The most romantic city break destinations in Europe

If you’re looking to take a break from your daily lives, away from the cold weather for most, it’s time to fall in love with your partner all over again on your next trip away. Immerse yourselves in the local culture, soak up the sunshine and sample all the delicious food, as you explore some of the most romantic city break destinations in Europe.

It goes without saying that Europe is home to some of the best cities in the world; from historic Rome, to the city known for its delicious hand-grown oranges, Seville. Of course, we can’t forget sitting beneath the stars by the Eiffel tower in Paris.

With over 800 cities across the continent, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 romantic city break destinations in Europe. We hope you enjoy reading our inspiration guide. Be sure to leave a comment down below if you have any further questions or have your own suggestion on a place to visit with your partner. 😊

Venice, Italy

image showing people on a gondola in Venice

The first city on our list is considered to be one of the most romantic destinations in the world, let alone in Europe! Known for its car-free zone and 100 islands that are joined together by many bridges, it’s a great place to explore by foot, hand-in-hand with your partner.

Venice is home to the iconic waterways of Canale Grande, where you’ll see hundreds of boats passing through daily. There’s also St Mark’s Basilica and St Mark’s Square, where you can admire the ornate buildings surrounding the piazza.

The city has a truly romantic feel to it, with quaint corner cafes, scenic walks and quiet boutique hotels that have a view of the canals. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to cuisine too! It’s no secret that Italy has some of the best food in the world.

We recommend riding a gondola down Canale Grande with your partner, as you take in the stunning surroundings. The gondolas will fit up to six people, so you can share with other couples to cut down on cost, or pay more for a more romantic and intimate ride.  It is an expensive activity to do, but when in Venice…

Recommended hotels for couples:

Corte Di Gabriela

Hotel Bartolomeo

Dubrovnik, Croatia

image showing the castle walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia - the most romantic city break destinations in Europe

Next up on our list of romantic city break destinations in Europe is the enchanting city of Dubrovnik in Croatia. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to this bustling city in the summer months for a spot of sightseeing and sun! It makes the perfect romantic getaway for couples that want a good mix of sightseeing alongside relaxation, with opportunities to explore the surrounding area too. A 4-5 night break is the ideal amount of time for a city break here, although there’s plenty to see if you want to stay for longer.

Visit Dubrovnik old town and have a browse through the local shop, jump into a cable car for the best views of the city, or take a short boat trip to Lokrum island. After some rest, you can walk the city walls for some of the most incredible views of the city. And if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, how about taking part in a tour to see the top film locations in the city?

After a long day of exploring, we recommend dining in the iconic open-air restaurant, Lady Pi-Pi. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic rooftop dinner, overlooking some amazing views of the city streets.

We’d recommend visiting either in May – June, or September. It gets extremely busy in the peak summer months and won’t be that relaxing and peaceful couples getaway you’d have hoped for.

Recommended hotels for couples:

Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik

Hotel More

Porto, Portugal

image showing the Dom Luís bridge in Porto, Portugal

When we first think of Portugal, we imagine the stunning beaches of The Algarve, or the country’s capital, Lisbon. However, Porto, to the north-west of Portugal, is incredibly beautiful and makes the perfect long weekend getaway for couples.

Top attractions in Porto include Ponte de Dom Luís, which represents 9000 years of history of the city. You can also take a boat tour down Douro River, go on a walking tour to see the impressive, colourful architecture, or get lost in the delicious local cuisine. If you have time, visit the neighbourhood tour of Cais da Ribeira, which is located on the opposite side of the river. It’s one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, with a quaint ‘small town’ atmosphere, perfect for a romantic lunch.

If you and your partner are a fan of Harry Potter, then you’re in luck! Head to Lello and Irmão’s bookstore to sip on a cup of coffee, in the exact place where JK Rowling first found inspiration for Harry Potter.

One of the most romantic things to do in Porto is, you guessed it, Port tasting. Porto is the home of this sweet but strong fortified wine, so you’re in no better place to sample it. Taste a few different varieties and nibble on some snacks. It’s a great experience to share!

Overall, Porto is a fantastic city to visit and is even better in the summer months, where the city really comes to life!

Recommended hotels for couples:

InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas

The Editory Artist Porto Hotel

Vienna, Austria

image showing a panoramic view of Vienna, Austria

If you and your partner are looking to visit a city that’s full of culture and musical legends, then Vienna should be top of your list. The city has a real fairy-tale-like atmosphere, and it’s rich in history, offering a plethora of things to see and do. From the cultural world heritage site, Schönbrunn Palace, to the historic centre of Vienna, it’s the ideal place to go sightseeing for 3 full days.

One of the most romantic things to do in Vienna is the city’s Ferris wheel. Climb aboard and ride high to share a memorable moment together at sunset.

For a short stay, book a boutique hotel in the centre of town, where you can navigate all of the top sites on foot. Or if you want to see some of rural Austria, plan a city break and then head out to the countryside in a hire car.

Vienna is a great romantic city break destination in Europe no matter the month of the year. In summer, the city is warm, colourful and full of lively events. November to December are ideal for a winter city break, feasting on plenty of Bratwurst and beer at the authentic Austrian Christmas markets.

Recommended hotels for couples:

Hollmann Beletage Design & Boutique Hotel

Boutiquehotel Das Tyrol

Rome, Italy

Image of Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy - the most romantic city break destinations for couples

The next city on our list of the most romantic city break destinations in Europe is another Italian city. The capital of Italy, Rome, is best known for its ancient history, magnificent architecture and fine cuisine. However, it’s also a place of romance. Many romantic movies have been filmed here and has a wide range of unique activities for couples. We suggest spending a long weekend here, between 3-5 days.

When visiting Rome, must see’s include a trip to the Roman Colosseum, riding the lift to the top of Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele to see the city from above, and throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain, making a wish with your partner.

For all you foodies out there, Rome is food heaven! If you love Italian cuisine, this is the place you’ll want to be. As a huge city, it really has some of the best food and wine that Italy has to offer, boasting plenty of restaurants for every budget. Oh, and don’t forget the gelato! It’s available in all flavours under the sun!

A unique romantic activity to add to your list is a horse and carriage tour through the centre of town. You’ll not only get to see the wonders of Rome, but also share a fairy-tale moment with your partner.

Recommended hotels for couples:

Hotel Artemide

SuiteSistina for Lovers

Paris, France

Image of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

One city that is possibly the most obvious on our list is French capital, Paris. It has long been the most recognised destination of romance on the planet, and whilst we do think it’s slightly overrated, it’s still a must-see for any couples.

It boasts world-famous sights including the Eiffel tower, the Louvre, Musée d’orsay and Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, so you have no shortage of sightseeing opportunities. Couple that with the lavish French art, cousin and shopping, and you have a destination that was made for great dates.

You must stop by and have at least one traditional French breakfast at a local Parisian café. Croissants, toast, ham, cheese and a strong cup of coffee can be enjoyed on a street corner at any time of the day.

For a truly memorable moment with your partner, we recommend seeing the Eiffel tower at night. As the tower lights up, you can stare from the park down below, sipping on a glass of wine from the park stand. It’s a truly magical experience! Paris, like the rest of France is an expensive city to visit, so if you want to keep costs down, we recommend avoiding the months of July and August.

Recommended hotels for couples:

Maison Souquet

Hotel Palm – Astotel

Bruges, Belgium

image of the canal in Bruges, Belgium

A lesser known romantic city break destination in Europe is the gothic city of Bruges in Belgium. It’s one of the most preserved medieval towns in Europe, known for its stunning architecture, world-famous beer and mouth-watering chocolate. What’s not to love?

As a small Belgian town with a scenic river running through, a visit here is much unlike the vast other cities on our list. It feels a lot more intimate. There’s plenty to see and experience for at least 2-3 days, making it a top choice for those that want a shorter city break.

Top things to do here are to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Belfry Tower. You’ll need to climb up 366 steps to reach the top for the best views of the city. Another must visit in Bruges is the Chocolatier Dumon. It’s the most well-known brand of chocolate in Belgium, so if you and your partner are chocolcate lovers, you’ll certainly want to go on a tour and sample all they have to offer.

Our final recommend is to take a boat ride along the river. Tours take place during the day and the evening, each providing a unique setting for seeing Bruges from its canals. The boat tour was the highlight of our trip and the captain was extremely informative!

Recommended hotels for couples:

Hotel Dukes’ Palace

Hotel Ter Duinen

Zurich, Switzerland

Image of the river in Zurich, Switzerland - the most romantic city break destinations in Europe for couples

Switzerland may be one of the most expensive countries in the world, but it should be at the top of the travel list for all adventurous couples. For a short city break and taste of Swiss culture, we recommend visiting Zurich.

The city is home to a bustling finance district with a fast-paced atmosphere, but there’s also another side to the city that’s more relaxing and touristy. And in our opinion, it’s perfect for a romantic city break getaway!

Lake Zurich should be the first stop on your itinerary. It’s the idyllic city spot for a long stroll by the shore, stopping off at a local café for a coffee and light bite to eat. No trip to Zurich would be complete without seeing the old town, known as ‘Altstadt’ in German. It has a wide range of unique restaurants and bars that are perfect for couples that love their food. Have you ever tried Swiss cheese fondue? Because you definitely should!

Once you’ve explored all corners of the city, head to Mühlesteg Bridge and lock your love for one another. It’s a popular place to secure lock on the bridge, where it’ll supposedly be left for eternity.

Recommended hotels for couples:

B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa

Hotel Europe

Seville , Spain

Image of plaza de espana in Seville, Spain

Considered as being Spain’s answer to romantic city breaks, Seville is a true gem of the country’s passionate Andalucía region. It’s true when they say, ‘Sevilla tiene un color especial’ which literally translates to, ‘Seville has a special colour.’ The city has a wide array of stunning architecture, from the iconic Plaza de Espana, to the historic La Real Alcazar royal palace. For couples that want to fully embrace the local culture, why not join a flamenco dancing class? This intimate dance was born in this region and is extremely fun to try.

If visiting Seville in the warmer months, we highly recommend heading to the park (Parque de Maria Luisa) and going for a nice walk with your partner. You can then rent a small boat and enjoy a ride along the stream in Plaza de España.

The best times to visit are in April for Holy Week, also known as Semana Santa, where Seville comes alive with festivals. September and October are also great months for a city break here.

Recommended hotels for couples:

Boutique Hotel Casa del Poeta

Hotel Adriano Sevilla

Ljubljana and Lake Bled, Slovenia

image of Lake Bled, Slovenia - the most romantic city break destinations in Europe for couples

Our final recommendation for romantic city break destinations in Europe is one of the most scenic, yet underrated places to visit on the continent. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana is a great place to explore, especially in the warmer summer months. This super affordable but intriguing city has a bustling old town with historic buildings and plenty of trendy bars and restaurant. It also boasts a scenic park that’s perfect for a picnic on a warm day, and plenty of boat tours down the river that divides the city.

As part of your city break to Ljubljana, we highly recommend visiting the picture-perfect Lake Bled, located around a 50 minutes’ drive away. This stunning lake is known for having a castle on a small island in its centre, and is without a doubt Slovenia’s most popular tourist attraction.

Romantic experiences here include hiring a rowing boat and exploring the lake with your partner, or catching a ferry to the centre island and enjoying a fine dinner in the castle. This has to be one of the most romantic experiences in the world, not just in Europe!

Slovenia is an upcoming tourist destination to visit, meaning that even in the peak summer months, there aren’t too many tourist around. This makes summer the best time to visit, in our opinion.

Recommended hotels for couples:

Vander Urbani Resort

Hotel Nox

That concludes our recommendations on the most romantic city break destinations in Europe for couples! We hope you enjoyed reading and found our guide useful. We’d love to hear about your travels with your partner, and of course, if you have any other destination suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.

Check out our other travel guides for more inspiration:

Travelling with your partner – Our top tips for awesome couple’s trips

Romantic places to go on holiday – Places you may not have thought of

The best holidays for young couples

By Susie

Author bio:

I’m a passionate traveller that loves a sunny beach holiday, but also appreciate the cultural side to a trip and checking out undiscovered destinations. I’m the go-to Toucan Traveller for great holiday stories, cool photos and foodie recommendations.


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