From endless cobbled streets to spire dotted skylines, there’s no denying the best city breaks for couples are in Europe. With so many romantic cities in Europe to choose from, we narrowed it down to our favourites and the reasons why your significant other will adore every minute.
Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner to remember or the best European cities to visit in February for a Valentine’s getaway, you will be head over heels with a destination (or 10) by the end of this post.
THE MOST ROMANTIC CITIES IN EUROPE
What makes a city romantic is different for each couple – is it delicious food? Beautiful views? Luxurious hotels? Or thrilling things to do? In this list, we share some obvious contenders for the most romantic cities in Europe but also a few hidden gems that you may not have considered before.
Although one of the most predictable romantic getaways in Europe, it’s obviously for good reason. Whether you fancy getting lost in the narrow streets with your significant other (and endless gelato in hand) or watch the sunset over the charming canals there really is a Venice city break truly is like no where else.
We recommend skipping the cheesy serenading gondola however, as at 80 euros it will leave you heartbroken. Instead, whisk your better half away on a short water taxi across to Burano and Murano – the highlight of our 3 days in Venice.
The vibrant islands of Murano & Burano are breathtakingly beautiful and the perfect spot to watch the world go by with a glass of Italian bubbles in hand. If you time your return during golden hour, you will witness Venice at it’s most beautiful, glowing as the sun sets.
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Venice
Whether by water taxi or gondola or simply on foot nothing beats watching the sunset over the city from Rialto Bridge.
Most Romantic Place to Eat in Venice
Escape the bustle of the usual tourist trap and head a little off piste to Teamo Wine Bar. We know it’s Italy so we did have high expectation but this was hands down the best pasta we have ever had. The location is ideal for a romantic dinner as it’s down a quiet alley away from the crowds and there are only a handful of tables outside – perfect for a peaceful dinner in Venice.
One of the most romantic cities in Europe not only for the breath taking Lake Bled nearby, but for sunset strolls along the canal and some of the best food we’ve had in all of Europe.
To us, it is one of the best European cities to visit in February as the bars along the canal provide cosy blankets and heaters, ideal for snuggling up with a local wine in hand.
Better yet, take part in a 2 hour wine tasting session sampling wines from all over Slovenia as the area is famous for its vino. Make sure to also take a stroll over the majestic dragon bridge and visit the quirky Metelkova Mesto for something a little different.
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Ljubljana
Although technically not in the city, we would return in a heartbeat to visit the stunning Lake Bled. It is just a short bus ride from Ljubljana to Lake Bled where you can hire a rowing boat out to the island, home to a majestic church.
Most Romantic Place to Eat in Ljubljana
For the perfect brunch date that won’t break the bank head to Slovenska Hisa and warm up with their delicious tea served in the cutest spotty tea pots with equally delicious food. The best part? Tea & brunch is only 5 euros!
For a romantic dinner we cannot recommend Julija enough. Service was just as incredible as the food as we devoured traditional goulash with cheese dumplings as well as the best crème brulee we’ve ever had!
Needless to say, when searching for the most romantic cities in Europe you were not expecting Berlin on this list, however we spent one of our favourite Valentines here and would return in a heartbeat.
From the endless art galleries to our bedroom with a bath tub, Berlin is one of the best European cities to visit in February for a romantic escape. We had an incredible dinner at the TV tower which offered stunning sunset views over the city accompanied by delicious cocktails and live music.
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Berlin
We’re kind of cheating here, because the most romantic thing we did in Berlin was our dinner at the TV Tower. That cute, we’re telling you about it twice. If (slowly) spinning restaurants sound like hell rather than heaven on earth for you, then other romantic activities include a 2 hour evening cruise along the River Spree, coffee and cake (Kaffe mit kuche) on this famous rooftop with views over the city or how about snuggling up with cocktails at Berlin’s ice bar?
Most Romantic Place to Eat in Berlin
Not only does the TV Tower rise 360 metres above the city, the restaurant spins slowly allowing 360 degree views whilst enjoying the most delicious food! However, in order to get a window seat (like we did) and the best view in the house, you have to book in advance and reserve it as part of your entrance ticket – more info and prices here.
London, England UK
They do say absence makes the heart grow fonder and although Darren and I were long distance for nearly two years when I stayed in London, it did mean we found endless date ideas during our time together in the city. Although one of the most famous romantic getaways in Europe, we are going to let you in on a major secret – not only our favourite restaurant in London, but to this day still the most romantic restaurant we’ve EVER been to called Little Bay.
London is one of the best city breaks for couples as there is so much to see and do without spending a fortune. If the British weather is it’s usual drizzly self, all major art galleries and museums are completely free to enter, in particular we recommend the National History Museum and The V & A.
If it’s sunny hire a “Boris bike” for only £2 and cycle round beautiful Hyde Park, where you can also hire a row boat for a DIY Notebook moment. For foodies, we recommend Borough Market where you can indulge in the delicious free samples, purchase some nibbles for a picnic and take it to Primrose Hill to watch sun go down over the city.
Most Romantic Thing to Do in London
A favourite tip of ours (particularly if you’re looking for a date night on a budget) would be to pick up an Oyster Travel Card and wander along the river bank of the Thames until the tower of London then hop on a river boat to Greenwich.
The 20 minute journey will allow you to view the twinkling lights of the city from below before witnessing them from above as Greenwich is the stop for the Emirates Air Line Cable Car. The Emirates Cable Car offers spectacular views of London as you float high above the Thames and all for the cheeky price of £4.30 – who said romance had to be expensive?
Most Romantic Place to Eat in London
Okay, we didn’t want to share this hidden gem with the world but if you’re looking for the most romantic cities in Europe we couldn’t not let you in on our romantic little secret. Located in Kilburn, North West London, Little Bay is our favourite spot for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and romantic dinners, so much so I genuinely cried when moving from London as I was going to miss it so much.
The food is ridiculously cheap and insanely good but the best part is the décor. You have a choice of a table, either up in a small theatre style box accessed via a ladder or in the conservatory area which is lit only by candles. We have such amazing memories from Little Bay, we can guarantee you’ll make some there too.
When it came to choosing the destination to celebrate our 5 year anniversary, we discovered all the reasons why Budapest is one of the most romantic cities in Europe.
Firstly, we’ll start with the Szechenyi Thermal baths as they make Budapest one of the best spa breaks for couples in Europe. What better way to spend time with your beloved than in a relaxing thermal bath. For an added treat, we recommend upgrading to the hidden sanctuary on the roof (which not many people know about) allowing you to escape the crowds and have a more intimate chill out time.
Budapest is one of the best European cities to visit in February as the likelihood of snow is also quite high (nothing says romance like snow) yet the baths remain open – so you can enjoy a cosy thermal bath in the snow! You can also book a full day romantic package which includes a private thermal bath, champagne, couples massage AND dinner cruise!
The ruin bars in Budapest are also a really fun way to spend your evening as you enjoy local (and incredibly cheap) beverages surrounding by funky décor and eclectic art. There are numerous ruin bars to choose from each entirely unique yet equally popular. We recommend Ellátó Kert in the Jewish quarter.
Most Romantic Place to Eat in Budapest
If the weather proves a little too cold for walking, we cannot recommend the river sunset cruise enough! Not only does it offer a 4 course dinner with live “piano battle” musicians, but fabulous staff and such a romantic setting. It will take you past Budapest’s famous landmarks such as the Liberty Bridge and Parliament Building which look incredible illuminated.
When searching for the most romantic cities in Europe, Vienna will often come up top and after our blissful 2 days in Vienna we completely agree.
You are guaranteed to fall head over heels with the beautiful architecture, walks by the canal, cobbled streets and stunning St. Stephen’s Cathedral. With the maximum temperature reaching a grand 4 degrees, it is one of the best European cities to visit in February for those after a snuggly, snowy city break!
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Vienna
Head to the Belvedere Palace to see one of the most romantic paintings in the world – Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. Even if you’re not an art lover, you will fall in love with the incredible architecture and gardens of The Belvedere. Getting lost in its endless art filled rooms is the perfect way to warm up from a chilly morning exploring the city.
Most Romantic Place to Eat in Vienna
You cannot leave Vienna without trying the famous Schnitzel and there is one little restaurant that not only claims to serve the best in Vienna, it is one of the most romantic restaurants we’ve ever been to – Figlmuller Backerstrasse. Not only did the waiter give us a cute private table at the back but the food was delicious and atmosphere so relaxed.
One of the most romantic cities in Europe we’ve ever been to is Gdansk, for so many reasons. The architecture and cobbled streets will leave you in awe but the best part of all is the lack of crowds.
Still relatively off the beaten path compared to Poland’s more popular tourist spots such as Krakow, Gdansk offers a peaceful city getaway with so much to see and do, you’ll be shocked at how many Gdansk attractions we managed to squeeze in during our weekend there.
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Gdansk
Take a short train ride to nearby Sopot which has a stunning beach for a romantic stroll along the famous Sopot pier.
Although snow & beach don’t necessarily go hand in hand, Gdansk is one of the best European cities to visit in February as the snow clouds surrounding Sopot were so incredibly beautiful we could’ve stayed and watched them for hours (though would’ve froze our wee noses off!)
Alternatively, you can take a private tour for just you and your significant other and enjoy the highlights of Gdansk, nearby Gdynia and Sopot with private transport!
Most Romantic Place to Eat in Gdansk
For those after a meal to remember there are so many cosy bars and hidden gems in Gdansk squeezing them all into one weekend getaway is impossible. If we had to pick a favourite, we’d recommend Wine Bar “Literacka” where we had an unforgettable 3 course dinner.
The service was attentive yet not intrusive (a pet hate when dining as a duo) and the food was amazing. Being a wine bar, there is an overwhelming selection of local and international wines but the knowledgeable staff helped us to choose.
Prague, Czech Republic
Whether rain, shine or snow a Prague citybreak is so beautiful we can guarantee you will fall in love instantly. It is one of the most romantic cities in Europe for a spa day to remember, so if you’re looking for a Valentines getaway make sure to squeeze in a visit to The Beer Spa.
We loved Prague Beer Spa so much we dedicated an entire post to it and haven’t stopped speaking about it since. We can guarantee, even if you’re not a beer fan, you will have an unforgettable time in your private hops hot tub with your favourite human.
If the beer spa isn’t your cup of tea, arm yourself against the cold with the traditional mulled wine, called Svarak (also known as svarene vino) as you wander the beautiful Charles Bridge, the vibrant John Lennon Wall or head up to the castle for a guided tour and majestic view of the “city of spires.”
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Prague
The words beer spa may not evoke the most romantic connotations but trust us, it will be one of the most hilarious and memorable afternoons of your life. Prague is renown for being one of best city breaks for couples and for us, Prague Beer Spa was the reason why!
Hot tub? Check. Northern lights? Check. Snow fall? Check.
Is there much more you need for a romantic getaway in Europe? You can read about our romantic and surprisingly affordable stay in Reykjavik here.
Reykjavik earns it’s place on our most romantic cities in Europe list for not only those reasons, but the most famous reason of all – The Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa, where you can bathe under the elements surrounded by snow in one of the most stunning places on earth.
We also fell in love with the Gullfoss waterfall, which is around a 1 hour 40 minute drive from Reykjavik and is so beautiful, we witnessed an engagement during our visit, friends of ours also got engaged there recently too and Darren’s best friends also went on honeymoon to Reykjavik.
It is part of the famous Golden Circle Tour, which is a definite must do during your time in Reykjavik.
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Reykjavik
We can’t imagine anything more fun or romantic than relaxing in the calming thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon as snowflakes drifted around us, with a chilled Icelandic beer in hand.
It was a dream come true to visit Blue Lagoon and our meal afterwards was one of the best meals we’ve ever had. Although the price tag certainly is just as memorable, we cannot deny it is worth every penny.
Most Romantic Place to Eat in Reykjavik
When looking for the best places to eat in Reykjavik, we will warn you’ll need a mortgage to afford a dinner here. Therefore, you want that small fortune to be spent somewhere that is so romantic you’ll be talking about it for months afterwards, which is exactly what we found with Le Bistro.
We did lots of research of where to eat in Reykjavik as it was our birthday weekend and Le Bistro did not disappoint. We’re a sucker for candles, cosy atmosphere and incredible wine which were all ticked off in the first 5 minutes.
The food was traditional with a French bistro twist, we loved the little pan serving dishes and best of all, it was busy with locals which is always a good sign!
There are so many reasons to visit Scotland and Edinburgh is definitely one of them! For the first 4 year’s of our relationship, most weekends were spent in Edinburgh as Lauren studied nearby so we know all the best date spots.
For us, it’s one of the most romantic cities in Europe for its architecture (especially Victoria Street below) but also walks and view points over the city. Wandering the Royal Mile is one of the most romantic things to do in Edinburgh, the sound of bag pipes filling the air and the beautiful castle offering incredible views over the city.
If you’re loved one is a Harry Potter fan, head to the Elephant House where JK Rowling spent many rainy afternoons penning the first Harry Potter Books.
If the weather takes a turn for the worst (which is very likely being Scotland) we recommend the Dominion – an independent cinema which swapped out uncomfortable cinema seats for snuggly sofas, the perfect place for a rainy afternoon.
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Edinburgh
Climb Arthur’s Seat, bring a picnic and admire the sunset over this beautiful city.
The goddess of love is Greek after all! Athens is also one of the best European cities to visit in February if you’re not a fan of a colder climate. Expect sunnier strolls around some of the world’s most famous historical venues such as The Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon and Mount Lycabettus.
The best part about Athens in February is the lack of tourists – so not only are flights, accommodation and attractions much cheaper you’ll be free to wander without selfie sticks or tour busses spoiling the view.
Most Romantic Thing to Do in Athens
Although the hike was a little tiring, one of the most romantic things to do is hike Mount Lycabettus for unbeatable views of the city. Another reason Athens in February is the best time to go – so much cooler to climb than in the Summer months! We could’ve spent hours up there as we watched the sunset and Athens transform to a blanket of twinkling lights.
Most Romantic Place to Eat in Athens
We are OBSESSED with Greek food (so much so we spent a month olive picking in Crete with Workaway) and have so many recommendations for places to eat in Athens that we might have to dedicate an entire post. Until then, we’ll share our favourite and can guarantee it will become your favourite too – Cinque Wine bar.
This was the most informative experience we’ve had at a wine bar (so far) as the owner let us sample wines from all over Greece, explaining the notes and best food pairings alongside a map of origin.
After sampling a very generous amount of free wine, we ordered a bottle and the most amazing charcuterie board we’ve ever had. The owner even gave us little pots of the homemade chutney to take home for free!
Don’t just take our word for it, the wine bar has over 1,600 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor so we’ll let the photo speak for themselves!
Hopefully this guide has inspired your next trip and you find these romantic cities in Europe to be just as magical as we did. Let us know in the comments if your favourites are missing, we’d love to hear of more romantic cities to visit and add to this list!