By Colette Davidson
Paris is unequivocally one of the world’s most romantic cities. Its striking monuments and spectacular Seine River make it the perfect Valentine’s Day destination. But if you’re a single traveler, you’re probably wanting to steer clear of anything lovey-dovey. Never fear – despite Paris’s reputation for all things amour, there are plenty of options for a fabulous February 14 if you’re here unaccompanied.
Who holds the key to your heart? Paris, of course!
St Christopher’s Inn Canal
The key to a good time in Paris as a single traveler over the Valentine’s Day period is staying at the right hotel. This international hostel sits on the hip Canal Saint-Martin, and offers a bar, nightclub and over 300 beds. You’re sure to meet other singles or groups you can join to tour the city.
159 Rue de Crimée, 75019
01 40 34 34 40
Dance the Night Away at Rosa Bonheur
Nestled within the Buttes Chaumont Park in the northeast of the city, this happening bar is getting trendier by the minute. Stop by during the day for a coffee as you overlook the park, and take advantage of the large picnic tables to strike up a conversation with fellow customers. In the early evening, there are platters of meat and cheese to sample, until the bar transforms into a nightclub atmosphere in the evening hours – complete with a pole to dance on. With its relaxed, neighborhood vibe, Rosa Bonheur is a great place to meet people if the mood strikes you, or to dance the night away solo if your heart so desires.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont: 2 allée de la Cascade, 75019
Metro: Botzaris ou Jourdain
Open Thursday to Sunday, noon to midnight
Why should couples have all the fun on Valentine’s Day? Grab a fellow traveler or make a special reservation just for you at Lido, home to French can-can and all things extravagant. Slightly less pricey than the Moulin Rouge, Lido offers an evening of dancing, over-the-top costumes and a meal of fois gras, champagne, steak and chocolat fondant. Once the lights dim, it won’t matter if you’re single or coupled up, and the show is sure to have you bounding giddily out of the theater at the end of the night. [Book here]
Valentine’s Day Dinner & Show – 7pm: €185
Shop Til you Drop
If you’re feeling the least bit sorry for yourself on Valentine’s Day, a little retail therapy is sure to do the trick. Head to the Opera district, where major department stores like Printemps and Galeries Lafayette offer a luxury shopping experience. If you’re not able to justify the purchase of a Louis Vuitton purse, there’s something in this shopping district for every budget. Try Uniclo for trendy, inexpensive items.
Printemps: 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 01 42 82 50 00
Galeries Lafayette: 40 Boulevard Haussmann 75009 01 42 82 34 56
Uniqlo: 17, rue Scribe 75009 01 58 18 30 55
Metro: Opera, Chausée d’Antin
Racing for Love
If you’re looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day without worrying about your relationship status, head to this annual race at the Parc de la Villette in the northeast of the city. Runners need not be coupled up to race, but organizers can help with finding a partner if need be. The course is 10km for singles and 6km for couples – and couples must finish together. This year’s event is already full, but the race is a great way to spend your Valentine’s Day morning – with runners decked out in flamboyant pink and red outfits.
Depart: 10:30am at Parc de la Villette
Metro: Porte de Pantin