ROMANTIC CITIES IN EUROPE

Valentines day is just around the corner so why not take your other half to one of the most romantic cities in Europe. But, we can’t choose the best romantic destinations in Europe alone; we asked the travel bloggers and experts to share their favourite city for romance and here are the top picks!

Romantic cities in Europe

Edinburgh, Scotland

No matter what time of year this vibrant, historic Edinburgh  (pronounced Ed-In-Brah) has something for everyone. Be prepared to feel like you are missing out, no matter how long you stay there is always something new to explore. In August the city fills with events for the festivals: art, music, dance, comedy, books or sport there will be events for you.

In December and January the Scots celebrate Hogmany then Burns night with incredible firework displays and parties.  If you hate crowds go in June when the weather will be mild but there are relatively less tourists.

Take a romantic stroll up Arthur’s seat, an ancient, craggy inactive volcano in Holyrood park to get the most stunning view of the city.  This will work up an appetite. For a meal, get away from the typical tourist trail and grab an arm chair at Under the Stairs and enjoy a sharing platter and cocktail. Or if you fancy fine dining without the price tag of the city’s Michelin starred restaurants Michael Neaves Kitchen and Whiskey bar serves local produce in a creative way.

Sarah from Moodlifter

Romantic cities in Europe

Coimbra, Portugal

The enchanting city of Coimbra in Central Portugal is most famous for its UNESCO World Heritage University but it also has another claim to fame. Real life star-crossed lovers, Pedro and Inês, played out their fated romance in the grounds of the royal palace in the 14th century. Now known as Quinta das Lágrimas (Estate of Tears), the name reflects the utter despair felt by Prince Pedro when his father, the king, had Inês assassinated. Their tragic love story has inspired poets and writers throughout the centuries and is entrenched in Portuguese culture.

You can actually stay in the palace, now a luxury hotel, and learn the extent of Pedro’s devotion and the lengths he went to ensure that he and Inês would be reunited in the afterlife. Take a romantic stroll around the palace grounds to discover the follies and the Pipe of Love – legend has it that if a couple manage to drink from it simultaneously, their love will be everlasting!

You can enjoy a romantic meal at A Taberna or a sunset cocktail on the terrace of Loggia. The best time to go would be spring or early autumn, when the temperatures are generally warm.

Julie from Julie Dawn Fox

Romantic cities in Europe
Romantic cities in Europe

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is especially good for romantic getaways as the Old Town is super charming, prices in Estonia are moderate and there are quite a few spas in Tallinn too. Summer is especially beautiful but you can visit in any season.

Tallinn is a very compact city so even if you’d have just a weekend to spend, you’d still see a lot. Obviously, everyone needs to visit the Old Town which is the heart of Tallinn.  I stayed here in hotel Barons, a boutique hotel and loved it. There are a few lookouts and an old church on top of the Toompea hill that I recommend for all. One place I keep on returning is the Pierre Chocolaterie. Think of velvet, dim lights and French chanson and you get the idea. The courtyard, in summer, is a fantastic place to sit down too.

Almost next to this you will find Dominic. A prestigious restaurant that serves French-inspired cuisine. White table cloths, excellent food and wine, impeccable service and a piano concerto will most likely impress your date. At least I was blown over.

To balance all the eating, have a stroll in the leafy and beautiful Kadriorg park. You can also add some culture to this as the Kadriorg Palace and Kumu Art Museum are just a stone throw’s away.

Anna from Hammock Stories

Romantic cities in Europe

Cologne, Germany

Cologne is a romantic city spanning the Rhine River in the West of Germany. Filled with gothic architecture, an incredible art scene and romantic spots, Cologne is second to none. Admire the Cologne Cathedral and the huge collection of art at the Museum Ludwig, before heading to Hohenzollern Bridge. The famous ‘love locks’ bridge sits over the Rhine River, and you can add your very own love story to the bridge by adding your own lock. For a special experience, why not take a cruise on the romantic Rhine River and dine on a fancy meal with champagne while taking in the views?  

With no shortage of places to stay, you can opt for amazing views of the Cathedral with a stay at the Hilton. Opt to dine at Sonder for a classy meal with a nice ambience, or head to Brauhaus Sunner im Walfisch and ask to be seated in a pod for a romantic and traditional German meal. 

Romantic all year round, visit in December to see the Christmas markets, or in the summer for a warm escape. Either way, Cologne is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. 

Emma from Emma Adventures

What not to do in Paris

Paris, France

Well I’m sure you expected to find it on the list; Paris is definitely one of the best romantic cities in Europe, if not the world.
Made famous by countless romantic movies, visiting Paris is a dream for many, and sharing this moment with a loved one is one of the best romantic experience you could dream of.
The city is literally filled with romantic things to do, but I’ll give you a few ideas to get you started:
  • watch the sun rise over the Eiffel Tower
  • explore the quaint streets of Montmartre and see the Wall of Love
  • stroll on the beautiful Pont Alexandre III
  • explore the many gardens of the city and enjoy a picnic: Jardins du Luxembourg or Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
  • explore the Château de Versailles and stroll in the magnificent garden
 
If you’re a booking a romantic escape to Paris, make sure to book a night in one of the most romantic hotel in the city, the Shangri-La Hotel with a stunning view over the Eiffel Tower. Looking for a nice restaurant? Check out the Train Bleu, one of the most beautiful restaurant you’ve ever seen (for real!).
 
Kevin from Kevmrc
Romantic cities in Europe

Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow is the perfect city to visit for couples who are into art, architecture, history, and a little bit of indulgence.
 
Take in the art and architecture on the Mackintosh Trail through Glasgow and follow the footsteps of Glasgow’s most famous design power couple, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald. Tour their beautiful home in the West End and visit their dream House for an Art Lover which was finally built many decades after they designed it.
 
Have afternoon tea at the newly renovated Mackintosh at the Willow tea room and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city from the Lighthouse, a building designed by Mackintosh.
 
For a romantic dinner, head to the Ubiquitous Chip on Ashton Lane, indulge in a six-course menu at Six by Nico or eat seafood under a stunning glass roof at A’Challtainn.
 
Glasgow is a great place to visit all year round, but Spring is arguably the most romantic time for a city trip. The cherry trees at Glasgow Green are blossoming in shades of pink, the birds are singing in the parks and the sun tickles your nose as you sip a glass of champagne with your afternoon tea at the Calton George Hotel rooftop bar.
 
There are many romantic places to stay in Glasgow: Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel for couples with a hunch for interior design, Sherbrooke Castle hotel for real princes and princesses and Grand Central Hotel for old romantics.
 
Kathi from Watch Me See
Romantic cities in Europe

Rovinj, Croatia

If you’re looking for a romantic destination, you can’t choose a better city than Rovinj, one of the most charming towns in Croatia. Located on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula, the picturesque Rovinj and the surrounding area will win you over in a heartbeat. Historical monuments, beaches, wineries, a stunning old town, and a foodie scene, are just part of the attractions of this beautiful city.  

One of the most romantic things you can do is to get lost in Rovinj Old Town. This small peninsula (that used to be an island), is filled with colorful houses, photogenic laundry lines, charming boutiques and specialty food stores. The cobbled alleys will lead you through beautiful squares, ancient churches, and seafront restaurants and bars. At sunset, you can have a drink at one of those bars or take a walk through the lovely harbor and see the breathtaking view of Rovinj Old Town colored by golden hues. The next day, go wine and olive oil tasting and don’t forget to taste some of the local truffle dishes.  More romantic suggestions?

Relax at the local beaches,  visit Rovinj archipelago or rent a car and explore the fishing villages along the coast. For a romantic dinner, visit La Puntulina, one of the best restaurants in the area, which also has the best views, but don’t forget to make a reservation in advance. 

The best time to visit Rovinj is between May to September, but if you want to avoid the crowds, then avoid the months of July-August. For more tips and things to do in the area, check out our Rovinj Travel Guide. 

Sari and Maya from Chasing Lenscapes

Romantic cities in Europe
Romantic cities in Europe

Ljubljana

A stroll along the willow-lined banks of the Ljubljanica River is enough to prove that romance isn’t dead. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana – with its pink Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, its summer tulip markets and al fresco wine bars – is one of the prettiest cities in Europe.

Ljubljana centres on Prešernov trg, a public square dedicated to Slovenia’s national poet, France Prešeren. His statue gazes towards a bust of Julija Primic, his unrequited love, mounted on the building opposite. It’s a symbol for Slovenia, and sets the tone for a city wreathed in romance.

Stone bridges, chocolate-box architecture and grand European facades characterise Ljubljana. The nicest time to visit is in spring or autumn, when its warm enough to sit outside at some of the many cafes that line the promenade. Ride the funicular up to Ljubljana Castle, which is straight out of a children’s book with its turrets and high walls, and feast on Slovenian wine and cuisine. Moji Štruklji is the best place to try Slovenia’s famous štruklji ‘dumplings’ (they can be sweet or savoury – I like the chocolate and orange best), and Gostilnica 5-6kg is great for wood-fired pizza.

Once you’ve had your fill, one of the most romantic landscapes in Europe, Lake Bled, is only a short bus ride away from Ljubljana.

Emily from Wander-Lush

Romantic cities in Europe
Romantic cities in Europe

Malta

Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean sea consisting of 3 islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. It is an independent country which is part of the European Union and where English is an official language. It is a perfect destination for couples and singles with many romantic things to do. For example, you can take a boat trip to Blue Grotto, a cave system, on the southern coast of Malta. Visit Mdina, the historic capital of Malta founded around 4000 years ago. Walk around the Three Cities or enjoy a nice café on the Republic Street in Valletta.

When to visit

Generally, summer months and September are the best months to visit Malta if you want to enjoy as much sun and beach as possible.

Where to Stay

If you want to enjoy the culture and be close to the historic sights of Malta, you should choose to stay in Valetta, the capital of Malta. But if you want to have some romantic moments on the beach without crowds, you should consider staying on Gozo island. It has less developed infrastructure compared to the main island, so renting a car might be the best option to get around Gozo.

Anna from Big World Short Stories

Romantic cities in Europe

Geiranger, Norway

Geiranger, in Norway’s fjord country, is romantic for its scenery. No matter where you are in the village, you’ll be surrounded by Geirangerfjorden, or the Geiranger Fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that will take you (and your honey’s) breath away.

The main attractions in Geiranger are of the outdoorsy type. Take a hike to the Storsæterfossen Waterfall, which includes a path behind the falls, and explore the lower fjord, where you may run into some very fuzzy goats and sheep.

For some sustenance, try the Brasserie Posten. The eatery boasts an outside terrace for all of your people-watching needs. For dessert, head over to the Geiranger Sjokolade, a chocolate shop that you’ll be able to smell well before you get there. 

The best time to visit Geiranger is in the summer. Despite the cruise ship crowds, the summer months offer more self-drive opportunities throughout Norway’s fjord country, and you won’t contend with possible business closures due to inclement weather. 

The icing on your stay will be the view from your hotel at Hotel Utsikten, translated, appropriately, to Hotel the View. The Flydalsjuvet overlook, a less-crowded spot to take in the scenery of the fjord, is within easy walking distance from the hotel, as well. 

Agnes from Travel on the Reg

Top things to do in Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is one of the most romantic cities in Europe. And for a good reason! The fairytale castles, charming riverside walks, cute little streets and cozy restaurants are the perfect ingredients for having a romantic weekend in Budapest.

You can visit Budapest basically any time of the year because it’s equally beautiful in the sunny weather and in the snow as well. However, in my opinion the best timing is late spring when the whole city is covered with colorful flowers. The weather is also perfect for taking a romantic walk along the Danube river or having a picnic on the Margaret Island.

If you’re looking for the most romantic place in Budapest you have to check out the Fisherman’s Bastion! This panoramic lookout tower looks like a real-life fairytale castle and it offers a breathtaking view over the Pest side of the city. From there you can easily walk to the Buda Castle and explore the cute cobblestone streets of the Castle District.

Budapest is really famous for its thermal baths and visiting the Széchenyi Thermal Bath is the perfect choice for having a relaxing afternoon with your loved one. End your day with a romantic evening cruise on the Danube river to make your Budapest trip unforgettable!

Kriszti from She Wanders Abroad

Romantic cities in Europe

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

The Dolomites are undeniably among the prettiest and most impressive sections of the Alps. Of all the towns and villages of this area, Cortina d’Ampezzo is called the Queen of the Dolomites. Located in the Italian region of Veneto, the valley of Cortina d’Ampezzo is wide and spacious, surrounded by majestic rocky peaks of that unique, light-pink shade that you cannot find anywhere else.

There are plenty of romantic things to do in Cortina, ranging from sports and outdoor activities, to wellness and relaxation, and of course food.

Visit Cortina during the winter to enjoy the thrills and panoramas of its extensive ski slopes, and take a lunch break at the authentic “rifugio” huts to taste the local cuisine. We recommend spending a night at Rifugio Faloria to admire the amazing view over the valley below. That’s why we chose it for our wedding!

During the summer, explore the stunning peaks and forests along numerous hikes and walks. The valley of Cortina is part of the Dolomites National Park and is protected by UNESCO. Check out the barrel sauna at Croda da Lago refuge and relax after a beautiful hike!

It wouldn’t be a trip to Italy without amazing food: even though there are lots of great “pizzerias” in the city centre, consider treating yourself to a delicious and unique meal at the famous Ristorante Tivoli or El Camineto. 

Giulia from The Travelling Sunglasses

Romantic cities in Europe

Tbilisi, Georgia

If it’s romance you’re after a trip to Tbilisi can’t be overlooked. Tbilisi is the vibrant capital of Georgia and has something for everyone. Whether you enjoy architecture, bars and restaurants, history or nature, you’ll find it all in this quirky little city. The cobbled streets of Tbilisi’s old town make the perfect place for a romantic stroll and by night you can take the cable car to the fortress and take in the views of the city by night.

If you’re looking for a romantic meal head to the cozy courtyard at Ezo or if you want something a bit more fancy head to Barbarestan. Both places serve excellent local food with their own flair. Make sure you wash it down with some traditional Georgian wine, Georgian wine making culture is said to be one of the oldest in the world.

To end your romantic evening head for a soak at Tbilisi’s natural sulphur baths and then back to your hotel. For a splash out, Hotel Stamba is one of the best places to stay in Tbilisi and offers gorgeous rooms in a converted publishing house which is also home to an excellent café, restaurant and bar.

Rohan from Travels of a Bookpacker

Krakow, Poland

Krakow is a truly beautiful city with a long and rich history. Its Old Town belongs among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can start your walking tour among historical buildings and charming churches at Main Square which is one of the largest town squares in Europe. Don’t forget to visit Wawel castle (built back in 14th century) and lovely Jewish district Kazimierz. It’s one of the most romantic areas which offers a network of narrow streets with plenty of intimate cafés and places where you can taste some good wine. The nearby salt mine in Wieliczka offers also an extraordinary experience. The old mine was transformed into an underground city with impressive chapels and emerald salt lakes. The whole experience wouldn’t be complete without trying some typical Polish food like pierogi. You can get great ones at Przystanek Pierogarnia. A magnificent place to stay is a Hotel Europejski, with its unique historic style.

What is the best time to visit Krakow?

Great time to visit Krakow is during the spring or autumn. Summer usually attract huge crowds of tourist. If you don’t mind cold weather, winter can be also a good time to visit because it’s the least busy season.

Adriana from Czech the World

Romantic cities in Europe
Romantic cities in Europe

Vienna, Austria

For a really romantic break in Europe, look no further than Austria’s capital, Vienna. There’s plenty of romantic things to do here, from visiting the famous Klimt painting, ‘The Kiss’, at Belvedere art gallery, to dressing up for a night at the opera at the Staatsoper. If you simply want to enjoy the city, opt for a candlelit boat trip along the River Danube.
 
Once you’ve built up an appetite, head to Paul restaurant for a romantic meal just a few streets away from the Stadtpark. Here you can enjoy Austrian dishes as well as European cuisine in a quiet, elegant atmosphere. Whatever you decide to eat, just make sure you and your partner save room for dessert at either Cafe Sacher or Cafe Museum. Both stay open late and serve up delicious Sachertorte and Apple Strudel.
 
For a really romantic weekend in Vienna, choose a hotel in the city’s old town. You’ll be surrounded by classical architecture and pedestrian streets, perfect for night-time strolls.
 
The good thing about Vienna is that there’s never a bad time to visit. Sure it can get cold in winter, but what’s more romantic than exploring with your partner, exchanging body heat along the way?
 
Romantic cities in Europe

Taormina, Sicily

Located in north east Sicily, Taormina sits in a unique position, perched on a cliff top with views of the Mediterranean and Mt Etna.

Taormina is incredibly pretty: packed with narrow streets, enticing bars and restaurants. Flowers adorn the balconies and gardens of the many elegant palazzos.

Music concerts and an annual film festival are held in the Greek amphitheatre where visitors are bewitched by the incredible views of smouldering Mt Etna. Taking an evening passeggiata through Piazza IV Aprile is a great way to take in the beauty of Taormina.

There’s a cable car from Taormina down to the pretty beach at Isola Bella where visitors can relax and enjoy morning coffee or an evening aperitif. The water is clear and great for swimming. There are many other great Sicily beaches nearby.

There are some very romantic hotels to stay at in Taormina. One of the most delightful small hotels is Villa Belvedere which makes the most of the incredible views. For a truly luxurious experience, visitors should consider the Grand Hotel Timeo.

Taormina is incredibly popular in the summer months so the best time to visit is in spring or autumn when the weather is still warm but the town is quieter.

Annabel from Smudged Postcard

Romantic cities in Europe

Seville, Spain

Spain is undoubtedly a country for lovers. And one of the most romantic cities in Spain is Seville, with its gorgeous architecture, beautiful parks and delicious restaurants.

There are many things to do in Seville on a romantic weekend away. Start off at Maria Luisa Park. With lush gardens, scented orange trees and colorful flowers, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic picnic or just a hand-in-hand stroll.

Afterwards, wander over to Plaza de España. While these buildings are now government offices, they look more like palace grounds. Rent a row boat for a paddle around the serene moat.

The Real Alcazar is one of Seville’s most beautiful buildings. Wander the ornate rooms and perfectly manicured gardens of the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe.

When you’re ready for a romantic dinner in Seville, you’re spoiled for choice. For something casual, sip cava and nibble on tapas at El Rinconcillo, the oldest bar in the city. For fine dining, grab a river-side table at Abades Triana which has magnificent views of the Torre del Oro and the Seville Cathedral spire.

The Hotel Alfonso XIII is inside a historic building, with design details that reflect the Arab influences seen around the entire city.

The best time to visit Seville is spring and autumn, when the weather is milder and there are fewer crowds.

Rebecca of Rebecca and the World

Romantic cities in Europe

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is one of the most loved holiday destinations in Italy. It consists of five beautiful villages (i.e. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manorola and Romaggiore) along the coastline on the Italian Riviera. With the Tuscan sun, cliffs and rocks in a picturesque setting overlooking the ocean, romantic hiking trails, wine, and flavorful food – you and your loved one will definitely not be disappointed!

For the most romantic experience, be sure to join a boat tour in Manorola to admire the beauty of Via Dell’ Amore (Lover’s Lane) and all the five villages. If you are an active couple, you will want to trek from Monterosso to Vernazza. The trail takes you through a stunning landscape consists of vineyards, oak trees, olive groves, heather, and orchards. Beware though, flip-flops and sandals are not allowed on any hiking trail.

The best time to visit Cinque Terre is during the summer months (June to September). The hotels fill up rather quickly during this period of time, so make sure you book accommodation in advance. For a budget-friendly stay, our recommendation goes to Sottocoperta Guest House in Riomaggiore.

Ming from Flyerism

Romantic cities in Europe

Munich, Germany

Most people think of Munich as the home of Oktoberfest, which is one of the biggest and most well-known festivals in Germany. But Munich is not just a party city; it’s one that is rich in history with charming streets and architecture.

Wandering around Munich’s palaces and museums is a romantic thing to do. Other activities for couples are drinking cocktails in a bar, enjoying a romantic dinner with a view over Munich at Restaurant 181 or sunbathing naked with the locals. Munich has six urban naked zones, including along the Isar River and a section of the English garden where you can go au natural. For a romantic cocktail head to Pusser’s, which is one of the first American cocktail bars to open in the city or go dancing around Ostbahnhof.

Lake Starnberg is Germany’s fifth-largest freshwater lake and a beautiful spot to have a romantic picnic. Another romantic attraction are the fairy-tale Bavarian castles that can be visited as a day trip from Munich. The most famous is Neuschwanstein, which was built by King Ludwig II and was used as the model for Walt Disney’s Tinkerbell Castle.  

 The best time to visit Munich is between March and May when the weather is lovely. For a romantic hotel in Munich, check into Hotel Bayerischer Hof. The grand hotel was built in 1841 and continues to attract celebrities and stars.

Christina from Travel 2 Next

Romantic cities in Europe

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a great city for lovers. The centuries-old building of Prague and the twisty, cobbled lanes form the perfect backdrop to play out your own love story. Take the funicular up the hill and visit  Prague’s number one attraction the historic castle. Afterwards take a stroll through the Petrín Hill gardens while enjoying the views over the city. The heart of Prague is the old town square, with beautiful historic buildings. When your feed are tired there are plenty or terraces and restaurants to keep you from going hungry or thirsty.

Do you want to eat somewhere original visit one of the two train restaurants in Prague. Where miniature trains bring the drinks to your table.

Splurge and stay in a the Art Nouveau Palace Hotel in one of the historic building or for romance-on-a-dime there are plenty Airbnb options in Prague.

Prague is always a busy city but even more so during Christmas and the July and August European summer holidays. If possible visit in May, June or September when the weather is balmy and there are less crowds.

Tikva from Gezin Op Reis

So these are the most romantic cities in Europe, chosen by the travel bloggers that know Europe well! Thank you for everyone’s contribution and we hope this helps you plan a romantic getaway!

Let us know where you head to in the comments below.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Phoebe | Lou Messugo
    Reply

    Lots of romantic inspiration here. I’m hoping to get to Georgia this summer, not for romance but with my family! Good to see Tbilisi on the list.

  • Sharon
    Reply

    What a wonderful compilation! My favorite European city, Paris, is on the list of course. The one I want to visit and haven’t yet is Cologne. I love that bridge!

  • Nancy Hann
    Reply

    Lots of great ideas here! I’ve been to a few, but many more on the to-do list. I loved Edinburgh, Paris and Munich.

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Romantic holidays for couples