Choosing where to propose can feel overwhelming. At first, your options can seem endless. Maybe you decide to confess your love in front of all your friends and family, or perhaps it’s just the two of you. Maybe you get down on one knee in the exact place you first met, or perhaps simply in the middle of your messy kitchen. Or, of course, you could go with one of the most popular proposal strategies: on your romantic vacation abroad. Proposals should be intimate, personal, and if possible, original, meaning you should probably avoid the most cliche places to propose around the world.
When deciding where to propose, the last thing you want is that last anxious glance around to be met with other people also getting down on one knee. So where can you propose while keeping it fresh? Here are the 10 most cliche places to propose around the world, and suggestions of where to go nearby instead that are just as romantic — but far more unique.
1. Eiffel Tower, Paris
The Eiffel Tower, and Paris in general, tops the list as one of the most cliche places to propose. Paris is, essentially, the definition of romance, so it’s no wonder you may consider the City of Love as the stage of your proposition. But don’t be surprised if countless others choose to confess their undying love under the same gaze of the Eiffel Tower, making it a bit less special.
The alternative: Montmartre, Paris
Montmartre may still be a bit of a tourist trap, but step away from the center and you can find dozens of hidden spots for the perfect proposal: leafy trees, cobblestone alleys, gorgeous views of Paris (including Eiffel, herself). Besides, Montmartre is considered one of the most picturesque areas of the city, so you still get the romance vibe with a bit more privacy. Here, you can still “always have Paris”, but without the cliche.
2. Empire State Building, New York City
New York City is Paris’ biggest rival, exuding a nighttime allure of twinkling city lights sprawled out in front of you. But the observation deck of the Empire State Building will be swarming with couples reenacting the end scene of Sleepless in Seattle, making proposing there feel decidedly tacky if you aren’t a rom-com buff. Plus it’s incredibly windy up there, which won’t make for a good photo op.
The alternative: The High Line, New York City
Why ogle the skyline from above when you can literally be a part of it? The verdant High Line lets you walk amongst Gotham’s giants. And although you’ll find other viewpoint enthusiasts, you can count on a little more peace and quiet, and originality. Tip: go at dusk for that beautiful golden hour glow.
3. Central Park, New York City
And since we’re on the subject of NYC, let’s bring up Central Park. Yes, it’s gorgeous, it’s the setting of many rom-coms and romantic ballads, and it’ll steal your heart as you stroll hand-in-hand, locking eyes with your one-and-only — eye-roll-worthy much? Central Park is definitely one of the more cheesy places to propose in the city.
The alternative: Prospect Park, New York City
Prospect Park, Brooklyn, was designed by the same person as Central Park. Although it’s not quite as grand or famous, it’ll give you the urban green space vibes you’re looking for with fewer people around — plus there’s a lake you can ice skate on in the winter that’s far less populated than Central Park’s.
4. Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara is a hotbed for weddings, and perhaps it’s the incredible roar of the falls that gives you those romantic tingles. But it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t be the only ones celebrating love. Plus, there are too many magnificent waterfalls to settle on such an obvious choice.
The alternative: Gullfoss Falls, Iceland
Although Iceland is a popular destination at the moment, it’s still a fairly unique place to travel to for a proposal that’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from Canada. If you’re looking for a powerful cascade, one with accessibility and incredible views, then Gullfoss is a perfect alternative.
5. In a hot air balloon over your boring hometown
I honestly think a proposal in a hot air balloon would be incredibly romantic, especially considering the fact that these rides include a glow-induced sunrise and sunset liftoff. It can certainly be more private, with just you, your sweetie, and the individual in charge of your personal safety. But why pay all that money to get sweeping views of flatlands or the suburbs where you currently live?
The alternative: Cappadocia, Turkey
Trade in the local hot air balloon field in middle-of-nowhere USA for being surrounded by them in one of the most mesmerizing places on earth, with its distinctive chimney rocks that look like the surface of another planet. You’ll score the pink tones and the romance of the balloons, but also the magical Turkish landscape.
Despite its carefree vibes and the child-like romance of the Disney Castle at night, the crowds and the cost should be the first thing to deter you. Also, no one likes adults that want to have couples brunch with Prince Charming and Cinderella.
The alternative: Lakeside Amusement Park, Denver
Get a little vintage by popping the question at the “Coney Island of the West,” Lakeside Amusement Park. You can still get all the childlike glee here, but with the hipster vibes of red-striped Tilt-a-Whirl cars and a 1908 carousel. I mean, even the bathrooms feel like a Wes Anderson movie. Talk about originality.
7. The London Eye, London
The rush of riding one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheels, and gazing down at one of the world’s most iconic cities, will give you all the feels. That said, I hope the crowds, the wait, and the cost deters you from falling for one of the most cliche places in London to propose. Plus it’s kind of awkward to propose at the top, and still have about a half hour ride to the bottom stuck in a capsule with strangers… There are so many other, far more romantic places in the city.
The alternative: Side streets of Kensington, London
The London Eye may feel like the most iconic thing to do, but what can possibly be more British than an adorable, color-cladded mew in Kensington, one of the city’s most picturesque neighborhoods? Your soulmate will never forget the moment you put a ring on it amongst pastel facades and twisting ivy.
8. A gondola in Venice
It’s scenic, I’ll give you that. Meandering Venice’s canals in a gondola, your gondolier donned in stripes will certainly feel like a fairytale… until you bump side-by-side with dozens of other tourists.
The alternative: Alberoni Beach, Venice Lido
If you are headstrong about proposing in Venice, swap a gondola for a ferry and Alberoni Beach, located at the end of Lido. Stroll away from the masses and find privacy amongst the beach grass and sand dunes.
9. Trevi Fountain, Rome
Exploring Rome’s twisting streets, sampling gelato, and listening to wafting street music is pure romance. But one turn into Trevi Fountain and your jaw will drop as you take in the crowds. Lucky you, Rome is a city of fountains, so you don’t have to drop to one knee at this tourist hotspot and risk being trampled.
The alternative: Paola Water Fountain, Rome
It’s no Trevi, but this fountain sits at the base of a beautiful church high atop Janiculum Hill. Not only do you get a little more privacy, but the city views alone are worth it.
10. Las Vegas
Considering that Las Vegas is the place where the highly imbibed can tie the knot whilst gambling, I think we can easily label it as one of the most overrated places to propose. Do you really want Elvis impersonators in the background of your proposal snapshot?
The alternative: Monaco
You’ll still achieve all the glitz and glam of Vegas, but with a bit more class.Monaco has the vibrancy of both French and Italian cultures. Yes, it’s expensive, but there are many private beaches on the train ride between Monaco and Antibes which are affordable and exude southern French charm.