Romance is a part of Parisian culture, and locals and tripists alike show no shame in expressing their love in public. With that in mind, and with Valentine’s Day approaching, this list of the top five romantic things to do in Paris is dedicated to helping you find the best ways to show your affection for a loved one or even to show some love for yourself. You can’t help but fall in love in these romantic hideaways and restaurants and along these streets.
Jardin du Palais Royal
This beautiful 18th-century garden is tucked away behind the Louvre and is one of the best things to do in Paris. An excellent spot for a picnic and a romantic stroll, it is the perfect hideaway for you and your lover. The garden is surrounded by an array of elegant arcades and luxury shops and restaurants. You and your significant other can’t help but fall in love all over again, surrounded by lush gardens, a fountain and chestnut trees. Don’t forget a bottle of champagne and some cheese and bread!
Romance your loved one in Paris with tasty little treats from this famous macaron shop, named after acclaimed pastry chef Pierre Hermé and known for its array of unusual flavor combinations. This Valentine’s Day, be sure to pick up a box of beautifully colored macarons. Most visitors make stopping here one of their things to do in Paris. Pierre Hermé’s first Paris boutique opened at 72, rue Bonaparte, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood in 2002, and there are now six shops throughout the city, all supplying the same heavenly treats. My personal flavor recommendations include olive oil and vanilla, as well as passion fruit.
This is a Paris must-do because it provides a real Parisian experience, with a view of the Eiffel Tower and fine dining. Conveniently located on the roof of the Musée du Quai Branly, les Ombres offers delectable food choices, as well as a great way to capture a unique view of the Eiffel Tower and to surprise your loved one. I recommend booking reservations several weeks in advance through the website, as seats do fill up. Romance will fly as you look out over the streets of Paris and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle during your three-course meal, which includes dishes like truffles, salmon and sorbet, to name a few.
Arc de Triomphe
Sunsets can set a very romantic mood, especially in Paris, where spectacular views can be found everywhere. But did you know that you can climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for one of the best romantic sunset views of Paris? The arc is open nightly until 10, which makes it a great spot for cuddling up with your lover to catch a glimpse of the sun setting over la Défense and then the Eiffel Tower lighting up on your other side. This view is simply perfect—you’re not so high that you’ll feel as though you are towering over everything but instead are just high enough to get a close-up of the city’s famous streets and dazzling rooftops.
Paris has a reputation for sex appeal and therefore some the most attractive lingerie in the world, so you must make a sexy shopping experience one of your things to do in Paris. Every quarter has its own slice of lingerie brands and boutiques offering looks to find your ultimate chic and beautiful self. I highly recommend Aubade, whose latest advertising campaign says it all with “Lessons in Seduction.” Famous for creating bright colors and printed motifs, it’s no wonder this shop is a favorite among Parisians. The staff is helpful and friendly in advising women on what best suits their body, and in helping men find the perfect gift.
Les Ombres Restaurant
Arc de Triomphe
Krystal Kenney is an American living in Paris as a photographer and writer. Her specialty is romantic photography trips in the City of Love.