Not all destination weddings have to take place on the beach! City wedding destinations are rising in popularity for couples who want a bustling, cosmopolitan wedding. Here we have the top city wedding destinations from around the world.
Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most treasured and iconic cities, providing the perfect backdrop for an idyllic European wedding, complete with Dutch charm, tulips and bicycle photo ops. Golden Age canals lined by tilting gabled buildings are the backdrop for Amsterdam's treasure-packed museums and vintage-filled shops. Amsterdam's canal-woven core is laced by atmospheric narrow lanes whe you never know what you'll find. Amsterdam’s charming, magical atmosphere creates a perfect European city wedding destination.
Named after the goddess of wisdom, the arts, and civilisation, Athens is home to incredible sights, sounds, and stories that create the perfect backdrop for the most romantic and unforgettable weddings. Athens is a bustling city, teeming with historical and cultural sites that have stood for centuries. The city hosts 4.5 million people annually and is home to some of Greece’s most iconic neoclassical monuments. The Acropolis, Athen’s most-visited ruin, is a must-see for its rich history and dramatic views of the nearby sea. The cultural and social life of Athens plays out amid, around and in landmarks that are centuries old, if not millennia. Athens also has interesting neighborhoods with bustling markets, quaint cafes, and great shopping. With its colourful history and ancient world charm, Athens truly is one of the most interesting city wedding destinations.
Berlin is a fabulous mixture of old and new, with a buzz in the air which makes it a really unique city wedding destination. Berlin's combo of glamour and grit is bound to mesmerise all those keen to explore its vibrant culture, cutting-edge architecture, fabulous food, intense parties and tangible history. Berlin is a big multicultural metropolis but deep down it maintains the unpretentious charm of an international village. For a relatively small city of 3 million inhabitants, it has plenty of parks and leafy green streets, and certain areas are similar to Paris with their wide streets and relaxed street cafes. So, it becomes a unique location for a city destination wedding.
Budapest has something for everyone – from dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters and a nightlife that is unrivalled in Eastern and Central Europe. Architecturally, the city is a treasure trove, with enough baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau buildings to satisfy everyone. Also, Budapest has a reputation as a food capital dating back to the late 19th century. Budapest is blessed with an abundance of hot springs. As a result, ‘taking the waters’ has been an experience here since the time of the Romans. The array of bathhouses is generous – you can choose from Turkish-era, art nouveau and modern establishments. So, from elegant ballrooms to beautiful terraces with panoramic views or stunning palaces, Budapest has gorgeous spots for a city destination wedding.
A coming-together of cultures, cuisines and landscapes, there's nowhere quite like Cape Town, a singularly beautiful city crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain National Park. Atop the impressive 3,000 ft. peak of Table Mountain, you can catch a glimpse of golden beaches and award-winning vineyards, nestled against one of Africa’s most vibrant and fun-loving cities. A wedding in Cape Town provides you with plenty to explore between brightly-colored Afro-European storefronts once you hike, cable-car, or paraglide down from the top, including a famed botanic garden and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Cape Town is one of the most beautiful, and popular, places to tie the knot. With beaches, vineyards and forests set against a backdrop of magnificent mountains, Cape Town is a perfect city wedding destination.
Dubai is a stirring alchemy of profound traditions and ambitious futuristic vision wrapped into starkly evocative desert splendour. Dubai is a bustling microcosm peacefully shared by cultures from all corners of the world. This diversity expresses itself in the culinary landscape, fashion, music and performance. After dark, Dubai shape-shifting party spectrum caters for just about every taste, budget and age group. So, for high-end glitz and glamour, Dubai is hard to beat as a city wedding destination.
While drive-through chapels, Elvis-impersonator officiants and celebrating your nuptials at a blackjack table are still a part of what Las Vegas offers, there's a whole other side to Sin City that's making it one of the hottest Stateside spots to tie the knot. Bold ballrooms, cool restaurants and chic poolside settings, plus hundreds of resorts and hotels that offer wedding packages for every budget. And even non-betting guests will have plenty to keep them entertained. The volume and concentration of the Strip's celebrity chefs, lauded fine-dining restaurants and America's favourite food franchises is hard to fathom. Or, just outside the city vast canyons and plains, epic mountains and alpine forests are baked by the desert sun. Those who enjoy life's finer details flock to Vegas to lap up the luxury, a fun location for a city destination wedding.
The capital city of Spain, Madrid is the beating heart of the country. A beautiful city, its broad sweep of architectural history provides a glorious backdrop to city life, from medieval mansions and royal palaces to the unimagined angles of Spanish contemporary architecture, from the sober brickwork and slate spires of Madrid baroque to the extravagant confections of the belle époque. Few cities boast an artistic pedigree quite as pure as Madrid’s; many art lovers return here again and again. Rising above the humble claims of its local cuisine, Madrid has also evolved into one of the richest culinary capitals of Europe. So, Madrid has all the elements for an incredible city wedding destination.
New York City
New York City certainly lives up to its reputation as the city that never sleeps and a destination city wedding in New York will leave you breathless with its endless, romantic possibilities. With its compact size and streets packed with eye candy of all sorts – architectural glories, Old World cafes, atmospheric booksellers – NYC is a wanderer’s delight. Broadway shows, museums and galleries, four-star restaurants, crazy-fun nightlife, and block after block of shopping, as well as classic tourist attractions, like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Times Square - NYC has something for everyone. For cosmopolitan couples, New York City is the perfect city wedding destination.
This list would be incomplete without the city of love! Filled with charm and easy elegance, a destination wedding in Paris places you in one of Europe’s must-see cities. Paris' monument-lined boulevards, museums, classical bistros and boutiques are enhanced by a new wave of multimedia galleries, creative wine bars, design shops and tech start-ups. The cloud-piercing, wrought-iron Eiffel Tower, broad Arc de Triomphe guarding the glamorous avenue des Champs-Élysées, flying buttressed Notre Dame cathedral, lamplit bridges spanning the Seine and art nouveau cafes' wicker-chair-lined terraces are enduring Parisian emblems. France’s reputation for its cuisine precedes it, and whether you seek a cosy neighbourhood bistro or a triple-Michelin-starred temple to gastronomy, you'll find that every establishment prides itself on exquisite preparation and presentation of quality produce. Perfect for an utterly romantic city destination wedding.
Known as the “City of a Thousand Spires”, Prague is an up and coming city wedding destination. Prague's maze of cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards is a paradise for the aimless wanderer, always beckoning you to explore a little further. 14th-century stone bridges, hilltop castles and the lovely Vltava river have inspired awe and artists for centuries. Prague's Bohemian art offers much to admire, from the glowing Gothic altarpieces to the luscious art nouveau and magnificent collections of 20th-century surrealists, cubists and constructivists. Ancient chapels, unexpected gardens, cute cafes and old-fashioned bars with hardly a tourist in sight, one of the great joys of the city is its potential for exploration. Prague is an enchanting city wedding destination.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a dream wedding destination. Lushly forested mountains fringe the city, shimmering beaches trace the shoreline and a string of tiny islands lie scattered along the seafront. Far from being a mere cinematic backdrop, this stunning seaside city hosts outstanding outdoor adventures: hiking in the rainforest, cycling alongside the beaches, sailing across the Bay, and surfing, rock climbing and hang gliding amid one of the world's most stunning urban landscapes. Music is Rio's lifeblood, with samba dominating the city’s soundtrack. From the world’s largest art deco sculpture, Christ the Redeemer, to the high peaks of Sugarloaf and Corcovado, this sprawling and vibrant city is quite a wonder from above. Its lavish theaters and museums, centuries-old monasteries, golden beaches and samba clubs mingle effortlessly, providing any Rio de Janeiro city wedding both flare and drama.
Rome is one of the world’s most romantic and charismatic cities. Old-world culture mixes with a modern, energetic metropolis and historic attractions for a truly unique affair. Rome's cityscape is an exhilarating sight. Ancient icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon recall the city’s golden age, while monumental basilicas tell of its history as seat of the Catholic Church. Elsewhere, ornate piazzas and showy fountains add a baroque flourish to the city's captivating streets. With more artistic monuments than just about any other city in the world, Rome offers the ultimate wedding photo op. Few cities can rival Rome's astonishing artistic heritage. The result is a city awash with priceless treasures. Aside from its historic beauty, Rome is a foodie’s dream, so leave plenty of time for handmade pasta and house wine in one of the bustling piazzas. A wedding in Rome is one of the most unique venues for a cosmopolitan ceremony.
If you're looking for an urban setting that offers more in terms of scenery than just a concrete jungle, head to San Francisco where you'll discover one of the best places for a destination wedding. San Francisco is urban without being overwhelming, combining big-time sophistication with the laid-back, dressed-down attitude. Hills rise and drop everywhere you look; huge parks share space with skyscrapers and ornate, bay-windowed Victorian homes; cable cars rattle over the streets; and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge are everywhere from within the city as well as the water, which surrounds San Francisco on three sides. Plus, foodies will love the assortment of fresh, local ingredients and world-class fare. Perfect for a relaxed city destination wedding.
Connected by more than 100 tiny islands in the Adriatic Sea, Venice is undoubtedly one of the most romantic and picturesque spots on the planet. This stunning and historic city is quite literally underwater, though that has hardly stopped it from remaining one of Italy’s foremost tourist destinations. Water taxis and gondolas traverse the city’s famous boroughs, which are lined with charming plazas and artful churches. Never was a thoroughfare so aptly named as the Grand Canal, reflecting the glories of centuries of Venetian architecture in the 50 palazzi and six churches lining its banks. Garden islands and lagoon aquaculture yield speciality produce and seafood you won’t find elsewhere – all highlighted in inventive Venetian cuisine, with tantalising traces of ancient spice routes. Venice is certainly a magical city wedding destination.