When the phrase 'romantic getaway' gets thrown around, Europe is easily the first travel destination that springs to mind.
Filled with magnificent age-old architecture, quaint cobble-stoned streets and breathtaking scenery, Europe's magical cities present plenty of romantic opportunities to cosy up to.
Planning a honeymoon, or perhaps looking to book an anniversary surprise for your partner? Whatever the reason, here are five enchanting European cities you should consider for your next romantic getaway.
Otherwise known at the 'Paris of the East', Budapest is a city with romance all around.
Through the middle of the city runs the stunning Danube River, which by night comes to life with the help of beautifully lit bridges, lively bars and intimate restaurants. On the western bank of the river — home to the medieval quarter — is the grand palace and the multi-coloured Matthias Church, both rich in history and deserving of a visit.
Cross back over to the east of Budapest and soak up the architectural wonder of the Hungarian Parliament. If you're looking to enjoy the views from a more comfortable location, be sure to visit Leo, a rooftop bar located above Hotel Clark. Situated across from the Chain Bridge, the bar offers unrivalled panoramic views of the Danube and some delicious food, too.
With its atmospheric coffee shops, royal residences and one of the most spectacular Christmas markets in the world, Vienna is a city that is bursting with romance. It's also home to some of the greatest musicians in history — Beethoven and Mozart to name a few — so it's ideal for classical music lovers.
For a truly romantic and hassle-free Vienna visit, check out APT's Magnificent Europe tour where you can take in the Austrian capital's many landmarks from the intricate details of St Stephen's Cathedral to the splendour of the 1,441-room Schönbrunn Palace. The tour also offers guests an exclusive cocktail party and private recital with orchestral performances of Mozart at the Family of Lichtenstein's City Palace — it doesn't get much more romantic than that!
Forget Paris — France's true treasure, and real capital of love is Lyon. Thanks to its rich and complex history, Lyon is filled with architectural gems; the vintage décor of the Old Town — listed as a UNESCO World heritage Site — offers the perfect backdrop for a romantic stroll. Located between the River Saône and Rhône is Presqu'ile, the cultural heart of Lyon and one of the most romantic settings of the French city come night time.
Apart for the breathtaking architecture, Lyon has a lot to offer food fanatics — it is famous for its French cuisine after all. Located in the outskirts of the city is L'Abbaye de Collonges, an opulently decorated, fine dining French restaurant founded by Lyon's most famous chef, Paul Bocuse. Considering the way to the heart is through the stomach, it's probably worth paying this exceptional restaurant a visit.
If you've ever dreamed of a royal romance fit for a fairy tale, Sintra is your chance.
A resort town near Lisbon, Sintra is easily the most magical city in Portugal, filled with unique castles, including the National Palace of Pena. One of the finest attractions of Portugal, the Pena Palace is a colourful example of Romanticism style architecture. A mix of vividly painted terraces surrounded by a lush green forest, the Palace also boasts breathtaking views of the city of Sintra, making it a very romantic setting.
If lazy afternoons by the beach are more your thing, Sintra is home to some of the best beaches in all of Europe. Head down to the seaside town of Praia das Azenhas do Mar to enjoy an afternoon swim, sunset beach walks and some of the finest seafood in all of Portugal.
With a reputation for dazzling panoramas, romantic sunsets and volcanic-sand beaches, it comes as no surprise that Santorini has been titled Greece's crowning jewel of romance.
Historic villages cover most of the island and the best way to get around is either by car or quad-bike. Spend your days travelling to the Santorini's picturesque beaches, indulge in food and frappes at traditional Greek cafes or perhaps take a wine tour at Santo. Wind down after a romantic day in paradise in Oia, where you can take in spectacular sunsets views.
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Australian Women's WeeklyYesterday 5:55pm