Best romantic city break destinations

From moonlit walks in Paris to gondola rides in Venice, up the romance stakes with a couple's getaway.

Are you ready to take that next step in your relationship? A European city break is sure to do the trick, be it a birthday, anniversary or summer break away.

Whether you’re partial to a candlelit dinner and free-flowing bottles of wine or more akin to taking a boat trip down the river at sunset, one of these destinations is sure to be right for you.

Below is your no-fuss guide for a truly unforgettable trip away, complete with our favourite spots to hit while you’re there.

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Florence

Florence, Italy

Cradle of the Renaissance, romantic, enchanting and utterly irresistible, Florence is a place to feast on world-class art and gourmet Tuscan cuisine. Surrounded by landscapes of hills, cypresses and olive groves, it’s one of Italy’s most popular wedding destinations; even Kim Kardashian and Kanye West tied the knot there. We recommend hiring a boat to take you and your beloved down the Arno at sunset, accompanied by a bottle of celebratory bubbly, of course.

Best sites for trips to Florence

Nice

Nice, France

Nice has a delightful old quarter perfect for couples, where churches are crammed together in a rabbit warren of medieval streets. Cours Saleya features one of the best markets in France, with stalls piled high with mushrooms, olive oils, spices, fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. Whether your preference is to gallery hop, sunbathe on the beach, lounge in a luxury hotel or just mooch along the seafront on the Promenade des Anglais, you can cover all bases in this Côte d’Azur hot spot.

Best sites for trips to Nice

Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is a real city of seduction and mystery. Narrow streets, long shadows, lantern light on cobbles and lots and lots of moonlight dancing. As the dawn sweeps in on the Atlantic breeze, it paints the city’s red roofs pink for some of the most breathtaking views you will ever witness. For some of the most outstanding panoramas of the city, take your other half up to have a picnic on the City of the Seven Hills. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Best sites for trips to Lisbon

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

You’ll fall in love with Dubrovnik as soon as you set eyes on the beauty of its old town, which takes you back centuries along cobbled streets lined by noble Baroque stone buildings. Outside the medieval city walls, you can bathe in the deep blue Adriatic at trendy Banje beach or catch a taxi-boat to Lokrum islet instead, with its botanical garden and vibrantly coloured peacocks. After dark, dine by candlelight at Proto in Dubrovnik’s Old Town for a romantic dinner with a twist.

Best sites for trips to Dubrovnik

Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is full of scenic pockets, ideal for a romantic stroll or a couple’s bike ride. There’s a touch of fairytale to the city, with quaint cobbled streets and pretty painted townhouses everywhere you look. It’s tailor-made for loved-up strolls and snuggled-up people-watching, cocooned in blankets at pavement cafés. It’s also full of cosy, candlelit bars and restaurants, often hidden away off the main streets which will make you feel as if you’ve stumbled across your own little secret.

Best sites for trips to Copenhagen

Venice

Venice, Italy

It’s almost impossible to mention Venice without using the word “romantic”. Pastel reflections in quiet canals and softly splashing gondola oars are what makes the city ooze seduction. Granted, you will have to avoid all the tourist hot spots to experience the city’s real magic. A good opportunity for doing so is to make your way to St Mark’s Square and experience the acres of glittering gold mosaics before the tourist rush at midday.

Best sites for trips to Venice

Bruges

Bruges, Belgium

With beautiful squares surrounded by gingerbread houses and cobbled alleys running alongside pretty canals, Bruges is a city adored by lovebirds. Picturesque parks, old-world hotels and scintillating art will keep you entertained for hours, while atmospheric cafés, artisan chocolatiers and convivial pubs are sure to alert your tastebuds. After dinner at one of Bruges’s astonishingly good restaurants, walk back along the canals, where the Gothic spires shimmer on the still water.

Best sites for trips to Bruges

Rome

Rome, Italy

A mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s hot-blooded capital is one of the world’s most romantic and charismatic cities you can journey to. Think cobbled piazzas, al fresco trattorias and time-weathered Baroque churches. For date inspiration head to the Spanish Steps just before sunset for a stroll to the summit and a view you aren’t likely to forget in a hurry.

Best sites for trips to Rome

Paris

Paris, France

We could hardly write a guide for the most romantic cities without including the seductive, art-rich capital of France, no matter how obvious. Paris is the undisputed city of romance, offering languid walks along the bridge-laced Seine, fine dining in candlelit bistros and gastronome temples, as well as that cliché kiss after dark atop the magical light-spangled Eiffel Tower. So, what are you waiting for?

Best sites for trips to Paris

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