If you want to travel to a romantic spot, Europe offers a number of different options. Some cities have reputations for romance and others are not always that obvious. So to help you plan a special romantic getaway for an anniversary, a birthday, a honeymoon, a wedding location, or even to celebrate we have come up with a list of love-filled locations. Without further adieu, here are the 14 best romantic destinations in Europe.
1. Gdansk, Poland
Gdansk has more than 1000 years’ worth of history and a unique location. Interesting enough, it is a contemporary city that includes a variety of options from which visitors may choose. It’s a thriving center of culture, entertainment, science, sports, and even business.
It features beautiful beaches and parks, contemporary conference venues, and memorable scenery too. In the recent past, they have invested funds in the AmberExpo Exhibition and Convention Centre, the Lech Walesa Airport, and several new hotels. This magnificent metropolis has been praised by the New York Times as being tourist-friendly and even recommended by the famous Brit guidebook publisher – Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Travel as being one of the world’s top ten must-see tourist spots.
2. Cordoba, Spain
You will find the noteworthy city of Cordoba in Spain. The city boasts a wealth of culture and heritage. It reflects the strong civilizations that once inhabited the area: the Romans, the Moors, the Jews, and the Christians have all left their mark on its culture, customs, heritage, and local traditions.
This romantic city was designated an official UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site in 1994. This was done to recognize the metropolis’ historical patrimony. It was extended to the exceptional Cordoba Mosque and the surrounding area as well.
At one time the architecture here is said by some to rival that in such other cities as Baghdad and Constantinople. Indeed, the artistic architecture was more than visually impressive. It also played an important part in the birth of the famous neo-Islamic style of the 1800s.
3. Colmar, France
The French city of Colmar can be found in the Alsace region close to both Switzerland and Germany. Thus, the architecture here has a definite Swiss and German influence. Its 67,000 residents work to see that the city retains a special “country town” atmosphere worthy of this charming “Venice of France.”
Here you will get a definite insight into over 1,000 years of European heritage and history. Strolling the cobblestone streets here past the olden, half-timbered homes will definitely give you the feeling that you’ve traveled back through the mists of time.
The best time to visit is the subject of some debate. Many visitors travel here in winter to enjoy the charms of its traditional Christmas market. Other travelers like to visit in spring for that seasonal celebration and to shop at the spring markets.
4. Zagreb, Croatia
Situated in Croatia, Zagreb has garnered a reputation for itself despite not being a typical tourist stop. It is reportedly known by some as “the city with a heart.” Apparently, this place warmly welcomes visitors and foreign settlers alike.
Veteran visitors, be they tourists or business people, confirm that Zagreb is a big city that is both safe and romantic. The numerous spacious pedestrian areas include attractive architecture, gardens, open cafes, plenty of parks, and several street terraces across this city further accentuating the charm and hospitality of the place. Here you will discover a number of different options such as art exhibitions, museums, sports events, and music and theatre events as well. Most of the attractions are in the center of the city and thus are all within walking distance for most visitors.
5. Santorini, Greece
Santorini, officially known as Thira and classic Greek Thera, is situated in the beautiful Aegean Sea. Arguably Santorini’s most famous physical trademark is its bright blue and white churches and homes high in the hillsides. Oddly, this Greek isle almost disappeared back in 1600 due to a huge volcanic eruption which established the present-day outlines of this island.
This tourist favorite is definitely a wonderful, popular place for a truly memorable romantic island getaway. You can take a page from Gilligan’s book and take “a three-hour tour” complete with a comfy dip in the local hot springs and a volcanic hike too. Another seafaring option is the popular five-hour sunset catamaran cruise that includes swimming and snorkeling, a real Greek barbecue, and, of course, incredible views at sunset. Don’t forget to visit the local wineries either.
6. Portofino, Italy
World travelers will find the quaint village of Portofino, just a few kilometers from the city of Genoa in Liguria, Italy. It is ensconced in a lovely cove. For centuries now this attractive locale has been a favorite place for artists and other well-known individuals to relax and enjoy their leisure time.
In more recent times, this has become a real hot spot for the international Jet Set. Such celebs and entertainers as Beyonce, Lana Del Rey, Elton John, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Sylvester Stallone, Oprah Winfrey, and Jay Z have kicked back at this unique destination. Hey, who knows? You might even get a chance to rub elbows with the rich and famous during your stay here. So don’t forget to pack your autograph book in your suitcase.
7. Aix-les-Bains, France
The commune of Aix-les-Bains referred to by the locals as simply Aix is located in the distinctive department of Savoie, within the southeastern French section of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. More specifically, this big spa town is located on the shore of the biggest natural lake of glacial origin in the nation, the lovely Lac du Bourget. This particular place is frequently praised for the local cuisine, culture, various sporting events, options for relaxation, magnificent landscapes, and other examples of natural beauty.
This vast healthful, outdoor playground offers something for everyone. Again, the best time to visit depends on the specific focus on your trip. Nevertheless, if you prefer to vacation in good weather, you should consider traveling here any time from May through October. If you are a sun-worshipper, the warmest months are unsurprisingly June, July, and August.
8. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is the capital of the popular province of West Flanders in Belgium’s Flemish Region. It’s only a short train ride from the more famous city of Brussels. The city is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Rife with old canals, Bruges is also called “the Venice of the North.” It’s also said to be one of the world’s “best-preserved” historic, medieval towns. Some of the “must-see” attractions include The impressive Basilica of the Holy Blood, The Groeningemuseum, the Cinema Lumière, and the noteworthy Aquariustheater.
You can stroll past lofty towers, ponds and gardens, and shop boutiques in Market Square. Beer aficionados may wish to browse the Brewery museum or attend the beer festival known as the BAB-bierfestival. Need more excitement? Fret not. The city hosts such music festivals as BurgRock, the Comma Rocks Festival, and Thoprock.
9. Sintra, Portugal
Sintra is a town situated in Portugal’s Greater Lisbon region on the Portuguese Riviera. A brief train ride from the more well-known city of Lisbon, this magnificent municipality was once the home of the country’s many monarchs. Thus while a great number of people know little about the place, it oddly remains a major tourist destination nonetheless.
There are a number of noteworthy sights to see too. There’s the Castle of the Moors, the Chalet and Garden of the Countess of Edla, the Mansion of Penha Verde, the National Palace of Pena, Praia das Maçãs Prehistoric Monument, The Puppet House of Sintra, the Valdevinos Cultural Association, and the Palace of Regaleira and Tholos tomb of Monge. Take in the historic architecture of the buildings and don’t forget to enjoy a simple, romantic stroll through the lush woods there too.
10. Metz, France
Metz is a noteworthy city located in northeast France. It is only an 82-minute train ride out of the more well-known city of Paris. Veteran visitors say that this place is actually “the perfect sized (place) for a short break” if your vacation gets a tad too hectic.
Here you will discover a distinct blend of the past and future represented by the well-preserved historic buildings and the signature structures by several award-winning architects (Christian de Portzamparc, Christian de Portzamparc, Shigeru Ban, etc.) in the newly-developed areas. There’s a lot to see and do here too. Your options include animated terraces, art galleries, bars, cafes, family-friendly parks, and lovely gardens. There’s also the yearly flea market in the Outre Seille quarter, the summer Mirabelle Festival with all the outdoor concerts, and the popular Christmas Markets too.
11. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is both the capital and the most populous city in the country. Considered one of the happiest places on the planet, it has all the signature comforts of Scandinavian destinations. The city has an impressive royal history spanning over 1,000 years.
Copenhagen comes complete with the famous Danish breakfast, castles, quaint cobbled streets, contemporary buildings, local bakeries, magnificent museums, noteworthy beaches, quirky boutiques, and the stunning harbor views. Let’s not forget the flourishing art and fashion scene either. Copenhagen is praised for its advanced infrastructure, convenient metro system, the family-friendly Tivoli Gardens theme park, and, of course, its world-famous Christmas market as well.
12. Lucerne, Switzerland
The city of Lucerne is located in central Switzerland. If you speak German you will be ahead of the crowd as the city is found in the German-speaking section of the nation. It’s both the official capital of the canton of the same name and a portion of the Lucerne district.
This romantic place is truly a veritable bucket list goody bag as it offers visitors a wide range of assorted experiences and attractions from a shimmering sapphire lake to wonderful waterside promenades to impressive historic structures and sun-washed town plazas replete with lovely fountains. This is also a musical metropolis that is famous for hosting a number of different music concerts including the incredibly popular International Music Festival, The Lucerne Festival (for classical music), the pop music-focused B-Sides event, and The Lucerne Blues Festival. The city also is the home of The world-renowned Culture and Convention Center.
13. San Sebastian, Spain
The romantic city of San Sebastian is situated in the unique Basque Autonomous Community in Spain. Also known as Donostia, this municipality and coastal city can be found on the beautiful Bay of Biscay which is only 20 kilometers from the border of France. It’s a lovely lesser-known seaside resort.
Among those in the know, it is popular for a number of reasons including the Basque country tapas known as “pintxos.” When it comes to food, veteran visitors often recommend the sidrerias or cider halls where you can dine on such dishes as fish, steak, salt cod omelettes and even top it off with tasty sweet biscuits and a popular walnut and cheese dessert. Memorable activities, events, and attractions include San Sebastián’s Jazz Festival (Jazzaldia), the San Sebastián International Film Festival, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, the San Telmo Museoa, Basque Week and, of course, San Sebastián Day.
14. Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia is more than just a historical region found in Central Anatolia, in the transcontinental country of Turkey. It has several different areas with unique cultural, geological, and historic features. There are four cities most tourists focus on here.
They are Aksaray, Kayseri, Nevsehir, and Nigde. Additionally, Cappadocia is a land of odd, individualistic rock formations and whimsical fairytale chimneys too. Frequent flyers confirm they are so unique that when you see them in person you might not think they are real.
If you like visiting strange, romantic lands that might have you thinking you’ve somehow traveled to another planet, sign up for a hot-air balloon ride in Goreme and see the area from a bird’s eye view. Movie buffs might recognize this place as it was used in numerous movies including the 1989 sci-fi flick, Slipstream, and in the 2011 motion picture Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.