Paris is for lovers, Venice a city practically made for honeymoons — but where do you go when you’ve romanced your way through the classics? You could always go back (trust us, we get it). Or, you could try something new and travel to one of our under-the-radar picks for those with alternative romantic destinations in mind. Read on to start planning where you’ll add more memories to your relationship’s highlight reel.
1. Find amour in Avignon
It’s hard to beat Paris when it comes to romance, but the charming city of Avignon is sure to win anyone’s heart. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you explore the charming old town surrounded by ancient walls. Take a trip outside the city and find the places that inspired Van Gogh’s iconic works of art. Discover the story behind the canvas, and who knows — maybe even the inspiration to create your own masterpiece.
2. Go wine tasting in Siena
Siena lets you sample an authentic slice of Italy away from the crowds. This Tuscan gem, with its Romanesque and Gothic architecture, provides the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. When you’re not eating your way through the tasty restaurants near Piazza del Campo, leave the city center behind and enjoy a special glass of wine (or two) while Chianti tasting in ancient castles. If that doesn’t say romance, we don’t know what does.
3. Be sleepless in Seattle
The west coast is (arguably) the best coast — but not because of classic destinations like LA and San Francisco. For a truly romantic adventure, trade the beaches and smoothies of California for the mountains and coffee of Washington. Seattle’s laidback atmosphere and gorgeous surrounding landscape make it a prime destination for quality time with your partner. And while we can’t guarantee your date will appear, you’re pretty much assured an amazing cup of coffee. Post-caffeine fix, earn some bonus points with your loved one by treating them to a picnic in Kerry Park, which comes with a panoramic view of Mt. Rainier. If you want to see the mountain up close, join a guided hike to one of America’s top natural sights.
4. Stroll through Cesky Krumlov
Been to Prague and want to go somewhere new? The picturesque Czech town of Český Krumlov will give your romantic getaway exactly what it needs. Just a few hours from Prague, make sure to explore the stunning interior and beautiful gardens of the town’s 13th-century castle. Next, marvel at a beautiful array of baroque-style architecture while munching on a trdelnik, a twisty cinnamon-flavored pastry. And last but not least, no trip to Český Krumlov is complete without a romantic lunch along the Vltava River. Make sure to soak in the views there before visiting some of the cute boutiques spread across town.
5. Unwind in sun-drenched Malta
Is there anything more romantic than a secluded Mediterranean island? We don’t think so. This year, swap ever-popular Santorini and Ibiza for the rising gem of Malta. This sun-soaked paradise will have you falling in love at first sight. Our tip: stick to the coast and treat your date to a candle-lit dinner at one of the many beachside restaurants. After all, stargazing makes for the best dessert. While you’re there, pay a visit to the country’s beautiful capital, Valletta. Take a trip to the city’s UNESCO World Heritage sites before touring the Grand Harbour on a traditional (and super romantic!) Dghajsa boat.
6. Get lost in translation in Kyoto
Kyoto is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Japan, especially if you visit during cherry blossom season. Not even Tokyo can match its magic in the spring. So much more than home to fragrant flora, Kyoto has all sorts of fun cafes and arcades to explore. Win your loved one a cuddly toy from a claw machine and take hilarious snaps in the ever-present photo booths. And when it comes to getting around, the best way is definitely by rickshaw.
7. Escape the world in Provincetown
New York might always be near the top of the charts when it comes to romantic cities, but why not swap the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple for the laid-back vibes of Provincetown? This romantic gem lies just a few hours outside of Boston in Cape Cod. And getting there? The trip alone is worth it. You can either take the fast ferry from Boston and potentially spot a few dolphins on the way or hop in your car and marvel at the amazing landscape. Spend your day strolling through town (preferably hand in hand) and browse through every artsy store you can find. Round it all off with a picnic at Race Point Lighthouse — the perfect spot for a sunset picnic.
8. Soak up the sun in Athens
If you think Europe’s romantic capital is Rome, you wouldn’t be alone, but you also wouldn’t be 100% right. Athens might sound a bit unconventional, but it definitely matches the romance of its Italian counterpart. With ancient history quite literally at your feet and Greek islands just a ferry ride away, Athens makes for a truly terrific trip. For a dose of nature, hike up Mt Lycabettus. There you’ll find a little chapel and incredible panoramic views of the city. Finish your day with a road trip to watch the sunset from the Temple of Poseidon.