Every place has its own unique feel to it. Some cities are exciting; others serene. Some inspire creativity, joy, or fun. The cities on this short list are all places that are inherently romantic. Whether you’re with a significant other or not, something about the architecture, the weather, or the general vibe of each of these cities exudes closeness and romance.
To answer your first question: no, Paris is not on this list. The reason for that is because of all the French-speaking cities in the world, Montreal is actually far more romantic than Paris. Montreal has all the charm and enchantment of a French city without all the unpleasant things that go along with it. Though it’s a big city, it has a small town feel to it. The people are nicer and more welcoming. The food is every bit as refined as the food in France. You can get hopelessly lost on the cobblestone streets that line the city, walking past markets, shops, bars, or museums. The beautiful park surrounding Mount Royal gives you a perfect vantage point of the city and is great for a cozy picnic.
This is the perfect example of the kind of place where you can do anything and it feels romantic; whether you’re taking in the exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts or enjoying the beauty of the Notre Dame Basilica, which is arguably the most stunning in all of North America, and probably rivals some of the cathedrals in Europe, too. Even the small cafes and tea houses have an intimate feel, and you can have delicious pastries and chocolates along with your coffee anywhere you go.
There’s something about a place where you can only get by on foot or by boat that adds to its romantic allure. Everything is slower somehow. Everything in Venice is slightly weathered which adds a quaint touch to the city’s beautiful canals and narrow spaces. It’s a relatively small city so you’ll realize that you can walk without a problem from one end to another through all the winding streets and over the tiny bridges. That kind of freedom takes a little bit of the stress and hecticness out of a vacation. If you want to get somewhere a little faster, you can always hop on a ferry and ride down the grand canal.
I recommend spending some time in the San Marco plaza. You can go up to the balcony of St. Mark’s Basilica and enjoy the birds and the people from above. You can take long walks along the water to the very tip of Venice or venture over the Rialto bridge to the markets on the other side. Venice is the perfect place to have a glass of wine and stare out at the gondolas on the water. Speaking of gondolas, one of the most exciting things to do there is take a gondola ride. It’ll give you a unique view of the city along the Grand Canal and the smaller canals inside the city. If you’re lucky your gondolier will sing for you.
I don’t know what it is about Greece but they definitely have a monopoly on beautiful sunsets. I know we all share the same sun, but it just looks better from the Greek islands. And nothing says romance like a beautiful sunset. Having visited several Greek islands, no other one has the same romantic feel quite like Santorini. With its blue and white-domed houses lining the shoreline and nothing but ocean all around you, it’s hard not to feel a little like you should be on a honeymoon when you’re in Santorini. It’s the kind of place where you just want to spend all day walking around in a long flowy white outfit reflecting some of the beauty of the place around you.
Sunset cruises are all the rage in Santorini and with good reason: seeing Santorini from a boat is almost better than being in Santorini. They’ll serenade you with a sax rendition of “Careless Whisper,” to boot. But having an amazing dinner on a rooftop at dusk is not far behind. You can also be active and hike from Fira to Oia and every bit of scenery will be spectacular the entire way. Of course, you can also enjoy the beaches. There are few spots more romantic than a beautiful beach in Greece.