Have you put much thought into your honeymoon? They say it's the most romantic trip of your life! Imagine having just you and the person you love most, celebrating the life you have begun to embark upon together.
You'll also just have survived your wedding, which we're sure will have involved months of stressful planning, exhausting decisions, and enough conversations with family members to make you consider taking a vow of silence for a few weeks to recover. Instead, you've got a happy little trip to keep the wedding's romantic vibes flowing and share some much-needed one on one time with your main squeeze.
Where you choose to spend your honeymoon is a big deal. It can make the difference between launching your marriage in an environment of wedded bliss or aggravated disarray! We've looked into the experiences that this year's honeymooners have shared with the world and come back with some important tips for anyone planning their own honeymoon in the near future.
All honeymoon destinations are NOT created equal. If you’re looking for a place that reflects all of the beautiful love that you and your partner have for each other back at you, you probably don’t want that place to include views of crying children, environmental destruction, violence, and other general unpleasantness. You want peaceful natural beauty, luxury, and the absolute best service the world has to offer.
Here are 10 honeymoon destinations to avoid, and 10 more that you need to put on your own romantic bucket list.
20 20. Disneyland, Florida (Worst)
You might think that the place where Disney's most beloved couples live is the most romantic spot in the world, but we're sorry to tell you that you're wrong about that. So, so wrong. Some Disney resorts and cruises can offer you and your spouse a lovely time, but a honeymoon at Disneyland theme park in Orlando, Florida just can't.
Long lines, sweltering heat, and thousands upon thousands of families on vacation are likely to stand between you and your own private dream Disney moments at this park. We bet you don't want your honeymoon smell like kids' sunscreen and sound like temper tantrums - especially if you and your spouse are considering kids of your own. Inspiring? Maybe not.
19 19. Phang Nga Park, Thailand (Worst)
"Dirty, crowded, and polluted," says a TripAdvisor reviewer about Phang Nga Park. "The whole island was a mess during my visit. Filled with a lot of boats and tourists, the island was polluted, the water was not clear, no marine life and a whole bunch of death corals."
The travel guidebook company Fodor explains it a bit more eloquently, saying "the rush to paradise has overwhelmed" this once-pristine Thai destination. Whether pollution or tourists are to blame, Phang Nga Park is no longer a paradise honeymoon destination. Don't be fooled by old promotional pics! Leave this place off your to-do list.
18 18. Niagara Falls, New York (Worst)
We know that Niagara Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world. Smart travelers beware: besides the waterfall itself, this honeymoon destination is way over-hyped and under-maintained. It may have been glamorous and romantic when Marilyn Monroe filmed Niagara there, but those days are long gone.
Niagara Falls, New York welcomes thousands upon thousands of tourists each year without many quality attractions to entertain or service them at a 5-star level. Niagara Falls, Ontario, just over the river, has more for tourists to enjoy but is still overrun by them. Unless you want your trip to be stifled and cramped by other travelers, opt to see a different waterfall instead.
17 17. Acapulco, Mexico (Worst)
There are SO MANY beautiful destinations where yo can safely soak up the sun in Mexico. Unfortunately, Acapulco currently isn't one of them. It's earned the title of the "murder capital" of Mexico due to high rates of violence among locals, which often catches tourists in its crossfire. You do not want to take that kind of risk.
Despite all this, the tourism rate in Acapulco is steadily climbing, according to the Mexican State of Guerrero. This might be because of Acapulco's old status as a honeymoon hotspot. Don't be one of the bold travelers who choose to visit this particular Mexican region when you have so many other gorgeous tropical Mexican destinations to enjoy.
16 16. Las Vegas, Nevada (Worst)
Las Vegas is a unique place in a unique state, with laws that allow for flexible behavior surrounding alcohol, brothels, gambling, and more. Many people consider that to make it great for bachelor/bachelorette parties, weekend getaways, and even shotgun weddings. For honeymoons, however, it's not ideal.
Las Vegas is yet another city that never sleeps, so choosing to stay near its main strip means loud party noises at absolutely every hour of the day and night. Unless you and your partner are willing to majorly splurge on a penthouse room in a luxury Vegas hotel, the endless party atmosphere is going to present some problems. The city is just not built for intimate one on one conversations between smitten newlyweds.
15 15. Nuuk, Greenland (Worst)
Greenland's capital city might seem like an amazing, off-the-beaten-path option for unique couples. You might imagine that gazing up at majestic Northern Lights while cozied up to your loved one is as romantic as it gets. In reality, Nuuk is beyond freezing cold and way too physically uncomfortable to spend a honeymoon in.
Because of Greenland's extreme conditions, there are NO ROADS between its major cities! All transportation happens through planes, snowmobiles, and even dog sleds. Imagine not liking Nuuk and then being literally unable to visit the other cities in Greenland because of weather and slim transportation options. This doesn't sound romantic to us.
14 14. Bogota, Colombia (Worst)
Colombia's capital has become one of the most dangerous places in the world. It's a terrible shame because there are few places quite as full of gorgeous rainforests and colorful villages like Colombia. These attractions are alongside Bogota's "bullet street," a strip risky enough to have earned that name.
This is a poor honeymoon choice especially if you and/or your partner is an American citizen, as U.S. tourists are targeted for kidnapping at a higher rate than some other international nationalities. Even the natural beauty is dangerous to observe in Bogota because a carcinogenic herbicide is supposedly used to suppress to the growth of coca in the region. Best to give this destination a pass these days.
13 13. The Great Wall of China (Worst)
The Great Wall of China is not as great as it once was. As you might expect from an ancient landmark, many sections of the wall are completely deteriorating. Those sections are the ones that get the least upkeep in the country's rural areas, but a choice to visit the wall in bigger cities also has its downsides.
Major Chinese cities like Beijing have so much air pollution that most of its citizens wear breathing masks while walking outside. It will be extra hard to trek along the Great Wall while you're coughing and hacking on polluted air. When it comes to romance, coughs aren't generally aphrodisiacs, either. Try elsewhere in East Asia instead.
12 12. Mount Everest, Nepal (Worst)
Think your love is as mighty as the world's tallest mountain? Congratulations! Don't make the mistake of trying to honeymoon on its summit, however. We're sorry to say that no love is actually strong enough to withstand the real conditions you'll have to deal with on Mount Everest.
In 2017 alone, six people died in their attempts to climb the mountain. Don't risk your precious, newlywed life (or that of your new spouse!) by choosing to take your chances on Mount Everest. You'll save money by going elsewhere too because the equipment, guides, and training it takes to climb Everest costs $25,000 to $57,000 per person.
11 11. Pyongyang, North Korea (Worst)
At this time in history, it's difficult to get yourself through the many bureaucratic obstacles and visa requirements you'll need to spend a honeymoon in North Korea. The country does allow outsiders to visit, but tours are strictly controlled, regulated, and monitored by the North Korean government.
If you're hoping to get some privacy and flexibility to be spontaneous with your partner on your honeymoon, this is not the place for you. It's much wiser to visit vibrant South Korea if you're set on heading in that direction with the one you love. We're sure that South Korea's colorful K-Pop culture will welcome you in a much smoother way.
10 10. Patagonia, Chile (Best)
Now we've reached our top ten most swoon-worthy honeymoon destinations! At number 10 is Patagonia, Chile's stunning coastal gem full of spectacular wildlife conservation areas and diverse natural beauty. We're talking snow-peaked mountains, lush green fields, and crystalline waters lined with beaches you'll be thrilled to dig your feet into.
Exotic animals abound, like bright pink flamingos that you can spot in Patagonia's peaceful vistas. The scenery is just perfect for people in love! You and your babe can lounge around or hike up hills while breathing in super fresh air and beholding a true natural paradise. Talk about romance.
9 9. Vamizi Island, Mozambique (Best)
Vamzi Island seems like it was designed to give you the perfect honeymoon. It's a small island in Mozambique, a steamy and exotic country often overlooked by tourists. The island is home to a handful of 5-star luxury hotels with beach huts and indoor/outdoor suite options where the island's wildlife becomes an intimate part of any trip.
The waters around Vamzi are home to more than 350 species of fish and sea creatures, the forests have friendly Samago monkeys, and the beaches have precious sea turtles. All of this is literally at your doorstep when you honeymoon on Vamzi. Who wants a window between themselves and their ocean view? Wake up here and you might think that you're still dreaming.
8 8. Gothenburg, Sweden (Best)
This Swedish city might sound like Batman's crime-filled Gotham, but we promise that it is super safe, stunning, and so ideal for a modern honeymoon. It's located on Sweden's scattered archipelago of islands, so your romantic activity options include sailing, chowing down on exquisite seafood, and admiring golden sunsets over the water.
The city itself is an arts and culture hub. You'll notice delicate architecture, eye-catching public gardens, and a wide range of art galleries and museums to browse through. Why not walk hand in hand with your love while you gaze at great romances captured on canvas? We'd book honeymoons here in a heartbeat.
7 7. Kyoto, Japan (Best)
If plan to honeymoon in Kyoto in the spring, there is almost nothing more romantic than the millions of soft pink cherry blossom petals fluttering gently around the city. If you can visit in the fall, you'll find vivid palettes of Japanese maple and birch leaves cascading around you in a similar way. Japan has nature's own confetti.
Whether you choose to take advantage of Kyoto's parks and gardens or stick to the urban excitement of the inner city, romance will continue to surround you. Japanese wellness culture gives you plenty of spas to relax with your other half in Kyoto, and the city's finely-crafted cuisine is equal parts delightful and delicious. You really can't go wrong!
6 6. Palawan, Philippines (Best)
If you dream of honeymooning on a tropical island with white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters, Palawan is the place for you. It's got a good handful of luxury accommodations for couples, all with their own beach properties for you to enjoy. The shorelines of Palawan are so vast that there are miles of soft beach space to share. It's your opportunity to have your own private slice of paradise.
It's surprisingly affordable to plan romantic day trips around Palawan, but you'll find no need to leave your suite. 5-star spaces on Palawan are all about open-air suites, beachy daybeds, and candlelit meals. The service is impeccable, the climate is divine, and the vibes are pure romance.
5 5. Reykjavik, Iceland (Best)
Did you know that Iceland is just a 5-hour flight from NYC? It's infinitely accessible and especially inviting for couples. You can take a dip in the warm mineral waters of the famous Blue Lagoon, explore the massive mountains around the city, and make your way through Reykjavik's museum scene all within just a few days of visiting.
Reykjavik's cuisine is also making a splash on the global culinary scene, so this is a great place for couples to try new dishes together. You'll make memories whether you like what you taste or not! Iceland is so unique that you might even get to watch a volcano come to life. Come here to celebrate your own burning love.
4 4. County Mayo, Ireland (Best)
Ireland is affordable, English-speaking (albeit with heavy accents) and packed full of ancient romantic history. It's a misty land of mythological creatures, fairy tales, and legends of lovers like Tristan and Isolde. County Kerry is steeped in all of this history and culture, making it an inspiring place to spend the weeks that follow your wedding.
One especially captivating element of this region is its castles. That's right, CASTLES. If your love is worthy of its own fairy tale, Ireland is your place to be. Ashford Castle is so remarkably romantic that some of today's biggest celebrities have chosen it as a wedding venue. If it's good enough for actors who have played James Bond, it's good enough for us!
3 3. Verona, Italy (Best)
In fair Verona, Romeo first laid eyes on his Juliet. Shakespeare's greatest love story played out in this age-old Italian city, and over the centuries it has maintained its reputation for romance. Shakespeare chose it as his masterpiece's setting for a reason!
Visiting Verona today gives you fantastic, authentic Italian romance without the bigger crowds and inflated prices of Rome or Venice. It's also committed to its status as a city of love by hosting love festivals, inviting travelers to leave personalized love-locks on some of its gates, and maintaining balconies that inspire all the Shakespearean romance feels. There is nothing tragic about this beautiful honeymoon destination.
2 2. Zadar, Croatia (Best)
Forget Dubrovnik - Zadar is your new Croatian destination of choice. It's quieter than the Croatian capital and its neighbor, Split when it comes to hosting international tourists. Visiting Zadar gives you a less busy look at some of Croatia's most remarkable and longstanding sites of natural beauty, ideal for inspiring your timeless love.
Visit Krka National Park for access to waterfalls that you could never get in Niagara. You can opt for relaxing on the beach, hiking across an island, or even camping in the temperate wilderness of the Dalmatia region. As TripAdvisor reviewer, Calvin G. puts it: "Best. Honeymoon. Ever."
1 1. The Maldives, Sri Lanka (Best)
Here in 2018, the number one swoon-worthy honeymoon spot just has to be The Maldives. They've got sand as white as snow and soft as silk, waters so clear you can see the colors of every flowering coral within them, and some of the very most luxurious 5-star accommodations in the entire world.
Some have over/underwater suites that truly make the most of this paradise. After the hustle and bustle of your wedding, look forward to lying back in your villa next to the one you love. At Soneva Jani, press a button at your bedside and your ceiling retracts, revealing a magnificent sky you could never see from a big bright city. Love is practically written in the stars!
References: HarpersBazaar.com, BankokVoice.com, TripAdvisor.com, HuffingtonPost.com, EconomicTimes.IndiaTimes.com, Brides.com