14 Romantic Breaks to Enjoy in Europe this Valentine’s
Wherever you sit with Valentine’s, the one plus side it does have is giving you an excuse to go travelling to some of the most romantic spots in Europe. Whether it’s on your own, with a friend, a new love interest, or a long-term partner, the below list will get you excited for some last minute wanderlust this Valentine’s Day.
1 Verona, Italy
When we think of romance and love, some of the first characters that spring to mind are Romeo and his beloved Juliet. Verona is the city where Shakespeare set this fictional love story and tucked away off Via Capello, you can find Casa di Giulietta. This is the homeplace of Juliet and the iconic courtyard, where the balcony where Romeo promised his eternal love to Juliet is located. Lovers from right across the world now flock to this romantic hub to declare their love for one other. Whilst you’re there, you can rub the right breast of the bronze statue of Juliet for luck in love, and even leave a note declaring your love on the entrance walls to the courtyard.
The Italians are typically passionate about food and after a day of city sightseeing, you can round it off with a delicious meal in one of the city’s pretty restaurants. Nearby Lessinia has an abundance of fresh fish from Lake Garda and Valeggio tortellini, which is shaped in a knot to symbolise the love of two folklore figures. Sightseers can share a bottle of the high-quality, locally produced D.O.C. wines from the hills surrounding Verona.
Take a look at the latest hotel deals in “fair Verona” and be transported to the scene of Romeo and Juliet.
2 Edinburgh, Scotland
This Scottish capital is full of romance, mystery and intrigue with many attractions to explore on foot, hand in hand with your partner. Starting at the Royal Mile and making your way up to Edinburgh Castle, romantics can take in the 360-degree views of the city, which are particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset. Looking across to Arthur’s Seat you can set your sights on a wander around Holyrood Park to take in the majestic sights of Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea in one of the many quirky cafes off Princes Street or, if you’re an animal lover, you can easily whittle away an hour in the city’s Cat Café. Nip over to Rose Street for your choice of lunch, dinner or afternoon snacks along with a great choice of lively pubs to take you into the evening.
Find out the latest hotel deals for Edinburgh today and enjoy a weekend in this loveable city.
3 Venice, Italy
There are few more romantic ways to spend an afternoon than sailing through Venetian canals on a Gondola, before stopping off at Palazzo Malipiero for an aperitivo. Historically known as the home of socialite Cassanova, we can see why many fell for his flirtatious charms in this city of romance. Dash out of the bustling piazzas to explore the less-travelled side streets, each revealing a more splendid sight than the next. Round off the day with a visit to St Mark’s Basilica and stand in awe of the wonderous gold mosaics which took over eight centuries to create.
Check out the latest hotel deals in Venice and start dreaming about your Gondola ride down one of the city’s canals.
4 Bath, England
The UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath is the perfect getaway for a relaxing and quiet break this Valentine’s Day. Just a short flight from many Irish airports, Bath offers many options for opulent pampering experiences, including its luxurious Therme Spa. Here you can enjoy Britain’s only natural thermal waters from hot springs, on which the City of Bath was built around 800 BC. Wind down in the style of the Romans who started the practice of thermal bathing, claimed to aid many illnesses. After a day of R&R, you can explore Bath Abbey and wander through the beautiful Royal Crescent. Hire a car for the day to venture into the peaceful bath countryside, scattered with stately homes and royal manors. Make a stop at Little Solsbury Hill at dusk and venture to the top of the hill to take in the beautiful night sky.
Find the latest hotel deals in Bath and whisk yourself away to the indulgent city for a few days.
5 Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a fantastic romantic city break offering many attractions that you can fit into your sightseeing schedule, either day or night. In February, the city will still be chilly, so warm coats, hats and scarves (or a romantic cuddle) are a must. Most of the city can be explored on foot, including Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square and the astonishing Prague astronomical clock. There are plenty of museums, theatres, cinemas and galleries to explore as a couple. At night, the city comes alive with a romantic vibe as light bounces off the narrow cobblestone streets and alleyways as you wander through the old town.
Check out the latest hotel deals in Prague and look forward to beautiful views from Charles Bridge.
6 Budapest, Hungary
A Budapest city break is not complete without a trip down the Danube under the stars, taking in many of the city’s architectural delights along the waterfront. River cruisers will experience a sight of Buda and Pest, the two historic sides of Budapest. The neo-Gothic, neo-Romanesque, neo-baroque style of the Parliament buildings are a wonder for the eyes and you will be transfixed as you sail past. Dinner options are available on nightly cruises and, once you dock, you can take a stroll along the Danube promenade for a nightcap. Head to the Szechenyi Hungarian Baths, where over 18 outdoor and indoor pools can be enjoyed. Round off the day with a tipple in one of the many quirky bars along the river or further into the city.
See the latest hotels in Budapest and imagine yourself sailing along the River Danube.
7 Paris, France
Internationally known as the city of love, Paris has many attractions for the last-minute romantic city break. Whether it’s a wander around the city, a stop to enjoy a croissant and a latte or take in the city’s art, history and culture, there is something for everyone in this city, and it will undoubtedly set your heart on fire. They say money can’t buy you love but fashionistas will enjoy an afternoon browsing the many original fashion boutiques and vintage stores in Paris.
What’s more, one evening on your trip should be spent atop the Eiffel Tower, amongst the twinkling lights displayed hourly. An early start to your day will give you the opportunity to visit The Louvre, Notre-Dame de Paris, Arc de Triomphe and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur in one day, leaving you able to scoff a few French macaroons completely guilt free!
Find the latest hotel deals for Paris and let yourself be romanced by the city’s many treasures.
8 Rome, Italy
The homeplace of Latin lovers, this eternal city is an ideal destination for couples young and old. Make a wish for what your heart desires as you flick a coin into the Trevi Fountain. From there put your legs to the test with a walk up the 138 Spanish Steps for a superb view over the city and a perfect stop to soak up the views. St Peter’s Basilica would be an ideal location for the ultimate wedding as it is the most famous church in the world; however, on a visit, you will be romanced enough by the building’s massive architectural splendour. Round off your trip with a candlelit dinner in the ruins of an ancient stadium or a nightcap on one of the city’s many hidden rooftop bars.
Take a look at the latest hotel deals for Rome and soak up the city’s many highlights.
9 Vienna, Austria
The season of love is upon us and a great way to celebrate is rejoicing in some of the most famous opera love stories of our time at the Vienna State Opera. Prized for its exceptional acoustics, there are performances almost 300 nights in the year.
Austrian jewellery was made famous worldwide by Swarovski and if you are shopping for a new piece to add to your collection head over to the studio Stoss im Himmel, which brings together several designers in one place. The Ring King workshop located nearby is where you can pick up a unique charm ring to remember your visit.
Find out the latest hotel deals for Vienna and plan a trip to the charming Austrian capital.
10 Florence, Italy
Dubbed as a hub for cutting-edge art and fashion, there are many beautiful sights in this Italian city, with an abundance found along the banks of the Arno river. A history of wealthy art patrons, Florence is brimming with architectural masterpieces, such as David, the popular Renaissance sculpture created by Michelangelo. David is currently available to view in a public square outside Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of government in Florence city. An evening wandering through Piazza Michelangelo will take you to the terracotta-roofed city skyline, taking in the Duomo cathedral for a cosy cuddle.
Take a look at the latest hotel deals for Florence and look forward to its many historical pleasures.
11 Belfast, N Ireland
Named as the top place to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet, this friendly city will certainly give all visitors a warm welcome. A last-minute Valentine’s break can be spent in Northern Ireland’s capital exploring the many eateries, cocktail bars and brew houses within the lively Cathedral Quarter, which particularly comes to life when the weekend rolls around. Improve your skills in the kitchen by picking up new cookery skills in one of the city’s cookery schools. Stroll the trendy boutiques on the Lisburn Road for retail therapy with your other half, stopping for frequent coffees, an ice cream or afternoon glass of wine. Head to the viewing deck at Victoria Square for a view over the city or to one of the city’s excellent rooftop bars for a few drinks looking out over the city’s skyline.
Find out the latest hotel deals in Belfast and enjoy the craic!
12 Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is undoubtedly one of the most unique city break destinations in Europe and a chance to get wrapped in romance through the city’s fairy-tale architecture, quaint cobbled streets and picture-perfect canals. A day exploring the city will take in the medieval church towers at Belfort, with 366 steps to climb to reach the panoramic view of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Grote Markt, a large public square surrounded with beautiful medieval cafes and restaurants, is an ideal opportunity to sample Belgian Chocolate treats and ‘Bourgogne des Flandres’- a dark beer with a selection of cheese, salami and mustard, before a trip to the world-famous art museum Groeningemuseum.
Check out the latest hotel deals for Bruges and start dreaming of the many delicious chocolates you will enjoy there.
13 Alicante, Spain
With almost 3,000 hours of annual sunshine, Alicante’s mild climate – even in winter – makes it an ideal romantic city break. Share a selection of local tapas; Patas Bravas (potatoes with spicy sauce), Tortilla Española (Spanish omelette), Gambas al Ajillo (shrimps with garlic) and Croquetas de Jamón (ham croquettes) before a day of exploration around the picturesque promenades. With so much to see in the surrounding areas of Alicante, you will be easily tempted to hire a car and explore the surrounding villages. Headless than an hour north to explore the town of Altea where you can venture to the top of the old town and take in the views right out to sea, looking back towards Alicante city. If thrill seeking is your thing, arrange to take your other half to Terra Mitica – the region’s largest theme park. If you have wheels, a road trip up the curving mountain terrain will bring you to the historical town of Gudalest which still until this day hides the Saint Josep castle, an ancient city dungeon, a bell tower and parish church. Here you might find your very own prince charming, or realise you brought him with you!
Take a look at the latest hotel deals in Alicante and you might even come back sunkissed.
14 Munich, Germany
Munich may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think ‘romantic city break’ but this German city has a wealth of romantic activities to bring you even closer as a couple or potentially to meet someone new. Kick start your break by heightening your senses with a dine in the dark experience in the city – an opportunity to have an evening meal in complete blackness. Not only does this enable you to focus more on the taste of your food, it will also give you an opportunity to properly listen to your dining partner.
Explore your tastes in art and history in Munich’s wonderful museums, some showcasing pieces from Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Martin Spengler. You can also discover the city’s hidden Japanese Garden, complete with a Thai temple.
Enjoy the best of German food with our Europe on a Plate: Germany blog post.
Check out the latest hotel deals in Munich and dream of a beer in one of Germany’s most exciting cities.
Do you know of any other great romantic destinations in Europe?
Share your favourite romantic locations in Europe in the comment section.