What not to do in Paris on Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2024

If you search the Internet for things to do on international couple’s day, you’ll probably find these very things mentioned. Trust us, it’s almost a guarantee of a subpar time. Here’s why, and a suggestion for what you could do instead.

Diners on Valentine's Day in a Japanese restaurant in Paris.

Don’t: go to a restaurant

After New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day is probably the biggest cash cow for the restaurant industry. Instead of a la carte, many serve a special menu that costs far more than on any other day, and probably isn’t even up to the restaurant’s standards because it’s a high-volume night with a menu the line has never cooked before.

Don’t: climb up the Eiffel Tower

Unless you enjoy waiting an hour in the cold just to spend more time in the cold by climbing the stairs to get a view of endless gray. If you’re particularly lucky, it will start to drizzle.

The Eiffel Tower by night.

Don’t: visit the Mur des Je t’aime

The artistically designed love wall features more than 300 variations of the three magic words in 250 languages. It was created in 2000 by French singer Frédéric Baron. As you can imagine, it has become a major tourist attraction, and thus a completely unromantic experience, as you basically just stare at other couples posing for photos and covering the artwork with their big heads. 

Also, it’s currently closed to the public, so don’t even bother.

A cruise ship on the Seine on Valentine's evening with its colorful lights reflecting on the water.

Don’t: go on a dinner cruise

Dinner cruises on the Seine are probably at the top of most tourists’ lists. While they’re not our cup of tea personally (just seems like a waste of a meal that could be spent in a more exciting restaurant with actual locals instead of fellow tourists), we can at least understand the charm of it – in the summer. But in February?! 

If you must spend your night on a boat out on the cold water, make sure you book one of the more expensive cruises, or you risk finding yourself with an open deck.

Don’t: attach a love lock

A couple holds each other tightly in front of a love lock clad gate in Montmartre.

Now that it has become impossible to hang them on the Pont des Arts (they were removed for safety reasons almost ten years ago because their accumulated weight far exceeded the allowable limit), people have instead started hanging their padlocks on the fences in front of the Sacré Coeur.

If you were planning to do the same, we’ll stop you right there. The city regularly removes the padlocks, so the symbols of eternal love end up in the trash, which at best is a waste of resources, money and time, and at worst is a bad omen.

Do this instead: ‘En amour’ at the Philharmonie de Paris

Visitors of the "En amour" experience at the Philharmonie in Paris are sitting on the floor, taking in the visuals and music.

So, what can you do besides locking yourself in your apartment/hotel room and waiting for the day to pass? If you want something about love that is completely free of kitsch and cliché, visit the immersive, interactive experience called ‘En amour’ at the Philharmonie de Paris.

You’ll find yourself in a collective relationship with a room. Does that sound trippy? Definitely, but it’s actually an impressive hybrid of live performance and visual art installation with an original sound experience around the theme of love and separation. The image and the music are synesthetically linked, so that you can see the music and hear the image.

Wear your best socks, as you will have to leave your shoes at the door. If you can’t make it on Valentine’s, there’s still time to see it through August 25.

Want a more intimate experience?

Paris is not only romantic on Valentine’s Day. We’d even argue that it’s more romantic any other day of the year. As long as you choose a personalized, intimate experience. 

If you need a little help finding the right things to do with your partner at any time of the year (and that you won’t be sharing with a million and a half other tourists), you’ll find a whole two days planned out for you in our Le Romantic Weekend guide

Or if you want the experience to be 100% tailored to your tastes and interests, get your personalized guide and fall in love with a side of Paris you never knew.