Top 7 Romantic Destinations in Europe
By Katie Edgerley
Looking for a place to spend the perfect Valentine’s Day in 2018? Or a European honeymoon destination? Or simply for a romantic getaway to celebrate your relationship? (Do you really need an excuse?) We all know that Paris is Europe’s love capital, but don’t forget about all the other European destinations that will sweep you off your feet and have you swooning as soon as the plane touches the runway. Take a look at our European love list for some romantic inspiration for your next trip!
With its fairy-tale architecture, cobbled streets and pretty canals, it should come as no surprise that Bruges is at the top of our romantic list. What better place to buy Valentine’s chocolate than the chocolate capital of the world? Visit one of the city’s fifty chocolate shops, particularly the Choco-Story museum, where you can learn about the history of cocoa production and taste the world’s most delicious chocolate. Wander around Markt Square, stopping at the numerous cafés lining the pavement and admiring the famous and architecturally stunning Belfort. For a romantic dinner, head to Pomperlut, a cosy little restaurant serving delicious Belgian cuisine.
If you want to feel like you’re recreating a scene from a romantic movie take a ride on one of the oldest Ferris wheels in the world, the Riesenrad in Vienna. Go in the late afternoon to watch the sunset behind the rooftops and see the Prater amusement park start to light up at night. Afterwards, share a classic Viennese pastry with your loved one at the beautiful Café Central (or, even better, get one each…). Vienna is also home to the gorgeous Schloss Schönbrunn, a grand palace surrounded by exquisite gardens: the perfect place for a romantic stroll!
As the setting for possibly the most famous love-story of all time, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a wonderful option for a trip with your nearest and dearest. You can actually visit a representation of the fictional Juliet’s balcony at the Casa Di Giuiletta, where you’ll find love letters crammed into the walls and padlocks symbolising eternal love attached to the gates. Take your loved one on a trip to the Arena Di Verona, a huge 1st–Century Roman amphitheatre, to enjoy a stunning concert or opera under the stars.
With its volcanoes, hot springs, and of course a view of the Northern Lights, Iceland is full of natural beauty that will take your breath away. And the cold weather is nothing to worry about; it’s another excuse to cuddle up close to that special someone! Go for a picnic at Kirkjufell mountain where you’ll also find beautiful waterfalls, beaches and lava fields! Skip the tourist-filled Blue Lagoon and soak in the Secret Lagoon, one of the oldest and most natural geothermal pools in Iceland. Alternatively, explore the ice cave inside the Vatnajökull glacier (only accessible during winter), which looks like a magical frozen palace from a fairy-tale (or a certain Disney movie…). This unique and awe-inspiring country will make for an unforgettable vacation for you and your loved one.
Malta is a beautiful Mediterranean island with endless opportunities for romance. Take a stroll together from along the promenade in Sliema up to Tigné Point Bridge where you will have a wonderful view across the harbour to the capital city, Valetta. The city of Valetta itself is beautiful due to its impressive Baroque architecture, such as St. John’s Co-Cathedral, its lively and glamorous atmosphere, and its seaside location. For a quieter alternative, spend the day in Mdina, Malta’s ‘Silent City’. With a population of just three hundred, Mdina is a very peaceful place to explore. The former capital of Malta is said to date back more than four thousand years and as such is full of historical and archaeological sites. The Silent City looks even more magical by night as it is all lit by lamps, creating the perfect romantic atmosphere.
Florence is the ideal city for evening strolls. It is a relatively small and very walkable city with the picturesque Arno River serving as a perfect route to follow. Sitting on the wall of one of the many beautiful bridges to watch the sunset together will be a moment you will never forget. Florence also has beautiful gardens to wander through, such as the Bardini gardens, which are located at the top of a hill with an incredible view of Florence’s skyline and the Tuscan hills. In the evening, forgo the tourist-filled restaurants and go for dinner at Cacio Vino. Hidden away down a little side street, Cacio Vino only has three tables, creating a very cosy atmosphere, and serves delicious homemade Italian food.
Last but certainly not least we have the gorgeous Greek island of Santorini. The iconic white villas dotted all the way up the hills make the island look like a heavenly paradise, just as you’ve seen on the postcards. Explore the island together on a rented scooter, stopping to admire the spectacular views across the sparkling Aegean Sea. Wander around the quaint hilltop village of Oia or relax on the peaceful multi-coloured beaches. Go for a romantic dinner at one of the restaurants on the edge of the caldera (a steep cliff formed by an ancient volcanic eruption), where you’ll have an amazing view of the volcano and the sunset.