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Ideas for a honeymoon destination that isn't at the beach?

We are trying to decide on a location for our Honeymoon, to be taken mid March 2016. We are not "beach people" and enjoy museums, history, and good food. What is your favorite place to visit? We have thrown out the options of Rome and Portugal. 

22 Answers

top answer by
Eva from New York City

I'll throw out something completely different. How about some romantic haciendas and Mayan ruin exploration in the Yucatan peninsula region of Mexico?

In March the weather will be better, and unless you run into Easter it shouldn't be that crowded. 

Fly into Cancun and go directly to Valladolidor Izamal or Merida, (depending on your bus length tolerance - or would you drive?)

Merida is a spectacular colonial city with all sorts of nightlife, museums, galleries, great restaurants. There is live music/folkloric dancing in a different square every night - for the locals, it was there before the tourists. The other 2 towns are smaller but each has their charm, things to see, and nice boutique hotel accommodations. 

From there, there are several amazing hacienda properties to choose from.Hacienda Xcanatún Hacienda Santa Rosa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santa Rosa Hacienda Uayamon Hacienda Temozon 

All of these position you for visiting less visited Mayan ruins than the ones closer to Cancun. You could easily spend a week at any of these properties or a combination of them. Since many are Starwood they probably can arrange transportation between them, or you can hire someone like William Lawson's Driving Service in Merida. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Valladolid (city)
  2. Izamal (attraction)
  3. Merida (city)
  4. Hacienda Xcanatún (restaurant)
  5. Hacienda Santa Rosa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santa Rosa (attraction)
  6. Hacienda Uayamon (hotel)
  7. Hacienda Temozon (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Josh from Baton Rouge

I would personally recommend PraguePrague has amazing architecture, one of the only European cities to not be touched by WWII.  It is very romantic and has some fantastic history.  Prague is also very walkable and still is a pretty good value.

If scenic beauty is more your thing, perhaps a trip to Salzburgwould be good.  You can pair that with a trip to Hallstattand Munich.In that same area would be Neuschwanstein Castleand Tyrol.

I have never personally been, but I have heard great things about Venice for a romantic getaway.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prague (city)
  2. Salzburg (city)
  3. Hallstatt (attraction)
  4. Munich (city)
  5. Neuschwanstein Castle (attraction)
  6. Tyrol (attraction)
  7. Venice (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

Paris fits your list...great museums and food. But, you may also want to pick Spain. You could do Madrid, Seville/Cordoba (Spain), and Granada. Rich in history, great food, great museums (plus the Royal Alcázar of Seville, Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba and the Alhambra).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Madrid (city)
  3. Seville (city)
  4. Cordoba (Spain) (city)
  5. Granada (city)
  6. Royal Alcázar of Seville (attraction)
  7. Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba (attraction)
  8. Alhambra (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Nars from Boston

ParisVenice, Istanbul are great options but Europe is generally colder in March (around 45 degrees). On the flip side, these cities will be less crowded, and the flights and hotels will be relatively cheaper. Have a good trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Venice (city)
  3. Istanbul (city)
1 thanks

answered by
John from Carlsbad (California)

Paris would be my first choice.  It is the definition of museums, history, and good food, with a lot of romance.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Théo from Bordeaux

Have you considered the nordic europe ? Sweden, Norway, Finland... ? 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sweden (attraction)
  2. Norway (attraction)
  3. Finland (attraction)

answered by
Michael from Perth, Western Australia

Ubud - Bali

inland, beautiful forests, amazing people .. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ubud (attraction)

answered by
Carol from Atlanta

Chicago!  They have the most wonderful museums and is such an accessible city.  The Field Museum of Natural History is like being in the middle of "Night at the Museum."  The Shedd Aquarium is right in the same area.  I am not an expert, but I have loved every trip to Chicago.  Great restaurants, lots of art museums, galleries.

One caveat:  it will be COLD!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Chicago (city)
  2. Field Museum of Natural History (attraction)
  3. Shedd Aquarium (attraction)

answered by
Jennifer from Hoi An

Hi Shanda,

You should think about Hoi An (Vietnam) as one of great idea for your honeymoon :). Hoi An is on Top 10 honeymoon in ASIA

It's great idea for food, museum, history and culture.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hoi An (city)

answered by
Sabine from Amsterdam

Definitely consider Amsterdam! With over 60 museums Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world. The city has a very interesting history and culture. The food is a mix of every place in the world and really good! Check out one of my other answers on Amsterdam if you would like to find some good restaurants (or once you decided to go to Amsterdam, just ask the questions again on Trippy and I will be happy to answer :-) ) 

As Western Europe isn't that big you can easily travel to other places such as London and Paris within a few hours. But be careful of spending too much time in the air or on the train, stay at least 2 (but better 3) nights in every city. 

Also go to Bruges! It is pretty small, but a lovely romantic city!

Have fun on your honeymoon!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
  2. London (city)
  3. Paris (city)
  4. Bruges (city)

answered by

In March, I would head to the southern hemisphere, where it will be summer instead of winter back in the U.S.   So much depends on budget, how long you want to stay, and how active you want your vacation to be.

Peru is full of history:  Machu Picchu and the time of the Incas. Head to the Nazca lines where you can discover ancient geoglyphs in the sand.  Up in Iquitos you can have an adventure of boating down the Amazon River and staying in a jungle lodge.  And you could travel the Orient Express to the highest lake in the world, Lake Titicaca, and discover the reed islands where people live.  And last, high up in the mountains, the very ancient city of Cusco

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Peru (attraction)
  2. Machu Picchu (attraction)
  3. Iquitos (city)
  4. Lake Titicaca (attraction)
  5. Cusco (attraction)

answered by

You're going mid-March so all the European cities others have mentioned, while wonderful and magical, will be cold that time of year and also possibly rainy or snowy. Here are a few other thoughts:  Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Bali, all have extraordinary historical sites, lovely hotels at all price levels, and excellent food. I'm particularly fond of Cambodia which can easily be combined with Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam or Singapore. Singapore is a modern city, very elegant, with superb food. If combined with Cambodia (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh at the very least) it would be a nice combination of old Asia and new Asia. 

Other thoughts would be Australia and/or New Zealand where it will be summer. 

You might also want to consider India. A tour of Delhi through Rajasthan would give you a good sense of some of the more well known sites and cities in northern India. 

If looking for something less ambitious, consider Mexico. The cities are interesting, the food can be terrific, and not all the romance is at the beach. San Miguel de Allende, for example, is a wonderful and romantic town with much to do for a week's honeymoon. I haven't been to Merida, but I understand it's a beautiful city with good arts.

Chile, Peru and Argentina also offer good combinations of interesting cities, unique and magnificent non-beach landscapes, and excellent cuisine. 

Hope this is helpful.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Thailand (attraction)
  2. Cambodia (attraction)
  3. Laos (attraction)
  4. Myanmar (attraction)
  5. Singapore (country)
  6. Bali (island)
  7. Australia (attraction)
  8. New Zealand (attraction)
  9. India (attraction)
  10. Delhi (attraction)
  11. Rajasthan (attraction)
  12. Mexico (attraction)
  13. San Miguel de Allende (city)
  14. Chile (attraction)
  15. Peru (attraction)
  16. Argentina (attraction)

answered by
Lisa from Wellington

How about New Zealand? Wellington lots to do here from Lord of the Rings tours at Matamata where the Hobbit hole homes are? 

Australia is another sweet spot Melbourne and Gold Coast are both nice places to visit. With a variety of things to do there - The Gold Coast has theme parks too, Movie World, Sea World etc. 
Or the Pacific Islands in the South Pacific area? Fiji is a favourite spot of mine, with a variety of resorts and activities. On the mainland I stayed in Port Denarau which is a sweet area with resorts nearby as well as lots of shopping trips and places to explore.
Not all resorts are Adults only, so be sure to double check if you're after an Adult Only (or family) escape. 

Mid-March 2016 will be around the end of summer time for the above locations - so the weather should be fine, with cool nights and lots of summer time fun to be had!

If you want some more specifics just ask. :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Wellington (city)
  2. Matamata (city)
  3. (attraction)
  4. Gold Coast (city)
  5. Fiji (attraction)
  6. Port Denarau (attraction)

answered by
Katherine from Melbourne

If you are willing to move away from Europe, then consider Peru for an adventurous or cultural honeymoon. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Peru (attraction)

answered by
Gina from Minneapolis

Right there with you, Shanda. My husband and I are just the same and we knew a beach honeymoon wasn't for us. We ended up going to Turkey, starting in Istanbul, then adding on Cappadocia, Ephesusand Bodrum, and we traveled in March. I can't say enough good things about Turkey and its people, but I would actually give Bodrum a pass if I were you. We went on the recommendation of friends who have a place there, but it's really more of a beach destination and it was deserted at that time of year. Instead, I might switch it out with Safranbolu.

Other ideas to consider: 

Mexico - Maybe make the rounds of some of its beautiful colonial cities such as OaxacaMeridaCampecheSan Miguel de AllendeQuerétaroPuebla, etc. For a little excitement, tag on Mexico City. Tons of history, great food and beautiful places.

Argentina - Perhaps do Buenos Aires, then find a nice estancia in Cordoba (Argentina)Río Negro or something like that, and explore Patagonia (Argentina) a bit?

I know this might sound beachy, but Indonesia comes to mind too. Romantic scenery, relaxed atmosphere, rich culture—it could be a pretty great place to kick back as newlyweds—but you've also got some opportunities for adventure, like exploring the jungles in Borneo, looking for orangutans, going to Borobudur, etc. An incredible array of choices for tailoring the trip to your tastes. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Turkey (attraction)
  2. Istanbul (city)
  3. Cappadocia (attraction)
  4. Ephesus (attraction)
  5. Bodrum (attraction)
  6. Safranbolu (city)
  7. Mexico (attraction)
  8. Oaxaca (city)
  9. Merida (city)
  10. Campeche (attraction)
  11. San Miguel de Allende (city)
  12. Querétaro (attraction)
  13. Puebla (attraction)
  14. Mexico City (city)
  15. Argentina (attraction)
  16. Buenos Aires (city)
  17. Cordoba (Argentina) (city)
  18. Río Negro (attraction)
  19. Patagonia (Argentina) (metro area)
  20. Indonesia (attraction)
  21. Borneo (island)
  22. Borobudur (attraction)

answered by
Laura from Buenos Aires

Paris is always a good option and for anything really. Italian cities like VeniceProvince of Florence or Rome also and you can visit some little villages from them. Praguewould be an excelent choice as well as Barcelonaor he south of Spain like Seville or GranadaLisbonand Porto are also very beautiful and quieter than the bigger european cities.

All these cities combine history, culture, lots of activities to chose, great hotels, lovely restaurants and sights that are to die for. 

Personally I'd chose some place in Italy or Greece, Santorini is my dream for a honeymoon. 

PS: Congratulations!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Venice (city)
  3. Province of Florence (metro area)
  4. Rome (city)
  5. Prague (city)
  6. Barcelona (city)
  7. Seville (city)
  8. Granada (city)
  9. Lisbon (city)
  10. Porto (city)
  11. Santorini (island)

answered by
Vince from Sarasota

Few days ago there was an excellent article in the New York Times about a couple that went to Italy on their honeymoon using all types of traveling; i.,e., train, rental car and ferry from the lake region to Florence to Sicily.

Try to find it and read it; it will be very informative and worthwhile

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Florence (city)
  2. Sicily (island)

answered by
Camelia from Bucharest

Hello Shanda,

My recommandation would be Ireland or France. 

If you are looking for a cosy honeymoon, Ireland is the best choice. It has so much beauty and the surroundings are spectacular. You'd feel like a hobbit crossing the Ring of Kerry. Since you are interested in history, I strongly recommend some medieval castles like Blarney Castleand Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. Also, plan at least a day in Galway City. The city offeres so much to see including parks, cushy pubs and restaurants, museums such as Nora Barnacle´s Houseand boutiques. Don't worry much about the rain! It harmonizes with the place. B&Bs are affordable and usually the breakfast list is so big and diverse, it's pretty difficult to decide what to choose. And most of all, drinking a pint of beer at The Original Durty Nelly'ssorrounded by folk music, history and locals is one in a million experience!

Oh là là France! It has so much character .You can not love it!

Paris is sophisticated and lovely in the same time. Museums, gardens, boutiques, restaurants. But a bit crowded. I'd recommend 3 days in Paris, then a lot more outside it. The Loire Valley is stunning. Its castles are literally jewelleries. I strongly recommend Château de Brissac. You'd have the privilege to meet the owner and visit his incredible 'house'. 

Another great experince is to visit Saint-Émilion. It is a medival town surrounded by grape vines. Make sure you catch the sunset. The old buldings look so alive in the light of the sun. Don't miss a medieval dinner and a glass of wine!

Both locations are splendid. Renting a car might be very much needed. Wish you a wonderful honeymoon no matter what location you choose!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ring of Kerry (attraction)
  2. Blarney Castle (attraction)
  3. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park (hotel)
  4. Galway City (attraction)
  5. Nora Barnacle´s House (attraction)
  6. The Original Durty Nelly's (restaurant)
  7. Paris (city)
  8. Château de Brissac (attraction)
  9. Saint-Émilion (attraction)

answered by
Jared from Sydney

I would recommend Reykjavik in Iceland!

Though small, it's a vibrant city full of great food, the fantastic National Museum of Iceland and friendly people. Plus you can relax at the Blue Lagoon geothermal hot springs or hire a car and venture out into the pristine wilderness! March means you might even get a chance to see the aurora borealis - The Northern Lights! And you can stay in awesome cabins like the one below!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Reykjavik (city)
  2. National Museum of Iceland (attraction)
  3. Blue Lagoon (attraction)

answered by
Lauren from Edgewater

Seville, Spain. Absolutely beautiful city. I'd also recommend making the trip up to Madrid. Enjoy your honeymoon!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seville (city)
  2. Madrid (city)

answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

Hello Shanda!  With the things you are describing,  museums, history, and good food, I would strongly consider, ParisMadrid, Istanbuland Florence.  They are all oozing with those three things.  I would also consider Munich.  All of these are also great cities to incorporate day trips should you wish to get out of the city a little bit too. Have fun and congratulations, in advance!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Madrid (city)
  3. Istanbul (city)
  4. Florence (city)
  5. Munich (city)

answered by
Maria from Dublin

Venice is very romantic and has some really nice hotels and, if you avoid the touristy areas, some lovely restaurants. The city has noteworthy museums and galleries too. I especially love Venice out of season, In March the weather should be getting warm (but not too warm) might be a little rainy (but most hotels provide wellies for coping with potential floods)

You could also take the train from Venice to Verona (about an hour's journey) and write your names on the wall beside Juliet's balcony.Verona also has some great restaurants and wine bars and an amazing arena.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Venice (city)

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