With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we can’t help but be thinking of all things romance. While Valentine’s Day is often associated with chocolates, champagne, and jewelry, we think more personal, romantic experiences are the proper way to celebrate it. Sure, we’ve already had our fair share of Valentine’s-worthy romantic experiences in Europe, but we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! This year we’ll be heading to Zermatt, Switzerland, with another couple, to celebrate the weekend before. Long days of stunning mountain views followed by evenings in cozy après-ski bars sounds like the perfect way to make cupid proud.
Valentine’s Day is a great time for a romantic getaway, but we love romantic travel year round, and encourage all couples to travel together. To help you brainstorm your next (or first) romantic adventure, we’ve rounded up the most romantic experiences in Europe from some of our favorite traveling couples. Europe itself is incredibly romantic, so these experiences are the best of the best.
The Most Romantic Experiences in Europe
From the UK to Slovenia, castle stays to incredible meals, here are 18 of the most romantic experiences from the most romantic continent. These stories have us majorly swooning…and planning our Valentine’s Day/anniversary/birthday trips for the next 20 years!
A day spent boating in Capri, Italy
Our most romantic European Experience by far has been when we rented a boat for the day in Capri! Our sweet little boat named Mango took us around the Italian coastline, offering stops to dive in the blue grottos, soak in some warm Italian sun, and cool off with rosé spritzers.
When we had worked up an appetite, we docked at La Fontelina – an amazing beachside restaurant and club where we noshed on fresh fish and magnums of rose (yes, please!) After an amazing culinary feast for the senses, we boarded Mango and explored some of the secluded grottos.
– Collette & Scott, Roamaroo
Dining at the highest restaurant in Germany
The Fernsehturm Berlin TV Tower at Alexanderplatz is one of the most iconic buildings of the city. At 368m (1,207 ft), it is the highest structure in Germany and one of the tallest in the EU.
The Telecafé is 207m (679 ft) high and it slowly spins round, making it the highest revolving restaurant in Germany.
This was one of our most memorable dinner experiences: overlooking the Berlin skyline at sunset from over 200m high as you turn slowly to get the full 360 degrees view.
The restaurant takes 1 hour to fully revolve 360 degrees and is hands down the best view you can possibly dream of for a romantic dinner with your beau.
– Stefan and Sebastien, Nomadic Boys
Standing at the end of the world in Madeira
If I were to ask you, how do you imagine the end of the world, what would you say? Could you possibly imagine this as being romantic? The most romantic experience I’ve had in Europe, was in Madeira, in a place called Ponta Do Pargo. This is located in Western Madeira, where land meets the vast Atlantic. Imagine majestic cliffs, so high that even the least afraid of heights will get vertigo. A 90-degree drop and massive waves biting into the land with force and will.
If I could describe the end of the world, this would be it. Yet, despite the rawness of nature, there is something so romantic in being able to sit down at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the ocean, contemplating life. To me, romance is the ability to hold hands with my husband and say I love you, in a spectacular place, such as Ponta do Pargo.
– Cory, You Could Travel
Biking around Lake Bled, Slovenia
Not really into conventional romance or traditions (I wore yellow on my wedding day and we eloped to Austin just the two of us), I’d like to nominate a bike ride around Lake Bled then some custard cake in Bled as my top European getaway. Bled is only 75 minutes from Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, and worth a visit. In the middle of the lake is a church and on top of a cliff is the castle. This town surely was the muse for every fairy tale written. Eating and biking are just two things to do in Bled, check our Bled guide for more!
– Gemma & Craig, Two Scots Abroad
Picnicking in Foix, Southern France
There’s no more romantic region on Earth than Europe. From the romantic cities like Paris and Venice to the customs like long, leisurely lunches over a bottle of wine. One of our favorite romantic moments took place during our road trip through Spain and up to Southern France. After driving through the gorgeous french countryside, we ended up in the city of Foix. We picked up a baguette, a block of cheese and some wine at a local store. Then we wandered up to the Chateau de Foix, a castle dating back to the 10th century. After exploring the inside of the castle, we spread a blanket on the grass outside and had our picnic. There was something very romantic in the beauty of the sunny day and the feeling of being somewhere with a long, rich history.
– Jules & Christine, Don’t Forget to Move
Falling in love with Cesky Krumlov
It was easy to fall in love with Cesky Krumlov. I spent my first day in the town frivolously disappearing into corners and running through big wooden doors — much to the annoyance of my Czech boyfriend, who followed grudgingly behind me. He didn’t understand why everything excited me or why I needed to take a hundred photos of every lamppost, bridge, view deck we passed by. It all seemed ordinary for him.
Later in the day, we went into a gingerbread store. My curiosity with the wares excited the shopkeepers, who invited me to draw on one of the breads. Put on the spot, all I could think to write was our names, separated by a tiny cute heart.
The moment I showed it to my boyfriend, his face changed. The ennui was replaced with a radiant smile and for the rest of the day, he transformed into the most animated tourist guide, suddenly interested in checking out the most absurd museums and feeding me regional treats.
That night, as we cuddled and watched the fireworks over Old Town from our hotel room window, he asked me the most exciting question of all: “Should we stay another day?” I smiled. It looked like Cesky Krumlov managed to work its magic on him, too.
– Liz, Lizzie Meets World
Capturing romantic moments in Venice
There are some romantic experiences that you’ve been dreaming about for so long, that when they finally happen, a selfie stick just won’t do! When our dream of sharing a private gondola in the gorgeous canals of Venice finally came true, we sought out to find an affordable but professional photographer to capture these once in a lifetime memories for us. We recommend photographer Angelo Feletto from www.michelangelovenizia.com! He went out of his way to get the best photos for us – jumping over bridges, running after our gondola, even buying a rose for me to hold for this utmost romantic experience. Highly recommended!
– Michelle, Romantic Explorers
Staying in a Castle in Ireland
Romance is defined not by the place on the map, but what you find when you get there. There’s no more romantic place for us than staying in a charming castle in Ireland. You arrive at a majestic old stone castle and cross the threshold into the dark wood paneled lobby. Nearby, a turf fire burns brightly in the open fireplace, casting playful shadows about the room. A friendly inn keeper bids you welcome and gives you cup of hot tea as you settle into a large couch for two. After, you settle into your room with a four-poster bed and a private fireplace. Now that is romance!
– Lance & Laura, Travel Addicts
Ice skating inside the Eiffel Tower
We sped across the ice, 187 feet above Paris. We took in breathtaking views of the city skyline while sipping warm hot chocolate on the ice, braved the bitter chill to carve out figure eights high above the rooftops of the French capital, illuminated by the twinkling lights of the tower above us.
It was almost as if we were skating on air; but no. We were skating between two immense latticed steel legs. We were skating inside the Eiffel tower!
Every winter, ice-skating rinks are set up around Paris for locals and tourists alike, however you would never expect that one of these rinks would be located within one of the world’s most famous landmarks! The ice skating rink atop the Eiffel Tower is a completely new way to view the city, and as if Paris wasn’t romantic enough, the intimacy of the rink makes for an incredibly magical experience…and also a cheap one! Entry is free for Eiffel Tower visitors and skates are loaned.
Early Morning at Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Just the notion of experiencing a sunrise at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany is enough define a romantic experience except most people will be thinking only about the crowds that you encounter at this famous castle. It sees thousands of people every day and it can be hard to get a real feel for it on your visit.
So we will let you in on a little secret. Since logistics can be a nightmare, save yourself the trouble and book a room at the tiny hotel and restaurant that is located on the road that leads up to the castle. It is literally one bend from the entrance. With this prime location, we set our alarm for early and made the small walk to the entrance to find we had the entire castle to ourselves. We spent the morning watching the sunrise and just reveling in our secret experience. Once the sun was up, we walked back down to the hotel and still had the place to ourselves.
– Lina & David, Divergent Travelers
A Special Serenade at Neuschwanstein Castle
European men have spoiled me when it comes to romance, but the number one spot has to be Neuschwanstein Castle. While working in Germany, I met a sweet German guy with a disappointing lack of a European accent (he had lived in America for a few years. What a waste!). For our second official date, he whisked me off to Fussen via the Autobahn, and he even let me drive! It’s the castle that they modelled the Disney Castle after, and it was nothing short of enchanting. Beautiful white stones giving way to dainty blue turrets makes you really feel like you’re in a Disney movie.
If that wasn’t enough, he played me a song and then sang it to me. It basically translates to “I know nothing as beautiful as you.”
– Carly, Flight of the Educator
Note from A Pair of Passports: We actually spent our very first Valentine’s Day together at Neuschwanstein Castle (pre-blogging days), and we totally agree that it’s one of the most romantic experiences in Europe! There’s something special about seeing a fairytale castle with someone you love, especially when it’s covered in snow.
Soaking in the hot springs of Terra Nostra Botanical Park
We stayed at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel which in itself is one of the top romantic places to stay in the Azores. The hotel grounds lead into the Terra Nostra Botanical Park, with incredible 200 years old gardens brimming with plants from around the world. Once the gardens close in the evening, the lucky guests of Terra Nostra Hotel still have access to the lush gardens. We followed softly lit paths into the gardens to the thermal pools. The tall palm trees and giant ferns nearly hide a grotto with water heated by volcanic hot springs. We relaxed in the warm waters watching stars overhead. Cuddling in this natural hot tub with no one around we had found the perfect romantic spot in the Azores.
– Cathy, RoarLoud
The ultimate wine & spa experience in Southern Spain
This is such a great spa experience, perfect for a couple looking for history and relaxation. This wine experience in the Aire de Almeria is so decadent. A 3-4 hour session where you soak in Spanish wine in a stone venetian heart shaped bath while drinking best quality Matarromera wine is followed by a massage and contrasting baths. This is a perfect activity for a honeymoon or anniversary. The end of the experience is completed with some cheese and grapes before leaving the peaceful cocoon of Aire de Almeria.
– Molly, Piccavey
Sleeping in a Bavarian Castle
On a rainy weekend in November, my husband and I spent the night in a Bavarian castle – Castle Wernberg. There we spent the entire day learning to cook with white truffels from a 2-star Michelin chef, ate and ate and ate the most amazing food, and then rolled ourselves into the comfiest canopy bed for a good night’s sleep.
– Corinne, Reflections en Route
Exploring lavender fields in Provence
One of our favorite places to do weekend breaks from Barcelona is the South of France. The most beautiful part of this area is the Provence region, which we visit quite often, but until last year we didn’t have the chance to go there when the lavender was blooming. When we finally stood there in front of these huge lavender fields, we felt simply mesmerized by the intense purple color, the scent of the flowers and the sound of thousands of busy bees. It was for sure one of the most romantic experiences we can recall.
The blooming season of lavender takes place from the middle of June until the middle of August, but different zones in Provence bloom in different moments, so you have to check that out before your trip. While visiting lavender fields in Provence, you can also check out some of the beautiful villages there. Gordes and Roussillon are our personal recommendations.
– Rachele & Gabor, Surfing the Planet
Visiting the Christmas Markets in Prague
We have traveled around Europe on several occasions but exploring the Christmas markets in Prague was the most romantic. Nothing beats holding hands with your loved one during the winter time and warming up with some Gluhwein as you Christmas shop. There are so many things to do in Prague but we enjoy getting lost and finding a local bar to pop into and warm up with a local tasty beer. We then like to wake up early and head to the Charles Bridge to watch the sunrise before heading off to breakfast. It’s the best time to be on the bridge, very few tourist are willing to get out of bed that early. There is something romantic about being with your loved one in the cool winter temperatures; it definitely keeps you closer together.
– Hannah & Adam, Getting Stamped
A campervan roadtrip in Wales
You can hardly travel Europe as a couple without experiencing romance. I mean, it’s Europe! We made romantic memories on a campervan road trip in Wales this past October. The UK, and particularly the rugged, mountainous regions of Wales and Scotland are so utterly enchanting. We loved exploring Snowdonia National Park, coming upon breathtaking scenery around every bend in the road. Although quaint villages and towns dot the national park, it feels incredibly remote. This sense of isolation brings out a feeling of wonder, and a romantic privacy that can’t be beat. Add a cosy campervan to the mix, and you have everything you need for a memorable experience. Don’t forget the champagne, snacks, and blankets for snuggling.
– Amy & Nathan, Two Drifters
Our Most Romantic Experience in Europe
Of course, we couldn’t share these incredible romantic experiences without sharing one of our own! We are so fortunate that our travels (and lives in general) are filled with romantic experiences, but it definitely made it hard to choose our favorite. While we loved having the beach to ourselves in the Isle of Wight, and enjoyed our window seat at dinner in Le Marais, the most romantic experience we have had in Europe (so far) is, without a doubt…
An evening stroll around Florence, hand in hand
It’s hard to pinpoint the most romantic part of Florence because the whole city is a love story waiting to happen. We had an incredible time on our Tuscan Wine Tasting Tour and phenomenal food for every meal. However, the little things definitely made the difference. After a day of sightseeing, we decided to take it easy in the evening. We strolled slowly along Ponte Vecchio, popping into little jewelry stalls to check out their gold offerings. We wandered down charming Italian streets, through an old fort, all the way up to Piazzale Michelangelo. When we reached the top, we found a seat and just sat and talked as we watched the sunset.
As we wandered around Florence, we were constantly surrounded by people and commotion. The sunset at Piazzale Micheangelo is a tourist attraction, so there were a bunch of people there, some rowdier than others. However, we had no intentions that night other than to spend time with each other, and that drowned all the other people out. We could have been the only ones walking across Ponte Vecchio, or watching the sunset. We could have been the only ones in Florence! It was a truly spectacular evening.
Which of these experiences has you feeling the romance?
We are huge advocates for finding romance in the little things, in everyday life, and searching for romantic moments and places in every city we visit is probably one of our favorite things about traveling. If reading this post has you thinking ‘wow, romance travel is definitely for me’ then why not stay in one of the most romantic hotels in the world? By the look of them, we have a feeling you won’t regret it!
We would love to hear about your romantic travel experiences, or any upcoming romantic adventures you have, so leave us a comment below!
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