How to spend Valentine’s Day in Paris

Love in the City of Light

Cobblestoned streets, iron wrough lamps, the susurrus of the river Seine and the Gothic spires of Notre Dame are all perfect ingredients for an unforgettable Valentine’s.

Paris is known as the City of Light and of Love, for good reasons. The narrow alleys, ancient architecture and sweeping views have inspired countless artists, poets and lovers down the centuries.

It may seem like a cliche to spend the 14th of February in Paris, but for the true romantics amongst us, there can be no other experience more quintessential. All you need is the perfect partner, a little bit of planning, and this guide. Paris will do the rest for you.


Step 1

Share a morning breakfast in a cosy cafe along the Seine with views of the newly scrubbed winter’s morning and the river. Fresh, fluffy croissants and delectable pain au chocolats (chocolate croissants) finished with a cafe au lait should be a good start to the day.

Step 2

Stroll across the river to the Ille de la Cite, and take the elevator up into Notre Dame’s soaring tower for a romantic, sweeping view of the City of Love. You can also head to Madame Berthilliion’s on the Ille St Louis, famous for her handmade, artisan ice-creams. Lick the last of those delicious sorbets off your fingers before taking the Metro back across the water.

Step 3

For lunch, nothing but Le Grand Vefour, in the 1e arrondissement, will do. The restaurant is Frommer’s Best for Romance, and the decor was established during the reign of Louis XV. The venue was the preferred dining choice of Aristotle Onassis when he was wooing Jackie Kennedy. You can arrange for the hotel to receive flowers, ordered before hand, and place them at your table, if you make a reservation and speak to the maitre d’ in advance.

Step 4

After lunch, wander through the grand hallways and apartments of the Musee de Louvre, where priceless pieces of art are displayed, such as the Mona Lisa. The walk may refresh your appetites, so stop by Laduree, a cafe serving artful treats. Inside the pastel, art decor interior, you can feed each other nibbles of sweet, candy colored macarons.

Step 5

The best time for a cruise down the Seine is just before sunset. Rug up warmly and step aboard to enjoy the lights of Paris. The Eiffel Tower usually lights up at dusk, so time your cruise departure accordingly. Some boats offer entertainment and an elaborate meal, but if you pack your own champagne, cheeses and bread, you can enjoy the views and each other without worrying about the cost.

Step 6

Lastly, catch a cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge for a spicy end to your Valentine’s Day. The world famous show is very classy and entertaining, and tickets are best booked in advance. You can order drinks from the bar, but unless you have booked a dine-in ticket, a glass of champagne and canapes are all that will be available.

Things Needed
• Map of Paris
• Carnet of metro tickets
• Picnic basket
• Champagne or wine and crystal glasses
• Cheeses & breads
• Fresh fruits
• Roses or other flower bouquet
• Reservations for restaurants, show and cruise

Tips & Warnings
• Winter in Paris can be very cold. Share warm cups of velvety hot chocolate, dress warmly and bring an umbrella.
• Beware of pickpockets and touts in tourist areas.
• Other romantic areas of Paris are: Montmatre and Saint Germain. The former is famous for its Bohemian artists; the latter for its association with Right Bank thinkers and philosophers.
• The most romantic spot for French kisses is the bridges spanning the river Seine.
• Stock up for your picnic basket at groceries or supermarkets. French wines, cheeses and breads are good choices.


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