Romantic Budget-Friendly Cities Around The World Perfect For A Valentine's Day Getaway

How you spend Valentine's Day with your better half can help reignite the spark in your relationship, strengthen the bond you have, boost satisfaction, increase trust, and create indelible memories. As such, splurging a bit on the big day can be a worthy investment if you want to take your romantic relationship up a notch. Buying gifts such as flowers and chocolates or taking your lover out for dinner in your city is cool but predictable. How about planning a getaway to a new city for a new experience for you both?

You don't have to break the bank to have the time of your life with your soul mate — you can still travel to celebrate that special day on a tight budget. It all boils down to your preferences. So, do you prefer visiting historic cities, unfrequented beaches, tropical islands, ultramodern cities, or coastal towns? You can enjoy any of these options at a smaller price tag in different cities across all continents, including Europe, which is well-known for luxurious romantic destinations. 

Choosing a budget-friendly metropolis with a lot to see and do during your Valentine's Day getaway can be daunting, but you can't go wrong if you visit any of these cities we've picked out for you. Give the list a look and start planning! 

Krakow, Poland

Sightseeing and dating are an unbeatable combination, and Krakow provides the ideal ground to make your Valentine's Day getaway a success. First on the list of things to do is a date up in the sky, which could also signify that your relationship is now on a higher level. Take a balloon ride and enjoy the panorama of ancient buildings and streets from a bird's-eye view as you whisper sweet nothings to each other. Imagine being about 150 meters above the ground, floating around without a worry in the world. You may decide that all dates in Krakow will be an above-the-ground affair by riding on a Ferris wheel at night. With the lights hitting you and magnificent views of the nearby Vistula River, the atmosphere will be superb to make some sweet promises to the love of your life (via Krakow Booking).

When it comes to dinner, you can keep the energy flowing above the ground by enjoying it on a balcony at Cloth Hall, which offers uninterrupted views of Market Square. At this shopping mall, you can enjoy delicacies at a great price from one of the food stalls. Alternatively, you can decide to take your lover for random shopping, since the mall features many vendors selling jewelry, artwork, and clothes (per Visit Krakow). Taking home some souvenirs will be a thoughtful way of reminding you of the good times you had in Krakow. Other notable attractions you can explore are Father Bernatek Footbridge, Jordan Park Ice Rink, and Garden of Lights (via Krakow Booking).

Athens, Greece

Over 3,000 years ago, Athens was known as the place to find great scholars like Plato, Socrates and Sophocles. Today, Athens is filled with a specific beauty and history that's been built up for years. If you want to build a long, storied life with your love, maybe you can glean some inspiration and insight while holding hands and taking a stroll through this historic city.

A date atop the Acropolis will transport you two to a world of imagination as you enjoy the breathtaking views of iconic archaeological monuments. With such enchanting scenery, capturing some photos of love as you hold hands or lean against each other will be gratifying (per Athens Lover). Just near the Acropolis is the Winepoint, which is an excellent spot to take your darling for a wine-tasting date. From a collection of about 150 types of wines to choose from, there's no doubt that this is an experience to die for. To make the mood even more charming, live music plays in the background, so don't be surprised if you pour your heart out with the aim of bonding strongly (per Best of Athens). 

But if your budget doesn't allow for wining, hiking at Mount Lycabettus will be fun as you have intimate conversations while admiring the panorama of the Attica basin. After this experience, why not try out a traditional bath or massage session at Al Hammam for relaxation before you head to your hotel to spend the night together (via Itinari)?

Instabul, Turkey

The essence of Valentine's Day isn't taken lightly in Instabul, and you can tell from the red balloons that dot the streets, the roses sold everywhere, special parties held at night, and the creatively designed pastries sold in the bakeries (per Travel Triangle). The romantic mood is spread all over, so you'll feel challenged to go the extra mile to show your soul mate that you had something special cooking. To kick start your experience, cruising the Bosphorus as you sip on flavorsome drinks or enjoy electrifying performances will create a romantic setting to express your love for each other. You can capture adorable selfies with the Maiden's Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, and Rumeli Castle serving as the background (via Bosphorus Cruise).

Suppose you planned to propose to her on the 14th of February and you aren't sure how to make it special. Not to worry, climb up the Galata Tower and pop the question as you look over the Historical Peninsula. Since rumor has it that there are high chances you'll marry the partner you climb up the tower with, you'll find more couples on the top trying their luck, and they will be willing to cheer you up or send you congratulatory messages. How sweet! Other romantic spots you can spend time with your valentine are Pierre Loti, Atatürk Arboretum, Camlica Hill, and the Maiden's Tower (per Midtown Hotel).

Algarve, Portugal

Holiday costs in Algarve are lower than Spain, Bulgaria, and Turkey (per the UK Post Office), but that doesn't mean that the town has less to offer. 

To paint a clearer picture, it's a coastal town with pristine beaches, amazing weather, awesome rock formations, nature reserves, dune islands, and mountainous areas (per Algarve Portugal Tourism). Spend this day trying new activities such as surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, jet skiing, or water skiing (via Get Your Guide). With the adrenaline pumping as you learn these sports or as you splash water at each other, the memories will remain engraved in your heart for long — and that will certainly make the day extra special.

After a fun-filled day at the beach, you'll be tired and your bellies will need attention. Fortunately, the food here is affordable, plus you can choose from seafoods, Nepalese cuisines, Portuguese delicacies, or Indian dishes, among others. According to Trip Advisor, some highly rated spots to eat in Algarve are Jaipur, Fabio's RoadStop, Sunita's Castle, and Indian Night's.

Orlando, U.S.

Where do you even start in a well-rounded city like Orlando? Whether it is sampling the food, having fun at theme parks, engaging in water sports, enjoying glorious weather, bird watching, or visiting eye-opening attractions, Orlando ticks all the right boxes for a romantic Valentine's Day date. 

How about triggering your inner child as you explore some world-class theme parks such as SeaWorld Orlando, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, or Universal Orlando Resort (per Visit Orlando)? You two can let go of all your past relationship challenges as you scream at the top of your voices to mark a new beginning of a stress-free relationship. As you have fun at the record-breaking rollercoasters, you'll discover that the key to a happy partnership is the little things.

If you don't fancy theme parks, Discovery Cove is a worthy alternative. From snorkeling with rays to swimming with dolphins, you'll have a completely new experience here that you'll hardly find elsewhere (via Discovery Cove). If both of you are scared of bottlenose dolphins, comforting each other will also be an endearing way of bonding. A Reddit user states, "I love Discovery Cove. It is my favorite attraction in Orlando ... Just a great relaxing day ... More time to relax for less money."

Dubai, UAE

With its international culinary scene, record-breaking shopping malls, beach clubs, and Arabic architecture, a visit to Dubai is worth every penny. You may think that exploring this city is an expensive affair, but that's not the case if you plan well. 

You don't have to do high-end shopping in luxurious stores at The Dubai Mall, eat at world-class restaurants, or buy tickets to enjoy various activities at popular attractions like the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. You can still enjoy free or inexpensive activities such as watching the Dubai Fountain Show, going on a boat tour with the fountains as your backdrop, enjoying the mind-blowing views of the surrounding from the rooftop of Burj Khalifa, or capturing Instagram-worthy photos of your spouse at different spots inside shopping malls (via The Globe Trotting Detective). Another reasonably priced activity to try is a desert safari, which is quite thrilling since you can enjoy activities like camel riding, sand skiing, and dune bashing (per Thrillophilia).

When it comes to budget dining, try out delicacies from different cultures. Be it Japanese, Indian, Chinese, or American, Downtown Dubai has it all (via The Globe Trotting Detective). A reviewer on Trip Advisor says, "Eating out in Dubai is really cheap ... You will find lots of excellent economically priced restaurants, cafes and fast food places." Accommodation in Downtown Dubai is also affordable. A Reddit user states, "A four star hotel from a western brand can be had for under $40/night ... it isn't as expensive as people think."

Phuket, Thailand

For the ultimate beach experience with your valentine, Phuket takes the cake with alluring options such as Mai Khao, Rawai, Kata Yai, Kamala, Karon, Kata Noi, and Patong. For starters, there is no shortage of exciting water activities, including snorkeling, diving, sailing, windsurfing, and swimming, and many more (via Tourism Thailand). If you're looking to capture stunning photos, any locale here can serve as an excellent background: turquoise waters, caves, rock formations, jungle-clad mountains, and limestone cliffs. 

If you'd like to share a hearty conversation with your partner in a serene atmosphere, you can try out a sunset cruise, go on a kayaking tour, or rent a traditional long-tail boat. Imagine swimming with elephants! You can enjoy that experience and more if you visit the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary (per Jetstar). You'll learn a lot from the trained guides, get a chance to feed elephants, take photos, and even watch them bathe.

Sampling Thai cuisine should absolutely be on your to-do list, too. Whether it's fresh seafood, Chinese-inspired delicacies, spicy meals, Malay flavors, or local dishes such as mèe pad hokkien, mŏo hong, pàk miang, or mèe gaang pôo, the experience will be unforgettable. The fun doesn't end there, as you can discover more about the astounding Phuketian culture by visiting the Chinese shrine, marveling at the Sino-Portuguese architecture, or checking out top attractions such as Big Buddha, Laem Phromthep, Phuket Thaihua Museum, and Chinpracha House (per Lonely Planet).

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague has made a name for itself as one of the best places to visit for the finest brews. Since Pilsner Urquell was first crafted in 1842 and gained international recognition, this city has been an ideal environment for other microbreweries that produce amazing beers. 

If you're looking for an authentic drinking experience, some brews you need to sample include Matuška, Kout na Šumavě, Únětice, and Primátor. Another experience to add to your list is checking out art galleries. Without spending much, you and your partner will be mesmerized by Gothic altarpieces, Bohemian art, and David Černý's sculptures (via Lonely Planet). Other impressive historic spots to visit are the Czernin Palace, Břevnov Monastery, Bertramka Museum, and Buquoy Palace (per Prague).

A Reddit user noted, "The beer is the best in the world ... The food is great." JedenJenda, a Redditor, stated, "It is its history and architecture that remained mostly undamaged during WWII ... Compared to European capitals west of Prague it is relatively cheap." If you want just want to enjoy beautiful views of ancient buildings as you bond with your better half over a drink, this is the perfect setting.

Mombasa, Kenya

If you're looking for an African destination brimming with romance, pristine beaches, great weather, wildlife, and flavorful dishes, Mombasa shouldn't miss on your list. Some beaches you can explore on this Indian Ocean island for fun-filled activities such as water skiing, diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, swimming, and kite surfing include Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu, Diani, and Tiwi. Diani beach, in particular, is a top-rated destination, with great hotels and restaurants that fit any budget. For a unique experience that your lover will cherish for a lifetime, swimming with dolphins at Wasini Islands is a must-try (via Kenya Wildlife Tours).

Another romantic experience you need to try out is cruising on a dhow, which is relatively cheap due to the large number of people offering the service. To add spice to the experience, the best time for the cruise is during sunset, due to the fiery views of the sky and calm ocean water. This will set the perfect mood for deep conversations with your spouse. Sampling sea foods or local cuisines such as nyama choma, pilau, and chapati will not only help save costs, but also create fond memories. If you're both interested in watching wildlife, plan a visit to Shimba Hills National Reserve, Mamba Village Centre, Arabuko-Sokoke National Forest, Haller Park, or Nguuni Nature Sanctuary. Alternatively, you can buy souvenirs such as Kikoys, Khangas, and wood carvings made by talented local artists (per Silverback Gorilla Tours).

Nice, France

Paris is a paradise of love that doesn't miss on the bucket list of most couples, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Even though your budget doesn't fit Paris, you shouldn't give up on visiting France to explore other cool places such as Nice. You can decide to enjoy free things during the day and use that money for a top-class dining experience. For example, you won't incur any cost taking a walk at the Promenade des Anglais as you enjoy the magnificent views of the surroundings, and you could even attend one of the free exhibitions or events hosted there. Another idea: Visit the Cours Saleya market, which features affordable handcrafts, to buy each other random gifts.

After spending the day having fun without digging deep into your pockets, reward yourself with a generous gastronomic experience. But before you even go dining, buy tickets to see live bands, ballet shows, and dances at Nice Opéra to relax and set a romantic mood. After the shows, you and your partner can enjoy uninterrupted dinner time at top-rated restaurants such as Le Boudoir, The Horloge, or Calade Rooftop Restaurant. (And if you have a special gift to offer that you've been nervously hiding, this is the perfect time to surprise your date!)