Romance is in the air and the world is filled with stunning destinations for the perfect romantic holiday getaway whether it’s for Valentine’s Day, or just because! Where will you go next for a lovers retreat or even just with your friends? Here are 10 most romantic cities in the world.
1. Aix-en Provence, France
As the birthplace of Cezanne, it's easy to visit the places that brought the master's paintings to life. Relax at cafes and local haunts like the Morning Market, though the best croissants can be found at Farinoman Fou. Check out the Aix vineyards, fragrant lavender fields, or head to the hot springs-fed baths first tapped by the Romans thousands of years ago. Southern France is like a pleasure garden, with pretty, moss-covered fountains spouting around every corner. Snack on calissons for a treat (candied fruit and almonds topped with a layer of icing). Because all romantic outings require a little something sweet.
2. Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg is as storied as it is picturesque. With thousands of years of musical history (think: Julie Andrews and Mozart), the operas, musicals, and concerts held in the city will make your heart flutter. Tour Schloss Mirabell—a 17th-century palace with the famous Marble Hall—and the Baroque-style Mirabell Gardens, which feature the Pegasus Fountain, and Rose and Dwarf Gardens. The Renaissance-style Schloss Hellbrunn, on the other hand, houses the gazebo that wooed many a lover in the Sound of Music. Climb to the cliff-top fortress, Festung Hohensalzburg, to see the glimmering city lights below (it's also one of the most stunning medieval castles in Europe). Looking to take your love even higher? Grab a cable car up on the Untersberg for an unparalleled view of Salzburg and the Salzach River.
3. Kyoto, Japan
With many tranquil outdoor spots like the Kyoto Botanical Gardens – where you can see cherry blossom trees from March to April – Kyoto is designed to be enjoyed by lovers. A spa day the Japanese way should also be on the itinerary, with many great public onsens (hot springs) on hand – the Tenzan no Yu is recognised as the best in the region.
4. Cartagena, Colombia
With balconies of colourful buildings overflowing with fragrant flowers and the sound of music trickling from every doorway, Cartagena is an intoxicating place. Hit the beach in the day, enjoy sundown at the old city walls or with a horse-drawn coche ride. When night falls, sip some aguardiente and enjoy live music at Café Havana before hitting up Quiebra-Canto, the original and best salsa party in town.
You wouldn’t immediately think of Singapore as a romantic destination. But with the buzz surrounding the hit movie “Crazy Rich Asians,” there is a lot of love in the air for the Lion City. It’s home to an abundance of mesmerizing spots such as Gardens by the Bay, home to the breathtaking SuperTrees, where couples can explore these remarkable structures measuring between 80 and 160 feet tall. There are also indulgent resort getaways such as Capella Singapore, located in the heart of Sentosa Island framed around two restored Tanah Merah colonial bungalows dating back to the 1880s, from which the hotel extends into gardens and grounds framed by the sea, replete with sexy hidden villas and manor homes. But for the best romantic views in the city, head to one of the many rooftop bars, pools and skywalks Singapore has to offer, like Singapore's highest rooftop bar, 1 Altitude, on the 63rd floor of 1 Raffles Place; or Mr. Stork, a destination bar nestled at the rooftop on Level 39 that provides 360-degree views of the city.
6. Honolulu, USA
Pristine beaches, stunning sunsets, lush gardens, and great local food… Honolulu has all the makings of a fabulous romantic getaway – for couples of all ages. From swimming with dolphins, to surfing the wild waves, or just lounging on a beautiful beach all day, Honolulu offers up any and every kind of romantic and exciting activity you could think of. The best part? It’s a great destination all-year round, with temperatures barely ever dropping below 20 degrees Celsius.
7. Vancouver, Canada
How mind-boggling is it that the graceful city of Vancouver keeps slipping through the cracks? Only a handful of towns could offer you the full package the way this effervescent city does. Name your poison and Vancouver has it: exciting hikes, world-class skiing, or walks on secluded beach. There’s even a slightly terrifying, albeit amorous, walk on a narrow bridge that will get your adrenaline pumping.
8. Cape Town, South Africa
Picture a romantic horseback ride along Noordhoek Beach, or a cable car ride to the top of Cable Mountain – where you’ll find the most unbelievable views no matter which was you turn. That’s just a taste of the beauty and romance that Cape Town has to offer. You absolutely can’t miss an open air cinema. There are several in the city and shows often sell out – especially on Valentine’s Day. If you prefer water, book a sunset boat cruise out to Table Bay of Clifton 4th Beach. Enjoy a remarkable sun set with oysters and champagne. And one last suggestion? Enjoy a sunrise in a hot air balloon followed by a fabulous breakfast at one of the cities excellent restaurants.
9. Baguio, Philippines
Dubbed as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio is flocked by travelers because of its cold weather, charming hillside accommodations, and numerous parks and attractions. Imagine sipping a hot chocolate drink, popularly known as tsokolate in Baguio and made from local cacao beans, with a special someone tucked beside you amidst tall pine trees and the chilly breeze.
10. Lisbon, Portugal
With its pastel-hued buildings and narrow, steep streets, Lisbon is perfect for couples that enjoy edging their romance with a little exploration. Begin your romantic adventure with a discovery of the Alfama district. Contained within are many of Lisbon’s stately buildings, such as the Castelo de São Jorge and the Sé Cathedral.