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Article Index
7 Sexy Cities
Cappadocia, Turkey
Bruges, Belgium
Bath, England
Marrakesh, Morocco
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Buenos Aires, Argentina
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7 Sexy Cities

Skip Paris and NYC! We dare you to try some of the world's lesser known but equally romantic locales!

1: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
"The city of 100 spires" will enchant even the most wary of travelers. You'll be enchanted by the fairytale architecture and old-world charm, and the hip nightlife will have you out dancing till the wee hours. With its Gothic spires, lovely lakes and plentiful fountains, Prague is the perfect city for romantic walks.

view of Prague across river with bridge

WHAT TO DO:
Stroll through scented rose gardens. Listen to the chime of a 600-year-old astronomical clock. Kiss on the famous Charles Bridge. Visit Prague Castle--the largest ancient castle in the world--and admire the work of Rodin and Picasso at the National Gallery.

WHERE TO STAY:
A medieval monastery has been lovingly restored to create the tranquil and romantic Hotel Questenberk. Snuggle under the covers in an attic room under the original roof beams, and take breakfast in the converted baroque chapel. You can score a deluxe room for as little as 57 euros and they offer many other great deals.

collage with Hotel Questenberk, astronomical clock, and fountain in Wallenstein garden

Top: Charles Bridge. Above, top left: Hotel Questenberk. Above, bottom left: astronomical clock. Above right: Wallenstein Garden.


2: CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY
Formed by volcanic eruptions and erosion, the natural wonder of Cappadocia's whimsical landscape has been enchanting visitors and residents for thousands of years. Ancient inhabitants carved their homes into the soft rocks, and early residents escaped persecution by hiding in the area's underground cities.

Hot air balloons over rugged Turkish landscape

WHAT TO DO:
Tour the seven floors of Derinkuyu Underground City and see the stables, storage rooms, chapels and ventilation shafts that serviced some 50,000 people hiding from persecution. See the whirling dervishes or take a Turkish cooking lesson. Adventurous couples can explore the dramatic landscape, ancient ruins and fairy chimneys on foot or horseback. For the ultimate romantic experience, soak up the morning sun from the basket of a hot air balloon.

WHERE TO STAY:
Experience the life of Ottoman aristocrats in one of the opulent rooms of Museum Hotel. Built from the remains of ancient ruins and designed as a living museum, each "cave" room is furnished with rich carpets, jewel-toned fabrics and priceless antiques. The hotel includes an art gallery, ecological garden and award-winning restaurant. Rooms start from 200 euros and are ideal for a romantic indulgence.

collage of images of cappadocia

Clockwise from top left: A passageway in Derinkuyu Underground City; Byzantine frescoes in the region's cave churches; a whirling dervish; a room at Museum Hotel; ancient cave homes.


3: BRUGES, BELGIUM
Called "Venice of the North," Bruges' network of picturesque canals and preserved medieval charm make this a must-see for couples in love. A center of trade in the Middle Ages, Bruges is now home to some of the finest beer, sausages and chocolate in Europe. What's not to love?!

Brugges canal at night

WHAT TO DO:
Take a cruise around the canals and learn about the fascinating history of Bruges. Climb the
 Belfry tower and take in panoramic views of the city. Enjoy waffles, chocolate and beer (not all at once!) in one of the many quaint cafes surrounding the Grote Markt (Market Square). Take a horse-drawn carriage ride or just walk hand-in-hand around the intimate cobbled lanes.

WHERE TO STAY:
Get the Royal Treatment in Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace, the 15th-century residence of the former Dukes of Burgundy. Choose from one of the palatial rooms and suites--some are even heritage-listed--and spend a day relaxing in the opulent gardens or enjoying the luxury spa. Rooms start from 186 euros and include marble bathrooms and 300-count-cotton sheets.

collage of Belfry tower, hotel common room, horse and carriage, market square

Left: The 13th-century Belfry tower. Middle, top: Kempinski Hotel Dukes' Palace. Middle, bottom: A romantic carriage ride. Right: Shops and restaurants in Market Square.


4: BATH, ENGLAND
Wander through the cobbled streets and delightful gardens of Bath, a UNESCO heritage site brimming with ancient history and Georgian splendour. Since Roman times, pilgrims have come to Bath to soak in the thermal waters, which were believed to have healing properties. The city boasts more than 20 museums and the famous Bath Abbey, the last of the great medieval churches of England.

steaming pool in castle-like setting

WHAT TO DO:
Hire a vintage car to tour the historic city, visit the ancient Roman baths and enjoy thermal spa treatments just like the Romans did at Thermae Bath Spa. Enjoy the surrounding countryside with a boat trip down the River Avon, and finish with a show at the
 Theatre Royal Bath.

WHERE TO STAY:
Bask in Georgian finery at The Windsor, a B&B boasting 13 elegantly appointed rooms. Ideally situated in the center of town on one of the finest streets in Europe, you're just a short walk from Bath's romantic attractions. With double rooms starting at 84 GBPs, you'll have plenty of money left over to indulge in the nearby spa resorts.

collage of Bath Abbey, Windsor B&B facade, theatre interior, and boat on Avon River

Left: Bath Abbey, founded in 1499. Middle, top: The Windsor B&B. Middle, bottom: Theatre Royal Bath. Right: Cruising down the Avon.


5: MARRAKESH, MOROCCO
An exotic hideaway set against the backdrop of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh is a whirlwind of exotic sights, sounds, tastes and smells. Whether you want to explore brightly colored markets, visit a Moroccan bathhouse (hammam) or dance the night away in North Africa's party city, Marrakesh will be an experience to remember.

elaborate ancient doorway and view of a souk market at night

Left: The city's ancient walls, a.k.a. the Medina. Right: One of the city's famous souks.

WHAT TO DO:
Stroll through the fragrant Jardin Majorelle French gardens and admire the Islamic arts in the pavilion. Explore the ruins of the 16th-century El Badi Palace. Try haggling as you explore the labyrinth of the souk markets--be sure to sample aromatic tagines and other delicacies. Ride a camel. Marvel at the snake charmers and belly dancers in Jemaa el Fna square.

WHERE TO STAY:
A visit to Marrakesh wouldn't be complete without a stay in a raid: a home or palace with an internal courtyard garden and a luxurious, homey atmosphere. Riad Chi-Chi, situated on a quiet cul-de-sac in the heart of the Medina, offers simple, elegant luxury from 75 GBP per night.

collage of mosque tower, hotel balcony, camels, market stall with colourful rugs etc.

Left: Koutoubia Mosque. Middle, top: A balcony at Riad Chi-Chi. Middle, bottom: The local mode of transportation. Right: Carpet shopping.


6: ROTHENBURG OB DER TAUBER, GERMANY
Located along the Tauber River in the Franconia region of Bavaria, Rothenburg is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and one of the top sights along the area's "Romantic Road." Once a wealthy center of trade in the Middle Ages, Plague and war left the town poor and nearly empty, preserving its romantic medieval character.

aerial view of medieval town

WHAT TO DO:
Walk atop the medieval wall encircling the old town and climb the tower for picturesque views over the Tauber valley. Enjoy lunch in the richly decorated Baumeisterhaus (The Master Builder's House) near the marketplace. Watch a lively show at the Rothenburg Puppet Theater. Scare yourselves silly on Rothenburg's famous Night Watchman tour, where a robed watchman walks you through the city's more gruesome past.

WHERE TO STAY:
What better way to enjoy a romantic medieval getaway than staying in a thousand-year-old castle? Burg Hotel Colmberg, located a short drive from Rothenburg ob der Tauber, offers rooms from 79 euros. Whether you choose a modern room or historic suite, you'll enjoy remarkable views over the pastoral landscape and a scrumptious breakfast in the morning.

collage of cobbled street, ancient town wall and Burg Hotel Colmberg

Left: Quaint homes along a cobble-stoned street. Right, top: Kingen Gate, one of 6 towers along the ancient town wall. Right, bottom: Burg Hotel Colmberg.


7: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
If Tango is the dance of lovers, then the city that gave birth to it is truly one hot spot! Buenos Aires is a whirlwind of seduction: Smell the aromas wafting from steakhouses along the grand boulevards, get swept up in the vibrant and modern arts scene, and delight in watching spontaneous street tango.

view of modern bridge and skyline at night

WHAT TO DO:
Have a tango lesson at the Academia Nacional de Tango, and strut your stuff later at one of the vibrant tango salons. Visit Evita Peron's grave at the striking Recoleta Cemetery. See the iconic Obelisk and the Torre Monumental. Enjoy a fabulous dinner in the hip Puerto Madero district, followed by an opera at the Teatro Colon.

WHERE TO STAY:
Located in the trendy Monserrat district, the 1890 Hotel Boutique and art gallery offers guests comfortable luxury in one of six suites overlooking a tranquil garden. Explore the city from this central location, or simply unwind under the colonnaded portico surrounding the gardens. Priced from about $100 per night, this is a romantic getaway anyone can afford.

collage of obelisk, Casa Rosada, 1890 Hotel Boutique, street tango dancers

Left: The Obelisk of Buenos Aires. Middle, top: La Casa Rosada presidential palace, made famous by Evita. Middle, bottom: 1890 Hotel Boutique. Right: Street tango dancers.