One of the best ways to celebrate an extended Valentines Day or any other romantic weekend, for that matter is to get away from Moscow for the weekend. And what better way to treat your partner right this year than to whisk them away for a romantic getaway? But youve got to be original. Below are some suggested destinations.
One of the most romantic cities in the world, Prague looks best under a light dusting of snow so this is the best time of year to go.
The center of the city is conveniently divided into districts linked by the gothic Charles Bridge, which becomes an open stage for various things, from the weirdo who plays a Mozart minuet on a circular saw to really cool bands playing something from the Beatles repertoire.
The traditional evening promenade is from Old Town Square, down Karlova and across the Charles Bridge to Malostranske Square, on the other side of the river. For nightlife, stroll past the Prague Conservatory and down some of the loveliest streets in Prague to get to the romantic restaurant U Modre Kachnicky (Nebovidska 6, Mala Strana).
A Czech visa costs $49 and takes a week to receive. Aeroflot flies to Prague for around $300, and you can expect to pay about $120 a night for a hotel in the center of town.
Love is everywhere in Paris, especially on the romantic river Seine. Artists and lovers have always been inspired by this meandering river with its wide quays, arched bridges and shady trees.
Another romantic spot is the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, a Mecca for true romantics and artists. Its dome is 100 steps up but is worth the climb. Be prepared for breathtaking views of all Paris, dont forget to get a snapshot with your sweetie and remember: The dome of the Sacre Coeur is the second-highest point in Paris after the Eiffel Tower.
A 3- or 4-star hotel in central Paris will cost you $180-$220 a night. The $41 Schengen visa takes a week to get, and a plane ticket will cost around $416.
The shady orchards and olive groves of the Menara Gardens in the suburbs of the romantic city Marrakech are a wonderfully peaceful setting for a quiet evening with your beloved away from the hustle and bustle of this most Moroccan of cities.
Jemma i Fna, the citys vibrant main square, is a melting pot of exotic faces, smells and colors. Here you can find a guide to show you the citys secrets.
Past the wares of Marrakechs famous Suuqs, your guide, dressed in a striking white robe and red Fez hat, will whisk you along the ancient alleys by lamplight and ferry you through a small door into a nondescript atrium. Another door takes you to a different world, a world of starry desert nights and haunting Bedouin music, where a spread of local delicacies, such as pigeon pie, awaits you.
Air France flies to Morocco from Moscow for about $700. A Moroccan visa takes only three to four days to obtain.
Often referred to as "the Paris of the East," Budapest still rivals Vienna as the most vivacious and beautiful city on the Danube. Natural hot mineral baths gushing out of the hills, Gypsy music, opera, romance and stunning architecture make this city one of Europes most exciting travel destinations.
Spend a day on Margit Island, Budapests most popular and loveliest public park, an oasis of gardens, shady woods and intriguing ruins.
Dont skip the Hungarian cafes and restaurants: The Gerbeaud Coffeehouse is the most famous, located in Vorusmarty Square at the end of Vaci Street. Opulent with gold-framed mirrors and chandeliers, the Gerbeaud takes you back to another time.
A double at a central 3-star hotel will cost around $60. The visa costs $40 and takes three to four days, and you can fly for $300 with Aeroflot or Malev.
Venture into mystical and ever-changing St. Petersburg and discover its romance all over again during the citys 300th anniversary. St. Petersburg's superb architecture and magnificent canals and bridges make it an ideal city for walking. Start at the Petrogradskaya side and cross the famous Troitsky Bridge for a plethora of historical sights.
Even in winter, when the canals freeze over, and the ice-bound Neva River reflects the northern Arctic sky, the city is just as romantic. Take time to explore quiet Vasilyevsky Island. Youll be almost alone there, so you can shout declarations of love to each other undisturbed.
A double at a 4-star hotel in the center costs around $185. Round-trip train tickets cost 1,250-2,000 rubles.