Looking to book a last-minute Valentine’s Day city break? Avoid the rush to Paris and Rome with one of our alternative Valentine’s Day destinations from Manchester Airport. Don’t forget to pre book your car parking at Manchester Airport with APH, or add a touch of luxury to your trip with our range of Manchester airport hotels and car parking packages or escape the hustle and bustle of the departure area with award-winning airport lounge specialist No.1 Traveller.
Take a detour from the well-trodden path and you’ll find a wealth of romantic locations for that intimate city break with the one you love. Here are our suggestions…
While the rest of the world is on a charge for Prague, you can dodge the crowds with a trip to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. With its 15th Century castle perched high above the city, you’ll be enchanted by the city’s cobbled streets and beautiful gardens, yet surprised by the budget prices in restaurants and bars. Take your loved one to the city’s Butcher’s Bridge where locals and travellers, alike, seal their love of each other by attaching brightly coloured padlocks to the structure’s steel cables. The city is a centre of culture and arts, too, so just make sure you leave enough time to enjoy each other.
Two nights and flights for two: £1050
Forget its divided history, lovers with a passion for culture will be drawn together in the unique atmosphere of this iconic German city. Head to the Kreuzberg neighbourhood to see just how the city has been transformed since the wall came tumbling down. The district has a sophisticated, yet avant-garde feel and is a centre of many modern creative industries. Rent bikes to take in the sights, or simply enjoy the many bars and cafes that open late into the night. For that stand-out event of your trip, head to the Solar Sky Bar – a 16th floor restaurant and bar – which offers stunning vistas of this fascinating city. Finally, why not enjoy a romantic stroll around the beautiful Schlachtensee Lake in nearby Charlottenburg – where locals skate on the glistening winter ice.
Two nights and flights for two: £457
Known as the City of Desire, Istanbul’s heady mix of spirituality and romance makes it a must-go destination for lovers of all ages. This transcontinental city straddles both Europe and Asia, offering a clash of cultures that will seduce all who wander its streets. Enjoy a romance-filled cruise down the Bosphorus, flanked by Europe on one side and Asia on the other, or an afternoon at the Grand Bazaar, where around 4,500 traders tempt travellers with everything from glass-blown lamps to jewellery, antiques and Turkish rugs. As the sun goes down couples should head to the fashionable Bebek village area to sip cocktails and dine in its seductive restaurants and bars on the banks the Bosphorus.
Two nights and flights for two: £830
Forget preconceptions; Amsterdam is a city that’s built for romance. From walks along endless canals to trams and tulips, it has all the ingredients of a truly special weekend. Leave the brash central strip of Damrak, and a five-minute walk will take you to the city’s myriad canals. The hustle and bustle of the city centre will be a world away as you enjoy a tranquil stroll exploring the maze of waterways and bridges. Alternatively, enjoy the beauty in glorious togetherness by traversing the waterways on a hired tandem. Whatever your mode of transport make sure you visit the Vondelpark – a park voted by Amsterdam’s residents as the most romantic spot in the city. As evening arrives, adventurous couples can take in the exhilarating atmosphere of the city’s iconic red light district, followed by a meal and drinks in one of the old centre’s restaurants or bars. Those who want a more intimate and relaxed evening should head for the canal area’s selection of eateries.
Two nights and flights for two: £500
Jersey, Channel Islands
Best known for the 1980s detective show Bergerac, this beautiful island retreat of millionaires makes the perfect backdrop for your last-minute Valentine’s getaway. A consommé of British and French influences, there’ll be no shortage of fine food and stunning scenery to help the romance flow. Stroll hand-in-hand along one of the island’s stunning beaches, then take your pick from the seemingly endless choice of fine restaurants. However, our choice for lovers must be the Oyster Box, where you can feast on this traditional food of desire while gazing out over the natural beauty of St Brelade’s Bay.
Two nights and flights for two: £476
Car key to romance
Not sure where take your partner for that last-minute Valentine’s Day break? Simply take a look their car. Here at APH, we work with cars all day long, so we know that the choice of vehicle says a lot about its owner. Here’s our guide to what different models of cars say about their drivers and where they might like to be whisked away to…
City car or supermini: Drivers of these small, nippy cars are likely to be interested in getting as many miles from the fuel tank as possible, so we’d suggest a fast-moving city that packs a lot of punch for the pound.
Where to go: Budapest… a fun city that’s great for lovers on a budget, it topped a Guardian survey as the cheapest Valentine’s Day destination in Europe.
Small family cars: Some of these models can be seen as plain and safe, but that’s simply because the owner is using them for practical chores such as the daily commute or school run. They’ll appreciate a break from the norm with a Valentine’s Day destination filled with luxury and excitement.
Where to go: Barcelona… a must-go city for lovers who want to splash out and enjoy the finer things in life for a few days.
Luxury cars: Owners of these cars work hard and love to relax in a safe and luxurious environment .
Where to go: Paris… forget alternative and quirky destinations, it has to be the tried and tested for the luxury car owner. Europe’s capital of romance it is, then.
Sports cars: If your lover’s driving a sports car, their outgoing, racy character should be matched by your choice of Valentine’s Day destination.
Where to go: Rome… another tried and tested Valentine’s Day destination, but this fast, feisty and fashionable city with its chic boutique hotels is sure to impress.