30 Romantic European Destinations for a Gorgeous Fall Honeymoon
Skip the soaring temperatures, crowded streets, and long lines that come with typical tourist season and visit these unforgettable European honeymoon escapes with your new spouse this fall.
Via Hotel BristolVienna
As Billy Joel sings in his hit song, “Vienna waits for you…” This magical city in all its historical elegance and youthful energy makes for the ideal honeymoon trip to Europe (be sure to check out these tips for stress-free travel before you book). The city takes a lot of pride in its musical heritage, as home to Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, and many other famous composers and musicians. It also has a rich history, including a monarchy that ended in 1918 following the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Many of its buildings were left relatively untouched, so you may feel like you’ve taken a step back in time as you peer at the medieval architecture of St. Stephen’s Cathedral or stroll through Stadtpark, the neo-Renaissance park where Strauss held many of his concerts. Stay at Hotel Bristol, which has chandelier-clad rooms and an art deco style and is centrally located just across from the opera house. Tip: Ask for a top-level room so you can take in morning and evening views of the mountains that encircle the city.
Prague, Czech Republic
Because Prague, Czech Republic, is so centrally located, you can travel to almost every other major European city from here in as little as a two-hour plane ride. But a visit to this mystical, old-world city requires no additional travel—there’s enough to explore and appreciate all on its own. Whether you have a few days or a full week, you’ll be able to see the city in all its grandeur fairly well, especially if you’re staying in one of its castle-like quarters. For a budget-friendly stay, secure a few nights at Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague, which, as its name suggests, sits right along the Vltava river, the longest body of water running through the Czech Republic. It’s not located in the more crowded neighborhoods, which makes it the perfect romantic hideaway, though the city center and old town are still easily walkable. If you’re budget is flexible and you’re looking for more amenities, check out Boscolo Prague, which features a gorgeous indoor pool and fully functioning spa, where you can book a decadent couple’s massage. To experience authentic Czech cuisine, hit up popular restaurant Kampa Park, a favorite of local and international celebrities and a wine list that boasts over 150 varieties! Rather stay stateside? These small American towns are perfect for honeymoons!
One of the many Greek islands grouped together in the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is mostly known for its epic beach parties and massive dance clubs. Whether or not that’s your cup of tea, or ideal atmosphere for your honeymoon, know this: Even this party-pumping destination has a down season, and Mykonos’ happens to be the autumn. Once the summer party goers, many of whom are college-aged, have cleared out, the once densely packed pristine beaches are left relatively empty. This makes for a romantic hot spot ideal for two madly in love newlyweds. It also means you can score a room at the hottest hotels at a serious discount. Stay at Cavo Tagoo to experience five-star service and a luxe atmosphere at an affordable rate. You can cozy up by their jaw-dropping infinity pool, but remember to bring a jacket, since temperatures can drop to as low as 50 degrees in the fall. Hot spots to dine include Kalita, where you can enjoy classic Greek fare in a garden setting in Mykonos Town, and Bill & Coo Restaurant, which is equally known for their spectacular view of the sunset as they are for their gastronomy-inspired food. Want to take a second honeymoon? Here are the secrets to booking one on the cheap.
This coastal country might be best known for its capital, Lisbon, which is a beautiful place to travel (we’ll get to that later), but its southernmost region, the Algarve, is a hidden gem. It’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and has a dry, desert-like climate that’s akin to many popular vacation destinations in the Mediterranean, including the French Riviera and the Greek islands. Stay at Anantara Vilamoura, a gorgeous, newly renovated hotel that’s a honeymooning couple’s paradise. In addition to spa treatments galore, and a golf course for sporty types, they have an exclusively adult pool with Veuve Clicquot cabanas (yes, you read that right!). Dry off from your cool, refreshing dip in the pool to enjoy a bubbly glass of Champagne delivered by your server, whom you can ring with a button should you need a refill.
If you and your spouse are an equal mix of nature lovers, adventure seekers and wine (and pasta) fanatics, the Tuscan region of Italy is calling your name. While there’s no unsightly season in the Italian countryside, the fall possesses a certain charm, with its bright green fields, that is truly unique. If you’re honeymooning in November, you’ll want to take advantage of the start of olive harvest, which usually begins on the first or second of the month. Plus, depending on the weather, you might even luck out on richer truffle season. Where should you stay to take in the best views of the rolling hills and mountains? Book your stay at Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa which sits just over the mountainous Serchio Valley. If you and your new spouse is a foodie, be sure to book a hands-on cooking experience with Feast Tuscany. The company hosts various classes and demonstrations taught by local Italian chefs. It’s certainly one way to take advantage of the bevvy of pastas, cheeses and breads available at your fingertips! Brush up on these Italian phrases before your trip.
There’s a reason this Greek island continues to top nearly every “best honeymoon destination” list year after year. It’s because it’s absolutely breathtaking—everything about it, from the breathtaking and unobstructed views of the caldera that look like actual paintings, to one-of-a-kind sunsets that will be ingrained in your memory long after you’ve returned stateside. Unlike other Greek islands, Santorini remains a popular destination for most months of the year, though it tends to be more quiet in the fall. This means you won’t have any trouble securing a last-minute booking for a sunset cruise with Sunset Oia or an ATV that will have you feeling like you’re riding off into the literal sunset. Santorini is a bigger island than you might think, so you’ll want to be smart about choosing which town to call your home base. West East Suites in Imerovigli is a great choice because it’s centered more closely in the middle of the action—between the romantic town of Oia (pronounced ee-ya) and the island’s capital and downtown area, Firá. A romantic must: Stop by Grace Santorini’s cocktail bar around sunset to take in magical views of Skaros Rock, a fortress used in medieval times, which you’re free to climb during the day and a fun challenge (that is, if you’re not afraid of heights!).
This enchanting, cosmopolitan city that sits on the coast of Spain’s Catalonia region is known for its art, architecture and history, as well as its world-class dining and party scene. Barcelona effortlessly blends centuries-old museums and buildings with new-age art, fashion and technology. It’s the perfect honeymoon spot for young, energetic lovers hoping to see a new side of the world hand in hand. Since winters are fairly cool and summers can be unbearably hot, the ultimate time to visit is the fall when temperatures usually stay between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Do remember to bring some warm clothes, though, since its coastal location can make for some chilly nights. During the days, consider utilizing the hop-on-hop-off double-decker tour bus as a means to see as much of the city sights as possible—and be sure not to miss the Gothic quarter, Church of the Sacred Family, Barcelona Cathedral and the famous Boqueria Market. For impressive, panoramic views of the entire city, make a pit stop at Meliá Barcelona Sky, one of the city’s tallest and most symbolic buildings, where you can sip refreshing sangria on their stunning terraces. Book your stay at The Cotton House Hotel in the city center. In addition to its prime location, the hotel is housed in a historical landmark. The building was once the site of the Cotton Textile Foundation, or “Fundación Textil Algodonera.” Though the hotel’s designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán made many changes to the building’s structure, he kept many of the original elements including inlaid parquet floor tiles, ceiling frescoes and the famous spiral staircase. Check out the Spanish phrases everyone needs to know.
Lake Como, Italy
Aside from your chances of running into George Clooney (he and wife Amal own a house on Lake Como), this alluring, Alpine retreat on the northern border of Italy is a peaceful place to bask in your newlywed bliss. Its beauty and grace is even more enchanting in the autumn, when the climate is more bearable and the touristy crowds have moved out. Your pocket will also thank you. Many restaurants and hotels in the area drop their rates during what’s considered their off-season. Stay at Relais Villa Vittoria, which has a private villa-feel for a reasonable price. It has a relaxed, sophisticated Italian vibe and sits atop the shores of the lake. You and your new Mr. or Mrs. can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the stunning snow-capped mountains. Spend your days sipping champagne on the terrace or lakefront garden, swimming in the resort’s glass-rimmed infinity pool or take a quick ferry ride over to nearby lake towns and villages. Add these healthy alternatives to pasta to your diet before your trip, then load up on the real thing when you’re there.
It doesn’t get much more romantic than saying your “I dos,” before whisking away together as a newlywed couple to the city of lights. Paris is worth visiting any day of the year—it’s always a tourist magnet. But there’s something very special about experiencing the city and its sights in all its grandeur in the autumn. First thing first: It’s way less congested. High season is from May to mid September, when the air is hot and humid and the lines to get into the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe are what seems like miles long. In the fall, you have instant (or close to it) access to everything the city has to offer. Additionally, the foliage is at its peak, as the real outdoors and nature imitates the watercolor paintings you’ll see at the Louvre. Head to the Jardin du Luxembourg, perhaps the most famous park in Paris, for a particularly romantic stroll. Stay at Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, which is centrally located in the heart of the city right next to the historic building it is named for, Place Vendôme. It’s also walking distance from Champs-Élysées, an area in the 8th arrondissement known for its theaters, cafés, and boutique shops. If you can, escape the city one day and take a 30-minute train ride on Rail Europe to visit the lavish Palace of Versailles, constructed in the early 1700s for King Louis XIV. Here are the French phrases every citizen of the world should know.
If you identify more as city dwellers than a country folk, you’ll feel right at home amidst Florence’s busy, cobblestone streets with bars and restaurants at every corner. But this vibrant Italian city likely is starkly different than your beloved cities from back home. It houses masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture at every corner, including some of the world’s most iconic sights that have been around since 11th and 12th centuries. One landmark you won’t have to worry about overlooking is the Duomo, Florence’s main cathedral which stands tall over the magnificent city and can be seen from most elevated areas. You’ll also want to wander down the street to the Piazza della Signoria, a historic part of the city center that features dozens of beautiful sculptures featuring many mythical characters you’ve read about in history class. Art lovers won’t want to miss the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s most renowned art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria. Stay at the Lungarno Hotel for unobstructed views of the Ponte Vecchio, the famous arch bridge that sits between Florence’s two sides.