Ask 10 people for suggestions of romantic cities in which to spend Valentine’s Day and you’re likely to hear Paris several times. There’s no denying how romantic Paris is, or how it can serve as the ideal backdrop for a romantic holiday at any time of year – but spending Valentine’s Day in Paris could be the way to really sweep that special someone off their feet.
As you might expect, Valentine’s Day in Paris doesn’t come cheaply, regardless of the fact that it’s in mid-February which should (by all other measures) be in the low/cheap travel season. This isn’t even a major holiday on the French calendar, but since the city has such a romantic reputation you’re competing with all the other visitors flocking to the city for February 14th.
In order to make sure you get a room in a hotel that you like and don’t pay through the nose, it’s important to do your research on things like accommodation and flights well in advance of February – if you’re staying longer than just the few days over Valentine’s Day, you’re more likely to find a great deal on flights to Paris. And even if the rate on the hotel you choose goes up right over the holiday itself, that’s probably a splurge worth making if you’re going all the way to Paris for Valentine’s Day in the first place!
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Here are a couple things to keep in mind when planning a Valentine’s Day trip (or any romantic trip) to Paris:
- To a certain degree, any neighborhood in Paris can be romantic, especially if you’re with a loved one. But some neighborhoods are more evocative of that quintessentially romantic Paris we’ve all come to expect, so if you’re looking for the ideal base for a romantic trip to Paris focus your search on Montmarte, the Marais, St. Germain-des-Pres, and the Latin Quarter. For romance that’s less touristy, try the 11th & 12th arrondissements, Bastille and Bercy Village. You can also learn more about the different characteristics of the two sides of Paris’ Seine River to get more of an overview of what to expect.
- One could argue that any hotel in Paris is a romantic one simply because it’s in Paris, but we all know that’s not really true. There are plenty of romantic hotels in Paris, and not all of them cost a fortune. Perhaps all you require for romance is a view of the city’s most iconic monument, for instance – these hotels with a view of the Eiffel Tower run the gamut from luxury to reasonable prices. If just being close to a monument or in the right neighborhood is all you require, then check out all these hotel listings in Paris.
Aside from the requisite strolls along the Seine and smooch atop the Eiffel Tower, here are some other romantic things to do in Paris on Valentine’s Day:
- Ice Skating – The temporary outdoor ice skating rinks that went up before Christmas often stay up through February, so (weather permitting) you can prop each other up on a spin or three around on the ice.
- Dinner Cruise – Taking a boat tour on the Seine is a fun way to see Paris no matter when you’re there, but it gets more romantic when you make it a dinner cruise in Paris. If you’ve got dinner plans elsewhere, why not a champagne tasting cruise in Paris instead?
- Cabaret Show – It doesn’t have to be Moulin Rouge, but seeing a cabaret show in Paris can be an exciting way to spend Valentine’s Day.
- Chocolate Tour – Paris is home to many decadent chocolate shops, and you can either book a guided chocolate tour of Paris or note the shop locations and do it at your own pace.
And y’know, there’s enough romantic art in the museums in Paris you could make a delightful game of kissing every time you saw one. I can think of worse ways to make a trip to the Louvre more entertaining.
photo by niall62