10 amazing weekend getaways in Europe for couples in fall/winter
Fall is lurking around the corner and things are definitely getting more romantic and cozy. The main holiday season is over – but this does not mean that you should stay home for the rest of the year. The fall and Christmas season is the perfect time to plan a romantic weekend getaway in Europe.
Since most destinations in Europe can be reached in no time – a romantic weekend away from home is just what you need! Keep on reading to find out about my 10 favorite weekend getaways for couples in Europe.
Table of Contents
- 1. Paris – the ultimate romantic weekend getaway in Europe
- 2. Venice
- 3. Vienna
- 4. Prague
- 5. London
- 6. Barcelona
- 7. Rome
- 8. Amsterdam
- 9. Bordeaux
- 10. Milan
1. Paris – the ultimate romantic weekend getaway in Europe
There is no place like Paris when it comes to a spot for a magical weekend getaway with your partner. Especially during Christmas times, Paris will light up under a massive amount of Christmas decorations.
Spending a lazy morning in a cafe and savoring a croissant, strolling through the Christmas markets, or getting some gift inspiration on the Champs Elysee’s will definitely get you in a romantic holiday mood.
Paris is a perfect destination for a Europe weekend getaway because the city is easy to get around in and can be explored nicely in just a few days. The French have a special attitude toward enjoying life – and sometimes this is exactly the kind of reminder we need in our busy schedules.
For more inspiration on visiting Paris during the Christmas season head over to my blog post The perfectly romantic weekend getaway in Paris.
If you think traveling Venice outside of the main season is not worth it you are definitely missing out. Whilst in the busy summer months Venice is a fun holiday destination, there is a certain charm to coming here in fall.
The canals of Venice are looking even more enchanting on a rainy and foggy day, which gives a sort of mystical mood to the city. Apart from the fall vibes, visiting Venice without the masses of tourists is definitely much more charming and relaxing.
If you are in need of a destination for New Year’s Eve, Venice should be on top of your list. Most restaurants offer great romantic formal dinner arrangements and at midnight the city will be illuminated by some stunning fireworks. Make sure to read my guide on New Years Eve in Venice for all tips and recommendations for a fantastic weekend getaway in Venice.
Vienna is in my opinion the number one destination if you are looking for some major Christmas vibes. No city has more beautiful Christmas markets than Vienna, and the city itself is nothing short of breathtaking.
Most of the major castles and historical sites from the imperial times in Vienna are worth a visit. Especially Schönbrunn Palace is magically transformed during the Christmas season, since it is hosting its own Christmas market right in front of the castle.
The most beautiful parts of the inner city can be explored on foot within only a couple of days, which makes it a great weekend travel destination. And nothing makes you feel more cozy and warmed up after a long day of exploring than the flavor-rich traditional Austrian cuisine, including the famous Kaiserschmarrn.
Make sure to check out my ultimate Christmas in Austria bucket list for all christmassy things to do in Austria. Coming with the car? I got you covered with the best Austrian road trip itineraries.
Visiting Prague during the Christmas season is definitely highly recommended. Prague’s Old Town square is after all home to one of the most enchanting Christmas markets in Europe.
All over town, you can find pop-up ice skating rinks, that make for a fun and romantic afternoon activity. Make sure to also take a river cruise on the Vltava in the evening to see the city illuminated with Christmas lights.
Prague definitely makes a great romantic weekend getaway, especially because most things there are much cheaper than in other major European cities. You can get great value for relatively little money on most activities and restaurants.
London is always a good idea, but especially at the end of the summer season! As the masses of summer tourists leave the city, the leaves in the many parks of London turn golden. This provides a perfect backdrop for a lovely autumn stroll and some sightseeing.
London is home to many cute cafes and restaurants making every Instagrammers heart beat a bit faster. Fall and Christmas times are the perfect time to taste some festive and seasonal delights in one of the many cozy food places. For a list of the most instagrammable cafes in London click here.
During Christmas times London the familiar small chalets of the Christmas market pop up alongside the river at London Bridge, on the Greenwich market, or in Hyde Park. Hyde Park is one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe.
London is a very versatile city that offers something fun for everyone and therefore one of my favorite places for a weekend trip in Europe.
Fall is probably one of the most underrated seasons to visit Barcelona. Summer tourism comes to a halt, the temperatures fall back down to a more comfortable level. Then, you can truly experience Barcelona like a local.
Fall is also a time filled with a lot of traditional holidays and festivities in Barcelona, such as the La Castanyada festival. This is basically a foodies version of Halloween. You can enjoy treats from small stalls in the entire city.
With an average of 15 degrees Celsius per day Barcelona is also a great place to be visited in December. There might not be snow during the Christmas season in Barcelona, but there are surely plenty of colorful and festive Christmas markets serving Catalan delicacies all over the city.
Make sure to try a piece of Turron, which is a special kind of nougat. Spaniards eat this traditional food during Christmas times.
Same as in Barcelona, temperatures drop rapidly in fall leaving behind nice mild temperatures to explore the eternal city. Whoever has visited Italy in summer and signed up for some sightseeing knows how excruciatingly hot these trips can be. Fall is therefore the perfect time to explore the city with comfortable temperatures.
Since the city offers many indoor and outdoor attractions, you will even be able to keep busy on one of the rainy days sometimes occurring in autumn.
Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations in Italy, therefore the city is buzzing with activity during the festive period. You can visit one of the many beautiful Christmas markets in Rome or go listen to the Pope in the Vatican giving his Christmas speech.
After spring, fall is the most magical time to visit Amsterdam for a romantic weekend getaway in Europe. The many beautiful trees and gardens transform into red, yellow, and orange foliage. Since Amsterdam is, with roughly 400.000 trees, one of the leafiest cities in Europe, this is quite the spectacle.
It is no secret that I am no fan of Dutch summers, simply because they can be quite moody. In fall and winter, however, the moodiness only adds to the Dutch experience. Take a stroll through the parks or walk alongside the canals. Also stop and have a coffee in one of the many cozy cafes in Amsterdam.
December throughout March is the least pleasant time to visit the Netherlands. However, it is also the best time to visit for a bargain. If you do not mind a lot of rain and fog, this is your time to come to Amsterdam.
Fall is probably the best time to visit the wine country of Bordeaux and enjoy a romantic weekend getaway. In October, the temperatures during the days are not only very pleasant, but you can also participate in one of the many harvest events around the area.
Make sure to take a day trip from Bordeaux the famous wine village in the area, Saint Emilion. Participate in a wine tasting and tour one of the many wineries in the area. For a guide to the wine area of Libournais, Bordeaux click here.
After October, many wineries in France close down. This will be the perfect time to drink hot wine in a cute wine bars in the city. Time to get ready for a sparkling Christmas season.
The metropolis of fashion in Milan is the place to be during the Christmas season in Italy. Milan kicks off its Christmas season on the 7th of December when they officially celebrate their patron saint St. Ambrogio.
The Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele in Milan is one of the most stunning shopping centers in the world. During the Christmas season, a huge tree illuminates the already fabulous halls. The tree holds over 10.000 ornaments and roughly 35.000 Christmas lights.
On the square behind the famous Duomo is one of the biggest Christmas markets in Milan. Make sure to try the famous Milanese cake Panettone and visit the Christmas village at the Navigli.
The fall and Christmas season is a fabulous time to take a weekend getaway in Europe with your loved one. Not only will the masses of tourists no longer clog the beautiful landmarks, but also will the fall foliage and the big Christmas celebrations make your visit even more special.