Romantic Destinations for Solo Travelers

by Janice Waugh /
Janice Waugh's picture
Feb 22, 2011 / 0 comments

Romance. It’s not all hearts and candlelit dinners. In fact, until
the card industry hijacked Valentine’s Day, romance had a much broader

The Romantic Era began in the late 18th century largely in reaction
to the Age of Enlightenment and the industrial revolution. It hung on
well into the 19th century being epitomized by the likes of William
Wordsworth in poetry, Beethoven in music and J.W.M. Turner in painting.

Romanticism was a European phenomenon and certain places in Europe
reflect the Romantic Era better than others. Here are a few that make
absolutely stunning and romantic destinations for solo travelers.

The Romantic Road – Germany.
The Romantic Road offers beautiful scenery, historic towns and
fairy tale castles. Running from Würzburg in the north to Füssen in the
foothills of the Bavarian Alps in the south, it’s one of the busiest
routes in Germany.

Woman in the German Alps

View from the Neuschwanstein Castle in 2001.

The Romantic Road is famous for Neuschwanstein Castle built by Ludwig
II (sometimes referred to as Mad King Ludwig. You’ll see enough
eccentricities to warrant the title if you visit.) It was built as an
escape for himself and in homage to the operas of Wagner. It is stunning
on the approach through the mountains and throughout the tour.

Also popular on the Romantic Road are: Wurzburg, famous for it’s wines and the Residence Palace; Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a well preserved medieval town; Hohenschwangau Castle; and the Fussen Abbey. You can cycle as well as drive the route.

Vienna – Austria.
It was only 10 years ago that I wandered the Romantic Road. It
was almost 25 years ago that I traveled to Vienna alone – yet the
memories linger still.

What could be more romantic than the Vienna State Opera House? The
tour is great but if you can get a ticket, go. Even if you’re not into
opera the extravaganza both on and off the stage is a show not to be

Also on the list should be the Hofberg Imperial Apartments, the
Schönbrunn Palace and the Spanish Riding School (if you’re into that
sort of thing.) There’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hotel Sacher for
their famous Sacher Torte (developed in 1832 by Franz Sacher –
appropriately during the Romantic era.)

Rainbow in the Lake District

Romance in the Lake District is natural.

The Lake District – England
The Lake District is where I first realized that one could go alone to a romantic destination.

William Wordsworth and the Lake Poets drew attention to this special area in the northwest corner of England during the 19th century.  The landscape inspired many poems including the famous I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. The Lake District has since become a destination for nature lovers and walking enthusiasts everywhere.

The beauty of the fells is the source of much of the Lake District’s
romance. But there is also Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, the history of the
Coffin Walk between Ambleside and Grasmere, tea rooms like Rydal Hall
and centuries old pubs like the Unicorn.  You might want to read Falling in Love in the Lake District and Pub Life in the Lake District – Solo Evenings.

Paris is for lovers. But it is also for solo lovers of Paris.
This planned city was beautifully designed by Haussman during the
Romantic Era. After being hired by Napoleon III to modernize the city
(and design it to keep down rebellions), Haussman created wide,
tree-lined boulevards, expansive gardens, the Arc de Triomphe and the
Grand Opera House. All this makes Paris a beautiful and romantic
destination for solo travelers.

While in Paris please take the time to see Notre Dame Cathedral, then
walk along the left bank of the Seine and stop in at Shakespeare and
Company, a book store
where famous authors like as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and James
Joyce would meet. Romance? There you go. Keep wandering along the banks
of the Seine to the Eiffel Tower, then cross and go back the other side.
It’s free to walk and such a joy. There’s also the many museums but, I
suggest just finding a cafe and enjoying the scene. You might want to
read about my first time in Paris when I crashed the Opera House.

These are just a few destinations that are wonderfully romantic yet not crowded with couples hanging off of each other.