Valentine’s Day: Deep Travel Dates Around the World

From sipping wine in a Tuscan vineyard, to scrambling to make a last minute train, traveling together can be a formative experience in any relationship. Our staff from across the globe gives their local insight on how to explore the cities they love with the person you love.

Niteroi

Rio
Amber, South America Program Manager

  • Sunset at Arporador, the rock between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.
  • Off the beaten path: the viewing tower at the top of Parque das Ruinas. While there you can get a coffee and snack at the cafe and probably catch some live music or theater on the weekend.
  • And for the adventurous couple: a hike to Pico da Tijuca, the city’s highest point, and an unparalleled view without the crowds you find at Christ the Redeemer. Perfect for a picnic at the top and lots of rainforest beauty all around.

Vienna
Stephanie, Central Europe Associate Program Manager

  • Walk up the Nussberg and have a glass of wine at a Heurigen – the area around Vienna is dotted with vineyards and there are beautiful views over the city.
  • More adventurous couples could spend a day hiking in the hills around the city (Leopoldsberg, Kahlenberg, Habsburgwarte, Hameau, etc.).
  • Afternoon excursion to Hermesvilla, the extravagant country hunting retreat that Franz Joseph I gifted to Empress Elisabeth as their private home away from the crowds of the capital.

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London 
Sheila, UK Client Manager

  • Saunter through the serenely elegant Kensington Gardens, and stop for lunch at the nearby Churchill Arms. A classic London pub, ornately decorated with lush flowers, serving some of the top Thai food in the city. A distinctly London combination.
  • Walk along the Thames through the famed Richmond Park, where you’re likely to spot deer, impressive flora, and other locals out and about. This was one of Henry VIII’s favorite spots, and it’s easy to see why. End your stroll at the top of Richmond Hill, with a stop at The Roebuck, a cozy pub which provides, in my humble opinion, the best views possible.

Istanbul
Katie, Istanbul Program Manager

  • Patisserie de Pera in the Pera Palace Hotel has old-Europe glamor for a romantic dessert date.
  • Mikla Restaurant has some of the best food and wine in Istanbul (with a world-renowned chef), a cozy, intimate atmosphere and a stunning view of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
  • A mixed-gender hammam is a nice option for couples in cold February weather.

Berlin
Natalie, Central Europe Program Manager

  • Wander through the labyrinthine staircases of the Berliner Philharmonie – the Runkfunk-Sinfonie Orchester is playing a Valentine’s concert that includes Strauss’ Don Juan.
  •  A jaunt to nearby Potsdam means you can indulge in a meal at the Drachenhaus restaurant in Sanssouci Park.
  • Der Boiler is a relaxing LGBT-friendly sauna, well-suited for couples and individuals alike.

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Lindsay, France Client Manager

  • Pack a basket with treats from the Marché Saint-Germain, stroll through the neighborhood and share a picnic on the banks of the Seine. Quai de la Tournelle is a popular spot, with a stunning view of Notre Dame and the Ile St Louis.
  • Spend a Sunday afternoon discovering one of the many smaller, tucked-away gardens and green spaces throughout the city: Palais Royal, the rose garden at Musée Rodin, Parc Montsouris, Parc Monceau, and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
  • Hike up to Montmartre for a spectacular view of the city and a visit to the Musée de la Romantique, which features works by various Romantic-period artists. (Insider tip, try our Montmartre Walking Tour.)

Venice
Luisa, Italy Program Manager

  • A stroll at sundown along Zattere, then hop on a boat and go to Giudecca for a nice aperitivo and a bite at Harry’s Dolci and end the night with a walk through St Mark’s square and enjoy the empty square all for yourself, while the lit-up basilica with its golden glare, will seem to magically float out of the darkness.

Naples
Valentina, Italy Associate Program Manager

  • Take a romantic passeggiata along the Lungomare liberato at sunset, while enjoying a breathtaking view over the Gulf of Naples and the Vesuvio. Start from Castel dell’Ovo and walk up to the port of Mergellina, at the foot of the Posillipo hill, where only sea waves breaking on the coast will be your soundtrack.

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Florence
Luisa, Italy Program Manager

  • Treat yourself to some delicious and gorgeous hand-made chocolate at Vestri, a small corner of paradise in Florence, where the air smells of cocoa, and you’re surrounded by pralines, ice-cream, bars, and the unforgettable spicy hot chocolate. Also, the packaging is assembled with great care.

Valentina, Italy Associate Program Manager

  • Kiss Florence with your partner at the flashmob event #Bacio al Piazzale in Piazza Michelangelo in the artisans district of Oltrarno on February 14th at 3:00 pm and share the love with the Florentine community, as they pedestrianize this area of the city.

Philadelphia 
Sheila, UK Client Manager (and native Philadelphian)

  • JFK Plaza, nicknamed ‘Love Park’ due to Robert Indiana’s famous Love sculpture, is loved by both tourists and locals alike. The ‘Love Fountain’ and the Philadelphia Art Museum make for a picturesque backdrop.
  • Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens for a not-so-traditional artistic experience. Then, take a stroll to Talula’s Garden at Washington Square for a seasonal and locally sourced romantic drink.
  • For a fun but casual night, watch the sunset at Fishtown’s Penn Treaty Park, nestled on the Delaware River. Then venture a few blocks over to some of the city’s most innovative craft beer bars, such as Johnny Brenda’s and Barcade.

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