2023 is the year travel's back again, and if you didn't have the chance to have a honeymoon due to pandemic restrictions for the past three years, now it's time to get started on planning! This trip will often mark the start of all your travel adventures together while also providing time to decompress after the whirlwind of the wedding ? So if you're looking to start planning your honeymoon and need ideas, we're here to help you out with this round-up of 15 romantic destinations for the honeymoon of your dreams!
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Top Muslim-Friendly Destinations For Your Honeymoon
1. Pangkor Island
Starting off our list is the beautiful Pangkor Island, located on the west coast of Malaysia. The island is known for its laid-back vibe and lovely beaches that make for a perfect honeymoon destination. In addition, its location off the coast of Perak that's sheltered by Indonesia means it's much less affected by weather as compared to islands on the east coast such as Perhentian and Tioman islands (which are inaccessible during the monsoon season).
While many go to Pangkor Island to relax in the resort or go snorkelling and/or diving, there are also many other fun activities to do too. Visit the Dutch Fort that dates back to the 17th century when Dutch colonists used to use it for storing tin ore. Or go for a trek on Pangkor Hill for some lush jungle views. Don't forget to stop by Sunset View Chalet for an unusual and beautiful sight - hornbills! These wild hornbills live on the island and show up at this resort at around 6 to 6.30pm daily, where guests can help feed them food. According to the owner of the place, he has been feeding the birds for over 13 years and they now come to him on instinct for their evening snack. And best of all, it's free of charge!
Another great thing is that while Pangkor island is quiet and remote enough to retain its natural beauty (visitors can only predominantly get there by ferry from Lumut, and while the island has roads circulating it, public transport is scarce), it has a good selection of resorts ranging from rustic guesthouses to ultra-luxurious resorts (such as the famous Pangkor Laut Resort), so there's something to suit every budget!
#HHWT Tip: Pangkor is a popular destination for locals, so it's best to avoid visiting during the school holiday periods!
2. Koh Samui
Koh Samui comes highly recommended from personal experience because I went there for my honeymoon! ? For those who are looking for a Thai beach getaway that's a little off the beaten path, Koh Samui is perfect. There are direct flights available from both KL and Singapore, but it's not as highly frequented as places like Phuket or Krabi.
What truly makes Koh Samui an incredible honeymoon destination is probably the vast array of amazing beachside resorts. Similar to Pangkor, there's something to suit every budget, but if you're looking to splurge on that fancy pool villa or suite, you won't regret it! In addition, Koh Samui has a good-sized Muslim population, so you'll find mosques (there's about three) and halal eateries scattered across the island. Some resorts may also be able to cater halal food options for guests, so do check with your resort when booking!
At Koh Samui, you're bound to get your fair share of beach and sea activities, but if you want to do some exploring, you can visit the two famous Buddhist temples, the Big Buddha and the Wat Plai Laem, or soak in the sights and sounds at the Fishermen's Village in Bo Phut, or do a spot of shopping at Central Festival Samui, a large mall filled with plenty of shops, a supermarket and eateries.
Taiwan may not be the first destination that comes to mind for a honeymoon, but hear us out. It has so much to offer visitors and can be a wonderful adventure for you to explore with your other half! It's also home to someincredible nature spots bound to up the romance factor. For the adventurous couple that wants to explore the world and soak in new sights and sounds while on their honeymoon, this may be just the place!
Taiwan has several note-worthy cities that are great travel destinations, so deciding which ones you want to visit will be half the fun. Taipei is usually a must-visit, and here you'll find Taiwan's iconic landmarks such as Taipei 101 and the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Day trips to Shifen and Jiufen are also highly recommended.
Beyond Taipei, Hualien is popular for visitors (fun fact: Hualien is the biggest city in Taiwan!) who want to visit the famous Taroko Gorge, while Taichung has plenty of cultural sights. Kaohsiung is a port city with a bustling city and an urban vibe not to be missed, while Tainan is an underrated part of Taiwan that's more laid-back and filled with historical fortresses, temples and other sights. There is something for everyone in Taiwan, making it a fun place to explore. Whatever you do, don't miss out on the amazing night markets, as well as yummy local food (especially beef noodles! Check out our list of Muslim-friendly eateries in Taipei to see where you can find them).
Another reason why Taiwan is a super appealing honeymoon destination? It's affordable to visit! Don't believe us? Check out our 5D4N Taipei-Kaohsiung itinerary for under RM2,300.
Seoul is an evergreen choice for a romantic honeymoon in the city, and it's little wonder why. This South Korean city cannot fail to appeal to lovers, given its beautiful landscapes, wonderful culture and array of activities.
Visit Namsan Seoul Tower and go to the observatory deck for panoramic views of the city. This is also where you and your loved one can put a padlock to symbolise your love, as done by countless couples before! Take a ferry to Nami Island to see the picturesque spots that skyrocketed to fame after appearing in the Korean drama Winter Sonata. And if you’re planning a honeymoon for the end of March to early April, why not try and catch a glimpse of Korea’s beautiful cherry blossoms?
There's plenty of cultural sights too, including the famous Gyeongbokgung and the Bukchon Hanok Village. And of course, no trip to Seoul is complete without some shopping in Myeongdeong! Don't forget to drop by some of the many Instagram-worthy spots that are calling for pictures (it would be perfect for couple shots!).
We have super extensive resources on Seoul - be it itineraries (even budget ones!), neighbourhood guides, and so much more - so planning your Muslim-friendly honeymoon to the city will be a breeze! To start off, check out our ultimate guide to Seoul for Muslim travellers.
Speaking of evergreen choices, it would be remiss not to include Japan! It's an exciting destination that really isn't like any other (can you tell that we're huge fans of Japan? ?), and plenty will say it's an awesome choice for a unique honeymoon. There's tons to see and do in Tokyo, but for an epic Japanese getaway, why not conquer the Golden Triangle of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka?
There's so much to see and do in all three cities, but it's important to remember to set the pace of the honeymoon to you and your partner's liking! If you're looking to see these three cities in one trip, it's best to do it in at least 8-10 days (check out our 10D9N Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo itinerary to get you started!). If you're planning for a shorter honeymoon, check out our 7D6N Tokyo-Osaka itinerary instead!
In terms of what to see, do and eat, you'll be spoilt for choice - from the iconic Shibuya crossing in Tokyo to the famous red shrine gates of the Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, it'll be an unforgettable trip for the two of you. This honeymoon will require planning and research though, so check out our extensive Japan resources to get a head start!
P.S. Having a hard time deciding between Disneyland vs DisneySea? We break down everything you need to know to make the best decision for you and your family!
6. Umrah (i.e. Makkah/Madinah)
What better way to start married life than by visiting the house of Allah SWT and the holy cities? Marriage, if anything, is an act of worship, and what a blessing it would be to be able to start married life performing umrah with your soulmate, to pray for a union to always be guided by our Creator ?
A growing number of couples are now choosing to perform umrah as their honeymoon, including our contributor Jinghan who shared her amazing experience with us.
All this to say, it's something you can look into considering for your honeymoon! You can check with Islamic tour agencies for options available. Prices can greatly vary depending on the package you choose, the accommodation provided, which hotel you opt for, and so on, so it's important to shop around and decide what you're looking to go for.
#HHWT Tip: Don't forget that umrah ziarah(umrah trips combined with sightseeing) packages are also available nowadays if you want to extend your visit to see some beautiful countries like Jordan, Morocco, Dubai and more!
Want to visit somewhere truly unique? Perhaps you would like to venture to shores not many have gone for their honeymoon. Cue Fiji - the archipelago of islands located in the South Pacific ocean! Located about 11 hours by flight away from Singapore (there are direct flights from Singapore to Nadi, the capital of Fiji), it's quite a long journey to get there, but the reward will be so worth it.
Boasting breathtaking beaches and lush tropical greenery, it'll be like stepping into paradise on earth. Choose your pick from the endless resorts that scream romantic scattered across the various islands. Fiji is also known for its friendly and welcoming locals, which will add to great holiday vibes for your honeymoon. Besides the various sea activities, take a hike along the popular walking trails or visit a traditional village to learn more about the local culture. Check out the Tourism Fiji Instagram page for more inspiration, it'll be hard not be blown away!
Fiji has a sizeable Muslim population, a large Indian-Fiji community and plenty of fresh seafood, so finding halal and Muslim-friendly food shouldn't be an issue! If all else fails, you can head to McDonald's - the fast-food chain is halal in the country ? If you need more reasons why you have to visit Fiji, we've got you sorted too.
8. New Zealand (South Island)
Imagine this: road-tripping with your loved one through some of the most beautiful natural scenery you'll ever see. Or stargazing at millions and millions of stars along the Milky Way together. Or perhaps tandem bungy-jumping (talk about taking a leap of faith as a couple!). It'll be the trip of a lifetime, and it all happens in New Zealand's South Island ?
We recommend visiting only the South Island as opposed to both North and South islands as there's already plenty to see and do, plus visiting just one island makes it easier logistically too. As to why South instead of North, it's because the awe-inspiring scenery in South Island does make it perfect for that romantic road trip for two.
Visitors to New Zealand's South Island often begin in Christchurch where the airport is located (there are direct flights from Singapore available and connecting flights from KL). From there, you'll begin your incredible journey through places like Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook and more before arriving at Queenstown. Here, if you and your spouse are up for some adrenaline-pumping, you'll have plenty to do from bungy-jumping and paragliding to even sky-diving. Check out our detailed itinerary for conquering the South Island that will tantalize you with the adventure you'll never forget!
While we've covered a tri-city destination with Japan's Golden Triangle, we have another tri-city proposition, this time in three different countries! We're talking about an epic European jaunt through three iconic cities in Central Europe: Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Each of these three cities regularly makes it into the list of Europe's most romantic cities, so it only makes sense that combining all three will guarantee a lovely honeymoon.
Prepare to be charmed by old-world splendour as you navigate the three cities. Whether you choose to stroll through Prague’s Old Town, visit one of the many historical palaces (must-sees include the famous Prague Castle or the Lobkowicz Palace) or choose to see the city via boat cruise, Prague will leave a lasting impression ? Stroll along the iconic Danube River while in Budapest and marvel at the Buda Castle. And whether you're a fan or not of classical music, it'll be hard not to be left inspired when you visit the places in Vienna made famous by legendary composers such as Mozart and Beethoven.
A bit of a disclaimer is needed for this destination - it's far. Like, 15+ hours flight time kind of far. BUT! Hawaii has made our list for a few reasons, the first being that it's become a lot more accessible with AirAsia's route to Honolulu (with transit in Osaka). Secondly, checking Hawaii off your travel bucket list through your honeymoon could not be a better idea. With fantastic weather, beautiful scenery and awesome island vibes, what better way to spend your honeymoon?
#HHWT Tip: Weather-wise, Hawaii is great to visit all year round, but April - May and September - October are often cited as the best months to visit as it's during the dry season and outside of the summer school holidays in June - July. It's also probably best to avoid the peak holiday period in December as hotel rates are higher unless you book well in advance!
Hunkering down at one of the many awesome beachfront resorts sounds tempting, but venturing out to explore will reward you with incredible hiking trails, activities like swimming with the dolphins (here you can go for tours where you swim with wild dolphins out at sea as Hawaii has many spinner dolphins that inhabit the surrounding waters ?) and whale-watching. And you can even go shopping - as Hawaii is a US state, you'll find many retail places synonymous with visiting America, including outlet malls and stores like Target and Walmart. For more reasons why you should visit Hawaii, check this out!
Ahhh, Switzerland. Land of the Swiss Alps, stunning natural scenery, scenic train routes and yummy chocolates - what could be more romantic than that? ? This European country has all the right ingredients for the honeymoon of your dreams. Whether you visit during the winter or the summer, you'll be blown away by the beauty of towns like Lauterbrunn and Luzern and have simply magnificent experiences when you go for mountain excursions within the Swiss Alps at places like Mount Titlis and Jungfraujoch.
Switzerland is best traversed by train, and you can't miss out on experiencing the country's world-famous panoramic train routes! In addition, Switzerland is also famous for being home to adventure sports, so if you want to tick paragliding or other similar activities off your list, it's a great place to do it (read about our writer's experience paragliding in Switzerland!).
#HHWT Tip: Getting the Swiss Travel Pass is a great way to get the most bang for your buck as your travel around Switzerland and visit the attractions. Find out more about the pass in our detailed Swiss itinerary with the Swiss Travel Pass!
Ending our list is a crowd favourite - The Maldives. It has long become a popular spot for honeymooners, with its beautiful azure waters and incredible resorts. Plus, given the predominantly Muslim population of the country, halal food is plentiful, making it an even more attractive option for Muslim couples.
The Maldives isn't exactly known for being a cheap destination, but you can easily aim to cut costs. For one thing, peak tourists season for the Maldives is between December to March, which coincides with the country's dry season (which lasts from November to April). However, even during the wet season (October - May), many guests have reported that the weather often remains quite enjoyable, barring the occasional rain shower! So visiting the Maldives during the offseason is one way to make the trip more affordable. In addition, budget airlines such as AirAsia and Scoot fly to Male (the capital of the country) from KL and Singapore respectively.
#HHWT Tip: The Maldives is filled with beautiful resorts which are scattered about the different islands that make up the country. When booking your hotel, make sure to check what are the fees (if any) for the transfer from the airport to your resort. Sometimes they are not included in your booking and may cost a very significant amount, so be sure to clarify what it is beforehand! Get more tips for the ultimate Maldives honeymoon here
It's also worth remembering that you don't have to splurge on the priciest accommodation to have a wonderful stay in the Maldives. Though the country's beautiful and iconic resorts make often make it the main reason people like to go there for their honeymoon, there are many choices available across the price spectrum, from luxurious resorts to cheaper guesthouses and hotels. So shop around and choose one that meets your budget needs!
13. Paris, France
It's called the City of Love for good reason! Paris screams romance in the best way possible! Have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, take a cruise along the Seine, go on a cafe date; the list is endless ? The best time to visit France would definitely be in spring!
The days are longer, the air’s a little warmer, beautiful cherry blossoms are in full bloom, shops and patisseries filled with drool-worthy, edible works of art, the list is endless but you get the gist; France is absolutely breathtaking in spring, which sets a romantic backdrop for your honeymoon ? We got you covered with our itineraries and halal food guides in Paris, so it's time to start planning your Parisian honeymoon!
14. Bali, Indonesia
Another romantic destination that you should add to the list is Bali. Located in the heart of Indonesia, Bali is a beautiful island surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Wind down as you take in what the island has to offer – lush greenery, soothing waves, beautiful sunsets, incredible views, comfortable pace of island life... and the list goes on! ?No matter the time of the year, Bali is always bustling with life! The best time to visit Bali is during their dry season; you wouldn't want heavy rain to get in the way of your honeymoon! Still not convinced? We give you 8 reasons why Bali should be your honeymoon destination!
We have specially curated for you a honeymoon itinerary that includes Muslim-friendly foodso that you and your partner can enjoy your vacay fuss-free! If you need more guides on Bali, be sure to check them out here!
Italy is the perfect destination for all things romance. With its warm climates, slow pace of life, delicious Muslim-friendly food, and the Italian passion for 'dolce far niente' or 'the sweet art of doing nothing', there's no better place to simply relax and bask in the company of your partner ? Get lost in the side streets, whilst you and your partner navigate the canals on footbridges and gondolas and browse the many shops of Venetian masks and Murano glass in Venice, or be in awe over their amazing art pieces at Rome; whatever it is, you and your partner will simply have a honeymoon you both will never forget! ? Remember to check out our Muslim-friendly itineraries and other content related to Italy right here!
So there it is - 15 destinations that will guarantee an amazing honeymoon this 2023. Whether you and your partner are looking for a relaxing beachside vacation, an exciting new city to explore together, or a bit of both, you can be sure of having a wonderful time together as you embark on this trip (and on your journey as a newly-married couple!