Venice in Italy is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Picture: Supplied.

Here are some European cities that exude love: 

Paris, France

Couples are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to what they can do in the City of Light. A must is a visit to the Eiffel Tower, of course, which offers panoramic views of the city. 

While soaking up the beauty before you, it is also the perfect spot to pop the question. Don’t forget to visit Montmartre and the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur on its summit. It is also a nightclub district if you want to let your hair down.

Other options include a romantic stroll down the tranquil 19th-century towpaths of Canal St-Martin or enjoy a paddle in Bois de Boulogne.

Where to stay

The Sourire Boutique Hôtel Particulier is 2.4km from the Eiffel Tower. It has a terrace, a shared lounge and a bar, as well as free wi-fi.
The property is situated 2.6km from Parc des Princes, 2.9km from Arc de Triomphe and 3.1km from Palais des Congrès de Paris. Attractions in the area include Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles, 3.5 km away, or Orsay Museum, set 4.5km from the property. Priced from R3 000 – R4 000 a night.

For a more budget-friendly option, try Villa Montmartre, which is 500m from the Sacré Coeur Basilica and a 20-minute walk from the Moulin Rouge. The property offers studios serviced by a lift and free wi-fi access in public areas. Each studio features a flat-screen TV, a seating area and a private bathroom with a shower.

Guests can prepare their own meals at Villa Montmartre. The studio’s kitchenette is complete with kitchenware, a stove and a fridge. This property is 250m from the Château Rouge Metro Station, which leads directly to Notre-Dame Cathedral. Gare du Nord Train Station is a 15-minute walk away. Priced from as low as R1 300.

Where to eat

The Le Train Bleu comes highly recommended. Built circa 1900 and unveiled a year later, guests get to dine in a room where the ceiling is a work of art and the gold furnishings and chandeliers complement the history of the restaurant. The food is the centrepiece here. 

If you are a meat-lover, you won’t be disappointed. Aside from the meat carved at the tables, the steak tartare is prepared to your liking in front of you. And the flambéed desserts are the cherry on the top.

Venice, Italy 

This is one of the most romantic cities in the world. The landscape lends itself beautifully to celebrating love. And if you want to up the ante, opt for a serenading gondolier.

If you can squeeze in a tour or a show at the Teatro La Fenice. Either way, you will leave completely spellbound by its beauty, ditto for the cobbled streets of Dorsoduro, which has a very bohemian vibe. Also, it’s bustling with modest eateries, impressive museums, churches and galleries, as well as a plethora of vintage boutiques. 

Don’t forget to grab a gelato on your walkabout. And if you are looking for the perfect way to end your day, enjoy a sundowner at San Giorgio Maggiore Campanile, which offers unparalleled views of Venice.

Where to stay

Attractively located in the San Marco district of Venice, Egò Boutique Hotel The Silk Road is situated a few steps from Ca’ d’Oro, 100m from Rialto Bridge and 500m from Piazza San Marco. 

Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free wi-fi throughout the property. The hotel has family rooms.At Egò Boutique Hotel The Silk Road guests are welcome to take advantage of a hot tub.

Popular points of interest near the accommodation include the Basilica San Marco, La Fenice Theatre and Doge’s Palace. The nearest airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport, 21km from Egò Boutique Hotel The Silk Road.

Where to eat

The stylish Restaurant La Caravella offers Venetian cuisine. The décor is reminiscent of a ship, plus there are tables in the garden. 

Bruges, Belgium

If you are going, “huh”, and scratching your head wondering why this destination is on the list, allow me to explain. This place ticks many boxes.

First, it’s truly charming with a very intimate vibe, especially during autumn and winter. And the swans on the canals and meandering medieval lanes, with cobblestone squares, gives the city a fairytale feel.

There’s also plenty to do to woo your partner, too, like go on a romantic cruise along the canals of Bruges. Or you can simply navigate your way through the city, hand-in-hand, while soaking up the architectural beauty of the place, which is kept in pristine condition. A visit to one of the many local breweries is a must, along with tucking into a delicious Belgian waffle. 

The secret underground ruins in Bruges is quite a mindblowing experience, especially when you learn of its history.

Where to stay

Perfectly situated near the Market Place, the four-star boutique Hotel Heritage Relais & Chateaux is within walking distance of the city’s most desirable sites, including the theatre district, shopping district, gourmet restaurants, and popular tourist attractions, such as the Belfry Tower, the Church of Our Lady, the Basilica of the Holy Blood as well as all of the historic museums. Priced from R5 200 a night.

Or you can try Hotel Ter Brughe, which is located along a canal and an 8-minute walk away from the Market Square, the Belfry of Bruges and the shopping district. Breakfast is served in a vaulted cellar with views on the water. The rooms feature free internet access, a minibar and a TV. The private bathroom is equipped with a bath, a hairdryer and free toiletries. When the weather is nice, you can sit out on the terrace or get a local beer in the bar. 

There is a computer with free internet access available in the lobby. Hotel Ter Brughe is situated in the peaceful quarter of Saint Gillis, near the 14th-century Augustijnen Bridge. Bruges Railway Station is a 7-minute drive away. Priced around R1 800 a night.

Where to eat

The chef at Restaurant Le Mystique prepares the most delicious and honest dishes in an atmospheric setting. They offer a wide choice of traditional French and Belgian dishes combined with influences from all over the world. Non-resident guests are welcome.

Additional information for this story has been obtained from the respective hotel and restaurant websites.