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Planning a romantic trip to Paris for your partner should be easy. Realistically, it can be a challenge. As a married Australian expat living in Paris, it has been quite a feat to find new romantic hotspots to take my wife.
In planning the most romantic day possible for events like a surprise engagement, honeymoon or anniversary in Paris, it is worth noting that most things associated with romance come with an expensive price tag. This one-day romantic itinerary in Paris is the perfect way to surprise any loved one for a special occasion.
The first consideration is transport to and from each destination. I recommend hiring a Vespa scooter for the day to truly capture the authentic Paris experience. We love our scooter, and there is no better way to appreciate this city’s beauty. Consider that the alternative is public transport, which is a real romance killer. If you don’t feel up to driving a scooter in Paris, I recommend using the Uber taxi service; the cost is lower, the drivers are friendlier, and I feel safer than in a taxi.
The first stop is breakfast at a rooftop terrace with a view of the Paris skyline. My choice, and one of the best cafés with a view of the Eiffel Tower, is Le Terrass” en Haut. This stunning café is situated on top of a hotel near the base of the beautiful Montmartre district. With a full panoramic view of the city, it’s hard to beat a breakfast here to start a romantic day. [Note that the café is currently closed for renovations, and expected to reopen in June.]
Just a 10-minute stroll from Terrass” en Haut is a small garden located next to the Abbesses Metro Station in the heart of Montmartre. Here you will find a delightful tiled wall mural, “The Wall of Love”. This mural is quickly becoming a must-see attraction in Montmartre and features 311 different dialects of the words “I Love You”, written on 612 embossed tiles. The perfect spot for a quick couples selfie. Then take a minute to sit together on the park bench and just soak up the atmosphere.
The romantic ramble continues through the back streets of Montmartre, rising until you reach the summit of the iconic Sacré-Cœur. By this time the buskers will be performing on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur where you can sit and enjoy the live entertainment drinking coffee, frappuccino, or a beer (depending on the weather).
Light Shopping Then Lunch
The adventure continues with a carefree scooter ride across town for some shopping on the world-famous Champs-Élysées. You should devote an hour or two to sharing the thrill of strolling this renowned avenue. (Suffice it to say: Be prepared in advance to spend a little money!)
A pre-booked lunch reservation at the glass roof restaurant of Kong, made famous by the “Sex in the City” TV series, excites the senses, with the abundance of natural light and spectacular views of the Seine River.
The Kong restaurant is practically wedged between the Seine River and another popular shopping street, Rue de Rivoli. After a filling meal you can walk it off in one of several ways; we like to walk along the banks of the Seine River, one of the most romantic waterways in the world. Some couples attach a padlock with their names on it to one of the many Paris lock bridges crossing the Seine River. (In recent years, this has become a very popular romantic gesture; however Parisians have expressed concern about the destruction of their lovely bridges.)
Pretty soon the shadows lengthen, the sun begins to set, and the atmosphere in the City of Light intensifies. This is the perfect time to act with the marriage proposal, or a surprise romantic gesture. Depending on the time of year, light constraints and the romantic situation, there are three ideal options to deliver the perfect end to the perfect romantic day in Paris:
Eiffel Tower Marriage Proposal: At times the Eiffel Tower is not as romantic as is dreamed of, instead it is filled with tourists, scammers, keychain sellers and busy traffic. The Eiffel Tower is at its most romantic from a distance. If you have your heart set on a marriage proposal at the Eiffel Tower, I suggest a picnic blanket and champagne at the far end of the Champ de Mars, then time the proposal to correlate with sunset and the first light display of the Eiffel Tower for the evening.
Horse and Carriage: Who doesn’t wish to be swept of their feet in a horse and carriage, with a rose and a bottle of champagne in Paris? Between the Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower, the horse and carriage awaits hopeless romantics. Taking this tour is the perfect lead-up to a marriage proposal or post-marriage proposal surprise.
Seine River Dinner Cruise: One of the most romantic nights that my wife and I have ever experienced together was on a glass-roofed dinner cruise at sunset along the Seine. Live music, a five-course meal and the sun setting just before Eiffel Tower light show begins is an experience we will always remember.
Greg Chadwick recently married the love of his life in his home county of Australia and returned to live in Paris for his wife’s dancing career. A former carer for special needs children and semi-professional basketball player, Greg is now a full-time blogger/internet marketer. Follow his adventures on his website http://parisjourney.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
Lead photo credit : Greg Chadwick