I want to take my girlfriend to a European City for a long weekend. Ideally, we want to go in January, when there will be snow, and it’ll look like a postcard. Any ideas as to the nicest? Real experience would be nice, not hotel brochures…
Hmmm…this is more for IMHO than here.
Let’s see. Brugges, Belgium, is pretty close to you, and certainly is a romantic town. Not sure what it’s like during the winter, but I’d imagine it’s as nice as the summer: canals, cobblestone streets, and wonderful architecture. Plus Belgian Ales…
I also have a soft spot for German university towns. I don’t think one can really go wrong with Heidelberg. Also, if you like nature and all that jazz, Freiburg (“capital” of the Black Forest) is a perfect base for all sorts of nature excursions. However, I reckon it’s nicer during warm weather than cold.
If you like snow and lots of it, then Switzerland or Austria has a lot to offer. I’ve only been to several cities in these countries, but I would whole-heartedly recommend Lucerne/Luzern, Switzerland, and Salzburg, Austria.
Want medieval romantic with a South Bohemian flair and Central European prices? Try Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. If you like castles and gothic churches, this is your place.
Oh, and Paris. I never think you can go wrong with Paris when it comes to romantic.
Any city can be romantic with the right attitude and the right girl.
I would normally say Prague, but its a bit messed up at present, and not looking its best.
You could try a northern city, like Stockholm or Helsinki, or even Reykjavik, but I’m not sure which you can get to direct from Manchester.
(Or you could just drive her to Chester, its a beautiful place.)
Although Stockholm is a very beautiful city I would not advise people to come here in January. Late May/early June is the best time here.
This is better suited to IMHO than GQ, so I’ll move this over there.
I’m off to Paris for a romantic weekend with my wife in a couple of weeks, so I’ll let you know on that one (the city, that it is! )
As far places I’ve already been, Florence, Italy. The most amazing city I’ve ever been to - walk through the Piazza della Signorina (sp?), down by the Uffizi gallery to the Ponte Vecchio (Italian dopers, please forgive me for murdering your language, but I love the city!).
There’s also an amazing restaurant, not cheap, but fabulous food, that overlooks the river. Flights to Pisa, and a lovely train ride to Florence. She’ll be bowled over.
Amsterdam is a very beautiful city, especially in the evenings - lots of bridges with lights on and the buildings are very nice in themself too.
I recommend it.
Budapest - lots of lovely thermal baths to warm up in, even open-air ones so you can swin through the steam with snow around you.
Prague - although as noted, the flooding may take a while to clear up.
Slovenia - the capital Ljubljana is lovely, and take a day-trip to Lake Bled.
Bruges - not sure you’ll get much snow though.
I wouldn’t advise any of the Scandinavian capitals at that time of year, unless you don’t mind spending most of your time in the dark. (But go to Stockholm in June - it’s fab!)
For a romantic weekend I’d recommend
Snow will be unlikely there so if you really want that I’d try;
… and if you some seriously warm clothes
Rikyavic (sp?) or Copenhagen
Sorry to disagree, but I found Zürich dull, expensive, dull, dull and dull.
Another vote for Bruges or Amsterdam, if snow isn’t a must. Very nice in the winter when there are fewer tourists around. Easy to get to from England, too. I also found Vienna nice over the Chrsitmas and New Year’s season.
I went to Versaille in the snow - the gardens under 6 inches of white powder were amazing.
Zermat, Switzerland…home of the Matterhorn…no cars at all, just horses and electric vehicles take you from train station to hotels. Almost every room in every hotel has a “view”…lots of warm, cozy, restaurants with fondues or racklette and fireplaces burning softly in the corner.
Walk through the streets late at night and it is still light from the snow. And on a clear night, it feels as if you are living in the clouds.
Re Zurich, I’ve been there and it was rubbish. People were miserable, and in an attempt to make the place seem “fun”, they stuck 400 fibreglass cows around the place???
Was that part of the Cow Parade? (As seen at various Tube stations in London until a couple of days ago, and in the streets during the summer.)
I lived in Prague for two years and loved it. I highly, highly recommend it. Not only is it beautiful, the exchange rate will make your pounds stretch much farther than most European cities. Best beer on the planet, too. The flooding makes me just want to cry, but hopefully everything will be cleared up soon. If you have any specific questions, I’d be happy to help.
Yes it was - I was in Zurich during that too.
I’ll add another vote for Bruges, which is very pretty at any time of year and the horse-drawn tour is pretty romantic. If you want snow to be guaranteed you’d better head for the mountains, though, so Switzerland or Austria seem like good bets, but have a thought about Strasbourg as well.
It may have been a cow parade, although they were just kind of stood there, or dangling, or whatever. Very odd…
Gore Vidal, who has spent winters in Venice for decades, actually wrote a book touting the same. A big, glossy, photo-book of Venice in winter (photos by a pro photographer, IIRC), with text by Vidal. I must say, he argued a convincing case!
Would you want to do any skiing or take in some opera, theatre, or other cultural event? That might help to narrow it down.
…really has nothing to do with romance per se, but I would like to recommend my home town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavarian Germany as a starting point. From there along the so-called “Romantic Road” you can travel all the way down to Füssen where is located King Ludwig’s famous Neuschwanstein Castle and of course the beautiful Bavarian Alps along the way.
Snow you say? There will be snow. And there will be warm and cozy B&B’s for you and your lady. The rest (the romance part) is up to you.