We love all the continents equally, but when it comes to romance, Europe always wins. Our picks of the most romantic cities in Europe are guaranteed to make your heart pound, whether you’re looking for love or want to treat your sweetie to an intimate city break.
In our guide to the most romantic cities in Europe, discover the best city to:
1. Get steamy in the sauna
2. Unleash your inner dragon
3. Stock up on handmade souvenirs
4. Explore on two wheels
5. Make fairytales come true
6. Sip hot coffee in cool cafes
7. Indulge in a heavenly chocolate fix
8. Lose yourself in medieval intrigue
9. Sample gelato with the locals
10. Heat up a candlelit romance
11. Become a knight in shining armour
We write a lot about the ways that travel is chaotic, uncomfortable and challenging. We’ll let you in on a secret…
Travel can also be amazingly romantic.
Wandering cobbled streets, inhaling divine incense, gazing at spectacular views, or snuggling beside a toasty fire…
If you’re a dreamer, a seeker, or a true romantic, you’ll lose your heart in these most romantic cities in Europe.
So, stop sighing over Venice. Forget Paris. Here are our picks of…
The Most Romantic Cities in Europe
Also don’t miss these posts about Europe:
1. Get steamy in the sauna in Helsinki, Finland
Winter or summer, Helsinki rates as one of the most romantic European cities. In summer, Helsinki’s breathtaking landscapes, beautiful beaches, and circuitous cycle paths will stir your heart. In the winter, cuddle up in a cozy cafe or treat your sweetheart to one of Helsinki’s steamy saunas.
2. Unleash your inner dragon in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Any city that is said to be founded upon the killing of a dragon has got romance built into its bones. (Not that I in any way condone dragon killing!) With its medieval castle overlooking the meandering streets and the romantic river winding through the city centre, Ljubljana is guaranteed to steal your heart. If it doesn’t, a day trip to Velika Planina will do the trick!
3. Discover handmade souvenirs in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
The old town of Sarajevo oozes exotic charm. There are winding cobbled streets, artisan’s crowded shops, and a friendly coffee shop on practically every corner, serving the fragrant Bosnian brew. In the new town, modern boutiques and cafes attract the young and vivacious population. Overlooking it all are the gorgeous peaks of the Danaric Alps — an idyllic backdrop to an incredibly romantic city.
(Don’t miss: Our picks of the best vacation apartments in Slovenia) →
4. Explore on two wheels in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Exploring the maze of canals by bicycle, strolling the fairy lit waterways by night, picnicking in Vondelpark or hopping a ferry to Amsterdam-Noord… Amsterdam is a city built for romance. If it’s raining, which it often is, tuck yourself into a snug bar or a candlelit cafe (spliffs optional) to watch the world go by.
(Related: Amsterdam is also a perfect setting-off point for quaint day trips like these) →
5. Make fairytales to come true in Prague, Czech Republic
Trams rattle down cobbled streets and cosy cafes await on every corner in Prague. If you’re lucky a blanket of perfect snow will settle on the city while you sleep turning it into a winter fairytale. Whether you go in winter or summer, Prague is definitely one of the most romantic cities in Europe and one of the best European honeymoon destinations, too.
Nothing fires up romance like a spooky experience. Take your sweetheart on this Ghost Walking Tour in Prague to discover the magical mysteries that lurk in the dark. You will be squeezing each other tight before the night is through.
(Don’t miss: Our guide to the best vegan food in Prague) →
6. Sip hot coffee in cool cafes in Riga, Latvia
Explore the magnificent architecture, sip coffee in the cool cafes, and relax in the steam baths… you’ll soon see why we think that Riga is one of the world’s most romantic cities.
(Don’t miss: Our walking tour and guide to a Day Trip to Latvia) →
7. Indulge in a heavenly chocolate fix in Salzburg, Austria
The narrow streets of Salzburg sing “romance” from every twist and turn while the majestic Alps tower protectively above. It helps that Salzburg is the setting for of one of the most romantic movies of all time. A trip to Hotel Sacher for a slice of rich chocolate heaven (aka Sacher-Torte) is enough to melt anyone’s heart.
8. Lose yourself in medieval intrigue in Dubrovnik, Croatia
You can’t help but think of kings, queens and medieval intrigue when climbing the steep stone stairways that make up many of Dubrovnik’s city streets. Which is why they filmed so much of Game of Thrones here! Climb to the top and peek over the city wall for breathtaking views of the surrounding azure sea.
Dubrovnik is so stunningly beautiful it is easily one of the most romantic European cities. Wander its polished, gleaming streets and it’s easy to imagine you’re living in a fairytale.
9. Sample gelato with the locals in Torino, Italy
Think Rome is the most romantic city in Europe? Pah! We love Torino for its proximity to the Alps, its historic architecture and its friendly untouristed streets. Share a cone of heavenly gelato at Gelato Fiorio with your sweetie for the ultimate in romance.
You can visit Turin at any time of year but we love late spring, while it’s still cool but warm enough to hike or get out on a bicycle.
10. Heat up a candlelit romance in Lisbon, Portugal
We fell in love all over again with Lisbon during our stay there earlier this year. Snuggle up in one of its gorgeous boutique hotels or get lost on the maze of streets of the Alfama then while the evening away in a candle-lit wine bar. Romance at its best.
(Don’t miss: Our recommendations for the best vegan and vegetarian food in Lisbon) →
11. Become a knight in shining armour in Valletta, Malta
It’s hard to wander the streets of Valletta without picturing white knights pounding through the narrow streets on majestic armoured steeds. If you have a romantic bone in your body, Valletta will get it stirring.
(Related: Find out more about Malta from 50 Shades of Age’s Maltese Islands: Myths and Megaliths) →
Yes, we are hopeless romantics at heart. What traveller isn’t? Which city do you most want to visit with that special someone? Or where would you most like to fall in love? Did we skip your top pick for most romantic city in Europe? Let us know in the comments! Maybe we haven’t been there yet — and we’re always looking for travel tips!
♥ Happy adventures, Stephen & Jane
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