The Most Romantic Places Around the World for Couples To Visit
Truly, madly, deeply: These romantic destinations will fan the flames of your passion with their flirtatious names, fanciful histories, and fairy-tale vistas.
Grab your sweetheart (and your suitcase) for a couple’s adventure that’s all about celebrating your love. A pilgrimage to the majestic Taj Mahal or a picnic for two on Lover’s Beach may be just what you need to rekindle your chemistry. Head to a classic destination like the “Honeymoon Capital of the World,” surprise your one and only with a getaway to the “Paris of South America,” or choose another of these swoon-worthy spots to fall head over heels once again.
Baja California, Mexico
Harness the power of suggestion with a sail to the spectacular sands of Lover’s Beach (also known as Playa del Amor), a remote slice of paradise set where the Sea of Cortez meets the waters of the Pacific at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula. Soaring limestone rock formations isolate this golden stretch from the rest of Los Cabos, so the only way to reach the beach is by sea. Just be sure to land on the right spot, as next to Lover’s Beach rise the perilous cliffs of, ahem, Divorce Beach (Playa del Divorcio).
New York, USA, and Ontario, Canada
Channel history and Hollywood with a jaunt to the iconic Niagara Falls straddling the border between the US and Canada. A favorite destination for honeymooners since the early 19th century, this natural wonder has provided the dramatic backdrop for countless romantic ballads, films, and declarations of eternal love. You and your boo can marvel at the thundering falls as you cruise through the mist or take in its majesty from above with a scenic helicopter flight, plus steal a kiss at a height of 175 feet (53 meters) on board the Niagara Skywheel.
The road trip montage is a romantic movie standby, so create your own silver-screen adventure along one of the most scenic stretches of highway in Europe. Germany’s Romantic Road winds its way through the storybook landscape of Bavaria, passing medieval castles, walled villages, and rolling vineyards on its more than 220-mile (355-km) route. Stop to wander hand-in-hand through the streets of Rothenburg on the Tauber River, gaze starry-eyed at the Neuschwanstein and Linderhof castles, and picnic on the banks of the Forggensee.
No more romantic story has ever been told than that of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Venture to the magnificent Italian city of Verona to visit Juliet’s House, where you can stand on the famed balcony as your “Romeo” declares their adoration from below. Then take a moonlight stroll through the old town to the ancient Roman Arena and enjoy an evening concert or opera performance; as darkness falls, the audience lights thousands of small candles that flicker fetchingly in the stands like the stars that Romeo so famously (and tragically) defied.
This spectacular ancient Buddhist temple is home to the Jishu Shrine, said to be the city’s oldest shrine dedicated to love. Presided over by Okuninushi-no-mikoto, the god of relationships, Jishu Shrine is a popular destination for those looking for love — its matchmaking powers are legendary — as well as couples seeking a divine blessing over their union. Walk between the shrine’s two Koiuranai-no-ishi (Love Fortune Stones) with your eyes closed as your partner guides you for an extra pinch of luck in love and be sure to purchase one of the many relationship-related charms for enduring good fortune as a couple.
Never has heartbreak taken as splendid a form as the Taj Mahal, the dazzling marble mausoleum built by Mogul emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a tomb for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This monument to eternal love is considered the finest example of Mogul architecture in the world and is particularly stunning at dawn when its soaring dome glows golden and the masses of tourists have yet to arrive. Otherwise, try to snag one of the very limited tickets for a moonlight visit available only five nights each month: the night of the full moon and the two nights preceding and following.
Sexy and sophisticated, Buenos Aires combines cosmopolitan cool with the sultry heat of tango, making it an ideal romantic destination for couples who thrive on the buzz of a major city. Known as the Paris of South America, Argentina’s capital is certainly a city of love in its own right, rich in lavish architecture, lively parrillas (steak houses), and the legendary milongas (tango dance clubs) of San Telmo. Explore the city’s sights by day and then delve into its seductive nightlife with a tango show and dinner once the sun sets.
Cape Town, South Africa
Raise a glass and toast to the apple of your eye in one of the most mesmerizing wine countries on the globe. Set between Cape Town and the Cape Fold Mountains, this series of idyllic valleys is home to a clutch of historic towns and farmsteads that produce some of South Africa’s premier wines. Take a day trip by car, wine tram, mountain bike, or even private helicopter to the vineyards of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl to visit boutique wineries and sample their vintages, relax over a tasting lunch with a view, and admire the classic Dutch architecture and sweeping views across the vines to the mountain peaks on the horizon.
Author: Rebecca Winke
Rebecca’s first visit to Italy was a coup de foudre and her affection for Il Bel Paese has only grown over almost 30 years of living here, during which time she has mastered the art of navigating the sampietrini cobblestones in heels but has yet to come away from a plate of bucatini all’amatriciana with an unsullied blouse. She covers Italy travel, culture, and cuisine for a number of print and online publications.