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Beaches, an old town with an ancient palace and cathedral, delectable restaurants and popular wine cellars are just a few of the enticing offerings found in Split, Croatia. (Unsplash)

Dreaming about honeymooning in Europe may conjure images of Santorini suites with private plunge pools, or swish beachside hotels in Cannes, but these vacations are undeniably pricey. For couples on a stricter budget, there's no need to sacrifice a gorgeous European getaway. Below, we've found nine locales that offer plenty of European charm, delectable cuisine and historic sights for a fraction of the price of well-known travel spots.


Croatia has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years, with most tourists heading to the stunning walled city of Dubrovnik. While it's undoubtedly a stellar place to visit, Split, the second-largest city in Croatia, is an equally charming destination. Beaches, an old town with an ancient palace and cathedral, delectable restaurants and popular wine cellars are just a few of the enticing offerings found in Split. Don't skip a day trip to Krka National Park for waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife spotting.

Honeymoon hotel pick: Apartments Gajeta


A similar, cheaper alternative to the touristy Greek island of Mykonos, Paros is a laid-back island located west of Naxos. Honeymooners can spend their days lazing on the beach, taking a scooter passed the traditional white-stucco buildings with blue trim, and feasting on delectable fresh fish and other Mediterranean fare. Travelers wanting a party scene should head to Naoussa, the second-largest town on Paros, which is home to several late-night clubs and bars.

Honeymoon hotel pick: Stelia Mare Boutique Hotel


Venice, Milan and the Amalfi Coast all cost a pretty penny, and though Lake Como may not be a secret, the comparable Lake Iseo still remains under the radar in comparison. Set between Lake Como and Lake Garda, Iseo is equally stunning, bordered by quaint medieval towns and providing stunning views of the Alps. The 16-mile-long lake is near the Franciacorta wine region for sparkling wine tastings, while the town of Iseo has a cobbled piazza and churches with beautiful frescoed interiors. Travelers should be sure to take a ferry to Monte Isola, an island in the lake with several churches dating back hundreds of years, a castle and waterfront eateries.

Honeymoon hotel pick: Iseo Lago Hotel


Paris may be the City of Love, and Nice is elegant and elite, but these popular cities in France come with an intimidating price tag for vacationing. Meanwhile, the affordable destination of Reims is packed with charm, thanks to its 13th-century Gothic cathedral, city square and 18th-century Musee des Beaux-Arts. After sightseeing in the morning, spend the afternoon visiting gorgeous vineyards. At night, dine on upscale French fare. Plus, what better way to toast a new marriage than in the Champagne region of France?

Honeymoon hotel pick: Hotel Azur


Granada is not the easiest destination to get to, which helps keep it free of the hordes of tourists found in Madrid and Barcelona. This affordable city's crowning jewel is the striking Alhambra, a hilltop Moorish palace surrounded by gardens and overlooking the city. Intricate mosques, gilded cathedrals, excellent museums and public parks all fill this city, and a range of restaurants _ from cheap eats to upscale spots _ give travelers plenty of options.

Honeymoon hotel pick: Puerta de Las Granadas


There's certainly a lot to love about Portugal's capital of Lisbon, but everything is pricier here compared to the also popular destination of Porto. Set on the northern coast, Porto is known for its port wine production (several wineries are within the city limits for tastings). Plus, day tours of nearby vineyards with a Douro River boat cruise are inexpensive and lovely. Be sure to try traditional tripe stew, visit the grand 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace, and climb up the Clerigos Tower.

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Honeymoon hotel pick: Castelo de Santa Catarina


Compared to other European capitals, Berlin is far more affordable. Its wealth of restaurants, bars and hip coffee shops mean there's something for everyone, and the numerous museums, counterculture scene and array of galleries attract an artsy tourist crowd. The tumultuous history is on display, allowing tourists to visit significant sights in the day, while heading to underground clubs and electronic music venues at night. Also on the plus side, the city is clean and safe, and can be easily navigated via a 24-hour train system.

Honeymoon hotel pick: Pension Galerie


Riga, the capital of Latvia and largest city in the Baltics, is a delightful seaside town. Its historic and pedestrian-only center is a UNESCO World Heritage site that sits to the east of the Daugava River, and is noted for its abundance of Art Nouveau and 19th-century wooden architecture. Latvian traditions mix with cultures of the multiple countries that have occupied the destination, creating a unique city. Honeymooners can head to beaches, greenery-filled parks, impressive buildings and various museums here _ not to mention hip cafes and clubs.

Honeymoon hotel pick: Bellevue Park Hotel Riga


Set along Montenegro's 182 miles of coastline, the seaside town of Petrovac is small (think 1,500 people) and beautiful. Outdoorsy couples will likely want to paraglide over the mountains, beaches, and sea, as well as rent kayaks to explore a nearby cave. Ancient ruins, a lovely monastery with interior frescoes and a hiking trail with gorgeous vistas of the Mediterranean Sea are additional highlights. Tasty seafood and cheap pizza restaurants are also found here.

Honeymoon hotel pick: Medin Apartments

At our special investigators visit, photograph, review and rate each hotel. We uncover the truth, before it's "uh-oh" time.


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