There are so many romantic things to do in Paris, simply strolling the magical streets with your amoureux is a treat. The city also has plenty of opportunities for adventure and originality. Here are a few fun ideas to inject a little quirkiness to your Parisian date night, whether it’s your first or five hundredth date.
Artsy Atelier There are so many wonderful museums and galleries in Paris, it’s hard to choose the best one for an artsy date with your chéri(e). Dig a little deeper and get to know the soul of an artist by stopping by one of the lesser-known artist studio museums. There are around a dozen in Paris, but the Musée Gustave-Moreau and the Musée Eugène Delacroix are truly special. The mere building of the Gustave Moreau museum is worth the detour; a 19th century hotel particulier mansion.
Each floor gives you a glimpse into a different aspect of this eccentric artist’s mind and way of life. The second floor, where visitors can pull open drawers and cabinets to reveal drawings and other treasures of the quirky symbolist artist, is especially fun. The Delacroix Studio is situated in what might be the prettiest square of Paris, on rue Furstenberg in the 6th arrondissement. The museum is a small artistic oasis tucked into the corner of the square. In addition to discovering more about the incredible painter of Liberty Leading the People, there is also a lovely garden where you can have a little lovers’ moment after touring the museum.
Curious Cruising We’ve all seen the massive tourist boats chugging up and down the Seine, but there is an alternative cruise option in Paris that runs along the canals in the east of the city. Canauxrama offers daily or bi-daily 2.5 hr tours from the Bassin de la Villette at the Canal de l’Ourcq, down the Canal St Martin… and then (the coolest part), through the underground portion of the waterway from République to Bastille.
Relive the movies Amélie and Hotel du Nord as you pass through the canal’s intricate gate system, learn bizarre facts about the nearby St. Louis Hospital and the guillotine… And brace yourselves for the tunnel passage, a romantic (if somewhat dark) moment perfect for an original first kiss.
Flea Market Five-Euro Finds
The Flea Market at the Porte de Vanves, held every Saturday and Sunday mornings 7 am – 2 pm, is a treasure trove of oddball finds. Challenge your date-mate to seek out the best gift for the other while spending no more than five euros. A creative adventure that might lead to acquiring an Art Deco vase, an Egyptian doll or vintage post card collection.
Perdez-Vous, Get Lost Since it first opened over 100 years ago, the Paris metro system has extended to just over 300 metro stations in Paris. Have you been to all of them? Together with your amoureux, close your eyes and pick a station at random. Bring a guidebook if you can (or a collection of guided walks like City Walks) and see what you discover. You might come across Art Nouveau palaces, quaint hidden passages, and certainly the birthplaces or former homes of scores of French people you’ve never heard of… I might recommend the more cautious stay in arrondissements 1-15, but the 18th-20th are great for the more adventures street-art seekers.
Just for Rires Want to see if Monsieur Parfait has a good sense of humor or test Mlle Magnifique’s English skills? Head to the SoGymnase Comedy Club, which is fast becoming the place to go for great stand-up comedy in English.
With a variety of shows several nights of the week — from Girls Gone Funny to the Great British / American Comedy night, and from New Yorker Sebastian Marx’s one-man show to “French Fried Fridays”– your night will be filled with laughter and a little taste of home. The venue is located on the 4th floor of the spectacular early 19th century Theatre du Gymnase. Before or after the show stop for a drink at its second floor bar, one of the best hidden gems in Paris.