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Couples Guide To Europe: Exactly Where You Should Go if You Want Food, Romance, Nature, And More

Caleb, my husband, and I LOVE Europe! We have been to 75% of the countries that make up the continent, and one thing we know is that not all countries are created equal, depending on your travel style/reasons for traveling.

If you’re a foodie couple (like us! hi!), there are better places than others. The same goes for if you want art and history or nature and everything in between. In this guide, we put all our travels together to help you determine the best countries and cities to visit to have a vacation that is perfect for you!

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For Foodie Couples: Spain, Italy, Denmark 

Spain

A large, round plate filled with thinly sliced jamón ibérico garnished with a pile of almonds in the center, partially surrounded by other tapas dishes, showcasing a vibrant dining setting.

Spain is our favorite country for food (and a topic pick for one of the best places for couples in Europe in general) because of tapas! You get SO many unique flavors and dishes, and we love the style of eating where you jump around multiple places in one night. IT’S SO MUCH FUN and it’s a great way to share food which is one our top tips for traveling as a couple!

Oh, did we mention the amazing wine and vermouth that people seem to drink all day?

We recommend choosing Madrid or San Sebastian if you visit.

THIS is our favorite food tour in Madrid (we’ve done it twice!)

And THIS is our favorite food tour in San Sebastian. It’s a must-do if you want to understand how to eat Pintxos like a local.

A woman seated outdoors at a European bistro, smiling as she enjoys a glass of white wine and a platter of cured meats and olives, with the ambient hustle of the alley and a waiter in the background adding to the urban dining atmosphere.

Italy

Do I really need to tell you why Italy makes the list? PIZZA, PASTA, WINE, am I right? The food is SO fresh and simple in Italy, and that is one of the reasons that it is so good that you’ll come home and cry into your meatballs from Applebees. It’s just not it.

Did we mention the wine and the sequel? You also can’t leave without tying a pistachio cornetto (a pistachio cream-filled croissant.) Don’t share one, though; they’re worth the calories for your own.

We recommend Rome, Bologna, or Palermo. We didn’t see the hype with Naples, to be honest. 

We talk about this food tour in Rome every single week and it’s been years since we did it. It’s THAT epic.

Denmark

If you like seafood and sweets (not together), this country is for you.

We specifically recommend Copenhagen because it smells like cinnamon everywhere you go. The cinnamon rolls are incredible, and the cardamom buns from Juno Bakery will change your life.

Don’t miss the open-faced sandwiches called Smorrebrod, which are hearty and creative with many flavors going on. We loved them at Restaurant Schønnemann, and the staff made this whole experience SO memorable.

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For Beach-Loving Couples: Portugal, Croatia, Spain

an arched rock formation in the water

Portugal

It’ll be really easy to find gorgeous beaches all across Portugal, and it’s usually an affordable European destination, so it’s great if you’re a beach-loving couple who wants to be ballin’ on a budget.

Check out Madeira, Cascais, or anywhere in the Algarve region.

Aerial view of the coastal city of Dubrovnik, featuring the historic fortress perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea, with the old town's orange-roofed buildings in the background and a few kayaks dotting the clear blue waters.

Croatia

They don’t call this the gem of the Adriatic for no reason! Caleb and I thought the beaches here are some of the most beautiful in the world, with the sea being so blue that you won’t even have to put a filter on all those Instagram photos we know you’ll take.

Check out Dubrovnik, the island of Brac or Gradac.

Spain

If you want beaches and amazing food, head to Spain. Being partially in the Mediterranean, you have some gorgeous beaches with blue water and tropical, romantic vibes.

Our favorite is Mallorca, but Malaga is equally epic.

For Adventurous Couples: Iceland or Switzerland 

Descending steps leading to a serene volcanic crater lake in Iceland with lush green moss-covered slopes under a misty sky, with two hikers in bright jackets standing by the water's edge, enhancing the tranquil yet vibrant scene.

Iceland 

I mean, it’s called the land of fire and ice…what else do you need to know? We drove around the island (our road trip questions in tow!) for a week and saw so many amazing things, from volcanoes to glaciers to geysers to landscapes that literally looked like you were on Mars. It’s kinda nuts.

The whole island is where you gotta be, so no specific city recs here!

Note: it’s not cheap, but it’s worth it.

A huge mistake we wish we did not make was NOT booking any tours. You won’t get to experience as much! Click here to check out some of the epic things you can do in Iceland!

Thrilled duo paragliding over a lush green valley in Switzerland, with the woman in the forefront giving a thumbs-up and both wearing helmets and secure harnesses, against a dramatic backdrop of towering cliffs and a picturesque rural landscape far below.

Switzerland 

Another not-so-cheap destination that is totally worth it if you want some epic experiences. You can climb up the Alps, ski, paraglide, base jump, and so much more.

The scenery is unreal-beautiful too!

We love the whole Jungfrau region (stay in Wengen, which is so cute!) as well as Interlaken. 

We did this paragliding experience and it was a serious “pinch me” moment. Such an epic thing to cross off your bucket list!

For Wine Lovers: France, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary

Sun-kissed colorful houses of Cinque Terre perch on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline, with sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea below, framed by a verdant vineyard in the foreground, encapsulating the quintessential charm of Italy.

France, Spain, Italy:

If you were looking for some European destinations catered to trips for couples who love wine, you wouldn’t trust our opinion if we didn’t recommend these 3, right? We have to say that the hype is real when it comes to these well-known destinations for wine lovers (like us)

France has amazing red wines in the Bordeaux region and white wines in the Alsace region. 

Italy has incredible wines pretty much everywhere, and Rioja in Spain is a red wine lover’s dream.

Slovenia & Hungary

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path wine destination and like white wine, try Slovenia or Hungary. We’ve visited wine regions in both places, and they ruined us for white wine from literally anywhere else in the world.

Caleb is a “red wine guy,” and these regions have converted him!

In Hungary, try the Badacsony or Tokaj region, and try the Primorska or Podravje region in Slovenia. If you can visit Lepa Vida winery in Slovenia, you’re in for a major treat!

If you go to Budapest, don’t think and just book this wine tasting. This is one of the best things we’ve ever done and we made friends with the guide so much so we went there almost nightly. Tell him Taylor and Caleb sent you.

If You’re On a Budget: Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia

While nowhere in Europe is *cheap* anymore, especially when we compare it to some of our travels across Southeast Asia, we have found Hungary, Slovakia, or Slovenia to be the best “bang for your buck” if you’re a couple traveling on a budget!

We’ve found that accommodations and wine are the cheapest across these cities compared to other parts of Europe. Food is a little less expensive but more comparable to other more popular countries.

If you’re going to Hungary (our top pick), we recommend Budapest. In Slovakia, we found Bratislava to be so charming and beautiful. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is an obvious choice, but it’s one for a reason!

For Art and History: Italy, France, Germany 

The ancient Roman Forum ruins in Rome, with its timeless columns and arches set against a backdrop of modern buildings, capturing the historical layers that define the Eternal City.

Italy 

It goes without saying that Italy is steeped in history! From the Vatican to the Colosseum in Rome to the ruins of Pompei, and don’t forget all the conquering, there has been a lot going on in Italy. 

We recommend Rome, Florence, and Venice.

 A woman in winter attire contemplates the Eiffel Tower from a stone bridge over the Seine River in Paris, embodying the allure of solo travel in Europe with the iconic iron lattice tower in the backdrop.

France 

Some of the most famous painters come from France, which has some of the most renowned museums in the world. 

We recommend Paris (duh) or Lyon.

The imposing Gothic architecture of Cologne Cathedral stands grandly under a blue sky, with its intricate facades and towering spires, as tourists and locals alike roam the square in the foreground.

Germany

You know what happened here in the past, so I don’t need to tell you about how much history is in Germany. It also has a unique and forward-thinking art scene, especially in cities like Berlin.

We recommend Munich, Berlin, or Cologne.

For Hidden Gems: Slovakia, Poland, Estonia

A view of St. Martin's Cathedral spire rising above the surrounding historical architecture in Bratislava, contrasting modern buildings in the hazy background, showcasing the city's blend of old and new.

Slovakia

Slovakia has been one of the most surprising places we’ve ever been. It has beautiful nature, great wine, low prices, nice people, gorgeous architecture, and one of the best Christmas markets we’ve been to.

We love Bratislava, and parts of it look like a cheaper and less-touristy version of Prague.

The historical and ornate architectural details of Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, featuring a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements, under a cloudy sky conveying a sense of historical depth and cultural significance.

Poland

Pierogies anyone? But seriously, you can feel the history in Poland, and we love the grungy vibe that some of the major cities give off. The food, like the Slovakian food, is hearty but delicious, and the people are some of the nicest that we have ever met!

We love Krakow and Wroclaw.

A snowy street in Tallinn's old town, lined with colorful buildings and people walking, evoking the charm of a European winter in Estonia, with the medieval town wall and its defensive tower completing the scene.

Estonia

If you want to feel like you’ve traveled to the Middle Ages, Estonia is for you. The main city is Tallinn, and the old town feels like a pastel-colored castle. We were there at Christmas, and there was almost no one there. EPIC!

For Romance: Prague, Florence, Hallstatt

I know these are cities and not countries, but the other categories on this list are kind of wide-sweeping, where the whole country falls into it. However, that is not the case when we’re talking about the most romantic places in Europe.   

And, yes, Paris is overdone in the romance department.

A statue on the Charles Bridge stands watch over the Vltava River, with Prague Castle rising majestically in the background, capturing the historical and cultural grandeur of Prague.

Prague

While we have to warn you that it is SO “peopley” that somehow doesn’t deter from Prague’s romance. There is a reason why it’s always one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. The pastel buildings and beautiful Charles Bridge will make you feel like love is literally in the air.

A serene view of Florence's Arno River, with a lone rower in the center creating ripples on the water's surface, framed by historic buildings and the iconic Ponte Vecchio in the distance under a clear blue sky.

Florence 

With its gorgeous architecture, stunning views from the many bridges, stunning sunsets, and gorgeous gardens to walk around, Florence is one of the most romantic cities in all of Europe. Plus, you could do a whole “lady and the tramp” moment and share some spaghetti, right?

The picturesque village of Hallstatt in Austria, with its beautiful church spire and traditional buildings set against the stunning backdrop of alpine mountains and the reflective waters of Hallstatt Lake.

Hallstatt

There is no other city that looks more like a postcard, which is why it’s our pick for one of the most romantic cities in Europe. This gem in Austria is perfect for cozy, romantic getaways in adorable cabins sipping on mulled wine.

For the Highlights: London, Paris, Rome, Prague 

 The iconic Tower Bridge in London on an overcast day, with its majestic towers and blue accents, as a boat passes underneath and a bird soars above, symbolizing the enduring splendor of this historic city.

If Europe wrote a “best of” album, I would be 1. Impressed that a country wrote an album and 2. Positive it would include these 3 cities because they are some of the top-visited cities in Europe.  

While we love these cities, we would urge you to get off the beaten path and discover some of the *other* cities surrounding them if you choose to go.

For Nature: Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Austria, Switzerland

The lush green landscape of Ireland's Cliffs of Moher, with the sea cliffs dropping dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean, under a moody sky that highlights the natural beauty and ruggedness of the Irish coastline.

Ireland

It is one of the greenest countries that we have ever been to, and we highly recommend a road trip if nature is your jam. You’ll drive through lots of fields with sheep and see some breathtaking scenery, like the cliffs of Mohur.

A traditional Icelandic turf church with a green roof, nestled against a backdrop of rugged mountains, portraying the quaint charm and symbiosis with nature characteristic of Icelandic architecture.

Iceland

Volcanoes, glaciers, and extra-terrestrial-looking landscapes… that’s all you need to know.

A tranquil winter landscape in Finland, featuring a snow-covered path leading through a forest of tall, snow-laden evergreen trees under a pale blue sky, embodying the serene beauty of the Nordic winter wilderness.

Finland

We particularly loved our visit to the Lapland region of Finland, where you’ll find the Arctic Circle. The nature is stunning, and you’ll have the chance to see the northern lights if you go at the right time.

PRO TIP: we stayed in these glass igloo houses, and it was worth every penny. Major bucket list experience. We recommend the Kelo Glass Igloos, otherwise you don’t get your own shower. Not so romantic.

Hikers traversing a rocky alpine trail in the majestic Swiss mountains, with a sweeping view of the valley below and dramatic peaks shrouded by clouds, capturing the essence of adventure in the Swiss Alps.

Austria/Switzerland

They’re both home to the Alps with charming, postcard-worthy villages. You can’t go wrong with either, but we would choose Austria over Switzerland just because it’s a little cheaper. 

Still not sure where to go? We made a fun, short quiz you can take to figure out what is the best European county for you!

So, which country/city are you going to choose for your next adventure?


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A couple embraces while watching the sunset behind the Crystal Palace in Madrid's Retiro Park, a moment of romance and tranquility by the reflective waters.

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