It’s reputed to be the most romantic day of the year, so what better way to spend it than exploring with a loved one? Whilst Paris holds claim to the nickname, the “City of Love”, the romance of New York City is undeniable, and both cities are places I turn to when I’m in the mood for love and adventure. Whether you’re looking for love, taking a couple’s trip or just treating yourself to a city break, both Paris and New York are full of possibilities. But which is my favourite for a romantic break this Valentine’s Day?
Scenery/ Romantic Activities
Both New York and Paris have beautiful skylines upon which I could gaze for hours. In New York, the view from the top of the Empire State Building is sure to dazzle. Meanwhile in Paris, a sunset seen from the top of the Eiffel Tower is simply unbeatable.
In the middle of all that hustle and bustle is the enormous and tranquil green space of Central Park. With open spaces, and big shady trees it’s the perfect spot for a peaceful stroll followed by a romantic picnic. Meanwhile, the Jardins du Trocadéro facing the Eiffel Tower, is an equally picturesque setting for a break.
Visit The Pont Des Artes in Paris, more famously known as the Padlock Bridge and admire the incredible amount of lover’s padlocks that line the bridge. So many that, to save it from collapsing, you won’t be able to add your own. In New York, take a walk along the Highline, an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park and green space on Manhattan’s West Side.
Both Paris and New York have so much to offer in terms of setting and experience. Whilst New York is exciting, fast paced, and modern, Paris is more historic and nostalgic. It really depends on the kind of break you want in this round, but for me they score equally here with 9/10. I love the energy and passion of New York City as much as the cool atmosphere of Paris.
Food and restaurants
The French are known for their food, but New York’s diverse and impressive food scene puts up a worthy challenge. Both cities have an exciting and varied food scene, with plenty of eateries to impress. Whether it’s candlelit intimacy or grand luxury, both cities have a restaurant for every kind of evening.
From quaint cafes and patisseries, alfresco restaurants in cobbled courtyards, to sultry evening spots, Paris’s food scene is “ultra romantique”. Treat yourself to something special at Benoit, a renowned bistro supervised by Alain Ducasse. French cuisine is served with grandeur at the only bistro in France to claim a Michelin Star.
Enjoy an amazing fine dining experience amongst beautifully rustic interiors at Septime, where exquisite food sits alongside a young and vibrant character. Try the Carte Blanche menu chosen by the chef and leave it to the expert or go à la carte and order a bottle of fabulous French wine.
Meanwhile the food scene in New York is innovative, global and creative, and the city is home to a number of world-renowned chefs. It really is the place for an impressive meal, and with restaurants opening every week you’re always spoilt for choice.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea, is one of New York’s most popular romantic restaurants, set in a historic 1767 carriage house in the West Village. Find candlelit tables, a cosy fireplace, and live piano music here alongside exquisite prix fixe menus.
Both Paris and New York have an extensive list of romantic restaurants, and whilst Paris is the heart of classic cuisine, New York is the home of food innovation. For me New York wins this round with 10/10 for its variety, and Paris close behind with 9/10.
A romantic celebration calls for extending your evening late into the night, and both Paris and New York have plenty of night-time options for post-romantic dinner fun. From wine bars and speakeasies to cabarets and clubs, both cities have an array of evening options for every kind of night.
Paris’s nightlife scene is best for slow and sultry, with candlelit wine bars, and jazzy speakeasies aplenty. Enjoy an intimate after-dinner tipple before heading back to your hotel, at Au Chat Noir in the Oberkampf district. This cosy but edgy café turns into a wine and cocktail bar after dark. For extra grandeur, why not dress to impress and visit the Hemmingway Bar at the Ritz?
New York is the winner of this round for its eclectic night-time options, but Paris’s evening scene is sumptuous and sultry. New York scores 10/10 and Paris 9/10.
Both Paris and New York have a spectacular range of accommodation options from luxury hotels to boutique lodgings. For romance from morning to night, lots of hotels even have Valentine’s Day packages.
Paris is unsurprisingly full of luxury and comfortable hotels. For peace and privacy in a central location, Le Pavillon de la Reine is located off the Place des Vosges, in the centre of the Marais district, and sits in its own private courtyard. La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa is an ultra-luxe option, located opposite the Champs-Élysées. For enviable views of the Eiffel Tower, book a room at the Shangri-La.
Both cities come out equal in this round with a score of 9/10. They both host luxurious, extravagant and sensual hotels for every kind of lover.
So which city is best for a romantic break this Valentine’s Day? When it comes to numbers, New York scores higher with 9.5, but Paris is right behind it with a final score of 9/10. It’s clear that both these cities are fabulous destinations for a romantic break, but my top choice this time has to be New York. Paris wins at love far too often! However, you can’t deny that the City of Love lives up to its name. Whichever way you wish to mark the day; with a romantic break or simply a gesture of self-love, I hope you enjoy the spirit of Valentine’s Day!