The Complete Paris Travel Guide for Couples: Where to Stay & Things to Do

From romantic dinners to sunset river cruises, you'll be starry-eyed and swooning.
Paris travel guide - Paris skyline
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Lane Nieset
by Lane Nieset
Updated Jun 27, 2023
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Planning to travel to Paris for a couple's trip? Amazing choice. Google "most romantic city in the world," and Paris consistently ranks as one of the top. The many artists and musicians who have called the city home helped earn Paris this honor, capturing the capital city's romantic spirit in songs and paintings.

Whether it's your first time visiting or you already feel like a local in the City of Light, a Paris vacation is full of possibilities, with plenty for couples to discover. Perfect for popping the question, taking a honeymoon or going on a romantic couple's trip, Paris is a swoon-worthy travel destination filled with tons of entertainment and culture—plus some of the most sought-after cuisine in the world. The twinkling of the Eiffel Tower at night is also a scene that never gets old. Recreate your very own Midnight in Paris with the help of this Paris travel guide packed with tips for the perfect Paris itinerary for couples.

Paris Travel Tips in this Article:

    The Best Times to Visit Paris

    Downtown Paris streets
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    The city is truly a year-round one, with events taking place each season. Paris really pops as the seasons shift in spring and fall, while winter is a great time to see the city more as a local, since it's on the quieter side. Still as charming with its lit-up streets and holiday markets, this can be a great time to see the city without the crowds, so long as you don't mind chillier temps. Parisians leave for summer in August, but tourists come in swarms around this time, so you may be stuck waiting in longer lines for attractions or searching for restaurants, since the ones away from monuments may be closed for the month.

    Paris Travel Tips for Couples

    Outdoor Paris restaurant
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    Since Paris is one of the major capitals in Europe, it's an easy city to reach from most parts of the US, and multiple airlines (including low-cost and major carriers) offer daily flights. France is one of the 20 member states of the European Union whose official currency is the euro, and you can find ATMs and currency exchange offices around Paris. Even if you don't speak French, the city is such an international one that you won't have any issue getting around or ordering at a restaurant. Parisians, despite their reputation, are generally welcoming, and most Paris hotels can help Americans with reservations or suggestions if you're feeling shy about not speaking French.

    Things to Do in Paris for Couples

    Paris river cruise
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    Sip Cocktails on a Rooftop Bar

    Given its nickname as the City of Light, one of the most romantic things to do in Paris is enjoy a drink overlooking the city's rooftops. With an abundance of rooftop bars, nearly every neighborhood offers an option, from Hôtel Rochechouart in Pigalle to the Art Nouveau Kimpton St Honoré near the Palais Garnier.

    Splurge on a Michelin Menu

    Paris comes in second to Tokyo as the city with the most Michelin stars, and as a capital of gastronomy, fine dining is a highlight of a trip to Paris. Try one of the latest eateries to earn a star, like Atsushi Tanaka's Scandinavian-inspired A.T., a tasting-menu restaurant tucked away in the Latin Quarter. Or, go all out with a three-starred spot like Arnaud Donckele's Plénitude at Cheval Blanc Paris, a special way to celebrate your marriage if you're here on your honeymoon.

    Take a Sunset Cruise on the Seine

    Don't write this off as being too touristy—the Bateaux-Mouches river boats are one of the best ways to see the city's main sights. And what better way to toast to your trip than by admiring the City of Light from the water at sunset. After the hour-long cruise, walk arm in arm along the Seine, stopping for wine and light bites at one of the barges or bistros on the quai, like Maison Maison.

    Tour the Many Museums in Paris

    If crossing off one of the city's major museums is on the top of your list, you can get a condensed version of the highlights on a small-group guided tour of the Louvre, skipping the entry line and narrowing down the museum's 35,000 artworks to a few highlights, like the "Mona Lisa." A 90-minute Eiffel Tower tour also offers insider access to the monument, plus a mini history and culture lesson from the second-level viewing platform.

    Soak up Café Culture

    Part of the romance in Paris revolves around rituals like café culture. So do as the locals and start your day lingering over a coffee in a classic spot like Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots. In the late afternoon or early evening, the terraces transform into cocktail bars as people enjoy pre-dinner drinks like spritzes in spots like Café Charlot—a fantastic place in Le Marais for people-watching.

    Enjoy a Meal at the Market

    In the Marché des Enfants Rouges in Le Marais, sample a mix of fare from stalls cooking up dishes like Moroccan tagine or Lebanese mezze. The covered market—named after the orphanage that sat here some 300 years ago—showcases Paris's multicultural cuisine in one of the best ways possible, allowing couples to try a bite from a few different vendors. You can also take a seat at the counter of the popular natural wine-focused eatery, Les Enfants du Marché, in the back.

    Set off on a Paris Shopping Spree

    Perhaps as famous for its fashion as its food, Paris offers visitors plenty of options when it comes to shopping. For designer flagships and couture, peruse the Rue Saint-Honoré. For vintage and independent boutiques, head to Le Marais. And you can't miss the legendary department stores, like Printemps, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche and Galeries Lafayette. You'll be putting your Honeyfund to good use.

    Is Paris Good for Anniversary Trips & Romantic Vacations?

    Couple in front of Eiffel Tower in Paris
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    Pros of a Paris Vacation

    Paris offers couples an endless amount of attractions perfect for a romantic vacation, from sunset cruises along the Seine to more than a hundred major museums, plus countless galleries, shops and restaurants. Direct flights are available from the US—and are usually less than nine hours long—and once you're in Paris, you can easily travel to other parts of France, like Provence or the Loire Valley, as well as throughout Europe via train or a short flight.

    Cons of a Paris Vacation

    Paris can get pricey in high season, especially if you're planning to stay in the central part of the city. During the high season, the city gets crowded, especially in shopping areas like Le Marais and at major museums and monuments, like the Eiffel Tower. You'll want to stay on guard since petty crime (pickpocketing, mostly) is common on the metro and in the more touristy areas. You can score deals in shoulder season with Paris vacation packages that bundle airfare and accommodations, making your Paris honeymoon or anniversary trip a more affordable one.

    The Best Paris Hotels for Couples

    Couple on balcony of Paris hotel room
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    SO/ Paris, 4th Arrondissement

    Design lovers will find plenty to be impressed with at one of the newest hotels to grace the banks of the Seine. The fashion-forward SO/ Paris has partnered with Parisian designers and iconic department store Printemps, so every detail feels quintessentially Parisian, from the chic striped-sweater uniforms to the 360-degree views from rooftop restaurant Bonnie—one of the only locales in town showing off this view of the Île Saint-Louis and Eiffel Tower.

    Madame Rêve, 1st Arrondissement

    Located within walking distance of the Louvre, the centrally located Madame Rêve has a boutique hotel feel, with only 82 rooms, yet all the amenities of a larger resort. It has a sleek, garden-filled rooftop bar and a trendy Japanese restaurant, La Plume Rive Droite, located on the top floor of the former Louvre Post Office.

    Fauchon L'Hôtel, 8th Arrondissement

    A short stroll from Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Garden and the Champs-Élysées, the five-star Fauchon L'Hôtel is designed to be a multi-sensory experience, starting with the welcome cocktail du jour and jewel-toned macarons. Maison Fauchon's gourmet goodies are at every turn, from the fully stocked mini bar to Le Grand Café Fauchon, a brasserie spilling out on the terrace of Place de la Madeleine.

    Bulgari Hotel Paris, 8th Arrondissement

    For couples after the full luxury experience, one of the best options in town is Bulgari Hotel Paris. The 76-room hotel sits in the Golden Triangle, on Avenue George V, with suites featuring amenities like 24/7 butler service and a column-clad, Roman bath-inspired pool covered in jade and gold mosaics. If you're bringing a pet on the trip, the hotel even has a pet club with toys, tents, carriers and more.

    La Réserve Paris, 8th Arrondissement

    This "urban mansion" has all the trappings of a five-star Parisian hotel (two Michelin-starred restaurants, a Spa Nescens), yet feels more like you're staying in a countryside château. A Louis XV Salon replaces the typical reception desk, and the Jacques Garcia-designed suites sport their own wine cellars, marble fireplaces and terraces overlooking the garden-covered courtyard patio.

    What to Pack for a Paris Trip

    Packing a suitcase for Paris
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    Couples will want to pack comfortable footwear, since this is a city where strolling makes up a large chunk of the itinerary. Seasons are unpredictable, so layering is key (and will also keep you looking like a local)—think trench coats, light sweaters and Breton striped shirts. Of course, you'll want to have a night out dining somewhere more formal or attending an opera or theater performance, so be sure to pack an elegant ensemble or two—and shoes to match. For other packing tips and tricks, refer to our guide.

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