The most romantic time of year is almost upon us. Come the 14th February, millions of us will be taking the time to show some appreciation to that special someone in our lives. Whilst small gestures such as flowers, cards and chocolates are always incredibly welcome, if you’re looking for a truly unforgettable Valentine’s Day, it might be time to make some memories a little further from home.
From strolls through city parks, to cosy candlelit dinners and adventures to be had arm-in-arm; here are our top trips for two this Valentine’s Day.
With its many miles of canals and quirky, distinctive architecture, it’s hard not to be swept away by Amsterdam. There’s simply no better place to enjoy a walk together, diving into independent bistros and curiosity shops as you go.
If the weather’s kind, hiring two bikes and peddling your way through the beautiful green Vondelpark is sure to ramp up the romance. What’s more, the hip Jordaan district is packed full of establishments where you’ll enjoy great wine and even better conversation. To really add some wow factor, book yourselves in at SkyLounge Amsterdam, atop the Doubletree hotel. You’ll be treated to 360-degree panoramic views out over the city, accompanied by some of the best cocktails in town. Before you head home, pay a visit to the city’s famous flower market – see if you can sneakily buy a tulip to surprise your loved one with later.
Toronto may not be the first place that comes to mind when you envisage a romantic escape, but if you both love a good dose of culture when you travel, you can’t go wrong here. The city is one of the most multicultural in the world, and plays host to an incredible list of ethnic neighbourhoods.
You’ll enjoy chatter over Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin or Szechuan fare in Toronto’s sprawling Chinatown, and once you’re done there, you’ll be glad to know you’ve still barely scratched the surface. Whether you next call in at Greektown, Little Italy, Little India, Little Poland or Portugal Village is entirely up to the two of you.
When you need to come up for air, you have two options. Either a romantic walk through the lush greenery of Toronto Islands, or an ascent to the viewing deck 447 metres up the CN Tower should give you both a moment you won’t forget.
A city with an amorous reputation, Rome certainly doesn’t disappoint. This historic capital’s been a port of call for lovers for centuries, and with so many memories to be made and sights to take in, it’s easy to see why.
A must-do for any couple visiting the Italian capital is to dine with a view. You’ll find incredible rooftop restaurants in every corner of the city, all offering vistas out over Rome’s red roofs, domes and bell towers – but our favourite would have to be La Terrazza at the Hotel Eden. The views are unbeatable and the fare rivals some of Europe’s biggest-name restaurants.
The hip Trastevere district is the perfect place for you both to hang out and recharge your batteries, when you’re not taking in sights such as the Trevi Fountain, The Colosseum and the Vatican. You’ll find rustic watering holes hidden down ivy-coated alleyways, while the Gelateria alla Scala is undoubtedly the district’s best ice cream spot.
Make some memories when you jet off to the city-state of Singapore. This small island nation certainly packs a heck of a lot in, and plays host to plenty of attractions the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
One spot you can’t miss is the incredible Gardens by the Bay. This vast nature park, complete with its space-age greenhouses and other-worldly ‘Supertrees’, is like nothing you’ll have ever seen before. Naturally, it’s busy, so if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter to spend time together; Coney Island is an excellent choice. This picturesque island is home to more than 80 species of bird and is flanked by beautiful and tranquil beaches.
For a more lively experience, head to the glamorous and exclusive Black Swan. This art-deco styled, Gatsby-esque party space boasts a plush interior and phenomenal cocktails. For a tipple with a view, Smoke & Mirrors promises one of the best vistas in town. You can take in skyline views of The Padang, Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands as you toast to your love for each other.
Lisbon might just be Europe’s most underrated city, and for a romantic getaway, it has just about everything you could ask for. Crumbling antiquated architecture, cosy little bars tucked away in basements, winding cobbled streets that slope down to the water’s edge.
For an especially dreamy experience, hop on a train to the beautiful hill-top city of Sintra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is like something from a fairytale, with sprawling gardens separating castles and manor houses. For a bite to eat in the area, you can’t miss Saudade, where sweet treats are served up in authentic surrounds.
Many visitors would argue that the Portuguese capital is at its best by night. Head to the Barrio Alto neighbourhood, and settle down for Petiscos (Portuguese tapas) by candlelight in rustic spots like Alfaia Garrafeira. Once you’ve had your fill, head to a nearby Fado house and take in this unique style of music.
What list of romantic destinations would be complete without Paris? The French capital has long-since declared itself the ‘city of love’, and it’s a claim we simply cannot dispute. Romance oozes from every plaza, park and tree-lined boulevard, with no end of classically-styled cafes, grand museums and elegant monuments for you to stroll down arm in arm.
If you need some time to yourselves away from the crowds at the city’s iconic attractions, head for Coulée verte René-Dumont. This elevated former rail viaduct has been transformed into a beautiful garden walkway that snakes its way above the streets. When you’ve worked up an appetite, Bistro Paradis in the 10th arrondissement promises hearty French fare in chic surrounds.
A stroll along the Seine will be high on your to-do list, but you may prefer to take on the route from the warmth of a boat given the time of year. Though the most anticipated moment of all, surely, will be your time together atop the Eiffel Tower.
With these romantic destinations and many more, let flights from Manchester Airport take you somewhere special this Valentine’s Day.