Whether it be Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or some well needed ‘alone time’ a weekend away is always deserved. Going away with your favourite person is always good fun, but to make it extra special requires an extra special destination. Here are the 10 most romantic cities in Europe!
Of course, no list of romantic places is complete without mentioning Paris, so let’s get it out of they way. The architecture, River Seine, cafés that line the streets… all very good reasons to spend some time in this beautiful city, even at one of the coldest times in the year. Wrap up and head to the top of the Eiffel Tower for a breathtaking panorama of the city, then head out to wander the streets of Montmartre hand-in-hand. No Valentine’s Day is complete without trying some of the city’s world-famous chocolates.
Eternal love could bloom in the Eternal City if you sweep them off their feet on the Spanish steps and take them in your arms by the Trevi Fountain – just be careful not to drop them! Alternatively, you could ditch the clichés and stroll hand-in-hand through Villa Pamphili park with its heart-melting views over the city. Whatever your budget, whether you’re a princess or a lowly lad, a ‘Roman holiday’ is an ideal Valentine’s break, so be Audrey and Greg Peck and live it up at this gobsmackingly gorgeous city.
Pack your bags and explore the gorgeous city of Prague in the Czech Republic. One of our favourite cities to visit, due to its colourful buildings, Gothic churches, world-famous castle and little, intimate restaurants. The other beautiful aspect of this city is how low cost everything is! It may not be the most obvious choice, but while everyone else is booking flights to Paris, you’ll have Prague all to yourselves… almost.
Coffee, cake, coffee, more cake – there are plenty of opportunities to spend time gazing into each other’s eyes in Vienna’s elegant coffee houses. Going for a February weekend means you’ll have a good chance of snow, but that will just add to the romance. Hats, scarves, walking arm in arm to the next cafe or museum, could you imagine a better way to spend your Valentine’s?
Istanbul may not strike you as one of the most romantic cities to visit, but everything is there for you to make it so. Exotic, bustling and utterly unique, no surprise Istanbul has been named the European Capital of Culture in the past. As well as the beautiful mosques and chaotic bazaars, there’s a whole range of new exhibitions, shows and galleries to explore. Treat your other half to a delightful Turkish experience.
If you don’t get lost in love, at least you’re likely to get lost in the beguiling streets of the Barri Gòtic, the Gothic Quarter. Hopefully you won’t end up arguing about whose fault it is, but instead get happily lost among vintage shops, cocktail bars and cafés. In the nearby Raval district, don’t miss the ‘street of kisses’, Carrer dels Petons. Legend has it that men sentenced to death gave a final farewell to their wives here. Hopefully you’ll be together for a lot longer than them though!
It’s either the City of Love, or the City of Canals, depending on your point of view, but it is definitely the city to visit. Beautiful all year round, even the hardest heart would concede that Venice is one of Europe’s most romantic cities. It may be cheesy, but an ‘O Sole Mio’-singing gondolier could pave the way to a proposal. Or don your DJ and take in some Vivaldi.
A favourite retreat of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, it still has the right atmosphere for a glamorous romantic break. The centre of the compact walled town is full of gorgeous boutiques and unusual jewellery stores (in case gifts are in order), pretty cafes with flower-filled gardens (should the Mediterranean sun make an appearance) and tiny bars with plenty of private nooks and crannies.
Ah, Lisbon, city of grand Gothic cathedrals, stately museums, ancient monasteries and even more heavenly pastries. This Portuguese beauty tempts those who’ve skipped on their porridge with the morning waft of bread from its fadistas and seduces the sweet-toothed with the empanadas de Belém of Antiga Confeitaria. But of course, music is the egg tart of love, so surfeit on sweet pastry and let the fado play long into the night.
Medieval Bruges must be one of the most romantic and beautiful cities to visit in Europe, just made for slow strolls with a lover along canals and cobbled streets, and with dozens of lovely warm restaurants for a few hours of Belgian beer-fuelled heart-to-hearts.
But as you know the most important thing is not the city but the company, so enjoy wherever you are and have a great Valentine’s day!