Europe is one of the most visited continents in the world. The 44 countries that makeup Europe have gorgeous architecture, rich history, authentic culture, and of course, some of the most famous European landmarks.
Millions of people visit Europe each year to learn its history, relax on vacation, and explore the landscapes, monuments, cities, and countries on their European bucket list.
Europe is well worth the visit, there are so many wonderful cities to visit, and the continent has a diverse landscape.
The culture also varies drastically from country to country.
Europe is a great place to experience unique food, see famous landmarks, meet new people, and learn about different places in the world.
Top 15 Most Famous European Landmarks
Keep reading to find out more about some of the most famous landmarks in Europe. There are so many other famous
European landmarks to choose from, but this list has narrowed it down to 13 of some of the most popular landmarks in Europe.
15. Berlin Wall, Germany
The Berlin Wall is probably one of the most iconic representations of modern-day history. It was what divided West from East separating Communism from democracy.
Berlin was once a city that was divided between the two, and if you were unlucky enough to live on the East side it is forbidden to cross into the West.
The wall divided the city and many were known to be executed trying to escape to the west. The Berlin Wall collapsed or was thrown down on November 9th, 1989 signifying the end of the Soviet Union.
Today, it is visited by over 3 million people a year, buying small pieces of the wall that still remain and taking photos of the parts of the wall that are still up.
It is hard to think that this part of history was less than 40 years ago.
14. Prague Castle, Czech Republic
The Prague Castle in the Czech Republic is the largest ancient castle in the world. This title makes it a famous and heavily visited landscape in Europe.
The castle was built in the 9th century but has undergone many renovations throughout the years.
Because of this, it now combines architectural styles that include gothic, baroque, and romanesque.
Since 1918, this UNESCO world heritage site has been the official residence of the president of Czech.
The complex now has several palaces, various buildings, and three churches. You can spend much time viewing the castle and walking the grounds.
13. Big Ben, England
Not only is this the world’s most famous clock it is also one of the most famous European landmarks. You will see Big Ben in almost any movie that shows London.
Big Ben took 13 years to build and was completed in 1859. Since then it has been working around the clock to give London the accurate time and had only stopped working for 3 months back in the 1970s to go routine maintenance.
It looks like the 13 years it took to construct this famous landmark really paid off. It is an iconic staple to London, and if you plan on visiting, you must be sure to stop by and snap a photo with this iconic landmark.
12. Fisherman’s Bastion, Hungary
Located in Budapest in the Buda region next to the Danube River, Fisherman’s Bastion is a wonderful landmark of the city.
It was built from 1895 to 1902 originally as a defense. It’s a great example of Hungarian eclecticism.
There is so much detail and historical significance surrounding this structure, and it offers great views of the city.
You can visit parts of the towers for free to enjoy lovely views of the city or pay if you’d like to go to the top for an even better view of the cityscape.
11. Notre Dame de Paris, France
Notre Dame de Paris stands for Our Lady of Paris. The church was built from 1160 to 1220 but gained much more popularity in the 19th century when the novel by Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, was published.
Unfortunately, the historic building burned in 2019, while under restoration work was been done. Thankfully the damage wasn’t too extreme and they are hoping it will be completely restored by 2024 for visitors to once again tour the interior.
You can still visit Notre Dame and enjoy the exterior of the building. The beautiful church is worth seeing, even if you aren’t able to walk through it at this moment.
10. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Italy
Located in Florence, Italy, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is a magnificent structure. It was first designed and built in the 13th century, but in the 15th century, Brunelleschi added the famous dome that it’s known for today.
The church is known for its size and unique colors. It’s the fourth-largest church in the world and a true icon of both Florence and Italy.
It’s supremely large and will truly take your breath away with its sheer size and beauty. If you’re physically fit, you should climb the 463 steps to the top of the duomo and enjoy the views of the city.
You’ll have perfect 360 degrees views of Florence.
9. Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany
Located in the Bavarian Alps, the Neuschwanstein Castle is not only a famous landmark of Europe but one of the most beautiful.
It looks like it came straight out of a fairytale book. The castle was built in 1869 by King Ludwig II as his private residence.
It’s strategically placed on top of a hill, so when visiting the castle, you’ll have an impressive view of the Hohenschwangau valley as well as you can enjoy the medieval architecture.
It’s hard to decide what is more impressive, the outside or the inside, of this breathtaking castle.
There is so much detail in the rooms and on the exterior; you must explore both. You must also wander the gardens and admire the castle from various angles.
8. The Colosseum, Italy
Another Famous European landmark Icon is The Colosseum. It was the largest amphitheater that was built during the roman empire in 72 AD.
It could hold over 50,000 people and had five different levels. It was built to host events and games, including fight-to-death matches and gladiatorial games.
The emperor was also known for attending the events. The Colosseum is one of the most visited landmarks worldwide, not just in Europe.
The structure is so large that it’s hard to imagine what it once looked like in its glory days. It’s impressive to see in person.
7. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
This tower became famous for its nearly 4-degree lean. This slant was not done on purpose. It leans because of the unstable ground that the tower sits on.
Immediately upon construction in the 12th century, the tower began leaning. By 1990, the lean was a total of 5.5 degrees. Today, the Tower of Pisa leans just under 4 degrees after repairs in 1993 and 2001.
Visitors from all over the world flock to this monument to take funny pictures of the tower. They’ll pretend to kick it, push it, lick it, etc. the tower isn’t actually very large, but it’s unique and fascinating to see.
It’s part of the complex that includes Pisa Cathedral and Pisa Baptistry, which is a wonderful area to walk around.
There isn’t much else to see in the town of Pisa, so if you are planning on seeing it, just plan for a quick stop over to come to snap a photo.
6. Buckingham Palace, England
The Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 and was purchased by King George III in 1761 to be his private residence.
The late Queen Elizabeth II also lived in the palace, and now King Charles III lives there. The palace has a whopping 775 rooms, and from July to October, visitors can explore the staterooms and the royal gardens, which is 39 acres large.
Buckingham Palace is known for its balcony, which has become the public face of the palace, where the royal family often makes appearances to the public.
Even if you don’t go inside of the palace, you can still watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony for free. It occurs each day at 11 and takes about 45 minutes.
5. Stone Henge, England
Stone Henge is arguably the most famous prehistoric monument in the world. It dates back about 3,500 years but might even date back further.
To this day, there is a ton of mystery as to why and when this was built or what it was even built for.
Some say it’s a sacred place, while others think it has to do with astronomy. Unfortunately, there is no written record of why this was built, which makes it all the more interesting.
The mystery as to how and why it was built has continued to fascinate both those who study this monument and those who visit it.
4. The Acropolis, Greece
This historic European landmark is one of the most visited landmarks in Europe and the world. The Acropolis of Athens was built between 447 and 438 BCE on a hill overlooking the city of Athens.
While visiting the ancient Citadel, you’ll have great city views. The Acropolis consists of the remains of several ancient buildings that have fundamental historical and architectural significance, including the Parthenon.
The Parthenon was constructed in honor of the Goddess Athena. The Acropolis and the monuments that are part of it are the greatest landmarks of Greek Antiquity.
The Acropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Athens has many landmarks, but the Acropolis is the most famous and worth checking out.
3. La Sagrada Familia, Spain
The Basilica of La Sagrada Familia began construction in 1882 by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi who is famously known for designing much of Barcelona.
To this day, more than 140 years later, construction is still not complete, and yes, you read that right.
Antoni Gaudi had such wild dreams for this church that modern-day construction could not yet support some of his ideas.
However, construction is likely to be completed around 2026, but there are still several of the 18 towers that need to be built.
The basilica has so much detail that it takes a while to complete. Even under construction, the basilica is one of the most famous landmarks in Europe and of course Spain.
Visitors can tour the inside of the church and marvel at all the details. With or without the cranes dressing the exterior, the church is breathtaking in its level of creativity, design, and detail.
2. Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
Vatican City is the smallest country in Europe and the world. It’s located right within the city of Rome. It’s worth visiting and is a landmark in itself, but while there, you must check out the Sistine Chapel.
It was named after Pope Sixtus IV, who built it between 1473 and 1481. The main attraction of the chapel is the painting by Michelangelo on the ceiling, which was painted between 1508 and 1512.
The iconic and marvelous painting depicts several scenes from the Old Testament, with the most famous section being the Creation of Adam.
This painting is considered one of the most significant and important artistic accomplishments of all time. It’s worth experiencing.
Today, the Sistine Chapel is used to select a new pope, and to visit; you must purchase a ticket to the Vatican museum.
Be sure to prebuy your tickets as the line can be an average wait of over 3 hours just to get in.
1. Eiffel Tower, France
One of the most iconic monuments in the entire world is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
It is by far the most famous landmark in Europe.
It’s most notable for its romantic connotation and size. This majestic landmark is one of the most recognizable monuments and is on almost everyone’s bucket list.
Visitors can walk the Eiffel Tower or take an elevator right to the top to enjoy the spectacular views of Paris.
There are two restaurants in the Eiffel Tower, including a Michelin-starred restaurant, and there is also a Champagne Bar.
The iron monument was built from 1887 to 1889 and was the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair.
The 1,000-foot-tall monument sparkles at night every hour and is truly a centerpiece of the city. It was never supposed to be a lasting monument and was actually going to be torn down.
However, luckily for us, it has stood the test of time and is here to stay for good.
There are so many famous European landmarks worth seeing. If you’ve been dreaming of a European vacation, it’s time to make it happen.
The world is full of beautiful sites and wonders to experience in person. Europe has some of the world’s most beautiful, historical, and significant landmarks.
It’s home to the most well-known monuments and landmarks in the world, and there are truly lots of sites to see.
So, if your bucket list keeps growing, it’s time to narrow it down and finally see some of these famous landmarks in Europe for yourself.