4 non-cliché destinations for Valentine’s Day

2 February, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by Nancy Lova

Image by @minaamonroe

When it comes to picking a destination to jet off to for Valentine’s day, there’s a few that take the spot light such as Paris for the Eiffel Tower and its restaurants, Venice for its sweet canals and Gondola rides or somewhere further afield like the Maldives for the crystal-clear waters and dreamy beach escapes.

Whilst such places are renowned for their romantic image (and rightly so!) there are a number of other locations which are just as perfect to celebrate love. 

So in this article, I’ll share with you a few cities that are already popular holiday destinations but should also be on the top of your list to mark the most romantic day of the year!


Athens oozes romance. With generous views and ancient sculptures and temples pretty much everywhere you turn, this historical Greek city is one giant open-air museum and perfect to experience on Valentine’s Day. Athens boasts art, a rich culture and beautiful relics, just a simple stroll through the centre, hand-in-hand with your partner, is enough to make you fall in love all over again. 

Visit the Acropolis of Athens to see the incredible architecture and remains of several buildings as well as breathtaking views overlooking the city. Situated in the shadow of The Acropolis, wander through Plaka also known as the ‘neighbourhood of the Gods’, a picturesque cobblestoned district, lined with cute cafes and family-run restaurants. Take the occasion to greater heights with rooftop dining and watch the city come alive in the night and sparkle. Some options include Metropolis Roof Garden and GB Roof Garden, both located within luxury hotels and offer dazzling views of the Acropolis at night. 


Quaint canals, river cruises and lavish theatre shows, Amsterdam has romance in the air all year round and should definitely be one of your first options especially for Valentines as there’s so many sights and activities for couples to enjoy here.

Firstly, due to its wonderful culture and love for art, Amsterdam has many museums and galleries to embrace the city such as Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, so for the creative couples and admirers of art, a visit to the Museum Quarter is a must. 

Who knew a few lights can make a place so magical but honestly, Amsterdam is extra pretty at night and all the more romantic too, a perfect time for an evening boat ride. If you’re more of a day-time couple and quite the outdoorsy type then why not hire a couple of bikes? With up to 400 kilometres of cycle paths, this city is known as the bike capital of the world making cycling here, a great activity to spend time together whilst touring the city. 


To feel like you’re the main character of a romance novel, I highly suggest Budapest. It is truly one of the most enchanting places I’ve visited and will have the girls feeling like princesses! If there’s anything you need to do first here, it’s to visit Fisherman’s Bastion, a magical monument located within the Buda Castle district. With 7 stone towers and huge open terraces, walk along the 140m long facade to take in panoramic views of the river and across to the Hungarian Parliament. Visit at night to see all the lights come on and for great photos opportunities with your partner!

The city is in fact split in two halves, Buda being the charming, historical side and Pest being the more modern, urban side but whichever halve you pick, create your own fairytale love scene in one of Budapest’s many bars. Pick High Note SkyBar for a chic setting and great views or Leo for an elegant, glitzy vibe by the river. 


Grand palaces, spectacular riads, camel rides, a labyrinth of colourful streets and dazzling markets, Marrakech is a dreamy Valentine’s destination. Romance here can start right upon arrival as the Red City is known to have some of the most dazzling and luxurious hotels in the world. Whether it’s a boutique hotel or a majestic resort, Marrakech offers an unforgettable getaway fit for royalty. One great option is The Oberoi, Marrakech, an incredible five-star hotel situated on 28 acres of olive groves and Mediterranean orchids with views of the Atlas Mountains. Like, wow!

There’s a plethora of options when it comes to things to do such as booking a desert excursion where you get to tour the Sahara for a night or two or simply go for a camel ride for an hour. 

The restaurants in Marrakech are pretty much made for couples due to their luxurious settings, rich decor and delicious dishes, Dameh Restaurant being one fine example of this or Le Comptoir for its passionate, red interiors, candle light dinners and belly dancing performances. 

This occasion can be celebrated anywhere and sometimes the less obvious places can create the best memories but whichever destination you pick, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! 


IALH Editorial Team


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