Paris fulfills every expectation as the “City of Love.” Strolling along its broad and picturesque backstreets, lounging in its elegantly laid out formal gardens, contemplating artistic masterpieces in its museums, and lingering after sunset on lamp-lit bridges to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle on the hour as illuminated monuments reflect on the Seine, it’s impossible not to be captivated.

Fall head-over-heels on this four- to seven-day itinerary showcasing the best sights and experiences for couples in the French capital. In partnership with Delta Vacations, we’ll show you how to Go Beyond the Flight and get more from your vacation experience. Here you’ll find just a sample of accommodations available through Delta Vacations that are perfect for couples – plus easy transfer options and, most importantly, one-of-a-kind activities both on and off the beaten path. 

Whether it’s an elevated experience at a well-known tourist destination or an under-the-radar gem, there’s something special for every couple in the City of Light.

Strolling through Paris with someone you love, it’s impossible not to be captivated © Craig Waxman, Polysphere Creative, for Lonely Planet

Day one – Around the Champs-Élysées and Eiffel Tower

At the center of the Étoile (‘star’) roundabout, reached by underground tunnels, the Arc de Triomphe is a sensational vantage point for a first glimpse of this magnificent city. It’s a steep climb up 284 steps to the top of the 164-foot-high arch but the reward is a one of the lesser known but most incredible perspectives of the city – a 360-degree view of the dozen leafy avenues radiating from here, taking in the Paris’ line of historic monuments southeast to place de la Concorde and the Louvre beyond. Northwest you can see another arch, the 1989-built Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris’ skyscraper-filled business district La Défense.

On a sunny summer’s day, a lovely detour from the Arc de Triomphe is to head a short distance west to Paris’ sprawling western forest, the Bois de Boulogne, where you can hire an old-fashioned rowing boat for a romantic exploration of its largest lake, Lac Inférieur.

After promenading down the avenue des Champs-Élysées, cut south along av Winston Churchill between the art-nouveau Grand Palais and Petit Palais to cross the city’s most exquisite bridge, Pont Alexandre III, festooned with cherubs, nymphs and gilded winged horses.

© Graphics by Jacob Rhoades / Lonely Planet

The bridge leads to the manicured lawns fronting the stately Hôtel des Invalides military complex. Hiding around the eastern side is Paris’ most romantic museum, the sculpture-filled Musée Rodin. In 18th-century mansion the Hôtel Biron, where Rodin had his studios and showrooms, there are gorgeous examples of his works, including his sinuous marble monument to love, The Kiss. Stroll through the fragrant rose gardens surrounding the property to see more Rodin masterpieces, including The Thinker. Close by, Parisian coffee roaster Coutume‘s flagship cafe makes a perfect stop to recharge with an espresso or filter brew. 

Wending through the backstreets of the 7e and 15e arrondissements on foot (or taking a shortcut by metro) will bring you to Paris’ little-known third island in the Seine, the Île aux Cygnes. Accessed by the Pont de Grenelle, a 1889, one-quarter scale replica of the Statue of Liberty guards its southwestern tip. The island’s tree-lined walking path reveals fabulous Eiffel Tower views.

Dining doesn’t get more magical than inside the spire itself. A dinner at the Eiffel Tower and cruise experience lets you soak in Paris from both the first floor restaurant Madame Brasserie – where celebrated Parisian chef Thierry Marx’ passion for locally sourced ingredients shines through his cuisine – and aboard a riverboat on the Seine.

In Paris, opportunities to bond over a shared love of food are limitless © Craig Waxman, Polysphere Creative, for Lonely Planet

Day two – Central Parisian classics

In Paris, opportunities to bond over a shared love of food are limitless. A brilliant foray is to wander Le Marais’ warren of narrow medieval streets that escaped Baron Haussmann’s 19th-century renovation of the city. This vibrant inner-Parisian neighborhood now overflows with eateries of every imaginable type that make it one of the premier places to dine. Explore the latest hotspots on a small-group Secret Food Tour Paris Le Marais.

Before leaving Le Marais, don’t miss a quintessentially Parisian moment at the city’s oldest square, place des Vosges: an exquisite central patch of green enveloped by 36 symmetrical buildings with street-level arcades where you might here classical musicians such as violinists thanks to the superb acoustics. In its southeastern corner is the Maison de Victor Hugo, where the author lived after the success of his novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame; it’s now an intimate museum portraying his life and work.

Ambling southwest leads you on to the smaller of Paris’ two inhabited city islands, the jewel-like Île St-Louis. Boutiques are strung along its central street, including the home of its wonderful ice cream maker, Berthillon, with over 70 tantalizing flavors.

Almost always filled with street performers and buskers such as accordion players, the Pont St-Louis connects the Île St-Louis to the larger Île de la Cité. Its most famous landmark, Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral, remains closed for post-fire renovations until 2024. Dazzling stained glass can still be seen at 13th-century Gothic chapel Sainte-Chapelle. At Île de la Cité’s westernmost point, descend the stairs to find the tiny, triangular park square du Vert-Galant at the water’s edge.

Returning to the Right Bank along Paris’ oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf, it’s just a few blocks northwest to the regal urban garden Jardin du Palais Royal with arcaded galleries and gravel walkways embraced by the neoclassical Palais Royal. In its northwestern corner, relish the romance of 18th-century Paris in one of the world’s most beautiful restaurants, Le Grand Véfour.

End the day on the Seine aboard a romantic cruise as you savor a gourmet French dinner © Craig Waxman, Polysphere Creative, for Lonely Planet

Day three – Left Bank treasures

Flânerie (urban strolling without any particular destination) is a joy on Paris’ Rive Gauche (Left Bank). Allow plenty of time here to discover tiny boutiques, gourmet food shops, bistros, wine bars and literary cafes loaded with myth and history.

Start the day with un café on the awning-shaded terrace of Les Deux Magots, overlooking Paris’ oldest church, the Romanesque Église St-Germain des Prés, built in the 11th century on the site of a 6th-century abbey.

© Graphics by Jacob Rhoades / Lonely Planet

Just north, tucked away on a leafy little square, is the Musée National Eugène Delacroix, in the seminal French artist’s former home and studio.

Delacroix’s frescoes adorn the walls a few blocks south at another beautiful Left Bank church, Église St-Sulpice. In front of its colonnaded Italianate facade, place St-Sulpice is an picturesque spot to linger, as are the iconic sage-green metal chairs scattered in the nearby chestnut-shaded gardens, the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Past Paris’ multilayered museum of the Middle Ages, the Musée de Cluny, aka the Musée National du Moyen Âge (home to the celebrated series of tapestries, The Lady with the Unicorn, dating from 1500), and the city’s medieval-founded university, La Sorbonne, wind your way through the Latin Quarter’s backstreets for timeless French cuisine by flickering candlelight in a vine-draped 17th-century townhouse at restaurant Le Coupe-Chou. Finish the evening listening to live jazz in the medieval stone cellar of jazz club Caveau de la Huchette.

Discover tiny boutiques, gourmet food shops, bistros, wine bars and literary cafes loaded with myth and history © Craig Waxman, Polysphere Creative, for Lonely Planet

Day four – Enchanting Montmartre

Until 1860, hilltop Montmartre lay just beyond the city’s boundaries to the north. Building began on the white-domed basilica Sacré-Cœur soon after Montmartre became Paris’ 18th arrondissement and some of the world’s foremost artists lived and painted here. Today its cobblestone streets and charming squares still preserve its quaint village character. 

Behind the art-nouveau-canopied Abbesses metro station, the year-2000-installed artwork Le Mur des Je t’aime (Wall of Love) spells out "I love you" in 250 languages.

Not far to the south in the 9e arrondissement, painter Ary Scheffer’s former home and gathering place of Paris’ Romantic-era luminaries is now the Musée de la Vie Romantique, evoking the era in both the mansion-housed museum and its delightful garden.

While away the afternoon in Paris’ northeast at pretty waterway Canal St-Martin. Its shaded towpaths and wrought-iron footbridges are idyllic for a stroll – or simply sprawl on the grassy banks or take a seat at a cafe terrace along the banks and watch the boats float by.

End the day back on the Seine aboard a Romantic Dinner Cruise as you savor a gourmet French dinner along with spellbinding views of the alluring city.

Paris’ romantic hotels sweep you up in the city’s magic © Craig Waxman, Polysphere Creative, for Lonely Planet

Where to stay in Paris for couples

Paris’ romantic hotels sweep you up in the city’s magic. To reach them easily, private sedan transfers, available to book through Delta Vacations, can whisk you to and from the airport in style. Behind a grand neoclassical façade, the Hotel Regina Louvre Paris has 98 rooms (including 32 suites) with Louis XV- and Louis XVI-style furniture. Most have views across the Jardin des Tuileries to the Eiffel Tower.

Between the Champs-Élysées and Eiffel Tower, just back from the Seine, is the Villa Marquis Meliá Collection. This former aristocratic residence now accommodates guests in contemporary rooms with vibrant colors and geometric styling. On hand are a library, restaurant and 24-hour gym. 

© Graphics by Jacob Rhoades / Lonely Planet

In the heart of Paris’ Golden Triangle, home to its famous fashion houses, Le Belmont Paris has beautiful timber interiors, British Axminster woven carpets, French furniture, granite bathrooms and theatrically curtained headboards. Its glass-roofed spa features a traditional Turkish bath and fitness area.

Peacefully situated yet within moments of the Louvre and reborn department store Samaritaine, Maison Albar Hotels Le Pont Neuf has 60 rooms in soft beige and blue tones with art deco-inspired furniture and a spa with a swimming pool.

In stylish St-Germain des Prés, 1926-built Hotel Montalembert has 50 rooms over eight floors featuring Hermès and Pierre Frey silk curtains. Its concierge service can book tickets to shows and events, and arrange flowers, chocolate, fruit, wine and Champagne in your room for your arrival in Paris.

Why this partnership?: Delta Vacations is reinventing itself – your miles are worth more when you use them toward your vacation, so you can do more. Choose from flights, stays, rides and activities all over the world, all in one place.

Sponsored by Delta Vacations

As a travel entertainment and inspirational media outlet, we sometimes incorporate brand sponsors into our efforts. This activity is clearly labeled across our platforms.

This story was crafted collaboratively between Delta Vacations and Lonely Planet. Both parties provided research and curated content to produce this story. We disclose when information isn’t ours.

With sponsored content, both Lonely Planet and our brand partners have specific responsibilities:

  • Brand partner

    Determines the concept, provides briefing, research material, and may provide feedback.

  • Lonely Planet

    We provide expertise, firsthand insights, and verify with third-party sources when needed.

Explore related stories

Man reading on banks of Canal Saint-Martin.


Top 10 things to do in Paris in spring

Feb 25, 2021 • 5 min read