L'Amour de Paris || Romantic Parisian Portraits in the City of Love » The #1 resource for lovers in Paris! Featuring travel tips, hotel and restaurant recommendations, suggested tours and activities, as well as romantic portraits of couples in the City of Love.

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Sightseeing Destinations in Paris

Everyone knows the world-famous Paris landmarks – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Champs Elysees – but there is so much to Paris beyond that! Here are some of my favorite lesser-known attractions and activities in this beautiful city.

Paris Attractions

Opera Garnier – This is easily my favorite attraction in Paris, but so few people even know about it, let alone visit it!  Lovers of architecture will appreciate the stunning interiors, and fans of literature or theater will appreciate that this is the home of the Phantom of the Opera (his box, Number 5, even has a special plaque declaring its owner).  If you’re a history buff, make sure to take the guided tour available in English Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM.  There are so many interesting stories and French history tied into the building that will give you an even greater appreciation of all this lovely building has to offer.  Especially don’t miss the grand hallway, which in my opinion is even prettier (and certainly far less crowded) than the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
Metro: Opera

Galeries Lafayette – Paris’ largest and most beautiful department store (located behind Opera Garnier) offers a lot more than just shopping.  It’s worth visiting just to see the beautiful interior atrium, which is surrounded by gilded gold balconies and topped with a stained glass dome.  You can also get some Pierre Hermes macarons by the massive underground shoe department, sip some traditional French-style hot chocolate at the famous Angelina restaurant on the 1st floor, grab some souvenirs on the 6th floor, and see the most beautiful view of Paris’ skyline on the rooftop terrace.  Some of my favorite photos (like these and these) have been taken from that terrace. There is also a small high-end cafe where you can grab a glass of champagne or a light snack or a kiosk where you can grab a cup of coffee or some ice cream (there’s also a Starbucks and a McDonalds a few floors down where you can grab something to go and enjoy it on the roof).
Metro: Chaussee d’Antin-Lafayette or Havre-Caumartin

Pont Alexandre III – The bridge, a popular location for movies and TV shows, is far and away Paris’ most beautiful bridge.  It is lined with massive wrought iron lampposts with huge globes that light up at sunset, making for incredible photos, and has a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower.  Below the bridge, on the edges of the Seine, there are a number of outdoor bars and restaurants where the 20something and 30something crowd gathers after work each day to relax (also known as Les Berges).  There are beanbags, benches, and lawn chairs available to recline in, and you can either order something from one of the businesses there or bring your own wine and snacks to save a little money.  This is my favorite place to be in the evenings around sunset after a long day of walking around – the view is breathtaking and the people watching is fantastic.
Metro: Invalides

Les Invalides – The complex at Invalides has a number of interesting and diverse attractions that will appeal to a variety of types.  The huge gold dome that this area is famous for is the top of Napoleon’s Tomb, the final resting place of the famous Napoleon Bonaparte.  Though it sounds morbid, it’s actually quite beautiful to see and offers some interesting historical insights.  The complex also houses the Army Museum, which has weapons, armor, and other war-related paraphernalia dating back many many centuries.  There is a really fascinating wing dedicated to the World Wars that I found especially interesting, and many placards and videos are offered in English.  The park in front of Invalides is a very popular place for picnics (there are several bakeries and take-away food shops located on the streets around the park), and a great place to kick back and rest your feet for awhile.  On the back side of the complex, the Rodin Museum has a truly incredible sculpture garden and is a must-see on Wednesday nights when the museum is open until 8:45 PM if you are here in the fall or spring when the sunset is earlier in the evening.
Metro (multiple options): Invalides for the park, La Tour-Maubourg or Varenne for the Army Museum, Varenne for the Rodin Museum

Le Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen – The Marche aux Puces is the largest flea market in Europe, and in fact the term “flea market” comes from this very institution.  This massive market is full of everything from vintage jewelry to couture consignment handbags and clothes to artwork to furniture to knick-knacks and everything in between.  Every time I venture out to the market I find something beautiful and unexpected – in my last few trips I’ve nabbed a Victorian-era sterling silver sewing ket, a heliograph printing of Paris during the 1889 World’s Fair, a variety pack of Limoges handpainted plates, and a pristine Hermes scarf.  For more information see this blog post.
Metro: Porte de Clignacourt

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Nighttime Paris Portraits

Ahhh, Paris.. It’s not called the City of Lights for nothing.  The story goes that Paris was originally called the “City of Light” because of its prominent role during the Enlightenment and its history as a haven for great thinkers and philosophers, and that the nickname grew even more well known when it became the first city to have gas-lit streetlamps built on every street.  Now, Paris’ famous nickname evokes for most people the beautiful lights illuminating all of the landmarks and buildings and bridges and roads all across the city.  Knowing this, Jennifer & John asked me to change up my normal structure and do a session with them entirely at night.  Although I’ve taken a number of nighttime portraits to end sessions before, I had never done a photo session 100% after sunset.  With lights in hand and a lighting assistant to help us, we set out at 10 PM to discover the other side of this lovely city.  Here are some of my favorites from their shoot:

Nighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel TowerNighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel TowerNighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel TowerNighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel TowerNighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel TowerNighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel Tower
Nighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel TowerNighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel TowerNighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel TowerNighttime portrait session in Paris at the Eiffel Tower

 

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Jordan - These are GORGEOUS!! The lighting is perfect!

Edgar Ruano - I wonder what´s the price for a sesión like the: Nighttime Paris Portraits.

How long does it takes to take the pictures?

Marissa - Wow, these are stunning! I love seeing night sessions from photographers

stacy - You can find all kinds of information about my portrait sessions here: http://lamourdeparis.com/pricing-and-faq/

Houseboats on the Seine River

Every time I walk along the Seine River, I see the boats lining the edge of the water, bobbing up and down with the gentle waves, and I can’t help but wonder about the people who own and inhabit them.  What kind of amazing, interesting person calls a Seine riverboat home?  What is their daily life like?  What paths did their lives take to get them here?  One of these days, I hope to meet one of these mysterious people.  Until then, I’ll have to satisfy myself being a pretender, and renting out one of the houseboats for a little staycation now and then, if only to wake up to the relaxing sounds of water lapping up against boat walls and the Eiffel Tower hovering above.

House boats on the Seine River in ParisHouse boats on the Seine River in ParisHouse boats on the Seine River in ParisHouse boats on the Seine River in ParisHouse boats on the Seine River in ParisHouse boats on the Seine River in ParisHouse boats on the Seine River in ParisHouse boats on the Seine River in ParisHouse boats on the Seine River in Paris

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Jordan - I love your scenery pictures; they’re beautiful! What lens do you use?!

stacy - I use tons of different lenses, but my very favorite is the Canon 50mm 1.2L

Surprise Proposal at Chateau de Versailles

This is by far one of the coolest stories I have ever come across.  Zeshan, master planner that he is, created one of the most intricate, amazing, unique proposal plans that any guy has ever put together to surprise the love of his life, Annie.  On the morning of April 1, a few days before her birthday, Zeshan surprised Annie with tickets to London – for THAT afternoon!  He had previously contacted her workplace and secured time off of work for her, so all Annie had to do was pack.  After being assured it was not an April Fools joke, Annie packed her bags and the two of them headed off to London that same day!  After a few wonderful days in London, he surprised her again, this time with tickets to Paris!  Once in Paris, he surprised her yet again with a “portrait session”  with yours truly at Versailles.  Annie was convinced that this was all an elaborate birthday gift, so she was more than happy to go along with the plan, not realizing that he had one last (very very sparkly) surprise left for her…

Surprise proposal at Versailles in ParisSurprise proposal at Versailles in ParisSurprise proposal at Versailles in ParisSurprise proposal at Versailles in ParisSurprise proposal at Versailles in Paris

Here we go!!!

Surprise proposal at Versailles in ParisSurprise proposal at Versailles in ParisSurprise proposal at Versailles in Paris

Surprise proposal at Versailles in Paris

It took quite awhile for Annie to stop grinning from ear to ear – and who can blame her with a stunner like this on her hand!

Surprise proposal at Versailles in Paris

Surprise proposal at Versailles in ParisSurprise proposal at Versailles in Paris

Way to go Zeshan – thank you so much for letting me be a part of your amazing plan!

Guys, if you’re looking to plan an extra special proposal for your sweetheart in Paris, let me know – we have all kinds of tips and suggestions for proposal spots to help ease the process for you!

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Paris’ Prettiest Cafe

Ah, Le Nemours.  Paris’ prettiest cafe, conveniently located just beside the Louvre, guarding the pathways and gardens of the Palais Royal.  In the summer this place is packed with tourists and locals alike, both on the stunning column-lined terrace and in the equally beautiful and quintessentially French interior.  I was dubious about the quality of their food – any cafe this cute is usually horrendously bad – but I have to say, the delicious chevre sandwich I had here was one of my all time favorites.  It’s a pretty picture-perfect place to grab a midday snack and glass of wine in between a long day of museums and shopping in the 1st arrondissement.

Paris cafe Le Nemours

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