Can you recall the last time you went on a trip with your spouse? Between juggling work, the kids, housework and other family commitments, even finding time to spend solely with each other can be a real challenge, much less going on an overseas holiday with just the two of you.
This year, why not make it a goal to carve in at least one special bonding trip with your better half? Travel is a great bonding experience as you both discover (or rediscover) different sides to each other. And some destinations are even more spectacular when you experience them as a couple.
Whether you’re looking to spice up your relationship with some romance or adrenaline-pumping thrills, there’s a place for you anywhere in the world. Here are 10 top spots to consider and why.
A list like this wouldn’t be complete without the famous city of love. Paris remains one of the most romantic cities for couples to visit. Audrey Hepburn did say that Paris is always a good idea.
Have a picnic while admiring the Eiffel Tower, or share a bottle of French wine at a corner bistro while people watching. Take a stroll along the Seine and feast on wine, cheese and baguettes. Visit the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Montmartre for a culture fix, and explore the various arrondissements on foot.
The allure of Paris makes it a top vote for the most romantic destination.
As one of the most romantic cities in old Europe, the medieval town of Bruges is a fairytale-like spot with its picturesque cobbled streets, canals and marketplace. It’s even been dubbed “Venice of the North” because of its pretty waterways.
For the couple that loves dreamy, quaint towns, Bruges is the perfect place to get wonderfully lost in, if you’ve already been to Venice. Wander down the streets to visit the central marketplace or bell tower, the town hall and the Groeninge Museum. Architecture buffs might also want to check out the Church of Our Lady Bruges, a spire-topped church with Michelangelo art, and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, a church and pilgrimage site with holy relics.
The destination for beach lovers, Hawaii is a popular destination for tourists, drawing over nine million visitors in 2018. There are several Hawaiian islands to visit, from the verdant Kauai to the resort-populated Maui, but you don’t have to visit just one. That’s the beauty of Hawaii — you can island-hop to your heart’s content.
For a romantic getaway, though, Kauai is the spot. Known as the garden island, it has beautiful, secluded beaches, lush gardens, stunning waterfalls and resorts.
Spend some quality time as a couple on a hike to one of the many waterfalls on the island, stroll down one of the remote beaches, discover Kauai’s natural beauty or simply lounge by the pool in your resort.
Can’t do a long-haul trip? Consider these island getaways that are just a stone’s throw away from Singapore.
The Austrian capital of Vienna holds many charms at every turn. For the culture-loving couple fascinated by art, architecture, history and heritage, there is much to discover and be wowed by in this city — from elaborate and exquisite imperial architecture to horse carriages, day visits to royal residences and nights at the opera.
Visit the Schönbrunn palace with its baroque-style architecture, the Belvedere Palace with its 18th-century history, the Albertina art museum and the Rathaus (a neo-Gothic city hall), or simply people-watch over a cup of traditional Vienna (cream-based) coffee at a Viennese coffeehouse.
The peaceful cultural town of Ubud is the place for couples that enjoy art and nature. As the cultural centre of Bali, it houses many temples and traditional architecture and is home to rich Balinese art. Wander through the town on a rented scooter and explore the sprawling rice terraces, or shop for unique souvenirs in bustling local markets.
Stay in a tranquil villa or resort, and enjoy the unhurried pace of life in Ubud. Go for a couple spa or yoga session, or go on a tour to see fireflies at night. If you’re both craving a cup of java, visit the Satria Coffee Plantation and witness how your cuppa is brewed, Balinese-style.
Poland has all the spoils of any European city — lavish hotels, fine dining and luxurious couples spas. The city is just as beautiful as the more popular European locales, but it is also a great destination for budget travel.
For frugal couples looking for a European adventure, Poland is where the average expenditure per day costs no more than $100 (inclusive of meals and accommodation) thanks to the exchange rate. In a town like Krakow, best known for its well-preserved medieval structures and Jewish quarter, it’ll be an insightful time visiting specialty museums such as the stained glass museum Muzeum Witrazu, and historic sites such as the Lost Souls Alley.
Arguably Spain’s most popular tourist destination, Barcelona draws a huge tourist crowds with its diverse food scene, Gothic architecture, quaint winding streets and awe-inspiring city views highlighted with Gaudi structures.
Many hotels in Barcelona offer stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, the Hotel Arts Barcelona is located by the water. Take a stroll through Citadel Park, where you can have a picnic by the fountain and pose for photos before the Arc de Triomf. For sightseeing, visit the Gothic Quarter (El Barri Gotic), a well-preserved Gothic city centre, and the hard-to-miss La Sagrada Familia, a landmark church designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, who’s known for his distinct style.
A popular Greek island for lovebirds, Santorini holds an irresistible appeal with its beautiful blue-domed churches and whitewashed houses. Postcard-perfect and filled with small-town charm in every corner, it’s little wonder that this island in the Aegean Sea is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world.
Take a scenic walk along and catch the sunset while sipping on Greek wine and dining on fresh and wholesome Mediterranean food.
From savoury street snacks to lip-smacking Korean barbeque, you can find Korean cuisine in many parts of the world, but the real deal is even better. There’s nothing like experiencing the comforting warmth of a bowl of Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) on a winter’s evening, or sharing a bowl of patbingsu (red bean shaved ice) with your S.O. on a hot summer’s day.
Go shopping around Myeongdong and have your fill of street food such as ddeokbokki (Korean spicy rice cakes), enjoy Korean barbeque such as samgyupsal (grilled pork belly) at one of the many grill houses in the city, or have a piping hot bowl of abalone porridge after hiking up Mount Seorak.
Kyoto is a great place to get away from the hectic pace of life and spend time with your beloved. You can have deep, thoughtful conversations in teahouses or stroll through lush gardens with meandering paths. You can visit ancient imperial palaces, temples and shrines, shop for local souvenirs or fresh produce and seafood at the Nishiki Market, visit the Kyoto National Museum and Railway Museum, and admire picturesque views of the old capital of Japan.
The Kyoto Botanical Gardens also offer amazing landscapes bursting with colours in every season. Visit in spring and you can even enjoy a romantic boat ride down the cherry blossom-lined Okazaki Canal.
Text: Joyce Chua