Paris must be the honeymoon capital of the world, and for good reason—it seems like every time you turn a corner you see something (or someone) beautiful. Here is a 2-day itinerary for a romantic getaway, or just for hopeless romantics. Start: Pont Neuf, in front of the statue of Henri IV.
This itinerary starts in front of a statue of one of France’s great romantic kings, Henri IV, who was known for his good humor and love of wine, women, and song (among other things). Walk down the steps to the pretty Square du Vert Galant, a quiet garden at the very tip of the island where you can contemplate the fantastic view and/or make out without anyone bothering you (in general, make-out sessions are well tolerated, and even applauded, in public parks here). From here, you can walk to the Louvre and take in endless representations of people in love, from all eras. If you can afford it, splurge on lunch at Le Grand Véfour, a gourmet restaurant in the Palais Royal with magnificent 18th-century decor. Fittingly, it was here that Napoleon courted Joséphine. If you are on a tight budget, a nice picnic in the Tuileries Garden should do the trick.
After lunch, drift over to the Place Vendôme to look at the high-end jewelry displays. Then wander over to the Palais Garnier, the city’s sumptuous opera house where a true romantic will have bought tickets to a ballet. At this point, you’ll be in need of refreshment, so you can stop into Café de la Paix for tea in gorgeous gilded surrounds or check-out the new food court at the top of the Printemps department store. When it’s time to think about dinner, wander the Japanese Quarter around nearby rue Sainte-Anne to Aki for tasty okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake topped with sauce, or head back toward the Louvre to Le Fumoir for Scandinavian-French fusion food. As night falls, the obligatory romantic stroll is along the pedestrian-only Pont des Arts, where you can take in the gorgeously illuminated monuments lining the Seine.
After sleeping in, start your day with a late breakfast at Le Petit Cler, an adorable cafe on, that’s right, rue Cler. After, mosey over to the Musée Rodin, where you can contemplate, and even imitate, Rodin’s famous marble sculpture The Kiss. When you are done inside, amble about the beautiful gardens and enjoy other legendary works, such as The Thinker. If it’s nice out, grab a Velib’ and cycle down to the recently remodeled banks of the Seine, Les Berges, where you can cycle or stroll free and easy by the river below the Quai d’Orsay. If the weather is bad, take the no. 13 Métro up to Miromesnil and have tea at the beautiful tearoom at the Musée Jacquemart-André. If you are up for it, visit the museum after. Otherwise, it’s time to start thinking about the evening’s activities. Jazz lovers should head to Duc des Lombards; others will be just fine with La Bellevilloise in trendy Ménilmontant, where you can eat, drink, and dance the night away. For late-night cocktails hit the Candeleria, a speakeasy-like spot hidden at the back of a taqueria.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.