Travel Guide: The Most Romantic Places to Visit in the World

Maya Angelou once said “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Anyone who ever felt it knows it’s true. It just might be the most amazing, hope-feeding, fuzzy, yet possibly heartbreaking and hurtful feeling ever. It is inevitable to treasure and nurture it once you find it. One way of doing so is by visiting the most romantic places worldwide.

Friendships, romance, family, charity, they all have one thing in common: they are forms of love. Without a doubt there are many more. Some people say it grows with time, conversation, and devotion. But it also grows with shared experiences. This can be anything from everyday life experiences, once in a lifetime occurrences, to “simple” vacations. There are countless romantic places to visit with a loved one, but the following ten might just be the most perfect ones.

The grave of Abélard and Héloïse, France

Paris is called the “City of Love” for a reason. No doubt, every square kilometer has something magical to it. Which makes it even harder to name the most romantic place in the most romantic city in the world. I bet most of you think of the Eiffel Tower, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, or the Notre-Dame cathedral de Paris. But this city has much more to offer.

The story of Abélard and Héloïse started in 1117. Abélard was a mentally gifted, brilliant theologian and was hired to teach a Parisian canon’s 22-year-younger niece, Héloïse. It didn’t take long until they hopelessly and unconditionally fell for each other. He wrote her love songs and she composed prose and letters which expressed deep intimacy and devotion. One day, she got pregnant, and her uncle insisted on marriage.

The two married in secret. However, Héloïse did not want to get involved in a normal marriage, which is why they pretended not to be married. Once Héloïse’s uncle found out, he hired men to ambush and emasculate Abélard. He surrendered to his fate and even recognized it as a divine destiny. At his request, Héloïse went to a monastery and became a nun. They stayed in touch until their last breath. While he condemned their period of physical relationship as sinful, she stood by it.

However, to this day, they lie buried side-by-side at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Legends have it, if you leave a letter in their crypt, you will find a kindred soul yourself. I guess after reading this, it’s gotten pretty easy to identify the most romantic place. And while you’re here, why not visit more? Find out about more of the most visit-worthy places in Paris.

Picture of a bridge in Paris at sunset.
Source: Leónard Cotte / Unsplash

Heart Reef, Australia

Many people say to let flowers speak for themselves, but why not let corals do the job? In 1974, a pilot discovered the Heart Reef amongst the idyllic Whitsunday Island, which lies in front of Australian Queensland. Driving towards it on a boat, it looks like your “boringly ordinary” coral reef, which is why most people overlook it. But with a view from the air, you can identify the undeniable heart shape of the coral reef, which is why most people book a flight by seaplane and it counts as one of the most romantic places worldwide.

Isn’t it the perfect analogy for life? Sometimes, looking at things from a different perspective opens your eyes (and maybe even your heart) to the true beauty of it.

By the way: The Heart Reef is only one of countless, incredible attractions. These include the rich green of the 74 islands, the white sand of Whitehaven Beach and the seemingly endless expanse of the heavenly blue ocean.

Picture of the Heart Reef taken from a plane.
Source: Yanguang Lan / Unsplash

St. Mark’s Square, Italy

Venice is also known as one of the world’s most romantic cities – and rightly so. With its pastel-colored palazzi, azure blue water and cute restaurants and bars on every corner, it is made for couples in love wanting to make an unforgettable trip.

While sunsets are probably the most romantic part of every day, let me introduce you to a breathtaking alternative: Sunrise on St. Mark’s Square. The first sunbeams of the day shine through the pillars of the walkways around the buildings and reflect on the floors. To put the cherry on top, St. Mark’s Square is usually one of the most crowded places in the city, but not during sunrise – you can truly enjoy the romantic scenery in peace.

Afterwards, you can visit St. Mark’s Cathedral without crowds and drink a coffee in one of the many cozy cafés. Or go home again and catch up on some sleep.

Picture of St. Mark's Square during sunrise.
Source: Pinterest

Plaza de los Coches, Columbia

Cartagena is practically dripping with romance. The old town surrounded by a wall is a pastel maze of alleys with colonial architecture, flower-covered balconies, and elegant towers. No wonder, that in 2007 it served as the most perfect romantic place for the film adaption of “Love in the time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez.

Although it wasn’t literally mentioned in the book, once you visit Cartagena, there’s no doubt left, that this was the city he had in mind. The Plaza de los Coches became the “Portal de los Escribanos”, which is where the protagonist writes love poems. Every visitor can be as inspired once they sit in this place surrounded by carriages and arcades.

Whether you read the book or watch the movie, one cannot escape feeling the romance in the air.

Picture of an alleyway in Columbia.
Source: Ricardo Gomez Angel / Unsplash

Aphrodite’s Beach, Cyprus

It is quite rare to find a natural beach nowadays and once you visit one, there’s no going back.

I’m going to take a wild guess and say everybody has (at least) heard of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love. According to the legend, she was created from the clipped genitals of Uranos, heaven in divine form. The parts were thrown into the ocean whereupon Zephyrus, God of the wind, blew them on a clamshell to a rock on Aphrodite’s Beach in Cyprus. Which is obviously where Aphrodite was born, hence the name.

Moreover, the water of the Mediterranean Sea is beautifully turquoise and nearly completely see-through with waves crashing against scattered rocks. Nothing like the feeling of endless opportunity and freedom when you look at untouched nature and what better way to appreciate it than with a significant other.

Tiny Tip: Bring yourself some snacks and a good bottle of wine to toast to the Goddess of Love during sunset. It will definitely make you declare it as one of the most romantic places yourself.

Picture of Aphrodite's rock.
Source: Joren / Unsplash

Taj Mahal, India

Talk about grand gestures. The greatest and most extravagant declaration of love in the world is the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. When Mumtaz Mahal died bearing her child, her husband Shah Jahan, promised to build her the most breathtakingly beautiful tomb the world has ever seen. It is obviously safe to say that he exceeded all expectations.

It took him 22 years, but in 1653 he finished the Taj Mahal – today as overwhelming as ever. The best time to visit is during dawn, which throws its pink sheen on the white, marble-decorated walls. Now that you know the story behind it, everything about this extraordinary architectural masterpiece will take your breath away, without a doubt. Not that it wouldn’t be without the background information, but this makes the whole thing an even more unforgettable romantic place and experience.

This article might help you find a place to stay during your visit.

Picture of the Taj Mahal during sunrise.
Source: Rowan Heuvel / Unsplash

Huánshān, China

The view from the loveliest mountains in the country is exactly what visitors dream of in the far east. A Chinese picture book landscape, a haze-veiled panorama of karst mountains and pines. It is possible to take different routes on your climb up and it is obviously teeming with tourists. However, the view is breathtaking. (Btw: If you don’t want to climb up, you can take the cable car. I got you.)

You’re probably wondering what makes it so romantic. First of all, the view? Duh. But secondly, new couples, newlyweds and anybody who wants to can bring a padlock and connect it to the railing. Afterwards, they throw the key down the precipice to seal their love for eternity. This is obviously a tradition in many places, but I bet none of them have a view as amazing as this.

Tiny Tip: Try to get there just before sunrise. The rising sunbeams leave an interplay of light and shadow and remind you of how staggering untouched, natural beauty can be. Just like love, isn’t it? Beautiful in its natural state.

Picture of the breathtaking view at the top of Huánshān.
Source: Joshua Sortino / Unsplash

Callejon de Besos, México

The snug city of Guanajuato, listed as Unesco World Heritage, not only offers a cozy colonial charme and mummy-filled catacombs, but also a tragic love story.

Ana was forced to marry a wealthy man on behalf of her controlling father. However, one day she was strolling through the streets of Guanajuato and met a handsome but humble miner, Carlos. As you can imagine, they hopelessly fell for each other.

Since their love was against the will of Ana’s father, they met in secret. Carlos lived far away and so he gathered every last penny he had to buy a house with a balcony within touching distance of Ana’s. One night, they were lost in a passionate kiss and Ana’s father entered her bedroom and caught the two.

As he saw his daughter in the arms of a “poor” miner, he went into a violent frenzy and picked up a dagger to plunge it into his daughter’s chest, killing her. Overcome with grief from losing his one true love, Carlos commits suicide.

Legend has it, that if you kiss underneath the balconies, you guarantee yourself 15 years of love and happiness. But whatever you do, never not kiss anybody here. If you deny a kiss, you will have to face seven years of lovesickness.

Picture of the two balconies of Ana and Carlos.
Source: Javiera Belmar Arancibia / flickr

The Meeting Place, England

The Meeting Place is a 9-metre-high bronze statue at the south end of St. Pancras railway station in London. Paul Day designed and unveiled it in 2007 with the intention of portraying the romance of rail travel, especially in this station.

“Romance? In a train station? What?” – Let me elaborate. It doesn’t matter how long you haven’t seen a loved one, but once you do, instantly, a warm feeling spreads throughout your body. Love. Whoever stands next to the giant statue of two lovers can relate to the true joy of a reunion. Moreover, they will feel the exciting enticement of a whole continent that awaits travelers on the other side of the canal.

Art made of love and to symbolize love automatically feeds your thoughts with memories of times when you felt it. And there’s no way not feeling anything once you see this overwhelming piece.

Picture of the Meeting Place statue.
Source: Nick Fewings / Unsplash

House of Juliet, Italy

A compilation of romantic places wouldn’t be complete without the place of one of the most romantic, yet tragic love stories ever known – Romeo and Juliet.

The most famous scene is the “balcony scene” in which the forbidden lovers, Juliet, standing on her balcony, and Romeo, reveal their love to each other and plan to marry. Romeo stands in the shadows and looks up at her while stating the famous lines “Juliet is the sun. And none but fools do wear it; cast it off. It is my lady, O, it is my love!

This scene is amongst the most famous in all of literature. It captures the idea of secret or forbidden love and shows two people fighting to overcome the obstacles that separate them – something many can relate to. Of course, most of us can’t relate to the part of a love so deep that it drove both of them to die for each other, but still, it is one of the most beautiful romances worldwide. And in Verona, you are able to visit the sight and feel the magical atmosphere filled with love.

Picture of Juliet's famous balcony.
Source: Maksym Harbar / Unsplash

Why you must visit romantic places:

Adele once sang the lyrics “Nothing that I wouldn’t do, Go to the ends of the Earth for you, To make you feel my love”. I’m not sure if she meant it quite as literally as I am going to interpret it here, but hey, art is free for interpretation. Traveling and experiencing new places is undeniably a wonderful thing, but if you can share it, it’s life-changing. It unlocks more of your love for each other. More compassion, more appreciation, more experiences, and more memories to look back on.

Visiting places where people of all ages, cultures, heritages come together in love – there’s nothing like it. Something like this doesn’t fade, it stays in the air and never fails to amaze.

Feature image source: Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

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