The flowers, the fountains, the statues, the architecture and the bright lights are some of the many reasons Paris is referred to as the ‘city of love’. Many also believe the French language is the most beautiful and romantic in the world, leading couples and single travellers to flock to this glowing city each year. Some stay for only a few days while traveling across Europe and some rent Paris apartments to explore the city and its culture for a longer period of time.
I haven’t been to Paris but I want to know if it’s really a place of romance or is merely perceived as romantic because of some cliche – a product of media depictions and art, like Robert Doisneau’s “le Baiser” (the kiss)? I would be pretty pumped if a boy took me to Paris for some love and passion, I would romance the hell outta that place. That being said, I would also romance the hell outta splitting a sub and cheap bottle of wine over the glow of a few used candles. I believe romance is everywhere and anywhere you want it to be. If I was asked where I wanted to go for a romantic vacation, Paris would not be at the top of my list.
I’ve spent a while trying to figure out why Paris wouldn’t be a top destination for me when I think of romance and I’ve narrowed it down to two conclusions. First, I don’t actually know a lot about the city – it’s never been a destination high on my list of places to see in the next few years. I would rather be somewhere like Croatia or Colombia. Second, I think I question it because everyone says it’s so great. I’m not anti-tourism or someone who only says or does things other people don’t, but I tend to be disappointed in places with too much hype around.
Maybe Paris is just too cliche? A late night walk can be romantic wherever you are if you have the right mood. Is that what Paris does? Sets the mood for romance? I feel like people travel there with the anticipation and belief of romance already built into their heads, but everyone is different and so are their ideas of what love is. I wonder if people who rent apartments in Paris for a few months still believe the city is as romantic as their first week or two there.
There is also a stereotype that Parisians are not tourist friendly, especially to those who don’t speak French, but I’d like to believe this is not true. I’ve been told that Americans are bad tourists and I’ve never met one while in the states or traveling elsewhere whom I’ve disliked or has seemed ignorant in any way as their stereotype suggests them to be.
From what I’ve heard and read, Paris is the real thing and complaints about the city are minimal, other than it being quite expensive. Maybe it truly is the ‘city of love’ and not just some cliche that has grown over the years. Would Paris be one of your top romantic destinations?
I have been to Paris several times. Romance to me generally is more natural than forced. Walks in the woods, long bike rides, or quiet evening swims. That being said, Paris is a wonderful city to spend a few days in. Walking through Paris is priceless. And the museums are beyond compare. The Musee D’Orsay alone is worth the trip.
That’s great to know. You’re right about natural romance as well.
We went to Paris in 2004, mostly because it’s one of the big European cities you should have visited. Me too had heard about how romantic it is before we went there. Coming there in the spring time (end of April-beginning of May) and it was very cloudy, rather chilly weather. I expected to see romantic couples kissing everywhere. Did I? No. That was a disappointment actually. We did see only one romantic couple down at the Seine. That’s all.
Except for ourselves… Now we’re talking romantic! We did have a very romantic time in Paris even though it felt like we were the only couple in love there. Everyone else just rushed by in a hurry. It didn’t make it less romantic considering that hubby proposed to me below the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur…. *big happy smile*
I can’t resist leaving you a link to our Paris post in case you should like to read more about it: Paris but no Hilton
Happy travels 🙂
Awwww so good to hear you had such a romantic time! I will totally take the chance to learn more about the city… especially from someones direct opinion
If you go into it looking to be swept off your feet, then yes, you’ll probably be disappointed. We only spent three days in Paris on our Eurotrip but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed Paris and cannot wait to go back. People complain about the Louvre being too crowded and the lines to get into the ultra-popular destinations. Well, let me just say we were there during the final day (yes – day, not stage) of the Tour de France and it was beyond packed in every spot possible, and I still enjoyed every minute of it.
Anyone who enjoys Paris or wants a good feel for it, watch ‘Midnight in Paris’ (particularly if you are a art history/literary buff) – if that doesn’t transport you there and feel all the romance and grandeur of the great city, nothing probably will.
P.S. Nice pictures lol
haha you like those pics eh? STOLEN!
I was underwhelmed when I spent 2 weeks in Paris this summer (http://roymarvelous.com/2011/07/paris-france-cost-expensive-overrated/).
Having said that, I think I may have liked living & working there. And one saving grace is you can drink in public!!
I always love the drinking in public countries! You’re the first person I’ve heard was underwhelmed by Paris
I adored Paree…..the food, the architecture, the shopping…the tittays at the Moulin Rouge…Gorgeous. I loved loved it. And I would love to go back. Many a cab driver seduced me. Ok, maybe just one, and that’s only cause I had a new dress on that night. But I did let him buy me a drink. That was cool, right?
HAHA… I like being seduced by cab drivers!!
Paris is my favourite city in the world so anything I tell you will come off as biased. That said, I think you need to go there to find out for yourself. If you have high expectations or perceived notions of any place, you may be disappointed. Obviously, it has its stereotypes as you mentioned, but you go in knowing that and realizing that there may be things about the city that surprise you. Like some people are actually nice (and some are just straight up bitchy); that Moroccan men may follow you around; that the parks and the Seine really as whimsical as they are perceived. BUT you won’t know unless you go!
[…] A lot of people will say Paris is their top spot for romance, which I’ve asked about in a previous post, but if you’re a dude trying to impress me, you can take me anywhere in Latin America, or […]
Paris is what you make of it. I had always dreamt of going to Paris because I had been studying French for like ever, and that dream finally came true last year when I went there for study abroad. While some may not be impressed, I was overwhelmed! The beautiful buildings, gardens, narrow streets with whole-in-the-wall restaurants… it was everything I could have asked for. And yeah yeah it’s just a way to get around, but the metro system is fantastic–fast, efficient, and takes you everywhere.
I found something magical in Paris that I couldn’t really explain myself until I met a girl from my study abroad program. Now, I’ll tell you that before going to Paris I wasn’t expect to meet anyone who would sweep me off my feet, but I immediately hit it off when I met that girl. I’m a guy and I don’t really believe in fairytale romance, but that’s exactly what that encounter was. We started going off by ourselves on walks around the city, visiting museums, and kissing while walking on alleyways in the latin quarter.
Like Ann Brennan, I’d say romance in Paris is natural. It just happens if you meet the right person :).