Thirdeyemom

The Romance of Paris: The Hôtel de Ville

April in Paris is one of those quintessential travel experiences that any travel lover should experience. As springtime hits Paris, this sensationally romantic and beautiful city comes to life. The chairs at the street cafes are full with people, the flowers are blooming leaving a fragrance in the air, and the world of Paris comes to life with an unmatched energy that can’t be found anywhere in the world. In a nutshell, April in Paris is utterly fantastic.

An added bonus of going in April or even early May is that the hordes of tourists haven’t yet arrived. They wait until summer. That means fewer lines, more free seats at the outdoor cafes, and prime people-watching of mostly Parisians.  It also allows for great access to many of Paris’ amazing sites with less hassle and more chance at getting some great photos without having to elbow someone for the shot.

Another lesser known secret about April in Paris is that this time of year epitomizes romance. As the trees begin to bloom and spring is in the air, so is love and romance. Lovers can be seen along the Seine kissing, holding hands or staring admiringly into each others eyes. The romance of Paris is darn right infectious and it is no wonder that Paris is known as one of the most romantic cities in the world. Just as the rebirth of spring fills the air, the rebirth of spring also fills the heart and renews love. I can’t think of a more romantic place to go than to Paris in the spring.

One of the places in Paris that symbolizes romance is The Hôtel de Ville, Paris’ beautiful, ornate city hall. Rebuilt in its present neo-Renaissance style between 1874 and 1882, the Hôtel de Ville is one of Paris’ majestical buildings that screams romance.

It is the beloved Hôtel de Ville where world-renowned French photographer Robert Doisneau took his epic 1950 photograph Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall) of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris after wartime. This photograph became a worldwide bestseller and even I had it hanging inside my dorm room twenty years ago as a student in Paris.

The Hôtel de Ville is a must-see site for its utter beauty. It is centrally located and best of all, to admire the beauty of the building is absolutely free. The Hôtel de Ville is bound to capture your heart and imagination just as it did over sixty years ago for Robert Doisneau and as it did for me as a young, impressionable women in 1993.

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Getting there:  Place de l’Hôtel de Ville is centrally located on the Right Bank of Paris in the 4e arrondissement. Metro: Hôtel de Ville. Once there, explore the lovely area surrounding the Seine moving over to the Notre Dame and Latin Quarter.

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The famous “Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville” posted on my dorm room wall in Paris, circa 1993. I was such a romantic at that age!

Stay tuned…I have much more to share on my trip to the South of France and India. I also just returned from TBEX, a travel bloggers conference in Toronto, which was amazing. More coming soon!

20 comments

    • Yes I know! I am so frustrated!!!! WP has not gotten back to me and I’ve noticed that this happens about every 5 or so posts! Isn’t that annoying!!!! Oh well….after India there is so much more that I could be angered about. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂 Hope you are well! 🙂

  1. TBM

    Great photos. if you could get them to change the date of the French Open I’d be glad to go in April or early May 🙂

  2. I love Paris in the Spring time…. reminds me of Meg Ryan singing that in the movie French Kiss (out mid or late 90’s?). Fits your theme of romance. 🙂
    Wow travel blogger conference in Toronto. That would have been cool. How do you find out about them? I wonder if there will be another when I am home this summer or is it just a once a year thing?

    • The conference I went to moves around North America each year. I loved Toronto yet it was so incredibly expensive! I have never paid so much for a glass of wine before! But it is a great city! The conference had over 1500 people. Can you believe that? I enjoyed it and learned a lot.

      • I never realised how expensive Toronto was… guess we are used to it 😉 Plus I haven’t been out in Tororto in 3 years.
        Also in Canada we have a lot of tax of ‘spirits’. They call it the ‘sin’ taxes. Someone decided to put higher taxes on things we don’t need and aren’t always good for us, so they can keep tax low on other things… that be why your glass of wine was expensive?

  3. Great post! You’ve inspired me to start posting my pictures of Paris through the years. I’ve been in Paris in April and as you’ve said, it’s simply wonderful. although at the time, my allergies kicked up exactly on April 1st, marring the whole experience!

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