Castles, canals, and candle-lit cobblestones – there’s a reason so many favored fairy tales are set in Europe. Make fantasy become a reality with this list of the 10 best romantic city breaks in Europe to help you decide where to whisk away your special someone. This itinerary is practically planned with both day and night activities to ramp up the romance on your next European getaway.
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1. Make your love blossom in Budapest
As the self-proclaimed wellness capital of the world, Budapest is a great place to go if you are looking for a romantic city break in Europe with your significant other. Full of beautiful buildings and thermal baths, Budapest offers a relaxing retreat for couples of all ages.
🌹 By Day: Immerse yourself in history with a visit to the 12th-century baths of Szt. Lukács. As a remnant of the Ottoman Empire, you can take in the breathtaking surroundings of these thermal pools as you soak. Or, head to the largest thermal spa in Europe – Széchenyi Spa – for a massage and access to several indoor and outdoor thermal pools, saunas, and steam rooms.
🌙 By Night: Set sail on a dinner cruise on the Danube. From the water, you and your partner will be able to relax and enjoy the illuminated sights of Budapest. Golden reflections will glitter on the water as you indulge in traditional Hungarian cuisine, often accompanied by live music and folk dancing.
Embark on an evening of culture with tickets for a classical concert inside the gilded halls of St. Stephen’s Basilica. At the heart of Hungary, guests can feast their ears on the harmonies of Mozart, Bach, and Vivaldi in Budapest’s grandest cathedral. With a facade that seems to be candlelit, you’ll be swooning for the Hungarian capital in no time.
2. Take your valentine to Venice
Nothing sways lovers like the classic canals and intricate Italian gothic architecture of Venice. This historic Italian city oozes romance, and it’s no wonder why we’ve ranked Venice as a top contender for best romantic city breaks in Europe.
🌹 By Day: Follow in the footsteps of the world’s most famous Venetian lover – Casanova. Daydream about days gone by and long-gone courtship rituals as you stroll through Venice. Make a point to see Doge’s Palace where Casanova was once imprisoned (and miraculously escaped).
Climb to the terrace level of St. Mark’s Basilica for unparalleled views of the city and nearby lagoon that will make you fall madly in love with Venice.
While Venice may be nicknamed “Bride of the Sea”, you can also rekindle romance a short distance outside of the city. The quaint island of Burano is a perfect escape for couples looking for some quiet time.
🌙 By Night: Once you’ve spent the day sightseeing, it’s time to unwind with your one-and-only under the Venetian stars on an evening gondola ride. You can enjoy a moonlit meal and amorous serenade as you drift through the magical canals of La Serenissima.
3. Pucker up in Paris
Ah, l’amour! The French capital is known as the City of Love for plenty of reasons – it’s easy to fall in love around every corner. With so many lovely things to do in Paris, you’ll want to add this one to your list of romantic city breaks.
🌹 By Day: Skip the crowds at the Louvre and opt for some intimacy at Musée de l’Orangerie. Impressionist paintings like Monet’s Water Lilies depict dreamy scenes that seem to come straight out of a summer romance.
🌙 By Night: When the Parisian boulevards light up at night, Paris enchants locals and visitors alike. Get one of the best views of Paris from a quintessential cruise on the Seine – and if you time it just right, you’ll capture the Eiffel Tower sparkling above the water.
If you have been missing that elusive je ne sais quoi with your beau in Paris, maybe you’ll find it at a classic cabaret show. Make it a full night out on the town with an included dinner and champagne to cap off your night.
4. Have a steamy stay in Seville
Everything in Seville seems infused with a bit of passion. Its warm climate, abundant palm trees, and ornate Moorish decor is unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in many romantic city breaks in Europe. As the hottest city in continental Europe, Seville is a great place to explore when you are looking to add a little warmth to your relationship.
🌹 By Day: Cool off by renting a rowboat at Plaza de España. No matter the weather, you’ll find couples taking to the canals to see the sights of Seville from the water. The Moorish architecture, turquoise water, and golden Spanish sun make for some incredible photo opportunities.
Heat things up with a couples massage at the Arab baths. For nearly 500 years, these steamy baths, pools, and saunas have used traditional oils and ancient techniques to draw out stress and impurities and provide a relaxing experience for your mind and body.
🌙 By Night: After a lovely day in Seville, head up to one of many rooftop bars for a spectacular view of the Seville skyline, or a colorful Spanish sunset. Grab a drink and some tapas and watch Seville revive itself after a long hot day.
Then ignite your passion with tickets to a flamenco show. A performance art perfected over centuries, flamenco’s signature style originated in Andalusia. Watch the mesmerizing ebb and flow of the dancers as the rhythm drives this sensual dance.
5. Flirt and frolic around Florence
The warm Tuscan sun and golden hues of the city make Florence feel like a summer haze. Beams of light are softened by terracotta-topped roofs, elegant cathedrals, and luxurious palaces of the Renaissance – what a picturesque place for one of the best honeymoon destinations in Europe.
🌹 By Day: Florence is filled with art and history, but don’t get stuck inside museums all day. Instead, take your honey to the Boboli Gardens. Among its labyrinth of lush vegetation and marble sculptures, it’ll be tempting to sneak a smooch (or two).
For something a little more off the beaten tourist path, link arms on your way through the wisteria-lined archway at Giardino Bardini, or enjoy dozens (and dozens) of blooming roses set to the backdrop of the Florence Duomo at the Giardino delle Rose.
🌙 By Night: When night falls, a romantic city break to Florence calls for something special. Seek an experience with your darling you can only get in Italy with tickets to an orchestra concert accompanied by opera singers. Get lost in the melodies of Pavarotti with your loved one and experience the best of classic Italian culture.
6. Feel enamored in Amsterdam
Canals and the best couple’s city breaks are meant for each other. Amsterdam is known as the “Venice of the North”, and a no-brainer on this list of best romantic city breaks in Europe.
There are flowers blooming at most times of the year, locals balancing on bicycles, and quaint little shops and cafés on every slanted street corner. Beautiful in both summer and winter – in all weather conditions – Amsterdam is truly enchanting.
🌹 By Day: If you and your partner have come to celebrate the start of the Dutch tulip in the spring, lucky you! From March through May each year, couples can stroll through the rows of colorful tulips and daffodils at the Keukenhof gardens or rent a bicycle to cruise around the blossoms in the nearby fields of Lisse.
At any time of year, you can never go wrong with a cozy canal cruise through Amsterdam’s 16th-century city center. Board a boat with your boo to get acquainted with Amsterdam, its bell-shaped rowhouses and signature houseboats.
🌙 By Night: While daylight shows you daily life in Amsterdam, a nighttime canal cruise with dinner gives you an even prettier view of Amsterdam, with twinkling lights reflected in the canals and warm interiors of shops, restaurants, and residences along the Amstel River.
Amsterdam is known for pushing the envelope on new experiences, and what better way to engage the senses than dinner with a shadowy twist – dining in the dark? Book an adventurous multi-course dinner for two and let your senses (sans sight) savor the flavors of your meal.
7. Follow star-crossed lovers to Verona
Loaded with visitors looking for love from all over the world, Verona sets the scene for one of the greatest love stories ever told – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – and is a top contender for one of the best romantic city breaks in Europe.
🌹 By Day: Anatomically, the stomach and the heart aren’t too far apart. Fall in love with your partner (and the delicacies of the Veneto region) as you taste your way through Verona. Book a day tour to a vineyard and fill your senses with wine, cheese, cured meats, or sample olive oil to your heart’s desire.
In a relationship with a literature lover? Write each other love letters and place them under Juliet’s storied balcony. Built in the 12th century, the villa claims to have been the home of Giulietta of the Capello clan in Verona, the rumored inspiration for the Capulets and the Montagues in Shakespeare’s legendary tragedy.
In the mood to kick back with your companion instead? Go for a steamy spa day at Aquardens Verona, the largest thermal bath complex in Italy. Surrounded by Lake Garda and charming Verona, you’ll melt your worries away with several pools, lagoons, and caves intended to help you relax on your special European couples break.
🌙 By Night: Get gussied up for a night out at the Verona opera, located inside the ancient Verona Arena. Built in the third century, this Roman amphitheater is one of the best-preserved ancient wonders of its kind, and still hosts opera, theater, and concert performances year-round. Prices are pretty reasonable, but seeing the venue illuminated at night is truly priceless.
8. Cozy up in Copenhagen
Curl up with your cutie on a romantic European break to Copenhagen. Experts in curating the concept of hygge, the Danes do an exceptional job at creating cozy spaces for couples to cuddle.
🌹 By Day: Plucked right out of a scene from a fairy tale, Kronborg Castle lies 60 minutes outside of Copenhagen, a perfect day trip on a couple’s city break. Tour the castle, or simply have a picnic on the grounds surrounded by gushing water features and green gardens.
If you want to stick closer to Copenhagen, a visit to Christiansborg Palace is one way to rev up the romance. Visualize a cheeky courtesy to your crush before waltzing around the ballroom, or a regal meal prepared for royalty in the kitchen – it’s easy for your imagination to run wild inside the elaborate palace.
🌙 By Night: Seek some solace with your spouse and head up to the Rundetaarn after dark, the oldest observatory in Europe still in use today. Do some star-gazing from one of the highest points in Copenhagen and enjoy sweeping views of the city.
After your celestial experience, seal your special bond on your romantic couples break by attaching a lock to the Bryggebroen, a pedestrian and cycling bridge. Tradition dictates that if you attach an engraved lock to the bridge, it is customary to throw away the key to lock in your love forever.
9. Increase your passion in Porto
The only thing sweeter than true love is port wine, and a romantic European break to Porto is the perfect pairing if you’ve got an oenophile in your life. The secluded Douro Valley, serene Douro River, and scenic hillside vineyards make Porto a top pick for quiet and romantic city breaks with your favorite person.
🌹 By Day: Soak in the Portuguese sun on a cruise on the Douro, the lifeblood of Porto’s wine-making region. Sail underneath its iconic six bridges, and see the port wine cellars – Kopke, Sandeman, Taylor’s, and Graham’s – from the shore.
Get out of the city for a day and get lost in the winding vineyards and villas around Porto to immerse yourself in the flavors of the port wine region. Spend the day sampling Vinho Verde, or do multiple cellar tours and tastings paired with traditional Portuguese fare.
Stay above ground and stroll along the cobbled promenade of Ribiera for some boutique shopping, an aperitif, and fresh seafood. Or, take a day trip to the pristine sandy beaches of Aveiro to play in the water and have lunch amongst the vibrant striped houses of this traditional fishing village.
🌙 By Night: Witness a musical tradition as old as the ocean itself with tickets to a fado show in Porto. The hauntingly beautiful melodies written about longing for seafaring husbands to come home will make you thankful your honey is right by your side on this romantic city break in Europe.
10. Get your heart racing in Interlaken
If you and your other half are looking for adventurous and romantic city breaks in Europe, a visit to Interlaken in Switzerland may be just the ticket.
🌹 By Day: Book your stay in Interlaken for the winter and hit the slopes. Share a private ski or snowboarding lesson at Jungfrau, a popular ski resort in the Bernese Alps. Nothing says bonding like learning something new together.
During the summer, Interlaken is home to a host of hiking trails for all skill levels. The same mountains blanketed in snow in winter are trekkable once the snow thaws. Incredible views of the jagged Alps, turquoise alpine lakes below, and colorful wildflowers blanket the emerald knolls.
🌙 By Night: During the summer, take a fun funicular ride to one of the highest vantage points over Interlaken – Harder Kulm. As the last stop perched atop a high mountain, Harder Klum offers a swanky observation deck and a restaurant that serves fondue and other Swiss specialties.