The internet can’t decide whether Paris or Rome is the world’s most romantic capital. There’s maybe a telling distinction in that the former is referred to as the City of Love and the latter as the City of Lovers. The message here being: come to France if you want your passion to endure a lifetime, go to Italy if you’d rather it lasted for a hot weekend. Regardless, here are the 20 most charming spots in the French capital for a kiss.
At the top of the Eiffel Tower
Sure, it’s a bit of a cliché but what list of Parisian smooching spots would be complete without mentioning the Eiffel Tower? If a fear of heights is going to squish the romance out of the moment, or indeed if the thought of queuing for more than 30 minutes is a buzzkill for you, then keep your feet on the ground and have your kiss between the four legs with the amazing steel latticework towering above you.
Under the Pont Marie (even if it is a fake tradition)
It’s a favorite fib of the tour guides on the Seine’s riverboats to say that the first time you pass under the Pont Marie with a new lover you are bound by a Parisian tradition to give them a kiss. Now, this ‘fact’ might well be the result of a slow spot on the cruises’ itinerary of sites, but that doesn’t mean it should be dismissed outright. After all, what’s so wrong with having one more excuse for a smooch?
The eight paintings that surround you in the two oval rooms at the Musée de l’Orangerie were Monet’s final works and some of his most enchanting. He gifted them to the city of Paris as a symbol of peace on the conclusion of the First World War and their ethereal beauty has endured for almost a century. If you can’t make it to the artist’s incredibly romantic gardens in Giverny, this is the perfect substitute.
Frankly, there are parts of Paris that could be anywhere in Europe. However, there is something unmistakably Parisian about the Latin Quarter—perhaps due to its history, with its narrow streets and centuries-old university, or perhaps because of how popular it remains with locals out enjoying the city. Either way, cozy up with your special person on a terrace, have a little kiss, and soak up its unique atmosphere.
“A kiss may ruin a human life,” wrote Oscar Wilde in A Woman of No Importance. Indeed, hundreds of people have come to cover his tomb in Père Lachaise cemetery in kisses. In 2011, a “kiss wall” was erected to prevent people from leaving behind their lipstick marks (apparently the stonework had been jeopardized) but you can still blow the Irish playwright a kiss and plant a wet one on your partner’s lips instead.
Inside the lovers’ temple at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Pretty much every spot in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is ripe for a bit of canoodling. The belvedere situated at the highest point of this former quarry offers amazing views over Paris and, if you can get it to yourselves on a quiet day, is like something straight out of a fairy tale. Take your prince(ss) by the hands, spin around a couple of times à la Disney, and finish it off with the customary kiss.
You’ll probably recognize the pillared walkway under the Pont de Bir-Hakeim in the west of Paris from films like Last Tango in Paris (1972) and Inception (2010). Today, it’s an incredibly popular place for couples to take their wedding pictures thanks to the sensational backdrop provided by the Eiffel Tower. So it’s probably best avoided if you’d rather not have your romantic weekend spoiled by thoughts of marriage!
While dangling your legs off the banks of the Seine
The official reasons for the Mayor of Paris’ recent moves to pedestrianize even more of the banks of the Seine, may be for reductions in noise and air pollution, but we reckon that the creation of even more romantic kissing spots was also high on the political agenda. Make the most of the decision by sitting hand-in-hand on the stone ledge by the river, or cuddling up in one of the newly created gardens.
On the Pont des Arts (even if you can’t leave a padlock)
One of the world’s original love lock locations, the Pont des Arts in Paris, was recently cleared of its one million or so symbols of enduring passion after they threatened to weight down the bridge, while also ruining other historic monuments around the city. Nevertheless, the bridge still stands, crossing the Seine at a particularly scenic point, and remains rich territory for the ever-popular selfie and peck on the lips.
There’s nothing like a bit of Impressionist art to get you in the mood for romance. All those delicate brush strokes and depictions of softly shifting light preoccupy the mind with thoughts about the passage of time. When you reach the top floor of the museum, you’ll be ready to stop in front of the ginormous clock window with your loved one and make time stand still for a minute.
Surely anyone who watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet as a teenager has since fantasized about having a romantic fish tank moment to the epic croonings of Des’ree. While you might have to provide your own musical accompaniment and knight and angel costumes, the Paris aquarium does come fully stocked with astonishingly beautiful tropical fish.
The (now ironically named) oldest bridge in Paris seems like it was made for lovers, although Henry III and IV were definitely more concerned with effective cross-capital trade than kisses and cuddles. All along the two stretches of the Pont Neuf are stone alcoves with wide benches perfect for romantic embraces and the obligatory happy-couple-in-Paris photographs.
Montmartre has always been home to the romantic at heart. As immortalized in Moulin Rouge!,at the turn of the 20th century it was filled with Bohemian artists and poets looking to capture the unique spirit of the day. Today, parts of the neighborhood (like the stairs of the Sacré-Coeur) are choked with tourists but you don’t have to wander far along its narrow, cobbled streets to find a quiet spot for two.
In a carriage of the big wheel at the Place de la Concorde
As long as there have been Ferris wheels, there have been couples kissing at the top (and every other stage) of them. In fact, Drew Barrymore’s character in Never Been Kissed (1999) may be the only person not to capitalize on their inherent charm. It’s a particularly romantic ride at Christmas when the twinkling lights of the Champs-Élysées stretch out before you.
The Île Saint-Louis is Paris’ time machine—it will take you back to the 17th century (but without the disease and income inequality). The island was spared from the Second Empire renovations that changed the face of Paris and its winding streets and riverfront paths are a quaint retreat in the center of the city. If you like having a make-out soundtrack, talented buskers can usually be found playing on the Pont Saint-Louis.
Shorter than the Eiffel Tower and, arguably, quite a bit uglier, the Tour Montparnasse nonetheless offers an amazing 360-degree panorama of the city. The added benefit of going up this tower, of course, is that all the other, more attractive monuments will be in your pictures. The newly refurbished terrace also features a champagne bar if you want to make a toast before your special sky-high kiss.
Of all of Paris’ covered passages, the Galerie Vivienne is perhaps the most beautiful. From the intricate mosaic floors to the arched glass ceiling, it is as romantic a shopping street as you are likely to find anywhere in the world. There are a number of cute cafés and bars in which you can easily spend an afternoon gazing longingly into the eyes of your partner.
Back to the river and, in particular, the Square du Vert-Galant. The narrow strip of land in the Seine which points to the sea is a popular spot for watching the boats (and the world) go by. The most romantic spot, surely, is the weeping willow at the very end of the island, under which more than a few lovers have shared a passionate moment or two.
The Canal Saint-Martin runs through one of Paris’ trendiest neighborhoods, filled with cool shops, bars, and restaurants. Even if kissing isn’t at the top of your list of things to do in the city, you should make the time to see it. That being said, there are wooden bridges, benches, and leafy parks along its length that are ideal spots for love-struck couples to cuddle up and share a few intimate moments.
It doesn’t get more romantic than a night at the opera, but you don’t necessarily have to shell out for a ticket. Not only is the Opéra Garnier breathtaking enough to merit taking your loved one in your arms, the steps outside it are usually being played to by local musicians. You’ve got majestic architecture, gold statues, live music, and Paris rushing by in every direction: the perfect combination for a party of two.