For a couple, in addition to the number of guests, the venue, and their wedding ceremony, a sweet honeymoon in another country is the jewel in the crown of a perfect marriage. However, some destinations overcrowded with tourists, such as Paris, Rome, Venice and Tokyo, are so generic that you might even find them boring. It’s time to travel to other cities off the beaten track. Here are the top 10 best honeymoon destinations in Europe & Asia for for a sweet honeymoon that Living Nomads would like to recommend.
1. Prague, Czechia Republic
The capital city of the Czech Republic is also known as “the city of a hundred spires” with the owing to the presence of numerous churches in the city. Prague is luckier than other cities of Eastern Europe because it was not destroyed by bombs and guns of the second World War. That may be the reason why Prague still retains its own soul of a city with an array of impressive architectural structures from the Medieval period even though its modern tourism is strongly developed. If you ever visit this city for your honeymoon, you must visit the Charles stone bridge, which is also renowned as the “Love bridge”, to hang your lock keeping your love dream of a happy couple on that.
In Prague, you can feel the hustle and bustle of a tourist city in the morning but peaceful and quiet ambiance in the evening. You can walk hand in hand with your partner on the Charles bridge in the evening, where yellow lights spread over ancient stone statues that make the whole area so etherial..
Prague not only offers its visitors impressive architectural buildings and attractive historical stories of its city, but it is also famous for mouthwatering cuisine with delicious dishes and Czech beer that have been Attracting gourmets for centuries. A romantic dinner on the top of old houses overlooking to the central Square will leave you with a lasting memory of this city.
+ Itinerary: From Vietnam to the Czech Republic, you can book a return ticket of Vietnam Airlines, Emirates or Thai Airways at about 600USD/one way ticket (excluding tax).
+ Visa: In order to be allowed to visit the Czech Republic and some European countries in the Schengen Area, you should apply for a Schengen visa at the Czech embassy in Hanoi or VFS Global in HCMC.
+ Recommendation: One of the most beautiful restaurants with a good view overlooking to the city is Terasa U Zlate Studne in U Zlaté Studne 4, on the rooftop of the Golden Well hotel. For more information about the itinerary and attractions of Prague, you can visit www.misagjone.com with the key words of “travel to Czech”.
2. Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany (or Toscana in Italian) is a region in Italy composed of many small and big cities, of which Florence, Pisa, Siena, and the land of vineyards, Chianti, are favorite. If Florence and Pisa are too popular and crowded with tourists around the world, Siena, Chianti and other small towns are ideal places for you to enjoy a romantic honeymoon in Italian style.
Italian food has always been in competition with the neighboring French region in regaurds to both the cuisine as well as the exceptional wine. In Tuscany, visitors can taste different types of ham, bacon and porchetta, a savoury, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition, served with wheat bread. It’s fantastic to enjoy a baguette with grilled meat and drink a cold glass of Azzurro beer.
When you feel a little bit «overloaded» with the crowds and noisy ambiance of Florence, you can visit the little city of Arezzo, where Roberto Benigni directed and starred in the famous movie, «Life is beautiful», about the second World War. The film recieved more than 30 nominations in different categories in 11 famous International Film Festivals and won most of those nominations. You will, however, not see churches with doms decorated by famous artists from the Renaissance or museums with priceless paintings in Arezzo. But the little street, where Guido used to walk with Dora, and red brick houses with fresh flowers will surely convince you that the life in Arezzo is beautiful.
In autumn, when the sky is so blue and the local people have finished their harvest, only the yellow roots of wheat are left in the fields. That is the best time to take a romantic collection of wedding photos in Italy. One of the most beautiful destinations to take photos in autumn here is Val d’Orcia, especially the street between Bagno Vignoni and Poggio Grande. From the peaks of numerous hills, you can view the immense vineyards and gray mountains slowly hidden in the sunset.
+ Recommendation: In Firenze, you can visit The Mall with an array of outlets selling products of famous fashion brand names such as Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci at half the price in other shops. You can take a bus from the center of Florence to this place. For more information, please visit www.themall.it.
+ Attractions: Siena church is one of the most outstanding churches in Tuscany with many artistic masterpieces decorating the ceiling and doms.
3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam was in its heyday in the 17th century, when the shipping industry was developing throughout the continent. In modern life, you can see brick houses built in the Hansen style.
Although it is a capital city of Holland with characteristics of a modern urban city, Amsterdam is small enough for you to walk through comfortably to discover. If you would like to experience the feeling of the Netherlands, rent a bike and ride with your partner around the city. Don’t be afraid if you are not good at directions because the city plan is so simple that you can’t be lost in Amsterdam.
In addition to the bikes and small canals surrounded by brick houses, Amsterdam is also famous for artistic museums, including Rijks museum with the famous «The night watch» painted by Rembrandts, and the Van Gogh museum. If you are interested in history, you should visit Anne Frank’s house or Anne Frank museum, where Anne Frank, her family and some Jewish people lived when they were chased by the Facists during the second World War.
From Amsterdam, you can buy a day tour to Zaanse Schans, also called the «Windmill village». Here you can discover the process of making cheese and traditional wooden shoes of the Dutch people. You will have a chance to witness huge windmills built hundreds of year ago still in operation.
+ Notice: Amsterdam is a «hot» destination in Western Europe. It’s normal if you have to queue to buy tickets at some of the most famous attractions, especially Anne Frank museum. Therefore, it’s wise to book tickets online to save your time.
+ Recommendation: I Amsterdam City Card is very convenient that you can use to travel in the city, visit or get discount at some sights and museums. For further information, you can visit http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/i-am/i-amsterdam-city-card.
4. Utrecht, The Netherlands
It takes about 30 minutes to travel from Amsterdam to Utrecht, the fourth largest city of Holland. As an untouched gem, Utrecht is not as outstanding as Amsterdam, which is very popular to tourists in Europe. However, Utrecht is attractive with … bikes! With a population of about 16.8 million, Utrecht has 19 million bikes. It’s ideal to rent a bike and ride around the city with your partner.
Noone reveals the reason why the city center, built from the 6th century, is linked by very narrow streets. They are so narrow that people can only walk or ride a bike. Each day, there are about 100,000 bikes moving in the city, about 50% of total means of transportation in Utrecht. Even the mayor ride a bike to go to work everyday!
This may remind you of a Vietnamese song named «Bike!»written and sung by the couple Phuong Thao and Ngoc Le in the 1990s. The song expresses the same emotional feeling when you and your lover ride a bike around Utrecht.
The traffic laws of Holland and many European countries do not allow you to ride a bike carrying another adult. (You can carry a child but the bike should be equipped with a chair on its back for children). However, your biking journey will not be less romantic. With a lover by your side, no matter where you go, it will be dreamlike and perfect.
+ Itinerary: From Schiphol airport (Amsterdam), you can take a train to Utrecht in about 30 minutes for 8.5Euros.
+ Recommendation: If you would like to view the panorama of the city and challenge your strength, you can climb up the 465 stairs of Dom Tower, which is 700m high. You will be surprised by the beautiful Utrecht city under your feet.
5. Santorini, Greece
Santorini island is a perfect destinations for beautiful photos of couples. If you ever visit this place, you will surely think that this island is only for loving couples.
You can see couples walking hand in hand everywhere on the island or looking at each other with their charmed eyes in small cafes under the red confetti flowers.
It seems that there is no where else in the world where people wait for the sunset like in Santorini. Each day, when the sun goes down on the sea surface and wipes the last sunshine of the day on white-washed houses of Greece, hundreds of visitors gather on sea-view balconies and hold their breathe to wait for this marvelous moment. There is nothing more romantic than this moment with one’s darling.
If you are planning a romantic dinner with delicious food and wine, Santorini is your choice. Sip a glass of Greek wine and view the deep blue Aegan sea, and you will feel as if you were listening to the sound of the ocean whispering about the legends of Gods.
+ Itinerary: From Athens capital city, you can go to Santorini by airplane or ferry. There are many flights during the day to Santorini provided by Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air or other cheap carriers in Europe such as EasyJet or Ryan Air. It takes about 45-50 minutes to fly from Athens to Santorini.
+ Recommendation: There are many high speed ferry providers offering trips to Santorini island, of which Blue Star Ferry is the most famous. Until October, Blue Star Ferry provides trips to Athens from the afternoon to the next morning. With this, you will not have to book a hotel room that evening. You can book a ticket online at 38 Euros/afternoon. For further information, please visit www.greeka.com, ww.bluestarferries.gr/en/ or www.ferries.gr.
6. Bordeaux, France
This city in the Southwest of France is more interesting than just the wine it is famous for. Though of course, when you come to Bordeaux, you should not miss visiting famous wine castles in the region. There are about 10,000 wine manufacturers in Bordeaux and many tourist agencies providing you different tours to visit and taste the wine in a half day.
Some people call Bordeaux a mini Paris but local people may not like this. In recent years, this landscape has been changing from a small and quiet city to a famous and active one with many cultural, artistic, tourism and culinary activities for visitors. This may be the reason why it is compared to Paris.
However, unlike attractions with crowds of guests and skyscrappers that make Paris look narrow and oppressive, Bordeaux brings you a different ambiance and feeling. It features blue sea and red wine, which may be the reason why local people in Bordeaux only wants to be «Bordeaux» instead of Paris.
Place de la Bourse castle with a huge «mirror» in front of the building is a must-see in Bordeaux. The mirror is actually a large area paved with granite and filled with water 2cm deep to make it a big «mirror» reflecting the blue sky of Southern France and the opulence of the castle. Sometimes, the «mirror» sprays water to entertain both adults and children.
+ Itinerary: There is not a direct flight from Vietnam to Bordeaux but you can fly to Paris and then go to Bordeaux.
+ Recommendation: If you like taking photos, visit L’Intendant (2 Allée de Tourny) to see its famous wine staircases. This is a big spiral stair with two walls on both side holding different types of wine that can amaze even the toughest to please visitor.
Kyoto, the ancient captiol of Japan, has long been a favorite destination of Vietnamese tourists. Here, you can imagine every characteristic of an ancient Japan with geisha wearing plain wood clogs and quiet tea shops in Gion district. In addition, you will see 1000 red Tori gates in Fushimi Inari-taisha temple that appear in every image about Kyoto.
One of the most interesting destinations in Kyoto is the bamboo forest in Arashiyama. The bamboo forest’s high tree stick to each other to form a dom like an enormous green tunnel. You will see Japanese girls in their traditional costume, the kimono, and a big flower in their hair walking in the cool green bamboo trees. Sometimes, they will stop to take photos and then chat with their friends. Not many countries can show the harmony of the tradition and modernity quiet like Japan.
If you visit Kyoto in autumn, you will be amazed by the red and yellow color of mable leaves and the blue color of the lakes. In the cold breezes, you can sit in a cozy tea shop with your lover and indulge in the feeling of the season.
+ Itinerary: You can take a direct flight from HCMC or Hanoi to Osaka and then go to Kyoto by Kyoto Access Nankai Line at 1230 yen. You will have to change the transportation three times from Kansai airport to Kyoto.
+ Attraction: You can visit the bamboo forest free but if you would like to go to Okochi Sanso garden and enjoy Japanese tea culture, you will have to pay about 1000 yen. The price includes tea.