The most unique dates I’ve ever been on were the ones during the year my boyfriend and I were dating from opposite sides of the world. When we saw each other for the first time in months, it called for a special date – or five days’ worth! Lucky for us both, we got to see each other in countries across the world where we’d meet up, from Portugal to Argentina. Our unusual travel date ideas ranged from walking miles across Barcelona, to hiking in nature reserves in Colombia. Isn’t this type of quality time spent together just a little more exciting than dinner, roses and chocolate?
Whether you’re living abroad with a loved one, travelling with your partner, exploring your own city or spending romantic time with someone you just met, you may agree that unusual travel date ideas are a million times better than traditional ones. You only live once, so create memories through new experiences! Going to the cinema is an easy date, but creating an adventure in a far-away place is a rewarding challenge that you won’t forget. Here are 10 unusual travel date ideas for couples who can’t wait to meet the world!
Go on a DIY street food crawl in Mexico City, finished with a mezcal cocktail date
If you’re a food fanatic or culture junkie, a date night in Mexico City will be right up your street. Roam around together without the map in neighborhoods like Centro Historico or the artsy Roma Norte. Make stops at street food peddlers selling spicy traditional dishes, like tacos, tortas, tlacoyos, tlayudas and sopes. Then, head to any of the cool bars in Condesa for a mezcal cocktail or a beer, to end the night on a yummy note. Finish up by getting cosy in a plush private room in any of these amazing hostels in Mexico City!
Drive across Ireland in a week-long road trip adventure
Who said a date can only last one night? Take your loved one on a road trip across Ireland – which seems bigger than everyone gives it credit for when you explore it all by car!
Driving is the best way to see Ireland, because there are so many small, charming villages full of friendly pubs and historic landmarks that you’d probably never get a chance to see otherwise. You can stop and go as you please, with national parks like the Burren or Connemara on your itinerary. And the best part? Every night is date night! Cap off your evenings in cosy local taverns, especially in the town of Ennis on the West Coast which is known for live folk music in its welcoming pubs.
There are loads of incredible hostels in Ireland. We started to plan our road trip itinerary by looking at them all on a map!
Watch the sunset in Tel Aviv with a falafel picnic
If you haven’t been to Tel Aviv yet, there’s good news – every time of year is the best time to go, and it’s one of the most romantic cities between Europe and Asia. This Middle Eastern cosmopolitan hub has European vibes and striking sunsets on the sea.
If travel has drained your budget, you can still make date night a picnic by picking up falafel (spiced and fried chickpea balls, usually eaten in a pita or a lafa), shawarma (slow-roasted meat topped with pickled vegetables and sauces, eaten with fries) and a bottle of Israeli wine or case of Israeli beer. Choose your spot on the city’s coastline to watch the sun go down to the pop-pop of Israeli beachgoers playing matkot, a paddle and ball game. The vibe on the beach is lively and social, with young people, dogs and joggers all enjoying the warm evening.
Not feeling like getting sandy? You can also watch the sunset together with a drink in hand, from the roof of Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv.
Go to a live music show in Tallinn, Estonia, in the hip Kalamaja neighbourhood
If you haven’t been to the Baltic region, you might not be aware that Tallinn is one of the coolest capitals around. It’s laid-back and has a small-town feel in its historic centre, with a pretty chill nightlife scene. If you and your partner love live music, you’re in luck for date night. The bars in Kalamaja, a slightly hipster, up-and-coming neighborhood, often showcase indie bands and attract crowds of locals and travellers. This is such a fun way to party like a local without breaking the bank.
To find out what’s going on, walk around Kalamaja during the day and ask shop owners which shows are happening that week. Hang out at any of Tallinn’s chilled-out hostels until your night is about to begin.
Go kayaking next to a medieval castle island in Lithuania
Perhaps the two of you prefer water over land? Opt for an active date by renting kayaks to see the castle island of Trakai, just outside Vilnius, Lithuania. This spot is popular for Vilnius locals taking a day or weekend away from the city, and you’ll soon see why. Admire sunset at the lake and try some local eats from the vendors who dot the boardwalk. With a backdrop like this, you’ll feel like you’re in your very own fairytale!
Then, head back to the pastel-coloured centre of Vilnius for a night in at a cute hostel like Jimmy Jumps Hostel, who’s guests rave about amazing staff and a great location for all your activities.
Rent bikes and explore the architectural highlights of Rotterdam, The Netherlands
For an unbeatable daytime date, travel to Rotterdam, The Netherland’s lesser-visited big city, where the architecture is a must-see.
Rent bikes from a hostel like Hostel Ani & Haakien, which also has private double rooms for when you’re tired and want to relax. Grab a city map which shows the best bike routes, or just follow the locals who know the roads. There are beautiful city parks, old churches and new churches, skyscrapers and historic buildings and some unique market-halls like the big Markthal in the city centre. The most unmissable buildings are the iconic bright yellow ‘cube houses’, which will boggle your mind and provide killer Insta content at the same time!
Hike beach-side in Tayrona National Park, Colombia
If you’re a couple who loves to hike, put your sweat glands to the ultimate test in Tayrona National Park. At this Colombian gem you’ll see the unspoilt beauty of the Caribbean coastline, which is kept totally pristine in this slice of preserved nature. If the two of you often work out together, get your legs ready for bouldering, hopping through pools of water and maybe even dodging jungle wildlife while you make your way from the park’s entrance to any of the out-of-this world romantic beaches.
There are options to stay overnight in a tent at several locations, or you can opt for a private room or tent at a hostel, like Entre Bosques Tayrona Posada Hostel, which has a pool, epic jungle surroundings and a cocktail bar for all your margarita-related needs.
Spot wildlife on a Kruger National Park safari in South Africa
Are the two of you animal lovers? Did you leave your fuzzy family member behind while you took your trip abroad and are craving some animal love? There are many animal encounters you can have when you travel, but not all of them are ethical, so it’s essential to do your research. A safari is one of the most authentic and responsible ways to experience wildlife and support local communities.
If you hear ‘safari’ and get scared off by the thought of a thousand-dollar excursion, don’t worry. There are safari types for every kind of traveller and they don’t have to cost more than a few hundred dollars. Remember, this includes an expert guide who will keep you safe and informed, accommodation like ‘glamping’ and transport around a nature reserve, so it’s worth every penny for this bucket list date.
The Kruger National Park safaris are my pick in South Africa. Seeing animals in their natural habitat is a great way to remember how wonderful our world is and might have you singing a duet of “can you feel the love tonight” on the way back to your tent together!
Stay nearby in a deluxe double bed room at Kruger Inn Backpackers before the safari starts.
Take a food tour date in Hanoi, Vietnam with a local expert
If you’re a couple who are seriously into your food, you’re gonna love Vietnam. Once you’ve mastered the art of navigating Hanoi’s street food stalls, why not opt for a food tour date to further explore the incredible local cuisine? On your food tour, local expert guides will talk first about what goes into the country’s cuisine. You’ll visit a city market to see vendors bringing in their goods straight from the farms, and you’ll learn about fruits, vegetables and spices that are unique to the region.
Then, head to hole-in-the-wall shops for the best bun cha in town, the best pho ga, the best bun bo and more. Vietnamese cuisine is something to savour, so explore together with your guide and it’ll be a memory for the books.
Don’t forget to check out the many brilliant hostels in Hanoi.
Learn how to make ceviche at a cooking class in Lima, Peru
Ceviche is the national dish of Peru. It’s made from raw fish that’s cooked in the acidity of fruits like lime, packed with incredible flavors found in the zesty array of spices and some other surprising ingredients. If you’re a couple who love to cook and create, an unusual travel date idea you’ll love is to take a cooking class where you can showcase your chef skills. You can learn from experts who want to teach travellers all about Peruvian cooking traditions.
The best part of a cooking class is the end, when, of course, you get to eat what you made! You may have the joy of trying some local drinks like the famed ‘Pisco,’ a Peruvian brandy usually consumed in a cocktail called a Pisco sour. It can’t be missed – who doesn’t like their drinks a little sweet and paired with local cuisine?
Get a private room with a double bed at a great hostel in Peru like The Prime Spot Backpacker’s Hostel and sift through your excellent foodie photos together!
What did you think of these unusual travel date ideas? Memories are way more valuable than material belongings. Taking adventurous dates with your ‘person’ will be something to look back on for years to come, and you’ll always remember the special destinations where these memories took place. Do you have other unusual travel date ideas planned? Let us know!
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About the author:
Becca Siegel is a travel writer based in Brooklyn, NY, USA. She runs the @halfhalftravel travel website and Instagram with her boyfriend and travel partner, Dan. Becca has spent some serious time abroad, from living in China and Hong Kong for 2.5 years, to working remotely in Europe and Latin America more recently. Favorite place on earth: Hong Kong. Favorite hostel: Hostel Mamallena, Boquete, Panama Follow me on Instagram: @halfhalftravel.