It is that time of year when love is in the air! With Valentine's Day just a few days away, we have created a list of the most romantic cities in the world, so that you can whisk your special someone away on an amorous getaway for two. But there is a twist: instead of your run-of-the-mill list, we wanted to provide you with some genuine experiences and first-hand tips, and asked around the office for what our co-workers had found to be the most romantic city they ever visited. Thus, here follows a list of the most romantic cities, according to Auto Europe employees!
'For me the most romantic city is one of the cities I've lived in: Antwerp. The city is filled with beautiful architecture, great shops and boutiques, and the Belgians just breathe the Burgundian lifestyle, which means that a beer or dinner always ends in at least three beers and dinner with dessert, aperitivo and more drinks. The city has a rustic and authentic feel to it. It's almost impossible to not enjoy your dinner at one of the countless restaurants. I loved to walk along the Schelde, or cruise through the small streets paved with cobble stones and cute boutiques. I would go back there in a heartbeat.'
'Sintra is oftentimes compared to a fairy-tale village, straight out of the pages of a Brothers Grimm tale or a Charles Perrault story, and both nature and human design were hard at work to create the enchanting effect. The town is best known for its Romantic and Gothic palaces, namely the colourful Pena Palace and the mysterious Quinta da Regaleira, home to secret initiation wells and to a myriad of Masonic symbols. But despite its loveliness, the local architecture can't hold a candle to the area's natural beauty. Located on the foothills of Serra de Sintra, Sintra is surrounded by lush woodlands that sprawl towards the Atlantic, ending just short of the gorgeous Praia das Macas. The Portuguese novelist Eça de Queirós, said of the town: 'Sintra isn't just old rocks and Gothic things... Sintra is this, a splash of water, a bit of moss... this is a paradise.' Eça wasn't alone in his analogy, and Lord Byron famously described Sintra as a 'Glorious Eden', adding in a letter to a friend that the town was 'the most beautiful in the world'.'
'The city is known to be extremely slow, so this is a perfect chance to take time for each other, walk hand in hand and kiss while waiting for the red light to finally turn green. Share a hot chocolate and a piece of cake in the Rosengarten (Garden of Roses) restaurant and enjoy a splendid view over the old town, go visit the little bears at the bear pit, or take a romantic walk along the shores of the river Aare. Ice skating is offered at the Bundeshausplatz (a square in front of the federal building) until 16th of February and is open until 10pm - very romantic!'
'The most romantic city for me? Rome. To spend a romantic weekend, or even to find the right place where to get married, Rome is the perfect place. Just walking in the centre hand in hand with your partner is something very special. Every corner, every street, every monument, leaves me breathless. My favourite lovely and romantic places are the Gianicolo Hill, where you can have a wonderful view of the city, the Aventine Hill and the Giardino degli Aranci, a true hill for lovers, and also the perfect place to get married. It's always amazing to peek through the keyhole of the Cavalieri di Malta Palace and see the Dome of St. Peter's perfectly framed.And the Trastevere - this ancient district of Rome beyond the Tiber river is my favourite one. I love to get lost in the cobbled and narrow streets of Trastevere, to eat in one of the typical restaurants, to drink something in a bar or to smell the fragrance of bread that barely left the oven. The atmosphere in this district is unique. There are so many romantic cities in the world, but the atmosphere, the people, the smells and the tastes that I experienced in Rome, I didn't find anywhere else.'
'Besides the typical Alhambra and tapas, I think Granada is a good city to spend a romantic weekend. You can visit the Arab Baths, and go to one of the famous 'teterias' (teahouses) after a good lunch with tapas. You should also visit the old districts Albaycin and Sacromonte, where you will find very beautiful architecture, and where you can see the Alhambra and the whole city from the above: at sunset and at night the landscape is amazing. Enjoy a special dinner and the beautiful landscape at Mirador de Morayama restaurant. And please never ever go to a Flamenco show. It is NOT romantic!'
Prague, Czech Republic
'The most romantic city is the one you visit for the first time with the loved person. I would say that Prague has left me with a very romantic impression, with its mixture of historical buildings and nicely integrated moderns. Prague also offers nice restaurants for a more than affordable price - what could be better than having a five-course dinner with a loved one. Prague also offers a large selection of bed and breakfasts, mostly outside of the town, so that you can discover them only with your rented car. But those who stay at a B&B will receive an even more familiar atmosphere and often a local breakfast you will not forget. And since the first time there, Prague has always been our special town to rediscover each other.'Eric'The most romantic city I have been in is Prague, because of its beautiful architectural buildings, the river, and the bridges. It is both a capital but also a very cosy city with a 'village-feeling'. It gives me romantic vibes for sure.'
Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius Island
'Mauritius is the perfect place to celebrate your honeymoon or to go on a romantic trip. It is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a special time together and to create new and lasting memories. It has the most beautiful of settings with spectacular beaches and romantic sunsets. The island offers many romantic excursions, like scuba diving, sailing, swimming with dolphins in the beautiful clear blue waters around the island, or you can simply enjoy lazy days together next to the ocean.'
'For me, it must be Moscow. I have spent there some of the best moments of my life. Sitting on the Moscow river bank and watching fireworks during warm summer nights was priceless. There are also the fairy tale-like Orthodox churches and this magnificent feeling you get when you're standing on the Red Square that make Moscow so special.'
'Visiting Paris guarantees that your Valentine's Day will be a success. As the true metropolis of lovers, it is the ideal place for a romantic getaway! You should celebrate the special day by making it a weekend for two. Visit the cultural sites and go shopping, and do not forget the candlelight dinner. Beautiful Paris will charm you without a doubt! Especially when you take the time to whisper words of love to each other...'