With Europe’s timeless beauty in its architecture, its culture and its cities, it’s hard not to fall in love with the continent. As an American living in Europe, I’ve never been one to shy away from the fact that European cities are not only older and more historical, but are also often lovelier and more majestic than their US counterparts. Not always, of course, but there’s something special about the following romantic cities in Europe.

Cologne, Germany

You’d think as a resident of Berlin I’d recommend the capital as a romantic city. But while love may be fast and easy in Berlin, it is Cologne where true romance lives. Situated on the Elbe River and with a cathedral that dominates the skyline, everything about Cologne screams beauty. Ich liebe Köln!

What makes Cologne so romantic? Well, besides the incredibly picturesque downtown quarter, the Hohenzollernbrücke (that’s a bridge) is probably the most colourful spot in all of Cologne. For the past 10 years, locals and tourists alike have been locking their love onto the bridge’s rails. That’s a lot of love. Elsewhere in Cologne, the cute cafes and restaurants in the Belgian Quarter near Brüssler Platz aren’t to be missed! Stay at the Hotel Chelsea and you’ll be close to the action but with a beautifully romantic hotel as well.

Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany

Rome, Italy

Ahh, Rome! The city where Audrey Hepburn will forever be remembered as Anya from Roman Holiday. In a city of a hundred fountains (or at least it feels like that many!), it’s no wonder that the city captures the hearts of so many tourists. Romantic Rome has it all: history, food and sights.

What makes Rome so romantic? With a culture so steeped in the art and language of romance, there’s beauty to be found in every aspect of Roman life. With special Rome tours, vintage shopping and enough history to last a lifetime, Rome is probably Europe’s most romantic city. And don’t let the sticky summer heat (and it’s noxious fumes) deter you from a summertime visit either. This city is “eternal”, as they say! Stay at the Hotel Fontana just near the Trevi Fountain for that extra bit of romance. And don’t forget to drop a coin or two in—guaranteeing your return to the Eternal City!

Paris, France

What is love if it doesn’t happen in Paris? The city of lights exudes that same special atmosphere as Rome. And with French culture (and cuisine!) practically oozing with romance, it’s no wonder people call it the most romantic city in the world.

What makes Paris so romantic? The people, of course! But with first-class museums such as the Louvre or the Rodin Sculpture Gallery, it’s hard to feel lonely in Paris. Take a walk through Montmarte or even a leisurely stroll through the Pere Lachaise Cemetery (be sure to kiss Oscar Wilde’s tomb!) to embrace the romance you can only find in Paris. Check Expedia.co.uk for the best romantic hotels in Paris.

Barcelona, Spain

Thanks to the architectural stylings of one Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan city of Barcelona has that ethereal, dream-like quality. Walking the streets of Barcelona, you’d be hard-pressed to not spot the beauty of the buildings. Wide avenues and colourful, exotic and just-lain surreal architecture make this a perfect city for romance. Add in a city beach and a warm climate, some fine cuisine and a beautiful Olympic Park and the city is practically begging for love.

What makes Barcelona so romantic? It has to be Gaudi. The famous Spanish Catalan architect has incredibly left his mark on just about every street of Barcelona. Must-sees are the Parc Guell and the La Sagrada Familia which are as spectacular as everyone says the are. But if you want somewhere special to celebrate romance in Barcelona, there’s an old city with an almost-as-beautiful cathedral as well. And you can’t beat the fine dining at Saüc Restaurant in Ohla Hotel. Visit the restaurant in the afternoon for special lunch deals!

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain


Edinburgh, Scotland

After having recently visited Scotland for their annual Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) festival, I can proudly proclaim Scotland to be a romantic city. And I’m not the only one who thinks so! The medieval old town in Edinburgh with its cobble-stoned streets and narrow alleyways is the perfect place to cuddle up with your partner. And the many cozy cafes (especially along Victoria Street and the Grassmarket) are prefect for a warm winter snuggle!

What makes Edinburgh so romantic? The medieval city is more stunning than you might imagine, but it’s the Edinburgh Castle which steals the show. Sure, it’s got it’s gloomy history, but when you’re walking through the gates to the sound of traditional Scottish music, it’s hard not to come away impressed. For an extra bit of romance, there’s the leisurely hike up Arthur’s Seat — one of Scotland’s best panoramic viewpoints.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland

Which is your favourite romantic city of Europe?

Check out the recommendations from top travel bloggers for alternative Valentine’s Day hotels and breaks on our Expedia interactive globe.


Adam Groffman is the writer of a popular travel blog, TRAVELS OF ADAM, which focuses heavily on the most hip and cool things to do around the world. Follow him on Instagram and Pinterest to discover his latest cool travel finds.





    Hi Adam!

    Are these all such cities, which you have visited already?
    If a city at the river Elbe, I would like to recommend Dresden (Saxony). Cologne is not situated on Elbe, but Rhein.

    Not far away from Dresden there is Prague a “hot spot”. The capitol earns to be on such a list of the big cities. But there are plenty of small cities with old town, I would prefer several of such smaller cities in comparison to Cologne. If for one day, it may not play a role, if there is a nightlife with many discotheques or not.
    example: Marburg, Freiburg, Würzburg.

    And Salzburg (Austria) …

    February 15, 2014 at 2:00 am

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