Europe is a place full of amazing architecture, natural beauty, and delicious food. Every tourist can find something special that suits them in Europe. It can be a fancy vacation in Nice, or a budget vacation in Ukraine. However there are a few iconic landmarks in Europe that every tourist should see at least once in a lifetime.
10 Iconic Landmarks in Europe
Everyone has seen or heard about the famous Parisian landmark – the Eiffel tower. One of the most recognizable sites in the world was built between 1887 and 1889 for the World’s Fair.
You would be surprised to know that at the time of construction, the Eiffel tower was heavily criticized (some people didn’t think the construction was good enough).
One of the most important landmarks in Ukraine is Pecherska Lavra monastery in Kyiv.
The monastery was founded in 1051 by only one monk who decided to live a secluded life in a cave overlooking the Dnipro river.
Nowadays, Pecherska Lavra is a huge monastery that has a massive underground complex of caves and tunnels. On the premises of the monastery there are also a few beautiful churches that have amazing ancient frescoes.
Every tourist is welcome to visit the cave monastery in Kyiv. However, remember to dress properly (no short shorts and tops, cover your shoulders and knees).
The Colosseum is the largest amphitheater that is still standing, or ever has been built. It is located in the center of Rome, not far from the Forum.
The Colosseum is on the list of the 7 wonders of the New world and it is the most important landmark in Italy.
Tourists can visit the Colosseum and see the site for themselves. Since the Colosseum is more than 1900 years old, it is no wonder not all the parts of this great structure survived. Some parts of the wall have collapsed due to a strong earthquake in the 14th century. Nowadays you also can see parts of the underground rooms and corridors that were hidden from the spectators.
St. Peter’s Basilica is definitely the most important church in the world for Catholics. It is a famous place of pilgrimage for Christians from all over the world.
One of the reasons why St. Peter’s Basilica is so important to Catholics is the belief that Peter, the chief apostle and the first bishop, is buried in the basilica.
Besides its importance in Christianity, St. Peter’s Basilica has a significant importance in the art world.
The famous Michelangelo, Bramante, Lorenzo Bernini, and a few others created the best example of Renaissance art in the world.
Tourists can visit St. Peter’s Basilica, however the thorough planning of the day and time is needed, since the basilica is always overcrowded.
Stonehenge is one of the biggest mysteries that will probably never be uncovered. Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire, England. It is a prehistoric monument that was built out of some very big rocks (7 meters high and 25 tons weight).
There is no clear purpose to why this historical landmark was built, how exactly and by who. Scholars have quite heated discussions about all these unanswered questions. Some think the purpose of the structure was a cemetery/church, the others think it’s some kind of calendar, and then others think that aliens built it. But no matter who built it, it still remains (around 25% of the original structure) and you should definitely visit this iconic landmark in Europe.
The capital of Hungary – Budapest has a great number of important landmarks to see. However, one of the most iconic ones is the Parliament building.
The Parliament building is located on the bank of the Danube river on the Pest side of the city. It is one of the most popular tourist locations, and, in my opinion, the prettiest in the whole country.
The Parliament building was built in the Gothic Revival style with a beautiful center dome in Renaissance Revival style. It is the largest building in Hungary since opening in 1902.
Hagia Sophia is one of the most amazing temples I have visited. It started as an Ortodox church between 532 and 537. Around a thousand years later the church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) was converted into a mosque by the Ottoman Empire. Since then Hagia Sophia changed its status from a mosque to a museum and back.
Nowadays, Hagia Sophia is once more a mosque. I have visited this historical landmark when it was a museum and when it became a mosque. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to each of these statuses.
For example, when Hagia Sophia was a museum you could visit the second floor, and see some amazing frescoes, remains of the Christian paintings on the ceiling, and other stuff. You also could see a very beautiful stone floor in the middle of Hagia Sophia. The disadvantages were: you needed to buy a ticket to get into Hagia Sophia, and the line to buy the ticket was always insanely long.
Now that Hagia Sophia is a mosque, you don’t need to buy a ticket to visit the site, however you cannot visit the balcony, and the beautiful stone floor is covered with carpet.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what official statues Hagia Sophia has, it still will take your breath away. The greatness of the structure, the long history of this place, and unique atmosphere make every tourist’s heart race with excitement.
The Alhambra is a palace complex located in Granada, a city in the Andalusia region of Spain. This is an iconic landmark that makes you think of Moorish culture, tapas, and warm southern Spain weather.
As with every place on this list, the Alhambra has a long history. This is a place that has a lot to offer, and that gets crowded with tourists every single day it’s open (so be prepared and book your ticket in advance).
The Alhambra is an amazing example of Moorish architecture style. The beauty of each part of the castle/fortress complex will take your breath away. You can spend hours and hours just staring at the walls and trying to see all the details.
Besides the beautiful halls, you will enjoy fantastic gardens, and learn some of the secrets of the Alhambra (therefore, I do recommend visiting this landmark with the guide).
Ancient Greece is one of the cradles of civilization. It is a place where many sciences were born, including philosophy. Therefore, Greece was quite important in establishing modern society. One of the most important landmarks in Greece, and an iconic one for Europe is the Acropolis in Athens.
The Acropolis of Athens is a complex of a few temples and buildings. Such acropolises in ancient Greece were places of worship, and the place of residence of high ranking people.
Tourists can visit the Acropolis of Athens, however you cannot actually enter the temples, since it is quite dangerous, and many of the sites are still under restoration.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Prague that is famous all over Europe is the Charles bridge and Powder tower. This is a place where the exploration of romantic Prague usually starts.
The bridge was built in the end of the 14th – beginning of the 15th century by King Charles IV of Bohemia.
The entrance to the Charles bridge begins through the Powder tower, which actually wasn’t built for any purpose, except entertaining. Nowadays, no one can imagine Prague’s famous bridge without its jet black powder tower.
Ukraine is known for its delicious, hearty food. From heavy savory dishes like borscht to…March 15, 2023