Lock Bridge Paris: A History & How to Visit

This post may contain affiliate links. Please check out my privacy policy and disclosure for more information.

Last Updated on 23rd November 2020 by Sophie Nadeau

Some equate it to being just about as romantic as proposing while searching for Pokémon. Others simply can’t wait to head to Paris and lock their love down with a romantic gesture. Because nothing says romantic like a piece of iron. With ‘love locks from Paris’ sold in almost every tourist souvenir shop, it’s clear that the craze is here to stay. But where did the tradition of love locks in Paris begin?

What? What Love locks? I don’t know what the e** you’re talking about!

As France is regularly considered one of the most romantic cities in the World (hey, even I’m dating a Frenchman!), it’s not surprising that some questionable practices and traditions come with this somewhat coveted title.

Love locks in Paris are a pretty modern tradition of people taking padlocks (yeah, the very same ones that you used on your locker at school) and affixing them to bridges and monuments around the city. The idea is that you ‘lock your love’ in Paris, and theoretically make it forever. 

Now, here’s the interesting part. The practice goes is that in order for your love to survive, you have to throw the key into the Seine! This means that not only do the locks themselves cause structural damage to monuments and bridges around the city, but lots of unneccesary polution in the Seine.

Over time, as the tradition has expanded, people have started purchasing specifically engraved locks and the like. Climbing up the Eiffel Tower, there are even signs saying ‘do not affix padlocks here!’ Love locks in Paris have become almost as prolific as selfie sticks!

The ‘act of love’ is spreading like wildfire throughout Europe, with cities such as Amsterdam and Venice becoming inundated with copycat lovers looking to ‘lock their love’ in Place. The craze has even spread to across the Atlantic where love locks have become prolific across Brooklyn Bridge.

[Tweet “Love locks in Paris have become almost as prolific as selfie sticks! “]

The price of love locks in Paris!

Last year, the city of Paris had to take the decision to remove the padlocks from the iconic love lock bridge, i.e. Pont des Arts. The move came as a result of part of the bridge actually collapsing from the sheer weight of the padlocks. The 1 million padlocks that were estimated to be affixed to the bridge weighed up to 45 tonnes. That’s 6 African Elephants!

How to visit the Love Lock Bridge Paris

What happened to the love locks in Paris?

Pin ‘Love locks in Paris‘ now, read it again later!

love locks in paris

So, do you love the love locks of Paris or do you think that they’re an eyesore? Let me know in the comments below!

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • Luisa
    14th October 2017 at 8:22 am

    locks are bad for the historical structures they’re put on. It would be best not to encourage such silly practices.

  • Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
    3rd November 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Yes, I heard they pose a significant damage to the bridge. that’s a shame. I think it’s a silly practice

    • Sophie Nadeau
      5th November 2016 at 7:01 am

      I used to really like them and think it was romantic… now I just think the locks are bad for the environment!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.