5+1 of Europe’s most romantic destinations

Let’s face it, Europe is jam-packed with romantic spots. Whether it’s a mesmerising castle, a medieval town square, a beautiful park or a cosy art-deco café in a charming neighbourhood, I believe there’s something for anyone who enjoys a bit of romance. And since I am one of those people…

…here are 5+1 of the most rmantic European destinations: 

 

1. Vienna, Austria

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Heldenplatz, Vienna
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Belvedere Palace gardens, Vienna
I will forever be in love with this city. The Austrian capital, in which I spent a truly amazing year in my early 20s, oozes charm, culture, music and, of course, romance. With its (many) Baroque palaces, impressive collection of gorgeous art museums and galleries (Gustav Klimt’s painting “The Kiss” is on display at the Österreichische Galerie  inside the city’s Belvedere Palace), Gothic town hall and churches, the captivating Danube river as well as the oh so beautiful Opera House, Vienna (which has one of the highest, if not the highest, quality of life in the world) is definitely in my top romantic destinations in Europe.

 

2. Venice, Italy

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Venice gondola
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Venice canals
Yes, I know, Venice is slightly overcrowded by tourists. However, this definitely does not take away the city’s romantic character. In fact it is still one of the top picks for loved up couples (and everyone else), and rightfully so, as it offers every visitor a unique experience hard to replicate anywhere else in Europe, let alone the world. From going on a gondola ride through labyrinth-like water alleyways (the city seems miraculously built on water across 117 small islands) to walking over bridges that have inspired dozens of artists, poets and musicians over the centuries, and from strolling down San Marco piazza to enjoying a glass of wine with your significant other in a beautiful restaurant, it is difficult to visit Venice and not be charmed by its magic. I certainly was.

 

3. Paris, France

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Eiffel Tower, Paris
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One of Paris’ many beautiful bridges
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Sacré-Cœur, Paris
And to everyone’s surprise (not), the beautiful French capital is also in the list, as it is nearly impossible to mention Paris without using the word ‘romantic’. The list of sights that make most people’s heart (including mine) skip a bit when they see them is endless, but to me Paris’ romantic nature is so much more than taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower or Notre-Dame. It’s spring strolls in the picture-perfect streets of Montmartre, it’s enjoying a summer day at the Tuileries Garden, it’s walking along the river Seine or relaxing on the steps of Sacré-Cœur and watching tourists walk up and down. It’s moments like these that make this city so special (although I’m not gonna lie, witnessing the Eiffel Tower light up is still one of my favourite moments in the city of love  #foreveratourist). 

 

4. Santorini, Greece

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Santorini’s mesmerising views [photo by https://www.discoverymundo.com/blog/5-reasons-to-visit-santorini/%5D
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Santorini’s white and blue houses [photo by: http://www.lastampa.it/2016/12/21/societa/mare/focus/il-fascino-divino-di-santorini-H94Mw8dcNeIKn00jZSiN8H/pagina.html%5D

If you are after mesmerising views, stunning sunsets and an island scenery like no other, all wrapped up in a whole lot of romance, then pack your bags (and your sunnies) and head to Santorini. One of the most beautiful – if not the most beautiful – islands in Greece (and that says a lot, since there are around 6000 of them to choose from), and hands down one of the most beautiful ones in Europe the world. What makes Santorini so dreamy? A combination of the fact that it is essentially built on the slopes of jaw-dropping cliffs created from an enormous 1646 BC volcanic eruption (and around 11 more since then), that it offers magnificent, breathtakingly gorgeous views of smaller volcanic islands immersed in the crystal clear Aegean Sea, and its countless can’t-get-more-Greek-than-this-colour-combination white and blue houses and churches. Hosting 1.5 million tourists every year, Santorini is a prime spot for… well, any visitor really (I personally travelled there with my family), but most famously, for anyone wanting to spend some lovey-dovey time with a special someone (around 1000 weddings and a gazillion honeymoons take place in the island annually). So if you are looking for an uber romantic destination, then start saving for Santorini now and you won’t regret it. I mean, it’s not everywhere in the world that you get to stare at the prettiest, most golden sunset whilst on top of what is still essentially an active volcano island.
Fun Fact: Oh, did I mention that Santorini (although dormant) is still considered an active volcano? Yup! Its last eruption dates back to 1950 and was accompanied by lava dome extrusion and flow. However, it was nowhere near as gigantic as the first one, somewhat 3600 years ago, which is considered as one of the largest volcanic eruptions on Earth and had resulted in tsunamis, major fatalities and mass island evacuation.

 

5. Amalfi Coast, Italy

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Amalfi coast views [photo by: http://www.uniglobeonebc.com/post/view/5-things-you-need-to-know-about-naples]
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The colourful houses of the Amalfi coast [photo by: http://unusualplaces.org/colors-of-the-amalfi-coast/]

Let me start by saying that I have never been to the Amalfi coast, and that it is totally a Bucket List Destination for meThe principle is very similar to Santorini; gorgeous cliff-top towns, magnificent views of the deepest blue sea, cute houses perfectly placed on steep slopes (although instead of white and blue, like in Santorini, each house is painted with a different pastel colour composing a beautiful multicoloured scenery), narrow streets and a flavour of the Mediterranean (both figuratively and literally) offer a romantic holiday – and then some – to anyone who is looking for one. The Amalfi coast can also grant you one of the most exhilarating and unforgettable driving experiences in the world, with twisty cliff roads and panoramic views along the stunning Italian coast. The towns of Positano and Sorrento are true gems, not to mention photogenic, and if you can afford it (yes, a trip there will cost you a pretty penny) then Amalfi Coast is one of the most perfect places to celebrate your love in.

 

6. Edinburgh, Scotland / Prague, Czech Republic

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View of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle
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Royal Mile, Edinburgh
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Dean village, Edinburgh

 

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Astronomical Clock Tower, Prague
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Church of Our Lady before Týn, Prague
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Sunset in Prague
For me nothing says romance like a Gothic city. I love a gothic castle, a gothic cemetery, a bridge decorated with gothic statues… And at the Gothic romantic European city-off, Edinburgh and Prague come really, really close (although for me, having been my home for 5 years, Edinburgh is the clear winner between the two). They both have a castle on the hill (literally), an array of stunning old cathedrals and churches (St Giles and St Mary’s cathedrals in Edinburgh, and the Church of Our Lady before Týn in Prague are my favourite ones), old cemeteries, historic cobblestone streets and rivers flowing through them, as well as many more unique-to-each-city romantic features. For example, Edinburgh offers beautiful green spaces, from hills and mountains formed by volcanic activity (Arthur’s Seat mountain and Calton Hill) to elegant parks with charming little lakes (Inverleith and Holyrood parks), a romantic ode to neoclassical architecture as well as the picturesque Dean Village in the heart of the city, making you forget that you are even in a city to begin with. And then we have Prague’s one-of-a-kind Astronomical Clock tower, its lovely Old Town Square and the historic Jewish Quarter to name a few (more on Prague’s beauty and what to do there here). The choice is yours!

Have you ever been to any of these destinations?

Which is your favourite?

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