With Christmas just around the corner, the most romantic time of the year is finally upon us! That’s right – according to Google data, the weeks running up to Christmas are the most popular time of year to propose, with Christmas Eve taking the top spot.
With twinkling lights, roaring fires and cosy nights in with the family, it’s no wonder that couples are feeling romantic over the festive period. So, if you’re also planning on popping the question this Christmas, why not do it in style and whisk your other half away for a romantic European mini-break? Bespoke engagement ring retailer Angelic Diamonds have put together this helpful guide on the best places to propose in Europe this Christmas:
Los Bunkers del Carmel, Barcelona
Los Bunkers del Carmel is something of a hidden gem in Barcelona It is now considered as a viewing platform by many but it was once part of the anti-aircraft battery that was used during the Spanish Civil War.
Those of you who enjoy a good Christmas market will love the various markets dotted around the city. For example, the Fira de Santa Llúcia is the market around the Gothic cathedral close to the city centre and there is the Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Familia from where you can see the unfinished Catholic church, designed by Antoni Gaudí.
You won’t be able to take transport up to the top here. Instead, you can get the metro to Alfons X and walk 30 minutes from here or you could get the bus from the city centre and take you closer to the top where you will have to walk around 10 minutes. The outstanding view of the city is best at sunrise, however, if you and your partner can’t face getting up that early you can head there for sunset instead. With a panoramic view of the city behind you, pop the question to your other half to make it a moment to remember. See photos from a wedding photographer who captured a beautiful moment here.
Mont Chèry, Val d’Isère, France
The traditional choice of winter break for couples is skiing – Val D’Isère has a ski season which stretches from November to May. There are jaw-dropping views aplenty as you head to the top of the slopes and are surrounded by outstanding views of the mountains. But, for a proposal, you might want to head somewhere warmer where you can enjoy meal and drinks with your other half. One place to do this is at La Grande Ourse, a restaurant situated on Mont Chèry. They offer an authentic fine dining experience where you can get your own personal chauffeur to take you up the mountain in a Kassböhrer (a specialised snow trailer). Here, you can be met with views from an altitude of 1725m and enjoy a five-course meal in the restaurant — a memorable place to get on one knee.
This destination is extremely popular with holidaymakers from the UK. Part of their popularity lies in their differing slopes — there are pistes for all abilities and if your other half discovers that skiing is not for them you can head to La Folie Douce (the famous après-ski bar).
The Dome, Victoria Square, Belfast
Belfast city is renowned for its impressive offering of Christmas markets. In Belfast itself, you are not far from more breath-taking views either. Take a trip to the northern coast of Ireland where you can cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge with your loved one or retrace the steps of a giant at the causeway. You can visit The Dark Hedges nearby too — a romantic passageway of intertwined trees that were planted in the 18th century and featured on popular TV show, Game of Thrones. Make sure to wrap up though as it’s likely to be chilly here in December!
For a truly magical proposal spot, try taking a trip to the top of Victoria Square. Here you will find the Dome. Pop the question here for 360-degree views of Belfast as a backdrop, featuring the Prince Albert Clock and Scrabo Tower.
Grotta Lighthouse, Reykjavik
Reykjavik is quickly becoming one of the most popular locations for a winter getaway – it’s popular with people of all ages and the stunning scenery makes it a great place for romance. It’s an ideal place to visit with your other half and offers the perfect balance between beautiful landscapes and quirky bars and restaurants.
For a truly unforgettable experience, you can’t go wrong with a heartfelt proposal under the Northern lights. The best time to see the lights is from October to March when the sky is clearer so they should be visible on your Christmas trip. You don’t have to book an excursion to see the lights and can often be seen at Grotta lighthouse which is situated outside of downtown Reykjavic where light pollution is low. You can walk here but if you have hired a car, due to the cold temperatures, it could be best to drive to the spot. For a romantic proposal, pop the question outdoors with the lights dancing behind you or for a more private setting, ask the question in the warmth of your car.
Petřín Hill, Prague
Prague is well-established as one of the best destinations in Europe for hen and stag nights, meaning that as a romantic location, it’s often overlooked. However, there are many sights to see in Prague that don’t involve the local pubs and one of these is Petřín Hill. The hill is surrounded by gardens and you can take a funicular to the top that departs from Ujezd Street in the Malá Strana.
On top of the hill, there is an observation tower, designed to be a mini version of the Parisian Eiffel Tower where you must climb 299 steps to reach the top to be rewarded with the 360-degree views. You could pop the question in any of the beautifully landscaped gardens or head to a restaurant in Petřín park such as Nebozizek, which overlooks the Old Town, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and Vltava River.
Of course, there are many other festive activities for you to enjoy in Iceland. You could head to Hafnarfjörður which is around a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Reykjavik to see the Christmas village — complete with handicrafts and live music.
Windemere, The Lake District, UK
The Lake District is one of the most romantic and inspiring places in the UK – and for good reason. With rolling countryside, spectacular mountain views and a range of romantic walking spots, this national park has earned its status as the country’s most popular place of natural beauty. Cumbria is renowned for its wild and emotive scenery, long regarded by poets and great thinkers as an inspirational place of romance and beauty. There are plenty of romantic hotels in Cumbria to choose from too, from luxury boutiques to cosy little cottages.
While it may be cold around Christmas time, don’t let that put you off getting outdoors – there are many opportunities for romantic walks followed by a warming pint or two in one of the regions many pubs and eateries.