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Romantic Paris Itinerary: A 3-Day Plan for Couples in the City of Lights

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Day 1

Morning
Arrive into Paris and transfer to your hotel for a light breakfast and post-flight massages. Freshen up and then take a cab to Saint Germain. Stroll through the impossibly romantic Jardin du Luxembourg before shopping Rue de Seine, one of the more charming streets in Paris. Stop into its many small galleries and boutiques — Isabel Marant for clothing and Cire Trudon for candles. Turn onto Quai Malaquais and stop into the exquisite Dries Van Noten boutiques and then browse the numerous bouquinistes (used and antique booksellers) along the Seine.

Lunch

  • Grab a table for two at the quintessentially Parisian café, La Palette, where a great lunch consists of a Croque Monsieur, a charcuterie board, a salad and a bottle of Brouilly frais (chilled, light red wine).
  • Opt for Saint Germain neighborhood classic, Café de Flore, where the club sandwich is not to be missed.
  • Pop-in for a salad and soufflé at the cozy Le Recamier.

Afternoon
Visit the Musée Rodin. The 18th century villa is filled with many of the sculptor’s stunning stone works and the manicured gardens blooming with roses are ideal for a stroll in the fresh air. Fans of Impressionism meanwhile should head to the Musee d’Orsay, the phenomenal museum housed in a former Beaux-Arts railway station where you will find masterpieces by Manet, Monet and Degas. Finally, board a chic Riva boat for a private sunset cruise (replete with Champagne) along the Seine. There’s no better way to take in the magic of the city on your first day in Paris.

Dinner

  • Don’t miss a classic French meal at the extremely fashionable yet romantic Petrelle, tucked away in a quiet corner of the 9th arrondissement
  • Discover the tiny Le 6 Paul Bert, located just a few doors down from the hit bistro by the same name, where you will find a wonderful local wine list and modern small plates.

Day 2

Morning
Sleep off the jet lag and ease into the day. Spend the late morning in the Marais. Stroll the historic neighborhood’s medieval streets, stopping into its small galleries and boutiques. Relax over a hamman and sauna at Les Bains du Marais (opened on weekend days to both men and women). Visit the recently re-opened Musée Picasso. Housed in a 17th century mansion, this small museum plays host to a vast collection of the artist’s work and is a must-stop on any trip to Paris.

Lunch

  • Enjoy classic bistro fare at Alain Ducasse’s Benoit where not much has changed since it opened in 1912.
  • Meander through lovely Ile Saint Louis, sister island to the Ile de la Cité, before lingering over an old-fashioned lunch at L’Llot Vache.

Afternoon
Make your way over to the quiet yet hip neighborhood of Canal St. Martin. Explore its many charming boutiques and galleries. Stop by Bob’s Juices, where all Parisians are currently flocking for cold-pressed juices and smoothies, Ten Belles for the best coffee in town or Le Cantine de Quentin for a bottle of wine, before making your way to the Napoleon-era tree-lined canal, one of the most romantic spots to pass an afternoon.

Dinner

  • Head to Frenchie Bar for a casual evening of small plates and excellent wines. (Indagare Tip: Arrive on the early side just before opening at 7pm to ensure you snag seats before it fills up.)
  • Dive into the city’s scene at classic hotspot Hotel Costes for dinner and drinks. While it’s definitely buzzing, there’s something romantic about posting up in a dimly-lit corner of the jewel-toned dining room.

Day 3

Morning
Have a decadent breakfast at one of the palace hotels — either Plaza Athenée, or Hotel Le Bristol. On a beautiful day, nothing is quite as romantic as either of their courtyard gardens. Spend the morning shopping sunny Avenue Montaigne and then visit the lovely Musée Jacquemart André, a gem of a museum where you will find paintings by a range of old masters.

Lunch

  • Make like an insider and snag a table for two in one of the many dimly lit rooms at Caffe Stern, housed in a beautiful 16th century engraving shop that was redone into an Italian café by Philippe Starck.
  • Take a break from French fare and have lunch at the charming Italian La Stresa, where Parisian power players go to get their Bolognese fix.
  • Enjoy an intimate lunch of caviar and blinis with views of the beautiful Madeleine church at the small-yet-decadent fashion crowd favorite, Caviar Kaspia.

Afternoon

Rent vélibs and peddle your way to Montmartre and visit Espace Dali, an intimate museum that houses a permanent of collection of over 300 of Salvador Dali’s works. Meander through the small, historic streets of the neighborhood and stop into one of its romantic little cafés for a coffee or glass of wine. Check out what’s playing at Studio 28, one of the most charming cinemas in Paris before ending the day with a visit to iconic Sacré Coeur where you can take in the best views of Paris.

Dinner

  • Make like a laid-back local and wait your turn (no reservations) at the steak-frites only Relais L’Entrecote, where the only decision to be made is red or white wine.
  • Find a table in the charming garden of the bohemian and hip Hotel Amour.

Where to Stay

– Annabelle Moehlmann on December 16, 2015

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