French 18th century architecture. Home to the royal family up until the revolution, the palace houses all things exquisite and is surrounded by landscaped gardens by André le Nôtre, perfect for romantic walks amongst the fountains and rose gardens.

Eat & Drink

La Tour d’Argent

La Tour d'Argent Salle du jour

La Tour d’Argent salle du jour

La Tour d’Argent is the place to be if you want to treat your loved one to a really special meal whilst in Paris. The cuisine is flawless and celebrates fine French cooking, their crepes ‘Belle Epoque’ are of particular note, prepared with orange Cointreau and delicately crispy they are a gourmet take on a traditional French dessert.

The pristine white table-clothed tables, polished silver, and floor to ceiling window views over the Seine and Notre Dame add an atmosphere of unrefined luxury.

Le Grand Véfour

Le Grande Vefour

Salle de restaurant – Le Grand Véfour ©Jérôme Mondière

An 18th century gem, the Grand Véfour has been a favourite with the political and artistic elite for 200 years and for good reason. Not only is the food out of this world, but the restaurant is set in the heart of Paris and is somewhere between an art gallery and an homage to all things decadent. Features on the menu include, lobster, duck, frogs legs and plenty of black truffle, vivre la France!

Joséphine Vannier

Jospehine Vannier shop

Artisanal Chocolate shop Joséphine Vannier | Photo by Rui Ornelas (CC BY 2.0)

Shakespeare may have said that music is the food of love, but that was before chocolate was invented. When out and about in Paris make sure to stop by Joséphine Vannier to sample some delicate and delightful chocolates. Coming in all shapes and sizes, as well as flavours, chocoholics can taste everything from the conventional to the experimental.

Le Petit Colbert

Le GRAND COLBERT

View from Le Grand Colbert

The younger brother of swanky restaurant Le Grand Colbert, Le Petit Colbert taps into chic Parisian café culture and serves up delicious food on white table cloths at affordable prices. The exterior looks so Parisian it could be from a film set, so why not dig into some escargots followed by steak frites – Oui!

Prescription Cocktail club

Prescription cocktail bar

Parisian cocktail | Photo by Jonny Hughes (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Sure to have a cure for all your ailments, Prescription Cocktail Club is a hip spot with exposed brick walls, squishy armchairs and a lively crowd. Serving everything from Japanese whisky to ‘penicillin’ – a cocktail with health kicks such as orange, ginger and honey in the mix.

Les Fines Gueles

Charcuterie

Charcuterie board | Photo by Edsel Little (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Food and wine served in the decadent surroundings of a 17th century listed building. Les Fines Gueles boasts a wine cellar stocked with more than 800 wines from all over the world as well as an excellent menu of accompaniments. Serving fine cheeses, locally-sourced Charcuterie and their infamous tuna tartare, Les Fines Gueles is the ideal location for a romantic rendezvous.

Les Papilles

les papilles wine bar

Les Papilles wine bar and restaurant

Gastronomic excellence combined with a convivial atmosphere, Les Papilles is a gourmet restaurant combined with a wine bar. They stock a large selection of ‘terroirs’ wines, infused with the aroma and qualities of the climate they are grown in such as Petrus, Beaujolais, Languedoc, you can either sit and drink in the restaurant or choose a bottle to go for a €7 corking fee.

If you are looking for more light bites and coffee recommendations then check out our post, The Coffee Lovers Guide to Paris.

For more Paris hotel inspiration check out our post on Affordable Luxury Hotels in Paris.