Top 5 Romantic Paris on the cheap
posted by Fisso
Paris is romantic. Well, that's the cliché, right? For us Parisians, we've all fallen in love in Paris..... AND out of love, not to mention being dumped.!... Of course we wish you only the happy moments in our beautiful city!
For (almost!) guaranteed kisses, head to Gnarfgnarf's top 5 romantic spots in Paris. All visits are free!
1. Along the Seine
Number one on our list after a survey of our friends, les quais (the quays) as they are called, also made the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1991. Bunch of romantics at UNESCO too! Walk hand in hand close to the Seine and enjoy views on Paris' monuments and ponts (bridges). Sit along the river and when you are not looking deep into your sweetheart's eyes, watch people, pigeons and péniches (barges) carrying anything from sand to tourists, go by. Our favourite section is from the Pont d'Austerlitz to the Petit Pont (across from Notre Dame, in the 5th arrondissement). There are great views on Notre Dame, wide spaces for sitting with some wine and cheese (check out our Cheese section to choose mild ones unless your sweetheart is also into strong tastes!). Closer to Gare d'Austerlitz (Austerlitz station) during the summer months, you can flaunt your sexy dance moves (salsa, hip hop, tango...) at the open air amphitheatres along the Seine.
2. Montmartre, Sacré-Coeur, and gardens
Close second, and taking your love to Paris' highest point (130 metres), is Montmartre (18th arrondissement). Artists have drawn inspiration from the area around the Sacré-Coeur Basilica since the 19th century, and all the Parisians I know will agree it is difficult not to fall in love with (and on!) La Butte. Of course the place is crowded close to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the Place du Tertre, but Montmartre has many very charming little streets and gardens to be discovered together with your loved one. And not to mention a fantastic view over Paris. Never mind you'll probably not be "seuls au monde" (alone in the world)! After a kiss in front of the Sacré-Coeur and the view, make your way behind the Basilica. Enjoy Montmartre's pocket gardens : my favourite gardens are the Parc de la Turlure, just behind the Sacré-Coeur, and Square Suzanne Buisson, between Rues Girardon, Dereure and Avenue Junot. A must stop on your romantic tour of Montmatre should also be the Mur des Je t'aime (I Love You Wall), by artist Frédéric Baron where "I love you" is written in 311 languages. It is located in the Jehan-Rictus Square (garden), close to métro Abbesses. You can also wander hand in hand around Montmartre Village, and choose your Paris dream house! Gnarfgnarf's favourite streets are the Villa Léandre and around la Rue de l'Abreuvoir and l'Allée des Brouillards.
3. Les Buttes Chaumont
Gardens have a high romantic factor. Slow your pace and stroll, enjoy the views, the greenery, and with some luck, flowers and sunshine. Pack your lunch for your own version of a Déjeuner sur l'Herbe (Luncheon on the Grass, versions by Edouard Manet, by Claude Monet or by ... you!). My number one romantic park is the Buttes Chaumont (19th arrondissement). The park sits on a former gypsum and grit stone quarry, and provides sweeping views over Paris. The Buttes Chaumont most prominent feature is the Sybil temple on a 30 metre high rocky island in the middle of a small lake. Whisper sweet I love yous to your chéri(e) as you wander through the grotto and waterfall, and sit under low tree branches close to the lake to watch the ducks, geese and herons. Get your adrenaline flowing as you cross the suspension bridges and share exhilarating views over Paris from the Sybil Temple. If you still long for more romance, make sure you bring a mat to lounge, as the Buttes Chaumont is one of the few Paris parks where lazing around on the grass is allowed!
4. Galeries du Palais Royal
Gambling and prostitution dens along the Palais Royal's arcades (1st arrondissement) have long been replaced by the Constitutional Council and the Ministry of Culture, just behind the Comédie Française (check out our Paris performance arts pages). Nowadays, the Palais Royal gardens and arcades provide a quick and restful getaway from the nearby Louvre and Avenue de l'Opéra. Enjoy the pleasant garden, express your love or hate for the colonnes de Buren, and take a walk under the covered galleries. Extra romantic tip : head here in the late afternoon, and enjoy wandering under the arcades as the day falls and the hanging lamps create a more mysterious and cozy ambiance.
5. Le Louvre and la Cour Carrée at night
Just around the corner from the Palais Royal, every visitor to Paris will know the Louvre museum (1st arrondissement). Our romantic top 5 tip is to head here at night, when the crowds have left. Light artists and engineers have, in my opinion, done a beautiful job at lighting the façades of the Louvre and the Cour Carré. Stroll around the glass pyramid, and make your way to the more intimate Cour Carrée (the Square Courtyard) just behind. Romantic ambiance guaranteed. Cuddle on the edge of the fountain in the centre of the Cour and soak in the romance of a Paris night. From here, exit towards the Seine, and pursue your romantic Paris evening with another kiss-stop over the Seine on the Pont des Arts.