The word sunset connotates feelings of warmth, relaxation, happiness and of course romance. Sunsets have been voted more romantic than a candlelit dinner. Indeed, watching nature’s dance of colours in the sky with your arm around the person you love is a very romantic date.
The question now is where to watch the sun go down. Do you prefer being amongst nature watching the ball of fire set by a lake? Maybe you are a sporty couple and appreciate a hike to get the best view of the sunset. Perhaps you are on a city break and would just like to stroll to a spot and enjoy a romantic sunset walk. Whatever your preference here is a list of 10 romantic sunsets to visit with your partner.
Hangzhou is a city full of romantic myths and legends, the sunset by Hangzhou’s West Lake is a wonderful site. Marco Polo exclaimed, “it is without a doubt the finest and most splendid city in the world”. I would like to claim it is one of the most romantic sunsets in the whole of China. Hold your partner’s hand and stroll by the shores of West Lake. In springtime, the blossom will sprinkle down petals of white. In the summer the water is covered in pink lotus flowers. In autumn the trees are orange and in winter you may catch a sprinkling of snow. Whatever time of year you visit make sure you choose a sunny day in order to catch a truly romantic sunset by a lake.
My favourite German city is the magical city of Dresden. I have many happy memories of Dresden. One of my and my friends favourite things to do was to sit by the river Elbe opposite the skyline of the old town. We would sit there in the afternoon picnicking till late in the evening when the sun went down and the city lights sparkled on the river. The sunsets in Dresden were truly spectacular due to the dark silhouettes of the iconic baroque landmarks against the amber sky. Take your date and perhaps a bottle of wine and watch the sun disappear behind one of the most beautiful skylines in Europe.
Alfred Hitchcock once claimed that “The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful” Was he right? Stroll along the shore with your love and watch the sun dip behind the island. The shore faces directly West which means that this position and the Croatian weather combine for a truly spectacular late afternoon show. Alex and I ran to the seashore and completely out of breath arrived just in time to see the sun set. Completely out of breath we were happy we had managed to Croatia’s best sunset.
Hong Kong is a vibrant, modern place. Full of skyscrapers on both sides of the bay crowds flock to see the symphony of lights which takes place every evening. What is less documented is that watching the sunset over Hong Kong island is also spectacular. As the sun was setting I jumped on a boat from Hong Kong island over to Kowloon. In Kowloon I stood and watched the orange sun dip behind the island. It was beautiful. I wished Alex had been with me to experience this moment.
Most people visit Miyajima, a Japanese island near Hiroshima to see the fiery red Torii gate floating in the bay. Waves lap against its wooden legs yet it takes no heed and stands straight and proud. We were lucky enough to witness a religious ceremony during our visit. Flutes and drums filled the air as a religious relic was carried through the gate and out to sea. After the excitement of the ritual, the sun began to set. We watched the sunset by the floating torii gate and waited till the sun went down. A couple on wakeboards paddled between the Torii gate. We watched their romantic date from the shore until the sun set over on the mainland. We sadly had to return to the mainland as our visit on this holy island was unfortunately over.
I lived and worked as an au pair in Hamburg one summer. Whilst it was sad to leave my beloved Dresden, the city of Hamburg is probably my second favourite German city. It is hip and trendy and has some incredible architecture. As a harbour city, it is also incredibly welcoming and open to foreigners disputing the idea that Northern Germans are less friendly than their southern counterparts. Certainly, everyone, regardless of where they come from, can appreciate the sunset. The place to watch this sunset takes a little bit of walking under a river to reach. Descend into the depth of the Elbtunnel and walk (or cycle) for over a kilometer under one of Germany’s main rivers. On the other side is a wonderful viewpoint of the city. You can see the iconic opera house as well as relics of its long industrial past. Grab a beer and your partner and watch the sunset beneath the city of Hamburg.
By this list, you may have guessed I like seeing the silhouettes of landmarks against fiery skies. Alex and I visited Tallinn in late December when the days were very short indeed. By half-past two the sun would start to set and by three in the afternoon, we witnessed a truly beautiful sunset. We climbed to the abandoned Linnahall and watched the sun set over the old town. We were absolutely frozen so huddled together for warmth and watched the sun go down. We watched the sunset until we could no longer feel our toes and therefore rushed towards an inside shelter for warmth!
This sunset was not planned, in fact we did not even plan to visit Lausanne. Yet due to train issues, my friend Rob and I found ourselves with an hour to spare in this Swiss city by Lake Geneva. We were so happy we did. We walked down to the lake and watched the evening colours dance until disappearing into the lake. I watched this sunset with a friend. Whilst this was great and we both enjoyed the show, we were both missing our significant others and felt that this was a truly romantic sunset.
This sunset demands a hike. Not a particularly long hike, but a particularly steep one. To see Yangshuo’s best sunset start walking up to its highest point; the TV tower. There are many steps. If you have traveled even just a little bit around China, you will know that Chinese mountains tend to involve steps. So with energetic motivation and an equally motivated partner who you will not need to convince at all start your hike. At the top shout “Kai Men (open door)” and an old man will come out and charge you a small fee. It differs depending on your race and who you are with. Don’t be disheartened though because what awaits you on the other side of that gate is spectacular. You tower above a landscape of karsk mountains. Rolling hills as far as the eye can see. If you are feeling particularly dare-devilish you can climb on the roof of the buildings at the top of the TV tower. Otherwise, grab a good seat amongst the others who have made this climb. Sit with your love, proud of your achievement and watch the Yangshuo sunset.
It was Alex’s last weekend in Shanghai. We wanted to do something truly special and romantic before he was due to leave. There was one activity, which had only been open for a few months, that was on our bucket list. Visit the highest observatory in the world! We zoomed up the 632 m tower and visited the viewpoint which is at 561m (higher than the observatory in Dubai). We arrived in the late afternoon, just as the sun was setting. Alex and I witnessed one of the most spectacular sunsets of our lives. High above the city, we watched the evening colours play in the sky. Bright orange and pale blues contrasted against the advancing blanket of night. We sat by the window with our arms around each other and watched this display until the city lights sparkled beneath us. Add Shanghai’s sunset to your ultimate romantic sunset bucket list!
Hope you will be able to see one of these sunsets during your lifetime. Which ones have I missed? Let me know about romantic sunsets you have witnessed or sunsets that are on your bucket list in the comments below!