Trust us, Europe has changed a lot since you went your backpacking, hostel-staying, booze-binging tour back in college. The trains now have business class, dining is vastly improved, and there’s a slew of new luxury hotels that scream, “Have your honeymoon here!” It’s always important to check how the U.S. dollar is doing against the Euro. If things seem extra pricey at the moment another honeymoon locale could be in the offing. But it’s Europe, it’s already romantic, and now you can have a better honeymoon than the last generation (lie-flat seats in first class!). These are the cities you’ll definitely need to consider for your ultimate honeymoon.
ParisCathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Parvis Notre-Dame - place Jean-Paul-II, Paris, France
When it comes to romance, Paris is, well, Paris. The City of Lights has been seducing newlyweds for centuries with its fine dining, fabled hotels, stunning architecture and famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. It doesn’t get any more romantic than Paris, and you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the breathtaking wine regions, which most honeymooners package together for their romantic getaways. Hell, go to them all if you got the time and don’t really care about your wine-stained teeth showing do to your perma-grin.
AmsterdamConservatorium Hotel, Van Baerlestraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
If all you know about Amsterdam is its Red Lights District and coffee shops, then you, my friend, don’t know Amsterdam. The capital of The Netherlands, famous for its cobblestone streets and world-famous canals, will lure you in with plenty of new attractions and hotels and restaurants that have upped their luxury scale. You can stay at five-star hotels like Waldorf Astoria, Andaz, and the Conservatorium Hotel (all of which have recently opened). Then visit world-class museums, chill at man-made islands (it’s now a thing) and, sure, smoke some hash if that’s the way you roll. It’s probably best not to travel with any “paraphernalia” but we do have a few other honeymoon supplies worth packing. Amsterdam is vibrant and cosmopolitan now, and tons of honeymooners are flocking here so get there while the getting is good.
RomeRome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
When in Rome…No seriously, when you’re here, you’ll want to hit up all the famous attractions like the Trevi Fountain, The Colosseum, The Pantheon, and, obviously, the Vatican. History buff newlyweds are all set. Your Instagram is going to be out of control. There’s really no other city like Rome, where you’re immersed in ancient history but also treated to romantic restaurants like Antica Pesa, luxury hotels like Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri, and watching the world go by at any of the squares.
PraguePrague Castle, Prague-Prague 1, Czechia
Prague is gorgeous and, for the longest time, it was the best-kept secret in Eastern Europe (obviously, everyone found out and now it’s not as cheap as it used to be, and there are crowds, but it’s worth it). You’ll find everything from Romanesque chapels, Gothic cathedrals, Art Nouveau architecture, opera, amazing beer, stunning views of the river with footbridges, cafes, and tons of gardens from the Middle Ages. It’s also the perfect base if you want to explore other Eastern European destinations like Budapest, and there’s some great hotels like Ritz Carlton where you can shack up.
There is basically no photoshopping when you see pictures of the Greek Isles, which is why Santorini is a huge draw for honeymooners.
It’s teeming with whitewashed buildings against the shockingly blue Aegean Sea, but also cradled in a volcano with dramatic cliffs and bountiful beaches. Take a deep breath because it’s all real. Even drones freak out here. The views from any which way you stand are enormous, and you’ll definitely want to stay in one of the dozens of luxury hotels. Make sure to score a room with a terrace. Also, here’s a hot tip (just one of many) try to avoid mid-June through August when the temps reach triple digits and the tempers of too many tourists collide.
VeniceAman Grad Canal
One of the best destinations to be wined and dined, Venice is storybook honeymooning. The city is built on a canal system, so you’re taking a gondola everywhere, which already amps the romance factor. Throw in luxury hotels like Aman Grand Canal (where George Clooney got married), ancient history, winding cobblestone streets, romantic restaurants and cafes, and historic landmarks and you’re in honeymoon heaven. Venice is one of those places that should be on every person’s bucket list (especially as it is slowly sinking into the sea—visit while you still can).
Amalfi CoastAmalfi Coast, Italy
You have a very small window to visit Amalfi Coast in Italy. The entire region shuts down when the weather gets cold, so definitely expect the weather to be awesome when you visit. This stunning seaside town along the Mediterranean Sea is old-school Italy (no corporate chains) with family-run restaurants and only two luxury resorts (Belmond and Palazzo Avino), but it’s drop-dead gorgeous, which is why honeymooners flock here. The iconic, million-dollar views of the coastline are going to make your jaw drop, and you’re going to spend another few hours deleting the same photo you took a million times. You can also hit up vineyards, take out a boat and soak in those romantic vibes literally anywhere. You have to travel from Naples to get here, so make sure you grab a slice. After all, pizza was invented there, so you know it’s good.