The Most Romantic Cities in Europe for a Valentine’s Weekend Away

The Eiffel Tower in Paris - One of the Most Romantic Cities in Europe

Europe is incredibly romantic, and if you’re looking for the perfect destination for a Valentine’s weekend away then I’ve picked 14 of the most romantic cities in Europe for you.  Of course, I had to choose 14 romantic cities in Europe – Valentine’s Day is February 14th after all! 

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If you are planning a surprise Valentine’s weekend away for your partner, don’t forget that romance can mean lots of different things, so I’ve mixed in some of the more obvious choices with a few you might not have considered before!  Think about what you and your partner like to do – or might like to try and choose a romantic destination that is perfect for you.    

Prague

No one can deny that Prague is a beautiful city, but it is much more romantic in the winter than it is in the summer when the city is overrun with tourists.  Of course, it will be cold but that’s all the more reason to snuggle up and keep warm! 

A stroll along the river and around the castle district, gazing down at the Old Town below is definitely romantic.  There are some spectacular views from Prague Castle and Letna Park if you want to stretch your legs, or the Old Town Hall Tower is a great place to watch the sunset with your partner. 

A more leisurely romantic experience would be a food tour to eat your way around Prague, sampling some of the wonderful Czech food, wine and beer.  Or how about a dinner cruise along the river with live music, or dinner in a ballroom with music by Mozart?      

Take your King or Queen on a tour of Prague Castle or an e-bike tour around the city – or for something a little saucy check out the Sex Machines Museum for inspiration when you are back at the hotel! 

Alternatively, if Prague sounds a bit too hectic for you, you could take the train to Cesky Krumlov, a beautiful fairytale town where you can get lost in the narrow streets and fall in love all over again.

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Church of Our Lady before Tyn in Prague - Romantic Cities in Europe
Church of Our Lady before Tyn in Prague – Romantic Cities in Europe

York

York is a gorgeous historic city in Northern England and is the home of many of England’s most famous chocolate makers.

Although the large factories have closed, there are still plenty of chocolate shops where you can woo your partner with deliciously decadent chocolate treats.  Take a walk down the Shambles and pop into Monk Bar Chocolatiers to choose your favourite handmade chocolates or go to York Cocoa House for a chocolate tasting and chocolate afternoon tea

For history lovers, there are plenty of museums in York to suit every taste too, including the National Railway Museum, York Castle Museum and JORVIK Viking Centre.  Clifford’s Tower has beautiful views of the city, but my favourite thing to do in York is to visit York Minster, York’s stunning Cathedral with the famous Rose Window.  The steps up to the roof are a challenge, but worth the effort as you and your loved gaze into each other’s eyes and across the whole of York.

For a romantic dinner, you won’t be short of options either; York has some excellent restaurants using the finest Yorkshire ingredients – the only challenge is choosing your favourite!   

If you prefer a getaway in a quieter place, you could take a day trip to the coast or head for a walk in the North York Moors National Park.  

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The narrow streets of York - The Most Romantic Cities in Europe
The narrow streets of York – The Most Romantic Cities in Europe

London

Ahhh, London.  Perhaps it’s a cliché but London is one of the most romantic cities in Europe, no matter what your idea of romance is!

There are so many romantic things to do in London to suit every taste, you certainly won’t get bored here.  Get some royal inspiration at Buckingham Palace, take a romantic walk in one of the parks or along the Thames for some of the best views in London.  Speaking of views, how about a trip on the London Eye, or a romantic brunch at Sky Lounge? 

Afternoon tea at one of the top restaurants in London, perhaps even a themed afternoon tea like this Charlie & The Chocolate Factory afternoon tea, would suit your partner.  See a show at the theatre, Shakespeare at the Globe, or a performance at one of the many live music venues.  pretend like you’re Harry Potter on a tour of the filming locations or take a day trip to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour – just don’t miss platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross if you are a Potterhead! 

If your partner likes to shop, then you can do that on Oxford Street for designer gear or head to Portobello Road or Camden for more unique shops and flea markets.  No matter what you decide, your romantic weekend in London is sure to be a hit with your loved one! 

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Millenium Bridge at St Paul's Cathedral at Night - Romantic London
Millennium Bridge at St Paul’s Cathedral at Night – Romantic London

Edinburgh

Scotland may be bracing in February but keeping warm in a Scottish pub with a wee dram of whisky is a wonderful way to get closer to your partner. 

If you are Harry Potter fans then exploring the city where J K Rowling penned her books might be just what you are looking for.  Visit Victoria Street, the inspiration for Diagon Alley, spot familiar names in a unique graveyard and wander around Princes Gardens with views of Edinburgh Castle.

Take a walk to Calton Hill for beautiful views of the city, or up to Arthur’s Seat for an invigorating hike with even better views.  Back in the city, take a food tour, a whisky tasting or visit a gin distillery to learn more about Scottish food and drink, or visit the National Museum of Scotland to learn about Scottish history.  The Palace of Holyrood House and The Royal Yacht Britannia are other options for your own Queen or King to get the royal treatment. 

Edinburgh Castle watches over the city, so you could explore inside or simply walk around the city, spotting unique views of the castle down narrow streets and romantic alleyways.      

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Victoria Street in Edinburgh - Romantic Cities in Europe
Victoria Street in Edinburgh – Romantic Cities in Europe

Venice

Certainly one of, if not the most romantic city in Europe, Venice may be a cliché but there is no denying how beautiful the city is. 

Take a ride on a gondola or learn to row your own for a unique experience.  Alternatively, how about making your own jewellery or painting your own carnival mask?  There are plenty of museums in Venice to keep you and your partner occupied, and some incredible churches too.  Explore the city on foot and head up to the rooftops for the best views in Venice to enjoy a romantic moment together.    

Although walking across the Rialto Bridge and Bridge of Sighs near St Mark’s Square are both essential things to do in Venice, make sure you take the time to get lost in the narrow streets away from the top tourist sights.  The real romance of Venice is joy of finding your own quiet spot and enjoying the silence. 

Food and drink also keep the romance going into the evening; an aperitivo with a glass of prosecco and cicchetti snacks is a great way to start the evening, followed by a romantic meal in a little candlelit restaurant by the canals. 

If you want to see more of the Veneto Region, Padua is a lovely little city a short train ride away, or head to the Prosecco region for a wine tasting with more delicious food.

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An evening Gondola ride in Venice is very romantic
An evening Gondola ride in Venice is very romantic

Budapest

Budapest is fun, funky and refreshingly cheap compared to some of the other cities on this list, so you can really enjoy a romantic Valentine’s weekend on a budget. 

If you and your partner are early risers (or very late partiers!), the best place to watch the sunrise in Budapest is at Fisherman’s Bastion, where you can see the whole of the city below.  Views from there are spectacular at any time of day though, so if you fancy a lie-in you can still go there any time, even after dark.  An evening cruise on the Danube is the perfect way to romance your partner or take a walk along the banks of the river, across the Chain Bridge and along to see the Parliament Building in all its glory.  

Explore the city’s history, heritage and street art in the Jewish Quarter, and don’t miss a visit to the famous Ruin Bars for a unique experience.  Szimpla Kert is one of the best and has several different rooms so you can find a quiet corner to enjoy each other’s company.  The perfect way to treat your partner after a day’s sightseeing is a spa session at one of Budapest’s famous bathhouses.  Soak away any stress in the warm water, and you can also book massages to enjoy as well.  

Hungary has some excellent wine, so you could take a wine tour in Budapest or a day trip to the nearby wine regions – where you can splash out on the world’s most expensive wine! 

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The Parliament Building in Budapest at Night
The Parliament Building in Budapest at Night

Vienna

Vienna is a beautiful and romantic destination which you are bound to fall in love with.  

Beautiful buildings, pretty gardens and opulent palaces; Vienna oozes beauty.  Ideas for romantic things to do here include watching a classical concert in a magnificent church, spending a night at the Opera or having the chance to see the Lipizzaner Horses perform at the Spanish Riding School.    

Food in Vienna is delicious, and being the home of the famous Sacher Torte chocolate cake, you can find some incredible cafes with mouth-watering sweet treats to enjoy with your loved one.  Culinary couples might like to take a food tour in Vienna, or perhaps a cooking class.  Don’t miss the Strudel Show at Schonbrunn Palace, which also has lovely gardens to explore as well.  

Art is everywhere in Vienna, you could visit the Leopold Museum which has a fine selection of Austrian art, but for romance, it has to be the Belvedere, where you can admire Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss and share a kiss of your own.  

Vienna is also only a couple of hours away from Budapest, so if you have a few extra days you could extend your stay and see two of the most romantic cities in Europe in one trip!

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Pretty gardens in front of Kalrskirche in Vienna
Pretty gardens in front of Kalrskirche in Vienna

Munich

At first, the Bavarian city of Munich might not scream romance, but with art, culture, food and drink, there is little more any city would be able to offer. 

If you and your partner enjoy beer, then Munich certainly is the best destination for that.  Share a stein or two and enjoy some delicious food in one of the famous beer halls in Munich, fabulously fun way to spend your Valentine’s weekend.  Although Munich isn’t ideal for vegetarians, food in Munich is hearty and warming, while the Viktualienmarkt is a huge outdoor market where you can find everything from organic produce to exotic fruits and freshly cut flowers.

Walk up to the top of St Peter’s Church for beautiful views of the New Town Hall and the city, or walk in the Devil’s footstep at Frauenkirche.  There are plenty of museums to enjoy in Munich too, but if the weather is good then the English Garden is a huge park where you can walk around and explore, hire a bike or even a paddleboat on the lake.  Watch out for the naked sunbathers though, or feel free to join them!  Nothing says romance more than naked Germans in a park!  

For something more traditionally romantic, take a day trip to the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle where your prince or princess can imagine themselves in their very own romantic fairytale. 

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The Fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle close to Munich
The Fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle close to Munich

Riga

Latvia is still an underrated destination, but Riga is slowly coming into the spotlight – and about time too! 

Riga won’t be as busy as some of these other romantic European cities either, but it is certainly no less romantic.  Stroll around the old town and admire the architecture, pop into a café for delicious chocolate eclairs (a local speciality) or have a cocktail at the Radisson Blu Latvija’s Skyline Bar.  Riga has a fascinating history so take your time to explore and enjoy.  I also loved the food in Riga, from the huge market inside an old Zeppelin hangar to handmade dumplings, a romantic trip to Riga is a tasty affair.

I should also mention that traditional Latvian massages are a bonding experience like no other – where else can you be naked together and get beaten with scented bushes before plunging into cold water?  Perhaps I’m not explaining it well enough, but a Latvian massage will definitely bring you closer together.  If you fancy taking some day trips from Riga, the city is also on the doorstep of the Gauja National Park where you can go hiking in nature and explore some of Latvia’s historical monuments like Sigulda and Turaida Castle.  In warmer weather, nearby Jurmula has magnificent beaches, so Riga really does have it all! 

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Narrow streets and pretty buildings in romantic Riga
Narrow streets and pretty buildings in romantic Riga

Milan

If your partner loves to shop, then Milan is the perfect romantic city for you!  The capital of Italian fashion, Milan also holds its own with stunning architecture. 

Il Duomo, Milan’s breath-taking cathedral has to be one of the most romantic things to do in Milan.  Although inside the cathedral is stunning, the best part is a visit to the roof, where you can get up close and personal with the intricate architecture as well as enjoy views of the city below.  Next to the cathedral is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which is probably the most beautiful shopping arcade in the world, so you can get a perfect Instagram shot of your partner or treat them to a shopping spree!

For romantic foodies, taking a cooking class to make your own handmade pasta and tiramisu can help inspire you in the kitchen, and provide a delicious lunch with a real personal touch.  In the evening, how about an aperitivo drink on a terrace overlooking the Duomo?  Or a delicious meal in one of Milan’s top restaurants before a night at the Opera? 

If Milan is a little too much, take the train to nearby Bergamo, where the old town is encircled by the city wall and you can find a quiet corner all to yourselves.

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Il Duomo Cathedral in Milan - Romantic Things to do in Milan
Il Duomo Cathedral in Milan – Romantic Things to do in Milan

Barcelona

I adore Barcelona, having fallen in love with the city many years ago when I lived there. 

Barcelona is best appreciated on foot, so walking up the wide Passeig de Gracia to some of Gaudi’s most famous architectural works is the best place to start.  Admire his beautiful buildings from the outside or go inside Casa Batllo to understand more about his passion.  La Sagrada Familia cathedral is absolutely incredible and booking tickets to go inside is an absolute must.  Gaudi’s Park Guell also has beautiful views of the city below – which you also need to book in advance if you want to see the best parts.

Gaudi aside, romantic walks along the beach, incredible views from the nearby mountains and food and drink to die for, there is no other city where I would rather spend Valentine’s Day.  Stroll around the Gothic Quarter, find a cute café for hot chocolate and churros (donuts), share some tapas or paella and enjoy a cocktail or two at Rubi Bar.  Roof terrace bars are also a lovely way to share a drink and admire the views.

If Barcelona gets too much, a day trip to Girona is a welcome respite, where you can escape the crowds.  Game of Thrones fans will also be happy to know it was a filming location for the series!

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Gaudi's Casa Batllo in Barcelona - Romantic Cities in Europe
Gaudi’s Casa Batllo in Barcelona – Romantic Cities in Europe

Copenhagen

Although it will be cold in February, Copenhagen is one of my favourite romantic places to visit in Europe. 

The Danish have a wonderful concept called “hygge” which roughly translates as cosiness, which involves warm blankets, candlelight and, more often than not, delicious food and drink.  What better way to encourage romance than snuggling up in a cosy café with your loved one?

Admire colourful buildings at Nyhavn, take a romantic boat ride or visit the palace to imagine what live would be like as a royal couple.  For the young at heart, a trip to Tivoli (the inspiration for Walt Disney World) is great fun, with plenty of rides to get the blood flowing and rekindle your youthful romance. 

A romantic evening meal is a perfect way to end the day, and you are spoilt for choice with all the top restaurants in Copenhagen, including the second-best restaurant in the world, NOMA.  That said, food in Copenhagen doesn’t need to cost the earth, as there are plenty of traditional restaurants to enjoy without the hefty price tag.

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Colourful buildings at Nyhavn in Copenhagen
Colourful buildings at Nyhavn in Copenhagen

Lisbon

Portugal is one of the warmer destinations in Europe if you plan on booking a Valentine’s weekend away, but that’s not the only reason to visit Lisbon. 

This lovely city felt like home to me, although Porto further north does feel more like a local’s place, Lisbon definitely has something special about it.  The yellow trams trundle around the city, some of them through the most picturesque little streets you can imagine, and blue patterned azulejo tiles make Lisbon a colourful and beautiful city to discover.  

Foodies will adore Portugues cuisine, you could take a food tour or simply walk around and choose from any of the excellent restaurants in Lisbon.  Don’t miss trying the incredible pasteis de nata custard tarts; head to Belem on the tram to see where the recipe began, and to try some of the best crumbly gooey custard tarts you could imagine.

If you have time, I’d highly recommend taking a day trip to Sintra, where you’ll find jaw-dropping castles and mysterious palaces with fascinating gardens to explore.  Sunset at the Moorish Castle is stunning, whereas Pena Palace is a bizarre colourful creation to admire.    

If you’d prefer somewhere smaller, check out Evora, which is much quieter but no less beautiful than Lisbon.

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Colourful Tram in Lisbon - The Most Romantic Cities in Europe
Colourful Tram in Lisbon – The Most Romantic Cities in Europe

Paris

You can’t talk about romance in Europe without mentioning Paris.  It has been a few years since I was there myself, but I remember falling completely in love with the city as I sat in a garden eating macarons. 

Pretty much anything you choose to do in Paris is romantic, from eating delicious French food and drinking Champagne, to an evening boat ride on the Seine.  Hire bikes for the day to explore the city’s museums and parks or stroll down the Champs Elysée hand in hand.  Explore the backstreets of Montmartre and find a café for a glass of wine and French poetry or head to the Palace at Versailles to wander around the and opulent royal residence gardens.

Skip the queue to go up the Eiffel Tower and have dinner at a restaurant with views of the tower instead or take in dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge. 

If your partner loves food and drink, you could also take a class to learn how to make macarons, or a day trip to Champagne – the opportunities for romance in Paris are endless!

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The Eiffel Tower in Paris - One of the Most Romantic Cities in Europe
The Eiffel Tower in Paris – One of the Most Romantic Cities in Europe

Where will you choose?  I hope you find your perfect destination among my top picks for the most romantic cities in Europe.  Let me know where you decide to go, I’d love to hear how you get on!

Need more inspiration?  These posts might help, or click here to browse all my European blog posts.

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The Most Romantic Cities in Europe for Valentine's Day

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Last updated: January 14, 2020

2 thoughts on “The Most Romantic Cities in Europe for a Valentine’s Weekend Away

  1. Luke says:

    Valentine week is coming in few weeks and yea everyone will plan to visit some romantic place with his/her love ones. Europe is one of the special romantic place where you can enjoy your best time. York and Munich is one of my favourite city.

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