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The World's Most Romantic Cities

Joanna Hall

We’ve been fortunate to visit many great cities of the world, and are often asked which ones we have found to be the most romantic, and why. As we celebrate the annual day of love, Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together a collection of our top 10 most romantic cities; places which we have visited multiple times, and which never fail to capture our hearts for good reason.


There’s no escaping the obvious romance of Paris, a graceful city which has always inspired love. The reasons why? Besides eye-catching architecture, fine wines and wonderful cuisine, in Paris you can stroll along the Seine at sunset, ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower for a romantic kiss with a view, indulge in the romantic nostalgia of a bygone era in the Right Bank shopping arcades, and stay at one of its oh-so romantic hotels. 


Our first visit to this historic Italian city was quite breathtaking, beating its larger cousin, Rome, for its compactness, and for possessing a Kodak moment at literally every turn. In Florence you can take in the view of the city at sunset from across the Arno River at Oltarno, stroll through the Boboli Gardens, savour great works of art including Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Venus Rising, and hit a quiet side street or alley for a cozy dinner for two. 

Quebec City 

This choice might surprise some people, but this gorgeous French Canadian city is packed with European charm and delights for lovers. A UNESCO World Heritage Treasure, a wander around the cobblestone Old City streets should be top of your list of romantic things to do, along with a ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Board a ferry and see the Old City from the river, stay in a romantic hotel, and enjoy fine wines and French cuisine in Quebec City’s many stylish restaurants.


This historic Czech city was one of the first we visited together as a couple, and it will long remain a favourite destination for many reasons. Take a walk up Petrin Hill to kiss your beloved in front of the romantic poet Karel Macha, take a cruise on the Vltava River or a vintage car tour to see the sights, stroll around the cobbled lanes of Old Town, relax at an open air beer garden, and in summer, plan a picnic at Letna Park combined with a view of the city landscape. 


This is another city which captured our hearts as a young couple, and with subsequent visits our passion for the Portuguese city hasn’t waned. It is bright, charismatic, and fun loving, and made for lovers. Take a stroll through the back streets and head up to its many miradouros, or lookouts, for a sunset view with a difference, take a ride on a traditional number 28 tram, enjoy a pastry at one of many pastelarias, and go port tasting at an uber-cool bar. 

New York 

Back in North America, and no list would be complete without the Big Apple. New York is just one of those cities that ticks all the boxes, and not just for lovers. Of the many options you can take a stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, enjoy cocktails at one of many rooftop bars including the romantic garden atop Chelsea’s McKittrick Hotel, walk the High Line at sunset, a repurposed, abandoned elevated railroad over 10th Avenue, and, of course, eat out.


Dubrovnik and romance simply go hand in hand; the Croatian city just oozes romance, from its cobblestone streets to its shimmering clear blue seas. Things to put on your romance list include walking the walls at sunset, taking a ride on the Dubrovnik Cable Car up the mountain called Srdj which towers above the city, enjoying the views from the top, and savouring the best of Mediterranean cuisine in one of an impressive lineup of dining venues.


Before visiting we’d heard that Kyoto was a top place for young Japanese couples to visit, as well as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. A stroll through the Bamboo Forest is essential, along with savouring the views from Shogunzuka Seiryuden temple, making a wish at one of the three waterfalls at Kiyomizu Dera Temple, and walking the Path of Love at Kifune Shrine. Wrap things up with dinner at Pontocho after sunset, enjoying traditional Japanese cuisine while people watching maiko and geiko. 


It has a reputation for being crowded, but Venice makes our list - because it’s Venice. A fusion of alleys, canals, lagoons and architecture, options to consider include staying in a canal-side hotel, taking a water taxi from the airport, enjoying an early breakfast at St. Mark’s Square, wandering through the Cannaregio area for the atmosphere, not sights, and eating like a local at a bacaro, a small bar where people for a glass of wine and a light meal. 

San Francisco

Our favourite city in North America also makes the list for a number of good reasons. Packed with hills, sights, and views, there is something for everyone to enjoy - and for lovers in particular. Take the stairs up Telegraph Hill for breathtaking views, enjoy a cocktail with a view such as at the Top of the Mark, dine out at the many restaurants of Nob Hill, walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and go sailing at sunset on a catamaran are just a few of the delights which await.


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