By Courtney Traub
Paris Travel Expert, about.com
If you're planning a getaway to the French capital with someone special, finding the best spots for romantic walks in Paris is probably high up on your to-do list. Paris is a city that naturally exudes romance, so meandering aimlessly (or purposefully, for that matter) is definitely recommended. Naturally, though, some spots are more likely to set the mood than others. Here are a few of our favorite places in the city to steal away to with your beau or belle.
Louvres/Tuileries Area: For Old-World Elegance
When you're looking for classic Paris, this area can't be beat. Meander with your cheri/e around the opulent galeries and plazas surrounding the Louvre and the Tuileries garden for a classic romantic walk. I also recommend ducking into the splendid old covered passageways, shops, and gardens at the Palais Royal, and exploring the nearby Galerie Vivienne, a quaint "arcade" that transports you to a Paris of an entirely different era.
The Marais: For Renaissance Charm and Modern, Stylish Appeal
Try ambling around the narrow streets of the old Marais neighborhood, especially Place des Vosges or Rue de Turenne, for a quaint romantic stroll. Exploring this area, with its quiet, tucked away squares, glamorous old hotels particuliers (Renaissance-era mansions), and remnants of medieval Paris (see, especially, the Hotel de Sens), is all but guaranteed to inspire your imaginations-- and hearts. It's also a fantastic place for shopping, if you and your significant other enjoy doing that together!
The Banks of the Seine River: for Movie-Inspired Romance
The banks of the Seine River always ooze with romance. Try getting off at Metro St Michel and strolling on the left bank, or on the Ile St Louis around Notre Dame Cathedral. If it's warm out, stop for a picnic. You can also consider taking a Paris boat tour and then a stroll around Notre Dame, the Pont d'Alma or other spots along the Seine, depending on where your boat tour departs from.
Montmartre: For Gorgeous Panoramic Views and Old Paris Impressions
Exploring the charming nooks of Montmartre will inspire arty romance that any 19th-century poet would approve of. There are great panoramic views from the Sacré Coeur, and exploring the neighborhood's cobbled, winding streets will make you feel like you're in another time.
The Latin Quarter: For Booklovers and Literary Buffs
The Latin Quarter, with its hidden passageways, antique bookstores, old-world cafes and elegant gardens, is always a romantic place to amble in Paris. I especially recommend roaming around the St Michel district near the old Sorbonne, strolling through the elegant Luxembourg Gardens, and then perhaps taking our self-guided walking tour of old literary haunts in Paris together.
Get Off the Beaten Path Together: Explore These Areas Coveted by Locals
Sometimes you just want to get away from the hordes of fellow tourists, and into quieter areas. Try a stroll along the Canal St Martin in East Paris. This is a good romantic walk for couples who've already been to Paris before and want to see an edgier side of the city. Even quainter and quieter is the Butte aux Cailles neighborhood in the city's south end.
If it's nice out, consider heading up to the Buttes-Chaumont park, a 19th-century example of romantic landscaping, complete with rolling hills, (artificial) grottoes and waterfalls and dozens of varieties of trees and plants.
You can also take a breather from the urban grind by enjoying a stroll at the Viaduc des Arts, a defunct viaduct and railway which has been converted into a promenade of artisan boutiques and a lush above-ground walkway boasting dozens of varieties of plants, trees and flowers (Promenade Plantee).
Why Not Take a Romantic Day Trip?
Whether you choose to spend a day at Monet's sublime gardens in Giverny, or exploring the palace and gardens at Versailles, some quiet time together away from the hoopla of the city is definitely in order.