Visit a Budget-Friendly City
Believe it or not, Europe has its share of budget-friendly romantic cities. Prague, Czech Republic; Porto, Portugal; Tallin, Estonia...from west to east, you can still find cities that won't break the bank. Budget-friendly European cities give you even more bang for your buck when you combine your trip there with the other tips on this list. Below, see some of the most romantic and affordable cities throughout the continent:
In Brussels, you can eat the street food instead of at restaurants, and stay at lower-budget hotels without skimping on hospitality. It's like visiting a younger sibling of Paris, without those Luis Vuitton-tier pricetags.
This affordable European beach destination is also home to some ancient ruins featured as a filming location in Game of Thrones. But keep your swords at home, because this laid-back city is all about relaxation. Whether it's a day at the beach or flirting the hours away at a cafe, there are a thousand and one great ways to let the time pass by here -- while enjoying every minute.
Prague, Czech Republic:
Tourism in Prague has exploded in recent years, which means an increase in prices. However, it's still a very budget-friendly destination by European standards. Prague's old town feels like a medeival fairytale, and might be as close as you'll ever get to truly feeling like you've stepped back in time.
Western Europe may not be a region known for low-budget honeymoon destinations, but with a few travel hacks, Berlin can fit the bill. Enthusiastic AirBnB hosts have private digs that are perfect for couples, along with offering a local perspective on romantic things to see and do. Meanwhile, you can fill your bellies with authentic German cuisine using only the wurst (sausage) and other food carts on the street corners!
Girona is a riverfront Catalonian city of about 100,000 people known for its Gothic churches and medieval historic center. A close trip from Barcelona, many combine the two on their honeymoon -- but there's enough in Girona alone to charm a couple into staying for their entire trip. Honeymoon here and pay less on your big getaway to Spain! Oh, it also sounds cool when you tell your friends where you honeymooned, and it's a place they've never heard of. It basically makes everyone assume you're a trendsetter.
Greece's unfortunate economic situation has had the unintended side effect of deep discounts for honeymooners and other travelers. Thankfully, your tourism money helps contribute to the local economy, so taking advantage of the unusually low prices is a win-win for honeymoon couples seeking Mediterranean bliss on a budget. Check out the famous ancient Greek ruins, then just stray from the heavily-trodden tourist areas to find great prices without any decrease in quality on lodging, food, and fun.
As the Islamic capital of Europe, Istanbul marries European with Middle Eastern styles, architecture, cuisine, and traditions. The lodging and dining are very affordable here, and while nightlife is a bit pricey, you can make up for it in other areas -- or opt for an early bird honeymoon that skips the late-night scene altogether.
Hit Up Family-Owned Businesses
Not only does buying from family and locally-owned businesses help locals in a very real way, it often can let you save a few bucks. Who can argue with saving money AND giving back to the communities you vist?! Even better, you'll see more of "real Europe" when you take advantage of family-owned joints rather than chains, tourist traps, and big-name stores.
Consider Alternative Lodging
There are a wealth of low-budget lodging options in Europe that don't involve checking into a hostel with a bunch of rowdy backpackers. In addition to farmhouses, country retreats, and family-owned bed and breakfasts, AirBnB has changed the game in terms of offering honeymoon-friendly, romantic, and private options for an unusually affordable honeymoon home base.
Compare Road, Air, & Rail Prices
In Europe, getting around by rail is so convenient, you can even hop country to country on the train system. However, it's only one mode of transportation at your disposal. Always check prices on every mode of transport for where you want to go, as you might be able to find a cheaper option in a local flight, train ride, short-term car lease, car rental, bus, or other option. Buses are often cheaper than trains, and will have you experiencing travel like a real, average European. If you opt for a train, skip the first-class ticket...they're about twice as expensive, and often don't give a substantial upgrade in terms of comfort. Finding a slightly less expensive mode of transportation is a great way to save a few bucks from beginning to honeymoon end.
Use the Off-Season
In the tourism off-season, European honeymoon destinations can be up to 30% to 50% cheaper. Those savings cover every aspect of your trip: lodging, food, activities, even transportation costs. In Eastern Europe, many tourists consider it too cold for a winter honeymoon. So grab your coat and hat, and prepare to save big! In Western Europe, the off-season tends to be March through May. "Spring is king, summer's a bummer" is an easy way to remember it -- except that Europe is amazing during the summer as well, you'll just have to deal with bigger crowds and higher prices.
Have Some Picnics
Europe is famous around the world for its picnic spots...from a garden in Paris to the hills of Budaörs in Hungary, the choices are endless. And choosing a picnic over a restaurant lunch or dinner can save you more than a few Euros! Munch sandwiches on bread bought from a street market, sip wine from a local vineyard, and savor the moment while you enjoy one of the purest (and most affordable) romantic activities money can buy.
Make Fewer ATM Withdrawals
Fees for international ATM withdrawals can add up. Minimize how many cash withdrawals you make. On the flipside, you're taking a risk by carrying around huge wads of cash all the time. So, before your trip, open a credit card made for international travel that has minimal fees, automates the currency conversion process, and gets you points or cash back. That way you can spend affordably and get a little bit back when it's all over.