In this series we will look at some of the most romantic cities in the world, and how they earned the title. From Paris to Marrakech, love-locks to gondolas - love makes the world go round, and we're going round the world looking for love. There really was no other place we could begin this look into love, than the original City of love itself, Paris.
Rail holidays to Paris are easier than ever, and whether you're thinking of a daytrip, or a longer stay, Paris holidays by train are undoubtedly one of the most romantic trips for couples. While the Eiffel Tower is undeniably one of the most famous attractions, with around 6.9 million visitors every year a quiet romantic moment could be hard to come by. With this in mind we've focused on the more tranquil, lesser known beauty spots in the city of romance.
Not too far from the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement of northeast Paris, is one of the city's best kept secrets. Begin at the base of Butte Bergeyre and either follow the single winding road leading up, or climb the three staircases. When you reach the top you are greeted by a spectacular view over Montmartre, and one of Paris' last remaining vineyards. With a modest harvest, producing around one hundred and thirty 50cl bottles each year, the wine doesn't go on sale and only a lucky few get to try the produce. With the beautiful views over the city, this is the perfect place to open a bottle of wine and watch the sunset on La Ville-Lumiere.
Located in the neighbourhood of 'New Athens', in the past this Paris townhouse has played host to the likes of Delacroix, Rossini, Chopin and Gounod. These days it is the Museum of the Romantics in the 9th arrondissement at the foot of the Montmartre hill. Open daily except Mondays, the museum is a pretty place to spend the morning, but the jewel in the crown is the garden. The glass-house, formerly a painter's studio, is now a quaint little tea room. Spend the afternoon with your chéri surrounded by lilacs, wisteria and bell flowers in this little slice of paradise in Paris.
Abandoned in 1934, lovers can spend a sunny afternoon strolling along the train tracks of the Petite Ceinture, or 'Little Belt' railroad running through the centre of Paris. Built in 1862, the line encircles the boundary of the city as it was during the reign of Napoleon III. Walking along the tracks you will come across 'La Recyclerie' bar, a beautiful spot set in one of the old stations, Gare Ornano. At times the tracks rise high above street level, and at others, deep below. The railroad is almost 20 miles long and, wandering along the overgrown tracks, it's almost possible to hear the echoes of the steam locomotives that used to run along them. The line feels almost separate from the city of Paris, and provides an oasis of calm from the bustle of city life. This walk is a must for those interested in rail holidays to France, with the perfect mix of romance and history.
Renowned as the romantic capital of France, Paris is alive with plenty to see, do, eat and indulge in. Visit Paris with Great Rail Journeys, and fall in love all over again.