When people fantasize about cities they would like to visit around the world, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Paris is at the top of their list! When living in Paris many moons ago, I understood the allure of the city but it wasn’t until my recent trip that I really opened my eyes to experience all of the romantic aspects Paris has to offer. It is after all, known as the “City of Love”.
So how did Paris get this particular reputation? Many theorists believe that it came about during the time of “La Belle Epoque” towards the end of the 19th century when the streets of Paris were filled with impressionist painters. It was also a time when, unlike Victorian England, France was very tolerant of anything related to love. Think about it, there is even a kiss named after the country: The “French Kiss”.
While visiting Paris, I realized that although the city itself is romantic in many ways, a great deal of romanticism comes from within oneself; it’s an indescribable feeling you get when visiting such an incredible place. Romance doesn’t always have to do with the person you are with but also with the beauty that surrounds you. Although I appreciated Paris when I was young, it didn’t evoke the feelings that came about during this recent visit. This time around, I was determined to experience the city from a different perspective, using my senses and appreciating every aspect the city has to offer. There is so much beauty and romance found in some of the most unexpected places in Paris, whether it is in the architecture, views, food, wine, history or people. I now know and understand why Paris is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world and it without a doubt deserves to be called, “the city of love”.
When walking the streets of Paris, all I could think about was the rich history and culture that surrounded me. I couldn’t help but imagine Kings, Queens, poets and artists walking along the paths! I determined there wasn’t just one aspect of the city I found romantic…there are truly too many to name. The Eiffel Tower in all its grandeur is absolutely breathtaking, especially when standing underneath it. As if it couldn’t become any more romantic, wait until the moon comes out and the tower begins to twinkle with over 20,000 sparkling lights. You don’t need to be with your lover to feel the overwhelming sense of romanticism that takes over while witnessing this spectacular moment. The restaurant on the 58th floor of the Eiffel Tower, 58 Tour Eiffel, is breathtaking and definitely one of the most romantic spots I visited while in Paris. The views from up are unlike any other and there is no better way to see the city than with a delicious 4-course meal and champagne.
The food in Paris is undeniably romantic! After all, we all know that the way to ones heart is through their stomach (nobody does this better than the French). French cuisine is one of my all time favorites, as they are known for their specialty cuisine and sweet desserts. You can eat your love through Paris one crepe, croissant and macaroon at a time!
Walking along the Pont des Arts Bridge is another incredibly romantic spot in the city. I am sure you’ve seen photos of this bridge as it is known for its love padlocks. This particular bridge crosses the Seine River and used to be covered in lovelocks where couples would write their names on them then throw the key into the Seine as a romantic gesture and to show their committed love. For decades, couples from all over the world would come to Paris to declare their everlasting love for each other by “locking” it in (literally). I fondly remember this bridge from the time I lived in Paris but to my dismay, I was so sad to learn that the padlocks had been removed. The bridge became too heavy because of the numerous locks so they had to be removed for safety reasons. Not to worry, love prevails and couples continue to visit the bridge and declare their love for one another. You can still find traces of lovelocks along the Pont Des Arts Bridge.
Another romantic spot to visit is The Wall of Love (Le mur des je t’aime), which has more than 311 declarations of love written in over 250 different languages. The wall is located in the garden square in Montmartre, which is another beautiful area to visit in itself. Montmartre, also known as “The Mountain Of Martyrs” is a large hill in Paris that overlooks the entire city. The most recognizable landmark in this area is the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur that sits on the crest of the hill. This is such a beautiful area that feels as if it has remained untouched as the streets are covered in cobblestone. You can also find local cafes, incredible artists and musicians playing along the sidewalk cafes.
Taking a walk around Paris is a treat in itself. Whether it be walking around the city with a friend or holding hands whispering sweet nothings to your loved one, taking in the scenery is fabulous. I highly suggest taking a walk or siting along the banks of the Seine. The Seine River is the chief commercial waterway in Paris, making it’s way throughout the city with many of the important monuments situated on the banks. By walking the Seine, you are able to see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Sainte Chapelle. You can also book a beautiful evening cruise along the Seine where you can witness spectacular views of the city while sipping on a glass of wine and watching the sunset.
Paris is beyond beautiful from dusk until dawn and I couldn’t imagine the city becoming anymore amazing but come nighttime, the city transforms into a fairytale. The skyline lights up, the people come alive and every aspect of the city becomes more romantic. The skyline is protected by UNESCO so by law, no building can be over six stories tall. This means that no part of the city has an obscured view so the city twinkles in every direction the moment the moon comes out. Can it get anymore romantic than that?
All in all, Paris is undeniably one of the most romantic cities in the world, filled with culture, creativity and culinary delights. Whether it be with a friend or lover, I think it’s time to book your trip to Paris to enjoy this experience because reading about and seeing pictures doesn’t do it justice. Bon Voyage and safe travels!