When it comes to popping the question, most of us have some idea of where we might do it. We might have imagined hundreds of romantic scenarios involving hiding the ring in some restaurant dessert (classic) or saying it with skywriting (for the hugely ambitious among us). And then there are those who prefer spontaneity over a large-scale planned proposal.
Whether you’ve been working on an epic proposal plan for a while now or are planning to simply find the best opportunity, both means are a pretty romantic way to propose. Something that can always help along the way is a great setting. Getting down on one knee at home or in your local hangout is cute and all, but if you’re looking to add a bit of oomph to your proposal, doing it on holiday can make for a pretty amazing story!
If you’re planning to pop the question to your better half pretty soon and you happen to be taking a trip to one of these destinations, then congratulations, you already have one heck of a gorgeous backdrop. All that’s left is for them to say yes (no pressure!). We’ve rounded up 20 of the most stunning locations on the planet that will put the icing on your proposal cake. You’re welcome...
20 The London Eye, UK
Sharing a stunning view together is a pretty special thing wherever you go, whether it’s at the park on a sunny afternoon or looking out to sea at sunset. But taking in the view of an entire city below you is something to make your knees weak (in more ways than one!).
As long as you’re confident that your partner doesn’t suffer from a fear of heights, why not take them on the famous London Eye Ferris wheel?
Now, you might be thinking that a sky-high proposal could be just as achievable on a building rooftop (maybe even the roof of your own apartment building, in fact), but the great thing about riding the London Eye is that the two of you need not share your view with over camera-happy tourists. You can hire a capsule all to yourselves if you wish. It’s known as the cupid’s capsule with roses, chocolates, and champagne included in the price. Cor, blimey!
19 Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
Paris may well be one of the most cliché destinations of choice when it comes to popping the question, but there’s a reason why so many couples choose to rendezvous in the City of Light year after year. Paris has and will always possess that dreamlike atmosphere we only feel when watching old movies or sipping wine on the terrace on a hot summer’s night.
If you like the idea of proposing to your other half in the most romantic city but wish to sidestep the tired Parisian cliches, avoid sharing your special moment with throngs of tourists beneath the Eiffel Tower or the River Seine and drink it all in at once with a balcony meal for two at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. An intimate dinner with the Tower lit up in the distance away from loud tourists groups? C’est Magnifique!
18 Mosquito Bay, Puerto Rico
What’s infinitely cooler than a regular beach proposal? A beach proposal that’s lit up like the night sky, of course! Now, right off the bat, a place that calls itself ‘Mosquito Bay’ doesn’t sound like it would make the most romantic spot, but thankfully, the bay is not named after the irritating pests. Mosquito Bay is actually named after a pirate’s ship belonging to a Robin Hood-type figure and the bioluminescent plankton that dwell beneath light up the night.
If you’re not a fan of the conventional dinner by candlelight routine when proposing, might we suggest a beach with its own natural light shimmering across the water?
Even when the moon isn’t full, these beautiful critters can provide more than enough ambiance for your special moment.
17 Bow Bridge In Central Park, New York
When you get caught between the park in New York City, there’s nothing you can do but propose. Okay, so that may not be true for everybody, but central park in the Big Apple is certainly full of romantic spots for dates and even weddings, so it’s no wonder why so many people have chosen this place to take that first big step and pop the question too, specifically at Bow Bridge.
Located slap bang in the middle of the park, the beautiful Bow Bridge has almost a fairy tale quality to it. With lake rowboats in the background and pretty trees and flowers blooming all around, it’d be pretty hard not to be mesmerized by this gorgeous setting. And you have a guaranteed gorgeous scenery all year round. Whether you choose a winter backdrop or a colorful fall atmosphere, a proposal by Bow Bridge can’t not look romantic.
16 Fern Grotto, Hawaii
The adorable Fern Grotto located on the Wailua River in Hawaii isn’t just a pretty sight. The way the stone cavern was formed to create this cute little nook lends an acoustic advantage to the spot. Because of this, live bands are often hired to perform for weddings and other special occasions. (You thinking what we’re thinking?)
If it were within your budget–or maybe if you dabbled a tad with guitar playing yourself–imagine how sweet a surprise this would be for your loved one.
Whether or not you had any music planned for your special moment, this cozy little nook has such a romantic vibe to it already. The hanging ferns, the nearby waterfall—this is the stuff that proposals are made of, right?
15 Victoria Falls, Zambia
From dainty grotto waterfalls like the kind in Hawaii’s Fern Grotto location to the genuine article—Victoria Falls in Zambia. This glorious natural wonder is the largest waterfall in the world so if you’re in search of that extra grand backdrop to your proposal moment, you can’t really get much more epic than this.
Visit one of the seven wonders of the world with your sweetheart and ask them that all-important question all in the same afternoon. Does a day get any better than that? The dramatic sounds of nature in all its glory and the surrounding mist already make this the picture perfect location for a proposal. But if you want to make things extra special, the nearby Tongabezi Lodge can arrange a boat ride to see the falls like never before.
14 Quebec City, Canada
The main element of a great proposal destination is that it must offer total escapism. We got you covered here. When it comes to getting away from it all, the quaint and otherworldly charm of Quebec City in Canada is a pretty good candidate.
Old Quebec is made up of charming little cobblestone streets and historic buildings and shop fronts as far as the eyes can see.
Most of the time, the city resembles a postcard snapshot of a European village in the 17th century, and during the winter season, it doesn’t look entirely dissimilar from Bedford Falls in It’s a Wonderful Life. In fact, the festive season is possibly when Quebec looks its most enchanting, so if you’re in the mood for a Christmas engagement, snuggle up with your partner in the city’s famous Ice Hotel and create the kind of trip you’ll never forget.
13 Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Calling all you adrenaline junkies and outdoor-loving couples, Colorado’s Rocky Mountains set the perfect scene for an unforgettable day of romantic views and incredible wildlife as you traverse through valleys and streams together in this, God’s own country. The Rockies have many walks and peak climbs to explore, but
the more adventurous couples might like to try and attempt ‘The Diamond’ (before popping the question with one, perhaps?).
At 14,000 ft high, The Diamond is the king of all alpine rock routes in The Rocky Mountain National Park and is certainly one of the most intimidating alpine walls in the world. But for the couple who can brave it, the view from this bad boy can make one hell of a proposal spot. Certainly puts the restaurant cake trick into perspective...
12 Juliet’s Balcony, Verona
For the ultimate in iconic proposals, why not do as literature’s favorite star-crossed lovers and ask for your partner’s hand in marriage beneath Juliet’s Balcony in Verona? The Italian “love pilgrimage” known officially as Casa di Giulietta attracts swarms of tourists to the house every year. But judging by the numerous wedding photoshoots we’ve seen snapped here before, we’re sure that proposals are pretty commonplace too.
The idea of playing Romeo (or Juliet) as part of your proposal might sound a tad cheesy, but just think of how cute the photos will look in a scrapbook album. Not to mention what a great proposal story you’ll have to tell the grandkids. Taking the Shakespearean route might sound cliché to some, but if you’re the old-fashioned romantic type, we can’t think of anything better.
11 Ithaa Underwater Restaurant, The Maldives
If you like all the ambiance of an ocean proposal while dressed in something a little fancier than your beach clothes for your special moment, then underwater dining sounds like it could be more your speed. One of the best around is the Ithaa Undersea restaurant in the Maldives.
The restaurant situated on the Rangali island of the Maldives offers fine dining and a unique view without the unflattering and mood-killing scuba gear.
Some so-called ‘underwater’ restaurants and hotels out there may like to dress up a regular aquarium as a sub-aquatic experience, but this is the real deal and your other half won’t be able to help but be mesmerized by it all. And that’s even before the actual proposal gets underway! In a word, magical.
10 The Lake District, UK
The breathtaking hills and valleys that make up Britain’s Lake District are the surroundings that inspired Wordsworth, Keats, Lord Byron, and Shelley (aka the ‘Romantic poets’). With that in mind, how could you not consider this beautiful little part of the world when popping the question? Wordsworth let the beauty of nature inspire some of the best poetry to ever enter the English language, so why not let the lakes and streams be your guide to a romantic proposal?
If you’re more of a traditional hopeless romantic than the kind of person who’d hire a flash mob to give their partner a shock proposal, then getting down on bended knee in the English countryside sounds like just the ticket, old sport! You could even hire a rowboat if you want to go full Pride and Prejudice. Just make sure you stash the ring somewhere fairly safe...
9 Cappadocia, Turkey
The beautiful and unusual central region of Cappadocia in Turkey is home to a unique landscape of strange rock formations known as ‘fairy chimneys’. This name owes itself to the many clusters of tall cone-shaped rocks that make up the valley. This area is also home to what’s referred to as the ‘honeycomb hills’ because of all the tiny holes and cave dwellings that make up the scenery.
On foot, these geographical marvels are likely a strange thing to behold but to get the best out of Cappadocia, the view from above is also encouraged, particularly via a hot air balloon ride. From way up high, these bizarre rock formations take on an even dreamier quality, like you were living in some kind of surrealist painting. A beautiful balloon ride with a quirky twist? Sounds like a great proposal idea to us!
8 Mayan Ruins, Mexico
Cityscapes and infinity pools are all well and good, but sometimes, nothing can be more romantic than a dramatic historical site to take your breath away. Plus, maybe it’s just us, but we think there’s something quite nice about appreciating a significant natural wonder of the past while celebrating your future together. The natural wonder in question here are the Mayan Ruins of Tulum in Mexico.
This beautiful historical site is just one of many stunning spots across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, but we think this part in particular takes the cake for striking scenery.
The awe-inspiring pyramid temples and fortresses are surrounded by the Mayan jungle and the soft sandy beach beneath, making it an ideal spot for a memorable sunset (or sunrise) proposal.
7 Sitka, Alaska
This gorgeous part of Alaska was actually the setting for the 2009 film The Proposal, but this isn’t the only reason we’ve included it on the list! As you can see, the picturesque city of Sitka was made for a romantic getaway. Endless stretches of sparkling water? Check. Cozy secluded log cabins? Check. Ryan Reynolds? Sadly not. But the gorgeous mountain scenery is a definite feast for the eyes, so it’s all good.
Depending on what type of couple you are–adventurous, laid-back, sporty–being nestled beneath snow-capped mountains that overlook shimmering lakes mean that this place has something for almost every personality type. Fans of sightseeing can take in some extreme hiking and ride a seaplane for the best views of the city, whilst more chill couples can enjoy boat rides or simply drink in the lake front views from their B&B. Cozy!
6 Mystique Hotel, Santorini, Greece
Santorini is thought of as one of the most enchanting and picturesque of all the Greek islands, so if you were ever going to ask that all-important question in the country, we can’t recommend this beautiful spot enough. With its quaint views of blue and white churches dotted around the island and the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea stretching out endlessly ahead of you,
any corner of Santorini would make the perfect proposal setting.
If we were pressed for a specific place on the island, though, we’d have to mention the Mystique Hotel set at the top of the cliff-face. As its name suggests, the Mystique Hotel has a dreamlike quality to it, and with a 150-year-old wine cellar and secluded pools to take advantage of, watching the sunset together has never seemed more magical.
5 Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
You’ve likely already heard about Bora-Bora’s romantic reputation, but don’t take our word for it. The glorious island in the Western part of French Polynesia has actually been named the No.1 island for romance by New York’s Travel + Leisure magazine. And with stunning images like this, it’s not hard to see why. There’s something about Bora-Bora that looks too good to even be real, and if that doesn’t suggest the perfect proposing destination, then we’re not sure what does!
A paradise this surreal may not come cheap, but if you’re looking to make the ultimate statement when you pop the question and give your other half the romantic trip of a lifetime in the process, you can’t really be beaten for staying in a floating love hut surrounded by nothing but turquoise lagoons and colorful marine life. Bliss.
4 Ladera Hotel, St. Lucia
If you’re the kind of person who prefers the idea of a wholly private proposal over a public celebration at their favorite restaurant or something, then this beautiful corner of the world is pretty much perfect. The stunning Ledara Hotel in Soufriere, St. Lucia is the quintessential private spot as
it gives you the chance to feel like the only two people in the world (quite literally).
(Granted, this could turn out super awkward if they say no, but let’s assume you’re both in ‘that place’ before booking something like this!). This gorgeous lovers’ retreat boasts private plunge pools, cozy love seats, and a dreamy four-poster bed that all overlook the Caribbean and nearby Piton Mountains. Private horseback rides and candlelit dinners are some of the added extras on offer here too. Heavenly.
3 Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Is your other half crazy about Disney movies or just fairytale romances in general? If so, you probably can’t get any closer to a real-life Princess castle than this place. Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria could give all of the Disneyland resorts a run for their money combined—this epic château seems almost unreal in this day and age.
And in case you thought the castle only shared the appearance of a fairytale abode, then think again. Neuschwanstein even provides a special package to ensure that your partner’s dreams come true on the day. Want a private carriage? Done. Need roses and chocolates waiting for you on the coach seat while you explore the castle? Done. A tour guide may have to be with you, but the special package allows a 10-minute window of privacy. Just try and get the words out before your chaperone returns!
2 Hamilton Island, Australia
Australia has so many gorgeous proposal-worthy spots to offer that it’s hard to narrow it down to one, but we guess if we had to pick a place for pure secluded bliss and atmosphere, it would have to be the Hamilton Island resort on the Great Barrier Reef. As a couple, you can experience luxury with a capital L here. Infinity pools, gourmet picnics, and helicopter rides overlooking the world-famous Whitehaven beach? Yep, this is the life.
The great thing about proposing at Hamilton Island is that there are so many great ways to propose,
whether you choose to pop the question in the comfort of your private luxury hotel whilst taking a nature walk or even while parasailing or kayaking if you’re more of an adrenaline junkie kind of couple.
1 Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland
If a medieval castle sounds like your idea of romance, then the world-renowned Ashford Castle in Ireland could be the perfect venue for you. (And when we say medieval castle, think more Downton Abbey vibes than Game of Thrones!). The real Downton Abbey is actually filmed a few hundred miles west of Ireland in Hampshire, but unless you or your partner happen to be die-hard fans of the series, Ashford castle definitely has its charms too and caters far more to couples on a romantic break.
Situated in the Southern Irish village of Cong, this little gem of the Emerald isle dates back to the 13th century, complete with all the authentic and original décor in the castle’s five-star rooms. Want to share a glass of sherry by the fireplace after sharing a rowboat on the lake? If you don’t, we will!