Parisian Living

A Single’s Guide to Surviving Paris on Valentine’s Day

by Jessica Johnston

Valentine’s Day may just be the most divisive holiday out there. While many of those with an amoureux may love the opportunity to profess their love in person (and usually on Instagram too), it can be a tough day for those who recently went through a breakup, are spending yet another Valentine’s Day alone, or just plain don’t care about a seemingly arbitrary capitalist holiday. 

Left: A woman sits at a table in a large hotel room. The table has a white table cloth and a variety of breakfast foods and coffees resting on top. The woman has a towel on her head and is wearing under eye masks. Right: A wine glass with water in it, a latte in a coffee mug with whipped cream on top, and a chocolate millefeuille on a plate are overlaid on a marble table top. The mug and plate both read “Angelina Paris”.
Top Left: deci_dela / Right: rapujacepierogi
Above Left: lemeuriceparis / Right: Jordan Plihal

Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a cynic, here are six things you can do to make Valentine’s Day suck less: 

1. Be your own Valentine

I know, I know. It sounds cheesy. But if you’re the kind of person who has a lot of love to give with no one to give it to, give it to yourself! Buy yourself the flowers and chocolate (though maybe wait for the after-Valentine’s-Day sales on the 15th instead), treat yourself to shopping in the Marais, binge watch a new show on Netflix, or have your own spa day at home. If you find yourself longing for a gift or gesture from someone else, take control of the situation and do it yourself! 

Left: A photo of street art in Paris that reads “Il n’y a qu’un état: l’amour. Qu’une planète: la vie.” In the centre of the art, there is a large orange circle, with a red heart within. Right: White roses wrapped in light pink paper are held in front of a typical Parisian building, with the cobblestone road visible.
Left: les_mots_en_baluchon / Right: sharonbrand

2. Show love to your friends

Who said you can only celebrate Valentine’s Day if you have a significant other? More often than not, it’s the support from my friends that gets me through tough days. On a holiday that focuses so much on romantic love, why not share the platonic love for your girlfriends? 

Thanks to Parks & Recreation, Galentine’s Day has become an unofficial holiday the day before Valentine’s Day to celebrate your girlfriends. Host an apéro filled with wine, cheese, and lots of chocolate to celebrate the love for the amazing women (and men!) in your life (Covid-19 permitting, of course).

3. Have a romantic movie marathon

Can’t make it to Paris this year? As the reigning City of Love, there are a plethora of romantic films set here in Paris. “Amélie”(2001), “Midnight in Paris”(2011), “LOL”(2008), “Paris, je t’aime” (2006), and many many more will have you in your feels and longing for your next trip to Paris. 

Left: The interior of Café des Deux Moulins in Paris. The restaurant is empty, with a few square tables and simple chairs. There is a large mirror across the walls, with a photo of Amélie from the movie of the same title. Right: The side of a red mug and saucer, filled with a coffee beverage. On the saucer, there is a packet of sugar visible in the background, and a small square wrapped chocolate that reads “Chocolat Noir”.
Left: Café des Deux Moulins, Diogo Fagundes / Right: Jenn Kosar

4. Go see a psychic 

Wondering when it’s your turn to fall madly in love or what the next few years will hold for you? Write down a few questions and consult with a psychic! At the very least, you’ll leave with a memorable Valentine’s Day story. 

Don’t believe in psychics? Try out astrology apps like Co-Star and The Pattern. They use your full birth chart rather than just your sun sign, which gives a more accurate representation of your love life. Get a few friends to download the apps as well and you can compare your personality traits and compatibility. 

5. Make your own Valentine’s Day cards

Channel your elementary school days and write cards to your loved ones. In a year where distance has kept us apart from family and friends, the art of a handwritten letter will surely be appreciated. Let your loved ones know how much you care about them, today and every day by sending your own Valentine’s Day cards.

Left: A woman’s hand holds out an assortment of handmade Valentine’s Day cards, all pink and white, with gold details. Some of them read “Love” or “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Right: Two women sit on a ledge, with the Eiffel Tower and a typical Parisian building behind them. One woman has short brown hair and is wearing a light blue beret, while the other has long blonde hair and is wearing an orange-brown beret. They are both smiling at looking towards one another.
Left: misselaini / Right: bdebetcher

6. See the sights in Paris

While much of Paris may still be shut down, the spirit of love is still alive in the city. Take a walk through some of Paris’ most romantic landmarks like Jardin des Tuileries, Montmartre’s Mur des je t’aime, Pont des Arts, and finish off the day by watching the sunset by the Seine. There really is nothing more beautiful than watching the sunset over the Eiffel Tower! 

Left: Two woman sit in the Jardin des Tuileries with their backs facing the camera. They are sitting in green chairs, both appearing relaxed in demeanor. In front of them, there is a large fountain, with statues and trees pictured in the background as the sun sets. Right: A woman is walking down a typical Parisian street with her back facing the camera, and the Eiffel Tower in walking distance ahead of her. She has dark blonde hair, with a red and white spotted ribbon wrapped around her hair in a ponytail. She’s carrying a light beige tote bag with a baguette sticking out at the back.
Left: Jardin des Tuileries, deci_dela / Right: rapujacepierogi

Whether you’re spending the day alone, with your significant other, or with friends and family, make sure to send love to someone in your life. The lingering effects of lockdown and curfew might still be hard on loved ones, so this year is about spreading the love more than ever. What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? We’d love to hear your ideas below!

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Written by Jessica Johnston for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates. 

Written By

Jessica Johnston

Jessica is from Toronto, Canada, where she studied communication and public relations at Ryerson University, and worked in internal communications. She moved in Paris in the summer of 2020 after quitting her corporate job in the pursuit of the Parisian lifestyle. She loves trying new things, discovering new cultures, and connecting with people. In her free time, you can find her trying new restaurants, browsing the skincare section in pharmacies, and spending time in parks across Paris. View Jessica Johnston's Website

2 comments on “A Single’s Guide to Surviving Paris on Valentine’s Day

Great article! Paris is lovely, whether you’re single or attached. Lots of good ideas here.

Merci, and agreed! Hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day 🙂

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