Whether you’re in Berlin, Lisbon or Paris, chances are high that there is a monument visitors flock to for sweeping views of the city and beyond.
And sure, you’re always welcome to shell out a few euros to climb the stairs or hop an elevator for a bird’s eye perspective. But why would you when in most cases there’s a free option that’s just as good or even better?
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Are you ready to soak in the spectacular views of Europe at no cost? Read on for our top tips on places to get a higher perspective in cities across Europe.
1. Paris: Parc de Belleville
For sweeping panoramas and some peace and quiet for a picnic, head to this 20th arrondissement park. Once you get there, climb to the summit of Paris’s highest park where there’s a 30-meter tall terrace. If you’re short on time, another great place for free vistas of the City of Lights are the steps of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.
Related: 9 Budget hotels in Paris packed with old-world charm
2. Rome: Capitoline Hill
In the city of the seven hills, there are views all around when you visit Rome. For one of the best vistas at zero cost, we recommend Piazzale Caffarelli on Capitoline Hill. If you’re up for some refreshment, head to Terraza Caffarelli.
3. Berlin: The Reichstag
Not enthused about climbing up somewhere to get a bird’s eye view? Berlin’s got just the ticket. Visitors to the city can hop an elevator to the top of the German Parliament building, free of charge. There’s one catch though — you absolutely — must reserve in advance online (no phone calls).
4. Athens: Mount Lycabettus
Want to see the Acropolis from a distance in Athens? Climb up the highest hill in town, Mount Lycabettus. Standing at 277 meters above sea level, this is the best spot in town for watching the sunset or even spotting the Aegean Sea on a clear day. There’s a café in the vicinity, but prices are as high as the altitude, so you may want to bring your own food and drink.
5. Edinburgh: Arthur’s Seat
Believe it or not, this large hill in Edinburgh, thought to be one of the possible locations for King Arthur’s Camelot, is actually an ancient volcano. While you can hike up it from pretty much any direction you desire, locals advise taking the easy route from the east side straight on up to the top. Note that rock-climbing of any kind requires a permit.
6. Barcelona: MontjuÏc Cemetery
Barcelona’s most famous city of the dead has more to offer than the wildly creative funerary art — it also has sweeping vistas of the city and beyond. To get there you can either take the hour-long walk to the top from Plaça Espanya or hop the buses 107 or 125.
Related: 7 Tips for saving on your hotel in Barcelona
7. London: Parliament Hill
This 98-meter high hill was once attached to a manor given to Henry II’s butler. Today it is part of Hampstead Heath, one the most popular parks in London. From up on Parliament Hill, snap a few shots of the London skyline, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the famous Gherkin building.
Related: The 5 Best cheap hotels in London
8. Lisbon: Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
Walk uphill from Chiado and find your way to this garden overlooking Baixa for panoramas of all of Lisbon, including views of its iconic castle, St. George’s. While you’re there, explore the garden itself with its classical statues of heroes and gods from Greek and Roman mythology.
Related: 10 Ways to save on a trip to Portugal
9. Copenhagen: The Tower at Christianborg Palace
See Copenhagen from an entirely different vantage point for free. Stroll through The King’s Gate near Palace Square and take the elevator to the top of the city’s tallest tower. You may have to wait in line, especially during high season, but it’s worth the wait to look down on the rooftops of the entire city free of charge. Just be advised that Tårnet, the restaurant at the top, is pretty spendy and probably best avoided by folks on a budget.
10. Amsterdam: Openbare Bibliotheek
East of Amsterdam Central Station, the largest library in the Netherlands is home to more than a massive collection of books. The top floor at Openbare Bibliotheek is the best spot in town to see the Dutch capital from a higher perspective. There’s even a restaurant with a terrace if you prefer to take in the views from outside.
Related: The 10 Best cheap hotels in Amsterdam
Do you have a favorite spot to enjoy a view of Europe for free? Tell us in the comments below.