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100 Most Famous Landmarks in Europe You Have to See

Landmarks often become synonymous with a city. It is difficult to think of Paris without imaging the Eiffel Tower, London without seeing Big Ben. Seeing some of the famous landmarks in Europe for the first time can be quite an awesome moment.

I remember being blown away when I visited Vatican City for the first time. I spent every Sunday of my first 18 years going to a catholic church and I couldn’t quite grasp the fact that I was actually at the Vatican!

.Gaining a photo of oneself at a famous landmark is almost a rite of passage – the ultimate proof that you visited that city and had that moment. As someone who loves photography I am always trying to think of a unique way to capture famous landmarks – fooling myself that somehow I will find something many more skilled experts have not before me!

Visiting a famous monument can often be an item for the bucket list – and quite a good one at that! So here are 100 Famous Landmarks in Europe that I believe have all earned the right to make it onto that list.

Fountain di Trevi in Rome Italy

100 Famous Landmarks in Europe

1. The Colosseum, Italy

Could over 7 million people be wrong – and that’s just in the last 12 months! That is how many people visit Italy‘s most popular tourist attraction the Colosseum in Rome each year. This ancient amphitheater was the site of Rome’s famous public spectacles like those seen in the movie Gladiator.

Rome Colosseum pink flowers

The Colosseum was the biggest amphitheater in the world during its time, seating over 70,000 people. The structure was constructed in 70 AD – yes it’s that old. It is 157 feet tall and remarkably well preserved considering its age.

Every ticket to the Colosseum also includes access to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The Roman Forum is located next door to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill is also part of the area.

Rome Colosseum famous landmarks in Europe

When you purchase this ticket online you will be given options for different times on the day you want to visit. Of course, the further ahead you book the more options will be available.

⇒ Read my Skip the Line Colosseum Complete Guide

Rome Colosseum Hypogeum skip the line colosseum

⇒ Love Italy? Me too! You might enjoy reading about the Most Beautiful Cities in Italy, Most Famous Landmarks in Italy, Top Rome Monuments, Top Venice Landmarks, Bridges in Rome, Fountains in Rome, Venetian Palaces, How to Skip the Line at the Colosseum, Best Ski Resorts in Italy, Best Wineries in Montepulciano, Things to do in Rimini, Places to Visit in Puglia and Things to do in Sicily.

2. The Eiffel Tower, France

Built between 1887 and 1889 by French engineer Gustav Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is made of iron rather than steel. It was built to be one of the main attractions at the Paris World’s Fair in 1889.

view from the eiffel tower
Stunning view from the Eiffel Tower

Parisians quickly fell in love with The Eiffel Tower and more than 2 million visited in the first year that it was open. The tower symbolised French know-how and industrial genius.

Today nearly seven million people visit The Eiffel Tower every year. The top of the Eiffel Tower which can be visited is at 276 metres. The other key view point is on what is called the second floor which is at 116 metres.

underneath the eiffel tower paris a famous monument in europe
The lesser photographed underbelly of the Eiffel tower

Ticket prices vary depending on how high you want to go and how you want to get there – stairs or lift. It is possible to take a lift all the way to the top (with the option to stop at the second floor) or to walk up to the second floor and then get a lift to the top.

woman in front of eiffel tower posing
Strike a tower pose

July and August are the busiest times of year to visit The Eiffel Tower but it is usually quite busy all year round. It is possible to book tickets two months in advance of your visit. I would highly recommend booking a skip the queue ticket for the Eiffel Tower ahead of your visit to Paris.

eiffel tower at night lit up

⇒ If you like beautiful French towns check out my posts on Saint Antonin Noble Val and Tarn et Garonne in France.

3. Big Ben, England

As the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, Big Ben is to London. Big Ben is actually a nickname that stuck. The name refers to both the clock and the clock tower that sits at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London.

London red phone booth and Big Ben

The tower was completed in 1859. At that time it was the largest and most accurate clock in the world. Big Ben became a UNESCO listed site in 1987.

In August of 2017, Big Ben was silenced. This marked the beginning of a project to repair and restore both the clock and the clocktower fully. They also plan to install a lift which should make life much easier for those charged with keeping Big Ben in good condition ongoing.

Big Ben

⇒ Heading to London? Check out my posts on 13 Unusual Experiences in London, the best London Food Tours, my virtual London Travel Blog, some great Earlsfield restaurants, 14 Things to do in Notting Hill, restaurants near Clapham Junction and Victoria Station restaurants, 16 Famous Landmarks in Europe, a mad hatter afternoon tea party and a day trip to Brighton, 67 Fascinating Facts about London, 18 Landmarks of London from a local, 15 Places to see Sunsets in London, 9 Places to watch the Sunrise in London, 10 Bridges in London Not to Miss and Cotswolds tour from London options.

The exceptions to the silencing are New Year’s Eve and Remembrance Day. There are no public tours available during the restoration period. However, one clock face can still be seen through the scaffolding.

4. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

This freestanding bell tower is not just a famous monument but possibly one of the most famous buildings in the world. The “lean” is nearly four degrees and is because the foundation of the building is unstable.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The tower began to lean during its construction in the 12th century and unfortunately got worse up to its official completion in the 14th century. By 1990 the lean was 5.5 degrees. Repairs work took place during 1993 and 2001 that corrected the lean-to just under 4 degrees.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not particularly tall at just over 55 metres – I remember being quite surprised at how small it was when I visited. The tower is located in Pisa’s Cathedral Square and also includes Pisa Cathedral and Pisa Baptistry.

Leaning tower of Pisa Italy
Leaning tower of Pisa, Italy

If you’d like to go inside the tower and climb up to the top paid entry is required. It is possible to book a skip the line ticket for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Otherwise, there is no charge to see the building from the exterior and to take the famous photo where it looks as if you are holding up the tower!

5. La Sagrada Familia, Spain

The Sagrada Familia is perhaps the world’s most famous unfinished landmark. Construction began on this Catholic Church in Barcelona Spain in 1882. La Sagrada Familia was designed by famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.

Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia Barcelona Spain

Construction of the church began under the supervision of another architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar. However, Gaudi took over in 1883.

Progress on the construction of Sagrada Familia was slow as funding was private and it was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. When Gaudi died in 1926 the church was only one-quarter finished. He is buried in the crypt of Sagrada Familia.

Basílica La Sagrada Familia exterior
Basílica La Sagrada Familia exterior

Revolutionaries broke into the construction site in 1936, partially destroying Gaudi’s original model and setting the timeline back even further.

The latest estimate for the completion of Sagrada Familia is 2026.

Basílica La Sagrada Familia interior
Basílica La Sagrada Familia interior

Sagrada Familia receives approximately 4.5 million visitors every year. The number of tickets for sale as well as the entry times is limited. This is definitely a European landmark you want to book a skip the line ticket ahead of your visit.

Tickets can be purchased up to 2 months in advance and are available in 15 minute slots. Once you have entered Sagrada Familia you may stay for as long as you like. Entrance to the towers costs extra.

6. Arc de Triomphe, France

The Arc de Triomphe sits at the western end of the Champs-Elysee in Place Charles de Gaulle and in the middle of one of the scariest roundabouts in the world.

french flag under the arc de triomphe

This famous European landmark is a tribute to those who died fighting for France in the Napoleonic and Revolutionary Wars. The names of all French victories and the generals are inscribed on the arc. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1 lies underneath the Arc de Triomphe.

The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon. However, it was not completed until 1836. By this time, Napoleon had been banished to Elba. He was never able to see the Arc de Triomphe but his remains passed through it on the way to Les Invalides.

Every year the Bastille Day parade on July 14 starts at the Arc de Triomphe and the Tour de France also finishes here.

Arc de Triomphe Paris

It is possible to visit the Arc de Triomphe. Whatever you do, don’t try to cross the road to get there – remember this is the world’s scariest roundabout. Instead, take the underground passage from the Champs Elysee or one of the other roads leading into Place Charles de Gaulle.

It is free to visit the base of the Arc de Triomphe. However, there is a charge to climb the 280 stairs to the top of the Arce de Triomphe and some lovely views of Paris. And you won’t be surprised to hear that I highly recommend you book a skip the line ticket for the Arc de Triomph.

7. Brandenburg Gate, Germany

The Brandenburg Gate was commissioned as an entrance to Berlin’s most famous road, Unter den Linden, by Frederick William II. Construction of the gate finished in 1791.

The Brandenburg Gate has had a starring role in many of Berlin’s most well known moments. Napoleon paraded from Brandenburg Gate in 1806 after the Prussian defeat. Between 1814 and 1919 only the Royal Family could pass through the central archway.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at night. Germany
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at night. Germany.

The Nazis often used Brandenburg Gate as a party symbol. The gate managed to survive World War II albeit with some major damage. After the war, Brandenburg Gate was located in the Soviet zone. The Berlin Wall passed directly by the western side of the gate, which meant passage was again closed.

After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Brandenburg Gate came to symbolise freedom and the re-unifacation of Germany.

Brandenburg gate at sunset

Today, the Brandenburg Gate is closed to traffic but it is easy to walk under its arches. Visiting the Brandenburg Gate is free.

8. The Acropolis, Greece

The Acropolis is a fortress that sits on a flat rock overlooking Athens and contains the remains of several buildings of architectural significance such as the Parthenon.

View on Acropolis at sunset, Athens, Greece
View on Acropolis at sunset, Athens, Greece

The earliest origins of The Acropolis can be traced back to the fourth millennium BC. The composition of The Acropolis has, of course, changed over time. Various temples and buildings were built and destroyed over the course of the years. A major restoration project of The Acropolis began in 1975 to reverse the decay and damage of the centuries.

Caryatids, erechtheion temple Acropolis

When visiting the Acropolis, there are two ticket options. One ticket covers entry only to the Acropolis. The second ticket combines The Acropolis with six other archeological sites. Book a skip the line ticket to visit The Acropolis.

9. Palace of Westminster, England

The Palace of Westminster is located in London, England and is where the two United Kingdom Houses of Parliament meet: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. It was named after nearby Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Palace is 900 years old. From 1087 to 1100 the Palace of Westminster was the home of the monarch and the Palace of Westminster is still owned by the Crown.

Westminster Abbey in london, england, uk
Westminster Abbey

Much of the palace was destroyed in a fire in 1834. The palace was rebuilt after the fire, and this is the London landmark that we now know so well.

Today the palace is known as the Houses of Parliament or often just Westminster. It is the centre of UK parliamentary life and its most well-known tower is, of course, Big Ben, another European landmark.

Big Ben and Westminster Palace as seen from the Thames
Big Ben and Westminster Palace as seen from the Thames

There are several ways to visit the Palace of Westminster. If you are a UK resident you are able to take a free tour called the Democratic Access Tour. If you’re not a UK resident, guided paid tours are held on weekdays when Parliament isn’t in session and on Saturdays.

Book a skip the line ticket to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

10. The Louvre Museum, France

The Louvre Museum is located in Paris, France and is the world’s largest art museum. In 2019 the Louvre was the most visited museum in the world, receiving over 9.6 million guests.

Paris Louvre museum with pyramid France

This iconic French museum opened in 1793 with just 537 paintings (there are over 38,000 objects on display these days). IM Pei’s iconic glass pyramid was completed in 1989, adding another element to this Parisian landmark.

Perhaps the most well known item in The Louvre Museum is the Mona Lisa. The original of this famous painting hangs in the Louvre today and has been since 1804.

louvre museum in paris with architectural details and glass pyramids

Online tours are available but of course they don’t touch visiting the real thing. Tickets purchased on line are slightly more expensive than those purchased at the museum but they do offer the opportunity to skip the line with a timed ticket for The Louvre.

Louvre Museum at Night Paris

11. Stonehenge, England

Built over 5,000 years ago, the stone circle for which Stonehenge is best known was erected around 2,500 BC. Each stone is about 4 metres high, just over 2 metres wide and weighs about 25 tons.

Stonehenge 3

Stonehenge is owned by the Crown but managed by English Heritage and became a UNESCO site in 1986. Today nearly 1 million visitors head to Stonehenge each year and crowds flock to see the Winter and Summer solstices set in each year.

It is possible to visit Stonehenge for free but alas you will struggle to capture a good photo from that distance. The standard tour of Stonehenge involves a 2.6-mile one-way circular path with a handset filling you in on the history of Stonehenge.

Stonehenge 1

The tour does bring visitors quite close to Stonehenge, so it is possible to get some great photos. As always, queues at Stonehenge can be lengthy, so you may want to book a skip the line ticket for Stonehenge.

12. The Alhambra, Spain

Located in Granada, Spain, the Alhambra is a palace and a fortress. It began as a small fortress which was built in 889 and was turned into a palace in the 13th century.

Alhambra palace at night Granada Spain

The name Alhambra comes from the Arabic for “red or crimson castle”. But it is not just a castle. It is also a royal palace, a fortrees, gardens, a town and a summer retreat. It became a UNESCO site in 1984 and receives about 2.7 million visitors every year.

Alhambra palace Granada Spain
Palacio Nazaries, Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Tickets to the Alhambra can be purchased up to one year in advance and there are 6 different ticket options depending on what you want to see and experience in your tour. None of these options come with a guide and you can book skip the line ticket for the Alhambra.

13. Buckingham Palace, England

Buckingham Palace began life as a house. The core of today’s palace was built as a home for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. It was acquired by King George II in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte.

The principal facade of Buckingham Palace
The principal facade of Buckingham Palace

The building was enlarged in the 19th century and became the London home of the monarch under Queen Victoria in 1837. Today it is still the home to the monarch.

Unlike some of the landmarks in this article, Buckingham Palace is still very much a working palace. It regularly plays a large role in major events in the United Kingdom with the King and his family appearing on the balcony for key events.

buckingham palace

Buckingham Palace is only open to the public between July and October. Visitors can see the State Rooms and the gardens. If you are visiting at other times of the year the closest you can get is outside the gates (which still allows for some good photos), seeing the free changing of the guard, or visiting the Royal Mews.

police outside buckingham palace

14. The Sistine Chapel, Italy

The Sistine Chapel is is a chapel in Vatican City. The chapel was restored between 1473 and 1481. However, it was between 1508 and 1512 that Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the chapel in what is regarded as one of the most significant artistic accomplishments of all time.

Sistine Chapel ceiling Vatican Rome

Today the Sistine Chapel is where the papal enclave is held. This is the process by which a new pope is selected.

Interior of Sistine chapel the vatican museum Rome finished by Michelangelo

It is not possible to visit The Sistine Chapel on its own – you must have a ticket for the Vatican Museums. The Sistine Chapel is actually free to visit once you have a ticket for the Vatican.

⇒ Book your skip the line ticket for the Vatican.

15. The Trevi Fountain, Italy

The Trevi Fountain is located at a junction of three roads and was one of the original sources of water in Ancient Rome. A competition was held in the 1700s by Pope Clement XII for a new design for the fountain. Nicola Salvi was awarded the prize.

Trevi Fountain up close at night

The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762, 11 years after Salvi died. Work on the fountain was completed by four other sculptors. More recently restorations have been conducted in 1988, 1998 and 2013.

water flowing in the trevi fountain
Up close in the Trevi Fountain

Legend has it that if you throw one coin into the Trevi Fountain you will return to Rome. Two coins mean that you will return to Rome and you will fall in love. Three coins mean you will return to Rome, find love and marry.

The coin is supposed to be thrown by the right hand over the left shoulder for maximum results. In 2016 about USD$1.5 million was thrown into the Trevi Fountain. The money goes to the needy of Rome.

trevi founrtain
trevi fountain

The Trevi Fountain is free to visit and gets very busy. The hours between midday and 7 pm tend to be the busiest so do try to avoid them. The fountain lights up once the sun goes down, which can make for some lovely photos.

16. Notre Dame, France

Notre Dame’s full name is Notre Dame de Paris. This means Our Lady of Paris. Construction of the cathedral began in 1160 and was mostly completed by 1260.

notre dame paris

Notre Dame was damaged during the French Revolution in the 1790s. But it was Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame that really drove interest in the cathedral.

Detail of entrance to notre dame

In April of 2019 Notre Dame caught fire whilst it was being restored. Serious damage was done but restoration plans began quickly. The aim is for Notre Dame to be restored to all of its glory for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to visit the inside of the Cathedral during this restoration work. However, it is of course possible to come and see this stunning building.

notre dame de paris
notre dame de paris

17. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Italy

This Renaissance-inspired church in Florence is the third-largest in Italy, standing 90 meters wide and 152 meters long. Arnolfo di Cambio was responsible for designing it in 1296, but it was the architect Filippo Brunelleschi who added the cathedral’s prominent dome during the 15th century.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Florence 1

The exterior of the Duomo di Firenze has been done with stunning, colourful marble work. Inside, you’ll find spectacular artworks adorning the ceilings.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Florence

The cathedral is located in the square Piazza del Duomo, and entrance is free. However, you’ll need to purchase tickets to see the other monuments in the square, such as Giotto’s Campanile. 

18. The Pantheon, Italy

This famous landmark in Italy is another must-see sight to put on your list. The Pantheon in Rome was first constructed in 27 BC as a temple for the pagan Roman gods. It was later destroyed by a fire and rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 120 AD.

pantheon rome interior
pantheon rome interior

This monument is open to the public, and free of charge every day of the week except during mass and on some national holidays. To get to the Pantheon, you’ll have to go on foot as there are no train stations nearby and the streets are far too narrow for buses to pass through. But you’ll surely enjoy meandering through the Italian streets, particularly if you stop for gelato.

pantheon rome exterior
pantheon rome exterior

19. Pompeii, Italy

This ancient town near Naples is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions, with around 2.5 million visitors annually. Pompeii was once a lively city until Mount Vesuvius erupted – covering everything in larvae and turning the city into an archaeological site.

pompeii italy

Top attractions to see in Pompeii include the Thermal Baths, Great Theater of Pompeii and Temples. You’ll also get to see preserved artworks and mosaics.

pompeii italy
Aerial View over Pompeii

Taking a guided tour here is highly recommended, as you’ll not only learn about Pompeii’s history but also get to skip most of the queues. If you’d like to discover the ruins on your own, you can easily catch a train from Naples or Rome.

20. Mount Lycabettus, Greece

Mount Lycabettus stands proudly as the tallest of seven hills in Athens. It’s a prominent feature of the Athens skyline and the views from the top include the entire city, the sea and the mountains of the Peloponnese.

mount lycabettus greece
Mount Lycabettus

Climbing Mount Lycabettus in Greece is a perfect activity for nature-lovers who enjoy breaking a sweat while touring a new country. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views and the tiny Agios Georgios (Chapel of St. George).

mount lycabettus greece
Mount Lycabettus

There are several routes to choose from and the walk along the steep path to Mount Lycabettus can take between 30 to 90 minutes (depending on fitness).

21. Le Centre de Pompidou, France

Opened in 1977, Le Centre de Pompidou is a modern art museum with over 100,000 works of art. When it opened, its high-tech architecture was very cutting edge. The centre is located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris near Les Halles and it is the largest museum for modern art in Europe.

centre de pompidou
centre de pompidou

The building was named after ex-French President Georges Pompidou. The building covers 5 acres and has 7 floors. The design is based on the “open approach” to architecture. Nearly 15,000 tons of steel lattices went into this modern art museum as well as glass facades and metal frames.

The result is a building that almost looks like it is inside out. The pipes, cables, plumbing and all the other “internals” are external and colourful.

In addition to art exhibits, the Centre Pompidou also has a public library, a research centre for acoustics and music and more. And don’t miss the fantastic views of Paris from top of the Pompidou Centre.

centre de pompidou exterior landmark in paris france
centre de pompidou

The Pompidou Plaza in front of the museum is also known for its street performers and home to other cultural activities.

22. Saint Mark’s Basilica, Italy

Venice is an incredible city, filled with impressive churches and beautiful Venetian palaces, but this basilica is definitely the top attraction to see. It was first built in the early 9th century but was rebuilt in 1063 after a fire destroyed it.

rooftops and domes of Venice
rooftops and domes of Venice

Outside, you’ll see gorgeous Byzantine architecture. Inside, you can admire intricate mosaics and other relics. For an unforgettable experience, you should definitely consider a guided tour that takes you to both Saint Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace.

St Mark's Basilica
St Mark’s Basilica

To get to these popular tourist attractions, you can step onto a Vaporetto for a trip (they’re quite affordable) through the Venetian canals. Alternatively, you can reach the basilica on foot, but keep in mind that it’s on the southern end of Venice. The closest bridge is the Ponte dell’Accademia.

St Mark's square
St Mark’s square

23. Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre translates to ‘five towns’ and this name was given to the five magnificent villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore) located along the Italian Riviera.

cinque terre
cinque terre

Once you arrive here, you’ll quickly appreciate the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. While visiting Cinque Terre, you can enjoy hearty Italian meals and gelato, take a dip at Manarola beach or go snorkelling near Riomaggiore.

cinque terre
cinque terre

To reach this destination, you can drive along the twisting coastal roads yourself or catch a train from Genoa to La Spezia. If you’re planning on travelling here from Florence, then a guided tour is highly recommended.

24. Place de La Concorde, France

Located between the Champs Elysee and the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris. During the French Revolution, the square was renamed for a time as the Place de la Revolution. This was where King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed.

place de la concorde fountain paris france
place de la concorde fountain

Between 1836 and 1840 an Egyptian obelisk that was already 3,300 years old was placed in Place de La Concorde. Around this time, two beautiful fountains were added to the square.

Today, Place de La Concorde is the finish line for the Tour de France and also home to the beautiful Hotel Crillon.

place de la concorde paris france landmark
place de la concorde

25. Casa Batlló, Spain

Casa Battlo Spain
Casa Battlo Spain

Casa Batlló is a big and beautiful building in the heart of Barcelona. Designed in 1904 by famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, it’s considered one of his most famous works of art.

The unique layout of the building is truly mesmerising. It showcases Modern architecture, Expressionist architecture, and Modernisme.

It features unusual tracery, mismatched oval and rectangle windows, protruding balconies, and colourful ceramic tiles. The arched roof has a scaly appearance and has been compared to that of a dragon or a dinosaur. It’s one of the most bizarre and wonderful landmarks of Spain.

Casa Battlo with red flowers

The interior is just as fascinating. It’s worth booking a tour to explore the full package.

26. The Parthenon, Greece

Anyone who visits the Acropolis will also have access to the adjacent Parthenon in Athens with a combination ticket. The archaeological site was originally at the heart of religion while Greece was a powerful empire.

The Parthenon Greece
The Parthenon

Although the Parthenon is in ruins, it was a large and lavish building that told of Greek wealth.

The temple was built between 447 and 432 B.C when the Greek Empire was at its height of influence. Over the years, the bold structure stood against earthquakes, wars, looting and fire.

The Parthenon Greece
The Parthenon

While it no longer stands complete, the Parthenon is a powerful symbol of ancient Greek culture.

⇒ Book your private Athens full-day sightseeing tour.

27. The Amalfi Coast, Italy

The idyllic weather, charming streets and natural beauty have drawn people from all parts of the globe to the Amalfi Coast. The mountainous coast is dotted with magical vacation homes, hotels and restaurants.

Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy
Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Travelling to the coast between May and October provides you with vibey streets, fantastic weather, cultural events and warm waters. Naturally, the streets and beaches are buzzing with tourists, so booking accommodation and transportation is absolutely essential.

The coast is the perfect place for spending an extended trip. The area comprises 13 different municipalities, each deemed a UNESCO heritage site. Exploring each area reveals new towns with different traditions and aesthetics.

28. Palazzo Ducale (the Doge’s Palace), Italy

The Doge’s Palace or Palazzo Ducale was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme leader of what was then a republic. It was also home to the Great Council and the Council of Ten. There were law courts, stairways, courtyards, and even prison cells – this is a big palace!

Doges Palazzo Venice the king of the Venetian Palaces
Doges Palazzo Venice

Built in 1340, Palazzo Ducale became a museum in 1923 and the palace is located on St Mark’s Square. When it comes to purchasing tickets, Doge’s Palace is included in Saint Mark’s Square museum pass which represents good value if you intend to visit all of those museums.

Another fantastic option is to book the Secret Itineraries Tour. This tour includes the less well-known elements of the Palazzo Ducale such as secret passageways, prisons, and the gorgeous yet infamous Bridge of Sighs (as the view was the last thing that prisoners saw before being escorted down to their cells).

Venetian Gondolas
Venetian Gondolas

29. Sacré-Cœur Basilica, France

France is home to some of the most exquisite palaces, cathedrals and monuments and the Sacré-Cœur is no exception. Situated on the highest natural point in Paris, giving you sweeping aerial views of the city as it wakes and turns golden.

Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur

Climb the stairs up the hill going towards the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Once you are at the top facing the Basilica, turn to the city. This is one of the best places to watch the sunrise in Paris.

From here you can see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe in the distance. But the most impressive view is that of the horizon turning pink as the sun rises.

Sacre Coeur at sunrise in paris
Sacre Coeur at sunrise

Take this opportunity to explore the Montmartre neighbourhood where you will find quaint cafes serving delicious coffee and fresh pastries.

30. Tower Bridge, England

London is known for its grand structures and bridges and Tower Bridge has got to be one of the most picturesque of them all. With its fairytale look, the bridge is equally as beautiful at night when it is lit up, reflecting its beauty onto the River Thames.

Completed in 1894, Tower Bridge is perhaps the most iconic of all of London’s bridges. Let’s start with the fact that it is often confused with London Bridge, best known from children’s nursery rhymes.

London Tower Bridge at Sunset
Tower Bridge at Sunset

Tower Bridge is quite beautiful, whereas London Bridge is a bit more of a plain Jane. So London Bridge has the brand name fame but Tower Bridge is the supermodel in real life.

The bridge was originally painted in chocolate brown but in 1977, it was repainted in blue, white, and red for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. It looked so fantastic that those colors remained.

tower bridge one of the bridges in london

Tower Bridge is also famous for the fact that it is both a suspension and a drawbridge – and that it continues to lift every day. The bridge is 244 meters long and is 42 meters above the Thames. It is both a road and a footbridge and 40,000 people cross it daily.

Unsurprisingly, the bridge takes its name from its neighbor the Tower of London.

tower bridge with red bus one of the bridges in london
Tower Bridge

Take a look behind the scenes at the famous bridge and discover areas such as the machinery room, which houses the hydraulic system that allows the bridge to rise for river traffic.

Plan Your Visit to Tower Bridge to see if you can watch the bridge lift – check the website to find out the dates and times for scheduled bridge lifts.

Entry to Tower Bridge gets you into the engine room, up to some amazing views, and best of all access to the glass floor if you don’t suffer from vertigo. I highly recommend visiting the bridge for the views and that glass floor.

NB: It’s handy to combine visiting Tower Bridge with the nearby London landmark the Tower of London. It’s also a great spot to watch the sunrise in London.

31. Catedral de Sevilla, Spain

Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Construction began in 1401, but it wasn’t completed until 1528, more than one hundred years later. It was built to impress, or more specifically, demonstrate Seville’s wealth and power.

Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral

The structure contains 80 chapels, and 15 doors are spread out over the building’s four facades. The interior holds the record as having the longest nave of any cathedral in Spain. It also houses the tomb of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and his son, Diego Columbus.

Seville Cathedral
Seville Cathedral

To receive a more detailed look at the cathedral, book a skip the line ticket and enjoy a tour with an official guide.

⇒ A wonderful island in Spain is Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands – read about some of the best things to do in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria Excursions and Gran Canaria markets. [separator type=”thick”]

32. St Paul’s Cathedral, London

This gorgeous Cathedral is a must-see in London, even if you are only there for a few days. Situated on Ludgate Hill, the highest part of the city, this English landmark is a gorgeous addition to London’s skyline.

For over 1400 years St Paul’s Cathedral has stood at the highest point of the City of London on Ludgate Hill. Do remember the actual City of London is a very small part – more like a suburb – of what the rest of the world thinks of as London so this still holds true.

St Pauls Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s has dominated the London skyline for over 300 years with its famous dome. It is 111 metres high and was the highest building in London until 1963. It is still the highest dome in the world.

St Paul’s has been home to some of the most historic religious events in English history, from the funeral of Winston Churchill to the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

st paul's Cathedral from the thames at sunset
st paul’s Cathedral from the thames at sunset

The highlight of a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral London is climbing the 560 steps to the top of the Dome and the Whispering Gallery. This circular enclosure provides fantastic views of the inside of the Cathedral. The outdoor viewing platform offers fantastic views of London.

If you’re visiting on a weekday try to time your trip for 5pm when a choral evensong takes place. The church bell’s at St Pauls are rung on Sundays.

milennium bridge london towards st pauls at sunset
Millenium bridge london towards st pauls at sunset

Book your ticket for St Paul’s Cathedral online before you go to save time spent in the queue and for a small discount.

A great way to experience the Cathedral is with a guided walking tour of St Paul’s, which also covers the Westminster area.

33. Arena di Verona, Italy

Home of Opera and Romeo and Juliet lovely Verona also has bags of Italian charm. It is a very walkable city and easy to get around.

The Arena di Verona is a highlight of any trip to this beautiful city in Italy. Visit during the day to get some great photos. I highly encourage you to book opera tickets before you head to Verona.

I am not the biggest opera fan but attending the opera in Verona in this beautiful amphitheater was a very memorable experience.

verona opera

Climb to the top of Torre dei Lamberti for some fantastic views over Verona and enjoy the square where it is located, Piazza Delle Erbe.

verona 383

Casa di Giulietta is Juliet’s house. The courtyard area is free to visit but you’ll need to pay if you want to step onto the balcony. Sure it’s a bit cheesy but seeing Juliet’s balcony is a must do in Verona.

34. Pitti Palace, Italy

Originally the home of an ambitious banker, this palace was purchased by Florence’s famous Medici family in 1549. The Grand Duchy of Tuscany then used Palazzo Pitti as its main residence and as a place to store its many growing treasures.

Pitti Palace Florence Italy
Pitti Palace Florence

In the late 18th century Napoleon used Palazzo Pitti for a while and the palace was then donated to the people of Italy in 1919.

Today Palazzo Pitti consists of several different galleries and it is now the largest museum complex in Florence. The best-known of the galleries is the Palatine Gallery which contains over 500 Renaissance paintings.

Frescos Palazzo Pitti Florence
Frescos Palazzo Pitti Florence

The palace also has a modern art museum, a costume gallery and even a carriages museum. One ticket covers entry to all of the galleries and museums within Pitti Palace.

35. The Palace of Versailles, France

What once was the official residence of France’s royals – before the French Revolution – is now a jewel of French Baroque architecture and is by far one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe. The Palace of Versailles contains 2,300 rooms of many kinds and is spread over 63,154 m2.

The Palace of Versailles France one of the most wonderful european palaces
The Palace of Versailles France

Feast your eyes on dazzling chandeliers and the painted ceiling in the Hall of Mirrors; it’s truly remarkable. The palace is surrounded by stunning French gardens designed by the famous landscape designer, André Le Notre. You’ll find sculptures, fountains, and water features dotted throughout the area.

Palace of Versailles France
Palace of Versailles France

With nearly 10 million visitors every year, I highly recommend you book a tour to discover Versailles Palace and Gardens to learn more about this incredible French landmark.

36. Blenheim Palace, England

Blenheim Palace is the only non-Royal, non-Episcopal house in England to be called a palace. It is the principal residence of the Duke of Marlborough. However, I think the most notable thing about Blenheim Palaces is that it was the birthplace and the ancestral home of Winston Churchill.

Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace

There is an excellent exhibition of Winston Churchill in the suite of rooms in which he was born.

Today, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO site, has been used as a location for many films and it serves a Champagne afternoon tea! Plus there are beautiful gardens as well as a park to visit. Book your Blenheim Palace tickets online before you go.

Bridge on the grounds of Blenheim Palace England
Bridge on the grounds of Blenheim Palace England

37. Tower of London, England

The Tower of London was built 1000 years ago by William the Conqueror. At the time, England had seen nothing like it before. His intention was to create a building that would both defend and proclaim his royal power.

The stones which built the Tower of London came from Caen in France and it took 20 years to construct. Over the centuries, Kings and Queens have used the Tower to protect both themselves and their possessions.

The Tower of London also used to control the supply of money in England. All coins were made at the Tower until 1810. It has always been tradition for the valuables of the Royal Family to be kept at the Tower, which is still the case today with the Crown Jewels.

towre of london
The Tower of London

Almost as recognisable as the Tower of London are the Yeoman Warders who were originally part of the Monarch’s team of bodyguards. Henry VIII decreed that some of these bodyguards should base themselves at the Tower.

Today, the Yeomans or Beef Eaters continue to guard the Tower and carry out ceremonial duties. They also carry out some very entertaining tours of the Tower of London.

Tower of London
Tower of London

The darker side of the Tower of London is that it was a prison for over 800 years. Being “sent to the Tower” was a terrifying fate. Perhaps most famously, Anne Boelyn was held here before her death which took place on Tower Green.

The best way to visit the Tower of London is to pre-book your ticket and arrival time online. Tickets cover entry to all areas including the Crown Jewels.

woman with Beef Eater at Tower of London
Hanging out with a Beef Eater

38. Château de Chenonceau, France

There are more than 300 castles in the Loire Valley, with Château de Chenonceau being one of the most beautiful, nestled on the Cher River. It was initially built in the 15th century and later rebuilt in the 16th century.

Chenonceau is not only incredible for its beautiful castle but also its manicured gardens and canals. There are currently 42 castles listed as UNESCO world heritage sites dotted throughout the Loire Valley; take a full-day tour and explore these fairytale spaces. 

Chateau de Chenonceau is located in the Loire Valley in France on the River Cher. Whilst the first mention of the estate was in the 11th century, the current version was built between 1514 and 1522.

Chenonceau Castle and moat
Chenonceau Castle

The stunning bridge over the River Cher was built between 1556 and 1559. Catherine de Medici took control of this French castle in 1559 and it became her favourite residence. The first-ever display of fireworks in France took place here in 1560.

Chenonceau Castle was taken over by the Germans during World War 2 and bombed by both sides of the war. Its restoration began in 1951.

Chenonceau Castle exterior
Chenonceau Castle

Today this European castle is open every day of the year – opening and closing times vary with the seasons.

34. Mt Etna, Italy

Mt Etna is stunning and definitely, a Sicily must-see. I originally planned to climb Mt Etna Sicily – however, the August weather put me off. Having said that, I had of course, forgotten that you start the climb quite a bit above sea level, where it was much cooler and this would have been fine.

Indeed I saw many people climbing from the cable car. However, Mt Etna is very steep and the scenery quite same same so not sure how interesting a trek it would have been.

colourful table with honey for sale and sunflowers
stalls on the way to Mt Etna base camp

Anyway, whether you climb Mt Etna or not, it is still one of the top sights in Sicily and one of the major Sicily tourist attractions. The bus took me up to the base of Mt Etna, with a stop for Sicilian food products on the way.

Once there, you take a cable car and then a small bus up to the summit. From here, you can wander the summit on your own.

people in the distance climbing up a dark mount etna sicily
The top of Mt Etna

Mt Etna is quite stunning. The summit itself is an unusual and very photogenic landscape. There are also some fantastic views over Sicily.

The Mt Etna hike from the top is very light physically – wear fairly sensible shoes. After checking out the summit you then head back down the same way. I was back at the main bus station in Taormina by mid-afternoon.

people walking on the top of Mount Etna sicily
Mt Etna

35. 30 St Mary Axe or The Gherkin, England

The Gherkin is the nickname given to the building that is at 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London. It is a commercial skyscraper with a modern design that opened in 2004. Personally, I am a big fan of its modern style.

Elevators heading up the Gherkin move at a speed of 6 metres per second. The building is covered by 24,000 square metres of glass which is the equivalent of five football pitches.

view of the Gherkin from Heron Tower
view of the Gherkin from Heron Tower

The Gherkin has 41 floors. On the 40th floor is the Iris Bar and the Helix Restaurant. Friday and Saturday nights at the Iris Bar are Apertivo time. Cocktails and snacks are served with awesome sunset views.

city of london at sunset
city of london at sunset

36. Mont Saint-Michel, France

Mont Saint Michel is found nestled on a small island beside Normandy’s coast. This impressive landmark was first erected in 708 and was one of the first monuments first inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1979.

From afar, together with the Abbey, it looks like one magnificent medieval structure. However, as you get closer, you’ll find an entire town whose medieval features remain intact.

mont st michel france
mont st michel

Although it’s nestled on a rock, this incredible place turns into an island when the tide comes in, making it an even more incredible sight.

A great way to experience this impressive medieval architecture is to climb to the Abbey. You can also walk around the ramparts and explore its only street, Grand-Rue. If you’re coming from Paris, there are some incredible day trips to explore Mont Saint-Michael.

37. Windsor Castle, England

You can’t travel to the UK without a visit to Windsor Castle. Not only was this the Queen’s official residence but it’s the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.

Known for its spectacular architecture and association with the royal family, you will be left captivated by the beauty of this castle. And if castles are your thing, check out the best castles in Cornwall.

Lovely Windsor Castle was not only The Queen’s home away from home in the United Kingdom and it is also where Harry and Meghan were married.

Windsor is just over 25 miles west of London and easily reached by train on a 35-minute journey.

windsor Castle
Windsor Castle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The chapel is open to visitors Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

⇒ As Windsor Castle is a working palace it is subject to last-minute closures. It is generally open most days between 10 am and 4 pm and closes at 3 pm in the Winter. Buy your Windsor Castle tickets ahead online to skip the queues.

38. White Cliffs of Dover, England

Chalky white cliffs hugging the shoreline of Kent have got to be one of the most incredible natural views in England. The cliffs became a signal of hope for troops returning from World Wars across the English Channel. These days, they’re a symbol of the beauty of England.

white cliffs of dover up close
Dover’s famous white cliffs

There are also other great things to see along the cliffs, including the Victorian South Foreland Lighthouse. If you are heading to the White Cliffs of Dover, stay and explore Kent for a few days, and stay in one of the gorgeous boutique hotels in Kent.

aerial views of dover
The white cliffs of Dover

39. Monasteries of Meteora, Greece

There are six operating monasteries in Meteora, a place where time and culture seem frozen in time. Made up of a striking rock formation, Meteora is located in central Greece and is home to a beautifully located group of monasteries.

meteora monastery greece
Meteora Monastery

The sight of clustered religious homes on top of the steep rocks is spellbinding. Although the Monasteries of Meteora Greece look tricky to get to, it is surprisingly accessible. It requires visitors to drive to a parking lot and then hike the trail to the monastery that they wish to visit.

Take the time to soak up the incredible panoramic views from the top and bask in the ambient energy of the spiritual sites.

meteora valley greece
Meteora Valley

To enjoy this Greek tourist attraction at your own pace, try to plan your route in advance to avoid the crowds and reduce the amount of energy you expend.

⇒ Book a tour of the ancient Meteora Holy Monasteries.

40. Royal Alcázar of Seville, Spain

The Royal Alcázar of Seville is one of the most famous Spanish landmarks and a beautiful piece of history. The origin of the complex dates back to 712, but the primary construction process started in the 14th century.

Alcazar of Seville

It continued for hundreds of years with many different architectural styles added, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque.

royal alcazar of seville one of the spain famous landmarks
royal alcazar of seville

A fun fact about the palace is that the Spanish royal family still use it as their residence when they visit Seville. You can tour the Alcázar and discover all of its wonders. The lavish tile decorations, richly decorated rooms and scenic gardens will enchant you.

41. St. Michael’s Mount, England

This iconic Cornwall castle is easily recognized for its grand and dramatic appearance. Situated on an island in Mount’s Bay, you can’t miss visiting this architectural masterpiece.

It is estimated that the first structure was built on the site in the 12th Century. The impressive structure has since been built up over time to be the size it is today.

St. Michael’s Mount cornwall england
St. Michael’s Mount

The castle is open to the public and you’ll be in awe as you learn about its history. It has endured and survived military action in a number of wars, including two sieges.

St Michaels Mount Castle

The castle isn’t the only thing you’ll enjoy about visiting the tidal island. It is also home to charming winding streets, quaint shops and wonderful restaurants. A trip to St Michael’s Mount makes for a magical day of sightseeing.

Book a day trip including St Michael’s Mount

Cornwall’s Coastal Path

42. British Museum, England

Founded in 1753, the British Museum was the first public museum in the world. The museum covers all fields of human knowledge and entry remains free of charge.

When it opened in 1759 it was intended by Parliament that it would open its doors for “all studious and curious persons”. Today, the British Museum receives over 6 million visitors a year.

exterior of the british museum london landmark
exterior of the british museum

The museum is located in the heart of Bloomsbury in London. It has four wings and 43 columns inspired by Greek temples. It was intended to emulate Greek architecture.

Highlights of any visit to the British Museum include visiting the Reading Room, which was completed in 1857 and the considerably newer Great Court, which opened in 2000.

The Great Court is certainly my favourite area of the British Museum. It is a two acre space enclosed by a beautiful glass room and the Reading Room sits at the middle.

courtyard in the british museum london
courtyard in the british museum london

The magnificent glass roof comprises 3,312 individual panels, and no two panels are the same shape. The roof is just over 26 metres above floor level at its highest point, giving a fantastic feeling of space to the area.

The museum is divided into different galleries, which are organised by periods of time or locations. As you would expect, the British Museum gets very busy.

Tickets must be booked online whether they are for the general free admission or for paid exhibitions.

43. The London Eye, England

What better way to see London than from the London Eye – nestled in the city’s heart. Choose from one of the 32 capsules to soar above the city, drinking in a 360-degree view of London and the ever-changing skies.

London Eye lit up and the thames at sunset
London Eye lit up

Rising before the South Bank, the iconic Ferris wheel allows its visitors to catch views of the River Thames, and glimpse  Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. And on a clear day, you’ll be able to see as far as Windsor Castle in the distance.

London - Thames as seen from above at night
The London Eye

Sunset rides on the London Eye are especially popular, so don’t forget to book your seat in advance if you want a guaranteed ride during sunset. 

London - souvenirs and the London Eye
Souvenirs and the London Eye

If you don’t get a spot on the wheel, why not take a London Eye River Cruise on the River Thames to catch the stunning sunsets.

London - London Eye and south bank during London Lockdown.jpg
London Eye during the London Lockdown

44. The Republic of San Marino

San Marino is the oldest republic in the world and it has never been taken over by anyone. This small country of just 61 square kilometres sits on top of a hill and overlooks the Italian countryside.

San Marino is home to just 30,000 people but has its own police, its own schools and it doesn’t belong to the European Union.

One of the many views from the tower

Taxes are lower in San Marino, but it is not a tax haven, as it is literally impossible to buy your way into the republic. Only citizens of San Marino can rent a house, let alone buy one.

Everyone in San Marino has a job and they have two presidents at any given time. And the people in these roles change every 6 months.

Walking between the towers

In addition to all of these interesting facts, it is also rather beautiful and there are loads of things to do in San Marino that are very Instagram friendly.

A hilltop town in Italy will always be at least a base level of photogenic. San Marino then has multiple sculptures, is mostly pedestrianized with lovely paved streets, excellent use of flowers throughout the country and amazing views everywhere.

Lovely fountain in San Marino

The highlight of San Marino is walking to the very top of the country and its famous three towers which date back to the 11th century.

Two of the towers were still used as prisons up to the 1960s. It is possible to visit 2 of the 3 SanMarino towers and climb high inside (don’t if you don’t like heights as one involves a ladder) and get some amazing views of both San Marino and the surrounding Italian countryside.

Fantastic views over Emilia Romagna from San Marino towers

Another way to get fantastic views of the Italian countryside is to take the compact San Marino funicular. The funicular will bring you up into the main square of San Marino.

Sunset on the main square of San Marino

45. Mont Blanc, France

Mont Blanc, also known as White Mountain, is the highest peak in the Alps, reaching a lofty 4,804 meters (15,774 ft) above sea level. The Massif is located between France and Italy and is a must-see for outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts.

mont blanc france landmark
mont blanc

For a gobsmacking scenery, take a cable car up to the top of Mont Blanc, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Alpine range. As well as some popular ski resorts like Chamonix in France and Courmayeur in Italy.

There are also different excursions to uncover spectacular viewpoints of alpine lakes, glaciers, and ice falls. Such as taking the Tramway or embark on a Tour du Mont Blanc hiking trip, one of the world’s most luxurious trails.

mont blanc and lake in france
mont blanc

46. Westminster Abbey, England

Westminster Abbey is perhaps best known for the weddings it has held. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip and Prince William and Kate Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey in London.

Westminster Abbey in london, england, uk
Westminster Abbey

The Abbey dates back to 1050 when Benedictine monks first travelled to the site to set up a coronation church. The version of Westminster Abbey which we see today, was constructed between 1245 and 1272.

Westminster Abbey is still a working church today. It is also open to the public. The Royal Tombs and the Poet’s Corner are the most popular sections. They are home to the resting places of well known names such as Mary Queen of Scots, Charles Dickens, John Keats and many others.

westminster abbey
Westminster Abbey

⇒ Westminster Abbey is usually open to visitors Mon-Sat from 930am to 330pm. Tickets for Westminster Abbey can be purchased online. The Westminster Abbey website also offers free online virtual tours.

47. Viaduc de Garabit, France

Viaduc de Garabit is a railway arch bridge that crosses over the River Truyère, near Ruynes-en-Margeride, France. It was designed by famed French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel, the same man who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Viaduc de Garabit
Viaduc de Garabit

The bridge was constructed from 1882 to 1884. It opened in 1885 and was, at the time of its completion, the world’s highest arch bridge. The brilliant red iron bridge is a masterpiece of civil engineering.

It’s so large, it can easily be seen from afar, especially in the evenings during the summer months when it is beautifully illuminated.

Viaduc de Garabit
Viaduc de Garabit

48. Alcázar de Toledo, Spain

Alcázar de Toledo is a large stone fortification that resides on the highest point in the city. The original construction of the palace began in 1531.

Old town of Toledo, with alcasar on a hilltop, former capital of Spain.
Old town of Toledo, with alcazar on a hilltop, former capital of Spain.

However, much of the building had to be rebuilt. This was following the destruction caused to it following the Spanish Civil War that took place from 1936 to 1939.

The fortress’ ideal positioning allows you to effortlessly capture beautiful pictures of Toledo and the surrounding area. The interior has been wonderfully restored and houses a Spanish army museum.

Toledo, Spain old town skyline at the Alcazar on the River.
Toledo, Spain old town skyline at the Alcazar on the River.

If you want an easy option for sightseeing Toledo and visiting the Alcázar de Toledo, book a Silver Ticket for the city’s hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

49. York Minster, England

The amazing York Minster

Since the 7th century, York Minster has been the centre of Christianity in the north of England and is one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world.

It is still an extremely active working church and it is a fascinating place to visit.

On the roof at York Minster

Free guided tours of York Minster are run daily. Each weekday at 130pm a special free tour is run which focuses on the stained glass windows of the Cathedral.

I highly recommend taking this tour. The stories that the stained glass windows tell are utterly fascinating.

There are fantastic stories in the stained glass windows of York Minster

The Hidden Minster Tours are also well worth taking. It is possible to go inside the Cathedral roof and see how the church was built – and to understand how difficult it would be to restore.

Inside the roof of York Minster

50. Palace of the Popes, France

The Palace of the Popes is the world’s largest medieval gothic palace. In 1305, Pope Clement V moved the Papacy from Rome to Avignon to avoid political issues.

Palais des Papes Avignon France
Palais des Papes Avignon France

This 15,000 square metre palace ended up housing a library and was a meeting point for philosophers, musicians and all sorts of artists. Alas, these days were not to last that long as the papacy returned to Rome in 1403.

Palace of the Popes Avignon
Palace of the Popes Avignon

Today this rather large palace is a UNESCO site and it is open to the public daily. A ticket covers the frescoes, bedrooms, chapels and more.

51. Nelson’s Column, England

Nelson’s Column is the name of the statue which sits in London’s Trafalgar Square. This London monument was built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson who died in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Nelson’s Column was completed in 1843 and refurbished in 2006. This monument in London is just under 52 metres tall and is decorated with four bronze panels.

Trafalgar Square sunset in london
Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, the home of Nelson’s Column, was established in the early 19th century. The area had been one of significance since the 1200s.

Nelson's Column London in Black and White

Today it is the home of the National Gallery, St Martins in the Field Church, Canada House, South Africa House and its beautiful fountain.

Fountain in Trafalgar Square london
Fountain in Trafalgar Square

52. Winchester Cathedral, England

Construction of this world-famous cathedral was begun in 1079 by William the Conqueror. Indeed, Winchester was the first city which he visited after 1066 as it was the location of the treasury at the time.

Winchester Cathedral, one of the most lovely tourist sites England

William was keen to show the Saxons how amazingly advanced the Normans were and the construction of Winchester Cathedral was one of the ways – something we can still appreciate today.

Winchester Cathedral is still a working cathedral and a critical part of the Winchester community. The exterior of the building is stunning.

I found late afternoon was the best time to photograph the front of the cathedral. The interior is also very photogenic – particularly the stained glass windows.

One of the top Cathedrals in England

Free guided tours of Winchester Cathedral run on the hour between 10 and 3. I took one of these and it is the best way to find out more about the Cathedral and to find some good photo opportunities.

It is easy to miss the lovely relatively newly restored stained glass windows in the east of the building.

The stunning stained glass windows of Winchester Cathedral England

Winchester Cathedral is literally in the heart of historic Winchester and almost impossible to miss. The Cathedral is open every day of the year.

There is no fee for those who are only coming to worship but there is a fee for those of us wishing to come and take photos.

Inside Winchester Cathedral

Although the Cathedral is open every day, there are events on etc so do check which parts of Winchester Cathedral are and aren’t open on the day that you plan to visit.

The website for Winchester Cathedral is excellent and will tell you everything you need to know for a great visit. And once you buy your ticket it is valid for a year so you can visit the Cathedral at different times of the day and in different lights for photos.


And Winchester Cathedral now appears on the British £10 note – next to Jane Austen appropriately.

53. Picadilly Circus, England

Picadilly Circus is located in the heart of London and perhaps best known for its bright neon advertising display. The circus is also home to the Eros fountain. It is very easy to find as exiting Picadilly Circus tube station will bring visitors into the heart of Picadilly Circus.

London - Picadilly Circus during London Lockdown
Picadilly Circus during the London Lockdown

Picadilly Circus is located very close to several well-known parts of London. On one side is Regent Street, filled with some of the most prestigious shopping in London and famed for its beautiful architecture. Shaftesbury Avenue takes visitors into the heart of Soho and Chinatown. And Leicester Square is only a five minute walk away.

54. Cathedral Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is a massive church of great historical and religious importance. Construction started in 1075 during the reign of Alfonso VI and slowly continued throughout the 12th and 13th centuries.

santiago de compostela view of cathedral from hotel balcony

Over the years, many extensions were added on in various architectural styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, Spanish Gothic, and Baroque. It’s a marvel of beauty, with an intricate facade depicting countless religious figures.

santiago de compostela cathedral

It’s one of the three known churches built over the tomb of one of Jesus’ apostles, Saint James. The other two churches are St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City and Thomas Cathedral Basilica in India.

santiago de compostela view of cathedral from park

Santiago de Compostela is very much a living city, with other attractions for travellers, pilgrim or not: countless restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the delicious seafood of Galicia, a UNESCO World Heritage old town centre, daring contemporary art… There’s plenty to do in this city which combines history with a younger modern side.

55. Chateau de Chambord, France

This stunning palace is the largest of the palaces and castles in France’s Loire Valley. It was commissioned by King Francis I and created by Leonardo da Vinci.

Chambord Palace
Chambord Palace

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Chambord is definitely a palace as the key reason that King Francis I commissioned the building was to demonstrate his power. Indeed, he only spent 50 days at Chateau de Chambord.

Window at Chambord Palace one of the European Palaces
Window at Chambord Palace

One of the most famous elements of Chambord is the double helix staircase which was designed by Leonardo da Vinci. It allowed guests to descend on one side without making eye contact with those guests ascending.

topiary stag at Chambord Palace
Topiary Stag at Chambord Palace

On top of that there are 60 rooms to visit, Salamanders on the ceilings, French gardens and a park as big as Paris! Yes, the park at Chambord is the same size as inner Paris and is the largest enclosed park in Europe.

Chateau de Chambord is open every day all year round apart from December 25 and January 1. Opening hours are slightly longer in the summer.

View from Chambord Palace
View from Chambord Palace

56. Hadrian’s Wall, England

Hadrian’s Wall was built in AD122 and the ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site are still standing today. The wall stretches for 73 miles from Wallsend to Bowness. Hadrian’s Wall is very popular with walkers as there is much to explore from old Roman forts to stunning landscapes to traditional English pubs.

hadrian's wall england
hadrian’s wall

57. Carcassone Castle, France

When I was in my early 20s backpacking (ugh) around Europe I visited Carcassone Castle and was absolutely blown away by its size and scale.

carcassonne castle france exterior
Carcassonne cCstle

Carcassone is a fully fortified city in France – it is a walled city – in the South of France 80 kilometres east of Toulouse. It is one of the oldest surviving medieval walled cities in Europe. Only just as it was nearly destroyed in 1849 when fortifications went out of fashion.

This caste in France joined the UNESCO list in 1997. It is possible to visit the walled city at no charge but there is an entry fee for Carcassone Castle.

carcassone castle entrance
Carcassone Castle

58. Abbey of Fontenay, France

Situated on a canal in Burgundy, Abbey de Fontenay is the oldest Cistercian Abbey in Europe. The abbey was founded in 1118 and sits over 1,200 hectares. The Abbey had a mostly peaceful history until it was confiscated during the French Revolution.

abbey de fontayne outside French landmark
abbey de fontayne

Following this, the Abbey was converted into a paper mill and then a paper factory. In 1906 the industrial activity ceased and the process of returning the Abbey of Fontenay began to be restored to its former glory.

The site was declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 and several movies have been filmed here, including Cyrano de Bergerac. Today the Abbey has a small museum and guided tours run each day between mid-April and mid-November.

Abbey de Fontayne landmarks in france
Abbey de Fontayne

59. Omaha Beach, France

This beach in Normandy is best known for being where some of the most critical battles were fort during the famous Normandy Landings in 1944. The beach was in the American sector and sadly, the number of Allied casualties was very high.

omaha beach normandy france
omaha beach

Today Omaha Beach has a war memorial monument and museum. Behind the beach is the American cemetery of Colleville Sur Mer. The nearest town is Bayeux which has further information on the battle including a war museum.

Buses run infrequently to Omaha Beach. It is best to visit via a tour or to have your own car. I can highly recommend visiting Normandy and Omaha Beach as well as the other sites in the region related to the famous Normandy Landings.

60. Strasbourg Cathedral, France

This magnificent Catholic Cathedral is considered to be one of the best examples of Rayonnant Gothic architecture. It is over 1000 years old and sits on what was the site of a Roman temple.

Strasbourg Cathedral France
Strasbourg Cathedral

The building of Strasbourg Cathedral took the entire 13th century – something to keep in mind if you are building or renovating yourself! Today it is the sixth tallest church in the world. This is quite incredible, considering that the highest structure of the church was built in the Middle Ages.

One of this gothic church’s most famous elements is its astronomical clock. The mechanics of the clock date back to 1842. At half-past 12 every day the movements of the clock’s characters attract the crowds.

Strasbourg Cathedral up close
Strasbourg Cathedral

61. Spanish Steps, Italy

The Spanish Steps date back to 1723. This steep set of steps runs from the Piazza di Spagna at the base to Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top at the eastern end of the old city centre.

spanish steps at sunset
spanish steps at sunset

The staircase was designed by Francesco De Sanctis and was originally built to link the Bourbon Spanish Embassy and the Trinita dei Monti church to the Holy See and Spanish square. There are 138 steps and they are a mix of curves, straight flights and terraces. Azaleas adorn the Spanish steps from April through to the end of May each year.

spanish steps during the day
spanish steps during the day

As of 2019, tourists were no longer able to sit on the Spanish steps and there are major fines. This new law was brought in to protect the marble of the stairs.

62. Epidaurus Theatre, Greece

This ancient theatre was built from limestone around the 4th century BC by Polykleitos the Younger. Today this well-preserved theatre can seat 14,000 people and the acoustics mean that no matter where you sit you can hear the actors clearly. Every year it is used in the annual Epidaurus Festival.

Epidaurus Theatre
Epidaurus Theatre

63. The Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain

Mezquita was once the principal mosque of Western Islam and is still one of the largest mosques in the world. Construction of this mosque began in 785. By 1000 it had reached its current size and had no fewer than 19 aisles. Later renovations resulted in a catholic cathedral being added to the building but it remains a stunning example of Moorish architecture in Spain.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba
The Great Mosque of Cordoba

64. Dom Luis Bridge, Portugal

Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed Paris’ Eiffel Tower, also designed Dom Luis Bridge in Porto. It is a double decker iron arc bridge that sits over the River Douro. It opened in 1886 and at the time was the longest bridge of its kind, spanning 172 metres.

Dom Luis Bridge landmarks of portugal
Dom Luis Bridge

Today the top floor of the bridge carries the Porto Metro and a pedestrian path. The lower level of course takes cars.

65. Berlin TV Tower, Germany

Built during the years of the GDR (German Democratic Republic), Berlin Tower stands at 368 metres and is perhap’s Berlin’s most visible landmark. Located on Alexanderplatz, it is also the highest building in Europe open to the general public.

The Berlin TV Tower was opened in 1969. At the time, it was an emblem of the superiority of the communist system. After German reunification, the TV Tower came to symbolise the city and its new cityscape.

berlin tv tower one of the landmarks of germany
berlin tv tower

The viewing tower of the platform is at 200 metres and offers 360 views of Berlin to more than one million visitors a year. The tower of course has a revolving restaurant called Sphere and the Panorama Bar.

66. Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square), Italy

St Mark’s Square is Venice’s main square and the only one with the title of Piazza (most of the rest are referred to as Campi or fields). Without question, this is one of the most magnificent squares in the world. Yes, a coffee at St Mark’s Square will cost almost as much as your dinner in Venice but it is worth it to sit and sip in one of the world’s most beautiful places.

At the eastern end of the square is St Mark’s Basilica. On the north side of St Mark’s Basilica are two marble lion statues in a small area known as Piazzetta San Giovanni XXIII. Just past the lions is St Mark’s Clocktower which was was completed in 1499.

St Mark's square
St Mark’s square

A long arcade runs along the north of St Mark’s Square with buildings known as the Procuratie Vecchie or the old procuraracies. Today this arcade is filled with shops and restaurants. It is home to one of the two most well-known cafes on the square, Caffe Quadri.

The south side of Piazza San Marco is known as the Procuratie Nuove. This side is also home to shops and restaurants and the second most well know cafe, Caffe Florian.

Cafe Florian venice
Cafe Florian

67. Pena National Palace, Portugal

This beautiful palace sits on a hill in the lovely Sintra mountains just outside the town of Sintra. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and extremely colourful and beautiful. The palace is located within the beautiful Pena Park. The palace is well known for its multi colours – lilac, burnt red, canary yellow and its romantic style. A visit to Sintra and Pena Palace is a must for anyone visiting Portugal.

pena palace
pena palace

68. Reichstag, Germany

The Reichstag is the home of the German Parliament. The building was originally designed by Paul Wallot and was modelled after Memorial Hall in Philadelphia. It was completed in 1894. The building was badly damaged in 1933 by fire, an event that marked the end of the Weimar Republic.

reichstag berlin germany

After the war, West Germany’s parliament moved to Bonn and the building fell to ruin. Restorations began in 1961 and were completed in 1964. In 1990 the building was the site of the official reunification ceremony and in 1991 it was decided that German Parliament would return to the Reichstag.

Between 1995 and 1999 Norman Foster oversaw renovations to the building and the construction of the stunning glass cupola. This mirrored cone directs light into the building. The dome itself can be visited via two large steel ramps that form a double helix.

69. The Angel of the North, England

This sculpture which stands over the city of Newcastle, is probably the most famous piece of art in England. Created by Anthony Gormley, the statue was erected in 1998 in Gateshead. The Angel of the North is 20 metres high and 54 metres wide and thought to be the largest sculpture of an angel anywhere in the world.

angel of the north england
angel of the north

70. Las Rambla, Spain

Barcelona’s very own Champs-Elysee, this 1.2 kilometre tree lined boulevard runs through the centre of Barcelona. La Rambla is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants and is filled with markets and street artists. The street runs from Port Vell up to Place Catalunya. Don’t miss exploring its many side streets.

La Rambla Barcelona
La Rambla Barcelona

La Rambla is divided into several sections, each of which has its own character. The top part of La Rambla begins at the Placa Catalunya, named after the Font de Canalates. The saying goes that those who drink from the fountain here always return to Barcelona.

Rambla dels Estudis is the next section and is named after the University, which was demolished in 1843. This part of the street is known as Rambla del Ocells or bird Rambla as there are many bird sellers. There are also stores selling guinea pigs, dogs and turtles. This section also includes the Esglesia di Betlem and the Palau Moja.

Heading towards the sea, the bird stores are replaced by florists in the section known as Rambla de les Flors. In the 19th century, this was the only area in Barcelona that sold flowers. If you head off La Rambla you will see the biggest market in Barcelona Mercato de la Boqueria. The end of this section of La Rambla is marked by a Juan Miro-designed square Pla de la Boqueria.

la rambla barcelona
la rambla barcelona

The next section of the street is Rambla dels Catutxins, home to street actors, living statues and cafes. This section also includes the Opera de Gran Teatro Liceu.

The final section is known as Rambla de Santa Monica. This area is home to souvenir stands and art dealers as well as street artists and the contemporary Museum Centre d’Art de Monica.

If you’re looking for a good view of La Rambla, head to the iron statute of Colombus at the Maremagnum Complex.

71. The Shard, England

This 72 storey skyscraper was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. At just over 309 metres tall The Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the seventh tallest building in Europe.

The “Shard of Glass” opened in 2012 and the observation deck, the View from The Shard, in 2013. The open-air observation deck of The Shard is on the 72nd floor and it has jaw-dropping views over London. The View from The Shard is the highest view in the UK.

The Shard london against blue sky with clouds

Most of the floors of The Shard are office space. However, it is also home to three excellent restaurants – Aqua Shard, Oblix and the particularly well rated Hutong.

My favorite way to experience The Shard is through the wonderful Shangri La Hotel, which takes up floors 34 to 52. Of course, the ultimate experience is to spend the night at this beautiful hotel, but there are several not as expensive ways to experience the views.

The shard and london southbank skyline
The shard and london southbank skyline

One of the best ways to experience the sunrise in London is to book the 630am slot at Ting, the Shangri La restaurant on the 35th floor. The breakfast is also outstanding. Or enjoy a classic English high tea mid afternoon at Ting.

My personal favourite way to watch the sunset in London is at Gong. Gong at the Shangri La Hotel is the highest hotel bar in Western Europe. Located on Level 52 of the Shard Building, this is perhaps the highest sunset view in London.

london food tours
The Shard bursting from London Garden

The Gong is also a fantastic cocktail bar. I have visited several times. It is a beautiful bar but it is also quite comfortable. There is, of course, a bar as well as little tables that have all been placed next to floor to ceiling windows to ensure full appreciation of the amazing view.

Shangri La London View
View from the Shangri La London

72. Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos was commissioned by King Manuel I to celebrate the discovery of the sea route to India in 1948 by Vasco da Gama. It was from these very shores that many of the Portuguese explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries set sail. This beautiful monastery was built in the style of Manueline architecture and is quite stunning. Don’t miss the lovely cloister inside.

Jeronimos monastery
Jeronimos monastery

73. St Peter’s Basilica, Italy

St Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest and most important sites in Christendom. It is believed that the church was built over the tomb of St Peter, the first-ever Pope. Its famous dome is one of the most distinctive landmarks in Rome. The church and dome are actually the work of several artists and architects. Michelangelo was known to have taken the work done previously and unified the vision and design.

rome at sunset
rome at sunset

St Peter’s Basilica is the tallest dome in the world and it measures just over 136 metres tall. It is possible to visit the top of the dome and enjoy amazing views over Rome.

detail at st peters
detail at st peters

The interior of the church is filled with Baroque and Renaissance artworks. There are literally amazing works of art in every corner.

St Peter’s Basilica is located in Vatican City, which is just to the north of the city centre of Rome.

guards at st peters
guards at st peters

74. 30 St Mary Axe or The Gherkin, England

The Gherkin is the nickname given to the building that is at 30 St Mary Axe in the City of London. It is a commercial skyscraper with a modern design that opened in 2004. Personally, I am a big fan of its modern style.

Elevators heading up the Gherkin move at a speed of 6 metres per second. The building is covered by 24,000 square metres of glass which is the equivalent of five football pitches.

view of the Gherkin from Heron Tower
view of the Gherkin from Heron Tower

The Gherkin has 41 floors. On the 40th floor is the Iris Bar and the Helix Restaurant. Friday and Saturday nights at the Iris Bar are Apertivo time. Cocktails and snacks are served with awesome sunset views.

city of london at sunset
city of london at sunset

75. Rialto Bridge, Italy

The Rialto Bridge is the first one built along the canal in Venice. It began as a wooden drawbridge that permitted sailing ships to travel between St Marks basin and the Piazzale Roma area. In 1588 the Rialto Bridge was re-built in white marble and until 1854 it was the only bridge that crossed the Grand Canal.

rialto Bridge venice
rialto Bridge

This Venetian bridge is 48 metres long, 22 metres wide and 7.5 metres high. It has three parallel staircases and several small arcades. This area is also well known for the Rialto Market which is open every day apart from Sundays. The market runs from the San Polo area to Rialto Bridge.

Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge

76. Battersea Power Station, England

Okay I have to come clean – Battersea Power Station is my personal favourite English landmark. There is just something about this magnificent building sitting on the Thames that always gets me.

battersea power station from the water
battersea power station from the water

At its peak, Battersea Power Station supplied 1/5 of London’s electricity. From the 1930s to the 1980s it was a working power station. It was so important to London’s electricity that a problem at the power station in 1964 even brought the BBC to a stop.

Battersea Power Station was officially closed in 1983. In 2007 it was upgraded to be a Grade II listed site. In 2012 the site was purchased by developers with exciting plans.

Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station

As I write this post today Battersea Power Station is a good chunk of the way through a new modern incarnation as one of London’s newest, best located, new neighborhoods. There will be a considerable amount of residential property, a new tube station and restaurants and bars.

Several bars and restaurants are now open in the Circus West Village, which can be easily accessed from the southern end of Chelsea Bridge. My personal favourite is the fantastic Vagabond Wine Bar.

chelsea bridge and battersea power station
chelsea bridge and battersea power station

⇒ Heading to London? Check out my posts on 13 Unusual Experiences in London, the best London Food Tours, my virtual London Travel Blog, some great Earlsfield restaurants, 14 Things to do in Notting Hill, restaurants near Clapham Junction and Victoria Station restaurants, 16 Famous Landmarks in Europe, a mad hatter afternoon tea party and a day trip to Brighton, 67 Fascinating Facts about London, 18 Landmarks of London from a local, 15 Places to see Sunsets in London, 9 Places to watch the Sunrise in London, 10 Bridges in London Not to Miss and Cotswolds tour from London options.

77. Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain

It is said that no photograph has ever done justice to this Frank Gehry building. The building is a series/mix of shapes made from limestone and titanium. The museum is home to displays and exhibitions of modern art, but it is the extraordinary building that draws so many visitors and which has created a tourism industry in what was little visited Bilbao.

Guggenheim Bilbao
Guggenheim Bilbao

78. Caerphilly Castle, Wales

Caerphilly is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest castle in Britain after Windsor Castle. It is built on a 30-acre site and has towers, a maze, a dragon’s den, a Great Hall and much more. The design of the castle is based on a concentric ring of walls and it also has an extensive moat.

Caerphilly Castle wales
Caerphilly Castle

It was built between 1268 and 1271 by Gilbert de Clare. Caerphilly has received many attacks over the years but none broke its boundaries. An attack from Oliver Cromwell’s roundheads did manage to to hit one of the towers which still leans as a result.

The castle is open to the public – do book your tickets online ahead of your visit.

79. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

There can be few castles in the world as magnificent as Edinburgh castle! It perches literally on the top of Edinburgh on Castle Rock. Don’t leave Edinburgh without visiting Edinburgh castle. 

view over edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle sits on the top of Edinburgh

Human occupation of Castle Rock in Edinburgh Scotland can be traced back to the Iron Age. A royal castle first appeared in the 12th century and by the 17th century, this Scottish castle had become a military barracks.

Edinburgh Castle a fantastic castle in europe
Edinburgh Castle

Today Edinburgh Castle is the most popular paid tourist attraction in Scotland and the second most popular paid attraction in the United Kingdom with over 2.2 million visitors.

Entrance to Edinburgh Castle
Entrance to Edinburgh Castle

Highlights of a trip to Edinburgh Castle are seeing the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Royal Apartments and the gorgeous little St Margaret’s Chapel. Edinburgh Castle also provides stunning views over Edinburgh.

And at 1pm every day Mons Meg, the cannon at Edinburgh Castle, takes fire.

80. Plaza Mayor, Spain

This beautiful square in Madrid was built in 1619 and is filled with baroque architecture and lots of cute cafes. Plaza Mayor was once the center of entertainment in Madrid and featured bullfights, royal promenading, festivals and alas some of the events of the Spanish Inquisition.

plaza mayor madrid
plaza mayor madrid

A statue of King Phillip III on his horse is in the middle of the square. It is surrounded by burgundy coloured buildings, most of which are now apartments. On Sunday mornings, Plaza Mayor holds a stamp and coin market.

81. Wembley Stadium, England

The Wembley Arch stretches up 134 meters high and is a familiar landmark to all Londoners. Wembley is the largest stadium in the United Kingdom, the second largest stadium in Europe and home to English football. However, it still hosts other sports and different kinds of entertainment.

wembley stadium
wembley stadium

82. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

As one of Ireland’s most popular attractions and an undoubtedly famous landmark, the Cliffs of Moher is a must-see while visiting the Emerald Isle. Located in County Clare and hugging the Wild Atlantic Way, these sheer, cascading sea cliffs are over 320 million years old. They form part of the UNESCO Global Geopark.

cliffs of moher

Stretching for 14 km and rising 214 meters at their highest point, these cliffs offer spectacular viewpoints. Head to the observation tower, the O’Brien’s Tower, to get the best-unobstructed panoramas of the areas. 

These cliffs, however, offer more than just beautiful vistas. A modern centre was built to improve the visitor experience and provide information about the area’s geology and geography. Here you’ll find many unique bird species that call this place home, such as razorbills, falcons, kittiwakes, and more. 

cliffs of moher 2 one of the famous ireland landmarks

Join one of the fabulous day tours to the Cliffs of Moher and explore the area. Tour buses depart daily from major metros, including Galway, Dublin, and Cork.

83. The O2, England

The O2 started out as the Millenium Dome to celebrate the year 2000. Located in Greenwich in south east London, it was redeveloped in 2007 and is now the biggest entertainment district in London. The O2 arena can host up to 20,000 people and was the first site built purposely for music in London since the Royal Albert Hall. Today, playing at the O2 is a must for all major artists.

o2 stadium london
o2 stadium london

84. Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

Located in County Antrim, the Giant’s Causeway is one of Northern Ireland’s most impressive landmarks. It’s famous for its odd-looking hexagonal rock columns. There are approximately 40,000 of these basalt columns along 6 kilometres of the Antrim plateau, resulting from an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. There are typically five to seven irregular sides jutting out of the cliff faces.

giants causeway

Legend has it that this strange formation was built by the Irish warrior Finn McCool (Fionn mac Cumhaill) to fight the Scottish giant Benandonner. Finn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so the two giants could meet.

The Giant’s Causeway is an enjoyable place to visit, and there are plenty of day trips and tour options to choose from. Some highlights not to be missed here include the Giant’s Boot, the wishing chair (a natural throne), and of course, the largest of three rock outcrops, the Grand Causeway. And if you’re an avid hiker, there are some incredible cliff-top trails along the causeway.

giants causeway

Access to this landmark is free of charge. There is, however, an entrance fee to the visitor centre.

85. One Canada Square, England

Canary Wharf is London’s second major business district, located in the east of the city. It is home to many gleaming skyscrapers but One Canada Square is the most iconic of these as it is the third tallest building in the United Kingdom. Its pyramid shaped roof can be seen from all over London.

canary wharf london
canary wharf london

86. Blarney Stone, Ireland

The Blarney Castle is located in County Cork and is one of Ireland’s most revered historical landmarks. The medieval castle was constructed in 1446 by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster.

blarney castle

The iconic attraction here is the Blarney Stone, which, according to the legend, can grant you the gift of eloquence if you kiss it. The 600-year-old castle looks like a mystic building from one side and a war-torn hero on the other.

Other highlights here are the stunning, well-manicured gardens of Blarney Castle. While you’re exploring this remarkable green space, be sure to check out the Poison Garden, The Seven Sisters, the Fern Garden, and more.

blarney castle 1

Tourists come from far and wide to give this stone a smooch in the hope of some Irish luck. So, I highly recommend booking a tour to learn about the grounds’ thrilling history and its legends.  

Admission to Blarney Castle is $21 for adults and $10 for children. Opening times are from 9 am to 5 pm every day.

87. Fort of Sao Joao Baptista, Portugal

Berlangas Islands sit off the west coast of Portugal and contain the Fort of Sao Joao Baptista. The fort was built in the middle of the 17th century on the site of an abandoned monastery. The fort can turn a beautiful shade of pink in the right light and it has an extremely picturesque location as it can only be visited through a series of walkways.

Fort of Sao Joao Baptista
Fort of Sao Joao Baptista

88. Hagia Sophia of Thessalonica Church, Greece

This is one of the oldest cathedrals in the world and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia of Thessalonica was built in the 8th century AD and it was the largest church in the world until it was knocked off its position by Spain’s Seville Cathedral.

Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia
Cathedral Church of Hagia Sophia

89. Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Situated in County Kerry and part of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Ring of Kerry has attracted visitors to its unspoilt scenery.

ring of kerry

The 179-kilometre-long circular tourist route takes its visitors around the Iveragh Peninsula and through majestic valleys, rivers, mountains, towns, historic sites, and beaches. The landscape is varied, from the rocky bay of Rossbeigh Strand to the Killarney lakes and mountains.

ring of kerry 1

Hop in your car and head on an unforgettable road trip, or find your seat on a tour to explore the heavenly scenic route. Along the way, stop by some of Ireland’s noteworthy sites including, Ross Castle, the Kerry Cliffs, and the Cahergall Stone Fort. And, don’t forget to visit some exquisite beaches and enjoy some of the stunning hiking trails along the way.

90. Titanic Museum and Quarter, Ireland

Situated in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Quarter is home to where the notorious Titanic ship was first created. Today, it houses a state-of-the-art Titanic-themed museum to pay tribute to the world-famous cruise liner.

titanic belfast sunrise
titanic museum belfast

Visitors’ experience at this museum is second to none, with interactive exhibits and world-class art galleries enabling you to explore the world of the Titanic. Here you can uncover the building processes right through to the disastrous events and the underwater remains. Head to the slipway to find some unique souvenirs and to see where the Titanic, and her sister Olympic, were built and first launched.

titanic belfast signage

I highly recommend you book entrance tickets to explore the fascinating history of the Titanic in this magnificent museum.

91. Corinth Canal, Greece

This canal connects the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea with the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea. The Corinth Canal was constructed in 1881 and cuts through the Ishtmus of Corinth and separates the Greek mainland from the Peloponnese.

Corinth Canal
Corinth Canal

The distance between the canal’s walls is only 25 metres and the walls are 76 metres high. This limits the types of ships that can move through the canal. Finally, seven different bridges cross the Corinth Canal.

92. Bordeaux Cathedral

Bordeaux Cathedrals’ official name is Cathedrale Saint-Andre. This gothic-style cathedral was consecrated in 1096 by the Pope. It hosted two royal marriages. The first was between local girl Eleanor of Aquitaine and the future Louis VII. Eleanor and Louis’ marriage didn’t last and she went on to marry Henry, the future King of England.

bordeaux cathedral
bordeaux cathedral

The second wedding was between Anne of Austria and Louis the VIII in 1615.

bordeaux cathedral stained glass windows
bordeaux cathedral stained glass windows

Today there is no charge to enter Cathedrale Saint-Andre. Don’t miss going inside and in particular, don’t miss its stunning stained glass windows.

93. La Rochelle Harbour

For many years La Rochelle was one of the greatest port cities in Europe. Whilst it may not have the level of wealth and stature that it did in the 16th century, La Rochelle Harbour still has 5,000 moorings and the manufacture of boats is big business in the town. (Local children still spend one week learning how to sail at the age of nine).

harbour la rochelle

And then there is the jaw-dropping beauty of the harbour. Its three towers are extremely well preserved, like the rest of the town. The Chain Tower guarded the entrance to the harbour from foreign intruders. It was named the Chain Tower as it literally had a big chain that attached it to Saint Nicolas Tower and blocked entry to the port. Saint Nicolas Tower held pirates and political prisoners.

harbour la rochelle tower at night

The Lantern Tower guided ships from across the Atlantic. All three were built almost 1000 years ago. Today, you can visit all three towers and climb to their tops to experience some fantastic views of the harbour and La Rochelle.

94. Cite du Vin, Bordeaux

Cite du Vin opened in 2016 so it is still relatively new. The extraordinary building was created by architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières.

The building’s unusual shape was created by a desire to evoke the soul of wine between the river and the city. It is also meant to evoke gnarled vine stock, wine swirling in a glass and the eddies of the Garonne River.

cite du vin
cite du vin

The exhibits within Cite du Vin have been designed to please everyone, from those who know little about wine to connoisseurs. I am probably somewhere in the middle and I learned a huge amount during my visit.

The tasting room is quite stunning (every entrance ticket includes a tasting) and there is an outdoor area with excellent views over Bordeaux. The 8th floor is also home to a restaurant.

cite du vin
cite du vin

95. Rouen Cathedral, France

Notre Dame cathedral sits at the heart of Rouen. Construction of this gothic marvel began in the 12th century using the foundations of a 4th-century basilica. Its 19th-century cast iron spire is the highest in France at 151 metres.

rouen cathedral
rouen cathedral

The cathedral suffered extensive damage during World War Two. Three bombs fell on the church in 1944 and the restoration took 12 years. Since then, the Cathedral has gone through frequent periods of renovation. It really is a jaw-dropping sight – don’t leave Rouen until you have visited the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Rouen cathedral inside
Rouen cathedral inside

96. Jumieges Abbey, France

The land for this Benedictine monastery was first given in 654. It somewhat survived Viking invasions and the Hundred Years War. It was sold during the French Revolution and turned into a quarry. It was about to be destroyed when it was discovered and preserved in the 19th century by the Romantics.

jumieges abbey
jumieges abbey

Today the remains of Jumieges Abbey are located in a 14 hectare park. The exterior has remained unchanged since the French Revolution. It is a beautiful and quite haunting site. Don’t miss the dramatic cloisters.

jumieges abbey.
jumieges abbey.

97. Bayeux Cathedral, France

I was quite blown away by the cathedral in Rouen, so Bayeux’s cathedral had a tough measuring stick. Originally built in the 11th century, the Bayeux Cathedral is a national monument of France. The present cathedral was consecrated in 1077.

Bayeux Cathedral
Bayeux Cathedral

It was in this cathedral that William made Harold Godwinson take the oath, later broken, that led to the Norman conquest of England. It is a spectacular building and well worth a visit.

98. Palais de L’ile, France

Ironically, in the beautiful French town of Annecy, the most photographed spot was actually a prison. This 12th-century building was actually a justice court and a prison, thus the name Palais de L’ile. The building was used as a prison up to 1864 and was even rejuvenated for that purpose for some captured German soldiers in 1944.

annecy palais de lille
annecy palais de lille

It is possible to visit the inside of Palais de L’ile. It is open every day except Tuesday. The best photos, of course, are of the outside of the Palais de L’ile and its unique ship shape.

annecy palais de lille
annecy palais de lille

The Lednice-Valitce Cultural Landscape is a 280-square-kilometer UNESCO World Heritage site in South Moravia, Czech Republic. The area was developed between the 17th and 20th centuries by the noble Liechtenstein family. They sought to develop a world-class countryside like France and England with two major chateaus.

99. Lednice Chateau, Czech Republic

The Liechtenstein family first came to South Moravia in 1249 when they bought a castle in Lednice. This chateau was their home until World War Two. They also made purchases in the surrounding area and transformed their property into one large private park.


Lednice Chateau is the most popular historic site in South Moravia and the second most popular tourist attraction in all of the Czech Republic. It consists of eight wings, four courtyards, 400 rooms, a detached riding hall and the oldest greenhouse in Europe.


100. Chateau Valtice, Czech Republic

The Liechtenstein family wanted to create luxury on the scale of the Vienesse Imperial Court at Chateau Valtice, and it is a magnificent building. Different tours are available to explore areas of the chateau as well as its unique herb garden. There is also a torture museum in the chateau’s park if that interests you.


However, the highlight of Chateau Valtice is its basement which is home to The National Wine Salon of Czech Republic. Each year this not-for-profit organization chooses what it feels are the best 100 wines made in the Czech Republic. These 100 wines are then available for tasting and purchase in the National Wine Cellar at Valtice.

wine salon
wine salon

Today the chateaus of Lednice and Valtice are some of the most popular tourist attractions in the Czech Republic and are only a 10-minute drive from each other (and less than one hour by car or train from Brno).

This famous landmarks in Europe post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.

La Alhambra de Granada, a flagship of the remnants of the Islamic culture in Spain. Interiors and exteriors of delicate architectonic finesse. This is a wide angle shot of the Patio de los Leones
La Alhambra de Granada

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Saturday 6th of April 2024

16 of 16, but you missed quite a few that should be in the top 100. Europe is not all castles and cathedrals.

Aussie Adventurer

Sunday 17th of January 2021

16 of 16! Loved them all and glad I did it before COVID hit.

The Boutique Adventurer

Sunday 17th of January 2021

well done!!! very impressive!!!

Anne Clarke

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

14 of 16

The Boutique Adventurer

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

great result!

Jimmy G

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

I've been too 12 of the 16!


Thursday 4th of March 2021

@The Boutique Adventurer, as have I. Must get to Spain sometime. As I come from Australia. It’s quite the trip anytime I come.

The Boutique Adventurer

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Outstanding! Only 4 left!

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