Sure, there's something to be said about romancing on a pristine beach in the tropics after the grand wedding. But for all you refined types out there, who would much prefer spending your honeymoon chatting over candlelit dinners, roaming stylish streets and having a drink at hip rooftop bars, there are plenty of urban escapes that are high on the 'wow' factor. Here's our list of some of the most romantic cities in the world for a swanky honeymoon...
This may be a small city, but between the stories of princesses and princes falling in love in an Andalucian castle and the true gitanos (gypsy) of Spain singing Flamenco as the sun sets in the plaza, we can't help feeling the love. Summers in Andalucia are hot, but it's also an amazing reason to emerge at dusk after a long siesta, and take a tapas tour of the historic Moorish city. Aside from saving you money on dinner (you get a free tapas with each drink here in Granada), the city is also designed for lovers to get lost in, with plenty of nooks and crannies in the old city's walls.
Istanbul is a city of opposites, where East meets West, and that makes it all the more beautiful. You'll find back alleys with hidden art galleries interspersed between wondrous historic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmet Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Grab some "Love Tea" and then get lost in the Grand Bazaar, where you can collect amazing treasures for the new home you're building. Delight your senses at the spice market, feed each other Turkish delights or Baklava, then grab sundowners at one of the city's hip rooftop bars, like Mixo Terrace or NuTeras. Music lovers can explore Istanbul's vibrant music scene at a jazz club – we recommend the infamous Nardis Jazz Club or the more underground 60m2. For a taste of sensuous Mediterranean cuisine, don't forget to grab a fish sandwich along the Bosphorus – Istanbul's street food definitely gives fine dining a run for its money.
If you're feeling adventurous, take a ferry to Bursa – home of the Bursa kebab – and sip tea in a tea lounge. While you're there, try to scope out some local Sufi spots that allow visitors to sit in on a Whirling Dervish ceremony. Women are required to watch the show from a different area, usually from an upstairs balcony, but it's well worth the experience.
Many artists, musicians and writers call Iceland home, including Sigur Rós and Björk, and if they can create work that make us feel like we're stepping into dreamland, there's no better place to visit than Iceland's magnificent coastal capital.
Aside from putting forth some of the world's quirkiest bands, Reykjavík's out-of-this-word, awe-inspiring landscape will have you captivated before you even land. Adventurous sorts can take a day trip out of the city to do some snorkelling (yes, you can do so without turning into an icicle), or hop on a whale-watching tour. Iceland is a very eco-conscious country, and it harnesses geothermal energy to create some amazing greenhouses, which have year-round fresh produce that will rival any Summer farmer's market elsewhere. And don't get us started on the ridiculously good seafood here! Reykjavík is the perfect place for enjoying a charming stroll, yummy street food, and incredible art.
A list of romantic cities wouldn't be complete without Paris. There are oodles of things to do in the City of Lights, and no shortage of sights to see, but Paris is best enjoyed slowly and understatedly. Stay in an Airbnb, one that boasts a magnificent rooftop view of the city – the kind only a true boheme would have lived in. Grab a bottle (or two) of wine, some cheese and a rustic baguette, and enjoy a lazy afternoon at the Eiffel Tower. While you can afford to skip the view atop the Eiffel Tower, make sure to climb all the way to the top of the Sacre Coeur for what is undeniably the best view of the city. Grab dinner and people-watch on the left bank, and don't forget to take an arm-in-arm stroll along the Seine at night.
Looking for something a little racy? We recommend catching a cabaret show together. Burlesque in Paris is classy, entertaining, funny and usually held at sultry, speakeasy-like bars. Check out La Nouvelle Seine for a quaint yet glamorous experience that won't burn a whole in your pocket, or follow Mara de Nudée, our favourite performer, for performance updates.
Los Angeles, California, USA
Sure, LA is better known as the glitzy home of Hollywood, but don't discredit the awesomeness of a honeymoon in California's most famous city. If a fun time for you and your lover includes eating, laughing and painting the town red, the City of Angels is the place to be. This incredibly diverse city offers some of America's best eateries, from gritty taco trucks to fine-dining Japanese cuisine.
While there aren't as many historical sights here compared to Europe, nothing beats renting a convertible and driving down the Californian coast with wind in your hair and the Pacific Ocean waves in full view. Pack a picnic lunch, or stop at any of the amazing al fresco restaurant in Malibu, before heading back to the city for a concert – on any given day, some major-league musician will be in LA. For a low-key day, we suggest enjoying a lovely afternoon eating ice cream, trying to spot celebs (and being completely silly doing so), people-watching on Venice beach, or catching a cool act along Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
If you're inclined to go off the beaten path, stay in one of LA's spectacular boutique hotels, like The Farmer's Daughter (check out the No Tell Room!) and spend a day wandering the scenic town of Silverlake together.
Ireland is much, much more than St Patrick's Day, Guinness stout and, err, Westlife, and we all know the way to a woman's heart is a man who can keep up with her beer-drinking. In all seriousness, there's nothing sexier than someone who likes to read (at least in our books), and Dublin happens to be a UNESCO City of Literature. Spend some time browsing the incredible second-hand bookstores, especially the Winding Stair Bookshop and Ulysses Rare Books, which are teeming with first-edition copies of Wilde, Beckett and other classics.
After you exchange love notes in the form of your favourite reads, grab a horse carriage (or bicycles) and take a ride around St. Stephen's Green. Keep your eyes peeled for timid wild deer!
The British Aisle may not be known for its fine cuisine, but you'll certainly enjoy dinner at the Micheline-starred Chapter One or The Chop House – Anthony Bourdain called the latter the best in Dublin, and we'll take his word for it. Wrap up your night at a down-to-earth local pub for pints of Guinness and traditional Gaelic music.
Because Ireland is so small, many of its more grandiose sights and astounding greenery are just a short car ride away. Everyone loves a memorable road trip, and who better to spend it with than the love of your life!