Paris: The City of Love as an LGBTQ Honeymoon Destination

What’s the most romantic city in the world?

Most people will say Paris even if they’ve never been there. They’ll say it even if they’re single or if they despise romance because it’s an opinion transformed into fact by its re-telling.  

Whether or not you think that Paris is THE city of love, it’s believed to be true by the countless couples who add their padlocks to the railings on the Pont Des Arts. And isn’t French known as the language of love? The cuisine is often the first port-of-call for those looking for a romantic meal and what of the cosy cobblestone streets of Montmartre? Paris is a city made for handholding, for sunset cruises, for champagne and croissants by the river and for proposals and for love. Of course, we couldn’t possibly comment on the reputation of the French as exception lovers; we’ll leave that one to your imaginations (or experience).

There’s no doubt that Paris is a popular honeymoon destination but how safe and how suitable is it for same-sex couples?

In 2018, we shouldn’t even have to ask that. It’s ridiculous.  Straight couples don’t worry about whether they’ll be harassed for being heterosexual. They, too, have other things to worry about sure: terrorism, natural disaster, civil unrest, petty crime, kidnapping etc but they’ll never have to visit the FCO website and see if there’s a danger to them or their partner because of their sexuality. Gay rights have come a long way over the last few decades but obviously not quite far enough.

In 2009, France became the first country in the world to declassify transgenderism as a mental illness.  Four years later, it legalised same-sex marriage. That same year, 77% of French respondents in a survey said that society should accept gay marriage. Paris frequently ranks highly in rankings of LGBTQ friendly cities, and the city has an excellent gay scene. Overall, Paris is one of the safest places that same-sex couples can visit.  That being said, even in places with high levels of LGBTQ acceptance, there’s always the risk of running into trouble. That’s no different to London, Madrid or Amsterdam.

Recently, too, there’s been a reported upswing in anti-LGBTQ attacks throughout France.  According to France24 website, one gay couple was beaten in a taxi and a transgender sex worker was killed in one of the city’s parks. LGBTQ charities are concerned and although the Government has reassured the public that homophobic assaults are, in fact, 37% down on last year, SOS Homophobie – an LGBTQ campaign group that runs a hotline – disputes this, saying its seen a 15% increase in victims reporting attacks.

Worth taking note of, sure, but the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office doesn’t have any specific LGBTQ warnings on its website.

France does have some very stiff laws that were bought in to protect the LGBTQ community from harassment and hate crime.  For example, in France, if someone is found guilty of a physical assault or murder that was committed on the basis of the victim’s sexual identity, then the perpetrator is given a tougher sentence than crimes committed for other reasons.

If you’d take a trip to London, then you’re fine to take a trip to Paris and it makes the ideal honeymoon destination.

Top-5 Romantic Places in Paris to Visit

Paris looks beautiful from any level but particularly from up above.  Whether you’re on the terrace of a hotel or restaurant or on the rooftop of your apartment, it’s a spectacular view.  Probably the most famous and the most inspiring of which is the view of the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower. It might feel a little touristy, sure, but there’s a champagne bar at the top where you can sit with your partner with a drink and imagine that the city has sprawled out below just for you.

Montmartre is more than just a hill with a view.  It’s also home to one of Paris’s absolute must-sees: Basilica of the Sacré Cœur with its white dome is the second most visited tourist destination in the city.  Montmartre is ideal, too, if you have an interest in art as during the 19th and 20th century it was home to a number of studios belonging to the great artists including Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso and Van Gogh.

Around an hour outside Paris is the Palace of Versaille: a glorious 17th-century design housing over 60,000 pieces of art.  The Palace has 2,300 rooms and is surrounded by more than 800 hectares.  Its association with the French Royal Family and in particular its role in the French Revolution will also keep history buffs interested, too.

The River Seine is at the heart of the French capital and it’s hardly possible to imagine one without the other.  Whether you’re walking along its banks during the day, browsing the bookstalls that line the water’s edge or whether you’re sliding over its gentle waters during sunset, this is prime romantic real estate giving you an excellent view of the city and the perfect opportunity to hold hands, to be yourselves and relax.

Visit the Wall of Love in Montmartre. Le mur des je t'aime consists of 612 tiles and written on each one is ‘I love you’ in a different language.  You may notice, too, the red splashes on the tiles. These are pieces of a broken heart which, when put back together, can form into an unbroken heart.

Paris is an excellent and rather obvious choice for a honeymoon.  It’s a great stopping off point, too, for exploring not just the rest of France but the world. Air France has a worldwide network and a cultural break in the capital could be a prelude to a longer trip elsewhere in the reaches of the world.  

Paris is a superb choice for same-sex couples, although caution should be applied as anywhere, and even if it’s cliche to think so: it really is the city of love.

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