10 Breathtaking views in Europe — for free!

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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

Rome View

Climb up Capitoline Hill for a great view of Rome. Photo: Mike

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.

Reichstag View

Score free tickets to the Reichstag in Berlin. Photo: Mariano

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).

Mount Lycabettus

Mount Lycabettus looming over Athens. Photo: Marc

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.

Arthur's Seat

Take a hike up Arthur’s Seat to get a good look at Edinburgh. Photo: Alex D

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.

Montjuic Cemetery

The view from Montjuïc Cemetery is worth the trek. Photo: Barcelone

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

Find a bench and soak in the view. Photo: Dun.can

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

Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara

Stroll through these beautiful gardens for a stunning view of Lisbon. Photo: Jorge

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

Copenhagen Tower

Looking out over Copenhagen from the tower. Photo: magro

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.

Amsterdam Library

Grab a seat and enjoy the view from the Amsterdam library. Photo: Ellen F.

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.

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