With the annual hearts and flowers fanfare of Valentine’s Day comes the focus on all the typical romantic destinations and Paris regularly tops the polls as the favourite place to enjoy a first date, propose or have a romantic weekend away.
But if cheesy photos in front of the Eiffel Tower really aren’t your bag, then our guide uncovers an alternative way to enjoy the French capital as a couple – without all the clichés.
Wine and dine
Step away from the traditional Parisian bistros for your romantic meal and search for hidden gems off the beaten track. Named by Time Out Paris as one of the city’s best 50 restaurants, ‘Miroir’ on Rue des Martyrs gives patrons the chance to enjoy an authentic French meal away from all the typical tourist trappings.
In addition to the restaurant, Miroir also has a wine cellar (Cave du Miroir) out front which serves wine and snacks – perfect if you miss the restaurant’s opening times at lunch and dinner.
Of course, if you don’t fancy buying your tipple over the counter then you can always take a trip to the Champagne province with your loved one to tour the Moet & Chandon winery; picking up a fresh bottle of your favourite vintage to enjoy back at your campsite.
Art and entertainment
In between enjoying Parisian food and drink, you can explore some of the lesser-known, non-clichéd attractions of Paris. Espace Dali Montmarte is a great alternative to the Louvre, displaying lesser known artworks in an underground setting while L’Eglise Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois is a hidden gothic church often overlooked in favour of the more widely known Notre Dame.
For evening entertainment, avoid the traditional theatres and performances such as Les Miserables and Moulin Rouge at Paris’ famous venues and sample something a little riskier instead. Perfect for adventurous couples, Zizi Sexuel l’expo offers a humourous look at sex while the Museum of Erotic Art is perfect for a unique form of art appreciation.
If you want your romantic trip away to include a tour of the city, but without the cliché of cruising the Seine or ascending the Eiffel Tower, then Fat Tire Bike Tours are ideal. Use pedal power to glide round the city for a hands-on view of all things Parisian.
If this isn’t enough, then why not embrace your inner Frenchman with a trip to an authentic market? Travelling to Marché Rue Cler won’t take long but will offer a whole new experience to that of the city centre. Immerse yourself in everyday French life and discover the real romance that lies beneath the city’s clichéd exterior.
Combining camping with a trip to Paris
Canvas Holidays offers two campsites within easy reach of Paris. Visit Camping in Paris for all the information.