Best Honeymoon Destinations in Europe
Those who seek romance know Europe conjures up an unmistakable allure, making it one of the most popular places in the world to honeymoon. Based on expert opinions, reader votes and factors like couple-friendly accommodations, attractions and dining, U.S. News pinpointed the best honeymoon destinations in Europe. Vote for your favorites below to help determine next year's list. (Note: Some of the below destinations may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Check with the CDC and the U.S. Department of State before traveling.)
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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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Santorini lures newlyweds with its breathtaking scenery. Spend your honeymoon strolling past picturesque whitewashed buildings in Oia, hiking along the caldera 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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Getting to Italy's Amalfi Coast is no easy feat, but its remarkable landscapes, delectable regional fare 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.
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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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Madeira#5 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 significant other during a basket car (or toboggan) ride from Monte to Livramento. 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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Lake Como#6 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in Europe
Couples with a penchant for elegance will take to the sumptuous shores of Lake Como. Located about 50 miles north of Milan, Lake Como attracts the rich and famous with its picture-perfect setting, lavish lakeside villas and indulgent dining. While here, take a boat tour to properly soak up the scenery, walk hand in hand along shorefront gardens and ride on the Como-Brunate Funicular to admire the view from atop Lake Como's surrounding mountains. End your day with a gourmet meal at one of the area's Michelin-starred restaurants.
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Twosomes 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 significant other feel as if you've stepped into a fairy tale.
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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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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, historical 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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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 St. Mark's Square. 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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Cyprus#12 in Best Honeymoon Destinations in Europe
Honeymooners seeking a Mediterranean island devoid of hordes of tourists should consider visiting Cyprus. Located off the coast of southern Turkey, Cyprus boasts crystal-clear waters, picturesque beaches, charming villages, historical sites and impressive mountains – a perfect fit for all types of traveling duos. Unwind on the sand at Lara Bay, take a dip in the Blue Lagoon and, for an adventure, hike Mount Olympus.
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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 lock arms on 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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This Greek island's cerulean Ionian Sea waters, lush landscapes and fragrant olive- and citrus-filled 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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With a trove of historical 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 Elafonisi beach (where you'll find pink sands). Then, explore Crete's museums 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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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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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 the 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 stately Catedral de Mallorca in Palma.
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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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Barcelona, Spain's whimsical architecture, culturally significant attractions and easy Mediterranean beach access 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 Família. After a busy day of eating and sightseeing, retreat to one of Barcelona's high-end hotels.
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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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Dubrovnik is the stuff of Mediterranean dreams. This seaside gem in Croatia earns praise for its stunning location along the Adriatic Sea and its idyllic UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town. While in town, newlyweds should check out the beaches on Lokrum Island, see the area from above aboard the Dubrovnik Cable Car, explore historic Rector's Palace and catch a sunset from atop the Walls of Dubrovnik.
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A visit to this Belgium city will make you feel as if you've left the real world and landed in a fairy tale. Bruges' magic can be attributed to its medieval architecture, its romantic canals that weave through it and its small-town feel. The best way to take in Bruges' beauty is on foot, so plan on walking through the Historic Centre of Brugge and Rozenhoedkaai, and don't forget to visit the chocolate museum (Choco-Story) along the way.
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Romance is abundant in Portugal's capital. Honeymooners will be in awe of this stunning city, which features everything from a pristine waterfront to the dreamy neighborhood of Alfama, where winding stone streets, brightly colored architecture and awe-inspiring tile art await couples. After exploring Lisbon on foot or via Tram 28, visit the beautiful beaches in nearby Cascais or head to Sintra's colorful palace.
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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, the Museum of Fine Arts 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.
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Italy's largest island is perfect for couples who want to do more than just lounge on a beach during their honeymoon. While Sicily is full of beautiful beaches worth visiting, the island is also home to Mount Etna (Europe's highest volcano), the Valley of the Temples (a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the sixth century B.C.) and Selinunte (Europe's largest archaeological area). Plus, duos can admire stunning coastal vistas at the Zingaro Reserve.
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