To guarantee a romantic weekend getaway in Paris, don't go into it with any firm plans. Paris is best explored without an itinerary, with the freedom to wander the cobblestoned streets and see where they lead. At night, the city comes alive with spontaneity and romance — the film Midnight in Paris comes to mind. My best advice is to put down the guidebook, and pick up your lover's hand. Let Paris whisk you away. You never know what hidden gems you'll find around every corner as you follow the footsteps of all of the historic figures, famous artists and icons that came before you and left their mark on the City of Love.
If you find the idea of that intimidating, you can also create a list of things you can't miss. But walk — or bike — to each sight when you can because it's those in-between moments that are really special.
Beyond the city sights, there are so many amazing gardens to visit in Paris, too. The Tuileries Garden is close to the Louvre and perfect for a walk on a beautiful day. The garden was opened to the public after the French Revolution and is filled with French culture. Admire the gorgeous gardens, and keep in mind all of the history that has occurred there.
And then there's the Luxembourg Gardens. Inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, they're a beautiful mix of French and English gardens. Spend a laid-back afternoon exploring the apiary, orchid-filled greenhouses, the rose garden, apple orchard, and end up at the large, scenic pond for a picnic. Bring a blanket and some snacks, so you can lay out on the grass and relish a French-style lunch, enjoying each other's company without a care in the world. Then, wander through the gardens admiring the statues, ornate fountains, Orangerie, and Pavillon Davioud. Catch a concert or free exhibition to heighten the experience.
With just one weekend in Paris, make time to indulge in some world-class French cuisine. Personally, I don't think there's anything more romantic than grabbing a few sandwiches and a bottle of wine and finding a place to lay out a blanket along the Seine, but if you're looking for some more upscale experiences, Paris has you covered. To round out the best couple's weekend getaway, get dressed in your finest, and pretend it's 1920 with a dinner boat cruise. Enjoy a candle-lit dinner on the water as the vibrant city skyline surrounds you. Or book yourself a meal at Hôtel Plaza Athénée (make sure you book ahead of time). Their main restaurant Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée will take you back in time as you indulge in classic French delicacy surrounded by gilded mirrors and ceilings and large, sparkling chandeliers. End the night by joining in on the open-air dancing on the banks of the Seine. Every evening in the summer, couples dance the night away under the city lights. There's nothing more romantic than that.
If getting dressed up isn't your thing, enjoying steak and frites at a charming brasserie is an excellent choice for a low-key yet delicious dinner. Or, if you have access to a kitchen, head to a marche (an excellent one can be found on Rue Cler) and pick up the freshest ingredients to create your own French-inspired meal. Set up a candle-lit dinner on your balcony and just be together, soaking in the love that Paris exudes.
Then, in the morning, get up early and grab a seat on a terrasse while you sip on some coffee and share a Croque Madame with your partner. Or, have a little fun and visit every single pâtisserie you walk by in search of the world's best croissant. The best part of being in Paris is leaving the real world behind and fully immersing yourself in the love-filled city.
One of the most romantic and grand places you can visit is Versailles. It's only a short train ride away from Paris and is the perfect day trip on your couple's weekend getaway. When you arrive and walk through the sparkling golden gates of the Palace, let the grandeur wash over you. It's a mesmerizing sight, made all the more impressive when you consider its history. If you have the time, make sure to visit both the inside and the gardens. If you only have a short time, the gardens are wonderful to spend a charming afternoon getting lost in. The lavish gardens are so big that even on a really busy day, you'll feel as if it's just you and your love. Take your time wandering around, and you'll stumble upon hidden fountains, where the flow of the water is timed to the most beautiful music. You can also grab a rowboat and float along the Grand Canal, giving you a different perspective of the massive property.
If you do have the opportunity to see both, inside you'll be led through a labyrinth of rooms, the next more impressive than the last. The Hall of Mirrors is perhaps the most well-known and beautiful. When you step through the doors, you'll see why. Large chandeliers, windows, and mirrors fill the room, creating an optical illusion that makes it look even bigger than it is.
The over-the-top architecture of Versailles is timeless, right out of a romantic movie. During your visit, you'll also be able to visit the Grand Trianon, which was built so Louis XIV could carry on his love affair with Madame de Montespan. You'll also see the Petit Trianon, which Marie Antoinette completely redid after her husband Louis XVI gave it to her as a present.