I can tell you from personal experience that Paris is, without a doubt, the most romantic place in the world to ask THE question. Several years ago, with the Eiffel Tower sparkling overhead, my then-boyfriend surprised me with those four special words – “Will You Marry Me?” Now I live steps away from that spot, I pass it on an almost daily basis, and I have seen countless proposals in that exact same fashion, and the magic and luster of it hasn’t worn off one bit. There’s something so special about having that moment, the one that a girl dreams of for her entire life, in the City of Love. It’s a moment you’ll both remember forever, and every time you come back to the city, you’ll remember it as one of the happiest experiences you’ve ever had. If you’re considering proposing, here are a few great locations to choose from:
This area, located just below the traditional Trocadero viewing platform, has the same great view of the Tower without the hordes of tourists to spoil the moment. If you want to do a picnic proposal, choose the grassy hills on either side of the fountain, or if you want a more traditional spot, go for dead center, just behind the canon fountains. We recommend a morning session, when the crowds haven’t yet gathered, or an evening session so you can pop the question on the hour when the Eiffel Tower begins to sparkle.
Pont Bir Hakeim
This is my personal favorite view of the Eiffel Tower, and it’s far more secluded than the more traditional viewing areas on the Champs du Mars or the Trocadeo. From the semi-circle viewing deck in the middle of the bridge, you have a stunning view of the Tower over the Seine River, and you’re almost always guaranteed to have it to yourself. I suggest coming here just after sunset, when the sky is still light blue and the city lights are just starting to flicker on.
Third Floor of the Eiffel Tower
If either of you is afraid of heights, this might not work, but for thrill-seekers and romantics, this spot offers unparalleled views of the city (and a convenient champagne bar for a post-proposal celebration). There are also private rooms available for rent in other sections of the tower, as well as tables at both restaurants on the Tower that you can reserve to pop the question over dessert. Make sure you get reservations in advance, either for the restaurant or for the Tower entrance, so you can skip the line, which is often 1-2 hours long.
If you’d rather keep the moment private and money is no object, consider renting a suite at the luxurious Shangri-La hotel with a balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Hotel staff can set up a small table with champagne, chocolates, and rose petals on the terrace to greet you after a long day of sightseeing. When you finally pop the question, you’ll have the uber-fancy suite all to yourselves to celebrate and enjoy the moment.
Pont Des Arts
The “love lock” tradition is the perfect cover for a proposal. Take your beloved for a stroll throughout the Louvre and act surprised when you emerge from the back courtyard onto the Pont Des Arts bridge. Allow your darling to run her hands along the locks and suggest that you two buy a lock of your own while you’re in town, and then tell her you’ve got a surprise for her – an engraved padlock with engagement ring attached. Just be very certain you handle the lock (and its key) very carefully, as the slats of the bridge have gaps that open onto the river below!
Steps of Montmartre
Although the steps of Montmartre are often busy, at night the crowds recede into the nearby restaurants, and you can find a secluded spot on the balcony or in one of the surrounding parks overlooking the cityscape. With the stars above you, the Sacre Coeur behind you, and an endless view of the city of Paris in front of you, you’ve got the perfect atmosphere for a romantic proposal.
Nearly any girl will squeal with delight at the opportunity to go on a personal shopping spree in the Louis Vuitton boutique on the Champs Elysees. With some prior planning, you can arrange for a personal shopping assistant who will bring your special someone a glass of champagne and personally escort her through the store to pick that one special piece just for her. When your sales associate returns from the stockroom with the item boxed and bagged, ask her to slide it out for one last look, and reveal the engagement ring box hidden inside. You can try similar options at Hermes, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, or whatever designer your darling prefers most.
There are a handful of houseboats available for rent along the Seine through AirBNB and Paris Attitude that offer all the major comforts of a hotel – private bedrooms, full kitchens, internet, phone, TV, even air conditioning and heating. For an unusual proposal, rent one of these houseboats for a night and set up a special floating candlelit dinner. Wait until the Eiffel Tower sparkles on the hour to drop to one knee and pop the question.
Square du Vert-Galant
This tiny park is located on the westernmost tip of the Île-de-la-Cité, the small island in the middle of the Seine River where Notre Dame is located. Accessible by a staircase leading down from the Pont Neuf, there is a paved walkway at the point that gives you a stunning 300 degree view of the Seine and the surrounding city, as well as the Pont Des Arts lock bridge just ahead, under the canopy of a beautiful willow tree.
Disney has several options for those looking to propose at their parks, most of which involve dinner at one of the restaurants on site. Disney costumed characters are available to help out at certain times, and for an extra fee, you may be able to arrange a special pre-opening or after-hours surprise for your loved one. If you’re both Disney fanatics, I recommend popping the question in the midst of the evening fireworks and light show from a secluded area.
If you’ve proposed to your loved in Paris in a unique or special way, tell us your story so we can feature it on L’Amour de Paris!