There are certain things that almost all of us associate with Paris: high art, sharp fashion, a chic sensibility that isn’t really seen anywhere else… however, despite all of these things, you might find it surprisingly difficult to decide how to celebrate many happy returns here.

So, below are just a few ideas for how you could mark your or another person’s birthday in the French capital or its environs.

Simply… have a wander

Part of the beauty of choosing the City of Lights as a birthday destination is that it lends itself equally well to formal and informal breaks.

Nor do you necessarily have to restrict yourself to a stroll along the Seine. Why not discover an entire neighbourhood, such as the evocative Montmartre? This quaint locality is an excellent focal point for any culture vultures celebrating their birthday, given its combination of great eateries and an unmistakable artistic heritage.

The likes of Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh worked or maintained studios in or around Montmartre down the years, and it remains an excellent place to be charmed by such attractions as the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and Musée de Montmartre.

Indulge in a dinner cruise

But of course, if you are marking someone’s birthday – whether your own or someone else’s – the likelihood is that you will wish to hold a specific celebration at some point during your stay in Paris. Well, you can’t do much better than a dinner river cruise, which may also be surprisingly affordable.

Whether you’re interested in experiencing live musicians as you dine, want a relatively unpretentious party or fancy the complete VIP experience, you have plenty of options. Indeed, the Paris Insiders Guide website has rounded up the best of them.

Or even go as far as hiring a complete chateau

If booking an entire chateau for birthdays in Paris sounds hopelessly decadent, allow us to remind you: you’re in Paris. If you’re not going to get extravagant in the high-fashion capital of the world, there’s a good chance that you never will anywhere else.

So, you shouldn’t overlook such options for a chateau-based birthday celebration as Château Bouffémont, which is a unique and luxurious stone-built residence with various areas in which the most utterly stylish parties can be held. It’s situated in the enchanting surroundings of the ancient Montmorency Forest, but is also a mere 20-minute journey from Charles de Gaulle Airport.  

Remember the museums are open, too

In many ways, the best ways to celebrate a birthday in the French capital are simply the best ways to spend any break here – and that can certainly be said of the gallery and museum experience in the city.

It’s worth bearing in mind, too, that Paris’s museums are about so much more than the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay. So why not spend your Parisian birthday discovering some of the city’s slightly quirkier institutions, such as the Musée Édith Piaf, Musée de la Magie (Museum of Magic) or Musée des Arts Forains (Museum of Carnival Arts)?

The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau has a more comprehensive list of some of the more unusual museums to be found in the City of Lights, showing – once more – that there’s more than one way to make your birthday in the most romantic city in the world thoroughly memorable.