Two years ago, a survey questioned 10,000 people about which was the best day of the year to propose to their respective partners and unsurprisingly Christmas Eve came out top. The reasons for this day topping the list was that Christmas Eve seems to be a ‘magical’ and ‘memorable’ day and is also a day in the year that families tend to be together. Weekends in the run up to Christmas were also high on people’s list.
Christmas is also the one time of the year that most people take an extended time off work and so it’s the perfect time for couples to get away and enjoy the festivities in foreign cities, be it the Christmas markets in Germany or the romance of the snow in Lapland. Therefore, if you were to find yourself in any of the following destinations, where would the perfect backdrop be for that proposal? Well Angelic Diamonds reveal their favourite spots in Europe.
Petřín Hill, Prague
Prague is a popular destination for many people and whilst the city used to have a reputation for lively Stag Parties, that is no longer the case. However, Prague still enjoys a lively nightlife but if you are looking for something that does not involve the local bars and Czech beer, then you might like to consider a visit to Petřín Hill.
This point is in the middle of beautiful 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 have to climb 299 steps to reach the top to be rewarded with magnificent 360-degree views of the city. You could make your proposal in any of the beautiful landscaped gardens or head to a restaurant in Petřín Park, such as Nebozizek which overlooks the Old Town, Prague Castle, the pretty Charles Bridge and Vltava River.
Los Bunkers del Carmel, Barcelona
There is no doubt that Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, but Los Bunkers del Carmel is a part of the city that most tourists don’t always know about. It is now considered a popular viewing platform by those in the know, but it was in fact once part of the anti-aircraft battery that was used during the Spanish Civil War.
There is no direct local transport that takes you to the very top. But you can get the Metro to Alfons X and walk half an hour from here or you could get the bus from the city centre which takes you closer to the top where you will have to walk around 10 minutes. The outstanding view of the city is best seen at sunrise. However, if you and your partner can’t face getting up that early you can always head there and watch the 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. You can see a selection of photographs from a wedding photographer who captured the beautiful moment by clicking here.
You’re not that far from the Christmas markets either. 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.
Mont Chèry, Val d’Isère, France
For those of you who love to ski in the Alps then how about a trip to the French Alps and the high resort of Val D’Isère for your proposal? The resort enjoys a particularly long season from the end of November through to the first week in May thanks to its high altitude. In fact, more Brits choose to take their annual skiing holiday here than anywhere else in the world. With so many differing slopes, there are pistes for all abilities and if your other half discovers that skiing is not for them, then you can always head to La Folie Douce, the famous après-ski bar.
You are never far from jaw-dropping views in Val D’Isère either as you head to the top of the slopes where you’re surrounded by outstanding views of the mountains around you. But for a proposal, you might want to head somewhere warmer where you can enjoy a meal and drinks with your other half. One such place is at La Grande Ourse, a restaurant situated on Mont Chèry. It offers 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 will be surrounded with views from an altitude of 1725m and enjoy a five-course meal in the restaurant and a most memorable and magical place to get on one knee and ask the question.
Grotta Lighthouse, Reykjavik
Reykjavik has become an increasingly popular place to visit in the last 10 years and the perfect romantic place to visit with your other half, offering the perfect balance between beautiful landscapes and quirky bars and restaurants.
A memorable backdrop for a proposal would certainly be the Northern Lights visible from Iceland. The best time to see the lights is sometime between October to March when the sky is clearer, so they should be visible on your Christmas escape. You don’t have to book an excursion to see the lights and the phenomenon 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, you could of course pop the question in the warmth of your car.
You won’t be short of other activities to keep you busy. You might like to head to Hafnarfjörður for example, which is around a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Reykjavik to see the Christmas village complete with handicrafts and live music.
The Dome, Victoria Square, Belfast
The Belfast Christmas markets have become extremely popular in recent years and are located in the grounds of the City Hall. If you are in search of an impressive proposal spot, you could head to the top of Victoria Square in the city centre where you will find The Dome. Pop the question here and take in the 360-degree views of Belfast as a beautiful backdrop, featuring the Prince Albert Clock and Scrabo Tower.
You don’t need to travel far for another amazing view, either. Why not 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, which is a romantic passageway of intertwined trees that were planted in the 18th century and featured on popular TV show, Game of Thrones. Make sure you wrap up warm though, as it’s likely to be rather chilly here in December.