Ok, so let me confess that i’m not really a Saint Valentine fan, i mean it’s absolutely cute and lovely to receive gifts or go for a romantic dinner, but hey, we can do this every day of our lives, isn’t it? So whats the big deal about all this averted and overcost flowers and hearts on february 14?
For this year i thought to inspire you with something different : let’s celebrate love for an entire weekend in some romantic European city, where you can have dinner at candle lights, relax in a spa and stay in super nice hotels while discovering new cultures, visit museums, having fun and learning new things! This could really be the best gift you can make your loved one! Here is my personal selection of my favorite romantic cities to spend a weekend before spring begins:
A city that charms and seduces from scratch, but even more the longer you stay. Whether for fast-track travel or slow-paced sightseeing, and regardless of how many times you’ve been before, there’s a seemingly never-ending wealth of things to do and see throughout the year. It’s also both culturally and musically one of the richest cities in the world, and has a good, lively mix of cool cafés and bars, galleries, shops and street markets.
Florence is one of Europe’s great art cities. Giotto’s frescoes, Michelangelo’s David, canvases by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and a host of other greats in the Uffizi Gallery… there’s so much exquisite art and architecture, it’s difficult to know where to start. Florence is also a living city with a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene and a lively cultural movida that goes beyond old masters to embrace opera, classical music and contemporary art. Handsome, historic, full of quirky shops and quality crafts, and close to the vine-covered hills of Chianti, Florence is the perfect place for an romantic escape.
Compact, rich in history and famous for its flamenco, tapas bars and orange trees, Seville is an ideal short break destination, especially in spring before the sun becomes too scorching. Stay in the city’s old town to explore the cobbled streets of the Santa Cruz quarter and the breathtaking Alcázar Palace. Soak up the atmosphere on the banks of the Guadalquivir, and admire the views from the ancient cathedral tower and recently opened Parasol Metropol.
Paris is one of the world’s most beautiful cities (with its golden stone facades and famous monuments), and a vibrant, densely packed collection of villages. Behind the grandiose palaces and boulevards, you can discover intimate courtyards and gardens; behind historic façades you can find craft workshops and eminent research institutions. Perhaps the true clue to Paris’s appeal is that despite being one of the most visited cities in the world it is also intensely lived-in. With its flats, playgrounds, food markets and cafés, there is no empty heart in the centre; and you, too, can play at being a Parisian.
With art nouveau splendours lining a curve of the Danube, Budapest promises genteel romance. While the fin-de-siècle façades, old-fashioned cafés and refined baths politely sweep you off your feet, the traces of Goulash communism and the city’s fascinating modern history add spice. Budapest is an easy city to navigate, with the river at its heart. Cross a bridge to the west and you’re in Buda, the leafy hills hiding natural hot springs and crowned with a palace that provides views down to the scene-stealing gothic parliament building on the far riverbank. Behind this is Pest, the eastern city, unified with Buda in 1873, where you’ll find attractive boulevards and the Jewish quarter.
The Irish capital is crowded with traces of a tempestuous past, and yet the city wears the weight of this history relatively lightly. Come here for Georgian architectural elegance, a still robust pub culture, some wonderful museums and galleries, an attractive seaside location – and an evident way with words, reflected in the city’s designation as a Unesco City of Literature. And come here to eat well too: in the past, Dublin may not have been known for its food culture, but increasingly today it’s possible to sample excellent local produce and drink a cup of wonderful coffee as well as the traditional pint of stout. And believe me, Dublin will absolutely surprise you with a right mix of romance, history and fun.