Show more

4 Romantic & Budget-Friendly Couple Getaways

  • Facebook
  • Printerest
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • LinkedIn
I’ve recently come across the fact that when you google ideas for romantic couple getaways you get the typical, glorified tourist destinations. These include expensive destinations like Paris, France or Rome, Italy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to Paris twice (once with a significant other) and to Rome once and absolutely loved both locations; they are romantic, have the perfect candle-lit restaurants, and provide the perfect scenery for a loving vacation. The problem with these locations is that, especially on holidays like Valentine’s Day, they are crowded and thus over-priced. Both these locations, in general, are expensive, with restaurants sometimes costing a small fortune. Thus, I embarked on a mission to discover trending yet rather under-estimated locations, perfect for couples looking for a romantic, budget-friendly getaway. The top four “winners” were Milan & Lake Como (Italy), Budapest (Hungary), Sintra & Cascais (Portugal), and Brugge (Belgium). Some of these locations are paired up because they are near each other and therefore it is worth considering trying to consolidate the trip. Do these locations sound dreamy to you? Keep reading below to find out more about what each location has to offer.
Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

1) Milan & Lake Como, Italy

After seeing this first suggestion you may be thinking “but Milan is an expensive destination.” I completely agree that Milan is quite pricey, but the reason Milan is on this list is due to the the endless amounts of beautiful monuments and attraction points that are actually free to visit. You can check out several of our routes below, such as this Milan Walk, the Towers of Milan, Milan Observation Decks, 5 Vie in Milan, Milan Navigli, or the North West Part of Milan.
Milan is an hour away from a small, low-cost airport, so flying in can be very affordable. If you stay in the surroundings and not too central, you can also find very affordable hotel options and Airbnbs. The metro in Milan is quite extensive, so it is pretty easy to get by with just the metro. You can read more about Milan in this article 10 Fun Facts About Milan.
Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

Milan Towers

Milan Observation Decks

5 Vie

In the beautiful main square of Milan, you will find the breath-taking cathedral as well as one of the most famous fashion galleries in the world. There are plenty of nice and affordable food options nearby, so it is quite nice (and easy) to have a meal with the cathedral in site. You can read more about how to make the best of your trip to Milan here.
Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

Milan Navigli

My favorite portion of this choice, however, is Lake Como. I went to Lake Como with my boyfriend on our very first trip abroad together, and it could not have been a better choice. While I find it important to make the disclaimer that we are nature lovers (and thus loved the lake and mountains) I think it is impossible for someone not to love Como. Como is basically this beautiful area featuring breath-taking mountains and a gorgeous lake. There are several different villages surrounding it, famous for the celebrities that come here to seek refuge from the 24 hour attention. You can spend a day or several here, but it is important to note that you can do this as a day trip from Milan (and return the same day). It is a 1:30 hour train from Milan, which runs almost every hour, which makes it very easy to go and return.

Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como

Personally, we walked around and admired the quiet and beautiful architecture of the surrounding villages. We took a very charming ferry ride between each village, which was cheap and provided us with incredible views of the mountains from different angles. I took endless amounts of photos here, some of which you can find below. We enjoyed a hot chocolate and some home-made muffins in a cute remote café, and then sat by the lake and enjoyed the view. Possibly the most romantic destination I have ever been to, so I highly recommend.

Lake Como, Italy

If you would like to read more about the Gardens and Parks in Milan, you can read our article here

2) Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is the ultimate “couple on a budget romantic getaway” destination. While I have personally been unable (thus far) to come here with my boyfriend, I have been there with friends. Curiously I was single at the time, and all I could think about is how romantic the city was.
Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

The reason Budapest is so budget friendly is because of their currency. They do not use Euros, and compared to the Euro their currency is not worth as much, which makes it so that we get a lot more value for our money. In addition to this, hotels and Airbnbs are priced at incredibly friendly prices. I would recommend staying away from hotels (which tend to adapt prices to foreigners) and stick to Airbnbs (which are very locally priced as well as very central).
Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest’s beauty revolves around it’s river, the bridges crossing it, and the parliament building that neighbors it. You can see more of the city in our route below or HERE.
Some of the best activities to do in Budapest as a couple include:
  • Climbing up to the “statue of liberty”: there is a beautiful statue at the top of a mountain in Budapest that gives you an overwhelmingly beautiful view of the city. From there you can see the river, all of the bridges, and many of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Bonus points if you go at night and watch the sunset from there, admiring the streetlights as they turn on when the night settles in.
  • Bathe in Warm, Thermal Waters: Budapest is known for its thermal water bathing, in a huge outdoor pool. This is perfect to do at any time of the year seeing as the water is always kept at a warm temperature, and the perfect activity to do as a couple
  • Walk along, or enjoy a meal at, the river: if your budget is tight, a simple walk along the river holding hands can prove to be extremely romantic. It will provide you with gorgeous picture opportunities, as well as incredible views to sit down and admire. If your budget allows for a little more wiggle room, I would suggest booking a meal cruise; boats that go along the river giving you a tour of Budapest while you enjoy a nice meal.
  • Go out at night: this one really depends on whether or not this is something that suits your taste, but I would argue that even someone who does not enjoy partying too much should try. Budapest is famous for its Ruin Bars/Cafés, which are basically these very quirky places where you can enjoy cheap (but good) beer and other traditional alcoholic beverages. Some places will have old creepy dolls hanging to the walls, others will have incredibly cool light effects. A very famous on is called Simpla, and I personally adored it. You can check out some pictures below.

Budapest, Hungary

Ruin cafés, Budapest, Hungary

3) Sintra & Cascais, Portugal

This one may be a bit of a biased entry: I was born and raised in the Sintra/Cascais area and therefore have a deep connection with the area. However, I have lived in the Netherlands since I was 18 and been able to grow a different type of affection for the location. Everyone I bring here falls completely in love with the area. I have been here with my boyfriend (who is Dutch) several times, and he absolutely loves it. While Lisbon is already a pretty famous tourist destination, Sintra and Cascais are still somewhat in the shadows (albeit this is already changing).

Cascais on the left, Sintra on the right

Sintra offers you the beauty of mountains and the fairy-tale like castles and palaces. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful nature walks, delicious traditional pastries, and even romantic horse-carriage rides. You should check out our route of Sintra below or here. You can also look into it in detail by reading my article of A Short Guide to Sintra, Portugal. This will tell you more about what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and which places to visit.

Sintra, Portugal

Sintra, Portugal

Cascais, on the other hand, offers you the adored ocean and beach option. The village of Cascais used to be one of the main fishing villages in Portugal, and therefore the food you can eat here is beyond incredible. The price range is also very affordable. The best part about Cascais in my opinion, however, are the never-ending beaches. You can check out the photos and the route below, or here. I spend every summer I can here, and have brought several friends of mine for surf lessons here. A group lesson will cost you about 25€ with all the material included (suits and surfboards) and you can get discounts for bulk buying a pack of lessons. Even if you have never surfed before, you’ll be able to find the ideal teacher and beach to learn. If you like the idea of surfing but are not brave enough to try it yet, you could try Paddle Surfing in Cascais which is a little like surfing but can be done without waves. You move very slowly and steadily across the water with the help of a paddle (a bit like a canoe, except you are standing up instead of sitting).

Cascais, Portugal

Cascais, Portugal

Whether you choose to visit one of these locations or both, you should definitely have these in the back of your mind for a budget-friendly romantic trip. Note: if you are visiting Lisbon with your loved one already, both Sintra and Cascais can be visited as a short day trip from Lisbon as they are both a 40-60 minute cheap train ride away. The train to Cascais from Lisbon goes next to the coast, so you get breathtaking views of the ocean on your way there as well.

4) Brugge, Belgium

Last but definitely not least we have the beautiful and underrated city of Brugge, in Belgium. Belgium is already famously known for its chocolates and waffles, but Brugge is definitely the most romantic city in Belgium to enjoy these at. Filled with cute city squares, ancient beautiful churches, the typical canals, and even breweries, the options for what you can do here with your significant other are basically endless. Essentially, the reason why this city is so budget-friendly is due to the fact that a lot of the romantic things you can do here can be done by foot, without having to pay for anything. A lot of the things worth admiring in these cities are architectural intricacies as well as finger food, and therefore you will not have to spend a lot of money to keep your trip here interesting.
Brugge, Belgium

Brugge, Belgium

You can see our Chocolate Run in Brugge route below or by clicking here. You can also check out another one of our Brugge routes below or here.

Brugge, Belgium

Share some chocolate, enjoy some waffles, and allow yourselves to get completely lost in this beautiful city. You can see some photos I took of Brugge below as inspiration. Bonus visit: if you check out the coastal area near Brugge (the beach), you may get lucky like I did and spot some wild seals. That was by far the coolest wild animal spotting I’ve ever had the chance to see.

Brugge, Belgium

We hope this article helped you, and that you enjoy whatever destination you may choose!

Inspired? You might also like routes


  • Direct
  • Recent
  • Most popular
There are no comments yet, why not be the first
Show more comments ()
download routes
tips app for mobile

Routes Tips is available as a free app from the App Store or Google Play.

Travel smarter!

Recent articles

Load more articles