Pollyanna came to NYC last winter and we shot a few looks for her agency portfolio. I ended up filming for a few minutes but never got around to the footage until now, nearly a year later.(Richard Guaty)
That’s right, here are some of the sexiest cities in Europe, the legendary and the newly-established hotspots where you can arrive, hit the town, and… get it on. Some are classics, some are unexpected, all are full of romantic potetntial you’d be a fool to squander.
Ah, this is my current city, and thus the one that comes first. It’s the eternal city, as they say, but not necessarily known as the most romantic place on earth—the chaos and improvisational nature of Italian life mean it’s not as easily insta-romantic as, say, Paris. But, hey, it’s Rome, so don’t worry.
If You’ve Already Got a Girl: Head out for a relaxing walk through some of Rome’s classic old neighbourhoods, ones like Trastevere and Testaccio, until you settle upon a small Osteria for dinner. Use a site like spottedbylocals to pick one that’s authentic and delicious. After dinner, hop in a cab and get back into the historical center, grab a gelato by the Pantheon, and then walk through the small streets until you’re back at your hotel/hostel. Before you go in for the night, throw back a 1-euro coffee in a nearby bar for some extra strength. Get it corretto (correct, which means with a shot of alcohol in it) and you’ll be set.
If You Don’t: It’s legal to drink outdoors in Rome, but if you’re a tourist here, it’s best not to go overboard (actually, it’s currently illegal after 9PM, but hopefully only for a temporary period). They say you’re stuck chatting up other tourists and travellers because of the inaccessible, overly protected ‘Italian female’, but that’s just an old stereotype. Head to San Lorenzo, the student district by the train station, use a site like Roma Zero to find a club night, show, or bar with a DJ that fits what you like, and go in. Drink, dance, and talk to the Italians and see what happens.
What to say about Paris.. it’s expensive, one of the most touristed destinations on the planet, but also one of the most incredible cities ever. Can you break through the cliched expectations of French romance and actually pull something off? Of course you can.
If You’ve Already Got a Girl: You’ve got it easy. Get some good beer at a Brasserie in the afternoon, hit up a chocolate shop or two and keep walking it off, eat somewhere in the Marais district (near the Picasso museum), hit up another brasserie for some more wine, take a bottle to go, and end your night on the Pont Des Artistes, spanning the Seine. Tons of young people go and sit there until 2AM, eating, drinking, singing, laughing, making out. It’s romantic, fun, drunk, and beautiful as all hell, and by the time you get back to your bed you’ll both be going mad.
If You Don’t: Head over to the Bastille district, grab a beer or two with whoever you’re with on the steps of the Opera House (the new, less beautiful one), then head up the street to the wonderful concentration of bars there. Move in and out, drinking, chatting, embarassing yourself in French, and see what happens. Far better here than wandering the now-deserted streets of the very center, wondering where all the action is. Now you know.
Cliches abound about Swedish women, although the fact that many of them are blonde and tall and quite beautiful seems to be relatively accurate. You’re going to spend a lot of cash here, so come prepared.
If You’ve Already Got a Girl: You need to keep just one single thing in mind. Don’t let her catch you staring at the Swedish girls walking, drinking, or dancing nearby. Seriously, this is way harder than it seems, and although the same kind of thing can happen in Spain or Italy or other countries, there’s something about Sweden (and especially Stockholm) that puts a guy into a guy of overload as soon as he arrives. If a nice vacation with your girlfriend is what you’re after, just stay alert is all I’m saying.
If You Don’t: Well, the previous portion kinda answered this question, did it not? Get your 400 euros or however much you plan on spending at the various Stockholm clubs or bars, head out to one that suits your taste (again, do your research here), and take advantage of the wonderful Swedish education system that means everyone there is already going to be speaking a ridiculously good level of English. Use their blinding attractiveness to your advantage—just pretend they’re all so beautiful and inaccessible that you might as well go for broke and just do whatever comes into your mind (within reason, of course), and it’ll work to your advantage.
This is a different kind of vibe. Berlin isn’t a city that automatically springs to mind when you think of some great European sexy-party destination, but I want to explain why it is.
If You’ve Already Got a Girl: Make sure she’s one who’s seen and enjoyed Cabaret a few times, and then head out on a tour of Weimar-era Berlin in all its decadent, degraded, hedonistic glory. By the time you’re done staring at transexual dancers and decadent erotic paintings by George Grosz, and have thrown back a few fine German beers, both of you are going to be running back to your hotel to get up to all kinds of strange things.
If You Don’t: Here’s where you’ve gotta get specific—Berlin has a bar or club or entire scene devoted to just about every aesthetic, sexual, or lifestyle choice you could possibly imagine for yourself, so take a look at some listings and try to envision the kind of girl you find the most irresistible. Is it an arch indie-hipster type at a dance/punk club, a sort-of-gothic girl who has about 50 unbelievably amazing tattoos, or a stay-up-all-night Berlin party girl who hasn’t stopped dancing since that giant rave in the 90s? All these types and more are out there, so treat Berlin like the ultimate chance to diversify or specify.
Ah, Spain. Long black hair and beautiful accents speaking a beautiful language and eyes that will destroy you as soon as you step off the plane. Don’t be afraid.
If You’ve Already Got a Girl: Like before—food, good drinks, walks around the town, followed by you-know-what back at the hotel. This site is just invaluable for this kind of thing. Sometimes the expectation of southern-European romance can work against you, and what should be a romantic and really nice time in a mediterranean city can get wrecked up by the common pitfalls of tourism (transportation headaches, confusion with the city, etc.). Keep a relaxed attitude and don’t try and pack too many common tourist-sites into one day. All the best times (day and night) on a trip come from the unexpected discoveries you make on the trip, not from gawking at the same thing 40 million other people have photographed that year. Remember it and you’ll be far better off in every sense.
If You Don’t: Generally, follow the same rules that you might in Rome—find where the students go and head there. If you find a Botellón in progress, try and join it. What’s a Botellón, you might ask? This is where tons of young Spaniards get together and drink outdoors with beer, wine, and alcohol bought at a supermarket or nearby store instead of going to a bar. It’s slowly being outlawed throughout Spain, so take advantage of a dying tradition, have a few drinks with some beautiful Spaniards, and use that liquid courage to start conversations with them. Spain is generally full of warm and friendly people (yeah, another stereotype, but if you’re out for a few drinks with students it’s generally true) and you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
That’s it, five western-european cities, five of the best places in the world to find some love, whether for a night or something much longer. Did we miss one? Of course we missed one. We missed about 100. Let us know which ones in the comments!