Valentine’s Day in the City of Love can be pretty simple: wine, chocolates, bisous. But if you’re keen on impressing a date without gazing at the Eiffel Tower or affixing a Love Lock to a fence somewhere (both classic, clichéd, and a structural nightmare, ultimately), try out one of these for a unique and romantic rendezvous.
Fondue & Baby-Bottle Wine – Tucked into the winding streets of Montmartre, Le Refuge des Fondus offers a buzzing atmosphere and a date night guaranteed to spark some laughs and conversation. For 21 euros, you’ll be served a kir and appetizer plate to start, a baby bottle filled with wine (yes, rubber top and all) and a fondue pot with either cheese (paired with bread chunks) or boiling oil (paired with meats for you to cook). It’ll make you and your date appear equal parts DIY and helpless—stirring your own cheese or cooking your own beef while taking swigs from a baby bottle. If the date goes well, mosey over to the Love Wall for some snapshots, possibly as cheesy as the fondue you just devoured.
17 rue des Trois Frères, Paris 18th
Métro Abbesses, Anvers
+33 01 42552265
Open 7pm-2am daily.
Paddleboat Date – For a real Notebook-esque date, rent a paddleboat at Bois de Boulogne for €10/hour. Bring bagged lunches and some tunes, and set sail on the perfect Valentine’s Day date for outdoorsy folk.
Place de Colombie
Métro La Muette, RER Avenue Henri Martin
+33 01 53928282
Cooking Classes – Combine date night with a cooking class in Paris, and you’re sure to have a chart-topping evening to rival all prior Valentine’s Days. There’s a handful of classes to choose from, including learning to make French sauces, quiches, chocolates and macarons, croissants and breakfast pastries, as well as French baguettes and boulangerie items.
80 Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris 4th
Métro Pont Marie, Hôtel de Ville
+33 01 40517818
Rooftop Dinner & Drinks – An open-air rooftop date in Paris is sure to impress. Le Perchoir and Les Ombres both deliver charming views of the city and memorable menu items. Share a bottle of champagne at Le Perchoir and try the scallops smothered in ginger-lemon cream at Les Ombres. Stunning views, satisfied belly, and happy date.
14 rue Crespin Du Gast, Paris 11th
Métro Ménilmontant, Rue Saint-Maur
+33 01 48061848
Open 6pm-2am Tuesday through Friday, 4pm-2am Saturday.
27 quai Branly, Paris 7th
Métro Alma-Marceau, RER Pont de l’Alma
+33 01 47536800
Open 12-2:15pm and 7-9:30pm daily.
Dance Lessons – Loosen up and learn some sweet moves with your valentine—schedule a lesson at the Centre du Dance du Marais in the 4th arrondissement. You’ll have about 20 genres to get your groove on, from ballroom and flamenco to tango and salsa.
41 rue du Temple, Paris 4th
Métro Hôtel de Ville, Rambuteau
+33 01 42775819
Restaurant Boat on the Seine – Reserve a spot on Le Calife for a scenic, two-hour cruise and dinner on the water. You’ll depart from Port des Saints-Pères and have the option (if weather permits) of dining on one of two terrace decks.
3 quai Malaquais, Paris 6th
Métro Pont Neuf, Saint-Germain-des-Près
+33 01 43545004
Open 10:30am-7pm daily.
It’s hard to go wrong pinpointing a Valentine’s Day spot in Paris—a simple stroll along the Seine or a pause at a crepe kiosk can fully animate the evening—but plan ahead with one of these, and perhaps your valentine will say “oui” to a second date.