Giants of Causeway in Northern Ireland. Credits: Shutterstock

Valentine’s Day 2023: Top 8 European Romantic Getaways for Couples

by Irene Hernandez

Valentine’s Day is approaching fast – do you know what you’re doing to celebrate? A great way to celebrate Cupid’s holiday with your special someone is with a romantic getaway for couples. A little time away from home can do wonders for a relationship, allowing you to understand your loved one in a different context and make memories for a lifetime. But where to go? We’ve assembled eight of the most romantic places in the world to inspire you. From a luxurious seaside holiday on the French Riviera to a romantic boat ride through Venice’s ancient canals, these romantic destinations are sure to get your blood pumping. Whether you’re looking for a quick city break or a scenic adventure through the wild countryside, there’s something on this list for every romantic to love. Read on!

Versailles: A palace in the most romantic city in the world

For decades, perhaps centuries, Paris has been known as the city of love. It’s also one of the most-visited tourist cities in the world. So next time you’re planning a romantic getaway, why not take it to the next level? Head to Versailles, the most romantic part of the most romantic city in the world.

Versailles, located in the western suburbs of Paris, was chosen by the French monarchy as the location for a palace complex. Over the centuries, this has become known as one of the most beautiful palace complexes in the world. Featuring stunning architecture and breathtakingly beautiful gardens, it’s safe to say that it’s earned the reputation.

The small suburb of Versailles is steeped in history, romance, and culture. Its quaint streets abut against parkland featuring such grand palaces as the imposing Chateau de Versailles. Sometimes known as the Temple of Love, the chateau is the main attraction in Versailles. Featuring a golden roof, massive halls, and ornate frescoes and decor, it is a vision of monarchial opulence from a bygone era. This stunning monument to imperial privilege is surrounded by sprawling gardens featuring hundreds of statues and dozens of water features.

There’s no shortage of cute and romantic activities for those visiting Versailles with their sweethearts. Row a boat on the Grand Canal, wander the gardens, find a secluded spot to pop a bottle of champagne, and you’re sure to have a magical time. In the evenings, you can watch a performance at the Royal Opera or enjoy a candlelit dinner in one of the city’s many fine restaurants.

Getting to Versailles from Paris Airport is simple and convenient. From Charles de Gaulle airport, you can take the RER train to Versailles-Rive Gauche station.

A weekend of romance in the French Riviera

If you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway full of indulgence, the French Riviera just might be the epitome of luxury and sophistication. The wine, the jagged edges of the coastal cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and captivating Mediterranean architecture: every element seems perfectly attuned and harmonized for maximum romance and relaxation. From romantic boat trips and peaceful days on the beach to indulgent spa experiences, the French Riviera has got you covered.

The region’s notable cities include Nice, Cannes, and Antibes, each of which offer its own blend of Provencal hospitality, luxury, beauty, and romance. From Nice, you can catch a boat trip to visit the Calanques, the coves and bays hidden within the region’s jagged coastline. Isolated and gorgeous, these secret refuges offer a breathtakingly romantic setting for a beachside picnic or glass of the fine local rosé.

As in all of France, fine dining is a major draw to the area. From Cannes’ Michelin-starred bistros to the humble bakeries on the streets of Nice, great food is absolutely everywhere in this part of the world. Chef’s tip: try the ratatouille – the stew of eggplant, zucchinis, bell peppers, and tomatoes was invented in this region, and it remains a local favorite.

As with any luxury destination worth its salt, resorts featuring the most modern amenities, spas, wellness, and infinity pools are easy to find along this coast. If you’re looking for a hot stone massage or a dip in the sea next to a secluded beach, you can find it here.

The region is served by a number of airports, but Nice Côte d’Azur Airport is the main hub for the region. From there, it’s easy to book a bus or a train to your destination.

A romantic boat trip in Venice, Italy

What’s a list of romantic getaways for couples without mentioning Venice? The city of canals and gondolas is a perfect destination for an excursion with your significant other, whether you’re going for a quick romantic weekend getaway or a longer holiday. With its winding waterways and historic architecture, Venice is a treasure of human achievement that everyone should visit at least once. Sailing down the city’s narrow canals with a skilled gondolier is an unforgettably romantic experience.

In addition to exploring the city by gondola, simply strolling around the streets of Venice is endlessly rewarding. From the iconic Piazza San Marco, the city’s central square, where you can enjoy an aperitif while watching the world go by, to the darkly evocative Bridge of Sighs, Venice is a feast for the eyes. Just pick a direction and wander, guided by whatever catches your eye – you’re sure to be pleased with what you discover.

In addition to exploring Venice by gondola or by foot, Venice offers plenty of satisfying day trips to nearby islands, most notably Murano and Burano. These islands are famous for their handicrafts like glass and lace. Visitors can watch the skilled artisans at work and purchase local souvenirs.

If simply being here isn’t enough of a cultural experience for you, Venice also offers world-class museums and galleries, as well as all the modern high fashion brands you’d expect in a first-class Italian city. It doesn’t matter if you and your special someone are fans of classical art, modern masterpieces, or contemporary styles, Venice has something to offer every kind of art enthusiast.

Getting into Venice from Venice Airport is easy, but it’s quite different from the normal experience. Rather than boarding a shuttle or train to get to the city center, you can get a water taxi from the airport directly to your hotel! How’s that for romantic convenience?

Romantic Italy for couples: Amalfi Coast, Italy

Italy’s Amalfi Coast is a dream destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. One of Italy’s most stunning coastlines, the Amalfi coast offers jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea, lush green mountains, and fragrant lemon orchards terraced up the steep hillsides. It’s known for its picturesque fishing towns, strung along the coast like a pearl necklace, each one beautiful in its own way.

One of the most iconic ways to enjoy the Amalfi Coast is with a romantic boat trip along its stunning coastline. Your captain will point out notable sights as your vessel slides through the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Keep an eye out for dolphins!

For those looking to indulge in some of the good stuff, the Amalfi Coast is home to some of Italy’s finest vineyards. Also notable is the local liquor of choice, limoncello. This sweet citrus infusion gets its heady aroma from the Amalfi Coast’s famous lemons, widely regarded as some of the best grown anywhere in the world. Seriously – just take a stroll down a back street of Minori or Positano and breathe in. Chances are, you’ll get a trace of the Amalfi lemon’s intoxicating aroma wafting off a nearby tree.

One of the best things about the Amalfi Coast is how it allows you to just pass some time together with the person you love. A romantic trip doesn’t need to be packed full of complicated activities. Sometimes it’s better to take things slow with a relaxed walk along the coast, stopping to visit local markets and sample fresh seafood. The Amalfi Coast is also close to several historical sights, most notably the ruined Roman city of Pompeii, a must for history lovers. Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was buried by a volcanic eruption almost 2,000 years ago. The volcanic ashes maintained the city exactly as it stood on that fateful day, and its exceptionally well-preserved ruins attract millions of visitors each year. As you walk through the cobbled streets, you can almost hear the hustle and bustle of the Roman Empire in its glory days. Exploring the city’s remains of temples, bathhouses, noble homes, and restaurants takes up the better part of a day, but it’s eminently worth it.

Getting to the Amalfi Coast is easy. Regular bus trips depart from the closest major airport, Naples International Airport.

Romance in the city of gold: Seville, Spain

With its beautiful parks, lush gardens, and elaborate architecture, Seville makes a perfect romantic weekend getaway for couples. Whether you’re wandering through the narrow streets of the historic city center listening to the sounds of flamenco guitar or strolling along the wide waterfront of the Guadalquivir River, you’ll find romance and magic in Seville.

One of Seville’s most stunning draws is its Moorish roots. You can see this architectural heritage in buildings like the Royal Alcazar, which contain the gardens and water features common in Islamic architecture elsewhere in the world. Strolling through its quiet gardens provide a calming respite from the bustle of the city outside. Another unmissable remnant of Seville’s Moorish past is the Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold), a watchtower that dates back to the 13th century during the city’s Islamic period. It gets its name from the cargoes of gold and precious metals from the Americas that were unloaded here during the age of the Spanish Empire.

As far as romantic activities go, Seville is packed with them. For an indulgent experience, couples can visit a Hammam, a traditional Arab bath. These provide everything you need for a truly relaxing experience: hot and cold water pools, massages, and steam rooms. Couples on the lookout for something a bit more cultural can try a Flamenco show at one of Seville’s many venues, called tablaos in the local Andalusian dialect of Spanish. This is Andalusia at its most Spanish!

Seville is easily reached from its dedicated airport. Bus line EA heads directly from the airport to the city center and takes about 35 minutes to make the journey.

A romantic weekend getaway in County Galway, Ireland

A land on the edge of the world, western Ireland is a mystical place of rolling green hills, towering oceanside cliffs, and quaint villages untouched by the passage of centuries. In the middle of the island, County Galway offers all this and more. To drive along the coastline here is to inhabit a land of extremes, to thread the needle between the raw power of the Atlantic Ocean and the gently rolling emerald hills. Add to that lively, welcoming towns with cobblestone lanes, thatched roofs, and traditional pubs, and you have yourself a weekend getaway to remember.

A great way to experience a taste of the local life is to stay at a bed & breakfast. B&Bs are a popular option in Ireland and offer a way to experience life in an Irish village.

One of the area’s most well-known and famous attractions are the stunning Cliffs of Moher. From their breathtaking 700-foot (215 meter) height, towering above the thundering surf of the Atlantic, you can see for miles out into the endless ocean. Connemara National Park is also worth checking out and an ideal spot for hiking through the rolling green hills of the Emerald Isle.

Foodies will love the oysters and shellfish on offer in Galway County. The oyster fisheries in Galway Bay are some of the most well-known and celebrated in Europe, producing shellfish on par with the finest that Normandy has to offer. Looking for one final way to symbolize your love on your romantic weekend getaway? We suggest a souvenir: a Claddagh Ring, a traditional Irish ring symbolizing everlasting love, can make a meaningful reminder of your romantic holiday in Ireland.

Galway is easy to reach from the airport, if you’re happy to take your time. A direct bus to Galway from Dublin Airport takes about three hours and is easily bookable on Omio.

Drink in the romance in the Rhineland wine region, Germany

While Germany might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of wineries, you’d be missing out if you gave it a pass. The rolling hills and picturesque vineyards make the Rhineland wine region one of Germany’s best places to visit – and that’s before you even taste the wine!

The city of Mainz, deep in the heart of the Rhineland, makes the perfect home base for your explorations. It’s also a city worth exploring in its own right, with a charming old town, landmarks like the Mainz Cathedral and the Gutenberg Museum, and enough quaint shops and cafes to spend a lovely afternoon.

Wine tasting and tours are clearly the highlight of a visit to any wine region, and the Rhineland is no exception. Rhenish wines are famous for their crisp, dry flavor profiles, most notably the widely regarded Riesling. Visitors can take a tour of the local wineries and learn about the history and traditions of winemaking in the region, which dates back to the days of the Roman Empire.

Just as popular are the Rhine river cruises, and for good reason. There’s no better way to explore the Rhineland than by sailing down the river that gave it its name. As you cruise down the scenic waterway, your captain will point out the historic castles that dot the hilltops throughout the region. While you’re sitting up there on the deck, soaking in the sun, why not enjoy a glass of wine?

In addition to wineries and Rhine river cruises, the region is sprinkled with charming medieval towns that are well worth visiting. Riverside towns like Boppard and Rüdesheim may be centuries past their golden years, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t settled into a blissful existence as tourist destinations. Strolling along the narrow streets beside timber-framed buildings takes you back in time to an earlier era.

The Rhineland is Germany’s most densely populated region and is served by multiple airports as well as a very extensive network of trains. Frankfurt International Airport, Germany’s largest, is only a 40-minute train ride away from Mainz.

A Northern Lights tour in Tromso, Norway

Of all the romantic activities on this list, perhaps the most romantic way to spend a weekend is by viewing one of the most ethereal and magical spectacles the Earth has to offer. A Northern Lights tour in Tromso, Norway, allows you to get a firsthand glimpse of the solar wind – a stream of charged particles discharged by our sun that, when they collide with the Earth’s magnetic field, create a spectacular light show in the upper atmosphere.

Tromso itself is a vibrant, colorful city that offers a bit of rustic flare while still featuring all the modern amenities you need. Its charming old town, wooden architecture, and scenic waterfront make it a lovely place to spend an afternoon, temperature permitting. The stunning Arctic Cathedral is a must-see.

Tromso’s cute cafes and cozy hotels offer a quintessential hygge experience. Hygge is a Scandinavian word that translates to a sense of comfort and coziness. All you have to do is bite into one of the delicious local pastries with a sip of coffee to feel hygge at its best.

But we’re really here for the lightshow. The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are Tromso’s main wintertime attraction. The combination of perpetual arctic darkness and generally clear skies make Tromso an ideal destination for viewing the atmospheric phenomenon. A Northern Lights tour from Tromso will take you outside the city to the perfect darkness of the countryside, allowing you an unobstructed view of one of the most magical sights in the world.

Tromso also has a lot of daytime activities. Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, or sled rides are popular here, and the city also has a number of traditional festivals during the winter months.

Tromso is easily reached from its own airport, Tromso Airport. The Airport Express Coach takes 10-15 minutes to reach the city center.