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January 17, 2008

10 Best Romantic Places in Paris

Paris, City of Love and romance

Photo Credit: Photodisc/Getty Images

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1. The Eiffel Tower
A trip to the Eiffel Tower is practically mandatory for couples in Paris, but heading straight to the top with throngs of tourists isn’t the only way to go. Dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant on the second platform lets diners combine amazing views with elegant French cuisine. Or, to really avoid the crowds (and the extra Euros) pack dinner and a bottle of wine and sit in the park below the tower for a picnic lit by the “Eiffel glow.”

2. The Pont des Arts
As countless films have proven, the Seine is the perfect backdrop to any romantic Parisian rendezvous. The Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge over the river, offers a picturesque view of Île de la Cité and has become a display place for artists and street performers. With street musicians providing the soundtrack to movie-perfect liaisons, it’s also a favorite spot for lovers.

3. Jardin du Luxembourg
The grounds of the French Senate may sound like the least enchanting place in Paris, but the gardens surrounding the Palais du Luxembourg have actually been a hotbed of romance for centuries. Famous couples from Napoleon and Josephine to Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir frequented the gardens and today it is still a favorite spot for lovers to stroll among the beautiful statues, fountains, and flowerbeds.

4. Montmartre
Set on a hill in northern Paris, Montmartre has some of the most breathtaking views of the city. But visitors also come to enjoy the quaint village atmosphere of the neighborhood itself. Today couples wander through the cafes, shops, and narrow winding streets where 19th century artists created the model of “la vie Bohème.

5. Champs-Élysées
Stretching from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Élysées is the most famous street in Paris. Known as “the most beautiful avenue in the world,” the broad, tree-lined boulevard is home to many restaurants, theaters and designer stores — and what's more romantic than a new Chanel bag?

6. Musée Rodin
Paris is known for its grand museums, but one of the city’s most beautiful and romantic spots is the intimate Musée Rodin. The sculptor’s works, including favorites like The Kiss and The Thinker, are displayed at Hôtel Biron where Rodin had his studio. Visitors can wander the beautiful gardens that surround the mansion and discover Rodin’s sculptures tucked among the trees and hedges.

7. The Square du Vert Galant
Though the Square du Vert Galant is named for the well-known philanderer Henry IV, the park is a perfect respite from the drama of the city. At this quiet spot on the western end of Île de la Cité couples can relax under weeping willow trees and watch boats drift by on the Seine. The park’s popularity with lovers has earned it the nickname “where sweethearts love to linger.”

8. La Tour d’Argent
At this 425-year-old penthouse restaurant couples can enjoy a panoramic view of the Seine and Notre Dame while drinking wine selected from the 500,000-bottle wine cellar. Ducks for the canard au sang are raised on the La Tour’s private farm and when the dish is ordered the diner receives a card with the bird’s serial number. For a romantic dinner the restaurant serves the quintessential French cuisine: not just a meal, but an event.

9. The Victoria Palace Hotel
Though Paris is home to some of the most beautiful sites in the world, the experience is not complete without a stay in a romantic hotel. The Victoria Palace Hotel on the Left Bank lets guests experience the charms of royal living with rooms decorated in the Louis XVI style — canopy beds, marble bathrooms, and a view of the Louvre.

10. Le Bilboquet
For the perfect nightspot to end the evening, Le Bilboquet restaurant and jazz club recreates the jazz scene that flourished in Paris in the early 20th century. Le Bilboquet opened in 1947 with Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and other jazz legends as headliners. Today music lovers can sit on a balcony overlooking the band and take in the club’s sultry atmosphere.

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