Today marks our one year anniversary of travelling as a married couple. Yes, that’s right, this crazy intimate registry office wedding happened one year ago today! To celebrate the conclusion of our first year of marriage, we are dedicating this post to what we do best – part-time couples travel. One of the major downsides of part-time travel is that it almost always has to be done on the weekends and, therefore, relatively close to home. Lucky for us, Europe is right on our doorstep and there is no shortage of destinations for romantic weekend getaways in Europe. So, if we are celebrating an anniversary or birthday (or just in the mood for a romantic getaway), there are so many places to choose from for our romantic weekend getaway.
When it comes to weekend travel, accessibility and size of each destination heavily weigh into our decision. We never want to go somewhere that is too far away or involves a complicated plane, train, taxi combination; additionally, we don’t want to go somewhere that will just leave us overwhelmed. So, we tend to travel to places that are small and easy to get to. If we do go to a large city, we usually focus on a small neighborhood so we can focus more on our time together, and less on running back and forth across the city!
The five destinations below have been great romantic weekend getaways for us, and we highly recommend them for any part-time travel couples in Europe.
5 Romantic Weekend Getaways in Europe
If you are looking to unwind and just enjoy each others company during your romantic weekend away in Europe, the Cotswolds is the perfect place to do so. The Cotswolds is made up of traditional English countryside towns, each one prettier than the last. These towns are lined with country outfitter stores, cozy pubs, English teahouses, and the cutest hotels. As you go further out of each town, more country hotels take up large properties with walking routes, gorgeous views, and manor-like accommodation. Last autumn, our weekend getaway to the Cotswolds was the perfect start to the colder months.
Start your morning with
a long countryside walk after breakfast. Then, warm yourselves in front of the fire of a pub while enjoying lunch and a much deserved pint. Spend the afternoon wandering the shops before returning to the hotel for a nice dinner in. Then, the night is all about relaxation – enjoy a drink in the hotel living room, or cozy up in your room and watch a movie.
Romantic Hotels in the Cotswolds
- The Walnut Store
- The Old Kiln House
- Abbots Grange
- The Old Stocks Inn
- Buckland Manor
- Stuart House Boutique Bedrooms
It wouldn’t be right to create a list of romantic weekend breaks in Europe without including the city of love! While Paris falls under the ‘large, overwhelming city’ category, it is divided into plenty of romantic neighborhoods. If you focus your time on one of these neighborhoods, you won’t even have time to be overwhelmed; you’ll be too busy falling in love with Paris! We recommend staying in Le Marais because that is where we had such a wonderful time. The neighborhood has so much to offer and feels like it’s a city of it’s own.
Sit outside a cafe for breakfast; after all, that’s where all the people watching happens! Then, go for a stroll around the neighborhood. There is nothing more romantic than wandering around Le Marais hand in hand. Pop into a museum or two and stop at a little brasserie for lunch. Then, for dinner, we recommend Chez Janou or Glou – both will leave you feeling like a true Parisian! Then, end the evening back at a sidewalk cafe, sipping on a glass of champagne.
READ MORE: A Weekend in Paris
Romantic Hotels in Le Marais, Paris
For wine loving couples, there is no destination more perfect for a romantic weekend than Alsace. While it’s not directly next to an airport, the towns in Alsace are easy to get to from Basel airport by train or by car. For a truly fairytale weekend, consider basing yourself in Colmar. Seriously, the colored houses, cobblestone streets, and little bridges over the river work together to make visitors feel like they have stepped into a storybook! Colmar also considers itself to be the capital of Alsatian wines, meaning there is plenty of wine to be tasted in this little city.
We recommend hiring a car during your time in Colmar; this gives the most flexibility for truly discovering the romance of Alsace. Hop in the car one morning and get yourself onto the D35, the road that goes through the prettiest Alsatian towns. You can go North or South and just follow the road through the little villages, stopping for wine tasting along the way. Be a little adventurous and take some random turns here and there; you never know when you might end up with a stunning vineyard view…or find the most wonderful cafe for a coffee break! There’s so much romance in spontaneity, and Alsace will not disappoint!
Check out our experience on Alsace’s Route du Vins to get a glimpse of what you can expect from these little villages.
Romantic Hotels in Alsace
- La Maison Des Têtes
- James Boutique Hotel
- Villa Élyane
- Au Grenier à Sel
- Relais et Châteaux Le Chambard
Bruges has a similar fairytale vibe, but with a focus on beer instead of wine. Only a train ride away from Brussels, Bruges is easily accessible from pretty much all of Europe. It also offers many of the same things as Brussels (mussels, frites, Belgian beer), but on a smaller, more romantic scale. Time in Bruges can be well spent just walking and admiring the view.
Wake up early and head to Markt before everybody else gets here. Then, treat yourself to a walking tour. There are free tours every morning at 10:30, but you can also do it yourself; Bruges is small enough that you can discover it by just experiencing it. End your tour around De Halve Maan Brewery; while a brewery tour is not the most romantic thing, the views you get at the top are. Then, treat yourself to a drink at one of Bruges’ many beer bars before heading up the Belfort tower for another epic view – this time, at sunset. Head to Vismarkt for dinner – there are many seafood restaurants around this area with delicious mussels! If you’re staying at a hotel as romantic as Hotel Jan Brito, end your night with a nightcap at your hotel.
Romantic Hotels in Bruges
In terms of romantic weekends in Europe, Florence is near and dear to our hearts. It is where we spent our first 1st anniversary (the dating one) and we would probably give anything to be spending this anniversary there, too. Florence has absolutely everything we love when we travel – beautiful buildings, incredible people, our favorite foods (pizza, pasta, gelato), and wine. Plus the history and art is just breathtaking, and is there anything more romantic than admiring the Statue of David together? Probably, but that’s beside the point.
Mornings in Florence are meant for Ponte Vecchio. Stroll back and forth across the bridge as the gold shops are opening; it’s the best time to window shop! Then, it’s museum time. Be sure to book the Uffizi or Academia in advance so you aren’t disappointed. Aim for a 10:00/11:00 slot, which leaves you a good amount of time in the museum, and plenty of time to explore after. After the museum, wander over to the Duomo and admire those incredible colors. Stop for a pizza lunch (we always do pizza for lunch and pasta for dinner) and a gelato snack before walking it all off as you hike up to Piazza Michelangelo. Purchase a bottle of wine on your way up there and enjoy it as you watch the sunset together. Then, head down for dinner (and more wine) in one of Florence’s bustling squares.
The next day, book yourself onto a wine tasting tour so you can discover the magic of Tuscany. We loved the Tuscan Wine & Cheese Safari we did and highly recommend it; however, there is so much romance in the Tuscan countryside that pretty much any tour would do!
Romantic Hotels in Florence
READ MORE: The Most Romantic Experiences in Europe
Hopefully this post has inspired you to book a much deserved romantic getaway! We are in the midst of planning our next one and can’t decide where to go, though Halstatt and Porto are currently topping our list. What’s your favorite destination in Europe for a romantic weekend away?
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