Honeymoon Discussions

Europe cities...

My fiance and I desperately want to go to Europe for our honeymoon. We're getting married in October. We are not big beach-dwellers (both super-pale and sunburn easily, ha!) and are much more interested in art, architecture, and food than sun and surf. We have been searching for a honeymoon package that would give us a beautiful and interesting place to go while still being affordable. Our top choices were Dublin, Nice, and Venice. The main problem is, we are on a budget and really can't afford anything over 5k (3k would be much better).

So after much, MUCH searching, I found europeandestinations.com, and just for grins I popped in a trip going to Dublin, Nice and Venice, three nights per city. And I discovered that the total including airfare, hotel, taxes, and transportation between the three cities was $3700 total! This seems very cheap to me for all that, and I think with some luck we might be able to save that much. My question for you is...

Is it too much to do in nine days? We aren't sure if/when we'll ever get back to Europe, so we want to see as much as we can. We're pretty low-maintenance people and just like wandering around. But I don't want to exhaust ourselves on vacation. Also, do you think this is a reasonable amount of money to spend on a honeymoon?

Re: Europe cities...

  • I think that's too much - I can't imagine that doing a fly by tour (the first day is always a write-off, what with the jet lag and the last you're lugging your baggage around) would acutally give you the chance to see what you want to see - especially because you're travelling between such different countries! You've got to factor in the travel time there too. You might want to consider focusing in a much more localized area - drop Dublin perhaps and just do France and Italy. If you're really into art and architecture, Florence is looovely...
  • I agree with PP. Personally I'd rather feel like I really got a chance to see two places than be left feeling like I need to go back to three places because there was so much I didn't see!
  • If you really want to see a lot of different places, why don't you look at cruises?  You just might be surprised at the low prices.  Good luck ;)
  • Oh yeah, that's way too much to do in nine days.  If you're more interested in art and architecture, I would take your nine days and do one country really well.  Frankly, I don't think much of Venice.  It's interesting in a way, but.... meh.  H and I can't understand where its reputation as a romantic city came from. 

    Anyway, I'd cut it down to a much more concise list of where you want to go.  Flying all over the place is just a huge waste of time.
  • Hi Kate, and welcome.

    My fiance and I are also looking at european destinations, and that website seems super. It has received a lot of great testimonials here and on their website as well.

    I disagree with the prior posters, but only based on my personal experience. I'm older, with kids, and have done long driving vacations on the east coast, with 4-5 hr driving from one state/city to another, similar to flight times. We spent 1-3 days in each location and saw everything we decided ahead of time we wanted to see. It depends on your stamina, and setting a great itinerary before you go. If you agree upon the "highlights" and have some that are lower in level of importance, you can pretty much see everything you want, and arrange some down time for rest & relaxation. I'm a type A personality, however, was able to make sure we stuck to schedule.

    Will you see EVERYTHING? Heck no, because it's not possible. But get up early in the morning, have the hotel breakfast, and just keep yourselves busy. Remember, you have the rest of your lives to overcome the "after effects", with great memories and pictures of places you may never get to see again.

    At least, that's our plan

    Good luck.
  • Thanks for all the great advice, guys :) It helps to get different perspectives. I think we are still looking at doing a handful of cities, but we are thinking about narrowing it down to just one country or region (like London and Ireland, or the French Riviera, or Italian countryside). We thought about a cruise, but we are sort of private people, and I don't think we would like being surrounded by all the other cruise-goers the whole time--not for a honeymoon, anyway. I bet it would be lots of fun for any other vacation! :)

    Has anyone done a self-driving tour in Europe? Was it difficult? Some of those look like they would be a great solution, but I'm nervous about driving in another country.
  • I studied abroad in Florence and did a lot of traveling around Italy and Europe. I think 3 countries in 9 days is possible but not ideal, especially for a honeymoon. That's a lot of travel time, with getting to Europe, flying between countries, and flying back. I'd pick 1 or 2 countries and a few different cities. You could easily spend 9 days just in Italy and feel like you didn't see much. I'd recommend Florence, Rome, maybe 1 night in Venice (I agree with PP that it's overrated, and smells like sewage), and then head to smaller towns like Cinque Terre (google it - this was one of my favorite places in Italy), Assisi, or Siena. You could fly in and out of one city and take the train in between cities.

    Just give yourselves enough time to enjoy yourselves in the different cities. You don't want to feel pressured to be running to different museums when you'd rather linger over a nice dinner, just wander around, etc.
  • PS - I just saw that your wedding is in October, and that is a lovely time to be in Italy. It's far enough south that the weather is still pretty warm and great for walking around. I'm biased but I think you really can't go wrong with Italy! I was in Dublin in November and the weather was crappy :(
  • LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
    edited January 2010
    I agree with most of the other posters that three cities in three such different countries in nine days is too much.  It seems much better to me to spend all that time in one or two nearby countries, and travel within them if you want.  I have driven in different parts of Europe at different points, and generally it's fine- certainly safe out of the cities at least.  Remember that the vast majority of cars available in Europe are stick shift, so if you require an automatic transmission, be sure to reserve your rental well ahead of time.  Unless you're really set on driving yourself between places, I wouldn't think you would ever need a car, though, since public transportation and inter-country trains are so widely available and easy to use.

    I too think Venice is nowhere near the best of Italy.  I far prefer Cinque Terre (on the western coast, near Pisa), Florence, and Rome, in that order.  Nice is also lovely, and you could certainly spend nine days in France alone and never get bored.

    Pittsburgh sig: Favorite thing about fall= college football!
  • I disagree, I think you can do it!  My fiance and I visited Singapore, Jakarta Indonesia, KL Malaysia, Siem Riep Cambodia, Hanoi Vietnam, Pu Dong Vietnam, and Bangkok Thailand in 14 days (which includes 2 days of travel to and from the US).  These countries all required roughly the same duration of flights you will be doing.

    If you can ignore the jet lag and go, it'll be no problem.  On our trip though, we were exhausted.  It's your honeymoon and if you want to relax and enjoy each other, you may need more time.  But if you want to tour and go go go for a week and relax when you get home, it sounds great!  I really think you should do it!

    A possible alternative: rent a car in Ireland, France, or Italy and drive through the country for a week.  I have a friend that did that in Ireland and just loved it!  There's so much to see in each of those countries.  You could find small bed and breakfasts to keep costs low and find a good deal on a rental car (renting in foreign countries isn't as hard as it looks).

    Hope this helps!
  • I am going to agree and disagree with some of the above posts. I have been to Dublin several times and Venice this last summer. I have never been to Nice, but I have been to France a couple of times. I want to preface this by saying that I hate to fly, so I often try to make the most out of European trips, but none of my trips have been less than two weeks and one was 6 weeks so I had the luxury of time.

    That said, I am interested in your choices of Dublin, Nice and Venice only because they usually aren't people's first picks for these countries per se. I am sure you have your reasons, which I would be interested to hear as they may influence people's advice. But, Dublin, while there are things to do and it definitely is historical, is not what I would consider the best place to visit in Ireland. Because it is the capital, it is a very euro city. And, if you want to see the Ireland that I am guessing you envision, green hills and castles, you will want to go to a place like Galway (which is on the west coast and gorgeous) or down the east coast to Waterford, Kilkenny, Cork etc. Spend a day in Dublin and do the stuff you should see, like Dublin Castle, St, Patrick's Cathedral, the GPO and the Guinness Brewery and then get out of the city and go to the countryside. Take this from a person getting her PhD in Irish history (if that gives me any credibility :) Also, you probably won't want to drive there. My husband did on our first trip and found it very stressful as the streets are narrow, people drive on the other side, and there are cliffs too. The trains are really convenient, clean and cheap.

    In terms of Venice, I disagree with the above posts but the cities in Italy are polarizing. I meet people who love or hate Venice and I am one who loved it. This may have to do with the fact that it was over 100 degrees the entire time we were in Italy, and Venice was the only city that truly cooled down at night. But, we went end of spring early summer. I also think there is a lot more to do there than some people are listing. There are a bunch of art museums, the Doge's palace, San Marco, Murano, etc. And, it did not flood or stink while we were there. We spent 3 days and 2 nights and it was plenty. If we had less time, 2 days would have been fine to see everything you want to see at a relaxing place. The beauty of Venice, is that because it isn't as big as Rome, you can do most of the sites at a leisurely pace which you might prefer.

    As I said above, I have never been to Nice. But, I did take the train from Paris to Italy via Milan. I wouldn't rule out trains as a way to get around as they are very fast, convenient and lead you to city centers.

    If you want to do those specific cities and not outlying areas, I would do 2-3 days Dublin, 2-3 days Venice and the rest in Nice and travel time. You could definitely see what you want to see since these are not huge cities and the flying time between all of them won't be that major.

    But, if I were you, I would do a day in Dublin and then spend a day or two in the countryside in Ireland. And, then fly to Paris or fly to London (which is a 30 min flight from Dublin), take the chunnel to Paris and do Paris and Nice and save Italy for another time. But, I love Paris so I am biased on that one :)

    Good luck! Either way your trip will be fabulous!

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