Heart failure is a serious condition and equivalent to malignant disease in terms of symptom burden and mortality. At this moment only a comparatively small number of heart failure patients receive specialist palliative care. Heart failure patients may have generic palliative care needs, such as refractory multifaceted symptoms, communication and decision making issues and the requirement for family support. The Advanced Heart Failure Study Group of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology organized a workshop to address the issue of palliative care in heart failure to increase awareness of the need for palliative care. Additional objectives included improving the accessibility and quality of palliative care for heart failure patients and promoting the development of heart failure-orientated palliative care services across Europe. This document represents a synthesis of the presentations and discussion during the workshop and describes recommendations in the area of delivery of quality care to patients and families, education, treatment coordination, research and policy.