It wasn’t long ago that my husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon, so today I am sharing my favorite European honeymoon destinations. Despite spending a majority of the last few years in Europe, there was never any question about where we would spend our honeymoon – it was always going to be Europe.
A few of my friends have gotten engaged recently, and most of them will be planning spring weddings and honeymoons. Since Torrance and I enjoyed a spring European honeymoon last year, they have been asking me my favorite European honeymoon destinations to consider.
We had the privilege of getting to visit Austria last year, and we immediately fell in love with it. While we only had time to visit Salzburg, it’s very clear that an Austrian honeymoon would exude romance and elegance, and that’s why it’s listed as one of my favorite European honeymoon destinations. From the royal history in Vienna (for fellow Marie Antoinette enthusiasts, she was born at Hofburg Palace), to the picturesque lakeside villages like Hallstatt, to the quaint riverside town of Salzburg, there is so much Austria has to offer to celebrate your first trip as husband and wife. For ultimate luxury and romance, I recommend Sans Souci Wien in Vienna and Hotel Sacher Salzburg in Salzburg for your hotel choices that’ll cater to your every need and help make your honeymoon memorable, and in Salzburg I highly recommend making a dinner reservation at the hidden but well known secret spot St. Peter Stiftskulinarium‘s (a candlelit dinner inside an old cathedral, what could be more romantic?).
Maybe I am biased because we just spent most of last year living abroad in Spain and the first part of our own honeymoon began there, but Spain truly is a country that needs to be visited especially by newlywed lovebirds. While most people think of Barcelona when they think of Spain, I actually argue that spots like Madrid, Sevilla, Bilbao, Valencia, and Mallorca are also great honeymoon destinations. If you want to truly get off the grid, the town we lived in, Cáceres (about a 3 hour drive from Madrid), is extremely picturesque and full of culture, plus it’s where they filmed the current season (season 7) of Game of Thrones. From the food to the vineyards to the undeniable exciting Spanish culture, Spain is the perfect honeymoon spot for those interested in architecture, history, and food. Our favorite hotel in Madrid, Catalonia Los Cortes, is the perfect central spot to call home during your visit (ask for a superior room or a junior suite with a view of the street). In Sevilla, we stayed at Hotel Casa 1800 Sevilla, and it’s the best spot for honeymooners due to it’s location, design, and service (splurge for a room with it’s own jacuzzi for extra romance – it was the best spot to unwind after some yummy food and Spanish wine). Our two favorite restaurants in Madrid were La Barraca for exquisite paella and a cute sushi chain called Miss Sushi for some of the best sushi in Spain. In Sevilla, we loved Gago 6 for some midday tapas and L’Oca Giuliva for amazing Italian (reservations highly recommended).
See our posts from Spain here, here, here, and here, our Madrid travel guide here, and our Sevilla travel guide here.
Italy is probably one of the most popular honeymoon spots in the world, and it’s very easy to see why it’s one of my personal favorite European honeymoon destinations. My dad’s side of the family hails from Italy (my maiden name is Campanella, can you get more Italian than that?), and up until our honeymoon I had never set foot on my family’s homeland. Torrance had already been to Italy but was dying to take me, and so a few months before our wedding we settled on starting in Spain but spending most of our honeymoon in Italy. For our honeymoon, we focused on a northern Italian tour (which is funny because we Campanella’s hail from southern Italy). We started in Milan, then visited Portofino (which was on my bucket list for years), then headed to Florence, then toured the Chianti wine region in Tuscany, and we ended our honeymoon in Venice. I would say out of all of those, Portofino, Chianti/Tuscany, and Venice are probably my favorites and the most romantic when it comes to honeymoons. In Portofino, I highly recommend a stay at Belmond Splendido or Belmond Splendido Mare (we stayed at Belmond Splendido Mare) with a sunset dinner at Restaurant Strainer (ask for a harborside table and order the truffle parmesan pasta!). In Tuscany’s Chianti wine region, stay at the romantic Villa Bordoni as you bounce from vineyard to vineyard. In Venice, we stayed at Corte di Gabriela in San Marco (ask for a canal view room), and it was one of the best quaint hotel finds thanks to Torrance for finding that one! Grab dinner at Restaurant da Ivo where George Clooney dined the night before his wedding to Amal, and for an extra romantic indulgence, arrive at the restaurant via gondola for the ultimate grand entrance. That’s amore!
Check out our posts from Italy here, here, here, here, and here and our Portofino travel guide here, our Tuscany travel guide here, and our Venice travel guide here.
Again, I might be biased since I am Danish and have been back to this country a few times (Jeg elsker dig, Danmark!), but Denmark is certainly one of my favorite European honeymoon destinations. Not many people would consider visiting Denmark for their honeymoon, and I am trying to convince you that it is. If you love incredible cuisine, rich royal history (I mean, there’s practically a castle in every city!), adventure, and storybook architecture, then Denmark is for you. There’s more to Denmark than beloved Copenhagen, such as Helingsør (my family is from Espergærde just a few miles south), Odense, Skagen, Ribe, Ærøskøbing, and Ebeltoft. If you just looked up any of those cities, hopefully that was enough to convince you! I am quite proud of my Danish roots and think it’s the perfect spot for a fairytale beginning. In Copenhagen, I recommend staying at D’Angleterre for the ultimate in luxury and the eco-friendly Babette Guldsmeden (our usual spot; ask for a room overlooking Amalienborg and the cathedral). The most popular, romantic spot to eat in Copenhagen (and the world) is also the most difficult to reserve – Noma – but it doesn’t hurt to try to get in if you book way in advance! I also highly recommend Studio, Rebel, and Geranium for the most unique Danish cuisine. Normally I am an extremely picky eater, but in Denmark I don’t ask any questions and I let the chefs serenade me with decadent dishes. Just clink your wine glasses together and indulge!
Okay so I think I have a problem. I may be a wee bit too obsessed with Iceland at the moment, but that’s not why I have included it in my favorite European honeymoon destinations! Iceland has been skyrocketing in popularity over the last year, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it “off the beaten path”, but it’s incredibly rich in nature, serenity, and privacy. We first heard of visiting Iceland when a crew member on Tor’s show Reign told us they were headed to Iceland for their honeymoon, so we became very intrigued. After visiting for ourselves in January, we could easily see how perfect of a honeymoon spot it is and while we don’t regret our Italian adventure, we could have also happily honeymooned on Iceland! We will be visiting Iceland again in October/November for a massive 2.5 week road trip around the whole country, so we will have more recommendations after that visit. For now, we can highly recommend the secluded and gorgeous Hotel Ranga near Seljalandsfoss and Skagafoss (they wake you up when the Northern Lights appear during the night, plus they have an outstanding restaurant and several thermal hot tubs to watch the Northern Lights). We also recommend a stay at Silica Hotel at the Blue Lagoon. While the Blue Lagoon is certainly a must see, for lovebirds we recommend a stay at Silica because they have their own private lagoon that’s never crowded. At times it felt like we had it all to ourselves! For ultimate luxury and privacy in Reykjavik, splurge on a stay at Reykjavik Tower Suites (we will be staying here in November), as floor to ceiling windows give you a panoramic view of the city from one of the highest buildings in Iceland.
What are your favorite European honeymoon destinations?