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Autumn romance in Paris

Autumn romance in Paris

Paris is a rich city, full of activities, culture, history… It is impossible to get bored in the one we call the City of Lights. But Paris is, above all, the city of romance, where millions of couples come each year. The City of Lights offers a warm atmosphere thanks to its architecture, lights, monuments and various restaurants.

Who better than Laurence, a Paris native and founder of Paris-Toujours, an expert agency that organises personalised trips in Paris and around France, to suggest a romantic 3-day sojourn in what is also known as the City of Love. I asked her to give us the low-down from her insider knowledge on Paris and propose a trip to celebrate love.

Day 1: Island hopping and river living


Ile de la Cite

Ile de la Cite

Assuming you arrive in the morning, take a taxi from the airport to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit one of the islands in Paris, considered the birthplace of the city. You could start with the smaller of the two, Ile Saint-Louis, the former residence of Parisian aristocracy, where you can marvel at beautiful 17th and 18th century mansions with architectural heritage value. Make sure to indulge in Berthillon ice creams, considered the best in Paris.

After Ile Saint-Louis, head to Ile de la Cité where you will be able to admire various famous monuments such as the Law Court, the Holy Chapel and, of course, Notre Dame Cathedral. I recommend visiting the tower of the Cathedral after it closes to the public and watch the sunset from above in a specially arranged small size tour.


Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Go home and get ready for dinner for two at one of these two options. You can book a luxurious dinner at Dom Juan, a Parisian yacht setting sail from the embarkation point a few blocks from Notre Dame and watch the sun go down over the Seine. Dom Juan is a sumptuous yacht with a restaurant headed by Guy Krenzer, who was awarded “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, the most prestigious award in French cuisine. In the 2,5h that the cruise lasts, you will see Paris from a different perspective.

Alternatively, you could have a lovely dinner at “Les fous de l’île”. Located on Ile Saint-Louis, the restaurant serves genuine French cuisine in a warm and modern atmosphere. The prices are very reasonable for the high quality of the food.


The Seine at night

The Seine at night

Day 2: Paris toujours

Even if your hotel offers a buffet, go for the typical Parisian breakfast in a café-brasserie. It is hard to give a specific recommendation and almost every neighbourhood cafe will be great. So if you are feeling adventurous, go out into the street and look for one that speaks to you.


Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

After a hearty ham and cheese baguette and a cafe au lait Paris’ most emblematic place is next on the list. A romantic trip to Paris would not be complete without the Tour Eiffel. Most people observe the structure from outside, but Laurence recommends booking a guide for the ultimate backstage visit of hidden places not accessible to the general public, like the historic elevator machinery room.

For lunch you can eat at one of Paris’ most expensive restaurants which has the city’s best views: Le Jules Verne, on the top of the Eiffel Tower. Their lunch menu is much more affordable than the decadent degustation dinner menus.

Alternatively, you may book the Ciel de Paris, another restaurant with stunning views of the city. This time from the top of the Montparnasse Tower, at more affordable prices than Le Jules Verne. Lastly, you may also choose “Chez Carette”. Located on Trocadero Square, just below the Eiffel Tower, the restaurant is a well-known address in the area for traditional French cuisine and it is especially well known for its desserts and pastries.

In the afternoon, Laurence recommends a peaceful stroll through Le Marais with a private guide who will share the history and charm of this part of Paris. While today Le Marais is a very trendy neighbourhood, it owes its name to the old dry swamps on which it was built (Marais means swamp in French) and is one of the few areas in Paris with remains from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Cultured up and having enjoyed a true Parisian day, dinner cannot be a let down. You can either book “L’Ambroisie”, a 3 star Michelin restaurant opened in 1986 that is often considered the most beautiful restaurant in Paris and, undoubtedly, a true jewel in French gastronomy. For added romance, “L’Ambroisie” is located on the Place des Vosges, one of the most beautiful squares in Paris and home of Victor Hugo. Reservation several months ahead is required.

If you prefer something cozier and less over the top, “Les Chouettes” is a pretty, nicely furbished restaurant at the heart of Le Marais with a cheerful atmosphere and a modern take on French cuisine.

After dinner, enjoy a nice drink at Le Perchoir Marais on a rooftop at the top of the BHV department store in front of the Town Hall.

Day 3: Classic Montmartre

Head out to the ‘New Athens’ district and have breakfast in one of the numerous cozy cafés of the 9th Arrondissement, near the Rue des Martyrs.

After breakfast, explore the New Athens area, a typical Parisian neighbourhood. You will be seduced by all the typical Parisian shops with their historical front store windows. Be sure to stop at Sebastien Gaudard pastry store on Rue des Martyrs, try the jams at La Chambre aux confitures and the cream puffs from Popelini.

Afterwards, you should visit the Museum of Romantic Life, which offers a hidden garden in a private mansion in the middle of Paris.


Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

For lunch try “Le Grain de Folie”, a small restaurant located on Rue Notre-Dame de Lorette. There are only a few tables and the manager is very welcoming, making this quite an intimate and comfortable place where you will feel at home. Expect the food to be traditional French, simple and prepared with fresh produce, making sure that you feel exactly like you are in Paris.

After lunch, take a tour around Montmartre with a private guide and visit the most famous landmarks in the area like the Moulin Rouge, the Sacré-Coeur or the Place du Tertre. Your expert guide will also show you the other side of Montmartre. You will discover the opposite area of La Butte with the vineyard of Montmartre, the Place Dalida and the Villa Leandre, one of the most beautiful hidden streets in Paris. At the end of your tour go back to your hotel to relax.


Montmartre

Montmartre

Your last evening meal should leave a lasting memory. Choose between dinner at the Hotel Particulier Montmartre, a candle-lit meal in a hotel, hidden in the middle of Montmartre, or a modern and young innovative dinner at Seb’on.


Paris at night

Paris at night

In the warmer months, Hotel Particulier Montmartre offers garden eating, away from the crowds and the noise of the city. Seb’on is in one of the most popular areas in Paris, near the metro Abbesses. Set up by a chef and an interior designer, their mixed talents make for a sensational result. The cuisine is simple and authentic with fresh produce, simple recipes, and great talent.

Where to stay for Autumn romance in Paris


Hotel Le Clos Medicis

Hotel Le Clos Medicis

Hotel Le Clos Medicis is a lovely 3-star independent hotel located in the 6th arrondissement and 200m from the Luxembourg Gardens. The atmosphere of the hotel is warm and you can have your breakfast served on the small patio in the summer. A great place for breakfast near Le Clos Medicis is Le Hibou


Hotel Le Saint

Hotel Le Saint

Hotel Le Saint is a 4 star hotel located in the 7th arrondissement, one of the most elegant neighbourhoods in Paris. The hotel is an elegant private mansion. Grand with spacious rooms and refined decor, you will feel as if you were visiting aristocratic friends. The hotel was renovated a year ago and it now has a restaurant, Le Kult, a gym and a spa. Go for breakfast to Le Cafe de Flore for a true ‘St Germain des Prés’ experience


Hotel Regina

Hotel Regina

Hotel Regina is located just in front of the Tuileries Gardens, Le Louvre, and the Place des Pyramides. Regina has kept its old Belle Epoque style including an English Bar with wooden walls and chandeliers. The view from the Eiffel Tower Junior Suite is extraordinary with the entire city at your feet. For the ultimate breakfast nearby with what is, perhaps, the city’s most famous frame head to Le Cafe Marly, and enjoy a pastry in front of the Louvre Pyramid

If you want to organise this or any other trip to Paris do not hesitate to reach out to Laurence!

If you’d like to read more about France, check these posts…

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  • So many gorgeous photos! That said, after the mouth watering dining suggestions, I’d loved to have seen some pics of the food as well 😉

  • Paris is so photogenic! Thx for sharing. I hadn’t realized that there are islands immersed inside the city. Guess I’ll have to go back so that i can explore them!

    • I completely agree! I had no idea as well- its an insider tip I will definitely remember for next time 😉

  • It sounds like an amazing weekend! Just came back from there a few days ago and have seen some of the places you mentioned but the other will definitely be added to the list for the next time I visit 🙂
    Alessandra

  • You just told the journey I had in Paris 2 years ago… on crutches! Can you imagine I hiked up Montmartre in crutches? haha – great memories you have given me here..

    • haha wow I can imagine having a nice slow morning walking around and sitting in cafes so if there’s anywhere to be in crutches it could be on Montmatre? I hope it was worth it though!

  • Kevin Wagar

    This is a great way to spend a few days in this amazing city! Sadly, I only had about 24 hours in Paris, but I’m anxious to get back and see the rest of these sites.

  • I had been there for 5 days, yet missed some of the places you mentioned.
    Our first priority was the Disney world there.

  • I looved reading this! We went to Paris in the winter for 4 days and I never expected to love it so much. Now, with these extra tips, I know I need to go back. And Montmartre is one of my favorite places ever!! So romantic!

    • Yes! I love the little streets of Montmatre! I will be heading back soon too as there are still corners to explore

  • Vyjay Rao

    I rate Paris very high in terms of romance. The elegant city with its rich history, architecture and culture is an ideal romantic getaway. A quite cruise on the river Seine with the setting sun casting its glow on the landmarks of Paris must rank high among the best romantic experiences.

  • Paris is SO romantic! We definitely need to go back there soon. We haven’s had a chance to take a cruise on the Seine River or eat at the Le Jules Verne restaurant which sounds amazing. We may have to just follow your itinerary next time we go. 🙂

  • The River cruise along Seine was the most amazing part for me in Paris, followed by the lit up Eiffel tower and then a day at the Louvre. I sure would love to do it all over again. This tour covers it all and I sure would be interested

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