Few things in life are better than walking onto the balcony of your hotel room or gazing out its window and seeing a truly iconic, jaw-dropping view of one of Europe’s grandest cities. When you’re planning your next European adventure, these eight hotels are sure to please; not only do they offer luxurious accommodations and enticing, world-class food and drink, but they also boast some of the most envy-inducing views on the continent. Because everything is better with a view.
Hotel Adlon Kempinski
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
The historic, bullet-ridden walls of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate are mere steps away from the Hotel Adlon, just across the Pariser Platz. The Adlon first opened in the early 1900s, but bullets also marred the hotel’s walls during the end of World War II. The property was rebuilt in the 1990s, and the resulting masterpiece has undergone several rounds of expansions since. The famed gate is particularly stunning when lit up in the evening.
The Duomo and the City of Florence
Florence is renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. You could climb up to the Piazzale Michelangelo, along the southern bank of the Arno, to catch a glimpse of its grandeur; or better still, book a stay at the Il Salviatino, a restored 15th-century private villa set in the hills northeast of the historic city center. Start your day with the hotel’s delightful breakfast spread while taking in an expansive, unparalleled view of the city below. After a day of exploring, return to the two-tiered swimming pool, which, hidden by cyprus trees, offers a slice of Tuscan serenity.
Lake Geneva and the Jet d’Eau
Geneva’s famous fountain, Jet d’Eau, proudly soars 460 feet above its eponymous lake. The fountain has been located near the western tip of the lake for over 125 years (after a slight relocation just five years after it was initially built), and one of the best places to view the display is at the Hotel Le Richemond, a five-star lakefront hotel. Enjoy an indulgent, modern French meal at the hotel’s Le Jardin, walk it off with a stroll around the lake, and return to your room to soak up the splendor of Switzerland’s international hub from your window.
Dubrovnik’s City Walls
You’ll undoubtedly walk the city walls of Dubrovnik, which enclose its old city and its endless orange-tiled roofs, while visiting it, but your best bet for viewing the imposing fortified structure in its entirety is a stay at the chic Hotel Villa Dubrovnik. The property is a 15-minute walk from the old city’s eastern entrance, the Gate of Ploče, but why walk when you could hop aboard the Villa Dubrovnik’s private boat for a quick ride into town? Truth be told, you may never leave the property at all, given the otherworldly sunsets you’ll also see from your balcony.
Buda Castle in Budapest
The Buda Castle is perhaps one of Europe’s most underappreciated gems. The massive castle was first built in the 1200s and has been destroyed, refurbished, and repurposed on multiple occasions since. Today, the majestic landmark rests peacefully atop Castle Hill in Budapest. Directly across the Danube on the original Pest side of the city is the InterContinental Budapest. Stay here, and you’ll be in prime position to appreciate the site. Have a few rounds of high-end Hungarian pálinka at the hotel's Corso Bar and just try to stop yourself from gawking at this utterly captivating Old World marvel.
The Acropolis in Athens
It may seem like it’s hard to escape an omnipresent view of the Parthenon and Acropolis while touring the ancient city of Athens. But enjoying such a view away from the endless tourist hustle and bustle is another thing entirely. Your escape plan is a beeline to the Hotel Grande Bretagne on Syntagma Square at the northeastern edge of the National Garden. From your perch atop the hotel’s roof garden, a glass of Greek wine in hand, you’ll gain an entirely new and awesome perspective of the Acropolis as it juts above the sprawling city.
Nyhavn in Copenhagen
The line of colorful canal-front homes in Copenhagen’s Nyhavn neighborhood is one of the most picturesque sites in the Danish capital. The area was originally a commercial port and has become a lively gathering place lined with bars and restaurants. The five-star Hotel d’Angleterre is a stone’s throw away and offers a unique mix of history: The hotel dates to 1755, but the best of the luxurious modern accommodations were added after a 2013 renovation. In a city known for its cuisine, you’ll be pleased to find the Michelin-starred Marchal on site, not to mention a separate, swanky champagne bar, Balthazar, with a selection of 160 sparkling varieties.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris
Finding a hotel room in Paris with an actual view of the Eiffel Tower is easier said than done. Stop your search with the Plaza Athénée. Located along Avenue Montaigne in the eighth arrondissement, the five-star hotel’s location gives you a nearly straight shot at the Eiffel Tower, perhaps half a mile away and across the Seine. Step onto your balcony here and, whether you’re watching the tower’s nightly light show or gazing at its glory in the daytime, you’ll be reveling in the definition of an iconic European view.