2016 World’s 10 Most Romantic Cities (Honeymoons)

Sure, it's not as relaxing as slathering yourselves in sunscreen, dozing by the surf or the pool, and waking only to turn over or cool off in the water, but it can be a whole lot more exciting.

From fabulous restaurants to interesting museums and great shopping, there are lots of new things to discover together when you take an urban honeymoon. You can go to the tried and true sites that have wowed visitors for years, then eat and drink at modern hot spots that define the moment in these chic destinations. The options are much more varied in a city, where culture takes center stage and the learning opportunities are endless. Best of all, it will be a dynamic place the two of you share — and can continue to explore — for years to come.

1. Paris

Best Honeymoon Cities: Paris France

Whether you've been here or not, you probably know more than a few items on this city's honeymoon hit list: snapping photos in front of the Eiffel Tower; taking a boat ride on the Seine; sipping café au lait and nibbling on croissants at one of the sidewalk cafés. But whatever you do in the City of Lights, chances are you'll want to come back again and again.

2. Venice, Italy

 

Best Honeymoon Cities: Paris

Two iconic photo ops here: sunset at the Piazza San Marco, followed by a moonlit gondola ride through the famed canals. But don't leave without picking up Murano-glass souvenirs and eating cicheti, tapas-style Venetian small plates.

3. Florence, Italy

Best Honeymoon Cities: Florence Italy

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Some of the best moments in Florence are in art museums, including (finally!) seeing Michelangelo's David sculpture at the Accademia Gallery (wow, he's 17 feet tall!) and Botticelli's Birth of Venus at the Uffizi Gallery, just down the road.

4. Rome

Best Honeymoon Cities: Rome Italy

After visits to the Vatican, the Forum, and the Spanish Steps, shop and eat your way through the city. From fresh pasta to charcuterie and gelato, the best of Italian food is on display here.

5. Cape Town, South Africa

Best Honeymoon Cities: Cape Town South Africa

With beaches, museums and galleries, spas, and a thriving wine scene, there's plenty to do. Taste the Cape Malay cuisine — think samosa, biryani — and don't leave without taking the cable car up Table Mountain.

6. Barcelona, Spain

Best Honeymoon Cities: Barcelona

It's hard to resist the appeal of this coastal city, with its tapas, sangria, and paella. There are also beaches to check out, as well as surrealist, playful GaudÍ architecture and the Gothic quarter to explore.

7. Prague

Best Honeymoon Cities: Prague Czech Republic

While it may not be the backpackers' Europe-on-a-shoestring dream it once was, Prague remains hip and bohemian. Check out the sprawling Prague Castle and St. Vitas Cathedral, then end the day with a local brew at a beer hall.

8. Savannah, Georgia

Best Honeymoon Cities: Savannah Georgia

This city is all southern charm, from the moss-draped architecture to the magnolia-lined streets. Check into a historic inn, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and hit the abundant antique shops.

9. Charleston, South Carolina

A honeymoon here is all about slowing down with a sweet tea in a garden or a cocktail on a porch. With southern fare like shrimp and grits and Gullah dishes like she-crab soup, this town has its own flavor.

Best Honeymoon Cities: Charleston South Carolina

10. San Francisco

The City by the Bay has it all: gorgeous water views, famed architecture in the form of rows of colorful houses, and stunning bridges shrouded mysteriously in fog. Plus, with fresh farm-to-table and impressive Asian fare, dining is top-notch.

Best Honeymoon Cities: San Francisco

 

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Asaba James and Twinomujuni Deborah via mikolo