Some places in the world radiate an air of passion and romance. Got your Valentine’s getaway sorted? No? Luckily, we’ve put this list together, including some of the most famous romantic cities of all time, just waiting for you and your beloved this year. Earlier, I asked the guys ‘n’ girls at GoneDigging HQ. So, without further delay, here’s their pick of the world’s best spots for a romantic trip.
In at number one, we have Venice – a crumbling city of glory, reflected in its crisscross canals and breathtaking architecture, not to mention the cafes with their sumptuously dark hot chocolates. To visit, you’ve got St Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Rialto Bridge and, of course, the Grand Canal – all of which are free to visit. And would could more romantic than a gondola ride down a canal, or a walk over narrow bridges, getting lost through narrow lanes, and ending up at monumental squares? If you don’t fall in love with this fascinating city of fairytale canals, cobbled backstreets and winding bridges, there’s something wrong with you.
Looks like the chaps and chappesses at GoneDigging HQ have Italy on their minds when they think of romantic getaways. One of the world’s most dolce, dazzling cities, Rome evokes images of gladiators and ancient treasures. Lovers the world over amass beside its numerous fountains to throw coins as they make a wish, share gelatos and sip cappuccinos in the middle of beautiful piazzas, and walk past three thousand years of history. Be sure to check out such traditional monuments as the Colosseum and St Peter’s Basilica, along with the Seven Hills, or watch the world go by from the Spanish Steps and sip Chianti in tucked-away piazzas.
The quintessential city of love, Paris conjures up images of lovers strolling, hand-in-hand, along the Seine, historical monuments, food, fashion, and, of course, the brightly-lit La Tour Eiffel. In Paris, love is in the air everywhere you look. Marvel at some of the world’s best art museums, including the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, for free on the Sunday. Bit of a booklover? Don’t miss the cosy Shakespeare Bookshop that encourages visitors to read their floor-to-ceiling book selection in store. And make sure you do the classic ascent of the Eiffel Tower. Then there's the Champs Elysees and the many gardens like the Jardin du Luxembourg. And why not trade the crowded underground metro for velib public bicycles? Not only do they allow you to take in the city and its hidden corners above ground, but they give you the first half hour ride on each bike for free!
Hardly visited in modern times until the fall of the soviet bloc in the 1980s, Budapest sits prettily on both sides of the Danube River. Each year, the city attracts more and more visitors owing to its cheaper prices and quieter atmosphere. Admire the panorama from Castle Hill, marvel at the colourful roof and decorative interior of the thirteenth Hungarian cakes. Over the river in Pest, take in 360-degree views over the city from the top of St Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest’s biggest church, stroll down the nineteenth-century tree-lined Andrassy Avenue past superb villas, and visit the striking Parliament. Amble in the parks and Japanese gardens on Margaret Island, in the heart of the city. Probably the most romantic part of Budapest lies in its thermal baths – either Gellert Baths or the slightly more expensive Szechenyi Baths.
Rich in culture and history, Barcelona is the second largest city in all of Spain and makes a great place for any couple up for experience a Mediterranean holiday. With some of the best beaches on the continent and the comforts of the city a stone throw away, this Catalonian region offers everything a doting couple could hope for to inspire unbridled romance. Walk around the twisting medieval streets of the Old Town and get lost in this beautiful and ancient labyrinth. Sidle Off to Sitges, check out the passion of one of Barcelona's flamenco shows or get a royal rub down at one of the top Barcelona spas.From warm Spanish evenings, a wonderful coastline by the azure plains of the Mediterranean sea, not to mention fabulous food, many boasting Michelin stars. When it comes to romantic breaks in Europe, crown Barcelona king.