Not quite made it to the proposal yet, let alone the wedding or honeymoon? Don’t worry, we’ve found five perfect places to pop the question in Europe
Roses and champagne are a given, but how do you go that extra mile when popping the question? How can you impress that special someone, without regurgitating tired clichés or feeling like a copycat? Alexandra Gregg discovers the five ultimate places to propose in Europe… and how to make the experience unique.
You'll love it if… you're all about traditional romance.
Why? Filled with an air of history and drama, there are few things more romantic than proposing to your loved one in Paris. There's a lot of choice too: you can get down on one knee while hanging a love-lock, when clambering up the Eiffel Tower or simply as you stroll along the Seine. If you're willing to splash a bit of cash and want some privacy, try seeing the city from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. You can surprise him or her with roses, a cheeky smooch and, of course, a ring.
Make it extra special… by proposing in the secluded Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (pictured top). To the northeast of the city, in the 19th arrondissement, this green space is virtually unknown, even to the locals. It overlooks Paris - taking in panoramic views of the city and its icons, including the Sacré-Coeur - is alive with colour, no matter the season. Perhaps most romantic though is a 32-metre waterfall that cascades from a craggy cliff, plunging into a tranquil circular lake below.
You'll love it if… you like to explore on foot or two wheels.
Why? With more than 100km of ancient canals, it's no surprise that Amsterdam is often called the 'Venice of the North' (without the hefty price tag!). It's also no surprise that most who go there fall head over heels for the city too. Its gabled roofs, cobbled streets and illuminated waterways give it a quaint, village-feel that's practically irresistible, and we reckon your loved one will think so too.
Make it extra special… and add a bit of history to your trip by taking your loved one to the lesser-known Begijnhof. Step through a wooden door and into this enclosed courtyard and you'll discover medieval Amsterdam: the Begijnhof is the city's only inner court that was founded in the Middle Ages. A confection of Gothic wooden framework and tall Dutch houses, it's an absolute must if you love bygone times as much as you love your spouse-to-be.
Honeymoons by train - interrailing across Europe
You'll love it if… you enjoy getting lost together in big cities.
Why? London has more romantic spots than you can shake a diamond ring at. Whether you're enjoying cocktails in a glitzy bar, gazing across the city from The Shard, or simply taking a private after-dark meander along the South Bank, the 'Big Smoke' is synonymous with couples and love. It's also a great place for food and drink, from snacking on aphrodisiac chocolates to experiencing an eclectic range of authentic cuisines to tasting tipples at Vinopolis.
Make it extra special… by exploring a hidden corner. The average Londoner has only explored a fraction of Britain's vast capital, meaning there's still plenty to be discovered. Try St Dunstan-in-the-East, a former CofE church between London Bridge and the Tower of London. Built in 1100 it was badly damaged 550 years later in the Great Fire of London, and then severely hit during the Blitz in 1941. It hasn't gone to waste though; its Gothic vine-clad ruins are wildly romantic and have since been transformed into a charming garden.
You'll love it if… you're a water baby at heart.
Why? Venice is undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in Europe. It's also one of the most touristy destinations, not just in Europe but in the world. But that hasn't dampened its allure. Perhaps this is because pockets of seclusion can still be found across the river-based metropolis, from a private gondola ride along the sprawling canal network to the 16th-century island monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Make it extra special… by avoiding the crowds. Many of the city's secret places are uncovered simply by walking without an end destination in mind. Nip down little lanes and alleyways and you'll discover canals, squares and historical buildings that aren't saturated with tourists. Places like the San Marco District - a popular spot with the locals and away from St Mark's Square - are perfect for this.
You'll love it if… you like your romance with a side of adventure.
Why? It's not always about the destination. Thrillseekers can take to the air in almost any city, getting aerial views of London, Paris, New York, Rome and more. Imagine your partner's surprise when you divert their attention from the window to the ring-sized box in your hand.
Get Your Guide offers a 20-minute flight over London from £199pp. You'll soar above Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the Shard.
Make it extra special… when you spell the words 'Will you marry me?' out on the ground - obviously above somewhere you're planning to fly! Okay, so this one is clichéd, but it certainly has the wow factor.
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