Best Honeymoon Destinations in Europe
Those who seek romance know Europe conjures up an unmistakable allure. Based on expert opinions, reader votes and factors like couple-friendly accommodations, attractions and dining, U.S. News pinpointed the top European spots for honeymooners. Vote for your favorites below to help determine next year's list.
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Florence, Italy, was made for honeymooners. Set in the heart of Tuscany, Florence offers heaps of small-town charm thanks to its pint-sized city center and its winding cobblestone streets. The city's Renaissance architecture, location on the serene Arno River and exceptional collection of art are what make it special. Climb to the top of the Duomo for unmatched views of the valley, admire the Ponte Vecchio from along the river and catch a sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo for an Italian vacation you and your new spouse will never forget.
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Getting to Italy's Amalfi Coast is no easy feat, but its remarkable landscapes and quaint cliff-side towns are well worth the long drive. Each town has something different to offer, though the most popular destinations are Ravello, Positano and Amalfi. Go to Ravello for sweeping ocean views, Positano if you and your new partner appreciate the finer things and Amalfi for access to one of the region's largest beaches. As you explore the coast, you'll find plenty of delectable regional fare.
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Couples who prefer enchanting countryside landscapes to sandy beaches should consider honeymooning in Italy's premier wine country. Spend your days leisurely sipping glasses of Chianti at local wineries and exploring charming little towns together before savoring fresh pasta dishes at one of the region's many Michelin-starred restaurants. The area's plethora of hotels, most of which are stand-alone villas or castles, will make you and your sweetie feel as if you've stepped into a fairy tale.
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Santorini lures newlyweds with its breathtaking scenery. Spend your honeymoon strolling past picturesque whitewashed buildings in Oia, hiking along craggy cliffs or swimming in the Aegean Sea. It's easy to snag a room with a view on this Greek island. Plus, you can count on your meals being nothing short of divine thanks to an abundance of fresh seafood and local wine grown in volcanic soil.
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Prague's Gothic-, Romanesque- and Baroque-style architecture creates an ultra-romantic atmosphere for honeymooners. Wander through Old Town's charming streets, head to the top of Petrin Hill to take in incredible views or stroll hand in hand on the Charles Bridge as the sun sets. In addition to its striking good looks, Prague offers plenty of affordable dining. Use the money you save to stay at one of the city's five-star hotels.
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The five seaside villages that comprise this strip of northwestern Italy's craggy coastline are both awe-inspiring and romantic. After hiking this UNESCO World Heritage Site's scenic cliff-side trails and admiring the towns' pastel buildings, head to Fegina Beach in Monterosso al Mare to sunbathe or cool off in the Ligurian Sea. Or, for an unforgettable honeymoon experience, take a boat tour to get a full view of Cinque Terre's world-famous landscape.
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There's a reason why Venice receives millions of tourists per year: The Italian city's landscape is truly one of a kind thanks to its enchanting canals, romantic centuries-old architecture and world-famous gondola rides. After you and your new spouse kiss for eternal bliss beneath the Bridge of Sighs, tour iconic sites like Piazza San Marco. Also save time for a daytrip out to the colorful island of Burano.
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Paris' unmatched beauty means romantic moments can be had just about anywhere in the city. Honeymooners will delight in the simple pleasures the City of Light brings, including sipping coffee at a cozy street cafe, strolling along the cobblestone pathways that line the Seine, having a picnic next to the Eiffel Tower and meandering through the Tuileries or Luxembourg gardens. Plus, those looking for a luxurious place to stay will find some of Europe's best hotels here.
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What's more romantic than Shakespeare? Corfu, Greece, is said to have inspired the backdrop for "The Tempest." The island's cerulean Ionian Sea waters, lush landscape and scent of olives and citrus wafting in from nearby groves are sure to help you and your soul mate relax. Corfu is home to more than 130 miles of coastline, so the best way to pass the time here is to hit up as many beaches as you can. Popular spots include Ipsos Beach, Canal d'Amour and Glyfada Beach.
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Couples who want a honeymoon jam-packed with activity will love visiting Rome. The Eternal City is filled with elegant hotels, delectable cuisine and bucket list-worthy attractions. Must-dos include making a wish at the Trevi Fountain, taking in breathtaking city views from Gianicolo Hill and strolling through romantic squares, such as Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Navona. Following up these activities with meals at some of the city's award-winning restaurants will ensure you and your partner fall head over heels for Roma.
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With a trove of historic sites, scenic beaches and outdoor attractions, Crete makes for a well-balanced honeymoon. Start your vacation by becoming acquainted with the Greek island's unique shores, including Vai Beach (which features a palm tree forest) and Elafonissi beach (where you'll find pink sands). Then, explore Crete's ancient ruins or hike through the striking Samaria Gorge National Park. However you choose to spend your days, you can end them savoring the island's rich Greek cuisine.
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This Spanish island is perfect for couples looking for a relaxing post-wedding getaway on a European island. Mallorca features beautiful natural landscapes, from beaches big and small to craggy mountain ranges. Hike or drive through Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then visit Cala Llombards for a secluded beach experience. Duos should also save time for a romantic stroll through the charming Alcúdia Old Town and admiring the Catedral de Mallorca in Palma.
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Couples who want to party during their honeymoon will love vacationing on Mykonos. This island offers all the charms of other Greek isles, including scenic beaches, whitewashed architecture, historic ruins and scrumptious Greek cuisine. Once the sun sets, honeymooners can venture to Little Venice on the western end of Mykonos. The neighborhood is where many of the island's trendy bars and clubs are located.
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Salzburg's breathtaking architecture and tranquil surroundings make this locale, which you may recognize from "The Sound of Music," one of Austria's most dreamy cities. During the day, couples can meander through the striking Mirabell Gardens or Hellbrunn Palace's gardens, while at night, a romantic walk by the Salzach River can't be beat. If you don't mind chilly temperatures, head to Salzburg when it's blanketed in snow. The fresh powder turns the city into a winter wonderland.
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As you and your other half approach this Italian island by boat, you'll quickly discover why it has wooed everyone from Roman rulers to Hollywood celebrities. Chances are, you'll spend your entire time here admiring the island's stunning scenery. Hit up Mount Solaro for the best views of Capri, then visit Marina Grande by boat, explore the mesmerizing Blue Grotto or hike the cliff-side Phoenician Steps.
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St. Tropez#16 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in Europe
Posh St. Tropez on the French Riviera attracts travelers who want to imitate the lives of international icons like Coco Chanel and Brigitte Bardot while on their honeymoon. Lounging on a mega-yacht, cozying up in a five-star hotel, sampling world-renowned wines and walking hand in hand on white sand beaches are just a few ways couples can spend their first days of marital bliss.
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Porto is the kind of city that manages to be equal parts magnificent and low-key. While still a big city in Portugal, Porto maintains a much slower pace of life than Lisbon, making it ideal for a leisurely honeymoon. Spend your days sipping local Douro Valley wine and taking in your surroundings from one or more of the city's famous sky-high bridges. Then, meander through the city's colorful streets and lounge on one of its beautiful beaches – if the weather's right.
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Those looking for a Spanish honeymoon spot devoid of the crowds often seen in Barcelona or Madrid will enjoy taking solace here. Seville offers a romantic allure few cities rival thanks to its collection of extraordinary architecture and its location along the picturesque Guadalquivir River. By day, explore opulent parks and palaces, including Plaza de España and the Real Alcázar. By night, turn up the heat while attending a late-night flamenco show and savoring tapas alfresco.
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Madeira#19 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in Europe
The striking mountainous landscape that makes up this Portuguese archipelago appeals to adventurous couples. If you enjoy hiking, you won't want to miss climbing Pico do Arieiro or trekking one of Madeira's scenic levada paths. For another adrenaline rush, cozy up to your sweetie during a basket car (or toboggan) ride from Monte to Funchal. After you've gotten your fill of heart-pumping adventures, sink your toes into the sand of one of the island's spellbinding beaches.
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San Sebastian is one of northern Spain's greatest gems. This dreamy oceanfront town boasts pristine beaches that are perfect for lounging, swimming and catching truly incredible sunsets. Hike Monte Urgull or Monte Igueldo for panoramic views of San Sebastian before hitting up Parte Vieja, where you'll find plenty of pintxo bars serving delectable small bites and local Txakoli wine or cider.
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Barcelona, Spain's whimsical architecture, culturally significant attractions and stunning Mediterranean beaches give honeymooners ample opportunities to enjoy various pursuits while on vacation. Feast on Spanish and Catalan cuisine at Boqueria Market, get caught up in the bustle of Las Ramblas, admire world-famous art at Museu Picasso and visit Gaudí's many masterpieces, including La Sagrada Familia. After a busy day of eating and sightseeing, retreat to one of Barcelona's high-end hotels.
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The Canary Islands appeal to couples keen on having an adventurous kind of honeymoon. Located off the coast of western Africa, this Spanish archipelago features four national parks, including Parque Nacional del Teide, which is home to Spain's highest peak. When honeymooners are not hiking, they can lounge on a variety of memorable shores, such as Valle Gran Rey's black sand beaches and Playa de Maspalomas, before cozying up in their hotel. Depending on the time of year, duos can snag a room at a five-star hotel for less than $200 per night.
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This unconventional honeymoon destination is a great option for budget-minded couples. The Hungarian city is extremely affordable because it offers a favorable exchange rate and an array of free attractions. Plus, Budapest boasts an eclectic mix of architecture in the Roman, Renaissance, Ottoman and neo-Gothic styles. These charming structures combined with Budapest's location on the lovely Danube River create a setting that is built for romance.
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Zurich is a superb option for newlyweds who want to experience Switzerland's charms. The city is picturesquely placed on the northern tip of Lake Zurich and is divided by the Limmat River, affording couples plenty of opportunities to enjoy a romantic stroll by the water. Explore the Old Town's dreamy architecture, and save time for indulging in Swiss chocolate and cheese fondue. No honeymoon would be complete without visiting Lindenhof to watch the sun set.
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Austria's capital beckons to honeymooners who have a passion for history and the arts. Here, couples will find top-notch cultural attractions, including Schönbrunn Palace, multiple museums and Tiergarten Schönbrunn, the world's oldest zoo. Plus, music aficionados can catch a performance at the highly regarded Vienna State Opera and learn more about the city's famous composers at the House of Music. Vienna is also budget-friendly, as it offers ample vacation rentals and tasty street food.
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