Ready to travel Europe this summer? May we suggest… Paris, France.
It’s hard to find a destination in Europe more synonymous with romance, than Paris. (With a nod of course to the city of Rome, which gave us the term romance.)
Love and Paris go hand in hand. Famous monuments embrace the sprawling boulevards. The Seine River swerves voluptuously through the city, creating the yin-yang of the Rive Gauche (Left Bank) and Rive Droit (South Bank). Parisians are enamoured by their city’s incredible history, coupled by a love of modernity, like cutting-edge fashion, from couture to street style. And the iconic Eiffel Tower, which is a symbol of love in itself, kisses (for those who see it as a phallic symbol, one might dare to say ‘penetrate’) the heavens.
A visit to the City of Light will seduce any lucky traveller. And for those who visit as a couple, there is no shortage of things to do in Paris. Our Flight Centre Paris travel experts are also a wealth of ideas and information. In the meantime, we’ve narrowed the long list of things to do in Paris. We've tried not to make it your run of the mill (or should we say, run of the moulin) listicle of romantic Paris spots.
In no particular order, we present...
Our Top 10 Things to Do in Paris as a Couple.
10. Picnic in a park
No one ever said love is a walk in the park, but it’s close in Paris. In the city that inspired great painters, playwrights, writers and intellects, its jardins were undoubtedly an inspiration. (Granted, many of these artists and abstract thinkers were also penniless at times, and parks are free.) On that note, if you are looking for free things to do in Paris, a romantic stroll through, Jardins du Trocadero (où Jardin du Luxembourg) reminds us the best things in life are free. Enhanced with the purchase of a fresh baguette from a Parisian boulangerie and a French wine, of course.
9. Visit Montmartre
Being in love makes you feel on top of the world. Especially in Montmarte, the highest point of Paris. Its narrow, fairytale streets lined with cobblestones sweep you away to another century. Where its distinctive gas lamps cast light, one almost expects to catch a glimpse of Vincent van Gogh or Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec working away through a centuries-old window. Passion is almost palpable in Montmarte, whether your relationship is in budding bloom, or like a comfy shoe. Speaking of which, wear your walking shoes for the many steps to climb, and we suggest ascend right to the top, where the beautiful Sacre Coeur cathedral rewards you efforts.
8. Cruise the Seine
Seine river cruises sail both day and night, and both are romantic (you are in Paris, after all.) There is something extra magical sailing at dusk to dark, where the famous twinkle of the City of Light is twofold when reflected in the Seine’s timeless waters. With fewer families on board at night, the atmosphere is especially conducive to romance. This is also an unforgettable way to admire Parisian landmarks from a vantage point you won’t get on land. Many cruise tour operators offer dinner cruises; we say skip that option if possible—but don’t miss out on the champagne! (Ask a Flight Centre travel agent to find your perfect sailing.)
7. Get inked
As a symbol of their enduring commitment, lovers from across the world flocked to the Pont des Arts to add a lock to the famous bridge. Until 2015, that is. The thickets of locks linked to the bridge over decades caused it to crumble and collapse, putting an end to the tradition. So now what’s a couple locked in love to do? We have a solution: matching tattoos. The sentiment of the locks was to make everlasting love tangible; but what could be more permanent than skin ink? A city that for centuries has been home to artists, it only makes sense that Paris today produces some of the best tattoo artists in Europe and the world. Like any great artist, lesartistes tatoueurs specialize in different forms and styles. We suggest you do your research before your trip and book in advance. If you get caught up in romance and suddenly have designs on impromptu ink, we cannot claim responsibility for any regretful decisions!
6. Take a cooking class
Whoever said the way to the heart is through the stomach, must have been referring to French cuisine (even the word cuisine means “kitchen” in French.) When it comes to traditional French fare, slow and steady wins the race, making a cooking class in Paris an extended experience to savour. As Julia Child said, “I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a Valentine as you can give.” After living and breathing French cuisine for decades, Child knew this, and had a famously successful marriage to back up this sentiment. The couple who cooks together stays together (or however the saying goes!) and what better way to heat things up than side by side as a passionate expert shares their secrets.
5. Get lost
Admittedly, this may seem counter-intuitive in a blog guiding you where to go. But sometimes there’s a certain je ne sais quoi to getting out of the guidebooks, travel blogs and tour itineraries. Paris is the perfect place to follow your whims and wanderlust. Whether it’s a rare bookshop, quirky museum or former home of an illustrious artist, you never know what may be at the next turn – literally, when you meander down winding streets built before the advent of the automobile. As you’ll be with your loved one there is safety in numbers, still getting lost in Paris is best done in populated areas during the day. France is the world’s most visited country, so locals are used to tourists asking for directions. We always recommend learning a few phrases in any language, especially when it comes to asking directions! Embrace being in the moment – isn’t that what love is all about?
4. Shop Les Puces
The world’s largest flea market, Les Puces brims with new, old and antique treasures. The eclectic vibe lends itself to a carefree morning or afternoon, with enough conversation pieces that there will never be a lull or dull moment. Enjoy the colourful vendors, and perhaps find that souvenir piece that is as one-of-a-kind as your love for one another. You’ll work up an appetite browsing the visual feast of the sprawling Les Puces, so follow the tempting aromas to a table for two at a quirky café or hidden bistro.
3. Meander museums
Paris is one of the world’s most magnificent repositories of art. The Louvre is the most well-known, from its exterior palatial façade and glass Egyptian Pyramid, to the priceless works inside. We also highly recommend the Musee d’Orsay, housed in a stunning former railway station and home to celebrated impressionist paintings. If you have a penchant for modernist and contemporary art, Centre Pompidou showcases everything from globally-touring exhibitions to unconventional art installations. Paris is known for being cutting-edge, so one only needs to wander the city to enjoy street art, from commissioned murals to graffiti that would rival a gallery collection.
2. Enjoy a food & beverage tour
Boulangeries, brasseries and bistros, oh my! You’ll find various iterations of food peppered throughout this list, and for good reason. The love affair between the French and their regional dishes is extraordinary. Like Edith Piaf’s warble, wrought iron café chairs or L’Arc de Triomphe, food is evocative of all things Paris. You don’t have to be an oenophile or Cordon Bleu aficionado to enjoy a city wine and food tour. In fact, beer buffs and laid-back foodies will find lots to sink their teeth into. We discovered a perfect food and beverage walking tour for two, where your private guide shows you the sights, sounds and most importantly, tastes of Paris. Soak up the culture, as well as wine and craft beer with tasty treats along the way.
1. Scale La Tour Eiffel
(That rhymes if you say it in French.) You didn’t think we’d skip this must-see, did you? The quintessential icon of romance and Paris itself, no matter how many times we've seen images of the Eiffel Tower, seeing it in person is absolutely breathtaking. If you can pull your gaze away from marvelling at the complex wrought-iron structure's sheer greatness, look into your loved one's eyes as they reflect the fountains of the surrounding Jardins du Trocadéro (Trocadero Gardens). Laze on its manicured lawns, by day, then ascend the Tower at dusk to enjoy a romantic dinner for two. Watch the velvety night turn black and you'll fall forever in love with the magical lights of La Tour Eiffel, making you feel one with the starry sky straight from a Van Gogh painting.