5 tips to make sure your trip to Paris is actually romantic
Fanaticising about a romance filled visit to ‘the City of Love’? Already pictured yourself strolling arm-in-arm with your loved one along the banks of the Seine at sunset? Even practiced your “je t’aime” to impress your partner over a candlelit dinner at a Parisian brasserie? Well, as many fellow Paris travellers before you can surely testify, if you’re not careful these dreams can easily crumble into a tourist trap ridden, toe trampled, sweaty nightmare that is anything but romantic. So, we’ve put together 5 tips to make sure your romantic trip to Paris goes to plan.
1. Avoid Paris in Summer
The single most effective romantic safeguard is avoiding peak season. Paris is one of the world’s most visited destinations, and nothing disrupts a romantic moment like throngs of rowdy tourists. Although tourist groups brandishing selfie-sticks are a ubiquitous feature in Paris year-round, the low(er) tourist season between October and January will give you a little more privacy and space – it also means less queues for the main sights. Besides, sweaty embraces on a muggy summer afternoon are hardly inviting.
2. Choose the right hotel
We all know that where you decide to stay defines the parameters of your trip to Paris, so be sure to choose wisely. The good news is that Paris offers romantic hotels across the price range, so treating your other half needn’t mean breaking the bank. Although with that said, if you’re happy to splash out, there are a plethora of exquisite 5* hotels congregating around the Champs-Élysées, such as the sumptuous Four Seasons Hotel George V, whose lobby is overflowing with flower arrangements, which just ooze timeless romance. A little further down the price range, the romantic flame is kept alight across the growing number of boutique hotels. The Hotel Mademoiselle, with its glamourous décor, effortlessly caters for romance.
Did you know? Nustay has made searching for romantic hotels that much easier through our “romantic” search filter.
3. Book attractions in advance (online)
Even though tourist numbers are subdued during the lower season, it is almost unavoidable that you will have to agonise in some queue or other for Paris’s most iconic attractions. However, waiting time can be significantly reduced by booking tickets in advance online; less waiting, less stress, more romance. So, we’ve added the official websites for three of the most popular sights – which have online purchasing available – here:
The Arc de Triomphe: https://ticket.monuments-nationaux.fr/Offres.aspx?anchor=tarif
(note there are a number days in which entry is free!)
4. Avoid tourist traps
As with all popular destinations, Paris is peppered with ‘tourist traps’. And nothing disrupts the romantic mood more than being pestered by curbside promoters and/or getting ripped off at some establishment or other. Unfortunately, as tourists, you are a magnet for promoters and street sellers, and the inescapable fact that you’re not from the city makes ripping off all that easier. But don’t despair, there are some steps you can take to make sure upsets are avoided so that l’amour flows freely.
Get off the beaten track. Circumventing the main touristic thoroughfares is the easiest way to avoid overzealous tour operators and restaurateurs. And no, this doesn’t mean missing out on must-sees. Consider alternative attractions. Granted, there are some irreplaceable must-sees (like three listed above) but there are some alternatives. For instance, if you want to experience the characteristic bohemian flare, you might consider avoiding the Place de Tertre (the tourist hotspot), and opt for the locally preferred rue Lepic or rue Caulaincourt.
5. Get around romantically…
Paris has a number of ways for getting around, not all are romantic. Without question, the city is most romantically enjoyed on foot. Gentle strolls arm-in-arm in the cool autumn breeze are perfect to get the romance flowing; and the distances between attractions and eateries in the centre are manageable enough on foot too.
With that said, over doing it on foot can leave you lacking energy for the evening… not ideal on a romantic getaway. Public transport in Paris (metro, bus, tram) is intuitive, frequent, and affordable (the unlimited day pass ‘Mobilis’ is just €7.50), but these obviously prevent you from enjoying the scenery on your trip to Paris.
Also, a boat trip on the Seine (of which there are dozens to choose from) will definitely get the juices flowing; so be sure to give it a try. Check in advance online for better prices.
Words: Jeremy Sacramento