11 Feb The World’s Most Romantic Cities
Travel Bloggers and Industry Experts on Their Most Romantic Cities
There’s nothing more delicious than being whisked off somewhere romantic on Valentine’s Day, but the question is, where? Choosing a “romantic” destintation is a tricky process: after all, one woman’s ultimate loved up venue could be her partner’s schmalzty nightmare. Not to mention that it may be full of other couples, eager to prove their adoration and booking all the best tables. That said, the traditional romantic destinations have their reputation for a reason, right? Our verdict? Save on the cards and chocs and save your pennies for the destinations suggested by our eclectic mix of travel bloggers and industry experts.
There is no better couple to begin with than Dave and Den from ThePlanetD . This couple has been married for 18 years, and travelling together for nine of them. Who else would know better?
Dave and Deb
Ah romance. As a couple that has been together over 20 years, we do love an amorous setting. Visiting romantic cities around the world helps keep the spark in our relationship alive and well Yes, we are like the many who adore Paris and Rome, and a winter wonderland in Quebec City, Canada is a must. But when Paula asked us to name the most romantic city on earth, we thought of Hangzou, China. Built around the beautiful West Lake, Hangzou is China’s honeymoon capital. Why? Because of the “Legend of the White Snake.” This folk tale tells the story of doomed love. The White Snake was so captivated by the beauty of West Lake, she disguised herself as beautiful women so that she could stay. She became known as “The Lady White,” fell in love with a mortal man named Xu Xian, and they were married.
Later, while in a weakened state during pregnancy she accidentally transformed back into her snake form in front of her husband. He couldn’t bare the sight and died instantly. But, she brought him back to life with the help of the resurrection plant. A powerful Monk named Fa Hai then imprisoned The Lady White and forced Xu Xian to become a monk. For years they suffered apart but finally The Lady White’s sister, The Black Snake rescued her and destroyed the magical pagoda holding her. They then rescued Xu Xian and all lived happily ever after.
I love this story because it shows that true love never dies. They waited for years to be together. In China, when young couples marry, they come here to celebrate their love. It’s not only because of the legend, West Lake is a very romantic setting surrounded by mountains. There are picturesque pagodas and islands and a wide path along the shore allowing couples to stroll hand in hand. It’s a peaceful location that makes for the perfect spot to relax with the one you love. But it is also a thriving metropolis of 2.4 million people. If you want luxury hotels and fine food after your stroll, you can stay in one of China’s most prosperous cities and enjoy everything cosmopolitan.
It’s a potentially controversial choice for a Valentines hotspot but I can assure you that Amsterdam ensnares all the senses, and is an idyllic location for someone in love. My boyfriend and I happened to stumble upon a long weekend in this incredible city last year. I had never really thought of going before, the thought of tripping over British stag dos and endless seedy sex shops on every corner just is not my cup of tea! – But boy am I glad that I ignored my concerns!
The cultures sucks you up into the Netherlands way of life, we found ourselves sharing cheese fondue and wine overlooking the harbour, cycling along the canals together and hopping between patisseries and chocolateries to find our favourite snacks. All of which we just don’t do when we are at home amidst the hum-drum of everyday life. You can make any trip what you will; it’s the diversity of Amsterdam that was so appealing to me. If you are looking for a little ‘spice’ in your relationship then you’ll certainly find it here but equally if it’s a relaxing break for you and your loved one to spend time with one another and just ‘be’, then you won’t be disappointed.
It was a refreshing break for the two of us to truly enjoy some quality time together and explore our senses as well as a new city!
One of the most romantic trips I ever had the pleasure of taking was actually for my brother’s wedding. As a couple, by brother and his lovely wife are total foodies – they’re great cooks, hosts and love to entertain. So escaping the UK for idyllic Tuscany made total sense – an intimate wedding spread over three days, with beautiful food right at the heart of the celebrations. It was just bliss.
As a family of four with a five-year old and a one year old in tow, romantic trips are few and far between, with family beach holidays more the norm – but that’s great and we have some incredible adventures. Tuscany was amazing for all of us – lazy days by the pool, incredible views, quality family time and a very, very leisurely pace of life.
As a couple, sitting out on the terrace watching the sun go down over the stunning landscapes of Bucine, just north of Sienna, time stood still – everyone needs more moments like these! Walking through the olive groves, drinking great Italian wine, waking up at 10am – just my idea of complete heaven! I would love to go back and explore more of the area as a couple – Sienna and Florence to start – especially after hearing how incredible my brother’s honeymoon was!
Catherine Warrilow is MD of Travel and Tourism PR agency Seriously PR.
Danik The Explorer
The most romantic month is upon everyone once again (February) and if anyone asked me where to go and spend a romantic long weekend break over Valentines and I would always suggest Verona in north-eastern Italy. Forget Paris, Prague or a trip down the River Nile, this city has everything to set the mood.
Verona is the perfect place to have a stroll through the old city at night, take in a meal at many of the fancy restaurants with outside seating, chill out with a glass of the local wine and finish the evening in many of the nearby hotels.
For those who do not know Verona, it has one amazing Roman Arena in the centre of the main square and is in more perfect condition than that of its master in the Italian capital. If you are lucky enough, there maybe a concert or an opera taking place inside.
It is also here that British writer William Shakespeare had the ideas for the romantic drama of Romeo and Juliet and it’s here people flock to a small nearby courtyard to check out Juliet’s balcony. Visitors also leave a note on a piece of paper and leave it inside the archway, writing messages of love to their love ones. Also rub the breast on Juliet’s statue and your wish for a long-lasting relationship full of happiness will come true.
The city also has many beautiful buildings with amazing architecture like the castle, the bridge over the river and the smaller buildings in the narrow cobbled street dotted around the city.
While spending a long weekend here I would also recommend either a boat trip on nearby Lago di Garda with its delightful mountains around the northern shores or take a train and head east for a day to check out Venice and take a gondola trip or see the amazing Marco Polo Square. This is one city not to be missed in Italy and I really do highly recommend anyone to visit this area, especially those in the romantic mood!
Verona is easy to get to with the local airport and the main international airports of Milan and Venice nearby (which are connected up the rail network and highway).
Mrs O Around The World
Madrid! I love to stay at the classically stylish Hotel Villamagna, out for dinner at a simple tapas bar such as El Rincon de Goya for Rioja and nibbles, followed by a day sampling food and vermouth at the San Miguel market on the Madrid Food Tour and shopping in the Salamanca district. Heaven.
I’d probably have to say Budapest. I went there last year with my boyfriend and the food and wine were just spectacular making eating out a joy and I suppose an occasion rather than a necessity. The architecture is really beautiful too and it’s just so lovely to stroll the streets and be part of the city and the history. It was the first time in Budapest for the both of us so it was nice to discover it from scratch together. This is me, walking across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge.