Where in Europe should we go on our two week honeymoon?
October 25, 2011 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Where in Europe should we go on our two week honeymoon?

My fiance and I are getting married next September and have started to think about our honeymoon. We've decided that it'll be a two week vacation and it'll be somewhere in Europe. Unfortunately, that only narrows our search to about a zillion different great places.

We live in New England and some of our favorite weekend getaway spots are Burlington, VT, Portsmouth, NH, and Portland, ME. These areas are bursting with great bars/restaurants, beautiful landscapes, and unique shops. We're not looking for a beach vacation and we'd be willing to travel around as long as it doesn't eat up too much of our time.

Where should we go? Why?
posted by cad to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
France or Italy, because they are so packed with amazing things to do and see, and if you've never been to either of them, you will love them. Both countries have amazing cuisine, and you can spoil yourself at their restaurants and dig the nightlife at the bars in Paris, Rome, or Florence. Beautiful landscapes? Nothing beats rural Tuscany, and France is full of gorges and valleys, which can be enjoyed with a nice glass of wine. They're also full of culture - you can spend as much or as little time as you like looking at the world's greatest art in Paris or Florence.
posted by Dasein at 5:53 PM on October 25, 2011

I would vote for southern Spain. Two weeks would be perfect to fly into Madrid (you imply a greater interest in smaller cities than huge metropolises, but Madrid is swell, too), see Seville and Granada, plus Malaga or Cordoba if you're willing to move more often. Never more than a few hours journey between any of them. Or add in some charming small towns along the way. Fantastic food, wine, culture, etc. I'm not much of a shopper, but these are modern, cosmopolitan places so I'm sure that's an option.

Florence and Tuscany also a good bet.

Also, it wouldn't be my very first choice, but I hear Greece is on sale. And the discounts are quite likely only getting better, as long as your flight to an island isn't cancelled due to riots or strikes.

Anywhere in Europe has history and charm, but the North and East don't scream honeymoon to me.
posted by Pseudonaut at 6:04 PM on October 25, 2011

Croatia is supposed to be gorgeous and while it has a growing tourist market, it is still relatively untouched by the masses.
posted by superfille at 6:10 PM on October 25, 2011

Don't discount Eastern Europe - Prague, Krakow and Budapest (to name a few) are heartbreakingly gorgeous cities and very romantic. They tick all of your boxes as well. You can get tours that hit most of the major cities in a region.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:15 PM on October 25, 2011

The Baltic states.
posted by joannemullen at 6:21 PM on October 25, 2011

Unless you have an unlimited budget, I would think that budgetary restrictions might help limit your choices. While September may not be considered "high season", the weather is still going to be nice pretty much anywhere in Europe, indeed better than the summer in many places if you hate the heat. Personally, I'd establish a "not to exceed" budget, a few must dos regardless of location such as hiking or cycling in gorgeous locations, a few 4 star meals, and/or seeing some world-class art and see if that starts to limit your choices. But for recommendations my sister just did a trip last fall through Alsace-Lorraine and her pictures were full of unbelievably charming towns with old-school half-timbered buildings. You could use Strasbourg as a base if you'd like or need a big city base from which to explore. And it's France so the food was great although different than what you would find in Paris. Really, first trip to Europe, if you do your research, I don't think that you're going to wrong. You're pretty spoiled for choice, which I guess is part of your problem.
posted by kaybdc at 7:39 PM on October 25, 2011

Is your honeymoon immediately after your wedding? If so, I highly recommend going to a place with many things to see and staying there for several days simply to recuperate from the wedding and spend some time with your new spouse. We were exhausted after our wedding and were so relieved to just lay in our bed till noon and then go see what Paris had to offer. Two weeks is a nice long trip, so the second half can be destination hopping, but my two cents is that the first few days should be in one place with lots to do. Paris, Seville, Rome, Florence, London, anywhere you want. Congratulations!
posted by slmorri at 8:01 PM on October 25, 2011


Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, and absolutely San Sebastien.
posted by bardic at 9:33 PM on October 25, 2011

Spend a week in Prague and then go somewhere nearby: Germany or Hungary, etc. Prague is a beautiful city and great for a honeymoon.
posted by demiurge at 10:51 PM on October 25, 2011

Your question is pretty wide - but the parts of Europe which remind me most of the areas of the USA you say you like are Scotland (west coast - has some similarities to Maine) and some parts of Scandinavia (eg Sweden, Finland).
posted by rongorongo at 11:49 PM on October 25, 2011

I will echo the recommendations for central/eastern Europe. My wife and I just got back from a five week trip through Prague, Vienna, Ljubljana, Croatia, Budapest, and Krakow. Our top cities from the trip were Budapest and Ljubljana.

Ljubljana was actually amazing. There is a small old town centre that is in full use. The food options are beyond wonderful and quite reasonably priced. The people were also friendly. There is also the added bonus of several day trips to head to from the city, ie; Lake Bled, Postojna Caves. September is prime truffle time as well, and the region south of Ljubljana is the world centre for truffles. Accommodation was also reasonable. We rented an apartment form AirBnB for ~$50/night in the centre of the city.
posted by vansly at 3:20 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think it depends how much you want to move around. You can do an amazing tour of southern Spain by train very easily - Seville, Granada, Cordoba and Toledo for example are all pretty different from one another, and about right for two weeks with Madrid as your departure and arrival point. If you just want to sit your ass down, I'd go to Florence and the second Italian city of your choice, which will give you more than enough to do and eat with minimal hauling around. If you just want a variety of scenic and romantic locations in which to have sex, Paris is hard to beat and the six hour TGV train to Nice is beautiful. Nice gives you that nice chilled coastal experience though you won't be sitting on the beach in September.

While I am a fan of Greece, I think Athens is a hellhole and I believe September marks the start of hurricane season and the end of the island hopping that is really what it has to offer.

Eastern Europe is again, a good option if you want to do say 3 or 4 cities in two weeks. I love Prague for example but I can't imagine spending more then 3 or 4 full days there.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:13 AM on October 26, 2011

Consider a stopover in Iceland.
posted by iviken at 5:26 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Isle of Capri
posted by Flood at 6:06 AM on October 26, 2011

Ireland & Scotland, then to Florence. Ireland was full of warm, friendly, and easy-going people when I went there (including on my honeymoon), which is a good fit immediately post-wedding. Scotland is said to be beautiful, and it's nearby. Then down to beautiful, warm Florence as you pick up speed again.

Don't forget to tell pretty much evereyone that you just got married: sometimes they'll hook you up with something extra or special. *shrug* Can't hurt.

Congratulations and have fun!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:10 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

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