While you can book a romantic getaway almost anywhere in the world, there is something special about the cobblestone streets and medieval buildings found only in Europe. There is no better place to enjoy quality time with your partner than eating a romantic dinner with castle views. Or, taking a sunset boat tour along a river surrounded by stunning architecture. Many of the most romantic places in Europe are cities with an abundance of gorgeous boutique hotels, fine dining experiences, and countless other romantic things to do with your significant other. Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, honeymoon, Valentine’s Day, or just because, these are some of the most romantic European getaways for an unforgettable couples’ break.
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Most Romantic Places in Europe
Hungary’s capital city needs to be on any list of the most romantic cities in Europe. There are an endless number of romantic spots in this beautiful place. For starters, Budapest’s natural geology includes 123 hot springs that continuously provide fountains and pools of mineral-rich warm water.
Two of the best thermal baths in Budapest are Gellért Baths and Széchenyi Thermal Baths. They’re both worth visiting. Gellért is smaller yet more central and boasts an ornate Art Deco design. Széchenyi is one of the largest spas in Europe with a huge outdoor bath. It is surrounded by Városliget city park.
Budapest is split in the middle by the Danube River. The hills of Buda and Óbuda are on the west and the Old Town of Pest is on the east. Enjoying a romantic dinner cruise along this storied river is the best way to enjoy the sunset in Budapest. You’ll be able to see Budapest’s top sights like the grand Hungarian Parliament building and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge while sipping on champagne.
Hop on the quirky funicular up to the top of the Buda Hills. Take a romantic stroll through the grounds of Buda Castle and Mattias Church. Be sure to catch the amazing views of this beautiful city from the top of Fisherman’s Bastion.
Don’t leave Budapest without booking a table for lunch at the New York Café. Dating back to the turn of the 20th century, this café is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and opulent in the world.
Michelin-starred restaurants will be more affordable in Hungary than most other cities in Europe. Make reservations at Stand25 Bisztró for traditional yet elevated Hungarian cuisine.
Another major city in Central Europe, the capital of the Czech Republic might be perfect for your next romantic escape. Like Budapest, it also straddles a scenic river, the Vltava, with a lot of historic old bridges, a castle, and dreamy pastel-colored narrow streets lined with cobblestones. Visit in the shoulder season for the perfect balance between pleasant, warm weather and low crowds.
Prague Castle is a must-visit on any romantic trip to Prague. It’s a sprawling complex made up of Gothic, Romanesque, and medieval architecture as well as breathtaking churches like St. Vitus Cathedral. This castle offers panoramic views over the entire city center, but it’s not the only place in Prague for views. Climb Petrin Tower with your partner or book a table at Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge to watch the sunset.
Another reason to visit Prague is the iconic Charles Bridge. This historic stone structure connects the New Town with the Old Town. Take your time strolling along this bridge to admire the landscape across the river.
Better yet, take a romantic sunset boat ride on the Vltava River. Enjoy romantic walks through the picturesque Old Town Square and see the Prague Astronomical Clock strike on the hour.
Not only is Paris one of the most romantic cities in Europe, it’s perhaps the most romantic city in the world! One of the many nicknames of the French capital is the City of Love if you need further convincing. It’s the perfect city for a honeymoon or an anniversary trip if you want to travel somewhere special and memorable.
There are countless things to do in Paris, but one of the most romantic things is to see the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night. Stroll along the River Seine together at any time of day or take a boat ride to admire the city lights, bridges like the Pont Des Arts, and famous landmarks at night.
Book a macaron baking class or buy the best ready-made macarons from Fauchon. Why not capture some souvenir photos with Flytographer while you’re here? There’s nowhere better than in front of the I Love You Wall in Montmartre or in front of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica overlooking the city.
Is there anything more romantic than hitting up the local boulangerie and enjoying a makeshift picnic in a park? Paris has so many beautiful gardens like Jardin du Luxembourg or Jardin des Plantes. For evening entertainment with your love, choose a show at the Moulin Rouge or Palais Garnier Opera House.
It would be almost criminal to visit Paris for the first time with your partner and not venture on a day trip to see the Palace of Versailles. If you want a quick getaway from Paris, Giverny where Monet painted watercolors or the Champagne capital of Reims are two gorgeous romantic spots.
From late spring to early autumn, Denmark’s capital is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. When paired with Copenhagen’s pristine streets, spring blossoms, long summer days, and fall foliage always equal a picture-postcard place. Some of the best things to do in Copenhagen make it the perfect destination for a romantic stay.
Start your day stuffing your faces with decadent homemade pastries from Skt. Peders Bageri or Buka Bakery. Visit the Round Tower for some of the best views in the city. Or take a bike tour and do as the Danish do. Explore together while having the best time cycling in this bike-friendly city. You’ll want to visit the Little Mermaid fairytale statue on the coastline too.
Dine at Aamanns 1921 for traditional smørrebrød and snaps. If you’re both still hungry, Den Økologiske Pølsemand hotdog stand just down the street and serves the best hotdogs in the city.
Copenhagen’s palaces are some of the most romantic, best places to visit. Watch horses exercise outside Christiansborg Palace, the Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg, and stroll through the King’s Garden and see the Crown Jewels at Rosenborg.
Many of the most romantic places in Europe are brimming with natural beauty. Instead of the bright lights of a city break, head to a Greek Island like Santorini in the Cyclades instead. The best time to visit is spring or fall. You can enjoy the pleasant warmth of the Greek sun (and each other) without the crowds of the high season.
Santorini has a number of beaches on the Aegean Sea that are perfect for couples. Check out Kamari for soft, white sandy beaches, Perissa for black volcanic beaches, and Eros (yes, named after the Greek God of Carnal Love) for the best beach bar. If you’ve never gone horseback riding, you can try it out together on one of Santorini’s beaches.
One of the reasons why Santorini is such a popular destination for couples is the beauty of its white-painted villages, particularly Oia and Fira. Their windmills, churches, and castles look absolutely incredible at sunset. However, vying for a great place to view the sunset at one of the busy spots doesn’t sound very romantic!
Book a boat trip at sunset with a bottle of local wine included instead. Check out the wine tastings and tours available at Venetsanos Winery or Boutari Winery and sample the fruit of Santorini’s vines which have views of the Caldera coastline.
If you’re in need of a spa day, keep in mind that Santorini is a volcanic island with hot springs! Take a catamaran to Nea Kameni Hot Springs. With natural temperatures between 86ºF and 95ºF, it’s a blissful, natural hot tub experience.
The most popular places for couples to stay on Santorini are luxury resorts with an infinity pool or a secluded cave hotel. You won’t need to compromise if you book a stay in an Infinity Cave Suite at the Ambassador Hotel!
There are few cities that are an entire UNESCO World Heritage Site, but The Floating City is one of them. Every cobblestone street, quaint bridge, and marble church in Venice is dripping in romance and a long, rich history. It may be a cliché to say that Venice is one of the most romantic places in Europe, but it has that title for a reason. (We also think it’s one of the most romantic places in Italy!)
No romantic trip to this Italian city is complete without a gondola ride along the Grand Canal and narrow waterways of Venice. One 30-minute ride will set you back €80, but this form of luxury public transport is worth it!
You’ll see the famous Rialto Bridge and many more iconic landmarks. Afterward, relax with an overpriced cappuccino or something stronger at Caffè Florian in St Mark’s Square, the oldest café in Venice with the best people-watching.
Join a Cicchetti (Venetian tapas) street food tour or DIY it. Enjoy good food and small bites at Bar All’Arco and Cantine del Vino già Schiavi washed down with a glass of organic prosecco or Select Spritz.
Speaking of bars, check out Harry’s Bar on the waterfront which dates back to the 1930s. It’s famous for bellini cocktails and being one of the many, many haunts frequented by Hemingway.
Hop on a boat and take a day trip to one of the nearby islands like Murano or Burano. You can buy your love a piece of exquisite Murano glass to commemorate the great time you had on your romantic city break in Venice.
If Venice sounds like a good idea but you would rather enjoy an intimate break in a small city, why not choose the Little Venice of the North? Bruges is a perfectly compact medieval city in Belgium that looks straight out of a fairytale. Like Venice, it has a picturesque canal network bookended by ornate bridges which is oh-so romantic.
Bruges is in the Dutch-speaking, Flanders region of Belgium. You’ll notice much of the beautiful architecture resembles what you would find along Amsterdam’s canals. Head to the Market Square and take in the sights from on top of the slightly askew Belfry (don’t worry, it’s safe!).
Take a horse and carriage ride or a boat tour of the canals before sampling fresh waffles, locally-made chocolates, or a cone of crispy French fries. Bruges is the perfect location for a romantic escape if you prefer beer over wine. Head to the cozy, dark bars of De Garre or Café Vlissinghe.
You can’t take a trip to Bruges with your significant other without visiting Lovers’ Bridge and Lover’s Lake. They’re both located in a beautiful park overflowing with greenery and old, stone buildings with watermills.
8. Split, Croatia
Located on the Dalmatian coastline of Croatia, Split is a less obvious choice for a romantic destination. If you and your partner want to stay in a warm, port city on the Adriatic Sea with beautiful buildings surrounded by mountains, this is the perfect place!
Stroll through Split’s Old Town where you’ll walk by 12th-century Romanesque buildings with green window shutters and burnt orange roof tiles. Visit some of the best-preserved Roman architecture at Diocletian’s Palace and other historic sites like Pjaca Square and the centuries-old Saint Domnius Cathedral. Climb the bell tower for incredible views across the city and harbor.
Pack a picnic with local delicacies and carry it up to Marjan Park for epic city views. Yes, you will have to climb 314 steps up to the top but it is worth it. Don’t forget to buy some local Croatian wine. You can also sign up for a vineyard tour and wine tasting at Diocletian’s Wine House.
Of course, when visiting any city on the coast, boat trips are one of the most romantic activities. Take a sunset cruise or a day trip to one of the nearby islands like Brač or Hvar so you can relax together on a soft, white sand beach.
9. Lake Bled, Slovenia
One of the most scenic lakes on the continent, Lake Bled is absolutely stunning. It’s a mountain lake completely surrounded by rolling hills covered in spruce trees. It’s famous for the picturesque Assumption of Maria Church which sits on a small island in the middle of the lake, which you can (and should!) visit.
There are a lot of panoramic viewpoints to take in the tranquil scene. The landscape from Velika Zaka Beach is incredible, as is the view from Mana’s Stump. Hire a private boat so you can sail around the lake at your leisure or take one of the cute, gondola-style public boats straight to the church called Pletnas.
When you visit the church, ring the Wishing Bell three times to make all your dreams come true. Visit ‘the Heart of Bled’ on the banks of the lake near Bled town to hang your own love lock. If you’re staying for a couple of days, visit the dramatic 11th-century Bled Castle.
If you’re an active couple, hiking around the entire circuit of the lake will take around 90 minutes. You could also swim or paddleboard in the lake, or take the rigorous climb up to Mala Osojnica where you’ll both be rewarded with sensational views across the lake. After you’re done exploring the lake, head back to Bled town for traditional sweet treats at Potičnica House.
10. Hallstatt, Austria
Another unique lakeside destination that is perfect for a couples’ trip is Hallstatt. This small market town is on the Romantic Road of Austria around one hour’s drive south of Salzburg. It’s home to dozens of 16th-century Alpine lodges with mountains encircling the clear, deep blue waters of the lake.
Hallstatt’s funicular is like something out of a Wes Anderson movie. You can travel on the one from Hallstatt up to Salzwelten. In the mountains, you can admire the incredible views from the Skywalk or visit an ancient salt mine. There are tons of postcard-perfect observation decks in Hallstatt showcasing the striking grey and black Evangelische Pfarrkirche church on the banks of the lake.
Take the ferry or a private boat to the castle of Schloss Grub and sail around Lake Hallstatt. Hike along the lakeside paths (don’t forget to admire the waterfalls of Gosauzwang Soleweg) or hop on the train to enjoy scenic views from the comfort of a carriage with your partner.
11. Lake Como, Italy
If Lake Como is good enough for George Clooney, it’s good enough for you and your significant other! Lake Como is surrounded by dreamy Alpine mountains and beautiful villages with some of the most exquisite gardens and lavish villas in Italy.
Opt for a private boat tour instead of the ferry if you have the cash so you can visit all the top romantic spots. Villa del Balbianello and Villa Carlotta should be high on your list.
Of course, you can’t visit Lake Como as a couple without checking out Bellagio. You will both love the flower boxes all around the town as well as the pastel buildings and labyrinthine streets.
For couples who adore beautiful scenery but like to be active, there is a lot of opportunity at Lake Como! Hike into the Lari Mountains or book a paragliding experience for unrivaled views across all the Swiss and Italian lakes in the region. Watch the sunset over Lake Como while dining at La Vita è Bella Ristorante in Como.
12. Strasbourg & Colmar, France
Two of the most romantic places in Europe during the Christmas market season are the medieval city of Strasbourg and the charming town of Colmar. You could easily visit both (and you should) in one romantic trip. Colmar is only a 30-minute train journey south of Strasbourg.
Admire the 16th-century provincial buildings in Strasbourg’s Petite France neighborhood before checking out other striking historic sites in the city. The Gothic Strasbourg Cathedral, Musée des Beaux-Arts, and the Baroque Palais des Rohan are all very different yet spectacular buildings.
Traveling to Colmar will feel like slipping into Beauty and the Beast world. Half-timbered buildings date back to the Middle Ages and there are cute cafés on every corner. Visit during the winter season for seasonal stalls selling spiced mulled wine, ice skating, and more. Check out Colmar during the warmer months for an epic wine tour of the Alsace region.
As the capital of the enchanting Tuscany region of Italy, Florence cannot help but be one of the most romantic places in Europe. It was built during the Renaissance and is the epicenter of a major wine region. The city is known for several major art museums like the Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell’Accademia.
One of Florence’s selling points as a romantic destination is that it’s fairly small. You can easily take a romantic stroll from the River Arno through Piazza della Signoria to the Duomo. Don’t forget to buy your beloved a piece of jewelry from one of the shops on Ponte Vecchio. (Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s the memories that count!).
Visit the beautiful Boboli Gardens in bloom while you’re south of the river. Stop by one of Florence’s remaining wine windows on Via Santa Spirito for a glass of chianti or an aperitif.
Speaking of wine, you cannot take a romantic trip to Florence without taking a day trip. Book a Tuscan wine-tasting tour or venture further afield to Cinque Terre, Sienna, or Pisa.
If you want local restaurant recommendations, book a table at Acqua Al 2 or Ristorante Pensavo Peggio. For delicious homemade gelato, Vivoli is a must-visit.
For fun memories, take selfies in one of the many photo booths dotted around the city. Climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo for a magnificent sunset over the city when there are clear skies.
There are some amazing romantic places to visit in Turkey, but Istanbul shouldn’t be missed. While it might not be your first choice for the most romantic places in Europe, you’ll soon come around to the romance of this place.
It’s an ancient city with cuisine and traditions that might not be familiar. Trying new experiences with your partner is perhaps the most intimate thing you can do on vacation together.
Spas are inherently romantic, but a Turkish bath as a hamman is unique to certain Middle Eastern countries. Most hammams are segregated by gender, but there are spas like the historic Süleymaniye Hammam which caters to couples.
Check out the iconic Istanbul landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, and Topkapi Palace before taking a break at a tea house. Book a tea tasting or buy some to take home from the Istanbul Bazaar.
Don’t want to miss a romantic dinner cruise on the Bosporus Strait where you can enjoy the sunset as you sail into Asia and back to Europe.
Portugal’s capital city Lisbon attracts the most visitors, but the northern city of Porto is arguably a more romantic destination for couples. It’s known for its artistic heritage, port wine production, and incredible bridges crossing the Douro River which leads into the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the top things to do in Porto for couples is to find a hole-in-the-wall bar, like Fado na Baixa or A Casa do Fado, and listen to Fado. It’s a genre of music traditionally played by guitars and violas with a melancholy tune and lyrics which has a romantic vibe when enjoyed with a glass of port in an intimate venue.
Visiting port wine cellars should also be on your list. Calém Caves and Graham’s Port Lodge are two top places where you can taste ports with different aromas.
There are so many ways to enjoy views over the River Douro. If you’re an adventurous couple, climb the Arrábida Bridge, or simply hop on Tram N.1 and travel the entire length along the river from Ribeira to the ocean. Don’t forget to take photos in front of the famous white and blue tiled São Bento Railway Station.
For those who would like to whisk their partner away on a spontaneous romantic city break to somewhere on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is the perfect place. With a well-connected international airport, unique architecture, incredible Catalan cuisine, and Barceloneta beach, what more could you ask for?!
Waiting in line is very unromantic so book tours and skip-the-line tickets for popular attractions. La Sagrada Familia Basilica, Casa Milà, and Park Güell were all designed at the turn of the 20th century by local architect Antoni Gaudí. They’re such moving and inspiring places to visit.
Hop on a cable car into the Montjuïc Mountains and watch the magical fountain display at sunset. There are lots of other romantic things to see in Montjuïc such as Montjuïc Castle and the Barcelona Botanical Gardens.
Back in the city, take a Spanish cooking class to recreate the tapas and seafood dishes you enjoyed during your vacation. If you’re staying for a long weekend, spend a day relaxing on the beach or take a day trip to the colorful town of Girona or Salvador Dalí’s birthplace, Figueres.
Mark Twain said, “One thinks Heidelberg by day with its surroundings is the last possibility of the beautiful.” If that’s not a vote for Heidelberg being one of the most romantic places in Europe, I don’t know what is! The River Neckar runs through this charming German town with an old castle looming from a mountaintop, an ancient university, and a special chocolate tradition.
Schloss Heidelberg is a huge, ruined, 16th-century castle that you should visit on a romantic trip here. The Elizabeth Gate is an icon of the city and the castle offers panoramic views across the river, town, and lush green mountains in the distance.
Stroll around the University of Heidelberg campus and pose for a couples photoshoot on the Old Bridge. Next to this bridge, you’ll find a Love Stone where you can leave a love lock rather than damage the bridge’s 18th-century stonework.
As you wander around the Old Town, stop at the chocolate shops and buy your loved one a Student Kiss. It consists of dark chocolate, wafer, and nougat and originated in Café Knösel. These small chocolates were a way for young men to communicate with the young women they were courting in the 19th century when they couldn’t be seen alone. How cute!
Book a Couples Trip to One of the Most Romantic Places in Europe
Some couples’ idea of a romantic city break in Europe is staying at a five-star boutique hotel with amazing views of a new city skyline. Others prefer doing fun, new activities with their partner like hiking, sailing, or sightseeing. Some will want to enjoy all of the above.
One of the most important things about planning a romantic escape is to choose a place that suits the desires of you and your partner. Hopefully, this list of the most romantic places in Europe offers inspiration for your next romantic trip!