10 Best European cities for a Valentine's Day trip
Where can you have the best date this Valentine’s Day? Here is a list of the top ten European capitals for a romantic trip away with your partner
Since the first mass produced Valentine’s Day greetings cards in the 19th century, February 14 has remained one of the most well-known holidays around Europe. There are many fascinating local traditions, such as the Portuguese tradition of giving embroidered handkerchiefs and scarves to the one you love. In Denmark, people exchange snowdrops and gaekkebrev cards, which are always anonymous, leaving recipients to guess who their secret admirer is.
One popular way to spend Valentine’s Day is to take your partner out on a special date. New research from Ubuy has used data from a travel review platform to rank the ten European capitals with the highest number of romantic activities and attractions, counting up each city’s fine dining restaurants, hotels rated five stars, and tours for couples.
1. London, England
London, the capital of the UK, comes out top, with a huge 1361 fine dining restaurants according to the travel review platform data. There are 138 hotels rated five stars, and there are six romantic tours that couples can enjoy together.
London’s restaurant scene is a true cultural melting pot, with excellent restaurants serving food in every tradition from around the globe. From an intimate table for two in a hidden gem where the owner is the chef, to some of the country’s most famous Michelin starred spots, there will be something for every couple.
2. Paris, France
Surprisingly, the quintessential city of romance only ranks in second place. Comparing the scores, it is only a few points behind London. Paris has 1275 fine dining restaurants, 105 hotels rated five stars, and 60 romantic tours.
"Paris has 1275 fine dining restaurants and 60 romantic tours"
Available tours include a cruise along the River Seine with a glass of champagne in hand, a private tour by vintage car, and couples’ photoshoots at landmarks around the city.
3. Rome, Italy
Coming in third, Rome is the city of St Valentine himself. Rome ranks with 840 fine dining restaurants, 50 hotels rated five stars and 26 romantic tours. A city with a longstanding romantic heritage, newlyweds and lovers would historically drink together from the Trevi Fountain to make their love last forever.
The capital of Italy has a fantastic range of fine dining establishments. Many restaurants specialise in delicious fresh seafood, pasta and wine, or curated tasting menus. Couples can combine their romantic dinner out with a wander through beautiful surroundings, and there is even a restaurant within the Palazzo Brancaccio.
4. Madrid, Spain
Next up is Madrid, Spain’s vibrant capital, with plenty of city culture as well as stunning gardens and parks for a stroll together in the sunshine. Madrid has 790 fine dining restaurants, 33 hotels rated five stars and two romantic tours.
Couples can have a professional photoshoot around some of Madrid’s most beautiful locations, and stay the night in luxury hotels to suit anybody’s taste, ranging from elegant historic buildings to chic, modern properties.
5. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is next, with 775 fine dining restaurants and 43 five-star hotels. This gorgeous city has a long history and plenty of pretty cobblestone streets to explore. It is also so close to the coast that you can reach several different seaside towns within half an hour’s drive.
"Lisbon has a long history and plenty of pretty cobblestone streets to explore "
Some of the best upscale restaurants in Lisbon specialise in Portuguese classic dishes and ingredients, such as Iberian black pork, or seafood like octopus and salted cod.
6. Athens, Greece
Coming in at number six on the list is Athens. The Greek capital has 755 fine dining restaurants, 26 hotels rated five stars and 31 romantic tours. It’s not surprising there are so many tours, as the city is home to unbelievable ancient monuments and ruins.
Tours include a sunset yacht cruise and an evening tour to see the Parthenon lit up at night in all its glory.
7. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, known as the City of a Thousand Spires, is the next most highly rated city. The Czech capital boasts 603 fine dining restaurants, three five-star hotels, and three romantic tours. Famous for its incredible architecture, it’s a great place to wander hand in hand.
"Prague boasts 603 fine dining restaurants and three five-star hotels"
Romantic tours around Prague include a private river cruise, and a six-hour chauffeur-driven tour to see some of the city’s top landmarks and hidden gems.
8. Berlin, Germany
Often described as the coolest city in Europe, Berlin is home to 582 fine dining restaurants, nine hotels rated five stars and four romantic tours. This cultural city is also full of museums and galleries.
Some of the most popular fine dining establishments include buzzy pop-ups, and local eateries where the menu changes on a daily basis, for a very exclusive experience.
9. Budapest, Hungary
Next in the top ten is Budapest. Couples in this exciting and historic city could spend Valentine’s Day relaxing in a hot springs bath, and maybe even get some pampering in a spa together. It has 423 fine dining restaurants and 16 five-star hotels, as well as nine romantic tours.
Many of this city’s restaurants specialise in international contemporary cuisine, but diners can also enjoy traditional Hungarian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, paired with a wine selection.
10. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Finally, Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands was ranked by Ubuy as the tenth best city for a romantic Valentine’s Day date. It has 367 upscale restaurants, and 16 five-star hotels. There are nine romantic tours for couples to enjoy. This vibrant and cultural city combines a lively nightlife with beautiful architecture and parks.
Many of the romantic tours take the form of boat journeys along Amsterdam’s famous network of canals—some tour operators offer wine and cheese for the journey.
Banner photo: The ten most romantic European cities for dates this Valentine's Day (credit: René Ranisch (Unsplash))
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