Best Solo Travel Trips This Valentine’s

February 12, 2020

Valentine’s Day – what does it make you think of? Couples retreats, romantic walks, aphrodisiacs and red roses. If you’d rather avoid all of that and take a short break to enjoy some quality time with yourself, take a look at some of the best solo travel trips to take this February with not a romantic cliché in sight!

Haarlem, The Netherlands

Haarlem is a vibrant city which blends medieval architecture and a seafaring past with a cool and creative present. Head to Jopenkerk Brewery to try some local beer in a former church and enjoy a bite to eat at the Oude Groenmarkt or Botermarkt areas of the city. For shopping visit the Grote Markt where a weekly street market takes place every Saturday and stop by the 14th century cathedral Grote Kerk to marvel at the stunning architecture. See the city from the canals on a boat tour which weaves its way between monuments and sights. For a spot of culture, the Frans Hals museum houses works from the Dutch painter giving a glimpse into the golden age of Holland and if you fancy a bike ride, you can head through the cycle paths out of the city, past flower fields and to the coast.



Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is the largest urban UNESCO World Heritage site and it’s easy to see why with its abundance of neoclassical, medieval and modern architecture. It’s a city that brings the old and new together with striking new buildings such as the decanter shaped La Cité du Vin museum, dedicated to the sweet nectar the region is known for. Find out more about the wine making process and enjoy wine tastings and themed workshops here then head to one of the city’s many restaurants to sample some authentic French cuisine.  Bœuf bourguignon with a nice Bordeaux red anyone?

Visit the gothic Saint Michel church and climb the spire for views across the city, see classical art at the Musée des Beaux Arts and enjoy a stroll by the Garonne river knowing that the day has been all yours to spend how you wish.


Barcelona, Spain

Stroll the old town, see a flamenco show in an old baroque palace, or visit Park Guell to see some of Gaudi’s famous architecture. The mild and sunny weather make it a pleasure to be outside, whether it’s drinking or dining alfresco or relaxing on the beach with a good book. There are plenty of organised walking tours too so you can discover even more about the history of the city while meeting other like-minded people.


Budapest, Hungary

Known by many as the nightlife capital of Europe, Budapest’s ‘ruin bars’ are legendary and are a must to visit for a night to remember. Head to A38, a cultural venue in a former Ukrainian coal ship for live music, food and drink or if you’re looking for something more upscale, visit the Hungarian State Opera House in the heart of Budapest and enjoy a classic opera performance.

By day, soak in one of the city’s thermal baths, marvel at the city’s art nouveau, neoclassical and baroque architecture and enjoy some tea and cake at the beautiful Café Gerbeaud.

If you like dinner with a difference, book a table at Konyvbar Restaurant where every week they create a set menu based on a different book. Past menus have been inspired by books such as Little Women, Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh. How novel!


Munich, Germany

If you like to be in the hustle and bustle, head to Marienplatz Square in Munich where you’ll find old and new town halls, shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to stop for a bite to eat and take it all in – the mix of old and new, the bustling atmosphere and of course, it’s a great spot to people watch.

On Sundays over a dozen museums in Munich cost just €1 to enter so why not spend the day museum hopping? Marvel at Monet at the Neue Pinakothek, discover Roman and Greek architecture at Glyptothek and be amazed at the Science and Technology at the Deutsches Museum.

After your museum hopping head outside to Viktualienmarkt, the city’s vibrant food market, Hellabrunn Zoo or Englischer Garten, the sprawling green oasis in the centre of the busy city.


Lucerne, Switzerland

For a break that incorporates a city, lake and mountains, look no further than the beautiful Lucerne in Switzerland. The city is brimming with culture with theatres, museums and festivals throughout the year. The small, cobbled streets are easy to amble around for you to visit the various churches, the water tower and discover secluded plazas. Cross medieval bridges, head out on the lake and for truly breathtaking views climb Mount Pilatus to see Alpine peaks and hear cow bells in the distance. After a day of sightseeing and hiking, head to a local restaurant for a warming Swiss fondue!


Lyon, France

Lyon is home to several universities and is a hub of creativity. Alongside this is a rich heritage and history, with its renaissance old town, Roman ruins and 19th-century Presqu’île quarter. Browse the boutiques and enjoy a café au lait in the Croix Rousse area, or climb one of the many viewpoints in the city for fabulous views. If you’re a film buff you must go to Institut Lumière, a museum dedicated to the godfathers of film, the Lumière brothers or if you fancy feeling like a Lilliputian, head to Musée Miniature et Cinéma, a museum with over 100 realistic miniature scenes. It also houses a cinema exhibition with over 300 artefacts from films from the last 50 years. If you’re strolling the streets, look around you to see magnificent murals on many buildings across the city and for a spot of delicious French cuisine head to Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse for local Lyonaise produce. If you’re looking for more of a sit-down affair, Lyon has more restaurants that any other city in the country and is lauded for its cuisine. Bon appetit!


Utrecht, The Netherlands

Founded over 1,000 years ago, Utrecht is one of the Netherlands’ oldest cities and is filled with traditional architecture and design.


There are several museums to visit including Centraal Museum where you can see  artwork from as early as 14th century, DOMunder, where you can discover medieval catacombs beneath the city, and there’s even a Miffy museum dedicated to the beloved children’s character penned by Utrecht born illustrator Dick Bruna.

Head outside to Máximapark, a sprawling urban escape with flower gardens, restaurants and plenty of cycle paths. Visit the Dom Tower which has stood in the city centre since 1143 and climb the steps to the peak to see across the city and even as far as Amsterdam on clear days.

As night falls, why not see some live music at Tivoli Vrendenburg, a music venue with five different stages, several bars and cafes and sky-high observation areas with views into central Utrecht.

DFDS run several ferry routes across Europe. Find out more here.

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