One of the biggest (and in some cases, most anxiety fraught) milestones in your relationship is that moment when you finally pop the question. It’s a memory that will last a lifetime and a story you both will tell for the rest of your days together. No pressure, right? If you’re determined to have a perfectly romantic proposal, you can stack the odds in your favor by selecting one of these gorgeous European destinations as a backdrop. There’s no overdone Eiffel Tower on this list — just a few of the best places in Europe to propose, beautiful hidden gems if you will. Looking to set the scene for a proposal that’s stunning and unforgettable? Keep reading.
A city known for its banking and finance sector may seem like a strange choice for a proposal destination, but don’t let this city’s claim to fame fool you. Zürich is a rich mecca of historic and natural beauty, with no shortage of romantic views in the form of snowy mountain ranges and sweeping cityscapes, making it one of the best places in Europe to propose.
Secret Spot The Bürkliterrasse. Opened in 1887 as the crowning finale of the Bahnhofstrasse, this waterfront spot offers views over Lake Zürich that span as far as the Alps. Pop the question at dusk, just as the city lights come alive.
San Sebastián, Spain
This coastal city is every epicurean’s dream, but not everybody knows about this hidden hot spot. Nestled between scenic shorelines in Spain’s Basque Country, it’s an easy destination to miss. Teeming with tasty pinxto spots along cobblestone streets, you’ll leave a trip to San Sebastián with your hearts and stomachs full.
Secret Spot Akelarre restaurant has earned plenty of acclaim, but what makes this spot well-poised to be one of the best places in Europe to propose is location, location, location. It’s situated on the Igeldo, offering beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and over the Cantabrian Sea. After having your fill at dinner, walk along the low-lit boardwalk overlooking the water and pop the question just as you’re far away enough from the restaurant’s entrance for it to feel intimate.
While everybody else rushes off to Dubrovnik, do yourself a favor and hit up this lesser-known gem instead. Boasting an ancient city center that butts up right against the Adriatic Sea, this vibrant port city is a dream for romantics seeking scenic beaches with plenty of nightlife.
Secret Spot While touring Diocletian’s Palace, stop under the castle’s arches for an enchanting, secluded setting worthy of your big question.
This picturesque port city brimming with castles and culture is surely fit for your soon-to-be betrothed. Ghent, rich with scenery for romantic strolls, is certainly one of the best places in Europe to propose, with canals and medieval buildings to stop and admire.
Secret Spot Visit the garden behind historic St. Peter’s Abbey in springtime when lavender vines are in full bloom, giving the space an ethereal feel. Even off season, the historic quarters of this centuries-old spot pay homage to the long-term commitment you’re about to make.
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
This southern German university city has all the makings of a classic storybook setting, from babbling brooks to medieval architecture—and it’s set in the heart of the enchanting Black Forest. A quaint, hidden city with a charming old world feel, Freiburg is full of little surprises at every turn, with side streets lined with tiny water rills and mouthwatering local fare.
Secret Spot Head to Freiburg Minster cathedral at sunset—one of the city’s most majestic works of architecture. Your significant other will be so swept up in watching the clock strike the hour, you’ll have the element of distraction working in your favor while getting down on one knee.
Off a harbor fringed by cliffs sits the small city of Portree, also known as one of the best places to propose in Europe. Situated east on the Isle of Skye, this bustling port city offers plenty of shoreline views and nautical adventures to enjoy during your time here. Portree is a cultural mecca with deep Gaelic influences that can be seen throughout the city’s colorful buildings and artwork; perfect for romantic strolling.
Secret Spot A proposal on the Quiraing is more than worth the hike there. Part of the Trotternish ridge, these awe worthy peaks and plateaus were formed by a landslip. Choose a day with clear skies and, if possible, get a fellow tourist to play photographer to capture the big moment.
Which European escape will set the stage for your epic proposal?
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