Five of the best European destinations for a romantic Valentine’s Day escape
a&o Hostelshas hand-selected five of Europe’s best cities for celebrating Valentine’s Day. a&o Hostelsprovides a perfect base for those looking to sneak away to a convenient, cosy place at a great rate this February. With central and affordable accommodation in key cities across Europe, the hostels are a fantastic choice for savvy couples wanting to save their cash for romantic activities. Offering private rooms, 24-hour service, free Wi-Fi, guest kitchens and laundry rooms, a&o Hostelsoffers travellers the chance to explore some of Europe’s most beautiful locations without breaking the bank.
Couples looking to make the most of a weekend away to celebrate their love, can soak in the intimate offerings of Tivoli. Offering a full night of romantic experiences, guests can begin with a stroll along the beautiful streets, followed by a candlelit dinner at one of its fine dining restaurants. Those who want to commit, can lock hearts using a love padlock on the bridge over Tivoli Lake and skate on Copenhagen’s charming ice rink.
Stay at a&o Copenhagen Nørrebrofrom €78.01 (£66.18) per person, per night. Just a short 10 minutes’ drive from Tivoli, a&o Copenhagen Nørrebro is the perfect location for couples wanting to be in the middle of it all.
Vienna’s decadent architecture and spacious avenues provide a stunning backdrop for a romantic escape. For those looking for a touch of glamour, attending a classical opera or Viennese ball makes for a particularly unforgettable night. Both theKaffeesiederball(Ball of The Coffeebrewers), a glamourous black-tie affair held at the Imperial Palace, and the final night of Wiener Staatsoper’s reimagining of Beethoven’s Fidelio, fall serendipitously on Valentine’s Day. Couples can also take a horse-drawn carriage through the picturesque city centre, with special Valentine’s packages offering champagne and sweet treats to enjoy along the way, or book a private candlelit dinner overlooking the city atop the Riesenrad, the world’s oldest Giant Ferris Wheel.
Stay at a&o Wien Hauptbahnhoffrom €54.25 (£46.02) per person, per night. Close to Vienna’s new Central Railway Station, a&o Wien Hauptbahnhof’s convenient location boasts easy access to the city centre, as well as Vienna’s International Centre.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
It’s easy to buy roses almost anywhere in Amsterdam, but for truly special bouquets, head to renowned designer florist Gerda’s Bloeman for the best quality seasonal blooms. For a unique activity, couples can take a day trip to the fairytale castle of Muiderslot, located just east of Amsterdam. Dating back to 1280, this medieval palace features a moat, drawbridge and numerous turrets, as well as manicured gardens – the perfect setting for lovers to wander in. A visit to the Magere Brug (Kissing Bridge) is recommended to those hoping for eternal love. With local legend decreeing that lovers who kiss here stay in love forever, it is no surprise that the site is a popular proposal spot.
Stay at a&o Amsterdam Zuidoostfrom €118.16 (£100.23) per person, per night. Located close to the metro in the Bullewijk district,a&o Amsterdam Zuidoost boasts easy transport links by car, bus or train, and provides a spacious refuge from the hubbub of the inner city.
Couples can meander through Venice’s cobbled streets and tranquil waterways to seek out the Bridge of Sighs by foot or boat, with numerous intimate tours available. For those wanting a quintessentially Venetian experience, a private gondola ride complete with a serenade is the perfect choice. Travellers wanting to explore further afield can also enjoy dinner on traditional Venetian-style Galleon while sailing through Venice’s enchanting lagoon. Sights from aboard include the stunning islands of Le Vignole, San Francesco of the Desert, Burano, Torcello, Mazzorbo and Murano, as well as St Mark’s basin. For an‘old style’ date night, watch a performance at Le Fenice Opera House.
Stay ata&o Venezia Mestrefrom €59.18 (£24.75) per person, per night. Mere steps from Venice’s central station, a&o Venezia Mestreis perfectly placed to enable travellers to get to and from the city’s main sights.
Not generally known as a romantic destination, Berlin is the perfect option for a low-key Valentine’s Day getaway. Travellers can spend the afternoon customising cakes at Kastanientörtchen, where up to 1973 different combination possibilities are on offer. Those keen for a taste of Berlin’s party scene are invited to join other passionate dancers at the city’s 7th Annual Valentine Dance Festival. The nearby island Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), located in the Havel River, is also ideal for a picturesque day trip. Set on the outskirts of the city near the border with Potsdam and Brandenburg, this idyllic island is home to extraordinary architecture, including a memorial temple for Queen Louise of Prussia, a late Gothic Kavaliershaus, and a quaint castle, as well as free-ranging peacocks.
Stay at a&o Berlin Mittefrom €53.26 (£45.18) per person, per night. Located at the heart of Berlin, a&o Berlin Mitteis close to central hubs such as Alexanderplatz and Ostbahnhof, and readily accessible by car, train and public transport.
About a&o Hostels:
a&o was founded in 2000 by Oliver Winter and 39 hostels in 23 cities and eight countries (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Poland and Hungary) can currently be booked; new openings in Warsaw, Copenhagen and Budapest are scheduled for 2019/2020. As the largest hostel provider in Europe, the chain is growing at over 15 percent per year. With around 28,500 beds and around five million overnight stays in 2018, a&o recorded sales of around 152 million Euros. The American investor TPG Real Estate has been the owner of a&o since 2017. Even after almost 20 years, the company is still run by its founders.
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