Are you a hopeless romantic looking for a great destination to spend your next vacation? Well, let us help you with some great ideas. Europe is ideal for romantics, poets and lovers, but only 10 locations have earned a well-deserved place in our list. From Portugal to Poland, discover where you can escape to rekindle the flame of love.
1. Bruges, Belgium
Of all North Venices (which are in number of 7), the capital of West Flanders is by far the most charming. Golden Age vestiges have survived over time and are spreading on the old district of the city included in the UNESCO World Heritage. The city is known for its canals, but also for local lace manufactures, chocolate and beer.
A rich city with a long history. Bruges rightly deserves the status of Tourist Mecca. With the channels kept in very good condition, the beer and chocolate, this city seems too good to be true. Perhaps even tales come true … especially if we remember of the movie In Bruges, directed by Martin McDonagh, starring Colin Farrell in the principal role.
2. Siena, Italy
Siena is known for its gothic and medieval landscape, being a city full of museums, shop windows and lively trattoria. The historic center of the city is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most appreciated in Italy. Magnificent buildings like the Palace Hall and the wonderful cathedral are attracting tourists from anywhere, lovers of history and art. Siena is an outdoor museum, well preserved and maintained, a place where you can get lost admiring the beauties even two days without spending any money on tickets. It is an amazing experience, perfect for a romantic vacation.
3. Toledo, Spain
Situated on a hilltop in central Spain, Toledo was its capital until the 16th century. Because it was inhabited by the Hebrew, Christian and Muslim for centuries, the city is nicknamed the “city of three cultures”. Nowadays Toledo is an important destination due to its historical and architectural treasures, some coming since the days of the Roman Empire.
The most romantic thing to do while in Toledo is to get lost on the medieval streets and admire the architecture including cathedrals, synagogues and Roman fortress. One of the most popular places is Zordocover Square, full of shops and restaurants.
4. Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano is a treasure of Switzerland located on a lake which, despite its label of “Monte Carlo of Switzerland”, is a location accessible to all lovers, no matter the budget.
The promenade around the lake is the most popular and picturesque area, bordered by palm trees, maples and colorful flowers. Sitting on the banks around the lake you can admire the small ships that make shorter or longer rides through Lugano bay or to the picturesque surrounding towns – Morcote, Gandra, San Mamet or Campione d’Italia.
The historic center of the city, banned to car traffic, can be easily explored on foot, as most attractions are concentrated in a relatively small perimeter. Italian style squares (Piazza Rezzonico, Piazza della Riforma or Piazza Manzoni), the arches and numerous parks with tropical and subtropical plants make from Lugano a romantic experience, perfect for the romantic ones.
5. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
6. Reims, France
Reims is the capital of Champagne Ardenne region. Champagne, referring to Bollinger, Krug, Moët & Chandon. Visiting the champagne cellars belonging to small producers from small settlements like Épernay, Mailly-Champagne, Reims Sillery and Verzy can make your vacation a romantic one. However, the city itself must not be forgotten. Start with the ‘triangle’ included in UNESCO World Heritage, consisting of Notre-Dame cathedral, former monastery Saint-Remi and Tau Palace.
Admiration and respect for the art of the past surrounds the tourists from Reims, where French kings coronation cathedral rises above the city and above the statue of Joan d`Arc, Maid of Orleans, considered the most important figure in medieval France.
7. Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg deserves the title of “most romantic city” as much as any other location in Austria. The center of Salzburg is truly magnificent and this the first city in Austria included in the UNESCO World Heritage.
Salzburg is an important cultural center including more than 4,000 events annually. Musical treats begin in January with Mozart Week, following Easter festivals, Whitsun and summer festivals. October brings the Cultural Days of the city and, for years, in early November, Autumn jazz takes place.
A romantic walk from the train station of Salzburg to the castle from the city, a visit to the castle and then returning to the station will take you through the most famous tourist attractions of Salzburg.
8. Dresden, Germany
Germany has a lot of attractions to offer to its tourists and, most often, treasures like Dresden are overlooked. In his capacity as former royal capital Saxon of the Kingdom, the city was built mainly with a penchant for expensive things. And if downtown fell victim airstrikes at the end of the Second World War, “Florence of the Elbe” as it is called this place, experienced a notable resurgence, especially after German reunification. Moral? 800 year old cities, resist.
9. Porto, Portugal
Porto, the second largest city of Portugal, offers unforgettable views. In addition, two graduates from the School of Architecture of Porto won the Pritzker Prize for architecture. The city is animated by trumpeters from Casa da Música and Serralves Foundation, Clérigos church and ‘Adegas’ (wineries) from Vila Nova de Gaia.
The variety and quality of restaurants in Porto make gastronomic delights to represent another excellent reason to explore the regions of northern Portugal, rather than the south. Porto is famous because the city excels both in the quality and quantity of food.
If you have not tried before portuguesa food, do not miss a Francesinha (or ‘little Frenchwoman’). Francesinha is the Portuguese version of “croque monsieur” sandwich. A sandwich with ham, lingual (sausage) and roasted meat, covered with cheese, tomato and beer sauce, served with fries, which cost between 7 and 11 Euros.
10. Gdansk, Poland
If the city of Gdansk is different from Warsaw, Krakow or Lodz, blame the Hanseatic League. Gdansk (or Danzig) was a very prosperous port city in the period between 15-17 centuries. From 1920 until 1939, it was a free city, semi-autonomous, like Monaco or Singapore. A breathtaking urban landscape plus the charm of the water is just a tip to convince you to come here. Gdansk is a vibrant city, full of energy, bars and chic restaurants.
While in Gdansk, you should not miss the amazing Cathedral of St. Mary. It claims to be the largest brick building of its kind in the world. Once here, you can climb over 400 steps to reach the top. Once you get on the roof of the church, the view of the entire city and coastline will simply take your breath away.
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