It’s no secret that Paris is the romantic capital of the world and it’s always a great idea as a travel destination. Every year, especially around Valentine’s Day, thousands of tourists flock to the French city to celebrate love by visiting the iconic Eiffel Tower, touring the beautiful Sacré Coeur Basilica, taking in all the incredible art at the Lourve Museum and enjoying a romantic cruise down the Seine River.
However, while these hotspots should definitely be added to your bucket list, Air France shares five hidden romantic hotspots in the French city that could be a great Valentine’s Day idea for couples to visit.
National Archives Garden
It’s no secret that Paris has some exceptionally beautiful gardens – and the National Archives Garden is one of the most spectacular in the city. Situated just a few blocks away from the Notre Dame cathedral, this garden is the perfect destination to enjoy a romantic stroll.
The garden was built as a gift for one of Louis XIV’s mistresses, Anne de Rohan-Chabot, in the early 1700s and continues to be a romantic setting for couples visiting. The garden was officially opened in 2001 and were once the private gardens of the various private mansions that make up this city block. Surrounded by pergolas, flowers and benches, this is the ultimate destination for lovers.
The backstreets of Montmartre
The Montmartre hill, where the popular Sacré Coeur Basilica sits, is already a hit with couples. Many flock to the garden on top of the hill to get an incredible view of the city but often overlook the backstreets of the area. The charming neighbourhood has so much more to offer couples looking for something a little different.
The backstreets are filled with an abundance of dazzling cafes, delicious bistros and delightful squares. Lovers can also sneak a kiss at the popular “I Love You” mural located in the Square des Abbesses. The mural has the words ‘I Love You’ written 311 times in 250 languages – making it a must-stop for lovers looking for an Instagram moment.
The Île Saint Louis Island
With so much to do and see in the city of love, the Île Saint Louis island in the middle of the Seine River is often overlooked. The romantic hotspot is one of two natural islands on the Seine and is rich in history.
While most tourists flock to the larger of the two islands, the Île de la Cité, which is home to the world-famous Notre Dame cathedral, lovers find themselves taking advantage of the smaller, quieter island. The Île Saint Louis island houses the grand Gothic Sainte-Chapelle – the site of the prison where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution. Today, it plays host to many traditional eateries and small boutiques making it the perfect spot to celebrate love.
La Rue Du Chat-qui-Pêche
Paris is filled with several quaint side streets – and La rue du Chat-qui-Pêche is famous for being the narrowest of them all. The street dates back to the 1540s and was constructed as a shortcut for locals to get to the Seine. The quirky street, named ‘The street of the fishing cat’, is filled with eclectic street art, making it the perfect stop for couples wanting to take in the romance of the city.
The Albert Kahn Garden
If you’re looking for a unique picnic spot in the City of Love, look no further than the dreamy Albert Kahn Garden. As the name suggests, the garden was developed by Albert Kahn, a prominent banker who purchased the land in 1893.
The garden covers four hectares and includes a range of styles including an “English garden,” a “French-style garden” and most famously a “Japanese garden.” The latter features a remarkable “Japanese village” created from buildings dismantled and reassembled after a visit to Japan. Newly renovated, this garden is the perfect setting to enjoy some one-on-one quality time with your loved one.
Travel restrictions from South Africa to France have recently been eased and entry into Paris is now much easier for South African tourists. On top of a Schengen visa, vaccinated passengers will need to present proof of vaccination and hold a negative PCR or Antigen test taken less than 48 hours prior to departure of your first flight.
Unvaccinated passengers will also need to present a negative PCR or Antigen test taken less than 48 hours prior to your first flight and will be required to self-quarantine for seven days. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers will need to complete a “Statement of honour” form here.