Half the challenge of planning a romantic getaway is deciding where to go in the first place. That’s where the results of a new study come in handy.
Bounce, a luggage storage company with more than 8,000 locations in more than 1,000 cities worldwide, analyzed cities around the world to determine the world’s most romantic destination. Various factors were scrutinized, such as the number of romantic hotels, restaurants, and activities in each city.
The results of the study, “Romantic City Breaks,” are somewhat predictable; however, there are also some noteworthy surprises.
“From Paris to Barcelona, and San Francisco to Seville, there’s a city-break destination for every hopeless romantic to enjoy,” the report reads. “Whether you want to seek out the best romantic restaurants offering culinary delights or make a trip to explore a city’s historical architecture, this report will – hopefully – make your trip planning a little easier.”
A Look At The Data
When people think of the most romantic cities, Paris often comes to mind first. Indeed, Paris tops Bounce’s list, which is expected given that the city is home to 706 romantic hotels and 1,511 romantic restaurants, the report explains.
San Francisco came in second place, due largely to its range of romantic activities, including walking through Golden Gate Park and riding the city’s famous cable cars. The area is also home to a high number of day spas and wellness centers, including many that offer couples’ massages and twilight spa sessions, the report continues.
The third most romantic city, according to the research, is Amsterdam, which scored well due to its high number of romantic restaurants and hotels. The city also boasts a high number of romantic activities, including, naturally, a cruise through the city’s famous canals.
Here’s a quick look at what makes each city in the top 10 so special.
Strolling along the banks of the Seine, wandering through historic gardens, or admiring original works at the Louvre or Musee d’Orsay — what could be more romantic than a trip to Paris?
From the Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel Tower, Paris radiates romance no matter when you visit. Of course, visiting a café is an important part of life in Paris, so take a table on the terrasse (outdoor terrace), sit back, and relax.
Date Idea: Sip champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower
Where To Eat: Le Jules Verne, on the second level of the Eiffel Tower
Where To Stay: Hotel Plaza Athénée
To learn more about traveling to Paris, start with The Best Of Paris: 9 Must-Have Experiences In The City Of Light.
2. San Francisco
San Francisco is perfect for lovers. It boasts rolling hills, spectacular views of the bay, and amazing architecture, all of which help make San Francisco a perfect spot for a romantic getaway.
Of course, you’ll want to visit Pier 39, where you can visit more than 90 shops, stop at an aquarium, see the famous sea lions, eat at more than 13 restaurants, enjoy a wine tasting, and even watch the sunset over the San Francisco Bay.
Date Idea: Visit and cross the Golden Gate Bridge
Where To Eat: Frascati
Where To Stay: Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero
Be sure to read all of our San Francisco content, including 12 Amazing San Francisco Experiences Found Only On The Waterfront.
If you visit Amsterdam in the spring, you’ll be just in time for a romantic walk in Keukenhof Tulip Gardens. That’s because each fall, more than 7 million tulip bulbs are planted by hand so they will flower the next spring.
And then there are Amsterdam’s famous canals, which were built in the 17th century and are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Sure, you can walk along the canals, but you’ll want to set aside time for a canal cruise.
Date Idea: Visit the Bloemenmarkt, the only floating flower market in the world
Where To Eat: De Belhamel
Where To Stay: Hotel Estheréa
4. Barcelona, Spain
Millions of tourists flock to Barcelona each year because it offers so much to see and do,
but for something romantic, take a stroll through Park Güell, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its panoramic views of the city.
Barcelona is also home to miles of beaches, including Platja de la Nova Icària, Barceloneta Beach, and Sant Sebastià. You and your partner can take a cruise, swim, walk along the shoreline, or just sip sangria while people-watching at a café.
Date Idea: Visit Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house, for an opera, recital, or ballet
Where To Eat: El Nacional
Where To Stay: Hesperia Barri Gòtic
For a personal take on Barcelona, read My 7 Favorite Experiences In Beautiful Barcelona, Spain.
5. Lisbon, Portugal
What’s not to love about Lisbon, Portugal’s capital and largest city? After all, it is famous for its culture, history, and tradition.
Be sure to take comfortable shoes to visit Lisbon. That’s because you’ll want to walk the streets of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, Alfama, as well as take a leisurely stroll through the Rossio Square, which is known for its numerous bars, shops, and restaurants.
Date Idea: Visit Belvedere of Our Lady of the Hill, which offers a stunning view of Lisbon from a high vantage point.
Where To Eat: Valle Flôr
Where To Stay: Lisboa Pessoa Hotel
6. Florence, Italy
What could be more romantic than wandering through Florence and stopping in restaurants offering both Tuscan and wider Italian specialties as well as local wine?
Since Florence is the capital of Tuscany, it’s also home to numerous masterpieces of Renaissance art, architecture, and art museums.
For something even more romantic, you’ll want to walk along the promenade of the River Arno and watch the sunset from one of its bridges before stopping in the Companion Bar in the 25Hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino for cocktails or a glass of wine.
Date Idea: Visit the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, or the Accademia Gallery, so you can see Michelangelo’s 17-foot marble statue, David
Where To Eat: Mercato Centrale, where artisan food stalls sell local cuisine
Where To Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
For more reasons to add the city to your bucket list, be sure to read our Florence content, including 13 Fantastic Things To Do In Gorgeous Florence, Italy.
Book and history aficionados absolutely love Dublin because it boasts a rich literary history, gorgeous Georgian architecture, and world-famous pub culture.
You’ll want to spend time visiting Dublin Castle and the Dublin Writers Museum. Taking a stroll through the Trinity College campus, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, is worthwhile as well.
After that, make plans to stop at the Guinness Storehouse, where you can learn how the world-famous stout is made, see loads of Guinness memorabilia, and even enjoy a pint sitting at the rooftop bar that overlooks Dublin.
Date Idea: Stroll through Saint Stephen’s Green, a 22-acre public park known for its
lake, tree-lined walks, William Butler Yeats memorial garden, and bust of James Joyce
Where To Eat: Chapter One Restaurant, located in the basement of the Dublin Writers Museum
Where To Stay: The Merrion Hotel
To learn more about visiting Dublin, read 18 Incredible Things To Do In Historic Dublin, Ireland.
8. Seville, Spain
Known for its Moorish and Arab-influenced architecture, seductive flamenco dancing, and year-round warm climate, Seville is another perfect destination for a romantic getaway.
After visiting Catedral de Sevilla, which is the largest Gothic cathedral in Spain, and the 450-year-old La Real Maestranza de Caballería bullfighting ring, you’ll want to make your way to Alameda de Hercules. The plaza, which is lined with cafes, is ideal for sipping coffee and people-watching.
Date Idea: Visit the Royal Alcazar of Seville, the oldest palace in Europe that is still in use
Where To Eat: Ovejas Negras
Where To Stay: Corral del Rey Hotel
If you’re planning a trip to Seville, start with Richard Nahem’s Fantastic Things To Do During A Long Weekend In Seville, Spain.
9. Santa Barbara, California
Foodies and wine lovers alike flip for Santa Barbara, and for good reason. Not only do many restaurants use local produce and fresh-caught seafood, Santa Barbara also has plenty of local wine to savor.
You can also visit Stearns Wharf to shop, eat, and watch wildlife, or visit the Funk Zone, a 13-block area packed with restaurants, wine-tasting rooms, breweries, boutiques, and art galleries. Then head off to sip champagne or wine on a romantic sunset cruise.
Date Idea: Visit some of the more than 20 wine-tasting rooms on the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail for tastings
Where To Eat: Toma Restaurant & Bar
Where To Stay: Drift Santa Barbara
Bringing your special someone to Santa Barbara? Here are 7 Romantic Southern California Destinations For Mature Couples.
10. Marrakesh, Morocco
To truly experience Marrakesh’s charm, you’ll want to see Jardin Majorelle, a 2.5-acre botanical garden; Koutoubia, the largest mosque in Marrakesh; and the Bahia Palace and El Badi Palace.
You’ll also want to stroll around Jemaa el-Fnaa, the leading square and marketplace, where you can see everything from snake charmers to street musicians while you sample Moroccan street food, such as grilled meats and kebabs sold in the market’s stalls.
Notable Thing To Do: Take a camelback trip through the Sahara desert
Where To Eat: La Trattoria
Where To Stay: Riad Palais Sebban
If you want to know more about Marrakash, check out 9 Things To Do In Marrakesh, Morocco.
For more inspiration about romantic getaways, see: