We’ve all heard of people jetting off to Maldives or eating their way across Paris on their honeymoon. But what if you’d rather do something less expected? Where should you go after your wedding? Looking for some underrated honeymoon destinations in Europe?

We’ve got suggestions for city enthusiasts, island lovers and newlyweds who enjoy cold-weather activities. And of course Italy, because an article about honeymoon destinations won’t be complete without a dreamy Italian location.

Berlin

This might be an unexpected destination, but if you like modern history and enjoy exploring cities, Berlin should be at the top of your list.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

The city doesn’t have the grand cathedrals or quaint little streets you’ll find in other parts of Germany. Berlin is unapologetically brash, a little rough around the edges and endlessly cool.

For anyone interested in 20th century history, Berlin is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Music lovers have their pick of nightly entertainment. From classical music to cabaret to the coolest clubs in Europe, Berlin has you covered. Take a few walking tours and learn about Berlin’s coolest neighborhoods, the years between the two world wars and the best places to eat and drink in the city.

Whether you like history, classic or modern art, there’s enough museums in the city to fill weeks. And let’s not forget the food! You’ll find the best of the world’s cuisine in Germany’s capital, including amazing Vietnamese, Turkish and modern German fare.

Best Ways to Get to Berlin with Points and Miles

A honeymoon in Berlin is simple to execute with points and miles. The easiest way to book an award ticket to Berlin would be on one of the Star Alliance carriers. Currently, United Airlines is the only airline that flies nonstop from the United States to Berlin, but you can easily get there with other partners.

A honeymoon in Berlin is simple to execute with points and miles. The easiest way to book an award ticket to Berlin would be on one of the Star Alliance carriers.

We have covered different ways to get to Germany with points and miles before. Using the United MileagePlus program is one of the easiest ways to book an award ticket to Berlin.

United doesn’t publish an award chart anymore, but you can expect to redeem at least 30,000 miles for a one-way flight in economy and 60,000 miles for a one-way flight in business class. Booking a partner award should set you back 33,000 miles in economy and 77,000 miles in business class.

If you can’t find availability on any nonstop flights, connecting in one of Star Alliance’s European hubs could be a comfortable way to get to Berlin with one connection.

Air Canada Aeroplan is another great program that you can use to book your Berlin honeymoon. Because Aeroplan’s award chart is both distance- and zone-based, the number of points you’ll need to fly from the U.S. to Europe will depend on your departure origin.

You can expect to pay between 30,000 to 40,000 Aeroplan points for a one-way flight in economy and 60,000 to 70,000 points in business class.

Keep an eye on Air Canada’s own flights. The carrier often applies dynamic pricing to its own flights, so you potentially could redeem fewer points than on partner-operated flights.

American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.

Where to Stay in Berlin with Points

All major hotel chains have Berlin presence. For example, the Hilton Berlin is centrally located and offers a great breakfast buffet. There are several other reasonably priced Hilton properties in Berlin.

Hilton doesn’t have an award chart, so the price in points depends on the overall demand.

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Pro Tip:

Keep an eye on your reservation. If the price drops, you can cancel and rebook.

The Grand Hyatt Berlin is another great option. Its location is fantastic, and the World of Hyatt Globalist members receive free breakfast. It’s a Category 4 property that you can book with 12,000 to 18,000 Hyatt points per night.

Marriott has 14 properties in Berlin in all price ranges, from basic to luxury. There’s no award chart, so if you have wiggle room in your dates, you can do a flexible date search.

Grand Hyatt Berlin Award Space for your Underrated Honeymoon Destination

Berlin is a city of neighborhoods, so where you decide to stay will depend on personal preferences and your points budget. Thanks to the excellent public transport, you can easily get around the city.

Malta

If you’d like to go on an island honeymoon, but laying out in the sun for a week isn’t your cup of tea, then consider Malta.

City skyline of Malta, an underrated honeymoon destination

The island located in the center of the Mediterranean has been at the crossroads of civilizations for most of its 7,000-year history. Every civilization that passed through or occupied the island, including the Phonecians, the Byzantine Empire, the Knights of St. John and the Sicilians, left its mark.

You can explore the world’s oldest temples, wander through the capital of Valletta, enjoy beautiful beaches and stunning vistas, and eat delicious seafood.

Thanks to its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta played an important role during World War II. If you like to dive, there are six historic military wrecks, including the most famous HMS Maori sunk by Germany in 1942.

Malta is a wonderful destination in the off-season, too, when the sun-worshipers return home and the temperatures come down from their summer-peak highs.

Best Ways to Get to Malta with Points and Miles

Malta is a popular destination for European travelers, and Malta International Airport (MLA) is well-served by a couple dozen carriers.

Flights on Oneworld members (American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia) could be booked with as few as 22,500 AAdvantage miles per direction in economy during the off-peak times. You can expect to pay 30,000 miles each way in economy and 57,500 miles each way in business class on peak dates.

Beware of high taxes and avoid routing through London (LHR) if you can to minimize out-of-pocket costs.

Use American Airlines miles to book your underrated honeymoon destination of Malta for 22,500 points

American Airlines doesn’t partner with a major transferable currency program, but Avios is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Capital One Venture Miles.

Star Alliance is also well-represented in Malta. At least four carriers fly to Malta from Europe (Aegean Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and Turkish Airlines).

The cheapest way to book a Star Alliance award to Europe is with ANA Mileage Club miles. You’ll need just 55,000 miles for a round trip in economy and 88,000 miles for a round trip in business. ANA awards have to be booked as a round trip, and surcharges on some carriers could be quite high.

Use ANA points to book your underrated honeymoon to Malta for only 55,000 miles round-trip in economy

ANA is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

If you have United miles, you can book a one-way award for at least 30,000 miles in economy and 77,000 miles in business class with minimal taxes. United miles are fairly easy to earn. United is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, or you can earn miles with several co-branded United credit cards from Chase.

Air Canada Aeroplan is also a good program to use for your Malta honeymoon, especially if you come across a transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards.

Where to Stay in Malta with Points

The Hilton Malta can be booked with 54,000 to 70,000 points for a standard room.

Hyatt has two properties in Malta: a Category 3 Hyatt Regency Malta that can be booked with 9,000 to 15,000 points per night and a Category 6 SLH Casa Ellul, bookable with 21,000 to 29,000 points per night.

The Casa Ellul is located in Valletta and has a lot more of that old-world charm so characteristic of the historical properties in Europe.

There are two Marriott properties on the island: the Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa and the Westin Dragonara Resort.

The Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa is a bit more affordable and can be booked with 31,000 to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. A room at the Westin Dragonara will set you back 50,000 to 60,000 points.

If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, Malta is a great place to use the credit of up to $200 for bookings with Fine Hotels + Resorts or with The Hotel Collection, which requires a 2 night minimum.

Book a resort in Malta, an underrated honeymoon destination, with your Amex hotel credit

As an Amex Platinum cardholder, you’ll get the following benefits at Fine Hotels + Resort properties:

  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
  • Noon check-in, when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Experience credit, such as a spa or food and beverage credit

Puglia, Italy

The region of Puglia is far less popular than Tuscany or Piedmont. European travelers in the know have discovered it a couple of decades ago, and it’s rapidly gaining popularity. Now would be a great time to go to Puglia, before it’s completely overrun with tourists.

View of Puglia Italy with water from the sky, an underrated honeymoon destination

Located at the heel of the boot of Italy, Puglia offers miles of beautiful coastline, endless olive groves and charming, sun-drenched Italian villages and small towns.

Puglia nowadays has more than the adorable trulli houses that made the small town of Alberobello famous. You’ll find stylish resorts, artisans making everything from nifty ceramics to amazing cheese, and olive farms producing some of Italy’s best olive oil.

Best Ways to Get to Puglia with Points and Miles

Italy is a popular destination, and award space can be hard to find. The solution is to be flexible, book as far out as you can and travel in the off-season.

Puglia is served by two airports that offer international flights from some European hub cities: Bari (BRI) and Brindisi (BDS). However, for an American traveler, it might be easier to fly into one of Italy’s major airports, such as Rome (FCO) or Naples (NAP), and take a train from there.

Italy is well-served by all international airline alliances. Some make it much harder to find award space than others, and the programs that require the fewest number of points for an award could be the most difficult to use.

For instance, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club provides fantastic rates to Europe. The program divides the world into regions and uses standard and peak season award rates as well as a separate award chart for each partner airline.

You can fly from the U.S. to Italy during the standard season for as few as 12,000 Flying Club miles per direction in economy class with the Dutch carrier KLM, one of Virgin’s partner airlines.

Calendar showing that you can fly to Puglia Italy, an underrated honeymoon destination, for only 12,000 points

Even during peak season, you’ll find reasonable award rates for only 22,000 miles. One-way business-class tickets on Air France can be booked with 48,500 to 58,500 Virgin Atlantic miles.

If you have American Airlines miles, you can expect to redeem 30,000 miles each way in economy and at least 57,500 miles each way in business class. Sometimes you might be able to find what AA calls “Web Special” awards, which would cost less by a few thousand miles.

To skip high fuel surcharges, it’s best to avoid routing via London.

Fly to Puglia, Italy with American Airlines miles for your underrated honeymoon destination

United operates a seasonal nonstop flight from Newark (EWR) to Naples that you can book with 30,000 miles one way in economy. Finding business-class award space on this flight will be challenging, unless you book right when United opens up the schedule (337 days out).

One-way business-class tickets to Rome will set you back 60,000 miles on United flights and 77,000 miles on partner airlines.

FLight results showing that you can fly to Puglia, Italy an underrated honeymoon destination for 77,000 United miles on partner airlines one-way in business class

Where to Stay in Puglia with Points

You won’t find many chain hotels in Puglia. Hyatt has two Small Luxury Hotels of The World properties in the area, but booking SLH properties with Hyatt points isn’t always the best deal.

For example, the Canne Bianche Lifestyle Hotel is a Category 6 property whose off-season cost is less than 200 euros. It doesn’t make sense to redeem 21,000 to 26,000 points per night at this property when the cash rate is low.

However, when the cash prices at the peak of summer are over 400 euros, redeeming points is a much better proposition. Same goes for Il Melograno hotel, which is a Category 5 property that can be booked with 17,000 to 21,000 points.

If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, Puglia might be a good place to use the $200 annual Fine Hotels + Resorts hotel credit that comes with the card. Prices fluctuate depending on the season, but if you’re traveling when the prices (and the temperatures) are lower, you might be able to find a decent deal.

Christmas Markets in Strasbourg and Colmar, France

France is never a bad idea, especially for a honeymoon, but the towns of Strasbourg and Colmar transform into something magical during the run-up to the holiday season. Every town and village in the region looks like an illustration to a Christmas fairy tale.

Entry to the Strasbourg Christmas Market

The weather is still mild enough, and the Christmas markets usually open at the end of November, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore this region and be back home for the holidays.

Best Ways to Get to Strasbourg with Points and Miles

Strasbourg is easy to get to from Paris, thanks to France’s excellent network of high-speed trains. The nonstop TGV train from Paris takes just two hours, and Colmar is another 30 minutes away from Strasbourg—perfect for a day trip.

Alternatively, you can fly into Stuttgart, Germany, and rent a car or take a train from there.

There are lots of great ways to get to Paris with points and miles. Flying Blue miles might be the best currency to redeem for flights to France. Air France frequently runs Promo Rewards to and from select U.S. cities, reducing the already-reasonable award rates by 25% to 30%.

Where to Stay in Strasbourg with Points

If you have Hilton Honors points, consider the affordable Hilton Strasbourg that can be booked with as few as 25,000 points per night.

Marriott has two properties in Strasbourg. You can book the more budget-friendly Aloft Strasbourg Etoile with as few as 21,000 Bonvoy points per night and the more centrally located Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hotel & Spa, Autograph Collection for 32,000 to 40,000 points per night.

 

Lapland, Finland

Continuing with our winter-themed honeymoon suggestions, Lapland, Finland’s northernmost region, is located near the borders of Sweden, Norway and Russia. Lapland is known for skiing resorts, Northern Lights watching, reindeer safaris and the Santa Claus Village.

Northern lights over snowy trees

Visiting Lapland is a must for anyone who enjoys all the winter activities and isn’t afraid of some cold temperatures. A fellow 10xTravel writer Anya Kartashova went to Lapland a few months ago and had a lot of fun riding in the reindeer-pulled sleigh, cruising on an icebreaker and floating in the freezing waters of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Best Ways to Get to Lapland with Points and Miles

The best way to reach Lapland is to fly into Helsinki and then take a train or a domestic flight up north.

If you have a good stash of American Airlines AAdvantage miles, you can book nonstop Finnair flights from select U.S. gateway cities to Helsinki for 30,000 miles per direction in economy or 57,500 miles per direction in business class.

Use AA miles to fly from the US to Helsinki for your underrated honeymoon destination for 30,000 miles in economy

It’s possible to add a domestic connection for the same number of miles, just watch out for indirect routings via London, which incur high surcharges.

Another Oneworld carrier, British Airways also has excellent award rates from the U.S. to Finland. Because British Airways charges per segment, it’s best to avoid connections when booking awards. Because British Airways has a distance-based award chart, the cheapest awards would be the nonstop flights from the East Coast.

British Airways passes on fuel surcharges, which could be quite high, but if you don’t have any AAdvantage miles, using British Airways Avios might be a good option.

British Airways is a transfer partner of both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, so it’s easy to earn enough Avios for your honeymoon in Lapland. Watch out for transfer bonuses from both credit card partners, which can make this trip even more affordable.

If you have United miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards points that you can transfer to United, you can book economy-class flights for 30,000 miles or business-class flights for 70,000 miles each way.

You also can use ANA Mileage Club to book Star Alliance awards. However, ANA requires round-trip bookings and passes carrier-imposed surcharges. You’ll need just 55,000 miles in economy or 88,000 miles in business class for a round-trip award.

Fly to your underrated honeymoon destination of Lapland Finland for 55,000 miles with ANA

For SkyTeam awards, Flying Blue offers the cheapest option. Flying Blue miles are also the easiest to earn, thanks to transfer partnerships with all major transferable currencies.

Use the handy Miles Price Estimator to check how many miles are required for the lowest-level award flight to Finland.

Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and the actual award prices will vary. Flying Blue often discounts awards from North America to Europe, and its credit card partners often run transfer bonuses, which can make these award rates even more attractive.

Where to Stay in Lapland with Points

Lapland doesn’t have any U.S. chain hotels, but there’s still a wide array of lodging options for all budgets. Some hotels are available on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, so if you have a lot of Ultimate Rewards, this might not be a bad option.

The chase travel portal showing hotels available to book in Lapland Finland, an underrated honeymoon destination

If you’re a Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholder, you can redeem Ultimate Rewards points at a value of 1.5 cents per point. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, the points are worth 1.25 cents each.

The Sapphire Preferred cardholders also get up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards.

How to Earn Points and Miles for Your Underrated Honeymoon Destination

Earning transferable credit card points should be at the top of everyone’s list. If you have a good stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, you can travel anywhere in the world. Ultimate Rewards can be used to book both flights and hotels, and Membership Rewards are best used for flights, especially in premium cabins.

Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors points will come in handy when booking your hotel stays. When you book four nights on points with either program, the cheapest of the five nights will be free. Keep in mind that you have to be an elite member with Hilton to get the free fifth night.

Marriott has added a new feature, and you can now top off the free night award certificates with up to 15,000 points. So if you have certificates worth up to 35,000, 50,000 or 85,000 points, you can book award nights going for up to 50,000, 65,000 or 100,000 points, respectively.

Get your Player 2, aka significant other, involved in collecting points and miles. When two people are working down our Best Credit Card Offers list, it’s that much easier to earn enough points for a fantastic honeymoon.

Cards to Help You Book Your Honeymoon

We are big fans of Ultimate Rewards-earning cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card. These cards come with sizable welcome bonuses, and the points are versatile and easy to use on flights and hotels.

The American Express® Gold Card comes with a generous welcome offer and elevated rewards earning rates on some of the most popular categories, such as U.S. grocery and restaurants worldwide. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a great card for any small-business owner.

If it’s Hilton points you’re after, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with amazing benefits and should be in any Hilton loyalists wallet.

If you need to earn some Marriott Bonvoy points and free nights for your honeymoon, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card are solid choices.

Final Thoughts

As anyone who’s ever paid for a wedding knows, the expenses accumulate fast and the bills keep hitting your inbox almost daily. You can use this time to make lemons out of lemonade and work on collecting a good cache of points and miles.

Whether you enjoy cities or islands, warm or cold weather, it pays to think outside the box. Wherever you go, you’ll have unforgettable experiences that you’ll treasure forever. And if you end up saving a lot of money on your honeymoon, you’ll have a great start to married life!

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