Romantic things to do in Paris
The most romantic city on earth has earned its reputation for a reason. A walk underneath the sparkling Eiffel Tower at night or a wander through the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens might be what attracts thousands each year, but it’s certainly not the only way to spend a romantic break in Paris.
Here are our favourite romantic things to do in Paris, from restaurants and hotels to ideas for Valentine’s Day.
Romantic restaurants in Paris
It’s fitting that the city credited with the invention of the restaurant should now be revered for having some of the finest in the world. Here are some of the most romantic restaurants in Paris, from bohemian Parisian inspired Le Derrière to Michelin-starred restaurant Arpège.
Le Derrière69 rue des Gravilliers, Paris 75003Le Derriere (‘behind’, in English) welcomes locals and tourists with its warm décor inspired by a bohemian Parisian apartment. Pick either the living-room, the bedroom or the kitchen to enjoy an exquisite lobster whilst cozying up to your loved one on the comfy sofas.
Maison3, rue Saint-Hubert, 75011
After stints at some of the city’s coolest neo-bistros, chef Sota Atsumi has opened his own place – a pared-back, 40-seater restaurant, already tipped for Michelin stardom. Grounded in classic technique, his cooking’s boldly inventive; cuttlefish ragoût with French toast, perhaps, or crème caramel with grilled corn. Looking to impress the loved one in your life? A table here should do the trick.
Le Clarence31, avenue Franklin D Roosevelt, 75008
Dress up for lunch at this resplendent two-star restaurant, modelled on the owner’s château in Bordeaux. Aperitifs are served in the Grand Salon, with its gilt-framed portraits and antiques, after which you’re ushered down to one of three stately dining rooms. Chef Christophe Pelé’s cooking is exquisite but audacious – including his eyebrow-raising ‘sweetbread KFC-style’.
Arpège84, rue de Varenne, 75007
With not one, not two, but three shiny stars twinkling in its firmament, chef Alain Passard’s Arpège is a gastronomic legend. It’s also been a pioneer of high-end, vegetable-focused cooking, with exquisite dishes such as cauliflower velouté, delicate raviolis and the house bouquet de roses apple tart. Ingredients come direct from the restaurant’s own organic gardens.
Romantic hotels in Paris
With plans to make and restaurant tables to reserve, keep the practicalities simple, and book your tickets and hotel in one with Eurostar Holidays. We’ve found the best boltholes for a romantic Paris break, whether you’re dreaming of breakfast in bed or a suite you’ll never want to leave.
Romantic things to do in Paris for couples
Strolling along the River Seine or visiting the Eiffel tower are not the only romantic ways to spend a love-filled getaway à la Parisienne. Instead, visit the legendary Shakespeare & Co bookshop or cosy up with a cocktail or two at Little Red Door. Take a look at some of our favourite romantic things to do in Paris.
Get steamy at the Bains du Marais33, rue des Blancs Manteaux, 75004
Cosy up at this sultry, central-Paris hammam, a few streets away from the Centre Pompidou. Following a head-to-toe renovation, it’s a chic spot to kick back, with handsome Turkish baths, a sauna, and cocooning treatment rooms. Book in for restorative black-soap scrubs and side-by-side massages, then lunch in the light-filled restaurant, whose menu runs from sea-bream sashimi to opulent, truffle-laced pasta.
Visit Shakespeare & Co bookshop37 Rue de la Bûcherie, Paris 75005Feel free to wander around the tiny alleys, listen to strangers playing the piano and have a slice of Lemon Pie at the café right next to the shop, overlooking Notre Dame and the Seine.
See a show at La Nouvelle SeineOpposite 3, quai de Montebello, 75005
Moored across the river from Notre-Dame, this bijou floating theatre is scandalously good fun. Formerly a working barge, it’s been opulently converted, with a glassed-in restaurant on the upper deck and a gilded theatre down below. Settle into a plush red velvet seat and enjoy the burlesque cabaret, which might run from smoky-eyed femme fatales to tattooed boys in sequinned frocks.
Catch a concert at the Philharmonie221, avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019
Architect Jean Nouvel designed this space-age concert hall, with thousands of tessellated metal birds flitting across its façade. Inside, its cocooning concert hall has state-of-the-art acoustics, whether you’re taking in Beethoven’s Fifth or a big-ticket gig. If you want to spot the Eiffel Tower from its rooftop viewpoint, don’t leave it too late: it’s open from Wednesday to Sunday, but closes at 8pm.
Cocktails at Little Red Door60 Rue Charlot, Paris 75003A cocktail bar inspired by the American Prohibition, this modern speakeasy welcomes those who want to enjoy classic drinks or innovative creations, whilst staying away from prying eyes…
What to do in Paris for Valentine’s Day?
Labelled as the most romantic city in the world, Paris is the perfect place for a Valentine’s Day break. With so many iconic landmarks and cute districts to explore, you can easily spend hours strolling the streets hand-in-hand. Take a look at our must-see sights for your Paris Valentine’s break.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel tower is one of the world's most romantic places to visit. A marvel of engineering, it was built in 1889 and has been visited by over 300 million people ever since. If it’s your first trip to Paris, the iron lady is an absolute must-see. Hot tip: try going there at night to see the 20,000 bulbs light up this world-famous landmark.
Seine river cruise
A cruise on the Seine is undoubtedly one of the most romantic things you can do on Valentine’s Day in Paris. Jump in a typical Bateaux-Mouche (an open excursion boat) for just over an hour and navigate across the city and its bridges to admire the many gilded monuments. If you can, do it at night when Paris is all lit up – it’s simply magical. With departures every 30 minutes or so and prices starting from €14, it would be a shame to miss it.
Arc de Triomphe
Fancy a little bit of exercise to work up an appetite for your Valentine’s Day meal? Climb up the 284 steps of the Arc de Triomphe, the biggest arch in the world. Once at the top, you can enjoy an amazing view of the Champs Elysees, which stretches over two kilometres. L’arc de Triomphe is open every day from 10am to 10:30pm between January and March and tickets only cost €12.
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Valentine’s Day in Paris, head over to the Luxembourg Gardens for some quiet time. Located next to the Latin Quarter and the fashionable Saint-Germain-des-Pré, this manicured 25 acres of parkland is the perfect spot for a romantic stroll. This is also where Parisians go jogging or take their children for an impromptu Punch and Judy show.
Quintessentially romantic, Montmartre is one of the most picturesque areas of Paris. Sitting at the top of a 130-meter hill, it is also known as the artist district due to the number of street painters who gather every day to paint tourists’ portraits. Its steep cobbled streets are strewn with French brasseries’ terraces, where people sit to watch the world go by - giving Montmartre a captivating bohemian-chic vibe not to be missed.
Off-the-beaten-track Valentine ideas
While places like the Eiffel Tower and a cruise on the Seine seem like obvious choices to inspire a romantic experiences in Paris for Valentine's day, it is worth exploring some off-the-beaten track places too.
We’ve picked some addresses to get your hearts racing, from seductive cocktail haunts to a bridge with a view. For lovers, it’s often the smallest details that make a trip truly special, like slipping out early to fetch your beloved a fresh-baked pain au chocolat for breakfast in bed.
Wander the Musée de la Vie Romantique16, rue Chaptal, 75009
Be whisked back to a more romantic age at this elegant mansion in Montmartre, built in 1830 by painter Ary Scheffer. The artistic and literary greats of the day attended his Friday-night soirées, including George Sands and Charles Dickens. Today, it’s an atmospheric time-capsule of mementos and objets d’art, with an utterly charming tearoom set in the rose-tangled courtyard, making it the perfect spot for a cup of tea this Valentine’s Day in Paris.
Find a handcrafted keepsake at Monsieur Paris53, rue Charlot, 75003
For jewellery that’s handmade in the Marais, drop by Nadia Azoug’s bijou workshop, where every piece can be customised on request. Her designs exude Parisian cool, without being overstated – like the tiny, eye-imprinted amulets and artfully-stacked gold bracelets. Rings run from simple, sculptural bands to proposal-worthy numbers, scattered with coloured gemstones or studded with tiny diamonds. Ideal for a Valentine's day gift.
Splurge on flowers at Debeaulieu30, rue Henry Monnier, 75009
The city’s fashion crowd adores florist Pierre Banchereau, who’s worked with the likes of Vuitton and Valentino. Known for his bold, generous bouquets, he often champions unlikely flowers; thanks to him, even the humble chrysanthemum’s made a comeback. Blooms are arranged on sculptural white plinths in his South Pigalle HQ, while a pair of resident parrots chatter in the background.
Snap a selfie on the Pont de Bir-HakeimPont de Bir-Hakeim, 75015
Scores of bridges cross the Seine, but Bir-Hakeim offers the ultimate backdrop for a Valentine's day in Paris selfie. It’s a soaring, steel-spanned affair with the metro running on the upper level, famed for its heart-racing views of the Eiffel Tower. Halfway along, a flight of stairs leads down to the Île aux Cygnes, a narrow, car-free islet, with a tree-lined promenade and benches for quiet tête-à-têtes.
Sip on head-turning cocktails at Maison Souquet10, rue de Bruxelles, 75009
The decadent cocktails at this Pigalle hotel bar reflects its racy past, with drinks named after celebrated courtesans and sirens. The signature Belle Otéro has a sprinkling of caviar powder, while the Dita blends yuzu liqueur with champagne and cardamom vodka. Jacques Garcia’s interior design is equally lavish, from the velvet-swathed, wood-panelled Reading Room to the gilded, Moorish-inspired lounge.
High speed dating
If you’re planning plenty of upcoming romantic weekend breaks, well you’re one of the lucky ones. But for others it’s not that easy. On both sides of the Channel, lonely hearts swipe in vain on dating apps, hoping to connect with that special someone. For Valentine's Day, Eurostar organised a speed dating event for 18 brave Parisians and Londoners hoping to find their match. Did they find what they were looking for? We reveal everything in the video below.
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