Europe is beautiful; from its centuries-old castles and bridges, to its cobblestone streets and waterways, you can go anywhere in Europe and find beauty wherever you go. There are certain cities, however, which are more romantic than others. Welcome, then, to the February edition of the Carnival of Europe, where bloggers across the world write about what they consider the Most Romantic Places in Europe.
From Paris and Venice, to London and Santorini, take a look at their choices and decide for yourself which you deem the most deserving to be called the most romantic place.
Of course, when you say romance, Paris always comes to mind. Jun Baris of Galang Pusa went there two years ago, and he couldn’t forget his memories of a golden summer in Paris. In his photos post, you could see how beautiful and romantic this city of light can be in the warm glow of summer.
Even during rainy season, Paris can still be beautiful and romantic, though, as Marlys and Mike of Easy Hiker can tell you. They took a walk in cold, drizzly, romantic Paris, and followed the trail that couples usually take, along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Jardins des Tuileries.
Bram Reusen of Travel. Experience. Live also stayed with his girlfriend for four days in Paris. It wasn’t his first time in the city; it was actually his third. But for Bram, “Paris is always a good idea.” They were there during winter, but they found it magical, too.
Bypassing the obvious choices of romantic destinations in Italy, Jackie Smith of TravelnWrite finds Tuscany as most romantic, specifically Cetona. This small hamlet, she says, is surrounded by lush valleys and hillsides, and when the Tuscan sun sets, you will understand why this place is a favorite destination of Romans seeking refuge from the stresses of city living.
For Laura Orange of Travelocafe, however, Rome is romantic too! She and her husband spent one evening in Rome, back where it all began. The Eternal City was their first honeymoon destination and they had always wanted to come back. When they were given 16 hours to explore the city again, they took the chance to hit the streets, and saw how romantic Rome was during nighttime.
The most popular choice as the most romantic city, however, is Venice. This city of water has captivated even the well-traveled among us. Mary of The World is a Book, for example, felt awe at seeing how charming Venice can be, especially when she and her husband strolled and wandered aimlessly along its streets and bridges. Check out how she describes The Romantic Charm of Venice.
Oriana of The Travel Gene asks, is Venice still romantic? She had seen the horde of tourists invading the city, and wondered whether Venice was losing her charm. However, she did say that yes, Venice can still be romantic. There are so many places in the city that are yet to be discovered by the masses, from quiet courtyards and narrow alleys, to small bridges and unoccupied gondolas on small canals.
Violy Vallester of Vivi’s Random Ramblings also calls Venice a romantic city. She calls it a Mecca for hopeless romantics, remembering that everywhere she went, she found “beauty, history, and romance.”
No matter how beautiful Venice may be, however, Kyle and Jamie of Couple of Yuppies begged to disagree. For Kyle, Rovinj, Croatia is the most romantic city you’ve never heard of. For him, Venice lacks charm, and it is overrated, to boot. Rovinj, on the other hand, has all the charms of Venice (it’s a historic Venetian settlement) without the crowd.
Jamie agrees. She is convinced that Rovinj beats Venice as the most romantic travel destination. She cites the food (even the mushrooms tasted delightful!), the architecture, the seaside, and the surrounding islands as something that definitely makes this small city deserving of the title.
Andrea of Rear View Mirror cites the Balkans, too, as having a lot of romantic destinations, specifically citing the stunning Balkan sunsets in Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia.
And speaking of the Balkans (which includes Greece, of course), one shoo-in as the most romantic place is Santorini. I went there during the early spring of 2012, and I couldn’t have found a more perfect place and time to be. The unbelievable beauty of Santorini, sans the horde of tourists that usually invade it during the summer season, brought much-needed solace to me, who was then recovering from a broken heart. Santorini again made me whole.
The United Kingdom
For a lot of people, London doesn’t usually come to mind immediately when you say “romantic.” For Michaela Hall of Awe Inclusive, however, London is a definitely a romantic city for both singles and couples. As a single girl (or guy), you will find London the perfect place to blend in and flirt about, and as a couple, it’s also the perfect place to be. Its rainy weather, after all, encourages a lot of hours spent indoors, and what’s more romantic than cuddling with someone you love?
Catherine Iblan of Seeking Felicity also agrees. For her, London is not your typical romantic city. It’s not like Paris, Bruges (where I celebrated Valentine’s Day 2012!), or Praha, but walking along the River Thames at night more than makes up for it!
The Lake District, England, on the other hand, is the choice of Ryan and Kindra of Love and Adventure for the most romantic place in Europe. According to them, its haunting beauty has inspired numerous artists and poets. Anyone who will see its winding roads and misty hills will definitely count it as a favorite destination!
The UK is also included as one of the most romantic places according to Mhe-anne Ojeda of My Comings and Goings. She says, Hello Europe: Hello Love, because for her, the UK, along with France, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden are romantic destinations, even for singles or unattached travelers like her.
Austria was in my itinerary during my 70-day solo backpacking trip in Europe, and I loved it. It seems that other bloggers do, too. Cathy Sweeney of Traveling with Sweeney, for example, enjoyed romantic Vienna a lot with her husband. When she thinks of Vienna, she says, she thinks of romance, of quite walks and cozy tête-à-têtes, of waltz dances and the sound the vintage trams make on the cobblestones. It was indeed the perfect place for her romantic husband to celebrate his birthday!
Laurel Robbins of Monkeys and Mountains feels the same about the country. For her, however, she prefers romantic Innsbruck, where she and her husband strolled hand in hand, marveling at the historic buildings and enjoying the cake and coffee that Austria is well known for. She highly recommends Innsbruck as a romantic getaway!
For Debbie of European Travelista, Salzburg is romantic, too, and if you have seen the Sound of Music, I’m sure you will agree. However, for her, romance, European style, also includes other cities like Lucerne, Switzerland and the castles and small villages of Bavaria, Germany. These places, according to her, “have the glamour, enchantment and fairy tale feel to them” that bring out her most romantic side.
If I had not written about Santorini, I would have chosen either Bruges or Prague to write about. I loved these cities! Apparently, Kay Rodriguez of The Kay Days agrees too. She sees Praha as a winter fairy tale, and I couldn’t agree more. Her description of the City of a Hundred Spires brings back memories of my time spent there walking on the Charles Bridge and watching the “sunlight sparkle across the waters of the gorgeous Vltava.” Praha is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world!
Spain, the country of music and wines, of poetry and sensuous dances. For Cat Gaa of Sunshine & Siestas, no city there is more romantic than Seville. She started out by telling about her tale of finding love in this romantic city, and indeed, who can resist the charms of Spanish hombres? Based on her personal experience, Cat shares her romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day in Seville.
Finally, Brandy Bell of It’s One World, Travel shares what she sees as a romantic city: Amsterdam! Amsterdam Romancesterdam, you might say, but for Brandy, nothing’s more romantic than bicycles for two, going to the museum of the tortured artist Vincent Van Gogh, or yeah, enjoying the Venice of the North’s cafe culture. Try it, if you dare!
For Regin Reyno of Regin’s Travels, however, it’s not Paris, Venice, or Rome (because he hasn’t been there yet), but it’s Trondheim which he chooses to be his most romantic city. He has five criteria for a place to be romantic: solitude, convenience, cleanliness, elegance, and nature, and all these he found in this beautiful Norwegian city.
So there you have it, 25 bloggers have shared their choices for the most romantic places in Europe. Seeing the pictures and reading about all these destinations, which European city is the most romantic for you?
Many thanks to all the bloggers who joined this carnival! Check out the past editions of Carnival of Europe.
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Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!