What list of romantic places is complete without Paris? French art, architecture, cuisine and language embody the idea of romance in popular culture, and the City of Lights is at its heart. Unfortunately, the French must know they have something special in Paris, because the city can be rather expensive. You can stay at the 400-year-old Pavillon de Reine, an ivy-covered landmark whose rooms have beamed ceilings and start at more $400 a night. If you've still got any money left, take a dinner cruise down the Seine on the 164-foot Don Juan II -- at around $600 for a couple.
If your budget is a bit tighter, check into L'Hotel du Petit Moulin for $180 a night, and enjoy French cuisine by the fire at Le Coupe Chou, where a dinner for two runs about $80. During the day, check out the hot-air balloon at Andre Citroen Park, which, though tethered, rises nearly 500 feet (150 meters) into the air and provides excellent views of the city.
Of course, no romantic trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the country's greatest tourist cliché, the Eiffel Tower. Built for the 1889 World's Fair, the 324-foot-tall (100 meter) structure says Paris like nothing else can. Finish the day's romance on the Pont des Arts bridge, watching the sun set over the shimmering Grand Palais.