Romance Doesn't Have To Be Elusive In The City of Love

Paris is a city full of the emblems of love. Of course, the notion of romantic love is a relatively recent social concept, springing up first in historical references only in the late 17th c. It is even thought that the origin of the English word “romance” springs from a French vernacular dialect.

To celebrate love & romance in the City of Love, one needn’t wait for Valentine’s Day. Any special occasion or any special moment enjoyed by lovers can be revered as a sort of private Valentine’s moment.  On this list, you will find just ten (of the dozens and dozens of possibilities here in Paris) recommendations of how to pay homage to this most noble of human emotions - love. 

So, even though each year Valentine’s Day is the holiday that focuses all of us romantics on the romantic nature of love, for lucky Parisians, romance is just a state of mind, such as the one that encompasses you while enjoying an afternoon of caviar and champagne at Maison Prunier near the Madeleine. And this is a sate of mind that, with some discipline, you can embody every day of the year.

The Eiffel Tower of course beckons seductively to all who visit Paris. So to give your visit that extra shot of romantic, start at the Trocadero which affords a wonderful view onto the Eiffel Tower in the near distance.  And for those looking to pay tribute to Love itself, there is Le Mur des Je T'Aime a whole, wall dedicated to declarations of love.

Spending time relaxing together, just the two of you, is another way to celebrate love. In Paris there are countless ways in which to paint the town a Valentine red, but one of the most intimately romantic is to spend time together at a spa, relaxing in the steam room, enjoying a glass of champagne in the hot tub and finishing with a massage. The ultimate discreet Parisian spa is Sensation Spa in the 7th arrondissement and another one specialized in couple's relaxation is Themae, who also have bespoke treatments for when you're expecting. Then spend an evening at Le Grand Rex, Europe's biggest movie theater found here, in Paris. Located in the Grands Boulevards area, this gorgeous, historic movie theater is surrounded by trendy bars and eateries for before or after. 

Wine tastings offer a wonderful romantic distraction, allowing you to discover some favorite wines together. Perfect Pairings food+wine is an ideal way to deepen your knowledge of French wines and to learn how to easily order that perfect glass or bottle with your next bistro meal. 

Speaking of shared adventures, Mysteries Hunt is a fanciful and romantic way to delve into the history of Paris legend and lore. Stage actors, dressed in costume, will literally walk you through this live-action game where the ancient cobbled streets of Paris become your game board. 


8éme Arrondissement

This museum in Paris is devoted fully to the art of perfume. It is a private museum funded partially with state funds and partially by private investors. Perfume is as integral to French culture as couture, fine wine and art. That there had not yet existed in the French capital a museum wholly devoted to perfume, unaffiliated with a perfume brand, was seen as something of an empty space that needed filling. The museum's location is just a block or so away from the French White House, the Elysee. It is devoted to sensory perception and has been designed to be highly interactive. Visitors are easily and luxuriously drawn into testing their olfactory senses and playing at finding the scents that most please them. In the four floors of the perfume museum (including the Roederer-like champagne cellars basement) of the renovated private mansion, the visitor is introduced to the history of perfum and its importance at the King's court especially Versailles. The upper floors are devoted to sensory and smell perceptions. This is a museum that is certain to appeal to both young and old, male and female.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Walking through the garden of scents installation is a delightful way to test your olfactory senses.

Paige's expert tip: Experts tell us that our sense of smell is inseparably intertwined with our memories. Here you can make beautiful memories together while exploring your sense of smell and the making of perfume, with your significant other. In the four floors of the perfume museum (including the Roederer-like champagne cellars basement) of the renovated private mansion, the visitor is introduced to the history of perfume and its importance at the King's court especially Versailles. The upper floors are devoted to sensory and smell perception. Walking through the garden of scents installation is a delightful way to test your olfactory prowess.

Read more about Le Grand Musee du Parfum →

7th Arondissement - Eiffel Tower

Sometimes keeping the peace has a lot to do with love. And love is something Paris knows a fair bit about. So when it erected this wall of peace on the Champ de Mars,it was decided to inscribe it with the word 'peace' written in 49 different languages and 18 alphabets. Some love the glass wall monument that looks straight out onto the Eiffel Tower and some don't care for it that much. Whichever side of the fence you choose to fall on, it is worth a visit especially when traveling as sometimes tensions can run high when under the stress of travel. Because it's located on the Ecole Militaire side of the Champ de Mars, visiting the Peace Wall will give you a great reason to follow this up with a picnic of wine, cheese and baguette on the Champ de Mars (weather permitting) and then a visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Of course, if you've chosen Paris as the backdrop to celebrate a special romantic occasion or even to 'pop the question,' the Wall for Pead is an excellent place to start that adventure.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Peace and love. There was a lot of good that came out of the 60s.

Paige's expert tip: The attention grabber is, of course, the Eiffel Tower. But if you walk up the Champ de Mars towards the Ecole Militaire, you'll come upon this beautiful glass wall inscribed with the word 'Peace' in multiple languages. This is a good way to start or end a trip to Paris.

Read more about Le Mur Pour le Paix →

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Caviar is the star at this 70+-year-old restaurant where diners choose between a marbled oyster bar on the main level and a more luxurious upstairs dining room. Art Deco mosaics and burled wood accents leave patrons awestruck. Just as striking are the innovative dishes, which include grilled turbot with sauce bearnaise and shellfish in cream and mussel broth. While you're there, indulge in a terrific glass of wine, and enjoy some top-notch caviar. This is Made in France caviar which comes from the Aquitaine. The company was founded in 1920 and was one of the first to offer fresh caviar from France. This location as well as their other iconic restaurant on the Place de la Madeleine have been welcoming caviar connoisseurs for nearly a century now. It's worth noting that the likes of Oscar Wilde and Sarah Bernhardt frequented Alfred Prunier's first restaurants. This location is an historic monument and features in Marcel Proust's La Prisonniere. METRO: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: There are few more romantic meals than a shared taste of caviar, followed by a glass of bubbly. This pairing is always festive and romantic.

Paige's expert tip: For this holiday season, as a way to celebrate their almost-centenary, Prunier is offering a taste of caviar, enough for two, for a very affordable price. For gifting or indulging, both will do just fine. It is a perfect way to test your tastebuds and see if caviar is an acquired taste or instantly to your liking - without breaking the bank.

Read more about Maison Prunier →

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This is Europe's largest movie theater and its location right on Grands Boulevards means it's walking distance from the major department stores and one of Paris's best shopping districts. With 2,650 seats it was purportedly modeled after NYC's Radio City Music Hall. It opened in 1932 and its kitschy interior is still a mix between Art Deco and neo-classical Oriental. Best to see for yourself, and you can, as there is a 50-minute tour of the cinema that you can take year-round. The theater is not to be confused with its dance club, the Rex Club, which is adjoined and whose entrance is just a few yards down the way (known for its electro-pop music). Le Grand Rex is hands-down the most most impressive movie theater, in terms of largesse, d�cor and history, in Paris.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This is Europe's largest movie theater and a Parisian landmark perfect for a date night out on the town.

Paige's expert tip: Take the 50 minute tour of the cinema, offered year-round. There is also a nightclub just next door, by the same name. So after your movie is finished, you can continue your night by dancing in the club just a door down.

Read more about Le Grand Rex →

This wonderfully extravagant palace, where royals frittered away much of the treasury, is a necessary stop for visitors. Top designers of the day created an ornate complex of gardens, lakes, stables and guest houses to complement the luxuriously furnished palace, where Louis XIV, XV and XVI lived before the kingdom gave way to revolution. Beautifully restored rooms hint at the court's wealth, as seen in the gilt, crystal and hand-painted furnishings and details. Make sure to see the historic Hall of Mirrors. Guided and unguided tours are available. The gardens are as much as an attraction as the interior, especially when the spectacular fountains are turned on to music on summer weekends. Access from Paris by train (RER line C; Versailles Rive Gauche station is an 8-minute walk from the palace).

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The new Versailles boutique offers not just romantic keepsakes, but wonderfully romantic gifts, some inspired by Antoinette Poisson (Madame Pompadour) herself!

Paige's expert tip: Make a day of it. Versailles, especially if you take in its gardens, too, which you simply must, is worthy of an entire day's excursion at least.

Read more about Chateau de Versailles →

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After your couple's massage, your aesthetician will guide you into the jacuzzi room for two and hand you two glasses of champagne that you can enjoy while soaking together in the hot tub. Water plays an integral role in several of Frederic Bonfils' signature massage treatments here.There is even one that is a massage while you soak in the hot tub. Their steam room is also outfitted with multiple shower jets, affording you and your companion a playful setting in which to prepare together for your anticipated massage treatments. For an extra therapeutic session, ask for the Tibetan massage, administered by a true Tibetan practitioner. You will leave feeling renewed, energized and with all your chakras re-aligned. All the better to enjoy your romantic time with your chosen one afterwards.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Discretion is sometimes the hallmark of true romance. Here you and yours can spend an entire afternoon disappearing together into luxurious romance.

Paige's expert tip: Men are as equally pampered here as women. They even have an entire massage and well-being menu devoted exclusively to their masculine clientele. Another specialty here is Tibetan massage, administered by a Tibetan who learned his craft high in the Himalayan mountains.

Read more about Sensation Spa Paris →

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The world's largest, richest collection of art and antiques occupies the Louvre, the world's largest museum and the one-time royal palace to French Kings and Queens. NOTE: Reservations are now required to visit the Louvre. Even if you hold a Museum Pass, you still must have advance reservations, which you can make online, in order to enter. Originally built in 1190 as a fortress, part of which can be viewed in the basement, the Louvre began taking its present form during the 16th century under Renaissance monarch Francois 1er, whose successors began filling it with artworks, but didn't officially open it as a museum until 1793 after the French Revolution. In 1981, then-President Mitterrand spearheaded a stunning renovation of the facility, notably the glass pyramid that now provides the main entrance. Leonardo's Mona Lisa and masterpieces of French Romanticism by Delacroix and G�ricault are several of its superstars. The popular Ancient Egyptian department is much loved by kids. There are excellent book and gift shops and several caf�s in the Carrousel du Louvre, the new shopping center it opens up onto.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: When you visit the Louvre with an eye just for romance, it is remarkable all the romantic, even racy, scenes you can see!

Paige's expert tip: Now offering free admission for all the first Saturday evning of the month from 6PM to 9:45 PM and every Friday evening for anyone under 26 yrs. old. Here is a true anecdote: When architect I.M. Pei designed the glass pyramid to grace the Louvre's courtyard it was a world-class design scandal. Scant decades later and it is already as emblematic a symbol of this fortress-like museum as is the Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo.

Read more about Musée du Louvre →

Paris is often considered to be the city of love, ideal for romance, and epitomizing that Paris aura is the Le Mur des Je T'aime, aka the I Love You Wall. This understated work of art is in a Paris park (Square Jehan Rictus Place des Abbesses in Montmartre) amidst flowers and trees, which add to the romance of the wall. What makes this wall so appealing for love that it has become the meeting place for romantics? On the black wall are 311 declarations of love in 250 different languages written in white. It's a simple, but powerful work of art paying homage to one of the most powerful phrases in all languages: I love you.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: To escape from the city and indulge in relaxation and rejuvenation without having to go anywhere is the key to an excellent urban spa getaway.

Paige's expert tip: Look up how to say "I love you" in several different languages and then search for them on the wall. This is a fun game to play with kids or to create a bit of fun competition between you and your significant other to see who can find each phrase first.

Read more about Le Mur des Je T'aime →

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Spa Themae Paris
Photo courtesy of Themae

The central ingredient here to your serenity is tea. All kinds of tea, white, black, oolong, green... Rare and fine teas from the Orient are what form the basis for the luxurious spa treatments at this expansive day spa within walking distance from the Louvre. Each signature spa treatment begins with the word 'Ceremonie' thus rendering these treatments more than a spa visit, making them into beauty and pampering rituals. One of the perennial favorites is to soak in the Japanese wooden hot tub while hot, fresh, fragrant tea is served you and your back and shoulders and neck are massaged while you soak. Another favorite is for couples to enjoy a relaxing time together in the stone steam room prior to being led off to the spa cabin for two where their facials and massages are administered. Another specialty here are massages for pregnant women who are welcomed up through their 9th month.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: While there are a handful of spas in Paris that are dedicated to couple's signature treatments, this one also caters to expecting couples.

Paige's expert tip: Couples wishing to enjoy some added peaceful harmony together will appreciate this demure day spa. The space is much more vast than you perceive from the street entrance, with two couples' rooms and a dozen single treatment rooms plus the Japanese wooden hot tub soaking room. Couples at any stage of their romance will feel welcomed and fully indulged here, whether you are enjoying a new romance, a pre-Babymoon or simply rekindling the bonds of love together. These high quality tea based beauty products are found at only the best spas throughout the world.

Read more about Spa Themae Paris →

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Ever felt like escaping back to childhood? Where there was magic, model trains, life-sized unicorns, dragons and pretend kings and fairy princesses? This museum offers you exactly that kind of escape. It's probably one of the least famous museums in Paris, which will make it all the more magical when you discover it. Yes, it's a favorite of families, especially at the holiday times, when the museum puts all its rides into action and the grounds become one big old-style amusement park. But there is also such romance here, full of nostalgia and a time when carousel horses were hand carved out of wood and painted by a master craftsman. Come with your significant other and you will be sharing in these delights with the person who matters most. It will be sort of like watching the sunset together - infinitely better when the moment is shared.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: It isn't every day that you get to walk through a 19th century carnival grounds come alive. This one is interactive and authentic.

Paige's expert tip: Every year at the end of the year, the ten days or so between Christmas and the start of the new year, this museum puts all its rides in action and has puppet masters, street performers and tap dancers animating the entire grounds. It becomes much more than a museum at this time, it becomes an interactive fair ground come alive from the 19th c.

Read more about Musee des Arts Forains →


Meet Paige Donner

Paige's latest book, The Romantic Couple's Guide To The City of Love, Sexy Paris follows her earlier guidebook Paris On 4 Paws, A Dog Lover's Guide To The City of Light and her acclaimed...  More About Paige