It feels like there’s no time more romantic than in the few weeks that build up to Christmas. Whether it’s the twinkling lights, the Christmas markets or the sun glistening over the snow, it’s undeniably a magical time of year for lovers. If you’re struggling for a gift idea for your significant other or you simply want to throw caution to the wind in a blossoming relationship, heading on a weekend city retreat is a great way to indulge in a little winter romance. Not to mention, it’s the perfect excuse to keep each other warm!
If you’re dreaming of the romantic chocolate-box town that you see in the movies, Salzburg is the one for you. With its beautifully cobbled streets, Gothic cathedral and old-fashioned street choirs, Salzburg is a snowy fairy tale perfect for sharing with your lover. Spend your days wandering Mozart Square together or stock up on handmade gifts for one another at the famous Christmas markets. (This infographic from Zoover shows the best Christmas markets in the UK!) To indulge in a breath-taking view over the city, climb up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, towering over Salzburg since 1077. For the slushiest of Christmas breaks, Salzburg is sure to warm your heart. Image source
This undiscovered jewel on the Baltic coast is winter’s best kept secret, which makes it all the more romantic. The capital city of Latvia, in Riga you’re in the home of the world’s first Christmas tree (in 1510) – what’s more special than that? Come December time, the Christmas markets and the festive feeling is all over the medieval streets as you wander the streets of Riga Old Town. Climb to the top of St Peter’s church for a view over the snow topped houses and the nostalgic feeling of an old-fashioned Christmas will make your time together feel like a dreamy wonderland. Image source
St Petersburg, Russia
Don’t let the thought of Russian weather put you off from visiting; St Petersburg in the winter is so icy and mysterious that it’s almost magical. Spend your days exploring the historic cathedrals, glittering palaces and winding canals that make up this Venice of the north and you’ll discover that this majestic city is full of romance. In the winter, the beautiful ballets and regal operas that Russia is famous for often have much more reasonable prices – and what better gift than treating your lover to a Russian ballet in Russia itself? Image source
If you like the idea of winter romance but you need to ease yourself into the cold, Reykjavik could be your match made in heaven. Keep out the cold and spend a steamy afternoon together at the world famous Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal spring boasting waters of 40°C and a crazy landscape that will make you feel like you’re on the moon. Spend a weekend here and the two of you will be dreamily reminiscing about the hot springs and cool culture for months to come! Image source
Treat her like a princess in what was once the royal capital of Poland: Krakow. It certainly hasn’t lost any of its regal charm over the years and a Christmas in Krakow is as traditional as they come. A stroll around the World Heritage site of the Old Town is a beautifully charming experience to share together, as is a visit to the former royal residence of Wawel Castel, before wandering a Christmas market in Rynek Glowny, the city’s main market square. Keep warm with mulled wine and spiced sausages and if you want to whisper ‘Merry Christmas’ to each other, it’s Wesołych Świat. Image source