Europe's Most Romantic Cities, Ranked in Time for Valentine's Day Travel Planning

Planning a romantic escape with your sweetheart to Europe? This new list of the continent’s most romantic cities may help you narrow down your list – or add a few unexpected entries.

A European yacht-charter company has analyzed data showing how many ‘romantic’ hotel and restaurants per capita can be found in a list of European capital cities to determine which best set the scene for love.
The list may surprise you – it turns out, some of Europe’s smaller capitals have higher per capita numbers of intimate hotels and restaurants, that can make them ideal for a romantic getaway.
For example, maybe you guessed that Paris would top the list of most romantic cities. In fact, the City of Light is not even number two. The capital of France comes in at number three on the list, with 648 restaurants and 253 hotels per million people. For lovers who are also foodies, Paris also distinguishes itself with the highest number of Michelin-star restaurants, with nearly 90 in total, nine of which have been awarded three stars.

Of course, fine dining isn’t always the most romantic thing to do in Paris with your sweetheart; a stroll along the Seine under the city’s evening lights, sharing a crepe purchased from a street vendor, may end up being one of your most memorable evenings anywhere.
Top place for highest number of romantic hotels restaurants in a European capital city goes to a current continental hot spot: Lisbon, Portugal with 1,077 romantic restaurants and 278 hotels per million residents.
The capital of the tiny, exclusive principality of Monaco comes in second. Monte Carlo has the highest number of restaurants per million residents in the entire list: 1472 romantic restaurants per million residents and 164 hotels per million. Of course, Monte Carlo doesn’t have even close to one million residents. In fact, it has fewer than 40,000 inhabitants, and in absolute numbers, it has just 54 total romantic restaurants and six intimate hotels. 

Monte Carlo packs above its weight in romance, though: in less than one square mile, couples can pack in the romance of drives along the Corniche overlooking the azure waves of the Mediterranean, and stroll along the harbor front where billionaires’ yachts glide in and out of town.

The rest of the list boasts a number of other, smaller, and more off-the-radar European capitals, too, highlighting the attraction of the path less trodden for a romantic getaway. What’s more, your escape with your sweetheart may be more romantic in smaller cities with fewer people and especially fewer tourists as Europe approaches the busy high season.
Here’s the possibly surprising list of the top ten most romantic European capitals by the number of romantic hotels and restaurants per million inhabitants:
  1. Lisbon, Portugal
  2. Monte Carlo, Monaco
  3. Paris, France
  4. San Marino, Italy
  5. Rome, Italy
  6. Andorra la Vella, Andorra
  7. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  8. Athens, Greece
  9. Prague, Czech Republic
  10. Reykjavik, Iceland
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Video and article by Lynn Elmhirst, Cruise/ Travel journalist and expert

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