Cruise on the Seine
One of the best ways to admire Paris (and undoubtedly one of the most romantic) is from the river. Hop aboard one of the boats and get away from the traffic and crowds. As you cruise along the water, take a table for two in the sun for a pleasant lunch or for dinner with subdued lighting and a more intimate atmosphere. The boats’ bay windows afford 360° views of Paris’ best sights and you can take great photographs as you go, passing under famous bridges. One of these is the Pont Marie, hailed by many as a ‘lovers’ bridge’ beneath which it’s an old tradition to kiss the person next to you and make a wish.
Take a drive in a 2CV
The Citroën Deux-Chevaux is one of the most iconic French cars and is all about romance, traditionally used to transport newly-married couples to their honeymoon destination after the ceremony. Married or not, it’s certainly a more enjoyable and intimate way for you and your loved one to experience Paris than in a modern bus or taxi. Couples can book their own private chauffeur who will tour around all the most famous landmarks (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, Louvre and Opéra Garnier among others) with personal commentary – and if you’re looking for the perfect place to propose, they can even show you hidden gems off the beaten track!
Tango beside the Seine
Paris is a swinging city all summer long, with dances taking place everywhere and especially at the water’s edge. A lovely spot to aim for is Rosa Bonheur sur Seine at Porte des Invalides – and on Friday evenings in summer from 7pm, the Guinguette de la Tour Eiffel at Port de Suffren invites the public to dance in the open air on its 650 m² terrace, with DJ sets, tapas, rosé wine and cocktails. Particular enthusiasts of tango gather at the mini amphitheatres along the Seine in the 5th arrondissement, dancing seductively until twilight. If you don’t fancy joining in, just sitting with a bottle of wine on the steps and watching these dancers is mesmerising and utterly romantic.
Hire a rowing boat at Versailles
The picturesque gardens at Versailles are a wonderful place to take a loved one, but if you want to make a real impression, why not rent a rowing boat on the Grand Canal? There are over 23 hectares of water to explore and boating is a long-standing tradition here; Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s Minister of Finance, is said to have had an impressive fleet of boats that he used at various festivals. Be sure to explore the rest of the garden on foot to enjoy the terraces, parterres and a spectacular series of fountains. A day trip out to Versailles (12 miles south-west of the city centre) is truly memorable.
Skim stones on the Canal St-Martin
This is one of Amélie Poulain’s favourite pastimes in the much-loved French film – and you can do the same! The Canal St-Martin, connecting the Canal de l’Ourcq with the Seine, is a fine spot for a stroll or cycle. You can stand on the iron footbridges or sit outside at Chez Prune to watch boats pass peacefully by. On warm summer evenings, local residents like to grab a bottle of wine and a pizza from Pink Flamingo and sit by the water – you can even pick up a pink helium balloon if you want to make a romantic gesture.