Best Romantic Places to Visit in Europe in 2023
Are you keen to surprise your partner with a romantic escape? Or maybe you’re looking for a suitable destination to pop the question? Whatever the reason, Europe has no shortage of incredible romantic places to visit. There are classic destinations such as Paris and hidden gems like Croatia’s Galesnjak Island or Salzburg in Austria. If you’re after the best romantic places in Europe, you’ve come to the right place!
Keep reading this guide with the top places to visit in Europe if you want to organize a romantic trip: from Italy to France to Norway, the selection is absolutely overwhelming!
- 15 Incredibly Romantic Places in Europe
- 1. Paris, France
- 2. Rome, Italy
- 3. Krakow, Poland
- 4. Santorini, Greece
- 5. Venice, Italy
- 6. Edinburgh, Scotland
- 7. Cologne, Germany
- 8. Zadar & Galesnjak Island, Croatia
- 9. Bruges, Belgium
- 10. Cinque Terre, Italy
- 11. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
- 12. Salzburg, Austria
- 13. Cappadocia, Turkey
- 14. Lake Bled, Slovenia
- 15. Bergen, Norway
- Entering Europe with ETIAS from November 2023
15 Incredibly Romantic Places in Europe
1. Paris, France
The French capital has long been known as the City of Love. And with good reason, since sumptuous candle-lit dinners in tiny bistros go hand in hand with the songs of Édith Piaf. At the same time, sights from the Eiffel Tower to the old master paintings of the Louvre set just the right mood.
Then there’s the city’s Wall of Love, which covers a mighty 40 square meters in Montmartre. Made up of 612 individual tiles, it contains the words “I love you” 311 times, in 250 languages. You’ll find it on Place des Abbesses.
Best Tours and Activities in Paris:
- Eiffel Tower: Direct Access Guided Tour
- The Louvre Museum and Seine River Cruise
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: Classic, Premium, or Deluxe
- Evening Cruise with Dinner on River Seine
2. Rome, Italy
What could symbolize a lifetime’s commitment to one another better than a trip to the Eternal City? Rome’s ancient relics ooze romance, from the tale of Anthony and Cleopatra to the humble offerings left at the Temple of Venus.
Taking a horse-drawn carriage as the lights glow across the city after dark is as charming as it sounds, perhaps before sharing a pizza (or maybe spaghetti and meatballs as in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp) among the birdsong of the Villa Borghese Gardens.
Best Tours and Activities in Rome:
- Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket
- Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Priority Tickets
- Rome: 4-Hour Food Tour by Night
3. Krakow, Poland
Dominated by the medieval Wawel Royal Castle complex, Krakow seems to have been created especially for couples. For one thing, its tree-lined avenues, such as those that line the banks of the River Vistula, are a delight.
For another, Kazimierz’s old Jewish quarter is stacked with sights and pleasantly easy to enjoy on foot. Head slightly further north, and you’ll also find the Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady Chocolate Factory, with indulgent desserts to die for.
Best Tours and Activities in Krakow:
- From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Pickup
- From Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mine Half-Day Trip with Pickup
4. Santorini, Greece
Although it’s not the largest of the Greek islands, there’s still plenty of romance on offer on Santorini. The traditional laid-back way of life provides the ideal backdrop to some of the Aegean Sea’s best seafood.
What’s more, the nightly sunsets in the village of Oia are all but legendary for their unique colors, and the island’s beaches follow closely behind.
As well as long expanses of pristine golden sand, the black volcanic sand of Perissa Beach is a unique alternative. Meanwhile, the seclusion of Red Beach might be just what you’ve been looking for in a romantic European escape.
Best Tours and Activities in Santorini:
- Santorini: Luxury Small Group Catamaran w/ Meal & Open Bar
- Santorini: Volcanic Islands Cruise with Hot Springs Visit
5. Venice, Italy
The canals of Venice have been dazzling lovers for centuries. While it may be all but impossible to convince one of the city’s gondoliers to sing a Puccini aria as they direct you along with the palaces of the Grand Canal and beneath the Bridge of Sighs, there’s still little point doubting Venice’s reputation for romance.
The city’s impressive array of historically essential sights and world-leading art collections together create an atmosphere of appreciation. It won’t go unnoticed by whichever particular person it is that you’re traveling with.
Best Tours and Activities in Venice:
- Venice: Grand Canal by Gondola with Commentary
- Boat Trip: Glimpse of Murano, Torcello & Burano Islands
- Doge Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica: Skip The Line Tour with Terrace Access
6. Edinburgh, Scotland
There’s a lot to enjoy in the Scottish capital, from the iconic form of its castle to the stores lining the Royal Mile.
But to our mind, Edinburgh’s top attractions for those looking for a romantic escape are its restaurants. It has something to suit all budgets, from the freshly-baked cakes of an afternoon tea to Michelin-starred tasting menus.
Most central Edinburgh’s restaurants are intimate by nature, ensuring you won’t lose any of the romance you’re looking to create. And for an extra special time in the city, there are also several excellent spas to choose between.
Best Tours and Activities inEdinburgh:
- Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour
- Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour
- Edinburgh: Underground Vaults Tour
7. Cologne, Germany
Small enough that it’s not overbearing, but large enough that you can quickly fill two or three days, Cologne has got to be the unsung hero of Europe’s most romantic destinations. The gothic look of the soaring cathedral brings to mind tales of medieval princesses awaiting a knight to rescue them.
Cross nearby Hohenzollern Bridge, and you’ll walk past a long line of love locks decorated in a plethora of ways with declarations of love.
If you’re feeling in need of a bit of culture, you’re also not far from the city’s concert hall, which regularly hosts performances by the Kölner Philharmonie orchestra.
8. Zadar & Galesnjak Island, Croatia
A short distance down the coast from Zadar, Galesnjak Island is made of love. Naturally taking the form of a heart, its shape was first noticed by the mapmaker to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806.
While privately-owned and lacking anywhere to stay overnight, day trips to the island are possible from the village of Tkon.
Those who make the short channel crossing will find a beautiful landscape and a beach more than 1.5 kilometers long that they’ll share with little more than birds and wild rabbits.
9. Bruges, Belgium
Whether you’re gazing into each other’s eyes over a hot chocolate – Belgian, of course – in a side street café or slipping beneath the city’s bridges on a boat tour, Bruges is another perfect destination for a romantic place to go in Europe.
Much of its beauty comes from the fact the city is fundamentally medieval, surviving several hundred years largely intact.
Becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, both the Church of Our Lady and the city belfry are notable landmarks to seek out together. In between, check out the city’s reputation for lace and fine chocolate in all its forms.
10. Cinque Terre, Italy
Italy’s Cinque Terre region occupies another of Europe’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Stretching across a stunning area of Mediterranean coastline between Genoa to the north and La Spezia to the south, it comprises five villages.
These cliff-hugging villages are linked by roads and footpaths breathtaking in both the engineering and the beauty of their views. One such footpath to consider is the waterfront Via dell’Amore, or Walk of Love, which connects the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola.
11. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Whipped by the waves of the Irish Sea, the Giant’s Causeway on the north coast of Northern Ireland’s County Antrim is one of Europe’s most romantic natural spectacles.
Formed by a volcanic eruption millions of years ago, the path-like route of the basalt columns and stone chimney stacks will leave you in a happy mental state.
Together with the varied birdlife that lives on this stretch of coastline, the Giant’s Causeway provides ample opportunity for getting out into the great outdoors for some time together, whether you’ve just got together or are celebrating decades in happy matrimony.
12. Salzburg, Austria
Dotted with grand royal palaces and even grander views of the Alps, Salzburg has much to commend it. Sometimes known as the World’s Stage because of its cultural and musical heritage, it was the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for The Sound of Music.
While you’re unlikely to bump into a lonely goatherd, before you say so long farewell, be sure to celebrate a few of your favorite things. And what a list that could be, with attractions ranging from the vibrancy of Linzergasse Street in the old part of town and dinners where you can be serenaded by the playful strings of Mozart’s finest works.
13. Cappadocia, Turkey
Forming the link between Europe and Asia, Turkey’s Cappadocia region is one where travelers can enjoy old-world charms such as excellent hospitality in one of the region’s most unique of landscapes.
Shaped by the wind and rain over thousands of years, the soft rock of Cappadocia has been formed into a magical landscape of so-called fairy chimneys. The whole panorama is best experienced in a wonderfully romantic hot air balloon ride, as you float over the scene with the first rays of the morning sun.
14. Lake Bled, Slovenia
High in the Alps, Lake Bled couldn’t be more adorable if it tried. Its crystal-clear waters reflect the deep green of its shoreline forests even on the dullest of days. The entire scene looks like it comes straight from a fairy tale.
Grab a selfie at the Heart of Bled sculpture on the lake’s eastern shore for the memories. Then opt between visiting the historic castle or sailing across the lake to the church on a tiny island at its center. Either way, if you don’t leave your heart at Lake Bled, you probably don’t have one.
15. Bergen, Norway
Norway’s second city has a fine cobblestone old town that has survived wars and natural disasters. The Hanseatic-era warehouses of the Bryggen waterfront, now home to a range of shops and restaurants, are the main attraction for many couples.
However, the city is also seen as the gateway to the fjords. It is sandwiched between two of the most beautiful in the country, Sognefjord to one side and Hardangerfjord to the other. Picturesque in the extreme, a romantic boat trip is a must.
Entering Europe with ETIAS from November 2023
The European Union has introduced a virtual travel authorization request system, which will simplify the bureaucratic process for those intending to visit member countries from non-EU countries. ETIAS is the acronym for European Travel Information and Authorization System, i.e., the European travel information and authorization system. It will be the system that allows citizens of 61 non-European countries who can currently enter the Union and stay without a visa for a maximum of 90 days will be able to enter Europe.
ETIAS will be available in 24 languages and should cost around 7 euros per person; those under 18 at the time of application, or over 70, will not have to pay a fee but will still need to apply for their Etias before traveling.
ETIAS authorization will be required for entering European Union countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
It also includes countries that are part of the wider European Economic Area within the Schengen area, even if they are not members of the European Union: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
However, it will not be used to travel to other countries that are part of the Union but do not adhere to the Schengen area, such as Ireland. Since he was already outside the Schengen area, and even more so after Brexit, an ETIAS will not be required for travel to the UK.
Here is the complete list of countries from which an ETIAS will be needed: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Republic Dominican Republic, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong S.A.R, Solomon Islands, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macao S.A.R, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Principality of Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Samoa, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, United States of America, Taiwan, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.
ETIAS and the entry/exit system do not apply to Andorra, Monaco, and San Marino citizens, nor to passports issued by the Vatican City State or the Vatican.
ETIAS will enter into force in November 2023, but information from the European Council and the Council of the European Union is already available to detail the necessary legal profile for the system application.
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