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The top 7 most romantic cities in Europe

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Missed Valentine’s Day? Make up for it with a break in one of Europe’s most romantic places, and enjoy gondolas in Venice or skyline views in London

Book a trip to one of our top seven timeless cities for romance, where love is in the air all year round – and save on romantic breaks for couples with Boundless

Bruges

Step back in time into the charming, fairytale Belgian city of Bruges, home to narrow cobblestone streets, tree-lined canals, cosy cafés and, of course, its famous chocolate shops. Explore its medieval wonders on a horse-drawn carriage or by bike (it’s easy and flat) or take a gentle boat ride down its canals.

Known as the Venice of the North, Bruges is on a series of waterways crossed with picturesque bridges and reflecting the city’s Gothic spires. Stop for a romantic selfie at Rozenhoedkaai (Rosary Quay), one of the prettiest and most photographed spots. It links the canals to Bruge’s famous 13th-century Belfry where you can climb the 366 steps for panoramic views. Don’t leave without visiting Minnewater, a tranquil park and a lake that’s aptly called the ‘Lake of Love’.


London

With its sexy skyline and vibrant social scene, London is the place to go if you want to wine and dine your special someone. From cosy pubs with log fires to funky contemporary bars, there’s a drinking hole to suit all occasions and an eclectic mix of restaurants to tickle your taste buds.

While away the day getting lost in the maze at Hampton Court Palace or hiring a boat on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. When night falls, catch a performance under the stars at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, sit back and enjoy the vibe at jazz bar Ronnie Scott’s, or admire the UK capital in all its night-time glory from The View at the Shard.


Madrid

If the way to your loved one’s heart is through their stomach, whisk them away to Madrid, where the Spanish culinary scene is up there with Europe’s best. Head to La Latina neighbourhood and dozens of lively bars where you can join the Madrileños as they sip on vermouth and tuck into delicious tapas, made for sharing.

For something sweet, go to San Ginés, a Madrid institution that’s been serving up thick hot chocolates and the city’s famous churros for over a century. As dusk falls, make your way to the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple where you’ll get stunning mountain views and the most romantic sunsets.


Rome

Take your partner’s hand and climb the famous Spanish steps, throw coins into the Trevi Fountain, and enjoy an intimate picnic for two in the secluded Giardino degli Aranci (the Orange Garden) on top of The Aventine Hill – it’s the perfect spot to soak up the sunshine and admire the panoramic views across the Italian capital.

The elegant parks, Baroque cobbled squares, ornate fountains, historic monuments and churches of Rome can’t fail to bring out your romantic side and if things get too hot, cool off with a glass of Prosecco or a few scoops of its finest gelato.


Lisbon

Let the stirring, haunting sound of fado pull at your heartstrings in the mysterious, seductive city of Lisbon in Portugal. It’s the city’s traditional folk music and you’ll find the best fado bars in Alfama, the city’s oldest and most romantic district. It’s a maze of narrow, cobbled Moorish streets leading up from the Tagus River to São Jorge Castle.

Here, climb to the top of the National Pantheon for panoramic views over Lisbon’s waterfront. See the city from a different perspective on a sunset sailboat cruise on the Tagus, or settle down with a picnic in the elegantly terraced gardens of the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in Bairro Alto, for views that are guaranteed to ignite romance.


Venice


It’s said that if you ride a gondola with your loved one under the Bridge of Sighs, and kiss at sunset as the bells of St Mark's toll, you’ll be together forever. Whether you’re gliding down the canal or getting lost in the labyrinth of narrow streets, alleyways, stone bridges and cobbled squares, you’ll be swept away by this magical Italian city.

 

You won’t be alone, though, so to avoid the crowds the trick is to get up early – sunrise in Venice is spectacular – or stay up late when the tourist groups have dispersed. If you thought St Mark’s Square was beautiful in the daytime, wait till you see it in the warm glow of the evening.


Paris

The French invented the language of love, so it’s no wonder Paris has been the backdrop of so many love stories, from classic literature through to modern day movies. Let it be the scene of your own personal romance with a boat trip along the Seine, a kiss at the top of the twinkling Eiffel Tower, or a stroll down the Champs Élysées.

Don’t leave without taking your loved one to see Le Mur des Je t’aime in the garden of the Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abbesses, Montmartre. Created by artists Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, it features more than 311 written declarations of love in 250 different languages and has become a popular meeting place for les amoureux.

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