Affordable European Travel: Destinations for the Perfect Honeymoon on a Budget

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Despite the uptick in travel costs, it's possible to go on a European honeymoon without breaking the bank. With the Euro and the U.S. dollar hovering around parity and new low-cost airlines making it easier to get over the pond, couples can plan the honeymoon of their dreams even with a more limited budget.

If you're interested in ideas for an affordable yet unforgettable European honeymoon, we have some information you won't want to miss.

Flying To European Destinations Can Be Affordable

PLAY Aircraft in the Clouds scaled e1676338166296
Image Courtesy: PLAY Airlines.

By saving money on flights, newlyweds can say “I do” to a honeymoon in Europe. Low-cost Icelandic airline PLAY offers cheap flights and no-frills service to romantic destinations such as Paris, Barcelona, and London. Their paradigm is that by paying less, you can play more. Their New York Stewart, Boston, and D.C. flights connect through Iceland to many different destinations in Europe. PLAY frequently runs offers from the United States to Europe so you can snag more a more affordable flight and save some cash for your getaway.

If you plan a honeymoon in the shoulder or off-season, you can also score more affordable flights on traditional airline carriers.

1. Milan

The Milan Duomo Cathedral basked in the moonlight at dawn
Image Credit: UMB-O/Shutterstock.

Milan is the place to be if you want a less touristy city. It is the architecture, food, and fashion capital of Italy.

Milan is one of the cheapest countries to fly to in Europe. There are numerous flights from JFK via American, Delta, and Alitalia. The best time of the year to score a cheap flight will be January and February.

2. Copenhagen

Image Courtesy: PLAY Airlines.

A city full of canals, impressive churches, and Danish food, Copenhagen competes with Helsinki as one of the happiest cities in the world. Copenhagen offers stunning Danish cuisine, beautiful churches, and museums.

With round-trip flights to Copenhagen ranging from $300 to $ 850, you can save extra cash to keep your wallet happy and indulge in Danish culture.

3. London

Image Courtesy: PLAY Airlines.

London is one of the top tourist destinations in Europe, offering a wide range of hotels and price points. Use the extra cash to explore attractions such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and the Greenwich walking tour. Or enjoy a romantic evening observing the city from The London Eye, one of the world's tallest Ferris Wheels.

4. Rome

View of Colosseum in Rome and morning sun, Italy, Europe.
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Rome is a city like no other, where emperors ruled and gladiators fought. As a major European city, it hosts a hub for ITA Airways and Vueling Airlines, with cheap flight options to the rest of Europe.

Round-trip flights can range from $345 to 850 from many of the major cities in North America.

5. Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal - Yellow tram on a street with colorful houses and flowers on the balconies - Bica Elevator going down the hill of Chiado
Image Credit: Armando Oliveira/Shutterstock.

Many people have talked about moving to Portugal, but you may be asking why. Lisbon sits in the most affordable country in Europe, boasting excellent weather and fantastic food, and it is close to many other European countries like France and Spain.

There's only one way to know why everyone you know has just returned or is planning a trip to Portugal!

6. Amsterdam

Beautiful sunrise over Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with flowers and bicycles on the bridge in spring
Image Credit: Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock.

Amsterdam features 16th-century architecture, romantic canals, museums, and even the Stroop Waffle. Amsterdam has the third busiest airport in the world, with direct flights from 19 U.S. cities, making it a great entry point into Europe. With round-trip flights ranging from $300-900, it's possible to find one within your budget.

7. Paris

Image Courtesy: PLAY Airlines.

Paris is an iconic Europe destination that screams expensive. But it's possible to book an affordable flight. Use the money you save on airfare to visit cafes, have a romantic dinner at one of the fine French cuisine restaurants, and tour any of the city's finest sites like the Louvre, Versailles Palace, and the Eiffel Tower.

8. Madrid

Madrid city skyline gran via street twilight , Spain
Image Credit: basiczto/Shutterstock.

Madrid is full of world-class attractions, fantastic food, and plenty of soccer, all in one of the cheapest major cities in Europe. A round-trip ticket in the offseason to go to Madrid can range from $400 to $800. With the many airlines flying through Madrid, there are plenty of opportunities to find a great flight deal.

9. Dublin

Image Courtesy: PLAY Airlines.

The home to the Guinness brewery, impressive castles, and excellent countryside, Dublin is a Medieval city with picturesque views and so much more. The round-trip tickets can go for as little as $400 to $500. 

10. Barcelona

Aerial view of Barcelona Eixample residential district and Sagrada Familia Basilica at sunrise. Catalonia, Spain. Cityscape with typical urban octagon blocks
Image Credit: Vunav/Shutterstock.

Barcelona is one of the most beautiful European cities, with fantastic architecture, stunning beaches, and more great soccer. Catching a flight from NYC or Boston to Barcelona can be as cheap as a $300-700 round trip. With Iberia, Vueling, and LEVEL bringing about cheap fares, it is a perfect time to book that trip to Spain!

11. Reykavik

Image Courtesy: PLAY Airlines.

Looking for more adventures, then visit Iceland. Reykjavik can be the cheapest European city to fly to from North America, with PLAY offering some shockingly low fares.  You can see geysers in the Golden Circle, relax in the Blue Lagoon, and enjoy an adventure-packed trip for cheaper than you may think!

12. Oslo

Oslo, Norway. Aerial view of Sentrum area of Oslo, Norway, with Barcode buildings and the river Akerselva. Construction site with blue sky during a sunny summer day
Image Credit: Madrugada Verde/Shutterstock.

Oslo brings city life to nature. It is surrounded by forest hills perfect for hiking and a waterfront where people swim and kayak. Travelers can find affordable round-trip tickets from North America for as little as $550, helping to offset the high prices commonly found once you're in Oslo.

13. Helsinki

Beautiful aerial view of Helsinki city center with famous Uspenski Cathedral
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Helsinki has become one of the cheapest European cities to fly into. Round-trip flights from NYC, Boston, and LAX can range from $600-800. Ranked as one of the happiest cities in the world, see for yourself what it is all about.

14. Zurich

Aerial view of historic Zurich city center with famous Fraumunster Church and river Limmat at Lake Zurich from Grossmunster Church on a sunny day with clouds in summer, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
Image Credit: canadastock/Shutterstock.

A city transforming into one with a fun night scene and a blossoming foodie scene, Zurich draws visitors from all over. Stroll the shops set amongst the scenery of the lake and snow-capped Alps mountains.

Even though Switzerland is an expensive country, there are cheap flights to be found. Flying on Swiss Airlines, you could find flights ranging from $540 to $700 round trip with other options available.

15. Frankfurt

Traditional christmas market in the historic center of Frankfurt, Germany
Image Credit: S.Borisov/Shutterstock.

A modern city full of glass, steel, museums, and shopping avenues, Frankfurt especially comes alive in December. With the third busiest airport in Europe, competition among the airlines has created lower fares for budget-conscious travelers.

16. Istanbul

Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii), Bosporus and asian side skyline, Istanbul, Turkey
Image Credit: Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock.

Istanbul has it all; architecture, 2500 years of history, and cuisine from many lands. As a bustling metropolis, Istanbul invites people from far and wide to visit, admire, and enjoy the cultural melting pot. As the central hub of Turkish Airlines, the world's largest fleet of airplanes, you can be connected to other destinations for a more extended honeymoon.

17. Warsaw

Top view of the old city in Warsaw. HDR - high dynamic range
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Warsaw may not be on everyone's bucket list, but it should. This city has beautiful landmarks, incredible old town streets, active parks, and traditional Polish Cuisine. As one of the cheapest European cities to fly into, it will not break the bank to experience the extraordinary Polish epicenter.

18. Vienna

VIENNA, AUSTRIA- SEPTEMBER 10, 2015: Cityscape views of one of Europe's most beautiful town- Vienna. Peoples on streets, urban life in Vienna. Austria
Image Credit: V_E/Shutterstock.

A world-class city with history, museums, palaces, and so much more, Vienna has magic that is often overlooked.  It has been ranked the most livable city in the world, bringing many people through and acting as another cheaper entry point into Europe.

19. Prague

Prague cityscape at night
Image Credit: TTstudio/Shutterstock.

If you want history, architecture, food, and great beer, look no further than Prague. It is one of the most affordable cities in Europe, showing off its beauty with beautiful castles, fantastic 16th and 17th-century architecture, and unique beer at great prices.

20. Stockholm

Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town (Gamla Stan) in Stockholm, Sweden
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Stockholm is where fashion, music, technology, and nature all exist in a destination that genuinely welcomes anyone. Stockholm is full of hip bars, dining, and luxury shopping close to nature, offering splendid views and hikes.  Stockholm is not on the cheap side of European cities, but more affordable flight options make a trip possible for a broader range of travelers.

21. Budapest

Hungarian parliament, Budapest at sunset
Image Credit: TTstudio/Shutterstock.

Known as the “Pearl of the Danube,” Budapest is an affordable, vibrant, and dynamic city. It comes with lively nightlife, great food, incredible architecture, and a rich history. The town is known as one of the cheapest cities in Europe.

22. Athens

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus Roman theater structure at the Acropolis of Athens, Greece.
Image Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock.

Athens, Greece, is a city full of culture, historical landmarks, and Greek culture. Experience the picturesque town through neighborhoods like Plaka, with museums, taverns, and beautiful restaurants. Visit the marketplace, where Socrates and Plato would have great debates, and visit many ancient landmarks. Flying to Athens can be a cheap trip during off-season months if you can travel outside of summer, helping you save across the board.

Author: Steve Cummings


Steve Cummings is the founder of the personal finance blog The Frugal Expat. As a traveler and expat, he has learned a lot about how to save money, live frugally, and invest for the future. His mission is to help people in saving, investing, and reaching financial independence.