For many newlyweds, a honeymoon conjures up images of tropical islands and secluded beaches. But although it’s a bit less typical, a trip to Europe is one of the most romantic ways to spend your first trip as a married couple. European countries are packed with couple-friendly accommodations, top-notch restaurants, and amazing sightseeing opportunities. And if you have a couple weeks to spare, you may be able to visit several countries in one trip to make the most of your honeymoon adventure.
Among the 50 or so countries that comprise Europe, there is so much diversity here in terms of history, culture, and things to see and do. Whether the two of you are into nature, food, culture, or relaxation, these are some of the top European honeymoon destinations to celebrate your new life together.
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Another romantic European destination is the Italian city of Venice, which wonderful for couples who enjoy the peace and serenity of water. Known as the City of Water, Venice is the perfect place to take a romantic gondola ride at sunset along the Grand Canal. This is also an ideal honeymoon destination for wine lovers and couples who enjoy catching theater performances and cultural events when they travel. The best time to take this honeymoon is in the fall, which is perfectly timed if you’re planning a late-summer wedding.
Croatia is one of those up-and-coming honeymoon destinations that’s perfect for couples who crave adventure on a budget. This is also an ideal destination if you are craving a Mediterranean honeymoon but hate dealing with crowds. Taking a cruise is a popular way to experience Croatia, although you can also turn this into a backpacking trip to cut down on costs. Make sure to add the following stops to your itinerary: the busy seaport of Dubrovnik, the island of Korcula for kayaking and snorkeling, and the historic World Heritage site of Diocletian’s Palace. A honeymoon to Croatia promises the charm of Old World European history and plenty of beach time.
The Cinque Terre
For active couples that love bonding over long hike and wide open spaces, consider a honeymoon to the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre is a string of quaint and historic seaside villages in the Italian Riviera, known for its vineyards, steep terraces, seafood restaurants, and fishing boats. This is one of the most preserved natural areas of the Mediterranean because housing, transportation, and development are prohibited. Come here for your honeymoon if you’re crave dramatic scenery, love good food and wine, and are up for the hike of your life. The Sentiero Azzuro connects the five villages of the Cinque Terre and is mostly flat with picturesque panoramic views all along the way. One of the most popular walking routes starts in Via dell’Amore and ends at the beaches in Monterosso.
With lots of rolling green countryside and fun cities to party in, Ireland is another ideal European destination for a honeymoon. Dublin is an obvious starting point for most travelers to Ireland, and is full of wonderful culture and spirit. This is a great starting point for outgoing couples who enjoy a good pint of beer, because Dublin is world-famous for its social and friendly pubs. But make sure to leave the city as well to explore Ireland’s beautiful countryside, perhaps renting bicycles and staying at a cute bed & breakfast to celebrate your honeymoon.
A honeymoon to Switzerland is scenic, dramatic, and ultra-romantic. If you want to sightsee and hike, take this honeymoon in the summer, but of course, Switzerland is a premier winter destination for couples who love to ski and snowboard. Zurich and Geneva are wonderful Swiss cities to visit with your lover, but make sure to get out into the countryside to experience the beauty of the Alps mountain range and sample delectable Swiss chocolates and cheeses, and wines.
Perhaps the most obvious romantic and most luxurious European destination is Paris, which is why it tops our European honeymoon list. Paris is world-famous for its romantic restaurants, iconic strolls, and charming cultural attractions that are best enjoyed with the one you love. Millions of people visit Paris every year to experience the high-caliber museums and atmosphere that’s unlike anywhere else in the world. Make sure to go for an evening walk along the River Seine, take in the views from the Eiffel Tower, and maybe even have your portrait painted together by a local artist in Place du Tertre.
If celebrating your honeymoon in elegance and style sounds right up your alley, perhaps a post-wedding trip to Milan is in order. Milan is known as the fashion capital of the world, so if you’re looking for European luxury, then look no further. You can escape the busy city life whenever you like in Milan’s quiet gardens and cafes, or have a romantic picnic at Parco Sempione. The canals of Navigli are perfect for taking a stroll with your new spouse and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city.
What could be more romantic than the bright blue Aegean Sea and the Grecian coastline dotted by iconic houses in a perfect climate? Santorini is a serene honeymoon spot that’s been a long-time favorite among celebrity couples. Soak in the sun at Red Beach, explore the charming villages, and take a sailing cruise at sunset. There are also some amazing cave hotels and hot springs to check out with your sweetheart here. The months between April and October are typically the best times for a Santorini honeymoon.
Amsterdam is one of the best destinations in the world to let loose, party, and have the time of your life. This also makes it a wonderful honeymoon destination for couples who want to relax and experience the vibrant city life of one of Europe’s most fascinating cities. Although Amsterdam has a certain reputation as a party city, it’s also an incredibly historic and scenic one. The gardens, tulips, and canals make picture-perfect backdrops for your honeymoon photos that will look like they’re right out of a fairy-tale storybook. Make sure to take a stroll in Vondelpark, go for a cruise down the canals, and walk hand-in-hand under the moonlight.
To make your honeymoon dollars go further and your trip last longer, also consider Prague as a European honeymoon destination. This is a wonderful place to visit for couples who love history and getting off the beaten path. Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, and its castles and cathedrals provide a very romantic backdrop for your adventure. The hotels here are very affordable compared to elsewhere in Europe, and there are lots of free attractions in the city as well. Summer is the most popular time to travel to Prague, so consider visiting during the cooler months if you are looking for the best prices and fewer crowds. For budget-friendly food options, visit the city’s pubs at lunchtime and enjoy typical Czech meals with pork, dumplings, cabbage, and a refreshing pilsner beer.