Spending time relaxing together, just the two of you, is another way to celebrate love. In Paris there are countless ways in which to paint the town a Valentine red, but one of the most intimately romantic is to spend time together at a small, intimate theater on the Ile Saint-Louis. This gem, the Theatre de L’Ile St. Louis, is a 35-seater and has nightly programming, both of concerts and plays. What’s even better, an assortment of top-notch restaurants on the little island in the center of Paris, are less than a 5-minute walk away.
Another intimate way to celebrate the You that is the 2 of you, is a spa experience. Relaxing in the steam room, enjoying a glass of champagne in the hot tub and finishing with a massage is a romantic dream come true. The ultimate discreet Parisian spa is Sensation Spa in the 7th arrondissement. Or you could always spend an evening at Le Grand Rex, Europe’s biggest movie theater found here, in Paris. Located in the Grands Boulevards area, this gorgeous, historic movie theater is surrounded by trendy bars and eateries for before or after.
Paris is a city full of the emblems of love. Of course, the notion of romantic love is a relatively recent social concept, springing up first in historical references only in the late 17th c. It is even thought that the origin of the English word “romance” originates from a French vernacular dialect. Perfume, too, is credited to France. Le Grand Musee du Parfum is a sensual way to explore the art of scent with one another.
To celebrate love & romance in the City of Love, one needn’t wait for Valentine’s Day. Any special occasion or any special moment enjoyed by lovers can be revered as a sort of private Valentine’s moment. On this list, you will find just ten (of the dozens and dozens of possibilities here in Paris) recommendations of how to pay homage to this most noble of human emotions – love. To start with, book yourselves tickets online for L’Atelier des Lumieres. This immersive digital art experience, highlighting chosen artists, has been a hit since it first opened its doors in Paris a few short years ago. It is a family friendly activity, too, just in case your ‘date night’ includes the little ones. On that note, the Palais de la Decouverte is another immersive, experiential excursion that can be enjoyed ‘en deux’ or ‘en famille.‘ Their current temporary exhibit is devoted to L’Amour and understanding the physiological science behind it.
So, even though each year Valentine’s Day is the holiday that focuses all of us romantics on the romantic nature of love, for lucky Parisians, romance is just a state of mind. And this is a sate of mind that, with some discipline, you can embody every day of the year. For example, simply take a walk across the famous ‘Lover’s Bridge,’ the Pont des Arts at sunset or sunrise, to get that rush of romance.
The Eiffel Tower of course beckons seductively to all who visit Paris. So to give your visit that extra shot of romantic, start at the Trocadero which affords a wonderful view onto the Eiffel Tower in the near distance. And for those looking to pay tribute to Love itself, there is Le Mur des Je T’Aime a whole, wall dedicated to declarations of love.
A newer edition to the city’s cultural landscape, this aptly named ‘Light Workshop’ for the City of Light, draws you into an immersive art experience. Housed in a cavernous building in the trendy 11th arrondissement, once you step through the black doors, you enter into not just the chosen artist’s world, but his/her imagination, too. Digitally projected images from the artist’s repertoire and life are projected on all walls, the floor and the ceiling, creating a swirling light show all around you.
It is a sort of Sound & Light show 2.0…but the immersive experience, the sound of music and narrative that accompanies the spectacle and the overall sensory stimulation makes this better than going to the movies. It’s also a great family activity.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: An instant hit in the City of Light, this art-come-alive show by Culturespace draws spectators in and keeps them enthralled for the duration.
Paige’s expert tip: This is an all-ages activity. Many of the spectators walk around the floor space and then find themselves a spot to just sit back, gaze around and take it all in. The spectacle lasts about an hour, give or take, but you can stay as long as you like if you want to catch it on repeat.
A contemporary art museum dedicated to exhibiting and then supporting the artists even after the exhibits through the purchase of their work, this beautiful museum is a favorite of many Parisians. It is nestled in the Montparnasse district of Paris, hence it is central and accessible. The foundation collaborates with other city institutions to expand its exhibiting reach.
The wildly popular, ‘We The Trees,’ temporary exhibit was extended several months and some of the auxiliary audio-visual media material can still be accessed on the site. This isn’t the only example of dynamic curating that the young team at the Fondation has a penchant for, so check the website to see what’s current. Likely there will be something that appeals to your artistic senses. And the grounds, in the summer time, are a welcoming, shady place to take a breath and enjoy an outdoor snack.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Nestled in an accessible Montparnasse neighborhood, this museum’s popularity with the local Parisians is understandable once you’ve visited.
Paige’s expert tip: Don’t be fooled by the name, this foundation is looks, acts and feels like a museum. It is devoted to contemporary art and its philosophy is such that the foundation purchases a substantial portion of the art it exhibits. Hence, it is more than just a place of display.
This museum in Paris is devoted fully to the art of perfume. It is a private museum funded partially with state funds and partially by private investors. Perfume is as integral to French culture as couture, fine wine and art. That there had not yet existed in the French capital a museum wholly devoted to perfume, unaffiliated with a perfume brand, was seen as something of an empty space that needed filling.
The museum’s location is just a block or so away from the French White House, the Elysee. It is devoted to sensory perception and has been designed to be highly interactive. Visitors are easily and luxuriously drawn into testing their olfactory senses and playing at finding the scents that most please them.
In the four floors of the perfume museum (including the Roederer-like champagne cellars basement) of the renovated private mansion, the visitor is introduced to the history of perfum and its importance at the King’s court especially Versailles. The upper floors are devoted to sensory and smell perceptions. This is a museum that is certain to appeal to both young and old, male and female.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Walking through the garden of scents installation is a delightful way to test your olfactory senses.
Paige’s expert tip: Experts tell us that our sense of smell is inseparably intertwined with our memories. Here you can make beautiful memories together while exploring your sense of smell and the making of perfume, with your significant other.
In the four floors of the perfume museum (including the Roederer-like champagne cellars basement) of the renovated private mansion, the visitor is introduced to the history of perfume and its importance at the King’s court especially Versailles. The upper floors are devoted to sensory and smell perception. Walking through the garden of scents installation is a delightful way to test your olfactory prowess.
This is Europe’s largest movie theater and its location right on Grands Boulevards means it’s walking distance from the major department stores and one of Paris’s best shopping districts. With 2,650 seats it was purportedly modeled after NYC’s Radio City Music Hall. It opened in 1932 and its kitschy interior is still a mix between Art Deco and neo-classical Oriental. Best to see for yourself, and you can, as there is a 50-minute tour of the cinema that you can take year-round. The theater is not to be confused with its dance club, the Rex Club, which is adjoined and whose entrance is just a few yards down the way (known for its electro-pop music). Le Grand Rex is hands-down the most most impressive movie theater, in terms of largesse, d�cor and history, in Paris.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This is Europe’s largest movie theater and a Parisian landmark perfect for a date night out on the town.
Paige’s expert tip: Take the 50 minute tour of the cinema, offered year-round. There is also a nightclub just next door, by the same name. So after your movie is finished, you can continue your night by dancing in the club just a door down.
Ever felt like escaping back to childhood? Where there was magic, model trains, life-sized unicorns, dragons and pretend kings and fairy princesses? This museum offers you exactly that kind of escape. It’s probably one of the least famous museums in Paris, which will make it all the more magical when you discover it. Yes, it’s a favorite of families, especially at the holiday times, when the museum puts all its rides into action and the grounds become one big old-style amusement park.
But there is also such romance here, full of nostalgia and a time when carousel horses were hand carved out of wood and painted by a master craftsman. Come with your significant other and you will be sharing in these delights with the person who matters most. It will be sort of like watching the sunset together – infinitely better when the moment is shared.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: It isn’t every day that you get to walk through a 19th century carnival grounds come alive. This one is interactive and authentic.
Paige’s expert tip: Every year at the end of the year, the ten days or so between Christmas and the start of the new year, this museum puts all its rides in action and has puppet masters, street performers and tap dancers animating the entire grounds. It becomes much more than a museum at this time, it becomes an interactive fair ground come alive from the 19th c.
This museum, set in the Hotel Biron, is a tribute to one of the world’s finest sculptors. Thanks to Rodin’s own donations, the facility offers a wealth of objects, including terra cotta, bronze and marble creations. Plaster and wax studies are available as well, along with his sketches, drawings, engravings, and his own collected art. Among the items on display are “The Kiss” and the sculpture that brought Rodin much fame, The Thinker.
The museum is now re-opened after 3 years (2012 – 2015) of renovations on the main building, Hotel Biron, which is an early 18th c. building.
The gardens are an idyllic draw unto themselves. They were also the setting for the scene where former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni, played her role for Woody Allen’s film, Midnight in Paris. A café in the gardens offers refreshments.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This is a museum that offers as much viewing outdoors as indoors. It’s a pleasing blend for all in your party, whatever the weather.
Paige’s expert tip: Just one euro gets you entrance to these magnificent gardens, a gorgeous place to quietly sit and read a book. It is also favored by art students who bring their sketch pads for some still-life practice.
Paris is often considered to be the city of love, ideal for romance, and epitomizing that Paris aura is the Le Mur des Je T’aime, aka the I Love You Wall. This understated work of art is in a Paris park (Square Jehan Rictus Place des Abbesses in Montmartre) amidst flowers and trees, which add to the romance of the wall. What makes this wall so appealing for love that it has become the meeting place for romantics? On the black wall are 311 declarations of love in 250 different languages written in white. It’s a simple, but powerful work of art paying homage to one of the most powerful phrases in all languages: I love you.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: To escape from the city and indulge in relaxation and rejuvenation without having to go anywhere is the key to an excellent urban spa getaway.
Paige’s expert tip: Look up how to say “I love you” in several different languages and then search for them on the wall. This is a fun game to play with kids or to create a bit of fun competition between you and your significant other to see who can find each phrase first.
The Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge across the Seine, connects the Louvre with the Latin Quarter while offering some of the city’s most stunning views. It is also known as the Lover’s Bridge since lovers have been coming here for centuries to gaze into one another’s eyes.
In recent years, the phenomena of Love Locks has swept not just Paris but romantic spots throughout the world. Alas, this bridge, however, became one of the epicenters for this cultural tradition and its 19th c. railings crumbled under the weight of all that love. The city replaced these with plexiglass panels.
In the evenings it is a popular spot to come share a bottle of wine that special someone, and also just to sit and revel in the sounds of the street musicians, the passersby and other lovers such as yourselves, while basking in the breathtaking views.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Gazing at the sunset from this bridge with Notre Dame in one direction and the Grand Palais/Eiffel Tower in another is a timeless moment.
Paige’s expert tip: Last summer the bridge’s metal paneling began to give way under the weight of all the Love Locks fastened to them. So the city has started a campaign called #LoveWithoutLocks, a digital wall where you can post your declarations of love.
A more charming ‘community theatre’ does not exist anywhere! Located on the ancient, historical and aristocratic Quai d’Anjou; at the end of a short covered passageway full of flowers and flora, is where you’ll find this little theatre. There is something going on nearly every day, often piano recitals at 6:30 in the evenings, and even more entertaining fare, such as theatre or musical variety shows from 9pm.
This intimate little theatre is famous for its elegance as well as its programming. It seats a total of about 30 people on plush, red velvet theatre seats. The box office opens about 30 minutes before the show. Or you can reserve in advance and buy you tickets online.
Check their website for upcoming shows, concerts and theatre pieces. Even such greats as Michael Lonsdale have headlined plays and presentations here, so be prepared to be charmed and pleasantly surprised.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: With all the wonderful theaters to choose from in Paris, this one remains the most intimate and, certainly for a romantic evening, the best location.
Paige’s expert tip: There are few places in Paris more romantic that the Ile St. Louis. It becomes even moreso, the more you hear about its storied past and the greats who have called this little island in the center of Paris ‘home.’ A winning romantic evening is the following: A piano recital show at the only theatre here on the island, followed by dinner at any of the magnificent restaurants to be found within a short 5 minute walk. Or, reverse the order, and do the 9pm show after dinner.
Located next to the Grand Palais, this science and technology museum (museum of discovery is the literal translation) is smaller and older than the Cite; des Sciences, and it has a charm all its own. Created in 1937 to help people understand scientific methods, the museum brings in excellent temporary exhibits to augment its permanent displays on physics, biology, electricity and astronomy.
The real philosophy behind this museum is that most of us learn and comprehend scientific theory better when we have a chance to experience it. So many of the temporary and permanent exhibits here are hands-on. That’s a feature that is sure to make the kids, big and small, crack a smile.
It also has a wonderful collection of original Da Vinci designs. Note: explanations are often in French only. METRO: Champs Elys–es-Clemenceau (line 1 or 3)
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This is an interactive, fascinating science museum for young and old that happens to be just steps from the Champs-Elysées.
Paige’s expert tip: This museum is even better when you, or someone in your party, speak a bit of French. However, there are designated multilingual “scientific mediators” whose passion for science helps transmit the understanding of some of the basic scientific principles, like electricity.If yçu’ve ever visited the Exploratorium in San Francisco, you can easily draw comparisons to this immersive museum. Recent temporary exhibits include ‘De l’Amour,’ an exhibit dedicated to the physiological science behind love.