24 of the most romantic places in the world

Tim Chester

written by
Tim Chester

updated 25.04.2024

Whether you're looking for a beautiful beach to share a sundowner on, or you want to get lost in each other amongst the bustle of a city, here's our pick of 24 of the most romantic places in the world.

This article is inspired by our Rough Guides guidebooks — your essential guides for travelling the world.

1. The Seychelles

With luminous rainforest stretching down to dazzling beaches and warm seas, it’s no surprise that the islands of the Seychelles are such an intoxicating destination. 

The islands are home to a number of intimate, and often exclusive, resorts. You'll find many of them on beautiful La Digue island – a honeymooner’s paradise.

Where to stay:

Eden Island in Seychelles © GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

Eden Island in Seychelles - one of the most romantic places in the world © GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

2. Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Constructed afresh each winter, Jukkasjärvi's IceHotel is as much an art project as somewhere to spend the night. 

In Swedish Lapland, 200km north of the Arctic Circle, the hotel provides ample opportunities to snuggle up under furry blankets. It’s also an excellent place to see one of the most astounding natural phenomena – the northern lights.

Editor's tip: desperate to witness the wonder of the Northern LIghts? Discover the answers to all your questions in our Q&A with a Scandinavian expert.

Where to stay:

Things not to Miss: Entrance of Ice Bar at Ice Hotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden.

Jukkasjärvi's IceHotel © Shutterstock

3. The Lake District, England

With sixteen major lakes squeezed between England’s highest mountains, the Lake District deserves all its hype. The area is small – just 30 sq miles – but its beauty is breathtaking. 

Think long, romantic walks, picturesque villages, and fantastic pubs to cosy up in at the end of the day.

Editor's tip: read The Rough Guides to the Lake District to make the most of your romantic trip.

Where to stay:

Ullswater lake curves through the mountains of the English Lake District at Glenridding © Joe Dunckley/Shutterstock

Lake District © Shutterstock

4. Heidelberg, Germany

A pristine town, nestled in a wooded gorge on the River Necker, Heidelberg has inspired everyone from Goethe to Disraeli. 

The epitome of a German fairytale landscape, it's home to a hilltop medieval castle, and an abundance of gingerbread houses. As such, Heidelberg is a great romantic destination for a relaxed few days of fine food and people-watching.

Editor's tip: find more romantic cities in our run-down of the most beautiful towns in Germany.

Where to stay:

Heidelberg, Germany © leoks/Shutterstock

Heidelberg, Germany © leoks/Shutterstock

5. Venice, Italy

Endlessly fascinating, Venice boasts a landscape so rich that even the sheer number of tourists can’t detract from the beauty of this city. One of the most beautiful places in Italy, it's easy to see why Venice is also of the most romantic places in the world. 

The city is at its most alluring (and quietest) in winter. Mist descends over the canals, and a leisurely wander through the quieter streets at any time of year will lead you to discover the true heart of the city.

Editor's tip: enjoy a weekend getaway in the most romantic of cities with our 4-day tailor-made trip to romantic Venice.

Where to stay:


One of the most romantic places in the world - Venice © Shutterstock

6. Burgh Island, England

Separated from the mainland at high tide, the Art Deco hotel on Burgh Island has long been associated with old-fashioned glamour. Decked out in period furnishings, a stay here is like stepping back in time. 

Indulge yourselves sipping a pint in the old “smugglers” pub, swimming in the seawater rock pool, or getting your glad rags on for one of the famous dinner dances.

Where to stay:


Burgh Island, England © Shutterstock

7. Istanbul, Turkey

With one foot in Europe and the other in Asia, Istanbul has been irresistible to travellers for centuries. 

Boasting a staggering wealth of attractions – from Byzantine churches to the minarets of its Ottoman mosques – complemented by superb food and nightlife, Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the most romantic places in the world.

Editor's tip: explore Istanbul, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire with our 5-day tailor-made tour to Istanbul and Cappadocia.

Where to stay:

Blue mosque, Instanbul © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

Blue mosque, Instanbul © OPIS Zagreb/Shutterstock

8. Rajasthan, India

For many, Rajasthan is India at its most exotic. Certainly one of the most romantic places in India, our experts have also hailed it one of the most romantic places in the world.

How's this for a clutch of magical experiences? Evoke old-fashioned romance with a camel trip across the sands, then spend the evening relaxing in a luxury tented camp, under the wide, star-filled sky. 

Editor's tip: experience the Land of Kings in luxury with our tailor-made trip to Rajasthan.

Where to stay:

Rajasthan indian camel, India © Dmitry Rukhlenko/Shutterstock

Take a camel ride in Rajasthan © Shutterstock

9. Kyoto, Japan

Boasting Japan's richest culture, and most refined cuisine, complemented by ancient Buddhist temples, sublime gardens and majestic palaces, Kyoto is, for many, the epitome of traditional Japan. 

A place that wins over travellers' hearts around the year, spring is undoubtedly the most romantic time for a visit, as the cherry blossom trees burst into bloom.

Editor's tip: visit Kyoto and savor a Japanese tea ceremony with our tailor-made trip that takes in Japan's highlights.

Where to stay:


Geisha in Kyoto © Shutterstock

10. The Greek Islands

Whether you’re looking for the perfect sandy beach, that idyllic sunset view, or a traditional waterfront taverna, island-hopping around the Greek Islands holds irresistible appeal. 

Swimming in balmy seas at dusk, chatting over great local food and drinking under the stars — the simplest pleasures are best here.

Editor's tip: hop between Milos, Naxos and Amorgos on our romantic tailor-made trip to the Greek Islands.

Where to stay:

Little Venice, Mykonos, Greece © Ella Hanochi/Shutterstock

View of the sea in a Greek restaurant © Shutterstock

11. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio boasts some of the greatest landmarks in the world – Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain; Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and Sugar Loaf mountain. Not to mention one of the world’s most sensual festivals, Carnaval. 

With it's sublime setting, it’s fair to say that Rio isn’t just romantic —  it’s downright sexy.

Editor's tip: explore Rio de Janeiro on our tailor-made trip to breathtaking Brazil.

Where to stay:

View of Rio de Janeiro and Sugarloaf Mountain from Corcovado view point, Brazil © galaro/Shutterstock

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil © Shutterstock

12. New York City, USA

Dynamic, energetic and diverse — there’s nowhere else quite like New York City

From the tenements of the Lower East Side to the brownstones and nightlife of Brooklyn, it’s a place where every corner throws up something new, and yet familiar — the perfect urban landscape to fall in love to.

Editor's tip: deciding where to bed down in the Big Apple sure ain't easy, so read our guide to where to stay in New York City

Where to stay:

New York City with the Brooklyn Bridge © Taiga/Shutterstock

The majestic New York City © Shutterstock

13. The Winelands, South Africa

South Africa is abundant in spectacular landscapes, and one of its most beguiling lies just a short drive from Cape Town. Namely, the orderly vineyards of the Winelands, set against striking white Cape Dutch architecture and dramatic mountains. 

And of course, nothing quite sets up a romantic scene like a glass or two of the finest local wine.

Editor's tip: discover the region's natural beauty with our tailor-made tour covering wildlife, wine and whales of Cape Town.

Where to stay:

Cape vineyard Buitenverwachting, South Africa © Gareth Weeks/Shutterstock

Cape vineyard Buitenverwachting, South Africa © Gareth Weeks/Shutterstock

14. Patagonia, Argentina

The romance of adventure is evident whle travelling through Patagonia — this immense area is both legendary and extreme. 

Landscapes veer from the breathtaking natural wonder of the craggy Perito Moreno Glacier to the savagely beautiful peaks of the Fitz Roy massif. Marvel at whales, penguins and elephant seals, and feel as though you’re travelling to the edge of the world.

Beyond Patagonia, Argentina has plenty to offer visitors — a glacier the size of a city, sizzling tango, fashionable barrios, artisan towns, ranches with horses and gauchos, and wild untamed natural beauty. 

Editor's tip: discover Argentina with our tailor-made trip from Buenos Aires to Patagonia.

Where to stay:


Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia makes it one of the most romantic places in the world © Shutterstock

15. Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti, the classic desert island idyll – tiny islands, crystal-clear waters and quiet beaches – is the perfect landscape for two. 

Choose an overwater bungalow for the ultimate castaway experience, complemented by leisurely days of swimming, sunbathing and gazing out at the endless ocean views.

Where to stay:

View of the sandy beach with palm trees, Bora Bora, French Polynesia © gg-foto/Shutterstock

Picturesque Tahiti islands - one of the most romantic places to visit in the world © Shutterstock

16. Bali, Indonesia

Bali is an island of towering, cloud-topped volcanoes and vibrant green rice fields that terrace down to the ocean. It has a mesmerising traditional culture, world-class beach resorts, and is undeniably enchanting. 

As for romantic activities, dine barefoot on the sand by candlelight, relax with a traditional massage, or soak up the scenery from a mystical temple.

Editor's tip: celebrate your love on this magical island with our tailor-made love trip to Bali and make sure to read our guide to the best time to visit Bali.

Where to stay:

Main Bali temple Pura Besakih at the foot of the volcano Agung © Yolya Ilyasova/Shutterstock

Volcanoes in the Bali © Shutterstock

17. Paris, France — one of the most romantic places in the world

It may be a cliché to call Paris romantic, but that doesn’t make it any less true. This glamorous city is at its most compelling when explored on foot, discovering not just the obvious sites, but also its off-the-beaten-track treasures.

Explore tucked-away streets on the islands in the Seine, Formica-clad cafés that haven’t changed for decades, and smaller neighbourhoods where locals outnumber tourists.

Not sure where to stay? Read our guide to the best areas to stay in Paris. And, if you're travellling on a budget, read up on free things to do in Paris

Editor's tip: if you want to splash out a little, stay in the luxurious Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme on our tailor-made romantic Paris city break.

Where to stay:

Louvre museum in Paris

Le Louvre, Paris © Shutterstock

18. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

For a romantic break with a difference, head to the charming Eastern European city of Mostar. Relatively tourist-free, this historic city rests snuggly in a river valley. 

it's a place to spend your days wandering cobbled streets, marvelling at its many minarets, and relaxing in chic cafés.

Intrigued? Discover the best things to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Where to stay:


Charming Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina © Shutterstock

19. Fez, Morocco

Arguably Morocco's cultural and spiritual heart, Fez remains the world’s most complete and unspoilt medieval Islamic settlement. 

The city stimulates the senses, not least in the extraordinary Medina-city of Fez el Bali, where its souks are home to a barrage of hauntingly beautiful sounds, striking visual details and tantalising smells.

Editor's tip: explore the cultural capital of Fez with our tailor-made Highlights of Morocco trip.

Where to stay:

Fez tanneries, Morocco © Shutterstock

Fez, Morocco © Shutterstock

20. Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

This rugged and remote landlocked national park in Tanzania boasts exceptional game and big-cat viewing. 

The best way to experience the landscape is from one of the park’s stylish but sustainable tented camps, many of which will enable you to spot giraffe and elephants without stepping beyond your private terrace.

Editor's tip: read up on how to plan a Tanzanian safari.

Where to stay:


Elephants in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania © Shutterstock

21. Quebec City, Canada

Spread over the promontory Cap Diamant and the banks of the St Lawrence River, Quebec City is one of Canada’s most beautifully located cities, and certainly its most historic one. 

For example, Vieux-Québec, surrounded by solid fortifications, is the only walled city in North America, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Authentically and profoundly French-Canadian, it's also one of the most romantic places in the world.

Where to stay:

Frontenac Castle in Old Quebec City © Lopolo/Shutterstock

Frontenac Castle in Old Quebec City © Lopolo/Shutterstock

22. The Maldives

Comprising 26 coral atolls and over 1200 islands, the overall land area of the Maldives archipelago is just twice the size of Washington DC. 

But, with some of the finest deep sea diving on the planet, palm-fringed beaches, and the absence of any agriculture or industry, the Maldives has become the ultimate island getaway.

Editor's tip: spend your days on the beach and exploring the fascinating underwater world with our tailor-made trip to the Luxurious Maldives.

Where to stay:

Pool on tropical Maldives island © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

Pool on tropical Maldives island © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

23. Udaipur, India

Spreading around the shores of the idyllic Lake Pichola and backdropped by a majestic ring of craggy green hills, Udaipur seems to encapsulate India at its most quintessentially romantic. 

Ornately turreted and balconied palaces, whitewashed havelis and bathing ghats are clustered around the waters of the lake. Or, in the case of the Lake Palace hotel and Jag Mandir, they seem to float magically upon them.

Where to stay:

Jag Mandir Palace, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India © Blue Sky Studio/Shutterstock

Jag Mandir Palace, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India © Blue Sky Studio/Shutterstock

24. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Occupying the southern side of Sorrento’s peninsula, the Amalfi Coast lays claim to being Europe’s most beautiful stretch of coast.

Its corniche road winds around the towering cliffs that slip almost sheer into the sea, with some of the most spectacular stretches between Salerno and Amalfi.

Editor's tip: take inspiration from our tailor-made trip to Tuscany and Amalfi Coast.

Where to stay:

Sorrento in Italy © Shutterstock

Sorrento, Italy © Shutterstock

If you're in the market for an unforgettable romantic break — and could do without the hassle of planning and booking — contact our local travel experts. They'll take care of curating your perfect trip.

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