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10 Most Romantic Things to Do in Europe for Couples

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Thermal hot springs in Tuscany, Italy

Thermal hot springs in Tuscany, Italy

Whether touring historic quarters or viewing masterpieces in famous galleries, the 10 most romantic things to do in Europe for couples invite you to embrace intimacy with your partner.

From gliding along gleaming waterways to stepping foot in the grand castles of medieval fortress towns, soaking in hot springs to sampling delicacies at culinary hotspots, European experiences and iconic attractions will seduce you and your partner.

We reveal the top things to do on romantic vacations in Europe and provide ideas on how to see, experience, and embrace the activities from one European country to the next.

  1. 1. Cruise Europe’s Magnificent Waterways
  2. 2. Soak in Europe’s Geothermal Hot Springs
  3. 3. Bask in a Famous Greek Sunset
  4. 4. Tour Fairytale Castles for a Taste of European History
  5. 5. Enjoy Scenic Drives Along Breathtaking Coastlines
  6. 6. Sample the Regional Flavors on Classic Food Tours
  7. 7. Revel in the Charm of Unique Experiences
  8. 8. Indulge in the Marvelous Flavors of Celebrated Wines
  9. 9. Explore the Wonders of Nature in National Parks
  10. 10. Search for the Spellbinding Northern Lights
  11. Experience the Most Romantic Things to Do in Europe for Couples

1. Cruise Europe’s Magnificent Waterways

Canals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Canals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Rivers, streams, channels, and tributaries flow across the European continent and urge travelers to cruise across their gleaming waters as centuries of people have and continue to do so for commerce, pleasure, and romance.

During your European vacation, you may wander down to the banks of the Venetian waterways and drift during sunset as a gondolier navigates the shimmering waters. In Paris, you may cross the Seine River in the evening as the Eiffel Tower’s lights twinkle against the starry sky, while Amsterdam’s canals are a romantic way to see the city.

These are but a few of the mesmerizing waterway voyages for you to experience during your romantic European vacation, whether in bustling cities, the countryside, or national parks.

Best Waterways for Cruises: Venice canals in Italy for gondola tours • Paris’ Seine River in France for sunset cruises • Amsterdam canals in the Netherlands for city tours

2. Soak in Europe’s Geothermal Hot Springs

Couple soaking in geothermal hot springs of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Photo courtesy of The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon

Europe’s volcanic regions are home to impressive geothermal formations, remarkable volcanic landscapes, and hot springs that bubble and boil between the earth’s crust, and in which you and your partner can soak for an afternoon.

You may find a temperate steamy pool in which to take a dip and treasure the cloudy geothermal scenes therefrom. Images of soaring volcanic peaks, former lava fields stretching towards the horizon, and culinary delights cooked in soil heated from the earth's core will be your reward for retreating to the geothermal waters.

Whether escaping the cold of northern Europe in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon or enjoying a unique hot spring experience on Spain tours at Hammam Al Ándalus, Europe’s geothermal waters are an invigorating activity to enjoy on vacation.

Best Hot Springs to Soak In: Blue Lagoon, Iceland • Hévíz Lake, Hungary • Laugarvatn Fontana, Iceland • Pantelleria, Italy • Hammam Al Ándalus, Spain

3. Bask in a Famous Greek Sunset

Oia White City, Santorini Island, Greece

Oia White City, Santorini Island, Greece

Grecian sunsets are some of the best in Europe, as lofty viewpoints look out beyond the horizon where the sunlight fades behind the sapphire sea, flooding the beaches hugging Greece and the Greek islands.

There is something special about winding down for the day with a cocktail in hand as the music from bars pumps, locals twist and twirl to the rhythm, and the sunset sets the sky ablaze.

Whether capturing the scenes from stunning cliffs on tours of Santorini and Athens or wandering the magical promenades on Mykonos vacations, a sunset in Greece is a sensational experience in Europe.

Best Greek Sunset Destinations: Oia, Santorini • Little Venice, Mykonos • Sounio, Attica • Keri Lighthouse, Zakynthos • Nea Paralia, Thessaloniki

Learn more: Greece Tours & VacationsGreece Travel Guide

4. Tour Fairytale Castles for a Taste of European History

Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany

Castles riddle the European countryside the way seashells scatter the beaches, and you can tour them to unravel the history of Europe as seen in the distinct architectural designs of different royal buildings.

The castles are all over the continent, each a ticket for you to immerse yourself in fairytales derived from the medieval stories told within these elaborate and grand halls. You will discern the distinct differences in style from one castle to another as you step foot inside Moorish architectural marvels, Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance palaces, and medieval fortresses.

From dreamy scenes of Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the world’s fairytale destinations, to old-world elegance in the UK’s best castles to visit, history is on display on European castle tours.

Best Castles for History Tours: The Palace of Pena, Portugal • The Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany • Caisleán an Leasa Mhóir, Ireland • The Chateau de Chambord, France • Windsor Castle, England

5. Enjoy Scenic Drives Along Breathtaking Coastlines

Eze village, Cote d'Azur, French Riviera

Eze village, Cote d'Azur, French Riviera

The European coastlines are some of the most extraordinary in the world couples can embrace their unending beauty, from Croatia to Portugal, France to Ireland, and on scenic drives along the shoreline.

Whether chaperoned by a tour guide or self-driving, you may let the best beaches in the Mediterranean blow you away, immerse yourselves in the cultural charms along the Portuguese coastline, see the incredible scenes at colorful villages of the Amalfi Coast, and more.

Europe’s scenic drives make for compelling photography and offer travelers opportunities to stop in charming towns preserving centuries of tradition along the seaboard.

Best Coastal Scenic Drives: Adriatic Highway, Croatia • Algarve Coast, Portugal • Amalfi Coast, Italy • French Riviera, France • Ring of Kerry, Ireland

6. Sample the Regional Flavors on Classic Food Tours

Spanish Paella

Spanish Paella

European cuisine differs dramatically from one destination to another, giving couples a chance to explore the world of flavors on food tours unveiling the distinct qualities of regional classics.

Each dish may pamper your palate as you tuck into haute cuisine at Michelin-starred restaurants, indulge in local meals at authentic eateries, and sample the street food in modest villages or at food stalls in the best food and wine destinations in Europe.

The depth of flavors to enjoy depends on your willingness to try the range of dishes and fan-favorite culinary additions that trace back generations of cooking traditions, customs, and recipes, as well as reflect modern cooking trends.

Best Culinary Experiences: Catalan countryside cuisine tour, Spain • Picpoul wine-tasting experience, France • Gourmet culinary dining in Copenhagen, Denmark • Chocolatier tours, France and Belgium

Learn more: Europe Food & Wine Tours & Vacations

7. Revel in the Charm of Unique Experiences

Carriage ride at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

Several unique experiences in various European countries will let you and your partner catch a break and step away from bustling city life to cherish moments of seclusion and quiet in and around parks, lakes, and reserves.

The charming cultural highlights include horse-carriage rides that will let you feel like a prince and princess, cycling along breathtaking coastal promenades in Europe’s best cycling destinations, walking tours of the historic landmarks peppering ancient towns, and scooter drives through the Cycladic villages of Greece, to name a few.

Whether exploring Greece’s hidden gems or the secrets of Italy, the array of unique experiences in Europe draws travelers from all over on first-time trips or those returning to their favorite romantic places in Europe for activities off the beaten path.

Best Unique Experiences: Horse-carriage ride through Vienna, Austria • Island-hopping adventure to the Greek Islands • Tapas tour of Spanish bars • Walking tours of old towns and fishing villages in Portugal

8. Indulge in the Marvelous Flavors of Celebrated Wines

Douro Valley Vineyards, Portugal

Douro Valley, Portugal

Each European destination or wine country is home to unique wine-making traditions that drive the production of regional vintages at elite estates sprinkling the flourishing valleys, all perfect for romantic wine-tasting experiences in Europe.

Portugal is home to celebrated wines in Alentejo and the Douro Valley, a few of Portugal’s best wine regions that are as picturesque as they are famous for their offerings. Tuscany is home to golden hillsides that produce an assortment of export-quality wines to be enjoyed as you watch the sunset on Italy food and wine tours. And Geneva boasts a thriving wine industry around the corner from snowy alps.

You can spend time treating your taste buds to the range of exquisite flavors during your honeymoon or romantic escape to Europe when enjoying regional wine-tasting experiences.

Best Wine Destinations: Tuscany, Italy • Alentejo, Portugal • Catalonia, Spain • Bordeaux, France • Mosel, Germany • Geneva, Switzerland • Eger, Hungary

Learn more: 16 Best Food & Wine Destinations in Europe

9. Explore the Wonders of Nature in National Parks

Bastei Bridge, Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany

Bastei Bridge at Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany

Diverse national parks dominate much of the European landscape and welcome travelers to wilderness wonderlands that range from snowy, alpine peaks to emerald pastures, sunbathed coastlines, floral plains, and beyond.

Whether you and your partner explore the frosted summits of Switzerland or immerse yourselves in geothermal formations across Iceland, you will come across an array of colorful and fascinating creatures that call these European wildlife sanctuaries home.

Among the endemic wildlife live remarkable flora and marine life that thrive in the sweeping waters of the Mediterranean, and you can enjoy the wilderness scenes, whether exploring the best national parks in Italy or Spain’s remote regions.

Best National Parks: Écrins National Park, France • Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy • Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Spain • Peneda-Gerês National Park, Portugal • Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany • Hoge Veluwe National Park, Netherlands

10. Search for the Spellbinding Northern Lights

Couple watching the northern lights in Iceland

Northern lights in Iceland

The Northern Lights remain one of the greatest natural spectacles in the world, and couples retreat to the icy regions of Iceland and beyond to capture the incredible display.

From lodges in full view of the marvelous polar-light exhibition to viewpoints that lie beneath the dazzling atmospheric dance, there are surreal spots across Europe to witness and snapshot the spellbinding Northern Lights.

During Iceland tours and vacations, you can learn more about the mysterious occurrence and watch the cosmos from behind the colorful lights.

Best Places to View the Northern Lights: Reykjavik, Iceland • The Isle of Skye, Scotland

Experience the Most Romantic Things to Do in Europe for Couples

Couple watching the sunset in Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Europe invites eager couples on their honeymoon or those escaping for an enchanting vacation to experience these 10 romantic activities at the best European destinations for couples. Further, our handcrafted Europe honeymoon packages and romantic Europe tours for couples can share more inspiration for your trip.

Let your worries melt away as you and your partner relish romance from Italy to Iceland or France to Spain, discovering more romantic travel advice in our Europe travel guide.

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