When it comes to Valentine’s Day, nothing shows your significant other you care more than a romantic getaway together. But… while cities like Venice, Paris and New York might be known as some of the most romantic destinations in the world, they can also be rather pricey (and crowded). Finding alternative destinations to spend Valentine’s Day can not only be more sustainable way to travel— but also comes with a much smaller price tag!
Photo credit: Kimson Doan
Carmel by the Sea, with its village feel and fairy-tale cottages, has long been the romantic destination of choice for couples looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. But, as prices in the idyllic town rise each year, why not choose to stay in its cheaper and quirkier neighbour: Santa Cruz. Only an hour away from Monterey and Carmel, Santa Cruz offers romantic walks along the beach and boardwalk, as well as the chance to win a fairground prize for your other half- what could be cuter? Santa Cruz also boasts fantastic dining options perfect for romantic evening dinners, especially in the vibrant downtown area, which has a diverse culinary scene. Whilst visiting, make sure to explore the Santa Cruz Wharf for delightful seafood joints and excellent shopping opportunities.
Santa Cruz is just a short drive from San Jose International Airport (SJC), usually less than an hour, depending on traffic. You can fly there with Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, American Eagle, British Airways, California Pacific Airlines, Delta, Delta Connection, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and Volaris.
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While proclaiming your love from the CN Tower might not be as iconic as the Empire State Building, for couples looking for a big-city break, Toronto has a lot to offer! Enjoy a relaxed dinner by the water at the Harbourfront Centre or or visit one of the city's many museums or parks. It also works as the perfect gateway for getting to the uber-romantic Niagara Falls! There's plenty to do in the Distillery District, an historic area brimming with art galleries, unique boutiques and award-winning restaurants. Some pricier activities include indulging in a romantic dinner with a breathtaking view at the 360 Restaurant in the iconic CN Tower or heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake for some wine tasting amidst the renowned vineyards of the region, a perfect day trip.
Toronto Pearson International Airport is located just northwest of downtown Toronto, the airport is easily accessible at approximately a 30-minute drive from the city center. You can fly into Toronto Pearson airport with Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat, Sunwing Airlines, WestJet and many more. The airport offers flights to regions across North America, Europe, Asia, and beyond, making it a hub for both domestic and international travel.
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Playa del Carmen in Mexico is a popular choice for honeymoons and Valentine’s Day trips. Unfortunately, regular tourist traffic in the region has also led to a steady increase in prices. Instead, opt for the lesser-known seaside town, Yelapa, renowned not only as one of our top destinations for solo travellers but also as an idyllic haven for couples seeking an escape. Beyond its appeal to lone explorers, Yelapa beckons with romantic eco hotels, secluded waterfalls, and isolated beaches, creating a perfect retreat for couples looking to unwind. You and your partner will discover the freshest seafood delights at beachside eateries adored by the locals. For those wanting some adventure,set sail on a boat tour, exploring Yelapa's unique coastline.
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Bali has held its place as a popular Valentine’s and honeymoon destination for many years, but, as tourism has grown in the region, so have the prices. The Banga and Belitung Islands in Sumatra offer a much cheaper and tranquil getaway. Forget Bali and choose to spend your romantic getaway bathing in Sumatra's rock pools. In Belitung, Indonesia, couples can stroll along pristine beaches, embrace granite rock formations at Lengkuas Island, and share moments over local seafood at the floating market. Immerse yourselves in local culture at the Tanjung Pandan Museum, adding a touch of history to your romantic getaway. Whether it's a beach picnic, a moonlit boat tour, or quiet moments, Belitung offers simplicity and charm for a perfect romantic escape.
Looking for romantic locations to get married? Check out our guide to the best Wedding Destinations around the world!
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With stunning views of the iconic Alhambra, along with affordable and cozy tapas joints, Granada is the perfect destination for an affordable romantic getaway. Highlights such as the incredible Hamam al Andalus (Arabic thermal baths) make it an ideal choice for a Valentine's trip, even during the chilly European winter. Accommodations come at a fraction of the price compared to popular destinations like Barcelona! The Albaicín district, known for its narrow streets and Moorish architecture, is a lovely setting for a leisurely stroll with your partner. Don't forget to round off your days with a taste of traditional Spanish cuisine at Bodegas Castañeda and other fantastic dining spots nestled in the heart of Granada.
Visitors generally fly into Malaga International Airport (AGP) and then get a bus or train to Granada, which is under a 2 hour journey. Fly there with Air Europa, Aer Lingus, easyjet, Eurowings, Germania, Laudamotion, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines, SmartWings, Transavia, Volotea and Vueling.
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Yes Paris may be the most romantic city in the world, but if you’re paying €10 EUR for a glass of wine you’re more likely to spend your trip complaining about the bill than staring lovingly into each other's eyes. Bruges, on the other hand, offers unique gothic architecture and the opportunity to indulge on Belgian chocolates. Here, romance unfolds effortlessly. Cruise along the canals, letting the picturesque city views set the mood, and satisfy your sweet tooth at The Chocolate Line, a renowned chocolatier.
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While the idea of spending your Valentine’s Day trip watching the sunset on the London Eye might sound romantic, it's by no means affordable. With tickets costing up to £30 GBP, why not save money by watching the sun go down for free from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh? Enjoy romantic walks down Edinburgh’s cobbled streets and dine out at some of the best restaurants Scotland has to offer, where you can enjoy an intimate dinner savouring traditional Scottish cuisine to secure the magic of your Edinburgh getaway. If you're looking for breathtaking panoramic views, where you can witness a romantic sunset with your loved one, climb Arthur's Seat. Whilst in the area, take a visit to the historic Edinburgh Castle and its enchanting gardens.
Photo credit: Vitor Pinto
It’s no secret that Venice is struggling to cope with the weight of over-tourism. So much so that hotels will charge an additional tourist tax in order to curb overcrowding. Save your money and head to affordable Porto in Portugal instead. Instead of fighting with tour groups for a place on a gondola, enjoy intimate boat trips down the Douro valley followed by wine tasting in one of the region’s famous caverns.
Want to learn more about affordable destinations to visit in Europe? Visit our guide to the cheapest countries in Europe.
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