Is Athens one of Europe’s most romantic cities to live in? The statement might not be a common one, or feel very natural. While places like Paris, Venice and Barcelona have a reputation that’s hard to argue with, the bustling streets of the Greek capital don’t immediately strike one as a place to propose, or spend a honeymoon. If anything, couples looking for romance in Greece would normally head to the islands like Santorini, Corfu, or Tinos (the latter was recently referred to as the romantic Greek island by Conde Nast Traveller). None the less, Athens might be another great option for people in love. At least this is the conclusion drawn by British price comparison company Uswitch, based on research done on visitor reviews.
Specifically, the company looked at restaurant reviews. By analyzing 2.3 million restaurant reviews, looking for keywords synonymous or similar to “romantic,” they claim to have managed to evaluate the density and quality of romantic restaurants in Europe’s big cities. Assuming that the atmosphere of a place depends at least partly on its dining scene, they then calculated and gave each city an overall romance score.
The results, revealed just as restaurants gear up for Valentine’s Day, shows that Athens has an above average romantic atmosphere. Ranked as the 6th most romantic European city overall, it follows the obvious winner, Paris, and popular Rome at number 5, but also Copenhagen, Berlin and Helsinki. Looking solely at the percentage of establishments defined as “romantic restaurants,” however, Athens actually beats the city of love, with 37,84% falling into the category (compared to 37,37% of the Parisian restaurants).
Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Monday, a day when many restaurants in Athens remain closed, but lovers shouldn’t fret. As Sinatra would say: Stay little Valentine, stay. Each day is Valentine’s Day.