Newlyweds have long flocked to European honeymoon destinations to celebrate their love. With so many alluring options to choose from, seasoned travelers and first-time visitors are sure to find another perfect match somewhere in the old continent.
Celebrate le amour in France, where the cozy streets of Paris and glittering coast of the French Riviera await. Travel to Italy, where you can walk among ancient ruins in Rome, spend days under the sun in Sicily, or discover a world of culture in Florence.
Greece is another fantastic European honeymoon destination, with the islands of Santorini and Mykonos at the top of the list of most newlywed couples looking for a seaside escape. Don’t rule out other less-frequented places like Portugal’s Porto, Iceland’s Reykjavik, and the tiny city of Valletta, Malta, which all offer their own unique delights.
For those planning their post-nuptial travels, here are the best honeymoon destinations in Europe.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
With sparkling sea views, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque towns, the Amalfi Coast seems tailor-made for honeymooners and young couples in love. You’ll find romance in every corner of this beautiful region in Southern Italy.
Drive through the winding streets of Portofino and admire the lemon trees and pastel homes that dot the landscape. Dive into the refreshing ocean in the beaches of Sorrento, then head to Ravello for a decadent seafood and pasta lunch.
Learn all about the explosion of Mount Vesuvius that buried an ancient civilization during a tour of Pompeii, one of the most unique places to visit in Europe. Journey into the spectacular blue grotto in Capri, where you won’t believe the azure light that glows from below.
What is it about Paris that makes everyone fall in love with it? Is it the cozy cafes, the seductive French accents, or all that wine and cheese? Perhaps it’s the city’s hidden gardens, striking churches, and gorgeous architecture?
Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that Paris is for lovers, especially honeymooners looking to get lost in its endless magic. Spend your trip visiting famous landmarks, such as Notre Dame Church, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and the Arc de Triomphe. Explore the fashionable neighborhood of Le Marais and the iconic stores at Le Champs Elyysées.
For a truly memorable experience, stroll by the Seine with a bottle of champagne, find a spot nearby, and enjoy the sunset while you and your sweetheart toast to a long and happy marriage.
Rome is one of the most popular European honeymoon destinations for couples looking to experience the pleasures of la dolce vita. Spend your days enjoying Rome’s delicious pasta, wine, and gelato, or simply wander the historic streets of one of the world’s most famous cities.
Stroll past Baroque statues at Piazza Navona, ancient ruins in the Colosseum, and the bustling Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the iconic Spanish Steps. If art is what you’re after, it doesn’t get more magnificent than the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo’s famous frescoes will take your breath away.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Newlyweds hoping to spend their honeymoon lounging by the ocean should look no further than Palma de Mallorca, a Spanish island with endless golden beaches lining the pristine Mediterranean Sea.
Explore the island’s secluded coves (known as calas), or head to more popular Mallorca beaches such as Playa de Alcudia, where you’ll find seven miles of powder white sand and turquoise water.
Take a day trip out to Valdemossa, an old stone village that was once the home of Frederic Chopin and George Sand, or Deia, a town hidden in the Tramuntana mountain range that has long attracted artists and celebrities. In the evening, enjoy some of the best food in Porto for dinner or an after-hours cocktail at one of the trendy restaurants and bars lining the Douro River.
Split is a charming Croatian beach town located on the dazzling Dalmatian coast. Discover Diocletian’s Palace, an extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Site that was originally built as a fort and a home for the Roman emperor Diocletian, which now serves as the heart of the city.
Walk through its maze-like streets filled with cathedrals, and stop and enjoy a meal at one of the city’s trendy restaurants. Later, take a dip in the glittering blue waters of the Adriatic Sea at one of Split’s beautiful beaches, where you can admire the view of lush green mountains in the background.
It’s easy to understand why Santorini has long attracted honeymooners. With white-washed buildings perched on cliffs and the turquoise Aegean Sea in the distance, every view from the top of Santorini is an unforgettable one.
Take a romantic evening walk around Amoudi Bay, where rocky shores and intimate restaurants await. Enjoy fresh fish and Greek meze in the village of Oia, where you should take a photo with the island of Thirassia in the background. Dip your feet into Santorini’s signature black sand before taking a leisurely swim with your partner. You’ll soon see why it’s one of the best places to visit in the Mediterranean.
Art-loving couples and culture enthusiasts will do well picking Barcelona as their honeymoon destination. Spend your days exploring the architectural wonders of Gaudi, such as La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, and the stunning Park Guell, where colorful mosaics and unique statues make for perfect honeymoon photo ops.
Walk down the streets of Las Ramblas, where you should make sure to stop by Barcelona’s famous food market, La Boqueria, which has Michelin-starred food stands inside. Breathe in the fresh ocean air at La Barceloneta and enjoy a seaside lunch for two, or treat your loved one to a game at the famous Camp Nou, where the champion soccer team, FC Barcelona, plays often.
With its winding canals and historic beauty, it’s no surprise that Venice is one of the best honeymoon destinations in Europe—and one of the best babymoon destinations, too. Board a relaxing gondola ride (some even come with serenades) and make your way through the city while admiring its beautiful palazzos, striking architecture, and iconic bridges.
Walk to St. Mark’s Square and marvel at the ornate mosaics adorning St. Mark’s Basilica. Stop by Doge’s Palace, the former center of power of Venice and one of the most famous Italian landmarks. Visit nearby Murano, where renowned artisans have been crafting intricate glasswork for decades.
Old meets new in Bilbao, an exciting city full of architectural gems and Basque culture. Learn about the region’s fascinating history in the Old Town quarter and tour the city’s famous Seven Streets.
Marvel at the ultra-modern, curved exterior of the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry, the stunning Zubizuri bridge by Santiago Calatrava, and the Azkuna Zentroa, a wine warehouse by Philippe Starck. Don’t forget to take a newlywed selfie at the nearby town of Mundaka, where sweeping views of the Biscay Coast and its rolling mountains make for a beautiful photo backdrop.
Start your life together with the adventure of a lifetime in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. Get up close and personal with the Gullfoss Falls and let its magical mist envelope you. Dive into ice caves and climb atop glaciers.
If you just want to unwind with your sweetheart, there’s no better place to relax than the Blue Lagoon, a natural heated body of water that is said to have healing mineral properties. Depending on what time of year you visit Iceland, you might even see the extraordinary Northern Lights.
Read: What to Pack for Iceland
Amongst the cobblestone streets and hilltop castles of Lisbon, there’s been a steady rise in boutique hotels, buzzy restaurants, fashionable stores, and quirky bars, making the Portuguese capital the place to be for young couples looking for a trendy honeymoon destination.
Board one of the city’s antique wooden trams that take you up the hills of Lisbon. Explore the old town’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, like the Belem Tower and the Lisbon Cathedral, to tick off your Europe bucket list. For a sweet treat, try one of the city’s famous pastéis de nata, and at night, sip on a glass of Port wine while listening to live fado music.
It’s best to spend at least three days in Lisbon to fully enjoy what the city has to offer.
Read: Best Beaches in Lisbon
With views of deep blue seas, cypress hills, and bougainvillea everywhere you turn, the Greek island of Corfu is the definition of paradise.
Spend your honeymoon swimming in the Ionian Sea with your new spouse. Immerse yourself in the flavors of Corfu at the busy local food market, where you can try specialties like nouboulo and pick up a bottle of the island’s famous extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil or kumquat liquor.
Walk around the old town center and discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Old Venetian Fortress and historic cathedrals like the Church of Saint Spyridon. Discover why it’s one of the most unique places to visit in Greece.
Food and wine are the focus in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city and the home of its namesake Port wine. Start off your romantic getaway with a day in the Douro Valley, where spectacular landscapes and endless wine tastings await.
Later, explore the red-roofed buildings, cobbled streets, and ancient churches of the city, which represent architectural styles including Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Neo-Classical. In the evening, enjoy dinner or an after-hours cocktail at one of the trendy restaurants and bars lining the Douro River.
The French pastoral region of Provence is what countryside dreams are made of. Walk around the quiet villages, where you’ll find a number of charming antique stores and bustling food markets. Sip on a cafe au lait and split a croissant with your loved one while people watching.
Visit the region’s lavender fields and salt marshes, and don’t forget to take some of these delicacies back home. Even better, Provence is located close to the French Riviera, so make your honeymoon a memorable one and rent a convertible car to drive through Cannes, St. Tropez, and other glitzy towns in the Côte d’Azur.
Read: What to Eat in Provence
Feel like you’re living in a fairy tale by riding on one of the horse-drawn carriages found throughout Seville, the capital of Andalusia (a southern region in Spain), and a city with a rich multicultural history that is evident all over its walkable streets.
Explore baroque churches such as the Seville Cathedral, and antique palaces like the Real Alcazar, where you can spend hours admiring its intricate facades and elaborate gardens. Watch a traditional flamenco show and let the moody music and passionate moves inspire you to dance with each other during your romantic getaway.
As the Mediterranean’s largest island, Sicily has a little something for everything. For art and history lovers, there are endless landmarks to discover, including the Ancient Greek Theatre, which dates back to the 3rd century BC, and the thousand-year-old Cathedral of Messina.
Adventurers can climb up Mt. Etna, the towering volcano that overlooks the entire island, and walk around the Silvestri Spent Craters, two gigantic inactive volcanic craters. If you’re looking for some indulgent relaxation, there’s also the option of feasting on fresh seafood, cannolis, and pasta while lounging on the beach. After all, Sicily is known as one of the best beach destinations in Europe.
A honeymoon in Valletta, the capital of Malta, is the perfect place to escape the crowds. The small, scenic city is easily walkable, and there are historical treasures to be found all over—there’s a reason why it was named the European Capital of Culture in 2018.
Stroll Valletta’s old town streets and discover Baroque palaces and grand cathedrals like St. John’s Co-Cathedral, which houses one of Caravaggio’s masterpieces. Don’t miss a visit to the Upper Barrakka Gardens, where you can take a panoramic photo of the city that you’ll want to frame as soon as you return home.
Art, food, and history all seamlessly collide in Tuscany, one of the most popular European honeymoon destinations. There’s no shortage of stunning places to discover, starting with Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance movement.
Visit the pink and green marble exterior of the Duomo, see masterpieces of art at the Uffizi Gallery, and later arrange for a picnic with a bottle of Chianti at the Boboli Gardens. At sunset, cross the Arno River on the Ponte Vecchio and end your day with a gelato treat.
In Pisa, visit the Campo Dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), home to a number of architectural wonders, including the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa—make sure to take a fun couple’s photo in front of it. In nearby Siena and Lucca, you’ll find gorgeous piazzas and lush botanical gardens, while in the town of San Gimignano, there are more than a dozen medieval towers hovering above the picturesque town.
One particularly dreamy Tuscan location is Cinque Terre, a collection of five fishing villages on Italy’s Ligurian Coast. Walk around the winding, cliffside roads of this UNESCO World Heritage site and fall in love with its colorful buildings, fresh seafood, and breathtaking ocean views.
The island of Mykonos has everything you ever wanted from Greece: pristine white buildings, bright blue skies, colorful bougainvillea, and golden beaches along the Aegean Sea. For those who want a quiet vacation, spend your days exploring the tiny island of Delos, the windmills that date back to the 16th century, and the laidback town of Ano Mera.
Join the jet-set in the French Riviera with a honeymoon escape to Nice. Walk hand in hand along the winding streets of this charming seaside city, visit flower markets, and feast on French delicacies and exquisite wines.
Right before sunset, stroll down the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais and admire the gorgeous views. Rent a car and journey to the nearby towns of Eze, a Medieval village with lovely boutiques and restaurants; Grasse, the perfume capital of the world; and Monaco, where you can admire the magnificent Prince’s Palace and try your luck at the Monte Carlo Casino.
The elegant maritime city of Bergen lies in the heart of Norway’s fjords. Surrounded by glorious nature, it’s the perfect setting for a honeymoon. Norway’s fjords are at their most beautiful in summer, the meadows lush and green, and the highest mountain peaks still capped with snow.
One of the best things to do in Bergen is to wander along the waterfront at historic Bryggen. Here, the colorful old wooden warehouses and studios have been carefully restored to their 15th-century glory following a fire in 1955, and serve as a reminder of the city’s importance to the Hanseatic League trading empire.
Nearby, you’ll find the bustling fish market, which is the perfect place for an al-fresco lunch on a sunny day, or a warming coffee.
Exploring the great outdoors is all part of the romance of Bergen. Take the funicular to the top of Mount Floyen for hiking trails and wonderful views of the city and surrounding fjords.
You could also sign up for a high-speed RIB ride out of the harbor to some of the surrounding islands. Thrills aside, you’ll be immersed in nature and the boat will slow right down to explore rocky shorelines and look out for seals and eagles.
Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands, famed for its magnificent mountains and beaches, unique cuisine, and long and complex history. All of these make the island one of the finest European honeymoon destinations for adventurous couples.
The old Venetian port of Chania is a joy to explore on foot, its harbor lined with colorful neoclassical mansions. Chania is also a great base from which to explore the island’s interior.
Active honeymooners could take a 4×4 safari into the White Mountains, where time appears to have stood still in some of the sleepy hamlets. The mountain range is cloaked in cypress, holm oak, and pine, and characterized by deep gorges which are filled with rushing rivers in spring.
Food-loving couples could take a tour into the Cretan countryside to try local specialties and learn about olive oil, cheese, and wine production.
Crete is blessed with gorgeous beaches, too. Elafonisi is one of the prettiest beaches in Crete, with pale pink sand, shallow, aquamarine water, and sea turtle nests. Marathi Beach is another treasure, with views of the White Mountains, the crystal-clear Aegean lapping a wide, sheltered bay.
With its supermodel looks, Dubrovnik is the perfect setting among European honeymoon destinations. Stroll the ramparts of the walled city, gazing down on the church towers and terracotta rooftops.
Wander along the Stradun, the main boulevard in Dubrovnik’s Old Town, lined with gleaming stones and grand palaces. Drop into the old pharmacy at the Franciscan Monastery to stock up on fragrant face and body creams made using ancient recipes.
One of the best things to do in Dubrovnik is to take the aerial tram up to Srd Hill for even more stupendous views. If it’s not too hot, you can hike back down to the city through woodlands and past urban gardens.
And if it is hot, do as the locals do and hop on a ferry across to Lokrum, just 10 minutes from the city walls, where you can explore the nature reserve and swim off the rocks. Pack a picnic of local cured meats and cheeses to make the whole experience perfect.
Hydra has to be one of the most romantic of the Greek Isles and is the perfect place to celebrate your love on your honeymoon in Europe. For decades, the island has attracted writers and creative types, lured by its serenity and magical beauty.
Hydra is car-free, which is all part of its allure; you have to walk everywhere or take water taxis, which forces you to slow down to the pace of island life. The constant din of traffic is absent; instead, you hear cockerels crowing, donkeys braying, and birdsong.
Hydra’s eponymous capital spills down the slopes of a natural amphitheater that encloses the busy harbor. Bars, restaurants, and stylish boutiques lie all around the waterfront. Narrow streets radiate inland, leading to leafy squares, each with a story to tell.
You can track down the house where songwriter Leonard Cohen lived in the 1960s, and walk along the shoreline to where locals have put up a memorial to him.
The island is encircled by beaches, some stony, some sand. The best way to reach them is by the regular water taxis that operate like buses from the harbor. You can also walk; if it’s not too hot, the stroll along the cliff path to Vlichos Beach is lovely.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Italy’s enchanting Cinque Terre is the perfect backdrop to any romance. Cinque Terre’s towns lie seemingly suspended from vertiginous cliffs, houses in gelato shades tumbling down to tiny harbors. There’s no easy road connecting them, just sinuous hiking trails and a railway line, and several places are car-free.
Take a day trip and explore as many villages as time permits. They’re all gorgeous; Monterosso al Mare is surrounded by lemon groves and has a pretty beach. Riomaggiore bursts with color, while 13th-century Manarola clings to a sheer-sided rock.
Wherever you spend your time, snack like a local. You’ll find shops in every village selling fritto misto, lightly battered seafood. Likely caught the same morning, it’s served sizzling hot in paper cones with a squeeze of lemon and designed to be eaten on the hoof.
Sub-tropical Madeira makes a wonderful honeymoon destination at any time of year, as it basks in almost constant sunshine.
The island is filled with flowers and gardens, and also offers wonderful hiking. Its mountainous coastline is indented with deep gorges, around which ancient irrigation channels, called levadas, have been cut into the rock, snaking around the contours.
While the channels are still in use for irrigation today, the trails that run alongside them are used by hikers. Try Levada do Norte, a short distance from Funchal, for magnificent views and shaded forest trails.
In the city, there’s more nature to be found at the Botanical Garden, perched on the top of Monte Hill, overlooking the city. More than 2,000 tropical plants are thriving here, making it a wonderful place for a stroll. You can access the gardens via cable car, which whisks you from Almirente Reis in the old part of the city over rooftops and gardens to Monte.
A somewhat unorthodox way of getting back down to the city is to ride the wicker toboggans that hurtle down the extremely steep hills. Each sled is controlled by two uniformed drivers sporting straw boaters. They control the speed and the brakes, leaving you free to enjoy the ride.
Where could be more romantic for a honeymoon than the island of love? Myth has it that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, emerged from the sea foam on the southern shore of Cyprus, tucked away in the Eastern Mediterranean.
You can visit this legendary spot, Petra tou Romiou, on the south coast, between Limassol and Paphos. A giant white sea stack lies in front of a pebbly beach, the waves pounding its base, indeed evoking the idea of the foam from which the goddess emerged.
Another legend is that if you swim around the rock, you will achieve eternal beauty. Whether or not you believe this, it’s an undeniably romantic spot, and it’s not uncommon to see men dropping down on one knee to propose here.
In the far west of the island, Paphos is a bustling vacation destination that dates back to Roman times. Exquisite mosaics in the remains of four Roman villas dating back to the second century AD lie on a plateau looking down over the old harbor, depicting scenes of hunting and mythology.
Combine a visit here with an extended mezze lunch in one of the many tavernas in town, washed down with award-winning wines from the foothills of the nearby Troodos Mountains.
Read: Best Beaches in Cyprus
There’s something sensual about fairytale Bruges that lures lovers, whether it’s the dreamy beauty of the canals, the profusion of scarlet geraniums on every balcony in summer, or the deliciously decadent things you can eat here.
Bruges is where you can sample moules frites, mussels in a garlicky sauce served with fries, or waffles piled high with whipped cream and strawberries. Dainty, handmade chocolate truffles filled with cream are so fresh that you simply have to eat them immediately. There’s even a chocolate museum for those who can’t get enough.
The heart of the city is the Markt, or Market Square, lined with half-timbered and gabled houses. It’s dominated by the Belfry, which towers 272 feet above the cobbled square. The top, for sweeping views, is accessed via 366 steps, which will work off some of those fries and chocolates.
Istanbul touches two continents, Europe and Asia, and has a touch of the exotic about it. What could be more romantic than sundowners on a beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking the Bosphorus, the evening call to prayer echoing across the city?
There’s plenty for honeymooners to explore here. The extraordinary Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Topkapi Palace are some of the best places to visit in Istanbul, but there’s plenty more.
A cruise on the Bosphorus is the best way to admire the city’s skyline, which spills over a series of hills and is pierced with graceful minarets. The Grand Bazaar is a glimpse into Istanbul’s Asian influence, crammed with handicrafts, rugs, spices, lamps, and silverware. You’ll need to haggle here.
Istanbul’s culinary scene is exceptional, too. Try a colorful array of tangy dips served as a meze—a selection of cold starters—or indulge in tender meat kebabs, spicy stuffed vegetables, and syrup-soaked pastries.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Honeymooners who love art will be in heaven in Amsterdam, where you could spend days taking in the Van Gogh Museum, the famed Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum for world-class contemporary art, and the antique-filled Rembrandthuis.
The city is easy to explore on foot, and there’s a certain romance to losing yourself in the tree-lined backstreets of the hip Jordaan neighborhood in Downtown Amsterdam.
An easy way to take in Amsterdam’s narrow, gabled houses, clustered around the canals that form concentric rings around Dam Square, is to take a romantic canal cruise. Or you could do as the locals do and rent bicycles to explore this flat, cyclist-friendly city. Just remember to give way to the trams that rattle around the narrow streets.
Summer is a wonderful time to honeymoon in beautiful Stockholm, when the sun barely sets and locals are out enjoying the long, light evenings.
The Swedish capital extends across 14 islands connected by 57 bridges, so there’s always a view of water. Stockholm’s islands are part of a much larger archipelago, a glacier-carved landscape of 30,000 rocky islands and skerries.
Explore Gamla Stan, the oldest part of the city, on foot. If you’re the type of couple that relishes a shared adventure, you can join a Gamla Stan rooftops tour, too, with a guide. You’ll be kitted out in safety gear and will gain a whole new perspective on this medieval neighborhood as you make your way over rooftop walkways and platforms.
Stockholm has some outstanding museums. The Vasa Museum is one of the best museums in Stockholm, telling the story of a 17th-century warship that sank in the harbor on its maiden voyage.
The Vasa has been recovered and carefully restored and is a fascinating glimpse into history—and failed shipbuilding. And then there’s ABBA The Museum, a must for fans of the group. Admire costumes, take an interactive ABBA quiz, and don’t miss your chance to perform.
Ibiza exudes romance, whether you’re wandering around the whitewashed alleys of D’Alt Vila, the hilly, fortified old town, or relaxing on a pine-scented beach, the sounds of chillout tunes on the breeze.
While the island may have a party reputation in summer, there’s plenty here that’s laid back and peaceful, making Ibiza one of the dreamiest European honeymoon destinations.
The shoreline is indented with exquisite sandy coves. In the south, they’re backed by low-lying dunes and salt pans that reflect vast skies. Ses Salines is one of the best beaches in Ibiza and a good spot for people-watching, especially as the superyachts drop anchor offshore at lunch time.
Ibiza makes much of its history as part of the hippy trail, and the Hippy Market at Punta Arabí (and its various spin-offs) is a great place to shop for floaty fashions, scented candles, island crafts, jewelry, and fresh-made paella.
Now that you’ve learned all about the best European honeymoon destinations, it’s time to start planning your romantic getaway. Visit our website and browse our European cruise itineraries, which include ports of call in all of the destinations above.
For an extra-special honeymoon vacation, consider booking a stay at The Retreat, our luxury vacation experience, where you’ll have access to a private sun deck, lounge, exclusive restaurant, and a stunning suite.