Three Romantic European Cities

Valentine’s Day is a good excuse for a trip. here are three great cities for those who want to celebrate this special day abroad.

Flamenco Fire: Seville

The inspiration for Bizet’s passionate opera Carmen, this attractive Spanish city is the home of the legendary lover Don Juan and of Andalusia’s soulful flamenco music. This is also the place where the Spanish Queen Isabella saw Christopher Columbus off on his voyage to the New World. Tiny slopes and secluded squares await you in the charming streets of the city’s historic quarter of Santa Cruz. You can board a phaeton at the Plaza Virgen de Los Reyes and stop at the cafes on Calle Mateos Gago, lined with orange trees. And after a long stroll on the Valle Rodrigo in the Macarena district, one of the most beautiful streets in this quarter famous for its white houses, the viewing terraces on the Plaza del Altozano await you.

Don’t miss
Alcazar Palace
Giraldo Tower
Tapas restaurants

Tip
To fall under the spell of Flamenco melodies, stop at one of the clubs known as tablao and take a whirl yourself with one of the area’s quintessential Sevillanas dancers.

City of bridges: Ljubljana

With its small bridges, concert halls and vaulted courtyards, the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana is a city full of surprises for lovers. Offering a peerless synthesis of old and new, the city is home to a multifaceted architecture that has been restored many times in its history.  The city was literally rebuilt by the leading architects of Europe in the 16th century, when opulent palaces, Baroque buildings, ostentatious churches and delicate staircases were erected. Suffering wear and tear over time, the city was handed over to Joze Plecnik at the beginning of the 1900’s. This famous Slovenian architect, who endowed cities like Vienna and Prague with their modern elegance, added a number of structures in the neo-classical and art nouveau styles. With its riverbank cafes shaded by willows, Ljubjlana imparts a strong sense of small city warmth to visitors today. And the square named after the Slovenian poet France Preseren is a virtual gateway to the city’s beauty spots…

Tip
According to local legend, the first person to come to Ljubjlana encountered a dragon in the river. Defeated following a protracted struggle, this dragon is the symbol of the city today.

Princess of the danube: Budapest

Hungary’s elegant capital founded on the banks of the Danube, Budapest is especially romantic in winter with its majestic buildings, spas and bustling squares. Perched high on a hill, Buda Castle is one of the city’s icons. The Royal Palace, Mathias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion are among its major landmarks. The Opera House in neo-Renaissance style is another of the city’s handsome buildings. One of Europe’s major spa centers, Budapest boasts upwards of a hundred thermal springs and a large number of spas that perpetuate the Turkish baths constructed on the city’s Buda side under Ottoman rule. Another of the city’s interesting spots, Margit Island (Margitsziget) was in its heyday a retreat for princesses. Worth seeing on this island in the Danube is Artists Park with its statues of famous Hungarian writers and musicians.

Tip
Enjoying the local cuisine by candlelight to the strains of gypsy music is an unforgettable experience in Budapest, home of the world-renowned Hungarian musician Gabor Szabo.