Whether you are looking for a boutique hideaway with ocean views, a villa in the country, or a city hotel near famous attractions, there are many fantastic European honeymoon ideas. Check into a room with a view and spend your vacation relaxing, exploring tourist sites, shopping and dining at romantic restaurants. Ask the hotel concierge to help you plan romantic activities, including beach picnics, boat tours, scenic hikes and unique city tours. You may also like: Top 20 Dream Tropical Honeymoons and Best Luxury Honeymoon Villas. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1. Tuscany, Italy - Villa Armena

Tuscany, Italy - Villa Armena
© Villa Armena

Surrounded by the breathtaking landscape and rolling hills of Tuscany, just 20 minutes from Siena, Villa Armena is a romantic, beautifully renovated Renaissance mansion. Rustic red bricks, original oak beams and cool terracotta tiles floors come together to create an elegant abode surrounded by a manicured Italian garden. The villa boasts 10 exquisitely appointed guest rooms and suites across four categories, each of which has spectacular panoramic views of the villa grounds and distant hills. Rich furnishings and ornate décor accompanied by modern amenities and sumptuous marble bathrooms create havens of tranquility in which to escape. Lose yourself in the gastronomic delights of Tuscany at The Sorbo Allergo where local ingredients are fused with international flavors and flair to produce sublime fare. Lounge in the elegant Villa Armena Living Room in a plush armchair as you sip a fine vintage and take in magnificent views. Explore Tuscany’s beautiful churches, medieval monasteries and priceless works of art found in the ancient towns sprinkled across the countryside.

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2.England - Boskerris Hotel

England - Boskerris Hotel
© Boskerris Hotel


Explore Cornwall's Roseland peninsula while staying at the romantic Boskerris Hotel which offers spectacular ocean views and Mediterranean-style decor. The hotel has 15 contemporary guest rooms, most with a view of the Cornish coastline. Take romantic walks along Carbis Bay beach and explore St Ives Bay on your honeymoon. Couples can request an in-room massage to relax after a day of beach combing. The hotel serves breakfast featuring locally sourced produce, and a simple dinner menu. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge, bar or outdoors on the scenic terrace. The nearby town offers diverse restaurants, shops and cafes.

Honeymooners should book the Celebration Room which offers stunning views of St Ives Bay. The room has plenty of natural light, a sunken bath in the corner of the room, and a bathroom with a large rain shower. Luxury guest amenities include bath robes, slippers, iPod dock, complimentary Wi-Fi, goose down duvets and a large collection of free movies. Rooms start at 150 GBP; the Celebration Room from 260 GBP (+44 (0)1736 795295).

Next read: Best Time to Visit London, England & Other Travel Tips

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3.Greece - Iconic Santorini

Greece - Iconic Santorini
© Iconic Santorini

Iconic Santorini is a romantic hideaway carved into the cliffs of Santorini island in Greece. The stylish hotel has an infinity pool where you can take a dip with a view of the spectacular panorama below. Each room has a private terrace where honeymooners can enjoy outdoor breakfast and drinks with a view. The hotel restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers private dining areas for couples who want to dine undisturbed. Iconic Santorini has a serene spa with an indoor pool and a gym where you can work out on Cybex machines and get couples massages. The hotel is open from May to October. The hotel concierge can recommend top things to see and do in the area, including archaeological sites, wine tours, boat trips, scenic hikes, museums and shopping. Rooms start at 495 Euro per night (Phone: +30 2286 028950).

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4.Spain - Barcelo La Bobadilla in Loja, Granada

Spain - Barcelo La Bobadilla in Loja, Granada
© Barcelo La Bobadilla


Rejuvenate in a unique country setting at the five star Barcelo La Bobadilla. Loja offers natural springs known for their healing properties and several historic palaces, churches and gardens. The hotel has a full service spa, outdoor swimming pool, heliport, gym, tennis courts and a children's program in the summer. Children have access to a playground and a children's pool. You can go hiking, clay pigeon shooting , horseback riding, ride in buggies and many other activities. The resort has 6 Andalusian horses for horseback riding. Restaurant la Finca serves signature dishes with international and Mediterranean influences. Room start at 267 Euro per night with breakfast. Phone: +34 958 32 18 61

Next read: Best Time to Visit Barcelona, Spain & Other Travel Tips

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5.Croatia - Lesic Dimitri Palace

Croatia - Lesic Dimitri Palace
© Lešic Dimitri Palace


Lešic Dimitri Palace is a romantic hideaway for couples seeking a luxurious escape. The Palace offers five different types of accommodations that range from one to three bedrooms. The rooms are styled to feel like individual residences instead of hotel rooms. Get a massage at the spa from an expertly trained Thai therapist or enjoy a yoga session on the beach with certified yoga teacher Nina Sestanovic. The LD Restaurant serves fresh, seasonal, local, and organic produce from morning till night, alongside with an extensive list of wines.

Guests staying at Lešic Dimitri Palace are at the prime location for many activities, including wine-tasting events, lunch with local artists, historical and cultural tours, private dinners on deserted islands, hiking and climbing on Mount Iliad, diving, sailing, windsurfing and fishing expeditions. The Palace’s concierge service helps arrange perfect day trips and excursions. Go on a Sunset Cruise to Korcula Archipelago, which includes up to three hours of sailing, bottle of prosecco and oysters. Residences start at Euro 745 per night.

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6. Ireland - Bellinter House

Ireland - Bellinter House
© Bellinter House


About an hour from Dublin, Bellinter House is a relaxing country estate with diverse accommodations, a gourmet restaurant and a plush spa. Accommodation options include five bedrooms in the Main House which have large plasma TVs and mood lighting, 16 smaller rooms in the East & West Pavilions, five duplex rooms in the Stables and six bedrooms in the same building as the spa. The furniture in the guest rooms and in the common areas of the hotel is either vintage or home made. Relax in front of the grand fireplace in the Drawing Room, play billiards or board games in the Games Room, or read a book in the Library.

The Bathhouse Spa offers signature seaweed baths, facials, wraps and other relaxing treatments. Spa facilities include a steam room, sauna, and an outdoor hot tub with a view of the Boyne Valley. Bellinter House offers great fishing in the river Boyne, complete with gourmet picnics. Other activities in the area include golf, horseback riding, hot air ballooning and clay pigeon shooting. Rates start at 120 Euro per person for two nights.

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7.Scotland - The Cromlix

Scotland - The Cromlix
© The Cromlix

The Cromlix is a five star hotel in Scotland, located on 34 acres of beautiful countryside. The property has just five romantic suites and ten bedrooms furnished with Scottish antique furniture. The rooms are filled with natural sunlight and have freestanding baths, 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton bed linen, and luxurious Arran Aromatics toiletries. All rooms are beautifully decorated and feature views of the manicured grounds. For leisure and relaxation, The Cromlix provides a tennis court and tennis practice wall, fishing on the loch, archery, falconry, board games, outdoor garden games, and in-room spa treatments. Chez Roux restaurant is located in the glass-walled conservatory and is run by award-winning chef Darin Campbell. Rooms start at £200 per night (Phone: +44 1786 822125).

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8.Italy - Miramonti Boutique Hotel

Italy - Miramonti Boutique Hotel  

Miramonti Boutique Hotel is a romantic getaway in the Italian Alps with a full-service spa and a gourmet restaurant. The resort offers a variety of accommodations, including lofts, rooms and suites with heavenly views of the Alps. Relax at the full service spa which has an indoor heated pool with views of nature, a rock-bio sauna, a Finnish sauna, steam baths, and fitness rooms with private trainers. Guests receive free access to the Merano Thermal Baths, ten minutes away.

The Panorama Restaurant is a fine dining restaurant with Italian décor. Miramonti Stube serves South Tyrolean cuisine, while Miramonti Klassik offers 4-course dinners with a la carte choices. Nearby activities include horseback riding at the Sulfner riding school, and an 18-hole course with seven ponds at Golf Club Passeier Meran which, 25 minutes from the hotel.

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9.France - The Imperial Garoupe

France - The Imperial Garoupe
© Imperial Garoupe

The Imperial Garoupe in Cote d’Azur, France, is a luxury Relais & Chateaux getaway with a pool, beautifully landscaped park, and a private beach, perfect for honeymooners who want to relax in style. The 35 guest rooms and suites are decorated in a contemporary style, featuring either a balcony or a garden terrace. The 4,844-square-foot villa can accommodate up to ten guests and has five bedrooms with bathrooms, a heated swimming pool, tennis court, private garage, and an alarm system with video monitoring. The wellness area has a sauna and offers a range of treatments. Take a dip in the swimming pool which is surrounded by olive trees and blooming flowers. Rent The Imperial Garoupe’s ten-person boat for adventures on the French Riviera. At the Pavillon, chef Jean-Paul Cudennec serves Mediterranean cuisine which is both beautiful and delicious. The nearby Science and Beauty Clinic is a great place to spend an afternoon getting pampered from head to toe. Rooms start at 325 Euro per night (Phone: +33 4 92 93 31 61).

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10.Bairro Alto Hotel in Historic Downtown Lisbon

Bairro Alto Hotel in Historic Downtown Lisbon
© Bairro Alto Hotel

Bairro Alto in Lisbon is one of Portugal's stylish romantic getaways located near designer shops and Lisbon Theatre in the heart of historic downtown. The hotel offers 24-hour room service, a 24-hour concierge and a fitness center. The hotel has 55 romantic rooms and suites on five floors. All accommodations feature double-glazed windows, providing guests with a quiet, restful ambiance. The hotel restaurant serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine with outdoor seating in the summer months, perfect for a romantic getaway. Nightly rates start at 250 Euro (+351-21-340-8288).

Where to travel next: St. Lucia, Vienna and Berlin

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11.Fazenda Nova in Portugal

Fazenda Nova in Portugal
© Fazenda Nova

Fazenda Nova in Portugal is a boutique hideaway with a pool, restaurant, bar, library and ten romantic suites. There are three types of suites including the garden suites, garden apartments, and a terrace suite. Each garden suite has a private garden, Egyptian cotton bedding, and wooden Balinese-style beds. The two apartments, which can be interconnected, feature a private garden, a small kitchenette, a living area and a bedroom. The terrace suite provides views of the hills and countryside and has sun loungers and a seating area with a fire pit. Take a dip in the outdoors infinity pool, which is surrounded by gardens of olives, lush lavender and fragrant rosemary. Sneak a quiet moment at the library and look through the large collection of books. The bar has Portuguese wine, spirits, and coffee. A Cozinha serves seasonal home-cooked meals with Iberian flavors. Rooms start at €160 per night.

Next read: Best Time to Visit Stockholm, Sweden & Other Travel Tips

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12.Czech Republic - Le Palais Prague

Czech Republic - Le Palais Prague
© Le Palais Prague

Le Palais is a luxury boutique hotel in Prague, located in what was once a stunning belle epoque building. The property used to be the home of Ludek Marold, a Czech artist. The property has been wonderfully restored with period fireplaces, mosaic floors, wrought-iron balustrades, marble staircases, delicate stucco work, painted ceilings and frescoes. The property is located close to the State Opera, National Gallery, Wenceslas Square and the Vyehrad castle. A stay here is sure to leave an unforgettable impression - it is perfect for guests who want to be draped in luxury, while staying in historic Prague.

There are 60 rooms, 4 Petite Suites, three Royal Suites, a Presidential Suite, a single suite with balcony, and two suites with an open fireplace. Many guests have remarked that the suites here are the most beautiful in the city. The rooms are divided into three categories – Deluxe, Superior and Executive. Warm shades of pink and yellow decorate the rooms and suites. Facilities include safe, television, DVD player, hairdryer, cribs, mini bar, temperature control, trouser press, international direct dialing, electronic door locks and more.

Le Papillon is an award-winning restaurant that serves Czech and international culinary delights. Guests can try the Bohemian delicacies while enjoying stunning views of Prague. Selected assortment of the finest wines is also served at the restaurant, as well as mouth-watering homemade chocolate pralines. The lobby bar is open 24 hours a day. This is an elegant library where the atmosphere is quite relaxed. The leather armchairs English-style: comfortable and elegant. Guests enjoy selected cognac, ginger tea and fresh mint here. The Pure Spa offers facials and a choice of 20 body treatments. Products used are from Wellmondo and Ligne St. Barth. Facilities include steam rooms, aroma showers a sauna and a health club. Rates start at 218 Euro per night (+420 234 634 111, lepalaishotel.eu).

Next read: Best Time to Visit Paris, France & Other Travel Tips

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13.Ion Iceland

Ion Iceland
© Ion Iceland

Ion Iceland is a luxury eco-friendly hotel that was built from recycled and renewable materials and gets its heat and power from nearby hot springs. The hotel has 43 rooms which strike the perfect balance between luxury and simplicity with their modern chic style. All rooms have a view of the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant or the mossy lava fields. At Ion Spa, guests soak in the 33-foot outdoor pool, rejuvenate in the sauna, and receive a range of spa treatments and massages. Ion Iceland offers a variety of tours and adventures, including horseback riding, fishing, hiking, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, jeep safaris and glacial touring touring. Savor freshly caught Artic Char or an Icelandic Skyr brûlée at Silfra Resaurant, which serves modern Nordic cuisine with an emphasis on food that is pure, simple, fresh and seasonal.

Next read: 16 Best Things to Do in Reykjavik, Iceland and Best Time to Visit Reykjavik, Iceland & Other Travel Tips

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14.Florence, Italy - Gallery Hotel Art

Florence, Italy - Gallery Hotel Art
© Gallery Hotel Art

The hotel is centrally located near Ponte Vecchio, overlooking the Arno River. The halls and lobby are exhibit areas for contemporary modern art and photography open to the public. The property invites its guests to contemplate art from the moment they step into the lobby. The staff can answer any questions about the art and your stay in the city. There is a reading room where you can enjoy a selection of art books and magazines. The living rooms of the hotel are designed to welcome guests as if they were visiting a private art collection. There are 60 guest rooms and five spacious suites, decorated in modern style overlooking a quiet piazza. The rooms feature leather headboards and Bulgari Bath products. Doubles from approximately 270 Euro (+39-055-27263).

Where to travel next: Prague, Madrid, Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Budapest.

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15.Germany - Mandarin Oriental, Munich

Germany - Mandarin Oriental, Munich  


Mandarin Oriental, Munich in Germany is located within walking distance of the city's museums, theaters, the Opera House, restaurants and designer boutiques. The romantic European hotel features a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and panoramic city views. It's a great romantic couples vacation idea if you are planning a trip to Munich. Choose from 53 spacious rooms and 20 suites, some with private terraces. Guest accommodations are furnished with antiques and handmade cherry wood. In the rooms, you will find a complimentary minibar with beer, soft drinks and chocolate which is refilled every day. If you require assistance with packing and unpacking on your romantic vacation, the hotel can provide butler service.

Grand Presidential Suite is one of the best luxury accommodations in the world, offering spectacular views of the city from nearly every angle. Floor-to-ceiling views frame changing city vistas by day and night. The spacious layout and modern amenities would please even the most picky traveler. The dining area has the best city views of all the rooms. If you are planning to entertain and want to impress, this dining space is quite spectacular. There is a wrap-around balcony with an outdoor dining table for intimate dinners. Looking for an amazing destination to pop the question? Ask the staff to set up a sunset dinner set on the terrace. Inside, you will find a collection of fine Oriental antiques and Swarovski crystal chandeliers. The spacious master bathroom has a whirlpool and a private steam room. If you require additional space, 5 bedrooms adjoining can be booked as well, taking up half a wing of the top floor. Mark's, the signature restaurant, serves international cuisine with Mediterranean touches. In the summer, the Rooftop Terrace is the best place to dine while enjoying beautiful city views (+49-89-290-980).

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15 Unique European Honeymoon Vacation Ideas



More Ideas: How to Set Up a Honeymoon Registry

As the old adage goes, it’s the thought that counts. Still, not all couples want the same things from their wedding guests and, in this day and age, most newlyweds may already have most of what you’ve already thought of giving them since they’ve probably been living together for a while. Thankfully, honeymoon registries can help you give newlyweds something they are sure to appreciate.

What are honeymoon registries?

A honeymoon registry is an online tool that allows couples to receive gifts during their honeymoon. This gift can be either in the form of goods or experiences that they might enjoy during this very intimate time after their wedding.

For example, you can use the registry to have a bottle of wine delivered to their hotel room. You can either pay for it in full or you can partially foot the bill, so the couple doesn’t have to pay the full price.

The best part about the registry is that you’ll be giving something that the couple wants since the registry was built by the couple itself. Through registries, you’ll be able to gift newlyweds with candlelit dinners, massages, and vacation activities while they’re on their honeymoon. And while couples will always appreciate that new cutlery set they received at the wedding, you can bet they will love it just as much if you treated them to a ziplining experience on their honeymoon adventure.

How can we build a wedding registry?

As a newlywed couple, you can create a registry via one of the many digital cash registries online. You can start a fund for either the whole honeymoon experience or for certain parts of it, such as the travel, hotel accommodations, or parts of the itinerary like different tours and vacation experiences. You can also choose whether you want to set the exact costs of each fund or keep the total cost hidden (so that guests can give whatever amount they feel like giving).

From there, any amount given by guests will be deposited into your bank account, allowing you to do whatever you want with the money. Of course, ideally the money should go where you originally intended, but if plans change, why not use it elsewhere? After all, it is your honeymoon.

How can we tell people about the registry?

Your guests won’t be able to make donations unless they know about your wedding registry. The best way to let them know is to put up a link on your wedding’s website. After all, most weddings nowadays do have their own websites (especially since you’re setting up the registry online anyway). Just post a link to the registry on your website so they can directly access it from there.

Of course, it helps to give a description of what you want to do on your honeymoon. It’s a way for you to give the guests an idea of what you’re going for and how much you’ll need. From there, you’ll eventually start receiving donations from friends and family who want to help make your honeymoon the experience of a lifetime.

Some recommended honeymoon registries

There are different kinds of wedding registries online, but some of these sites specialize in providing honeymoon registries, so it’s better that you go for these instead of generic registries. Here are some good ones to look at first.

1. Wanderable

It’s important to personalize the registry, and Wanderable lets you do just that with lots of captivating visuals and other features. It has a space for you to put photographs, lets you use a feature that facilitates storytelling, and even allows for an itemized wish list. You also get to choose how you receive the gifts sent to you. Whether you prefer to get them through checks, gift cards, or cash deposits, it’s all up to you. The registry can also be accessed via a mobile app, making it easier for couples to make decisions while they’re on the go.

2. Tendr

Tendr actually lets you create registries for pretty much any kind of event, but they are also used for honeymoon registries. It’s easy to create a honeymoon fund by making an occasion page and putting up a description of what the plans are. Those who make a donation will be charged a convenience fee of $3, but the couple won’t be charged anything.

3. Honeymoon Wishes

This site has been around for quite some time, and they’ve served hundreds of thousands of customers, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re well equipped for it. Honeymoon Wishes offers a wide selection of tools that not only help you with your honeymoon but assist with the wedding planning as well. You can download announcement cards as well as track those thank you cards.

Another thing that makes this online registry unique is the way it lets donors give you presents. Aside from being able to choose how you can receive your donations, guests themselves can opt to make payments directly to partnered establishments like hotels, so you don’t have to play the middleman anymore.

4. Honeyfund

This one was featured on Shark Tank and is known to function quite similar to a crowdfunding site, unlike most travel funding sites. The good thing is that you’ll be able to get contributions not only for your honeymoon but also for the wedding itself. If you’re interested, you can also put up a registry for charities and social causes you might want to support. Users don’t need to pay anything to be able to use the site, but they do offer additional features for elite members, who pay a small fee for the privilege.

So, if you feel like getting better gifts than the usual kitchenware, you might want to try getting people to fund your honeymoon adventure instead. Setting up a wedding registry is easy and fun!

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More Ideas: Techniquest

Offering two locations at Cardiff Bay in Cardiff, Wales and Glyndwr University at Wrexham, Wales, Techniquest is a hands-on science center museum for children and families, offering interactive exhibits and activities focused on STEM principles and a planetarium facility showing astronomy presentations.

History

Techniquest was the vision of Cardiff University John Beetlestone, who opened the first Techniquest exhibit showroom in November of 1986 at the site of the former British Gas showroom in downtown Cardiff, near the intersection of St. John and Duke Streets. The Cardiff location originally featured 48 exhibit areas, most of them specifically created for the museum, and attracted more than 10,000 visitors within its first seven weeks of operation. It was moved twice during the following decade, first in 1988 to a location on Bute Street near the former Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum and then again in May of 1995 to a new permanent facility at the site of the former Bailey’s engineering workshop. Onsite educational programming was added to the facility’s operations with the 1988 move, expanding the museum’s outreach as a major STEM resource for the Wales community.

Permanent Exhibits and Attractions

Today, Techniquest is owned and operated as an independently-registered educational charity that receives government funding from the Welsh Government and operational proceeds from visitor admission. As the first science center museum in the United Kingdom to receive Governing Member status with the Association of Science and Technology Centres, the facility’s branches have earned a worldwide reputation as an industry leader in science center exhibit creation and community STEM education, with exhibits developed at the center on a regular basis and sold to science centers around the world for display. More than five million people have visited the Cardiff location since its opening in 1986, which has been recognized with multiple Millennium Product awards from the Design Council of the UK for its unique exhibits. A second Techniquest branch is also open at Wrexham’s Glyndwr University, and two former locations at Llanberis and Narberth were also part of the Techniquest franchise.

A variety of rotating special exhibits are showcased at both Techniquest centers, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math topics. All exhibits are presented at appropriate accessibility levels for primary and secondary students and include interactive and multimedia elements to emphasize problem-solving skills, creativity, and real-world application of STEM concepts. The center’s goal is to make science and technology concepts accessible to the Welsh community and engage young people and visitors of all ages in public debate and discussion with regard to essential scientific principles and topics. In addition to exhibit showcases at the two Techniquest centers, the museum also tours traveling exhibits throughout Wales at a variety of public venues and major cultural events, such as the National Eisteddfod, Wales Gene Park, and Science Cafe Wales. All exhibits are developed in cooperation with a network of scientific, academic, and industrial community partners within Wales and abroad throughout the world.

In addition to science exhibits, astronomy-focused presentations are offered at the facility’s full-size planetarium, with shows available to add onto standard admission rates for a nominal fee. Standard planetarium shows include Star Tours, which teaches young visitors basic concepts about stars, planets, and galaxies, and Space Hunters, which includes interview clips with professional astronauts. Other special planetarium programming includes the interactive Flight Fantastic, which includes interactive flight simulation elements.

Concessions are sold at the center’s Coffee Corner, which offers a wide variety of sandwiches, snacks, and beverages made with locally-sourced ingredients. A gift shop on site also offers educational puzzles, activity kits, science-themed multimedia, and a variety of local Welsh-themed souvenirs. Visitors may enter the Coffee Corner or gift shop at any time without purchasing center admission.

Ongoing Programs and Education

In addition to standard visitor admission, Techniquest offers a wide variety of onsite and traveling educational programming, designed to meet the standards of the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework, Welsh Government’s Qualified for Life Focus on Science, and the Digital Competence Framework. School group field trips and workshop programming are offered on a wide variety of science and technology concepts, designed to fit curriculum standards for primary and secondary student groups. Classes and special events are offered for preschool student education, and homeschool day events and programming are offered periodically throughout the year. Postgraduate education and professional development opportunities are also offered for continuing science education in the community. Other public special events include After Hours events for older visitors and events scheduled for local public school holidays. Birthday party packages may also be booked for young visitors by contacting the center directly via phone or email.

Stuart St, Cardiff CF10 5BW, Phone: +44-29-20-47-54-75

More Things to Do in Wales

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More Ideas: Wales Millennium Centre

Located in Cardiff, Wales along the Cardiff Bay, the Wales Millennium Centre is a 4.1-acre arts and entertainment complex, showcasing a variety of annual theatrical, dance, opera, and comedy performances. Prior to the development of the Wales Millennium Centre, plans to create an opera house on Cardiff Bay to serve as a permanent venue for the Welsh National Opera were embarked upon in the early 1990s.

History

Though an international architecture competition was conducted and selected a design by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, funding for the project was pulled in late 1995, as primary funder the Millennium Commission, the governing distributor behind the United Kingdom’s National Lottery, pulled support for the project in favor of diverting funds to the Millennium Stadium. A new plan for a more comprehensive multi-genre entertainment house was devised, looking to more fully reflect the diversity of Welsh arts and culture, and the project’s name was changed to the Wales Millennium Centre. Land for the project was acquired by the Cardiff Council and funding was secured by the Millennium Commission and Welsh Assembly, with additional funding provided by private investor Donald Gordon in the form of a £20 million donation. The first phase of the complex opened to the public on November 26, 2004, with a second phase opened with an inaugural concert on January 22, 2009.

Venues and Attractions

Today, the Wales Millennium Centre is the home of nine resident arts organizations, including several official national arts organizations and performance ensembles. As the primary arts venue and cultural center in Wales, the Centre presents a variety of touring and resident company multidisciplinary productions throughout the year, including theatrical, opera, dance, and comedy performances. The Centre is operated through funding by the Arts Council of Wales in the form of an annual public investment grant and is a major economic endeavor for the Wales community, bringing in more than £78 million in revenue annually. More than 1.5 million visitors attend annual season performances at five performance venues and a recording studio facility.

The Centre’s primary venue is its Donald Gordon Theatre, which seats 1,897 audience members and is primarily utilized for national and international touring opera, musical theater, and dance performances. Other performance venues on site include the Westin Studio Theatre 250, as well as a dance venue, a 160-seat cabaret theater, and a 100-seat Blue Room venue. Additionally, the BBC Hoddinott Hall recording facility hosts in-studio performances and is used as a recording studio for BBC programming. A number of conference and rehearsal rooms are also located throughout the complex, including six conference function rooms within the Donald Gordon Theatre, dance studios for resident dance troupes, and a 153-accommodation hostel, the Urdd City Sleepover.

Nine arts organizations call the Wales Millennium Centre home, including the Welsh National Opera, which presents resident and international touring performances throughout its regular performance season. The Centre is also home to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the country’s only national symphony orchestra body, and the National Dance Company of Wales, formerly known as Diversions. The Centre’s resident theatrical troupe, Hijinx Theatre, focuses on community involvement for theater participants of all ages, while the Touch Trust performance organization facilitates movement therapy programming for special needs populations. The Ty Cerdd music information center provides access to resources for aspiring young musicians, including the Welsh Amateur Music Federation and the Cyfansoddwyr Cymru Composers of Wales nonprofit organization, while the Urdd Gobaith Cymru Welsh League of Youth serves as a resource for teaching Welsh language to the country’s youth. Literature Wales and the Arts Council of Wales also use the Centre as their primary office facility, and the Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre provides tourism resources for area tourists. Family performance activities and workshops are also facilitated by the Centre regularly, including a regular Family Saturday event and a Toddler Time parent-child activity time.

A variety of pre- and post-show dining and refreshment options are offered throughout the complex, including the ffresh Bar and Restaurant, which serves traditional Welsh fare using locally-sourced ingredients. Contemporary wine offerings and tapas are offered at Bar ONE, while coffee, pastries, and snacks are available at the Centre’s Crema coffee shop and Caffi coffee bar. Three foyer bars are also provided throughout theater lobbies for drinks during performance times. Souvenirs and collectibles are offered at the Portmeirion Gift Shop, including official licensed Portmeirion pottery products and Centre-themed merchandise. Performance gift certificates and season pass memberships may also be purchased through the Centre’s website.

Bute Pl, Cardiff Bay CF10 5AL, UK, Phone: +44-29-20-63-64-64

More Things to Do in Wales

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