15 Most Romantic Cities in Europe (Plus 5 Hidden Gems)

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Are you looking to dial up your Valentine’s Day plans this year? I’ve got you covered with a list of the most romantic cities in Europe that’ll melt your heart in minutes!

Isn’t being in love the best feeling in the world?

If you’re looking to explore new places with your significant other, then this list is just what you need to keep those fires burning.

These romantic destinations will steal your heart from the word “GO”. 

Plus, you might even find an incredible spot to pop that all-important question (if that’s on your radar!).

I’ll share my thoughts on well-known spots like Paris and Prague, but I’ve also picked out a few dream destinations that you might not recognize.

So sit tight, and prepare to plan the ultimate couple’s vacation!

The Most Romantic Cities in Europe

1. Paris, France

Paris seen from the top of Notre Dame

No list of the most romantic cities in Europe would be complete without the glittering City of Love!

The French Capital is always teeming with honeymooners, and you don’t have to walk far to find charming bistros serving aphrodisiacs in any of the arrondissements.

You can spend your time wandering through gorgeous museums like the Louvre, sharing kisses in Luxembourg Gardens, or dining by the Eiffel Tower!

And if you’d rather take things at a leisurely pace, hop on a relaxed river cruise with a bottle of bubbly.

Plus, don’t forget about iconic proposal spots like Notre Dame Cathedral and the glorious Tuileries Garden!

Although you can’t attach love locks to the iconic Pont des Arts anymore, you can still admire the beautiful architecture around these parts!

Where to stay in Paris:

Splurge: Hôtel Plaza Athénée (it has ridiculous Eiffel Tower views!)

Budget: Hotel Mademoiselle

2. Venice, Italy

a view of the gran canal in Venice, Italy

With its beautiful gondolas, ornate bridges, and sprawling squares, Venice is one of the most romantic places in the world.

You can spend hours trawling through this UNESCO World Heritage Site as it boasts tons of Renaissance architecture and centuries of history.

Start by checking out the cobbled streets around the Piazza San Marco before stopping by the lavish rooms of the Doge’s Palace.

Once you’re all tuckered out from exploring the iconic Murano glassworks shops, you need to visit the Bridge of Sighs. It’s one of the most romantic attractions in the city and offers panoramic views over the canals.

And hey, it’s said if you kiss underneath the bridge while passing through in a gondola – you’ll be blessed with a life of eternal love. 

That’s one good reason to shell out for a ride!

If you’re looking for more, why not snuggle up and watch an intimate performance at the Teatro La Fenice before grabbing bellinis at Al Chianti?

Where to stay in Venice:

Splurge: Cipriani

Budget: Hotel Palazzo Abadessa

3. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic. Old Town Square and Tyn Cathedral of the Virgin Mary at sunset

If you’re even remotely interested in Baroque and medieval architecture, pastel-colored buildings, and sleepy narrow streets, then you’ll adore Prague.

It’s one of the best places to visit for a laid-back honeymoon, as every inch of it genuinely feels like a fairy tale.

From the cherry blossom trees inside Petřín Gardens to the historic castles and fort around Vysehrad, there’s so much to explore for couples.

Oh, and don’t forget to take a stroll at the proposal-worthy Vrtba Garden which is beautifully manicured and guarded by marble statues.

If you want to enjoy a romantic dinner during your trip? No worries! You can head to Villa Richter for stunning views over the vineyards or the rooftop restaurant CODA to drink the night away.

Whatever you do, don’t leave Prague without taking a romantic walk along the banks of the Vltava River while Charles Bridge is lit up!

Where to stay in Prague:

Splurge: Falkensteiner Boutique Hotel Prague

Budget: Antik Hotel Prague

4. Positano, The Amalfi Coast, Italy

A view of Positano bay

It’s no secret that the Amalfi Coast is one of the most romantic places in Italy – and Positano is a pitstop that’s particularly stunning!

The pastel-colored houses on the hill just ooze Mediterranean charm, while the glimmering azure waters are the perfect place for a sunset boat ride.

You can spend your time speeding around the Li Galli Islands or checking out the iconic Faraglioni rocks for postcard-worthy views.

But honestly, you can’t visit Positano without booking a glorious dinner overlooking the waterfront.

You’ll adore the sleek décor and candlelit atmosphere at Ristorante Terazza Cele. But it’s the extensive wine list (that includes regional favorites!) and the beautifully cooked local cuisine that makes it worth a visit.

For a spot of quiet quality time during your romantic stay, finish one of your evenings with a casual stroll along the balmy Spiaggia Grande Beach.

It clears out at night, making it an ideal place for a cheeky kiss or two!

Where to stay in Positano:

Splurge: Villa Treville

Budget: Hotel Casa Albertina

5. Barcelona, Spain

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain

For the ultimate romantic weekend getaway, you can’t beat Barcelona.

Boasting a beautiful old town, amazing food, and an incredible list of world-famous landmarks, this is one of the best cities to visit for history buffs.

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without a trip to Gaudí’s striking Sagrada Familia as it’s simply an architectural marvel.

But you can supplement your sightseeing with the Magic Fountains at Montjuic and the stunning Parc Guell. 

Although the park is usually teeming with visitors, the Monumental Zone’s vibrant mosaics will definitely jazz up your Instagram feed.

If you’re feeling brave and have time to spare, the breathtaking Benedictine monastery in Montserrat is a must-visit. Not only are the views from here sensational, but it’s a historic monument that dates back to the 11th century!

Once you’ve had your fill of history, why not bond over an incredible Paella cooking class or a tapas tour?

To recover from those bustling days of sightseeing, I suggest wandering through El Gótico (the old town!) hand-in-hand.

Total bliss.

Where to stay in Barcelona:

Splurge: Casagrand Luxury Suites

Budget: Praktik Vinoteca

6. Vienna, Austria

Birds eye view of Vienna in Austria Europe

Endless squares, perfectly-kept gardens, and gorgeous palaces? Yep – that’s Austria for you!

Now, you might not be confident enough to try the famous Viennese Waltz. But you can still embrace your inner artist by visiting the many museums here or catching a Mozart or Strauss concert at the Golden Hall!

Because this place was once the home of the Habsburg Empire, you can also spend an entire day exploring the opulent Schönbrunn and Hofburg Palaces.

Oh, and don’t forget the 18th-century Belvedere Palace that houses an amazing collection of Gustav Klimt paintings (including “The Kiss!”).

To take the edge off all that walking, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the historic center.

Otherwise, why not grab a glorious coffee at Café Schwarzenberg while you take in the city’s stunning architecture?

Where to stay in Vienna:

Splurge: Hotel Sacher Wien

Budget: Boutique Hotel Donauwalzer

7. Bruges (Brugge), Belgium

Bruges (Brugge) cityscape with water canal, Flanders, Belgium

Serene canals, fairy tale buildings, and labyrinthine streets make Bruges one of the most romantic destinations in Europe by a mile.

Stroll through Burg Square to appreciate its Gothic-style architecture before heading to the gorgeous Rosary Quay. Here, you’ll be treated to an incredible view of the city’s canals and centuries-old buildings.

And when the sun sets? That’s the perfect time to check out the beautiful cobblestone streets along the Groenerei (AKA: green canal!).

Although I’ll always recommend chowing down on waffles and fries in Belgium, there are plenty of romantic restaurants for special occasions. Grillkasteeltje Brugge is a quaint bistro selling local goodies, while Au Petit Grand is ideal for a big steak dinner.

Oh, and if you’re here for Christmas – kissing under the mistletoe at the traditional Christmas Market is a must!

Where to stay in Bruges:

Splurge: Hotel Duke’s Palace


8. Oia, Santorini, Greece

A view of Santorini

The entire Greek island of Santorini oozes romance, but the small town of Oia is super special thanks to its next-level views.

Although it can be slightly touristy during peak periods, the blue domes and white-washed houses make for spectacular sunsets. Seriously, looking at the Caldera cliffs posed against hues of pink, orange, and blue is otherworldly. 

Throw in a glass of bubbly and a picnic, and you’ll have an unbeatable Valentine’s Day on your hands!

Aside from the sunsets, you can try glorious local pours at spots like Gavalas Winery or snap some incredible shots at Oia Castle.

But honestly? It’s the amazing Greek cuisine that makes this a popular destination for couples. 

Chowing down on moussaka, gyro, souvlaki, and fresh salads as you take in the best views of Ammoudi Bay? 

Yes, please!

Where to stay in Oia:

Splurge: The Saint Hotel

Budget: Volcanic Arc Suites

9. Rovinj, Croatia

Aerial shoot of Old town Rovinj at sunset, Istra region, Croatia.

Forget Dubrovnik and Split; Rovinj is the perfect destination for your next Mediterranean getaway.

This charming town is perched on the edge of the Adriatic, meaning you’ll get ridiculous views over the glimmering ocean from every angle.

And hey – you can’t beat those bobbing fishing boats and fresh mussels (hello, aphrodisiacs!).

Although it’s not an enormous place, you can spend at least a couple of days admiring the colorful houses and cobbled alleyways.

Oh, and when you get tired, you can simply stop for a bougie cocktail at the iconic bar Mediterraneo!

Just FYI, I highly recommend adding a batana boat trip at twilight and the St. Eufemija Bell Tower to your list of romantic things to do in Rovinj. The views of the coastline are glorious, and it’s an amazing way to see the entire peninsula.

But if that’s not in your budget, why not bare all at one of the many naturist beaches around these parts? 

After all, life is about taking risks!

Where to stay in Rovinj:

Splurge: Grand Park Hotel

Budget: Residence Marco Polo

10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Traditional old buildings in Amsterdam at spring, the Netherlands

Amsterdam isn’t just about the infamous Red Light District and historic places of interest. 

Nope, it’s also one of the most romantic cities in Europe!

The quiet canals (all 165+ of them!) are ideal for relaxed walks. Plus, I adore the quaint streets of the Jordaan neighborhood as they’re home to adorable bookstores and farmers’ markets!

Amsterdam is also known for its bike culture, so it’s an awesome idea to rent a tandem bike and explore the Museumplein area while you’re here.

To embrace your cultural side, head to Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh Museum before stopping at the serene Vondelpark.

And if you’re visiting during the wintertime? You need to check out the beautiful Amsterdam Light Festival that illuminates the city center with spectacular projections and sculptures.

Talk about the perfect romantic escape!

Where to stay in Amsterdam:

Splurge: Conservatorium Hotel

Budget: Corendon City Hotel

11. Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian parliament, Budapest on sunset

Not only is Budapest’s architecture seriously swoon-worthy, but it’s also one of the cheapest European cities for a romantic trip!

Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

The Danube River is a gorgeous setting for a sunset stroll (or cruise!). 

Plus, you can easily see the best of the area’s stunning castles on a simple walking tour if you’re pinching pennies.

And if you’re looking for an iconic couple’s shot with incredible views, head up the funicular to Buda Hill. It’s ridiculously picturesque up here and the local flora is stunning.

But honestly, one of the most romantic things to do in Budapest is to visit the thermal baths.

Gellért Thermal Bath is my top pick if you’re into Art Nouveau décor (and upscale spa programs). If you want to visit the most famous one in town, you can’t beat Széchenyi.

Whether you’re here on a flying cultural visit or a couple’s spa retreat, you’ll be blown away by Budapest.

Where to stay in Budapest:

Splurge: Matild Palace

Budget: Gerlóczy Boutique Hotel

12. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Fancy checking out some centuries-old architecture, natural wonders, and tons of culture?

If so, you’re going to love Edinburgh!

Take a day to stroll through Edinburgh’s Old Town. It’s packed with medieval and Georgian buildings which will instantly transport you back in time.

And if you’re a fan of theatre and culture? You can belly laugh together at comedy shows or gigs along the Royal Mile at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

Don’t worry, though – you can snuggle up in the many bookstores or British pubs to recover from the craziness!

To stretch your legs, embrace Mother Nature by taking in the views at Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill, or The Water of Leith.

Where to stay in Edinburgh:

Splurge: Waldorf Astoria

Budget: The Balerno Inn (be warned that even the cheapest accommodation skyrockets during the Fringe Festival!)

13. Salzburg, Austria

Classic view of the historic city of Salzburg with famous Hohensalzburg Fortress and Salzach river in scenic morning light

Calling all Sound of Music fanatics – the next spot on this list of the most romantic cities in Europe is geared at you!

You can obviously take the exceptional Sound of Music Tour that covers the movie’s filming locations while you’re here (including Rolf and Liesl’s famous gazebo!).

But there’s much more to Salzburg than first meets the eye.

I recommend exploring the uber-romantic Mirabell Palace and Gardens as a priority. But the Salzburg Cathedral and Hohensalzburg Fortress are equally stunning!

And if you’re here during the winter months, the city hosts the picturesque Christkindlmarkt each year. 

Mulled wine, gingerbread, and cuddles anyone?

Throw in the quaint cafes around the Old Town (Café Tomaselli is adorable!), and you’ll be back for every anniversary.

Where to stay in Salzburg:

Splurge: Hotel Sacher Salzburg

Budget: Hotel Cocoon Salzburg

14. Varenna, Lake Como, Italy

Beautiful aerial waterfront cityscape of Varenna

Lake Como is undeniably one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

And out of all the tiny villages and towns that make up this area, Varenna is up there with the most romantic spots.

Villa Monastero’s lakeside gardens are super aesthetic, and you can stroll around the Vecchio Porto and Riva Garibaldi areas for hours snapping photos. 

And the aptly-named Lovers Walk by Varenna’s harbor is nothing to scoff at either!

But I’d say it’s the Old Town’s cobbled streets, charming churches, and Lombard architecture that takes the cake.

The Church of San Giorgio is truly beautiful inside, and the simple cafes nearby are perfect for refueling and sharing dessert!

Oh, and if you’re both foodie fanatics looking to recreate the iconic scene from Lady and the Tramp? Check out restaurants like Al Prato and Osteria Quatro Pass which are renowned for their glorious pasta!

Where to stay in Varenna:

Splurge: Grand Hotel Tremezzo (on the other side of the lake, just a boat ride away)

Budget: Albergo Milano

15. Sintra, Portugal

Aerial view of  Pal·cio da Pena - Sintra, Lisboa,  Portugal

The lesser-known city of Sintra is a wonderful place to visit for its towering pine forests, enchanting gardens, and historic charm.

While Lisbon is perfect for exploring city life and chowing down on Pastéis De Nata, Sintra is far more laid-back.

Why not feel the wind in your hair as you walk around the Moorish Castle’s impressive peaks? It was built way back in the 8th century, and the surrounding woods are secluded enough for a few quick kisses!

And if you’re partial to palaces, live out your joint royal fantasies at the Pena National Palace or Quinta da Regaleira!

Although you can enjoy a homemade picnic at Guincho Beach, Bar do Fundo is a cheap and cheerful place to visit for fresh seafood.

Prefer Michelin-star fare? LAB at the Penha Longa Resort is the place to be for an intimate and chef-led experience. 

Just be warned that it’s pricey!

Where to stay in Sintra:

Splurge: Penha Longa Resort

Budget: Casa Mathilde Sintra

Discover Europe’s Hidden Gems: 5 Romantic Cities Off the Beaten Path

1. Tallinn, Estonia

An aerial view of Tallinn

With its delicious food, rich history, and cozy city vibe, Tallinn is a hidden gem worth a few days of your time.

While you’re here, you should spend a few hours hanging around the cobblestone alleyways of the Old Town. 

Not only can you check out adorable side streets like St. Catherine’s Passage, but the Master’s Courtyard is ideal for a romantic cocktail.

If you’re on the hunt for breathtaking views for a couple’s shot, the Kohtuotsa and Toompea viewing platforms are just made for sunset-watching!

When you’ve had your fill of the Medieval Old Town, why not check out the sea views around the Pirita promenade?

If you’d rather embrace Mother Nature, the beautiful Japanese Garden inside Kadriorg Park is an unbeatable place for a romantic picnic!

Whatever you choose to do in Tallinn, I suggest visiting in April or September to avoid the tourist crush around June and July.

Where to stay in Tallinn:

Splurge:Telegraaf Hotel

Budget: Kreutzwald Hotel Tallinn

2. Hallstatt, Austria

A scenic view of a tourist small town on the shore of Lake Hallstatt.

When I think of fairy tale towns, the winding alleys, colored houses, and natural beauty of Hallstatt come to mind.

Although it was historically an enormous salt mine, this bohemian village is also home to the crystalline Lake Hallstätter. So, it gives you the perfect opportunity to take a few romantic sunset strolls along the lakeside!

While you’re exploring the village’s center, you should take time to explore the cobbled streets and charming colored houses (that are usually covered with ivy!).

If there’s one thing you cannot miss in this charming village, it’s the World Heritage Skywalk. It’s perched an impressive 350 meters above the area and gives you panoramas over the mountains and lakeside.

And hey – there’s nothing to stop you from hiring a boat or heading on a hike to explore the wider Dachstein Salzkammergut region!

Where to stay in Hallstatt:

Splurge: Seehotel Grüner Baum

Budget: Hostel Bad Goisern

3. Salamanca, Spain

Cathedral of Salamanca and bridge over Tormes river

You may have Barcelona or Madrid on your Spain travel bucket list, but you don’t want to miss Salamanca!

But don’t worry if you’re short on time. This spot is a mere 2 hours from Madrid, making it super easy to tack onto a larger Spain trip!

If you’re just visiting Salamanca, spend a few hours checking out the world’s third-oldest university and a collection of beautiful cathedrals! 

In my book, the Romanesque architecture and ornate interior of the Old Cathedral are worth a trip on their own!

I’d say that Plaza Mayor is also a must-visit spot, as it’s filled with local restaurants and cute cafes for a midday tapas treat. Plus, you’ll get a premium view of the city’s iconic golden sandstone buildings from every angle!

To round off your romantic adventure, share stories and sweet nothings in the beautiful Huerto de Calixto y Melibea.


Where to stay in Salamanca:

Splurge: Hotel Rector Salamanca

Budget: Gran Hotel Corona Sol

4. Annecy, France

Morning view of Annecy and Palais de l'Isle

Paris might be the City of Love (and Lights!), but Annecy is another picturesque French city that’s well worth a romantic trip.

Thanks to its impressive network of canals and surrounding snowy peaks, this place has been called “Venice of the Alps.”

You should dedicate plenty of time to exploring the charming Old Town. This is where you’ll find the Thiou Canals, but it’s also home to Le Pont des Amours and the beautiful Palais de l’île.

If you’re more of a foodie than a culture lover, you might want to spend time eating at one of several fine-dining spots.

Any local restaurant will serve fresh fare, but Le Clos des Sens and L’Auberge du Père Bise are both Michelin-star-rated spots!

Although it can be pricey, a trip above Lake Annecy in a hot air balloon will make your visit one for the books! 

And luckily for you, Takamaka or Compagnie des Ballons will make your experience seamless.

Where to stay in Annecy:

Splurge: L’Auberge du Père Bise – Jean Sulpice

Budget: Atipik Hotel Alexandra

5. Vik, Iceland

Beautiful town of Vik i Myrdal in Iceland in summer.

You might mistake this remote village for Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik. 

But this seafront spot offers tons more romance than a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon!

The Mýrdalsjökull Glacier is the most popular place to visit here as it’s simply beautiful (and an unbeatable location for adventurers!).

It covers an impressive 232 square miles, and it’s ideal if you want to go hiking or ice climbing with your sweetheart.

Fancy a lower-altitude activity? Why not hit the lagoon in a kayak or explore the local area on horseback?

If you’re visiting during the wintertime, I suggest wrapping up warm and visiting the iconic Katla Ice Cave inside the Kötlujökull Glacier.

Not only does it literally glitter, but you can take regular breaks for warming cuddles along the way!

And really, what could be more romantic than that?

Where to stay in Vik:

Splurge: Hotel Kria

Budget: Puffin Hostel

Which Romantic Cities in Europe have you visited?

Whether you seek to embark on a romantic journey or merely indulge in daydreams of idyllic getaways, these European cities will fill your eyes and heart with passion and enchantment.

Which one is your favorite?

Let me know in the comments!

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