Ah, February, the month of love! Some people say that Valentine’s day is a commercial holiday, I say it’s just another reason to travel. How can you celebrate love better than through a romantic holiday for couples? There are so many romantic destinations in Europe, some more popular than others, such as Paris or Venice. But this article is not going to tell you about those, because, in my opinion, they are too crowded to be enjoyed properly. Sure, it is very romantic to have a glass of champagne on Valentine’s Day under the Eiffel Tower but be sure than hundreds of other couples thought of the exact same thing. And yes, it is lovely to share a gondola ride on the narrow canals of Venice, but what is romantic about bumping into other gondolas every other minute or so?
If you are looking for something different, an off the beaten path romantic destination to take your partner to this Valentine’s Day, then you are in the right place. I am going to tell you which are some of the most romantic city breaks in Europe where you can enjoy some quiet time with your loved one without spending a fortune.
By Caroline from CK Travels
Seville is located in the southern region of Andalusia in Spain and is the perfect Spanish city for a romantic break with that someone special. Seville is a compact and relaxed riverside city where you’ll find beautiful Moorish architecture, UNESCO heritage sites, excellent wining and dining and many gorgeous landscaped parks.
There are so many romantic things to do in Seville but we would recommend you start your day by taking a stroll through the labyrinth of charming narrow streets and alleys of the El Barrio de Santa Cruz neighbourhood. You’ll discover many intimate squares, huge orange trees and some of the cities most gorgeous buildings.
Next head over to Plaza de España to admire the architecture and exquisite tile work, then hire a rowboat for a romantic ride around the square. Plaza de España is also beautifully lit up at night if you want to return for a romantic midnight stroll.
As you head towards the end of the day, enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner at one of Seville’s many cosy and historic tapas bars for a glass of Spanish wine and some fresh and delicious seafood. Follow up dinner with an intimate traditional flamenco show at either Casa del Flamenco or Casa de la Memoria and if you still have energy afterwards, head to Hotel Doña Maria‘s rooftop bar for a drink with one with the best views of La Giralda and the Cathedral lit up at night.
By Maria and Katerina from It’s All Trip to Me
Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and home to what must be the most romantic destination on the planet: Venice. That said, Venice is definitely not the only romantic place to visit in Italy. There are many off-the-beaten-path destinations which may be less popular but equally filled with charm and magic. One such place is Matera, an ancient cave town in Italy’s Deep South.
Situated less than an hour’s drive from Bari International Airport, Matera boasts a unique Old Town which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. The most remarkable features of Matera’s historic centre are the Sassi. The latter are ancient neighbourhoods which have been inhabited since the Paleolithic times and comprise of impressive cave dwellings.
Matera is the ideal place for a romantic getaway. Strolling around the historic centre of Matera feels like stepping into the past. The Old Town becomes even more romantic in the evening, when the dimly lit Sassi provide the most idyllic setting for lovers to speak vows of eternal love. To each other but, inevitably, to Matera itself as well.
One of the most romantic things to do in Matera is to watch the sun set over the ancient city from across the ravine facing the Old Town. Moreover, a candlelit dinner with the most gorgeous, almost surreal, view is the perfect way to take in all of Matera’s beauty and romantic vibes. Last but certainly not least, no visit to Matera is complete without an overnight stay at one of many cave hotels scattered across the Sassi. There is nothing more romantic than spending the night within the walls of an ancient dwelling carved in rock now turned into a luxurious hotel. To sum up, Matera is the stuff that dreams are made of and very well worth a high place on everyone’s bucket list.
By Susanne from Adventures Around Scotland
Inverness is the capital of the Scottish Highlands, which makes it a great base for exploring some of the most famous landscapes in the country. The city itself is easily walkable and full of charming historic buildings – just wandering the quaint streets is a pleasure.
Enjoy some of the best views in the city while you dine at The Kitchen Brasserie, which overlooks the river and castle. It also has a heated roof terrace if you prefer to eat al fresco. A scenic riverside walk from the city centre along the River Ness leads to Ness Islands, a series of small islands in the river, connected by pretty Victorian bridges. At night the walk is lit by fairy-lights which makes it particularly lovely for an evening stroll.
Inverness is surrounded by beautiful mountains, lochs and glens which can easily be enjoyed on one of the many excursions from the city centre. Join a short trip that includes a cruise along Loch Ness with a stop at the ruins of Urquhart Castle or you could take a day tour to the Isle of Skye which includes a stop at the enchanting Eilean Donan Castle. Both options will take you through some of the most romantic landscapes in Scotland.
If you are feeling really indulgent, you can book a private aeroplane flight for two over the city and Loch Ness, or simply celebrate your time together in Scotland with a local dram at the cosy and characterful Castle Tavern pub which dates back to the 1700s.
From historic attractions to spectacular scenery, Inverness has everything you need to make your city break extra special.
By Kamila from My Wanderlust
Not only Lviv, Ukraine is one of the most beautiful cities in Central Europe, it is also among the most romantic ones. Winding cobbled lanes, charming corners, and pastel houses make it so easy to fall in love with the city! When you travel to Lviv be sure to spend enough time just wandering around, without the map, getting lost in the beautiful center and discovering secret passages.
According to some sources, Lviv has the biggest number of cafes per capita and indeed you will find cozy cafes all over the city. Try to visit as many of them as possible, they usually have a beautiful and unique interior and what’s more romantic than whispering to each other over the cup of aromatic coffee and eating together one piece of delicious cake?
Lviv is also a very affordable city so for a few dollars only you can get the ticket for the Opera where not only you will be able to watch a good show but also admire the stunning decor of the building. Planning a romantic weekend in Lviv is easier than ever, with numerous airlines flying directly to the city. There are also plenty of accommodation options to choose from, including historical or boutique hotels. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed if you decide to visit Lviv with your significant other.
Prague, Czech Republic
By Veronika from Travel Geekery
Prague is the ultimate romantic capital. It’s like Paris, but more charming and compact. When you walk through the Old Town with your one and only, stroll along the Charles Bridge or gaze at the hundred spires from one of the many viewpoints, you’ll know you’re in the city of love.
To truly experience the magic, it’s recommended you visit in the off-season, i.e. outside the summer months and Christmas.
But even when that’s not possible, there are still hidden corners in Prague that not many tourists know of (yet!).
As a local, I can highly recommend the New World area, just a stone’s throw away from the Prague Castle. It’s a part of town where historically the poor lived. It’s made up of one long winding road lined with magical houses. Especially one of them, placed neatly on a corner, looks straight out of a fairytale.
For the ultimate romantic vacation, stay in the heart of New World at the cottage-like hotel U Raka. And if a drink in the Old Town is what you’re after, the hotel U Prince has a stunning rooftop terrace with prime views over Prague’s Old Town Square.
For a romantic dinner, I’d recommend the Ginger & Fred Restaurant at Prague’s Dancing House. The exquisite restaurant features wonderful views and is located in one of the most known modern buildings in Prague.
By Valerie from Valerie’s Adventure Time
One of the most romantic city breaks in Europe I can think of is the beautiful town of Ladenburg in Germany. It dates back to the Celtic and Roman times and claims to be Germany’s oldest town east of the river Rhine. With its cute cobbled roads and old buildings, it is the perfect setting for a romantic getaway in Europe. It is located 10 kilometres from each Heidelberg and Mannheim, which are both big cities, easy to reach by plane, train or bus. Since Ladenburg is rather small, the choice of places to stay is limited but staying in either one of the big cities nearby is a good option.
For romantic activities in Ladenburg, you won’t have to look far. Simply to take a stroll around the city centre and explore all the little shops and alleyways is super nice. You can take a walk along the river or have a meal in one of the many restaurants around Market Square (Marktplatz). One of my favourite things to do in Ladenburg is to wander the streets and search for the oldest house I can find. I am always amazed by how long some of these buildings have been there.
One other thing I can highly recommend on a sunny day is to rent a bicycle and ride up to Castle Strahlenburg in Schriesheim. It takes about half an hour to get there and the path takes you past fields and through the beautiful town of Schriesheim. You can also easily hike there if you can’t get hold of a bicycle, which takes about an hour. Up at the castle, there is a restaurant and you will have an amazing view of the town below and the countryside.
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
By Natalie from LoveandRoad
A massive castle with a tower overlooking the town, cobblestones alleys, medieval buildings housing luxury hotels and cozy restaurants, seriously, Český Krumlov is the ultimate romantic destination in Europe. This charming town in the Czech Republic is famous among travelers that want to see the country beyond Prague, but most of them go for a day trip missing all the great things to do in Český Krumlov and around. There are plenty of romantic activities there. The first one is to wander in the castle, visit its gardens and watch the sunset from the castle tower. Winter or Summer, the views are amazing, but be aware of the tower closing time as it can vary according to the season. Another must-do for couples is a boat ride through the Vltava River. It’s a way to see the city from a different perspective while enjoying a glass of wine or beer at the bars located on the river banks.
Discover Český Krumlov by foot is the best way to see the town, admire its architecture while getting lost in tiny alleys. For an extra dose of romance, go for a walk after sunset, when most of the tourists leave the town, and you two will have the place only for you. It is especially true during the cold months of the year.
For a unique dinner book a table at Pivovar Eggenberg, a local brewery from 1560 and serves traditional Czech dishes paired with the best beers in town. You can also do a beer tasting and a tour there, a good option for couples who enjoy a drink or two. If you like to enjoy late nights, make sure to book your room at the lovely Hotel Bellevue Český Krumlov located near the brewery and a few steps from the castle. Before checking out, don’t forget to book a romantic couple massage at the hotel spa.
By Katy from Untold Morsels
You would be hard pressed to find a more romantic place in the world than Positano. With its colorful buildings that seem to almost tumble into the Tyrrhenian Sea, cobbled streets draped in wisteria and views out to Capri, Positano was simply made for lovers.
The Amalfi Coast road takes you to Positano from Naples and the best thing to do as soon as you arrive is enjoy an aperitif with the stunning views the town is known for. Book a hotel room with a balcony overlooking the town and sea so you can relax in privacy and enjoy the scene. A luxurious option coveted by many is Le Sireneuse, favored by movies stars and honeymooners for decades. If that’s not possible you can enjoy your Prosecco at the hotel’s terrace bar Franco’s that has unparalleled vistas at sunset.
During the day, head to one of several beach clubs where you can take a dip in the sea and be pampered to your heart’s content. Our favorite luxe option is Treville beach club but a fun and more rustic alternative is Da Adolfo which you can only reach by private boat from Positano marina.
If you can bear to leave, one of the most romantic experiences anywhere in the world is a private boat charter from Positano to the magical island of Capri. Here as you circle the island you pass through the Faraglioni rocks. According to local legend couples who kiss as they pass through the rock formation will stay together forever.
By Ellis from Backpack And Adventures
Sighnaghi in Georgia is also known as the city of love and attracts hundreds of couples that are deeply in love. Sighnaghi’s wedding house is open 24 hours a day and couples can get married whenever they like. Even foreigners are more than welcome to express their love for each other.
But it is not just this curious fact that makes Sighnaghi a romantic destination, it is also its scenic location in the heart of Georgia’s wine region. Kakheti is home to hundreds of vineyards producing some of the best wine in Georgia. Sighnaghi has some excellent restaurants where you can have a romantic candle light dinner with a glass of local wine.
Sighnaghi is one of the oldest towns in Georgia. Its small center has been beautifully restored and its a joy to wander around the cobble stoned streets and the ancient city walls.The best part about Sighnaghi is its location though. Up on a hill with beautiful views on the Caucasus mountains.
Sighnaghi is also a great starting point to explore the rest of Kakheti. If you have your own car there are a number of daytrips to vineyards, churches and monasteries. The nearest airport in Tbilisi is only 3 hours away. Therefore Sighnaghi is a perfect romantic city break in Europe.
By Annabel from Smudged Postcard
Syracuse in Sicily is a wonderful city for a romantic city break. Located less than an hour from Catania airport, Syracuse is a small city best explored on foot. There’s plenty to see but such is its beauty, it lends itself very well to simply wandering.
The heart of Syracuse is the island of Ortigia, a warren of medieval streets surrounded by the striking turquoise of Ionian Sea. The most romantic spot in Syracuse is without doubt the Piazza del Duomo where the incredible Baroque cathedral takes prime position. This is the perfect spot to while away the day sipping coffee or enjoying an evening meal. The square looks particularly spectacular when it is lit up at night.
There are enticing restaurants and bars to discover in some of the quiet side streets and several romantic hotels to stay in. For budget conscious travellers, L’Approdo delle Sirene is perfect: it has just seven rooms and a lovely breakfast terrace overlooking the harbour. For couples looking for a central hotel, the beautiful Antico Hotel Roma has an unbeatable position on Piazza Minerva just off the cathedral square.
For active visitors, there’s a host of attractions in the city: boat trips, a castle and impressive Ancient Greek archeological ruins to explore. Close by you’ll find some of the best beaches in Sicily to unwind on.
By Annemarie from Germany On The Brain
One of the most romantic cities in Europe is Dresden. It’s a serious stunner with the historic Old Town, a grand cathedral, the famous Frauenkirche, the former royal stables as well as the giant Zwinger.
Start your day with a stroll through the Zwinger and imagine how the glorious outdoor costume balls must have been like. Maybe even ask your partner for a spontaneous dance to complete the mood?
Next, walk past the Frauenkirche and towards the river. The path along the river promenade, past the rooftops of the town and along the fountains is one of the most scenic in town.
From there, catch a boat and snuggle up together while seeing the beautiful landscape with its castles and vinyards fly by. Get off at Castle Pillnitz for another romantic walk around fragrant flowers at Castle Pillnitz. Fun fact: You can find Europe’s oldest magnolia tree here.
Dresden has no shortage of romantic settings and you don’t even need to drive far to see even more. You could plan an afternoon trip from Dresden to Moritzburg Castle. This is where a popular Czech-German Cinderella film was shot. Look close and you can spot the golden slipper the princess left behind.
When it comes to romantic dining, reserve a seat at a restaurant near Frauenkirche, such as the Coselpalais with its chic interior and outdoor seats. Feel like dining in a palace? Take a table for two at the festive rooms of Carolaschlösschen in the East of the city.
By Emily from Wander-Lush
Nothing says ‘romance’ quite like a charming old town of cobbled streets and red-roofed houses. Kotor in Montenegro, with its UNESCO Heritage Listed Old City, is one of the most quixotic settings for a romantic city break in the Balkans.
Located on the picturesque bay of the same name, Kotor is a port city that was founded a couple of millennia ago. The Venetians gave Kotor its grand fortifications, hill-top castles and curling alleyways. It’s still relatively off the beaten track despite there being an international airport at Tivat just 10 minutes away. One of the best ways to experience this part of Montenegro is by renting a car and driving around the Bay of Kotor.
Kotor itself is home to countless alleyways to get lost down, magnificent stone churches to bask in, and a surplus of outdoor cafes where you can eat seafood and sip on famous Montenegrin wine (all on a budget). Sunsets over the Bay are absolutely magnificent, and there’s nothing more romantic than being out on the water in a small boat at sundown. Active couples should take advantage of the water sports and hiking opportunities available. The Ladder of Kotor is a steep hike that takes you up above the Old City for a panoramic view of the bay and the arrowhead-shaped walled town.
Kotor has become popular in recent years as a cruise ship destination. I highly recommend getting up early to explore the Old City before the ships dock, and staying at one of the villas or luxury apartments positioned in the hills around around the bay in order to find some respite at the end of the day.
By Eniko from Travel Hacker Girl
Interlaken is a well-known tourist destination in the Swiss Alps. The town is surrounded by impressive mountain peaks and it is located between two Lakes called Lake Brienz and Lake Thun. Interlaken has a lot to offer for everyone, but it is a particularly nice destination for couples who want a romantic getaway. Switzerland’s magnificent scenery will amaze any visitor. Couples can take a dreamy boat ride together on the beautiful turquoise coloured Lake Brienz. Catching the sunset while indulging in a traditional cheese fondue will be a moment they will cherish forever.
Kayaking Interlaken is a more adventurous form of a boat ride and it is a great activity for couples who prefer to have an active holiday. During the day they can visit one of the many luxurious hotels on Interlaken’s main street Höheweg, where they can relax the sore muscles with a spa treatment. The town has many wonderful restaurants. There is something romantic about looking into each other’s eyes in dim candlelight over delicious dinner. They can even take a horse-carriage ride to the restaurant from their hotel.
The river Aare which flows through the town is a great place for an evening stroll after dinner. As you can see there is plenty to do in Interlaken, but taking day trips to beautiful nearby places like Lauterbrunnen, Top of Europe or the Schynige Platte is also easy. Thanks to Switzerland’s amazing public transport, you can enjoy a scenic train ride to most places and you don’t have to worry about driving.
By Zach and Julie from Ruhls Of The Road
Budapest, Hungary is an incredibly beautiful and particularly romantic city nestled in Central Europe. What makes this city romantic? The adventure you’ll have with your partner exploring the city, the stunning nighttime dinner cruises, and the city vibe will all combine for a wonderfully romantic experience.
In Budapest there are so many options for adventure throughout the daytime. Start your day with a hike to the Liberty Statue that overlooks the beautiful city, then head to relax in one of the many thermal baths located around the city. Have a soak with your partner in a private corner of the bath! From there, head to Margit Island and rent a tandem pedal-bike to ride around and explore the beautiful island in central Budapest. Walk along the Szechenyi Bridge (Chain Bridge) hand-in-hand and check out Budapest’s most famous building: Parliament.
All that adventure during the day builds up an appetite, so sign up for Budapest’s nighttime dinner cruises along the Danube River. At night, the city’s famous buildings are brightly lit up, and glow as you float your way past them. You’ll be served a delicious Hungarian meal complete with wine, and have the perfect backdrop for a romantic experience. This city has a wonderful vibe, that you’ll pick up on during your time here. Life is good in Budapest, and your adventure here will be even better. Make Budapest your next romantic destination, and have an adventure you will never forget!
By Kristie from Mammaprada
My fondest memory of Perugia is sitting with my Husband at an outdoor bar drinking Prosecco. Looking at the view which appeared to begin at the foot of the bar beneath me and flow out across the valley for miles. It was dusk and there was a rosy mist as I tried to make out the little town of Assisi in the distance. This bar is called ‘Punto di Vista’ which means ‘Points of view’ and is definitely worth a visit.
Perugia is a small ancient city, perched on top of a hill. It’s surrounded by a patchwork of fields and tiny villages. You are looking down at all of unspoilt, delightful Umbria. It has a huge amount of history; big defensive walls, which years ago protected the old city centre. A beautiful mix of cobbled alleys and cute steps, turreted buildings and ornate railings.
The buildings are a stunning, creamy terracotta, and the restaurants hug the pavements. Dishes range from wild boar ragu and thick spaghetti-like pasta called bigoli to the lighter Panzanella, a tomato based salad with huge olive oil soaked croutons often with crispy pancetta.
Every year the city holds the famous Umbria Jazz Festival, one of the most important in Europe.
You can also visit the Perugina chocolate factory and eat lots of Baci chocolates which in Italian means ‘Kisses’. What can be more romantic than that?
Perugia airport is well serviced but cheaper than many Italian cities and the city is largely overlooked by tourists. It’s the perfect spot for a city break with a loved one.
What do you think? Which romantic destination in Europe will you take your loved one this Valentine’s Day? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
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