The view from the Eiffel Tower
Paris’ most famous icon is recognisable everywhere – but if you’ve got a head for heights, better to be on it than simply see it from afar. It’s no surprise that the Eiffel Tower plays host to numerous marriage proposals given the sweeping panoramic views from its 324m-high summit and its champagne bar on the top floor, but wedding bells or not, it’s still a blissfully romantic experience. For even more magic, go up the tower after dark – 20,000 gold lights hidden among its latticed iron sparkle every hour on the hour, and seeing the other city landmarks illuminated from up here is unforgettable.
Visits are available daily 9.30am-11pm, and 9.00am-midnight in summer.
‘The Kiss’ at Le Musée Rodin
Celebrated French sculptor Auguste Rodin has had a museum dedicated to him in Paris since 1919, housed in an 18th-century mansion surrounded by three hectares of peaceful and romantic gardens. ‘The Kiss’ is one of his most celebrated sculptures, its blend of eroticism and idealism making it one of the great images of sexual love. The depicted couple are the adulterous lovers Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, whose passion grew as they read the story of Lancelot and Guinevere together (the book can just be seen in Paolo’s hand). There’s a feast of other sculptures to marvel at here, including those by Rodin’s muse Camille Claudel. The collections reflect Rodin's taste for art collections – drawings, prints, paintings, ceramics, photographs and antiques – and outside in the garden are three masterpieces: ‘Le Penseur’ (The Thinker), ‘Les Bourgeois de Calais’ (The Burghers of Calais) and ‘La Porte de l’Enfer’ (The Gates of Hell).
Open Tuesday to Sunday.
Why let kids have all the fun? This much-loved theme park is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and with hair-raising rides, buzzing nightlife, restaurants, pampering and shopping, it has plenty on offer for grown-up couples who like to play hard. On an adult break to Disneyland Paris you can party like a cowboy, be serenaded Fantasia-style, get lost in film, take in shows and concerts and take in the award-winning night-time spectacular ‘Disney Dreams’, which is sure to reduce any self-respecting adult to an awe-filled puddle of joy. So forget the day job and ditch the boring adult responsibilities: as Walt Disney himself once said, “Adults are only kids grown up, anyway”.
‘Disney Dreams’ will be replaced by ‘Disney Illuminations’ from 26 March 2017.
The Mur des Je t’Aime in Montmartre
The northern Parisian district of Montmartre boasts lovely views from its elevated position – head to its most famous icon, the gleaming white Sacré-Coeur, for the best lookout point. But there’s another specifically romantic sight here: the Mur des Je T’aime (the ‘I Love You’ wall), a wall on which the famous three words are scrawled in 250 languages on enamelled lava tiles. In a world marked by violence and dominated by individualism, walls often have the function of dividing and separating communities from each other – this wall, by contrast, is a place of reconciliation and an unmistakeable image of love and peace. Conceived by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, it’s become a meeting place for lovers from all over the world.
The Temple d’Amour in the Bois de Vincennes
Want to get out of the city? Head to Paris’ eastern edge and the Bois de Vincennes, its largest public park created by Napoleon in the 1850s. The park contains a zoo, a botanical garden, an arboretum and a horse-racing track – but loved-up couples may find themselves more drawn to the attractive little temple designed by Paris’ chief architect Gabriel Davioud, set on an island in the vast Lac Daumesnil. Accessible by hired rowing boat, what could be more romantic than mooring up and climbing ashore to explore, stopping to take a photograph – or go down on one knee – beside the temple’s columns or in the artificial grotto below. Extra brownie points if you manage to bag a boat inscribed with your loved one’s name!
Rue des Thermopyles
Paris isn’t all about big-street buzz… if your idea of romance is quieter and more villagey, discover Rue des Thermopyles in the lovely 14th arrondissement of Montparnasse. This quaint cobbled street is lined with wisteria-clad artists’ houses and cats snoozing on doorsteps, and you’ll feel as though you’re deep in the countryside as you stroll along hand in hand, and maybe even find books or furniture left out by the residents for passers-by to take home. So-named after the legendary Battle of Thermopylae, which was fought on a street as narrow as this one, Rue des Thermopyles even features in the 2006 film Paris Je t’Aime, in which an American tourist relates her first trip to Paris.