Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching, and the thoughts of many lovebirds will naturally be turning to last-minute romantic getaways. If you’re struggling for inspiration for your Valentine’s holiday, a honeymoon, or even the ideal spot to pop the big question, let this special Tinggly guide to Europe’s most romantic cities help…
The City of Love, Paris is foremost in the minds of most of us when we think of romance. What to do? The choices are endless – take a cruise along the Seine with a bottle of champagne; sample some of the finest French cuisine at a Michelin-starred restaurant; browse the boutiques along the Champs-Elysee; see the sunset from the summit of the Eiffel Tower; catch a lively show at the Moulin Rouge in the Pigalle Quarter, or wander the world-famous treasures of the Louvre. However, many couples prefer to have less queues at the big tourist-attractions and more alone-time, in which case you’ll be spoilt for choice, with no end of cosy, secluded restaurants, bars and cafes where you can taste fine wines and people-watch, and abundant restful lodgings.
Probably second only to Paris as the romantic destination of choice, the sheer beauty of Venice can sometimes take the breath away. Justifiably famed for its beautiful canal system, on which you can take a peaceful gondola ride past stunning examples of Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque architecture, enjoying the sight of palaces, public squares, stately homes and stone bridges. Although it’s packed with tourists all year-round, and don’t even think of trying to find peace and quiet during peak season, there are opportunities to escape the crowds from time to time once you get out of the main areas. Settle down for a plate of seafood, cooked to recipes that have been passed down from seagoing merchants, followed by a delicious fregolotta.
The Slovenian capital is widely-regarded as one of Europe’s most attractive, with a unique mix of architectural styles, a charming old Quarter, the pretty bridges crossing the Ljubljanica River, and mountainous peaks in the background. See the frescoes in the Church of the Annunciation; explore the castle on the hill, a popular wedding venue; potter around the winding and scenic streets of the old Quarter in search of knick-knacks, or take a romantic boat cruise. It’s also customary for lovers to place a padlock on the Butcher’s Bridge, as a symbol of their eternal love for each other.
An iconic symbol of the capital of Denmark is the Little Mermaid statue, that sits in the harbour waiting for the arrival of her one true love. From a well-known fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, it doesn’t get much more romantic than that, but Copenhagen does its best. From the pretty houses that dot the harbour area and the city centre that make walking around such a pleasure to numerous funky cafes that sell warming hot chocolate perfect for a February day, to the cute love seats at the back of the Empire cinema. Sadly Europe’s most prestigious restaurant, Noma, is closed in February, but there are many other fantastic fine-dining experiences to be had. And one last thing we’d recommend is a visit to Thorvaldsen’s Museum to see the statue of “Cupid and Psyche” – will Cupid’s arrow strike you?
Unquestionably the most dramatic and memorable landscape in Europe, Iceland is pitted by volcanic geothermal activity, giving it a moon-like appearance. If you can cope with unpredictable weather, February is a good time to catch the incredible Northern Lights , one of the world’s great wonders. Wrap up warm and watch an awe-inspiring lightshow in the skies above. Other great activities include taking a thermal bath in hot mud at the famous Blue Lagoon, or just trekking in solitude through the beautiful National Parks. The other great thing about a romantic getaway to Iceland is it’s so cold there, you’ll have a great excuse to stay snuggled up by the fire all evening, under blankets.