This post has been updated on February 22nd, 2021
Europe it’s one of the most enchanting continents in the world. Home of insanely beautiful places, we have tried to tidy up a list of the most famous landmarks in Europe. However, it was hard to skim just this in 25 famous buildings in Europe, we did our best. If you are willing to suggest others, comment below and let us know your thoughts.
The most famous landmarks in Europe on our list are divided by location. As you can see, Italy has got a lot, but it might be because we are Italian. Sorry.
We have been travelling all around Europe extensively, and some of these spots should be on the list of every traveller. Europe’s most famous landmarks should be a lifetime opportunity.
- Eiffel tower, Paris – France
- Louvre Museum in Paris – France
- Mont Saint Michel, France
- Palace of Versailles, France
- Notre Dame Cathedral, France
- Arc de Triomphe, Paris – France
- Brandenburg Gate, Berlin – Germany
- The Parthenon and the Acropolis of Athens – Greece
- Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest – Hungary
- Colosseum, Rome – Italy
- Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
- Trevi Fountain, Rome – Italy
- Pantheon, Rome – Italy
- Sistine Chapel, Rome – Italy
- St. Mark Square, Venice – Italy
- St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
- Belém Tower, Lisbon – Portugal
- St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow – Russia
- La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona – Spain
- Alhambra, Granada – Spain
- Blue Mosque, Istanbul – Turkey
- Hagia Sophia, Turkey
- Big Ben, London – Uk
- Buckingham Palace, London – UK
- Tower Bridge, London – UK
Most famous landmarks in Europe
Europe Landmarks Map
Europe Famous Landmarks
Ready to talk about every single location we thought it’s the most famous landmark in Europe. The below will give you insight about the landmarks but check also the blog posts we wrote about those places. In every article, we suggest you also tips on how to visit it on a budget. Today we are presenting something different here, taking you to the most incredible places to visit in Europe.
Eiffel tower, Paris – France
Without doubts, this is one of the most recognizable and famous landmarks in Europe. The Eiffel Tower was meant to be temporary, however today it makes a huge difference in the Paris Landscape. Constructed by Gustave Eiffel in 1889, it stands tall in the centre of Paris with a height of 324 meters. This is the tallest building in Paris, and you can see the Eiffel Tower from many points of view of Paris.
The tower hosts over 7 million people annually. It’s three floors offer visitors a Michelin-starred restaurant, a beautiful view over the French Capital, an ice-rink in winter, shops and museum.
This is one of the best experiences on every traveller enthusiast bucket list of Europe. The Eiffel Tower attracts tourists from all over the world. It’s beautiful during the day and the night, with glamping lights all over. You can’t miss this spot while looking for instagrammable places in Paris.
Louvre Museum in Paris – France
This is the unique and most envied museum in Europe. The Louvre Museum jealousy guards some of the world’s finest art. The best masterpieces of the great artists are hosted in the galleries of this huge museum in the centre of Paris. You can find here the Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci and the Venus de Milo.
Once served as Royal Palace for the French Kings, back in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Louvre became a gallery of fine art when Louis XVI moved to Versailles. Only during the French Revolution, the Louvre became a public museum
You can visit the Louvre for free if you are visiting Paris on the first Sunday of each month. Also free admission on the 14th of July. However, a single ticket costs about 15 euro, which it’s not a big price for this incredible experience.
Mont Saint Michel, France
Since I was a kid, I have been dreaming about this beautiful Place. I had a 3D model of Mont St. Michel, a unique place which becomes an island depending on the moon attraction.
This place it’s an island in Normandy, reachable by train just a few hours from Paris. This is one of the most intriguing places in Europe and maybe in the whole world. The little old town receives over 2 million visitors yearly.
The fortified medieval town hosts a beautiful church, dedicated to St. Michel, placed on top of a rock. When the tides come it becomes an island, completely dislocated by the mainland. The landscape becomes unique, and it’s without any doubt one of the most precious gems in Europe on our list.
The construction of Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey can be dated back to 1523 when it was completed. The pure Gothic Style, make it magical with the tides, attracting photographers from all over.
Palace of Versailles, France
Remaining in France it’s good to mention the Palace of Versailles. The beautiful Royal Palace located 20 Kilometres away from the Capital, Paris, in the region, Île-de-France was the residence of the France Royal Family since 1682. This was one of the best periods of France’s history with Louis XIV.
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most famous landmarks in Europe for everyone. The complex consists of over 600 rooms, huge gardens with many fountains. Every year millions of visitors enjoy the beautiful Royal Palace, which also has a free entrance on some days from November until March.
Notre Dame Cathedral, France
Going back to Paris, the Notre Dame Cathedral has been on the news for another fire which destroyed some parts on refurbishment back in 2019.
The Cathedral of Paris was built in 1163, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it’s the most known Church in Gothic Style, a symbol of cartoons, movies and songs. The most known Quasimodo from Disney.
The Cathedral is in the centre of Paris, on Île de la Cité island in the middle of the Seine. Looking at numbers this building it’s one of the most visited places in Paris and goes right into the list of most beautiful landmarks in Europe.
Visiting Paris for the first time, you will be impressed by Notre Dame already from outside. The facade of the tall building it’s amazing, the central rose window and the two bell towers with the incredible gargoyles sculptures to guard it.
Arc de Triomphe, Paris – France
This is the last landmark to mention in France. The famous Arc de Triomphe welcomes you to the Champs Eliseu, one of the most beautiful parts of Paris. This building stands tall in the middle of a roundabout and becomes one of the first things you will see arriving in Paris by bus from the airport.
The construction started in August 1806 and ended 30 years later in July 1836. Was built to commemorate the sacrifice of the French soldiers during the French REvolution. All the names of the people who lost their lives in the name of the cause are inscribed on the walls of the monument.
Despite common thinking, it’s possible to climb the 234 steps to the top and enjoy the view. That’s why we included the Arc de Triomphe in the list of most famous landmarks in Europe. It’s not only a beautiful monument in the city, but it’s also the ideal to explore while in Paris for a couple of days.
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin – Germany
We love Berlin, this is one of our latest discoveries. However, we never thought that we can love cold places that much. One of the most recognizable landmarks in Europe is for sure the Brandenburg Gate. This was once the entry point to West Germany and used to be a symbol of division between the two parts of Berlin. However today the building means unity and peace for Berliners and the entire world.
The building it’s made of different styles, mostly inspired by the Acropolis in Greece and the Parthenon. The Brandenburg gate is made of 12 Columns in Doric style. At the top of the monument, four-horses chariots are looking at East driven by the goddess Victoria. Erected between 1788 and 1791 it’s sightseeing to don’t miss in Berlin.
The Parthenon and the Acropolis of Athens – Greece
Talking about the Acropolis of Athens, we can’t miss talking about that consistently. It’s one of the oldest sites on our list, and also one of the most beautiful for us. The entire site can be dated back to between 447 and 438 BCE. The Acropolis of Athen it’s an ancient greek stronghold built on a hill overlooking the city.
The Citadel was constructed in honour of the Goddess Athena and it’s one of the most famous sites in the world. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Sites, by right it must be included in the list of most famous landmarks in Europe.
Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest – Hungary
This is one of the most impressive buildings in Europe. We were stunned while visiting Budapest, and the view of the Hungarian Parliament from the opposite side of the Danube it’s just mind-blowing. Located on the Pest side of the city, this Neo-Gothic style is one of the most famous landmarks in Europe.
The Hungarian Parliament officially opened the doors in 1902 and since then it’s considered the largest Parliament building in the World. Internally it hosts 10 courtyards, 13 elevators, 27 gates, 29 staircases and about 690 rooms in total.
It’s possible to visit the intern of this building, walking through the passages and enjoying the twin parliament hall. Yes, you understand well. This building is larger and hosts two identical halls for the parliament sessions. Also, visitors can see other rooms, the dome hall and the crown of Stephen.
The best point of view of the Hungarian Parliament it’s definitely from the opposite side, as we said in the opening of this paragraph. What makes this one of the most famous landmarks in Europe in our opinion it’s because it’s beautiful also from another point of view. From the top of the Buda Castle, like you can see above.
READ ALSO | Budapest photography locations
Colosseum, Rome – Italy
Welcome to Italy, it’s time to talk of the Colosseum. This is one of the 7 new wonders of the world.
This is the most iconic building in Rome and Italy. The largest amphitheatre built by Romans can be dated back to 72AD. Located in the centre of Rome, it’s right in the centre of the city and surrounded by other impressive Roman ruins.
Often referred to as the Flavian Amphitheatre it’s very affected by natural agents, and it’s preserved. It welcomes over 6 million visitors every year, which makes it one of the most visited sites worldwide.
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Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
This is probably the most visited place in Italy, after the Colosseum. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy it’s located next to the Cathedral of Pisa, in Piazza Dei Miracoli. This is the right example of how an engineering mistake can become a fortune for a city.
The tower’s famous for its lean, which attracts tourists to take goofy pictures, trying to adjust the inclination. The leaning of the tower it’s the attraction factor which makes it a famous landmark in Europe.
What it’s also interesting, it’s the engineering history which it’s been trying to reduce the gap. In the past 30 years, local authorities were trying to reinforce the unstable foundation of the construction, reducing the lean from 5.5 degrees to 3.97.
You can visit Pisa from Florence, as a day trip, which makes it an incredible experience. Enjoy the 12th-century building, and also the whole surrounding area.
Trevi Fountain, Rome – Italy
Back to Rome for another amazing monument. Italy it’s incredible and this list features some of the most famous landmarks in Europe. Fontana di Trevi, as it is called in Italy it’s beautiful and unique.
Located in a worthless area of Rome, it’s surrounded by beautiful architecture and unique monuments. The Quirinale District it’s also a political area of Rome, hosting the local Parliament and the President Residency.
Just behind the Trevi Fountain, you can visit Piazza Navona, for a full day in Rome without missing anything. The fountain celebrates Oceanus. There are many stories about the Trevi Fountain, check those out.
One of that it’s about throwing the coin into the fountain. The first coin means that you will return to Rome at one point in your life. The second coin means that you might find your love in Rome. Throwing a third coin you will get married there.
All the coins are taken every day and devolved to the charity.
Pantheon, Rome – Italy
Rome wanderers include Pantheon, an Old Catholic site in the city centre. Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Counselor and Architect built the Pantheon, which was a Roman Temple, then transformed into a church under Emperor Hadrian.
The impressive architecture of this site makes it a European popular landmark. It’s a must-see place in Rome. Surrounded by local bars, restaurants and shops, it’s the ideal place for an aperitif in style in Rome. The entrance to the Pantheon it’s completely free, and this might help budget travellers to experience more of Rome. The outside area it’s impressive, but inside will be breathless. The round-opening at the top of the cupola it’s insane. However, it’s not open when it’s raining because of that.
This place it’s on our Italy Bucket list because it’s one of the oldest and well-preserved monuments in the country.
READ ALSO | Things to do in Rome in 2 days
Sistine Chapel, Rome – Italy
The first sight in Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel it’s a masterpiece of Michelangelo, one of the most recognized Italian artists in the world. The Sistine Chapel it’s a series of frescoes by Michelangelo, jealously guarded in the Apostolic Place in Vatican City.
Michelangelo began work on this famous frescoed ceiling in 1508, the job was completed in four years. You can’t take pictures of the frescos, inside it’s forbidden. The masterpiece it’s protected by a copyright law which is also shared on social media. Also photography for personal use it’s limited because the flashes from the camera can be harmful to the artwork.
St. Mark Square, Venice – Italy
The most romantic city in Italy, Venice, features one of the best landmarks in Europe. However many delimit everything to the sole Doge’s Palace, we included the whole square as a popular place in Europe.
The beautiful typical Italian Square hosts the Doge’s Palace, the Bell Tower and the Cathedral of Venice. The whole square it’s a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic style, it’s architecture can’t be seen anywhere else, because of the influence of the reminiscence of the merchants’ power of the city. We suggest you visit Venice in two days at least.
Visit the inside of St. Mark’s Cathedral and understand the Byzantine and Asian influence of this place. The Doge’s Palace it’s today a museum which hosts some of the most valuable treasures of the city. If you are interested in discovering Venice from another point of view, climb the top of the bell tower for a beautiful view of the lagoon and the surrounding area. The landscape over St. George Basilica it’s breathless.
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St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
Staying in Italy, but crossing a border we are entering in the Vatican city. We have included this before talking about the Sistine Chapel. However, the whole St. Peter’s Basilica is a beautiful masterpiece to don’t miss visiting in Europe.
This is not just a beautiful building, but also it’s the symbol of Christianity. The construction of this huge complex started in 1506 under Pope Julius II, however, was completed only over 100 years later by Pope Nicholas in 1615.
Belém Tower, Lisbon – Portugal
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Lisbon it’s the Belém Tower. Doesn’t matter how many days you are spending in Lisbon, the Belém Tower should be on top of your list. Walking through the Belém area you will be impressed by the local architecture.
By locals, this is also known as the Tower of Saint Vincent, which was a ceremonial gateway entering Lisbon for Portugues explorers embarked and disembarked from this tower. We loved our walk along the Tagus River, with the Bridge of 25th April on the landscape. Close to the tower you can also visit the white Dos Jeronimos Monastery, and eat the real Pastel de Nata at the bakery where it was created.
Check also how many incredible attractions there are in Lisbon and are worth visiting.
St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow – Russia
Today this is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Europe and for sure the face of Russia and their unique architecture.
Completely different compared to other European Locations, St. Basil’s Cathedral it’s unique and worth a visit. Located in Moscow in the Red Square it’s facing the Ivory gate chapel. This is a unique building, a complex of 9 different chapels with different altars and only one mausoleum.
You can pass from an altar to another by a well-hidden staircase through a narrow passage. You will be speechless looking at the St. Basil’s Cathedral for the first time, and this has to be your welcome to Moscow.
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona – Spain
The never-ending project. La Sagrada Familia couldn’t be missed in our list of the most famous landmarks in Europe. The construction of the site started in 1883 by the famous Antoni Gaudi, which defined the artistic style of the Catalan Capital.
However, under construction for over 138 years, the huge complex it’s still a working progress site. Despite that, it’s common to refer to this as a famous landmark in Europe. Estimated end date for the Basilica, saying that it will be finished by 2026, 100 years after Gaudi’s death.
The project of Sagrada Familia wanted by Gaudi features 18 towers, which represents the disciples, 4 the evangelist, 1 in memory of Mary and the highest one in the middle, will represent Jesus Christ. Today 8 out of the 18 towers are completed. The founding consists of donations. The interior of the Basilica it’s insane too. Harmony and incredible colours attract millions of tourists every year. However, you can visit the site for free on some days of the year. Check our list of the best things to do in Barcelona, for more information.
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Alhambra, Granada – Spain
Many might skip this, but believe us, it’s one of the most suggestive places in the world. The Alhambra of Granada it’s the Moorish Alcazaba of the city in Andalusia. This is one of the most famous landmarks in Spain and Europe. Visit Granada for a step back in time, going up and down the hills and relaxing with good wine and fine local cuisine.
The Royal Palace it’s a fortress, erected by the Arabs during the conquest of Europe. On the hilltop the palace overlooks the surrounding, making the landscape even more suggestive, thanks to the Sierra Nevada in the background. The construction of the site began in 1238 by Nasrid and it’s a fortress featuring beautiful courts and gardens. The Generalife Palace, which is adjacent to the main building it’s the true attraction.
The whole complex welcomes visitors to the internal museum and the fountains which have inspired artists and legendary stories. The Alhambra of Granada has all the rights to be on our list of famous landmarks in Europe.
You have to book your ticket in advance of over a month or two. The tickets are limited and go quite fast. If you are not lucky enough, you can see the palace from the Terrazas of Granada and enjoy the beautiful view. A similar Palace can be seen in Seville, visiting the Royal Alcázar.
MORE ABOUT GRANADA | How to spend 2 days in Granada
Blue Mosque, Istanbul – Turkey
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, more often seen as the Blue Mosque it’s a famous landmark in Europe.
It’s easy to understand why it’s named like that, because of the blue-coloured tiles of the internal mosque.
It is a religious place and needs to be respected. However it’s mainly visited by Muslims, the Blue Mosque welcomes all kinds of religions. The buildings in the heart of Istanbul, nestled in a complex near the Sultanahmet park, it’s construction can be dated back to 1616. The unusual architecture recalls the Islamic tradition with some elements from the Christian architecture of the nearby Hagia Sophia.
This is also the right place for photography enthusiasts. The colours of the Mosque are beautiful, at night this place becomes even more suggestive.
Hagia Sophia, Turkey
We have introduced this before. Hagia Sophia, it’s the true symbol of Istanbul, more than the Blue Mosque. Nestled in the historic quarter of Istanbul, it’s another building to be dated back to the 6th century.
However the history of Hagia Sophia it’s interesting. Built as a Christian Orthodox Cathedral, was converted into a mosque in 1453, then in 1935 became a museum, to be turned back into a mosque a few years ago.
It was the main religious, political and artistic centre of the Byzantine World.
This is today the most visited landmark in Turkey, with over 3 million visitors every year. This is still a complex full of meaning for different religion believers and it’s a worship place for Muslims. You can admire the beauty of this place. The impressive dome, the surrounding minarets. Inside the interior are showing you biblical history, with scenes which adorn everywhere.
Big Ben, London – Uk
Living in London, the big ben has been part of our journey for quite a while now.
This huge clock it’s well known worldwide, but not many know that the real name it’s the Great Bell. Not very imaginative, and Big Ben makes more sense.
Built after a fire which destroyed the Palace of Westminster in 1834. The new project included a tower and a clock, however, the first attempt to build a massive bell was a disaster.
The Tower at the north end of the Great Palace of Westminster in London it’s a beautiful clock, which it’s one of the symbols of the city and one of the most famous landmarks in Europe.
This is the largest clock in the wall with four faces and also the largest tower’s bell, featuring 13.5 tonnes weighing five bells. The Elizabeth Tower in Westminster it’s currently under restoration since 2017. The £79m job was due to end in 2021, but due to the pandemic, it might go further in 2022. Visitors are not allowed to visit the Big Ben Inside, only UK Residents are admitted.
Buckingham Palace, London – UK
Another great landmark in the London skyline it’s Buckingham Palace. The Residence of the United Kingdom’s Royal Family it’s one of the most popular spots in Europe. The building can be dated back to 1837, with Queen Victoria as the first sovereign occupying the building.
The Royal Palace has got 775 rooms, a beautiful royal garden which covers 39 acres. A huge property right in the centre of London. Visitors are attracted to Buckingham Palace every day for the Changing of the Guard, but it’s unlikely that you will spot the queen.
You can visit the Royal Palace just a few months per year. Book your ticket in advance if visiting London between July and October.
Tower Bridge, London – UK
One of the most remarkable tourist attractions in London, the beautiful bridge connects the two sides of London. The awesome architecture in Neo-Gothic style makes it the leading building in this section of the UK Capital, surrounded by the town hall and the Tower of London. The bridge features a lifting central section which opens when big vessels go in and out of the great city.
You can walk across the Tower Bridge, but also visit the exhibition hosted inside and go straight up to the glass walkways suspended over the bridge.
The visit will allow you also to reach the steam engine room and understand how it works. This is the oldest bridge in London, Built between 1886 and 1894, it’s just a new version of a medieval bridge which lasted for 600 hundred years before collapsing due to ice damages.
MORE ABOUT LONDON | Best Instagram Spots in London
Other famous places in Europe
Many people will argue with this list, that it might be too short, or missing places which are incredible and worth to mention. That’s why we decided to include this special section with some other places you might be interested in visiting in Europe.
Starting on the east side we have to mention the beautiful Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest in Romania. The Charles Bridge of Prague, it’s an attraction in the Czech Republic you should consider to visit, and talking about bridges, we cannot miss the Chain Bridge of Budapest, Hungary. The King’s House or known as the Bread House and Grand-Palace of Brussels need a spot as well. We could go on indefinitely with this list, mentioning the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia, the little Mermaid of Copenhagen, the blue-domed church of Santorini in Greece or the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.
Q&A Most Famous Landmarks in Europe
What is the most visited landmark in Europe?
Tour Eiffel – Paris, France
Colosseum – Rome, Itay
Parthenon – Athens, Greece
Top 10 Famous Landmarks in the World?
Great Wall of China.
Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Pyramid of Giza.
Sydney Opera House.
Statue of Liberty.
What is the most beautiful monument in Europe?
The Cristo Rei – Lisbon, Portugal
La Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain
The Atomium – Brussels, Belgium
Royal Pavilion – Brighton, UK
The Cube Houses – Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Church of Hallgrimur – Reykjavik, Iceland
The Bubbles Palace – Nice, France
Pena Palace – Sintra, Portugal
Facteur Cheval Palace – Hauterives, France
Pisa Tower – Pisa, Italy
Inntel Hotel Zaandam – Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Guggenheim – Bilbao, Spain
What are 2 famous landmarks in Italy?
The Colosseum, Rome
The Milan Cathedral, Milan
Other amazing landmarks in Italy are…
Piazza Plebiscito, Naples
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
Uffizi Gallery, Florence