The Most Romantic Cities in Europe
Set on the shores of the Rhone River, the skyline of Avignon is like nothing else in France thanks to the picturesque Palace of the Popes, a building that serves as a reminder of the short period of time this city was the seat of the Papacy. Visit the Palace, stroll on the medieval Pont d’Avignon Bridge at sunset and then stay (or at the least stop in for a drink) at the swish Hotel La Mirande and you’ll be swept off your feet. Being located in the region of Provence, Avignon is also a great base from which to explore the surrounding area, which in summer features fields filled with lavender.
It doesn’t matter that it’s occasionally overcrowded, Venice and its atmospheric canals and bridges still have the power to make you sigh every time. Especially at night, when with every hour, the crowds get thinner and the street lamps get even more atmospheric. Don’t leave without having a meal or a spritz at Gran Caffè Quadri on San Marco Square or taking a spin on a gondola, as the latter may be a cliche, but it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Laid out of a series of hills, Portugal’s capital possesses one of the most fetching settings on the entire continent and the city is filled with lookout points called miradors which are perfect for savoring the sweet views. Spend your afternoon at one of them, breathing in the romantic city laid out before you, before heading out for an evening of listening to fado—the city’s signature soulful, melancholy music.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
You may have to work a little to find an empty bench beside the canals, but once you’re sat at one and lights are twinkling on the water, you’ll be romanced by Amsterdam. You can also find romance here on a canal cruise, a visit to the nearby tulip fields in spring or by cozying up by candlelight at one of the city’s characterful historic bars like Cafe t’Smalle.
Treat yourself to a dip in one of Budapest’s renowned thermal baths and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to embrace all the romance of this Central European metropolis. Head to the top of Gellert Hill to take in the sweeping view of the city and the Danube River, then take to the river at night for a cruise, when the bridges and buildings of Budapest are bathed in atmospheric light.