10 Romantic City Breaks That Are Perfect For Valentine's Day Weekend
Valentine's Day is almost here, and if you're lucky enough to be in a relationship, we strongly recommend you organize a weekend break the two of you will never forget.
To help, we've listed 10 picturesque cities that can be enjoyed in little over two days. But just be warned: By the end of your stay, you'll never want to leave.
1. REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
Ideal for Europeans and Americans living on the East Coast (flights from Boston reach Reykjavik in little under 5 hours), Iceland's mythical capital has become one of the world's most popular tourist destinations in recent years.
The world's northernmost capital, Reykjavik is a cocoon of tranquillity, with the serene atmosphere a far cry from the more intense, frantic cities of Europe. Home to a host of cosy pubs, cute cafes and high-end shops, the city centre's hub, Laugavegur, is also known for its lively nightlife, while day-trips to the uber-romantic Blue Lagoon resort can easily be arranged.
2. BARCELONA, SPAIN
The moment you step off the plane, Barcelona's cosmopolitan charms have you entranced from the get-go The Catalonian capital has everything. Tawny-sanded beaches. Sprawling mountains. Exotic gardens. An easy-to-navigate city center. World-class culture. Mouth drawing tapas. A dry climate all-year-round.
Indeed, Barcelona is one of the most romantic cities for a reason, and if you wanted to turn the romance up a level, we recommend you venture off the beaten tourist track and head high into hills of the working class neighbourhood of El Camel.
The area is home to a number of bunkers that were installed during the Spanish Civil War to store anti-aircraft guns but now serve as a popular meeting spot for locals. For the best experience, it's worth going at night to see the city's lights dazzle like the stars above.
3. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Ancient and modern, the Czech capital Prague has become one of the world's most revered cities, boasting the world's largest ancient castle and a host of impressive churches and cathedrals.
Prague has, however, garnered a less than savory reputation for its hedonistic stag parties, but that shouldn't make you overlook its culture and aesthetic beauty. Perfect for long strolls, the city's majestic 14th century stone bridge connecting the Old Town to the Little Quarter is also a must-see attraction for visitors, and with spectacular sunsets, Prague would be an ideal weekend getaway with that special someone.
4. PARIS, FRANCE
It was only a matter of time before we included the French capital on our list. And why wouldn't we? It's the City of Love. The City of Lights. The place where lovers dream of going. The air is awash with romantic sentiments, while the wonderful side-streets are decorated with boutique cafes, and idyllic, charming restaurants.
Granted, tourists will no doubt grind your gears in the busier parts of town, specifically in-and-around the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, but for a city as gorgeous, fashionable and elegant as Paris, that's a price well worth paying.
5. LONDON, ENGLAND
Often voted the world's best city, and bestowed with the unofficial accolade of Capital of the World, London's charms and amenities are plentiful. You can visit world-class museums and art galleries. Catch a play in the West End. Shop in Oxford Street. Mix it with the hipsters in Shoreditch. Sip goth lattes in Camden.
There's something for everyone in London, and as the British have a bit of reputation for being old-fashioned romantics, romance is easy to find. If you're feeling cheesy, you could even book a table at one of the world's most romantic restaurants. Located in a quiet street just off London's vibrant Covent Garden, the French/ Italian eatery Clos Maggiore is laden with beautiful wisteria and ornate trinkets.
6. NEW YORK, U.S.A.
Characterized by its fizzing neon billboards and eye-catching skyscrapers, stepping foot in America's most prominent city is like being in a film, and if you want to vamp the romance up a notch, there are plenty of ways you can do this in your short stay there.
Of course, with so much to tick off (Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, the Rockefeller Building and the Empire State Building being some of many attractions) finding the time to do everything in one weekend is impossible, so we recommend you limit the sightseeing and take romantic strolls through Central Park. There, you can hire a boat and row under the iconic Bow Bridge before dining in the chic, romantic little restaurants in the Manhattan gem of Little Italy. Add that to a night spent taking in a Broadway show, and you're all set for a short but sweet stay in the Big Apple.
7. VENICE, ITALY
The palpable romance of Venice is incomparable to any place on Earth, and it's what makes this city a haven for romance-lovers. Wedged between a glorious array of pastel-coloured buildings, the clear waters and signature gondolas are undoubtedly one of Venice's main attractions, but there is plenty more on offer.
While a ride on a gondola is a must, you can also take in an opera at La Fenice, while the Modern Museum of Art is conveniently placed on the Grand Canal.
8. SAVANNAH, GEORGIA, U.S.A.
Used as a filming location for romantic films like the Nicholas Sparks tearjerker The Last Song and everyone's favorite Tom Hank's movie, Forest Gump, Savannah's sun-drenched walkways and Spanish Moss trees decorate much of this magnificent coastal city.
Savannah's beaches are also some of America's best. Merge this with its antebellum architecture, world-class BBQ joints and all-round goodness of its locals, and you have a city that is one of America's best-kept secrets.
9. LISBON, PORTUGAL
The sunniest capital city in Europe means Lisbon is never short of visitors, and with it being less than 30 minutes away from many great beaches, Lisbon could well be a perfect place to spend with your Valentine.
Of course, the average February temperatures of 12 degrees Celsius probably aren't great for topping up your tan, but with many beachside restaurants (many of them holding Michelin stars) you'll be more than pleased with a romantic break there.
10. LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, U.S.A.
A gem in the middle of the Nevada desert, Las Vegas is very much a bucket list destination everyone should try to tick off. It's a bonkers city, with many amenities on offer, including the Bellagio Hotel’s famous fountain show, the Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium and the themed hotels emulating famous places around the world.
To top your stay off, you could even book a helicopter ride overlooking the nearby Grand Canyon.