Living in: The world’s best cities for dating
Love knows no borders – and no one knows that better than those who have found romance in another country. If you’re looking for a relationship, whether in your home country or abroad, you can up your odds in places known for their vibrant dating scenes.
These five cities, which we culled from lists by The Travel Channel, Travel and Leisure, and Conde Nast Traveler, include laid-back bars that make meeting people easy, trendy restaurants for that perfect first date, lush parks for romantic walks – and, most importantly, plenty of fun, friendly singles.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Few places could be more romantic than the capital of Argentina and the birthplace of one of the world’s most sensual dances: the tango. “The nightlife lasts until 8 or even 10 in the morning,” said Catherine Huchan, an American who fell in love with an Argentine and moved to Buenos Aires five years ago. “Everyone [is] sweaty, dancing and so very happy.”
- Your normal nightlife in Buenos Aires: tangoing in San Telmo's Plaza Dorrego. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty)
Buenos Aires is a city that embraces romance to its fullest. “Everyone from teenagers to viejitos [older people] sit on park benches and gaze into each other’s eyes, make out, kiss sweetly, you name it,” said Huchan, who is also communications director for Virtual Dating Assistants, a service that helps men build better online dating profiles. Outside of park benches, socialising often happens over a bottle of local red wine in a romantic bar or in a boliche (nightclub).
Most expats live in Palermo in Buenos Aires’ northeast. The largest neighbourhood in the city, Palermo has its fair share of restaurants and bars, along with the Buenos Aires Zoo and botanical gardens. For those who want to live in a more historic area, Neoclassical architecture and cobblestoned streets give the city’s oldest neighbourhood, San Telmo in Buenos Aires’ east, a romantic European vibe. For an upscale night out, head to Puerto Madero alongside the eastern Rio de le Plata riverbank. Known as the chicest part of town, Puerto Madero also has the city’s most stylish restaurants – including Cabana La Lilas, which serves its famous Argentinian beef with a view of the docks.
Austin, United States
The offbeat Texas capital has nightlife as diverse as its dating pool. “There’s a saying here: if you don’t like the scene, move on to the next bar until you do,” said Chandler Jones, a sales coordinator at the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. Many bars and restaurants have outdoor seating with long communal tables that make meeting others easy – and with 110 people moving to the city every day, according to Jones, there is no shortage of opportunity.
Even those moving to Austin from elsewhere in the US should expect a little culture shock, however. “Learning to say ‘yes, ma’am, and ‘yes, sir’ was very important to being a polite Texas citizen,” said Mary Gorham Malia, who moved to Austin from Portland, Maine, and runs the website Gay Girl Dating Coach to help lesbians in Austin and elsewhere hone their dating skills. Along with its reputation for southern charm, the city has a work-hard, play-hard mentality; residents tend to work in careers they are passionate about (music and technology are particularly vibrant industries) but still want to have a good time on weekends.
- Boating in Austin is just one of the city's fun date options. (Elizabeth W Kearley/Getty)
Singles should consider living in the neighbourhoods of Downtown, South Congress or Clarksville, where condominium living often includes a pool and barbeque area where people congregate, especially in the summer. These parts of town also offer easy access to the hottest dating spots, including popular restaurant Lambert’s Downtown Barbeque, which serves upscale versions of down-home plates (think wild boar ribs) and hosts regular live music in the 2nd Street District. Another romantic option is Lady Bird Lake in Downtown. “Kayaking on the lake in the middle of town can be a great way to enjoy a date,” said Gorham Malia. “You can paddle east towards downtown and watch millions of bats depart from under the [Congress Avenue] bridge at sunset.”