Top 25 Romantic Travel Experiences Around the World: 2014 Viator Travel Awards

December 19, 2013 by

Romantic Tours, Things to Do, Travel Advice & Inspiration, Viator Travel Awards


Editor’s Note: This post is part of the Viator Travel Awards, an annual awards competition where we – along with our readers, travelers, and fans – select the top things to do and see in each of the major regions we serve, the top things to do in our most popular tour categories, and more.

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Welcome to the 2014 Viator Travel Awards: Romantic Travel Edition! Are you planning on traveling with a loved one or celebrating a special occasion? If you’re looking for something romantic to do on your next trip, look no further than this list of the Top 25 Romantic Experiences Around the World.

The tours and activities highlighted are chosen based on traveler reviews, data from the millions of people who check out during the year, and information on which tours travelers book most often. We think you’ll enjoy reading about the array of activities available and we also think this list is a great place to start if you’re planning a trip with someone special.

You’ll find all kinds of activities listed below, including helicopter rides, sunset cruises, and wine tasting trips near and far. Join us for this tour of the top 25 most romantic things to do!

1. Take a romantic helicopter ride

Las Vegas night helicopter

Soar over the sparkling lights of Las Vegas in a helicopter

What better way to rekindle those first date nerves than whisking your date into the sky on a breathtaking helicopter tour? Sip champagne on a luxurious helicopter as you swoop over the glittering strip of Las Vegas, offering views over New York New York, Paris, the Venetian, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island and the Stratosphere Tower; soar over the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park on a Viator VIP night-time helicopter tour of iconic NYC; or for the ultimate in dramatic vistas, fly through the Grand Canyon on a scenic flight over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and, of course, the epic canyon itself.

2. Set sail by day…

New York can be incredibly romantic… except when you’re fighting for sidewalk space with pedestrians and being jostled here and there while simply trying to sight-see. This is why a can seem even more romantic than it is; after all, the Big Apple is always at its shiniest when seen from a bit afar! Similarly calming and romantic is the ; not everyone thinks of traversing the Windy City by its extensive network of waterways, but it’s a wonderful experience that lets you appreciate the surprising architecture of the city. A of San Francisco lets you soak in the moody coastline of this stunning city (without huffing it up those hills!). But of course, the height of a romance setting sail is with a , which allows you to see the city as one should, from its watery roads.

3. …or by night

Paris dinner cruise

Enjoy a romantic dinner while cruising down the Seine

Drift down moonlit waters beneath a star-studded sky in some of the most romantic cities in the world. Whisk your partner away on a Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade; dance the night away on a ; take a New York Dinner Cruise along the Hudson River with views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building; or sail off on a and see twilight views of the city skyline, Alcatraz, Sausalito, the Golden Gate Bridge and Marina District.

4. Skip the lines

Nothing kills the mood of sightseeing days like getting stuck in an endless queue, so think ahead and book a tour that lets you skip the lines and get straight inside top attractions. ; Skip the Line: Florence Accademia and Uffizi Gallery Tour; ; and  all offer priority access to the city’s most popular attractions, with bi-lingual guides making sure you don’t miss anything along the way.

5. Have an unforgettable meal

Australia offers plenty of choices for romance, such as with the , or at the Sounds of Silence Restaurant, where you can tuck into Australian delicacies like kangaroo or crocodile while gazing at the stars; or a Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne with dinner served on board a historic 1948 tram as you chug past the city’s attractions. And if trains are your thing, another option is the – no driving needed! Over in Europe, you can wine and dine your sweetie with a , or with a .

6. Go wine tasting

Forget snacking on oysters – the easiest way to get in the mood for romance is an afternoon sipping wine in a variety of idyllic settings. Take a Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne or the through some of Australia’s most picturesque wine regions; drive through Tuscan countryside dotted with vineyards and medieval castles on a Chianti Region Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip from Florence; combine a mountain view with a trip through Cava country on a Montserrat and Cava Trail Small Group Day Trip from Barcelona; or explore one of North America’s premier wine regions with a Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour from San Francisco. Lisbon offers .

7. See wildlife big and small

Australia wallaby

Australia wallaby

There are few better ways to remind yourself of the world’s wonders than by getting up close and personal to some of the world’s most magnificent creatures. Cuddle up to Australia’s cutest native mammals with a Phillip Island: Penguins, Koalas and Kangaroos Day Tour from Melbourne or be amazed by the intelligence of orangutans on a Singapore Zoo Morning Tour with optional Jungle Breakfast amongst Orangutans. A lets you hold a baby alligator, feed a giant catfish or meet a nutria! And of course, there’s always whale-watching – with a or a , which also includes gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco skyline and the Farallon Islands.

8. See a show

NYC’s Broadway is the number one choice for theatregoers, with an incredible variety of world renowned shows like Wicked, Chicago and Evita, and an array of historic venues and star-studded performances to choose from. Prefer your theatrics a little more explosive? You don’t get more impressive than – expect mind-blowing acrobatics, surrealist light displays and more than a touch of the bizarre. Of course, you could always liven things up with a touch of the risqué and head to the world-famous cabaret of the Moulin Rouge Paris where showgirls in glittering costumes, lightening fast tap-dancers and a suitably cheeky French cancan are the perfect aphrodisiac. Want to kick it up a notch? Then opt for the . The is another top choice in the City of Light, too. For a bit of a more tropical feel, don’t miss the Old Lahaina Luau in Maui; or for the glitter of a sophisticated evening, see the most romantic show in New York City with two tickets to Phantom of the Opera On Broadway.

9. Feed your passion

Tapas walking tour of Barcelona

Tapas walking tour of Barcelona

Foodies can indulge their taste buds on a XX; or roam Barcelona’s traditional eateries on a Tapas Evening Walking Tour of Barcelona. Better yet, satisfy your sweet tooth with a Paris Chocolate and Pastry Food Tour or a Brussels Chocolate Walking Tour and Workshop, where you’ll get to sample a range of exquisite chocolates as well as learning the art of chocolate making from a master chocolatier. A will be a feast for your senses as well as a romantic stroll through the historic city center. And of course, you can feed your ultimate passion – which, let’s admit, is pizza – with a .

10. See the city by night

Few times are as atmospheric in the city as strolling the neon-lit streets after hours. Explore the landmarks, memorials and monuments of the American capital on a  by the light of dusk. When it comes to nighttime illuminations, though, two places hit the jackpot – take an , where the romantic twinkling of the City of Light is sure to get you in mood, as will the . But to really ignite the flame of passion, take a !

11. Get your groove on

There are few better ways to endear yourself to your loved one than with a tender serenade, but those lacking in vocal skills might be better leaving the crooning to the masters. Hum along to dreamy Celtic folk songs with a Dublin Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl fueled by endless pints of local brew, Guinness, and plenty of impromptu Irish dancing; or take a New York Hip-Hop Tour where you’ll discover the genre’s roots and might even get the chance to show off your own skills. For strictly paying homage to The King, then a is a must.

12. See a fairy tale castle

Neuschwanstein Castle Small Group Day Tour from Munich

Neuschwanstein Castle Small Group Day Tour from Munich

Any kid knows that fairy tales include a castle. So if you want to make your sweetheart feel like a princess from her favorite story, then what better way than to bring her to a castle? At the top of the list is a to see perhaps the most fantastical castle, perched at the top of an improbably mountain. While everything in Prague looks straight out of a fairy tale, a will show you its inner workings and fascinating history. And if you’d like a more rugged castle, then the is for you.

13. Ride the rails

Vancouver to Whistler train

Ride to Whistler in style on a rail tour from Vancouver

Evoke the old world ambiance of the luxurious Orient Express and re-experience the thrill of railway travel, by cuddling up in a private carriage on a scenic train journey. Pass cascading waterfalls, rugged fjords and snow-capped mountains on a spectacular Vancouver to Whistler by Train Rail Tour; see America’s grandeur with a ; feel the rush of speed with a ; or take a ride on the UNESCO world heritage-listed Bernina Express railway on a Swiss Alps Bernina Express Rail Tour from Milan, winding through the Swiss Alps to the glittering resort of St. Moritz, known as the ‘Top of the World’.

14. Learn a local dance

Whether it’s a fun night out at the club or your first dance as husband and wife in front of friends and family, dancing is an integral part of romance. So, why not learn to do it right, by watching the pros all over the world? Shake your thang with supremely talented locals while watching a ; get hot under he collar with a sizzling ; or take part in a .

15. Turn up the heat (in the kitchen)

Couples that cook together have much more fun – the rhythm of the tasks, the communal feel of helping each other, and the resulting meal together does a lot for setting the stage for romance. When you come away from these cooking classes, you’ll not only have memories; you’ll also have recipes you can try to recreate at home. Take a in the heart of the French Quarter, and line your belly before heading out to the streets to party it up. With a , you’ll be having friends over for dinner to show off your homemade paella in no time. Learn as you eat your way through Italy with a as well as a . And after touring the markets with a knowledgeable guide, take a and bring home the romance for your next anniversary dinner!

16. Be a VIP

Forget following the masses and squeezing through the crowds for a mere peek at the main attraction – get Viator VIP access and you’ll not only skip the queues, but you’ll have rare access to private areas not open to the public. Take a Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican’s Secret Rooms and go behind the scenes to explore the Vatican Museum’s secret rooms and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime private Sistine Chapel viewing; or take a Viator VIP: Palace of Versailles Small-Group Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters where you’ll get to sneak ahead of the crowds to view the famous State apartments and Hall of Mirrors, then explore normally off-limits rooms in the magnificent UNESCO World-Heritage-listed Royal abode.

17. Float in a hot air balloon

Barcelona hot air balloon ride

Barcelona hot air balloon ride

Few activities evoke romance more than taking in the sunrise from a hot air balloon and the world is full of rom-com worthy backdrops to set your flight to. Hover above the revelry of the Las Vegas Strip, with a tranquil hot air balloon ride over Las Vegas, where you’ll have views of the Red Rock Mountains and Red Rock Canyon, or counteract the adrenaline overload of the theme parks with a gentle flight over Orlando. Outside of US soil, a private ballooning trip in Catalonia affords incredible views over the Mediterranean coast, Montserrat and the Pyrenees; or else you can opt for a glamorous cruise above the desert from Dubai and celebrate your safe landing with a post-flight champagne breakfast. Or how about a ?

18. Go with the flow

Water adventures are the perfect romantic outing for an outdoorsy couple who loves experiencing nature together. With a , you can paddle through the sea and mangrove areas and see abundant wildlife including Oriental-pied hornbills, water monitors and pink dolphins. The takes you through this national marine park, dotted with dozens of islands, limestone cliffs and caves. For those who love a bit of fun on land as well, there’s a . Even in Europe, there’s coastal kayaking fun to be had with a .

19. Get around by scooter

Chianti Vespa tour

Chianti Vespa tour

Whether you choose to share a scooter or ride side-by-side, scooter tours are fun and romantic, as well as a unique way to see the sights. See the city like a local on a Barcelona Scooter Tour; zoom past iconic Hawaiian landmarks like Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head on an Oahu Independent Scooter Adventure; laugh your butt off on a ; or cruise the idyllic Tuscan vineyards on a .

20. Stay up late

Party it up! Some of the romantic times in a relationship is when the night never ends. With a you can breeze past the hoi-polloi like a VIP and get right into the hottest spots. If you want to get seriously into the Vegas scene, then check out the and get hot and wet all night long. Good times are guaranteed – but memories of them are not – on a . And of course, what better place to stay up late than in the city that never sleeps? Well, now you can – with the .

21. Get married

Valley of Fire wedding

Get married at the Valley of Fire

Swap a traditional church wedding for a wedding day to really remember, by opting for a more unique ceremony in the marriage capital of the world – Las Vegas. Say your vows to the dramatic red sandstone backdrop of Las Vegas’ Valley of Fire with a Valley of Fire Helicopter Wedding; or opt for a ‘traditional’ Las Vegas Wedding at A Special Memory Wedding Chapel where you can even elect to have Elvis walk you down the aisle and serenade you, in true Las Vegas style, or a !

22. Pack a picnic

There’s just something romantic about a picnic. Maybe it’s that just by breaking from the norm and spreading out on a blanket in the grass or sand, the meal feels a little more special. A picnic implies that you’re not in a rush, you’ve got nowhere else you need to be, or nothing else you need to do; it’s about enjoying the moment and the person who is relaxing with you. A picnic is also a great way to save a bit of money, enjoy some people watching, soak up the scenes of everyday life in another place, and hang out with the locals.

From beaches to parks to bridges, you can find a great picnic spot in nearly any destination; a little seclusion, some great food, and a beautiful view can make it all the more romantic. And for an added element of romance, make it a surprise for your loved one and let someone else handle the logistics. You can picnic on a deserted island in Puerto Rico, picnic overlooking the canals of Venice or starting up at the impressive ironwork of the Eiffel Tower, you can pack a lunch for two to enjoy all alone at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, or spread a blanket out in the shadow of Ayers Rock in Australia. You can even have a picnic delivered to a New York City park.

23. Try some unique transport

Vienna wine tasting bike tour

Vienna wine tasting bike tour

The thrill of traveling is in the journey as well as the destination, so liven things up by sampling some alternate forms of transport. Snuggle up in the backseat of an iconic London ‘hackney cab’ for a Private Tour: Black Taxi Tour of London where you can see sights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London with the convenience of a personal chauffeur; pedal around Vienna’s picturesque Wachau Valley on a Wine Tasting Bike Tour departing Vienna where you’ll stop off at the region’s traditional wine taverns for a series of tasting sessions; or cruise through the glittering lights of the Chinatown night market on Singapore’s Chinatown Trishaw Night Tour.

24. Learn something new

Learn how to make a Venetian mask

Learn how to make a Venetian mask

If mulling over famous artworks and dabbling in the local music scene has left you yearning to stretch out your own creative wings, why not opt for a tour that tests your craft skills and make your own unique gifts for each other? With an Experience Venice: Learn How to Make a Venetian Mask tour you’ll get to paint your own version of a Venetian Carnival mask – the perfect keepsake to remind you of your Italian travels; or Experience Penang: Learn How to Make Malaysian Handicrafts gives you the chance to try your hand at traditional batik painting and craft a pewter dish.

25. Indulge your artistic side

Beijing 798 Art Zone

Beijing 798 Art Zone

Art lovers will find a myriad of ways to bond on their travels, with a chance to view everything from impressionist masterpieces to modernist oddities. For a real chance to indulge your creative side, take a Rome Art History Tour: Walking in Caravaggio’s Footsteps where the Renaissance master is brought to life through a tour of his home turf, including the famous Madonna del Loreto housed in the church’s Cavaletti Chapel. Alternatively, opt for a Private Provence Tour: In the Footsteps of Van Gogh where you’ll trace the history of the famous artist with visits to his local haunts and many of the landscapes that inspired his paintings; or delve into the architectural wizardry of modern day Beijing on a Beijing Architecture and 798 Art Zone Small Group Tour. Fans of alternative art forms might appreciate the Tokyo Studio Ghibli Museum Afternoon Tour where the world of Japanese Anime is brought to life in a vast exhibition of Ghibli works.

 - Viator Travel Team


2 Responses to “Top 25 Romantic Travel Experiences Around the World: 2014 Viator Travel Awards”

  1. Elena&Pero Says:

    We do like all about Florence and Tuscany, specially horse riding in Chianti day trip from Florence. Next time we shall write something more about Florence and Tuscany romantic experiences as Florence and Old Bridge do deserve to be mentioned. We love Viator!

  2. Alex SG Says:

    Almost everywhere I go I try to rent a scooter and checkout the local area. The feeling is much more intimate plus you can stop nearly anywhere, park the scooter, walk around and talk with the locals. The feeling is a lot more authentic than sitting on a tourist bus watching the outside world from your premium leather seats. Strong agree with the points above.

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