The Most Romantic U.S. Cities Revealed

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and choosing the perfect gift can be tricky. Many people buy their loved ones chocolates, flowers or jewelry, but research shows the best gifts aren’t always the ones you can wrap.

Studies show many couples prefer a romantic getaway or dinner out over tangible gifts.  The restaurant industry reports that Valentine’s Day is the second busiest day of the year.

Considering these findings, travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip ranked the most romantic cities to visit based on the latest data available for key categories. 1These categories include popularity of location for honeymoons and marriage proposals, price of accommodations over the Valentine’s Day holiday, quality of romantic hotels and wine bars, and quality of green space and parks.

Unsurprisingly, of the 67 cities analyzed, Paris, France ranks first overall (7.53), with London (5.97), Santorini (5.64), Barcelona (5.44), and Ubud (5.37) completing the top five cities.

Top 10 Most Romantic Cities
# City Country Overall score
1 Paris France 7.53
2 London United Kingdom 5.97
3 Santorini Greece 5.64
4 Barcelona Spain 5.44
5 Ubud Bali 5.37
6 Prague Czech Republic 5.34
7 Montreal Canada 5.33
8 Lisbon Portugal 5.31
9 Edinburgh Scotland 5.28
10 Vienna Austria 5.28


For those interested in a more local Valentine’s getaway, Charleston, South Carolina is rated as the most romantic U.S. city, ranking 21st globally overall.

Charleston is known for its beautiful cobblestone streets, riverside restaurants and carriage rides, making it the perfect spot for couples. The South Carolina port city is also recognized as one of the best U.S. cities in the country overall.

Charleston receives near-perfect scores for its quality of wine bars (10.00) and quality of green space and parks (9.01). It also scores highly for its quality of romantic hotels (6.86) and accommodation prices around Valentine’s Day (5.41).

Charleston narrowly misses the global top twenty due to its low scores for honeymoon popularity (0.11) and proposal popularity (1.23).

San Francisco, CA (4.81) and Los Angeles, CA (4.63) are the second and third most romantic U.S. cities, ranking 25th and 35th respectively.

Interestingly, New York, NY is only the 4th most popular U.S. destination and ranks 47th globally. While it scored favorably for quality of green space and parks (7.21) and the quality of its wine bars (8.39), the scores were low for quality of romantic hotels (4.70) and the price of a 3-course meal (3.77).

Prices of dining and accommodations in New York City are high, with 13 of the 40 most expensive U.S. restaurants in the city, and research reveals it’s the world’s 4th most expensive place to dine out. Prices for overnight accommodations are also the 10th highest in the world.

Contrary to popular belief, New York also only ranks 47th in the world for the number of proposals in the city. Paris and London take the top two global spots.

Of the qualifying cities, Honolulu, Hawaii is rated the least romantic U.S. destination. Like New York, the city’s score was negatively impacted by the high costs of staying in the city, making it unaffordable for many hoping to take a budget-friendly Valentine’s holiday.

One study reveals it is the third most expensive city in America, which is reflected in its low scores for accommodation prices on Valentine’s Day (1.31) and the average price of a 3-course meal in the area (4.64). The scores for wine bars (1.93) and romantic hotels (3.72) are also low, some of the lowest on the global index.

Overall, Paris is in the top spot as the most romantic city. It receives top scores for the number of proposals (10.00) and quantity of romantic landmarks (10.00), as it is home to the fourth- highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

It also scores highly for LGBTQ friendliness (9.05), currently ranked 17th in the world. It is above average for its quality of romantic hotels (7.16) and wine bars (8.27) as well.

London comes in second place overall with the second-highest number of proposals in the world. It misses out on the top position due to its low scores as a honeymoon destination (2.70) and prices to eat out (4.52). It is ranked as the 11th most expensive city globally for restaurant dining.

Bottom 10 least romantic cities
# City Country Overall score
1 Punta Cana Dominican Republic 2.15
2 Cairo Egypt 2.58
3 Honolulu United States 3.01
4 Marrakesh Morocco 3.05
5 Casablanca Morocco 3.24
6 Victoria Seychelles 3.37
7 Tokyo Japan 3.46
8 Dubai UAE 3.56
9 Moscow Russia 3.67
10 Beijing China 3.70


Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (2.15) is the least romantic city overall, scoring poorly for Valentine’s Day accommodation prices (2.18), quality of romantic landmarks (0.01) and LGBTQ friendliness (1.90).

Cairo (2.58), Honolulu (3.01), Manila (3.91) and Marrakesh (3.05) complete the bottom five most unromantic cities to visit.

Ronni Kenoian, Manager of Marketing and Ecommerce for InsureMyTrip commented:

“When looking at these factors, some destinations certainly set the scene for romance to blossom. However, we do also appreciate that couples may have their “own criteria” for identifying what locations are best for them.

“For those looking for some travel inspiration, we hope couples can utilize this list of “romantic destinations” as a resource and spark further conversation.”

To view the full data for each city please visit InsureMyTrip’s dedicated webpage here.


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