This post is for lovers. Lovers who boldly indulge in unrestricted romance, long and lingering public displays of affection and the hopefully not-forgotten art of spoiling your special someone rotten. For these are the lovers who take their paramour to Paris for Valentine's Day. So if the idea of taking your valentine to the most romantic city on earth sounds appealing, here is your step-by-step guide to making it as amorous and memorable as possible.
Pont des Arts over the River Seine © ridoba (richard bates)
Stay in a cosy and comfortable apartment
Make sure to pick a location where you can easily explore lovers' Paris, with her romantic little side streets, intimate candlelit restaurants and exciting night life. Remember that a stay in a rooftop apartment can often mean a view of the Eiffel Tower, the centrepiece of Paris' unique skyline. Some of the best places to base yourself are along the banks of the Seine, or next door to one of Paris' much loved parks for romantic strolls to and from your love nest.
Romantic Montmartre apartment © Bruno
Kick start your romantic break at the Eiffel Tower
The most obvious spot to visit for panoramic views of Paris, with many opportunities for treasured portraits of you and your other half, is le Tour Eiffel. While the views from the top are spectacular, the grounds beneath it are also a fine place to wander and hold hands. Very special views can be found at Trocadero, with the opportunity to act like the big kids you really are on a traditional carousel, close to the Eiffel Tower's feet.
Image © danorbit.
A Parisian treat, available around winter time and Valentines, is ice-skating at the Hotel de Ville. It lasts until March 2013, and inside this stunning building you can join other romance-seeking couples in the unspoken competition of who can out-cute who; as you skate, shuffle or tumble your way around the rink.
To warm up afterwards, consider finding a corner café where chocolat chaud is served - complete with freshly whipped cream. Speaking of chocolate, if it is the way to yours or your partner's heart then be sure to take a detour on your way home via the award winning Patrick Roger on Boulevard St-Germain. Here you can find quirky seasonal truffle recipes alongside the classic chocolates loved by many - all behind stylish and eye-catching shop window displays.
Ice skating at Hotel de Ville © jpbourque
Fleurs de l'amour
Valentine's Day isn't really Valentine's Day without flowers - yep, some girls (and boys) are just that insistent. Paris has a very special and authentic flower market, tucked away from the traffic at Place Louis Lépine on Ile de la Cité, which is still relatively unknown by most visitors. Pick up some roses for your rose here and then, providing you have still energy in your feet, wander towards the Right Bank and explore Le Marais - the old medieval area of Paris with its cute French restaurants and wine bars.
Parisian roses © tarkun3
The grand finish
And now, after all of that, you're probably almost romanced out? Well, why not top off your time in Paris with another stunning view? Walk up to Montmartre, on top of which you'll find the stunning La Basilique de Sacre Couer. While the surrounding area has fallen foul of tourist trap shops and cafés cashing in on the area's rich artistic history, it doesn't mean it shouldn't make for a pleasant place to look longingly at each other over a café au lait or have an amusing caricature sketched. Afterwards, get lost for a cheeky kiss in narrow cobbled alleyways that sneak away in all directions from Place du Tertre before heading back to your cosy apartment and accept your praise for creating the most ridiculously romantic experience in Paris.
Sacre Couer © Panoramas