Follow the lady who never pays for anything and learn how touring Paris with your infant can rekindle romance.
Paris was made for lovers and lovers of life. Where else are flower bouquets sold in vending machines, and great wine is cheaper than water? Day or night, rain or shine, the City of Light presents visitors of all ages with a myriad of opportunities to feel and be romantic. Couples with new children will especially succumb to its charms.
To start your hearts beating a bit faster, take to the streets: Paris is best enjoyed on foot, in all weather.
City Gardens and Parks
One of the great treats of walking is discovering the city’s green oasis en route. From grand to tiny, Paris abounds in parks and gardens where you can find tranquility and beauty and escape to a world of your own. Stroll under the shady trees. Inhale the fragrance deeply and relax. Pull up the chair: French park chairs are movable, so you can sit as close to each other as possible. Have a picnic or curl up with a favorite book. Most Parisian gardens are free for all. Some are very beautiful. Others are rich in history. But each one has its own character and sensual pleasures. Palais Royal Gardens are both romantic and historical retreat. Park des Tuileries along the Seine is a permanent free exhibit of statues. Jardin des Luxemburg in front of the Senate building is more formal, with the beautiful fountain and ornamental pond as the focal points.
Or, you can take to the water for the timeless Parisian romance.
Romantic Moments for the Whole Family
Stroll hand in hand along the river Seine, the soul of Paris. Or walk across one of the 36 bridges, each one of them with its own unique history and feast for the eyes. Savor the surroundings, and each other. Smootch under the city’s oldest bridge, Pont Neuf, or practice French kissing on the Pont des Arts—the heart of romantic Paris.
Cross the Pont Notre-Dame to pay pilgrimage to the famous gothic cathedral immortalized by the love of Quasimodo for Esmeralda. Notre-Dame floats on its own little island, the Ile de la Cite, in the middle of the river. Seven bridges link it to the rest of Paris.
Starting to rain? For a romantic interlude, why not retreat to a serene, little known museum where history is fun. And while baby is sleeping, surrender yourself to nostalgia and romance of the past.
Museums, Compliments of the City
In the heart of fashionable right bank Marais district, the MusÃ©e Carnavalet ( 33 1 44 59 58 58) occupies a splendid 1548 palace. The museum’s permanent collection of paintings, furnishings and sculptures is a tribute to the history of Paris. The lack of crowds and splendid interior are favorable for romance. Napoleon’s cradle is sure to make even the most unsure visitor turn tender. (Free admission to permanent collection. Open 10am to 5:40pm; closed Monday and holidays.)
MusÃ©e de la Parfumerie Fragonard (33 1 44 42 93 40) is devoted to the evolution of parfume from the Egyptians to the 19th century. Bottles, paintings, incense burners: they are all examples of extraordinary craftsmanship, sensual beauty and luxurious indulgence in the name of love. (Open 9am to 5:30 pm; closed Sundays October through March.)
MusÃ©e Rodin, (33 1 44 18 61 10) free first Sunday of each month, is a perfect place for a casual, romantic stroll, and to witness the most immortal “Kiss.” This sensual sculpture of two lovers wrapped in a tight embrace was decried as being “obscene” in 1886 Victorian Paris. (Open 9:30am to 5:45 pm/Summer, 9:30am to 4:45pm/Winter; closed Monday.)
Note that as of April 2009, the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay will be admitting all French youth under the age of 25, and teachers of any age, free of charge as part of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s efforts to support the arts.
As the sun sets down, it’s time to get a terrific eyeful of Paris. And you don’t have to spend a dime.
The best free vantage point of Paris is in front of the Sacre Coeur Basilica in the hilly neighborhood of Montmartre. The sweeping views of Paris, reaching as far as 30 miles, are guaranteed to take your breath away.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.