It’s Valentines Day, so what better time to talk about our experiences in the ‘City of Love’? At this time of year, hotels across the French capital would usually be spilling over with couples, each desperate to declare their undying love for one-another, whatever the cost. But there’s more to adore than shopping, champagne and strawberries.
For us, the real romance of Paris is found in the unexpected. The things you couldn’t plan or prepare for. When you take a wrong turn and a masterpiece reveals its self, you discover a quaint cafe, or find yourselves wandering along the banks of the Seine without another soul in sight. These are the memories you cherish – the stolen moments that feel like forever but are over far too soon. Although you can’t predict when these will occur, you can give yourselves the best opportunity by adapting your usual city break strategy. Here are my top tips for a truly romantic weekend in Paris.
Attractions are Distractions
Don’t pre-book any attractions. If (like us) you are fortunate enough to have been to Paris before, you will probably have visited the big ticket tourist sights already, so consider giving them a miss this time. After all, there is nothing romantic about getting intimate with 30 other people in the lift at the Eiffel Tower!
Wear Comfy Shoes
OK, so your worn out hiking boots may not be the most Instagramable thing in your wardrobe, but if you’re going to walk a stretch of the Seine hand-in-hand (and you definitely should), it will be more enjoyable if you aren’t complaining about the pain in your feet! Strolling at leisure is undoubtedly the best way to get around the city, so be sure to go prepared.
Don’t Take A Map
Find your way to the heart of the city and explore. The great thing about Paris is that (like London) the river runs right through the heart of it. This, along with the helpful tourist signs dotted around, means that you can never really get lost, so just see where you end up! Each Metro station displays a map, so you can easily figure out your way back to the hotel when you’re ready.
Around every corner is a place to purchase a pick-me-up, so when you need to quench your thirst, do! But don’t hunt for a Starbucks, look for a charming little coffee house or authentic bistro to really soak up the atmosphere. If it’s a sunny day, find a café with outside seating and indulge in a spot of people watching.
Go For Green
Paris is awash with pretty parks and manicured gardens, so if the weather allows, be sure to stop and smell the roses. Take a seat around one of the many fountains, sit back and relax. After all, you are on holiday! Our favourite park is Jardin des Tuileries. This long public garden runs along the northern Bank of the Seine, connecting Place de la Concorde to the Louvre museum. Although popular with tourists, this slice of serenity provides enough space for all who wish to enjoy it.
Have your cake and share it?
Sharing is caring, and variety is the spice of life, so when you’re drooling over the endless rows of pastries and confections, order a selection and try them together. No arguments, no regrets, no decision making, just lots and lots of cake. What could be more romantic than that?!
So there you have it! Our top tips for a genuinely romantic trip to Paris. Now, where’s my passport?!
Have you spend a weekend in the City of Love? Or are you still dreaming of being whisked away? Let us know in the comments!