Whether you're on a city break with your significant other or spending a week on the beach together, chances are that finding a beautiful view or two is on your to-do list. But how to tell the hidden gems from the tourist traps? From spectacular sunrise spots to secluded places where you can watch the sun set far from the madding crowds, we've pulled together a list of the most romantic views in Europe. 

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Here are the best activities for a couples' holiday in Europe.

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Durdle Door, Dorset

Durdle Door, Dorset
The Milky Way over Durdle Door / Image: Adobe Stock

Granted, it may not have the most romantic of monikers, but at over 10,000 years old, this hulking limestone arch is a card-carrying landmark of England’s south coast, and makes for mightily impressive viewing, from any angle you care to gaze at it from. It’s also part of the mega-wonderful Jurassic Coast (England’s first and only natural World Heritage Site, UNESCO fact fans), meaning you can factor-in a romantic stroll (or full-on hike if you’re an active) before or after your Durdle Door viewing.

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Pont des Arts, Paris

Pont des Arts, Paris
Lock-in to the lovely view from the Pont des Arts, Paris / Image: Adobe Stock

The City of Love isn’t short of romantic spots, and the Pont Des Arts might be the most rose-tinted of all. The bridge spanning the Seine is covered in padlocks placed there by lovers as a pledge of undying affection. Since 2020 it’s been forbidden to place one yourself (boo), but it’s still a beautiful place to stop and admire the view of the river and the rest of the city. Once you’ve taken it in, make your­­ way to Shakespeare and Company on the Left Bank: Paris’s world famous, higgledy-piggeldy English-language bookshop, piled high with beautiful volumes, is the stuff romantic comedies are made of.

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The Prater Riesenrad, Vienna

The Prater Riesenrad, Vienna
Vienna's grand dame ferris wheel will send you spinning / Image: Adobe Stock

The Prater Riesenrad – Vienna’s iconic giant ferris wheel, built in 1897 to mark Franz Joseph’s ascension to the throne – might be best-known for its appearance in 1949 noir film The Third Man, but it lends itself just as well to romance. Floating 65 metres above the Prater amusement park in one of its cabins, you’ll be able to admire the splendour of the whole city, including the Danube and the Vienna Woods. An ordinary ride only lasts for 15 minutes, but you can extend things by booking dinner for two on board – with enough forward-planning, it’s even possible to get married at the top of the wheel.

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Es Vedrà, Ibiza

Es Vedrà, Ibiza
You'll be drawn to Es Vedrà one way or another / Image: Adobe Stock

Ignore its hard-partying reputation: so much of Ibiza is remarkably beautiful and unspoilt, and makes the perfect backdrop to a romantic getaway. Away from the superclubs off the southwest coast is Es Vedrà, a 400-metre rocky outcrop rising from the sea which, according to legend, is one of the Earth’s most magnetic points. Watching the sun setting over it is nothing short of extraordinary. If you’d like to experience the magic for yourselves, you have several options: Cala d’Hort beach offers wonderful views, as does the clifftop restaurant Es Bolado just above.

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Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini
Tilt at this beautiful scene, why don't you? / Image: Adobe Stock

With its pretty, whitewashed dwellings, volcanic beaches and clear blue waters, Santorini as a whole is pure picture-postcard perfection. Thanks to the island’s crater formation you’ll be spoilt for choice for romantic views there, but sunset at Oia – pronounced ee-ah – on the northwest side of the island takes some beating. The castle is the most popular spot to watch the sun sinking into the Aegean, but it gets crowded; the three-dome church, Agios Ioannis (the ‘Yellow Chapel’) or Ammoudi, a fishing village with several lovely tavernas in the foothills of Oia, are rather more romantic alternatives.

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Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin

Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin
Eyeing up the architectural splendour across Charlottenburg's lake / Image: Adobe Stock

The grounds of the Rococo Schloss Charlottenburg, a former royal summer residence, are top of the must-see list for a reason: this English-style landscaped park is a beautifully peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Berlin. With lush greenery, billowing floral displays, a lake and the Disney-esque castle as a backdrop, there’s so much to see on a romantic stroll – keep an eye out for the Belvedere tea house, and the Neuer Pavillon, which was based on a Neapolitan villa. If you time your visit right you might even catch a concert in the Orangery.

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The Harbour, Hydra

The Harbour, Hydra
Hydra's harbour is a perfect place to catch a sunset and channel the spirit of Cohen / Image: Adobe Stock

Leonard Cohen spent much of his time here when he lived on Hydra, sitting outside one of the small, pretty cafés that line the crescent-shaped harbour. That was 60 years ago, but the island has hardly changed since, and it still feels romantically unspoilt: there are no cars and the interior is still appealingly wild. Follow in Cohen and his lover Marianne Ihlen’s footsteps and while away a couple of hours with a Greek iced coffee – strong and sweet – watching the boats come and go and the donkeys clip-clopping across the cobbles. 

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The Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

The Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence
Florence spreads out below the Piazzale Michelangelo / Image: Adobe Stock

The Florentine panorama to end all panoramas, this. Atop a hill on the Arno River’s south bank, a little to the east of Florence’s centre, is the Piazzale Michelangelo – architect Giuseppe Poggi built this terrace in the 19th century, in honour of the artist from whom it takes its name (there’s a bronze replica of Michelangelo's David on display). Whatever time of day you visit, the view of the whole city and the misty hills beyond is stunning, and well worth the climb to the top of the steps. Savour the moment, and each other’s company. 

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Terrazza Danieli, Venice

Terrazza Danieli, Venice
The Lido's languid waters, as seen from Terrazza Danieli / Image: Hotel Danieli/Restaurant Terrazza Danieli

Really, Venice is one giant romantic view: from the panoramas visible at the top of the bell tower at San Giorgio Maggiore to the colourful island of Burano, breathtaking vistas abound. To properly enjoy one of the best, make a reservation at Terrazza Danieli, a rooftop bar and restaurant at the top of the five-star Hotel Danieli with magical views of the lagoon. Flickering candles, white tablecloths and a fabulous aperitivi menu complete the picture – and it’s just a short walk from St Mark’s Square.  

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Lake Trasimeno, Umbria

Lake Trasimeno, Umbria
A private boat ride on Umbria's Lake Trasimeno is a magical experience / Image: Adobe Stock

It might not be as famous as Maggiore, Como or Garda, but Lake Trasimeno, which you’ll find in Umbria on the border with Tuscany, is every bit as gorgeous. Its shores are speckled with medieval walled towns and picturesque fishing villages, and its islands feel like lost worlds. The best way to take it all in is from the water, on a romantic boat ride: a half-day trip with your own skipper on a private vessel feels really special. Make sure you stop at Castiglione del Lago, one of Italy’s most beautiful towns, in the southwest corner.

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The Viniční Altán vineyard garden, Prague

The Viniční Altán vineyard garden, Prague
The Viniční Altán, Prague / Image: Alamy

If you’re after somewhere both special and off the beaten track in Prague to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, look no further. Just outside the centre of the Czech capital is the hilltop ‘wine garden’ of Viniční Altán, with its serene views over the south of the city. Said to be the city’s oldest (it was founded by Emperor Charles IV in the 14th century), its centrepiece is a beautiful wooden gazebo amid the vines – a wonderful spot to enjoy a glass of local white or red wine, or one of the tasting flights you can arrange in advance.

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