A romantic mini-guide to Paris: where to eat, drink, stay and more

The City of Lights brims with a timeless elegance and old-world charms like no other destination. From its beautiful Haussmann-era architecture and iconic landmarks to the exquisite top-notch eateries and world-class culture, discover Paris with our top insider tips for a loved-up weekend escape overflowing with magic and enchantment.

Montmartre. Image: iStock/IvanBastien

Where to go and what to do

Experience the romantic essence of Paris in beautiful Montmartre, which is something straight from a postcard; be sure to head to the Sacré-Cœur basilica for charming rooftop views and a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. Next up, visit the hidden gem and epicentre of cool, the Marais, where the architecture, boutiques, food and culture are some of the most intriguing you’ll find in all of Paris.

Fall in love with the opulence of the Palais Garnier – home of the Opéra – from its extravagant gold-leafed foyer to the deep red hues and impressive chandeliers of the Auditorium. For a stroll with a floral scent, head to the bustling Marché aux Fleurs on the Île de la Cité near the Notre Dame cathedral, where rare, exotic and seasonal flowers and plants sit beneath beautiful Art Nouveau glass pavilions.

Restaurant in Paris. Image: iStock/Nikada

Where to eat

When it comes to dining in the beguiling French capital, you’ll be truly spoiled with both traditional bistros and contemporary cafés. With its romantic Belle Epoque interior, Café Angelina is the best place in the city for a chocolat chaud, while one of oldest coffee houses, Café de Flore, embodies classic Parisian charm and is the perfect spot for people-watching.

If duck confit and a classic French vibe are at the top of your culinary list, head to the low-lit Café de l’Industrie or elegant Le Bistro Marbeuf, and for traditional steak frites in a buzzing atmosphere, Le Relais de l’Entrecôte is the place to dine.

For something with more of a contemporary feel, south Pigalle’s Pink Mamma serves authentic Italian fare and delicious cocktails amid Instagram-worthy interiors. Equally deserving of your attention is Alcazar, where high style and bistro classics with a creative twist take centre stage.

Parisian rooftops. Image: iStock/Nikada

Where to drink

Take yourself to the top floor of Printemps and you’re in for a breath-taking treat: this chic bar offers up striking panoramic views of the city, from Montmartre to the Eiffel Tower. Galeries Lafayette’s Le Cube Bar won’t disappoint you either, with its stylish rooftop setting that’s open come summer or winter.

Enjoying a more laid-back atmosphere, Le Comptoir Général is a favourite for its shabby-chic stylings and signature cocktails, all hidden behind a simple black door. Then there’s Clown Bar which has taken over a beautiful Belle Epoque space with its ‘neobistro’ vibe and excellent selection of wines (both by the glass and the bottle). Like the sound of champagne with red berries? The cosy, speakeasy ambience of Prescription Cocktail Club is perfect if you’d rather swap classic cocktails for something a little more creative.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards. Image courtesy of Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Where to stay

Paris isn’t short on incredible hotels for a couples-only stay. Among some of the most iconic, think the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Ritz Paris and Le Meurice, you’ll find a superb selection of boutique boltholes. One of the newest on the scene is Hotel des Grands Boulevards, which drips with Avant Garde décor thanks to the expert hand of designer Dorothée Meilichzon, and features a rooftop bar, French-Italian fusion cuisine and a hidden courtyard.

Bohemian charm and eclectic style define the unique Design Hotel that is Le Pigalle. It sits in the neighbourhood of the same name and captures the artistic and vibrant spirit of the area, from its illustrations by local artists to its deliveries of baked goods from a nearby bakery.

Another boutique treasure topping the lists is Royal Madeleine Hotel & Spa in the upscale and central 9th arrondissemont. You can expect parquet flooring and delicate hues alongside a sumptuous breakfast area and luxurious spa.

For a mix of boutique Parisian style and classic five-star elegance, Grand Powers Paris is the perfect abode. You’ll get to bed down in exclusively designed guestrooms with preserved original features, dine in an intimate cafe and bar, and relax in a marble-clad spa.

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