Top 15 Romantic Weekends Away
22 April 2016 | Written by Alex Sizer
Trying to plan the perfect weekend away with your significant other? Whether you’d love to cosy up in a cottage in the countryside, sip wine in a sun-dappled courtyard, or explore the streets of a new city, we’ve got the best destinations for your next romantic getaway.
1. Paris, France
There is nowhere on Earth that competes with the romance of Paris. The French capital has everything you need for a weekend away with your loved one: gorgeous city streets, ritzy restaurants, places for picnics, good wine, great cheese, and boutique hotels to boot.
Not only is Paris easy to get to, either by air or train, it’s great in any season. Summers are glorious, sunny, and bustling; autumn is particularly pretty with the colours and the leaves; spring has fabulous weather; and winter is perfect for hot chocolates, cosy cafes, and seeing the City of Light in all its glory.
2. Rome, Italy
Italian food, Italian people, the Italian language – it’s all very romantic, it’s really no surprise that the capital of Italy is consistently featured on romantic destinations lists. Rome is made for wandering arm-in-arm with your lover through its cobbled streets, past monuments, fountains, and historic buildings. The Roman’s even have a word for this leisurely stroll – the passeggiata.
Dine on terraces, sip coffee at an outdoor café, share a gelati, watch some world-class opera, make a wish at the Trevi Fountain, take a selfie at the Spanish steps… Whatever you do with your time in Rome, it’s impossible not to feel the love pulsing through your veins.
3. The Lake District, UK
Close to home and easy to get to, the Lake District is the destination for those who want low fuss with optimum romance. Hire a cottage, find a secluded campsite in the woods, or book a luxurious hotel room on the shores of Lake Windermere. There are lots of varying types of accommodation to suite any taste and any budget.
Take long, rambling walks through the countryside during the day, cosy up with a glass of wine and your loved one in front of a crackling fire place at night. The Lake District is the perfect place to unwind and spend quality time without busy distractions.
4. Porto, Portugal
Porto, in Portugal’s north, is one of the most picturesque, fascinating, and easy to explore cities in Europe. The food is incredible, the bar and café scene is world-class, and the Old Town is endlessly walkable.
Porto is the birthplace of its namesake tipple – port – and it’s only right to spend at least one day hopping between the original distilleries on the banks of the river. Learn about and appreciate the delicious drops on offer and buy a bottle to take home with you to remind you of your special holiday.
5. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is often touted as ‘the new Paris’. Whilst nothing can topple Paris off its ‘Most Romantic City in the World’ mantle, there is certainly merit to this claim. There is just something about Prague. With its castle perched on the hill, river winding through the centre, and old town packed with baroque buildings and gothic churches, the beauty of the Czech capital is captivating. No visit is complete without a stroll across the famous Charles Bridge, commemorated with a cute couple-y photo looking back across the city.
Like Paris, Prague is prime for a romantic holiday in any season. The snow of winter makes the City of One Hundred Spires particularly captivating – it’s almost more romantic in the colder months.
6. Burgundy, France
This wine region of France is like a patchwork of vineyards, farms, and forests, lined by canals and dotted with chateaus and manor houses. Whether you like to get active and take a bike ride along the rivers, or simply sit back with a glass of local Pinot Noir, there’s plenty to keep you happy all weekend.
There really is something to amuse anyone in Burgundy, from cooking classes to food festivals, to historic buildings or spas and gold courses. Just make sure than you set aside a significant amount of time (if not all of it) to visit the wineries, relax in the wine bars, partake in wine tastings, and shop in the wine cellars.
7. New York City, USA
It’s totally possible to hop over the pond to the Big Apple for a romantic weekend away. You might want to make it a long weekend purely because it’s so much fun, though!
Putting a romantic spin on New York activities is super simple. Take a carriage ride through Central Park, visit Chelsea Markets and buy ingredients for a picnic on the elevated garden that is the Highline, and have a high-end dinner before seeing a show on Broadway. And, for the cherry on top, book a penthouse suite with sweeping views over Manhattan.
8. Brussels, Belgium
If you’re looking for a destination a little more exotic than the Lake District but still low fuss, Brussels is for you. The glory of Brussels is that it’s so relaxed that you really don’t need to prepare too much ahead. Book your train or flight tickets, make a hotel reservation, and work the rest out when you get there!
Here you can visit the Heart Museum for the most adorable couples’ museum experience ever, or for something a little saucier there is the Museum of Erotics and Mythology. At the end of the day, Brussels has Belgian chocolate and Belgian waffles, and there’s nothing more romantic than that!
9. Lake Como, Italy
For those who like the finer things in life, there really is no beating Lake Como. You are spoilt for choice with multiple boutique hotels and luxurious villas on offer here.
Frolic along the shores, take a leisurely cruise on the lake, and enjoy the wealth of al fresco dining options. Lake Como is the summer playground of the wealthy and glamorous and is sure to sweep you up in its charm and grace.
A boutique hotel room in the old town of Valetta, or a spa resort in swanky Silema, Malta provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic escape. Dine outside in the warm Mediterranean air overlooking the sparkling lights and winding streets of the city at night. Discover hidden courtyards and stunning galleries by day.
Malta’s sister island of Gozo is quieter, quainter, and higher-end – an extra special option for those looking for something with less hustle and bustle. There’s plenty of 5 star resorts to choose from or opulently restored farm houses.
11. Venice, Italy
One of Venice’s nicknames is ‘The Honeymoon City’ – so it’s no surprise that it’s continually on lists as one of the most romantic cities in the world. Of course no romantic weekend in Venice is complete without the signature gondola ride through the canals, but there’s plenty more on offer for visiting lovers than just that.
Sip cappuccinos on the piazza whilst admiring the view of St Mark’s cathedral, marvel at the view from the bell tower on San Giorgio island, stroll along the Grand Canal, and admire the paintings of 18th century courtship at Ca’ Rezzonico gallery.
12. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is a relaxed and charming Belgian city which just oozes with romance. Easily explored on foot, by boat, or with a horse and carriage, you can tailor your weekend activities to whatever appeals to you as a couple. If you’re a low key beer-and-pizza kind of pair there’s plenty of breweries to visit and casual eateries to dine at. At the other end of the spectrum there’s hot air balloon rides and high end restaurants.
Then, of course, there’s the Diamond Museum for any couples looking for some inspiration for that special ring!
13. Cinque Terre, Italy
Five pastel-painted villages perched on the edge of the ocean, set against cliffs terraced with vineyards. The sight is beautiful, and it’s no wonder that the tourist appeal of Italy’s Cinque Terre is based significantly around romantic holidays. The dramatic sunsets over the ocean, the fresh food plucked straight from the surrounding environment, and the endless local wine – it all combines to make a perfect setting for spending quality time with your loved one.
Whether you enjoy hiking and decide to walk between all of the towns, or would rather only leave the balcony of your hotel room to grab another bottle of wine, you can’t miss the iconic Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Lane). Connecting the towns of Riomaggiore and Manarolo, this short, easy walk is the Cinque Terre’s most famous feature. Bring a padlock to immortalise your love and your holiday forever.
14. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Yet another Western European city which is well-connected to Britain, Amsterdam is a low-effort, high-reward destination for lovers. The city is so beautiful at any time of year, with tree-lined canals, manicured parks, and charming architecture, you won’t need to put too much effort into making your weekend romantic – it’ll happen naturally!
Book a cute hotel room and spend your days wandering the streets, meandering through the museums, and picnicking in the Vondelpark. Take a cruise on a canal boat, treat yourself to some theatre at the grand Koninklijk Theatre Carré, and finish the night off with some cocktails.
15. Florence, Italy
Florence could quite possibly be the most cultured romantic place in the world. Leonardo da Vinci and Florence Nightingale were born here, and the piano was invented here. Everything you do in this beautiful Italian city is steeped in culture whilst being very romantic at the same time.
Venture up the hill of Oltarno to the Piazza de Michelangelo for panoramic views of the city at sunset, take a stroll through the beautiful Boboli Gardens of Pitti Palace, and say cheers to your love with a glass of local prosecco. For a truly decadent evening meal head up to the Belmond Villa St Michele, with its 15th century façade designed by Michelangelo himself. It’s even got a special Lover’s Corner where you can propose.
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