Christmas time. Mistletoe and wine. Cliff Richard put it more eloquently than most – the festive period has romance at its heart. It’s all about spending time with your loved ones, no matter where you are.
That being said, there are some cities that come to life at Christmas and become the perfect place for a romantic weekend away. Snow-covered winter wonderlands, streets aglow with Christmas lights, the smell of mulled wine in the air – tell your auntie to freeze you some turkey and whisk your loved one away this Christmas.
Set in the dramatic snowy peaks of the Bernese Oberland, Grindelwald is one of the most enchanting Christmas villages in Europe. The area is teeming with beautiful vistas and the skiing on the Eiger glacier is excellent.
Grindelwald village has a variety of superb hotels fit with comfortable lodgings, luxurious spas, and ski-in-ski-out facilities for the most romantic retreat possible. For an extra-special night out, head to Piz Gloria, a revolving restaurant at the top of the Schilthorn for stunning views across the Alps.
New York City
It doesn’t get much more magical than Christmas in New York. Each year the city is transformed into a glorious winter wonderland with lights, trees, decorations, and festive vibes everywhere you look.
Some romantic highlights include a skate around one of Central Park’s ice-rinks, going to see the 80ft-tall Rockefeller Center Tree that has over 50,000 multi-coloured LED lights, and wandering down Fifth Avenue to do some window shopping. If you feel like really treating your partner, go see the Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center for an unforgettable night of ballet.
Germany has its fair share of dazzling Christmas markets – Cologne, Leipzig, and Dresden to name a few. But there is one Bavarian city whose market reigns supreme in Europe.
The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt spreads a tangible festive cheer throughout the entire city and has over 180 stalls selling Christmas decorations, jewellery, traditional culinary treats, and various other trinkets. After visiting the market, why not take a romantic stroll through the cobbled streets – the Christmas lights will provide the perfect backdrop for capturing the moment.
The winters in Reykjavik are infamous for being long, cold, and dark. But Christmas is a time when the whole city lights up, including the sky itself. The Aurora Borealis shimmering overhead will definitely set the scene for a romantic evening whilst you explore this beautiful city full of music, markets, and enchanting illuminations.
Have a soak in one of the many toasty geothermal pools with snowflakes falling all around you and the Northern Lights above your head. Afterwards, why not explore Reykjavik’s respected culinary scene for a romantic dinner for two.
Saving the most obvious for last, but classics are classics for a reason. The City of Lights is arguably the most romantic city in the world all year round, but at Christmas especially, Paris is radiating with light and the sweet aroma of mulled wine and roasting chestnuts sweeps through the historic cobbled streets.
Simply walking down the street in Paris is romantic, but why not go further and take your partner for a walk under the Champs-Elysees or skating underneath the Eiffel Tower. The faint sound of Christmas choirs in the background will be sure to pull on both your heartstrings.