Europe is a continent rich in history and culture, and its architecture reflects this. From the ancient ruins of Greece and Rome to the modernist masterpieces of Barcelona and Le Corbusier, there is something for everyone. Here are 10 of the best places to see architecture in Europe.
1. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is home to some of the most iconic architecture in the world, including the work of Antoni Gaudi. His most famous work is the Sagrada Familia, a huge basilica that has been under construction for over 100 years. Other must-see buildings include the Casa Mila (known as the 'Quarry'), the Casa Batllo and the Parc Guell.
2. Paris, France
Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and it's easy to see why. The city is home to some of the most famous buildings in the world, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. Other must-sees include the Arc de Triomphe, the Pantheon and the Palace of Versailles.
3. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is another city with a wealth of architectural treasures. The most famous is probably the Hofburg Palace, the former home of the Austrian royal family. Other highlights include the Stephansdom Cathedral, the Belvedere Palace and the Vienna Opera House.
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is a city of canals, and its architecture reflects this. The most famous building is probably the Rijksmuseum, which houses a collection of Dutch masterpieces. Other must-sees include the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is a beautiful city with a mix of old and new architecture. The most famous building is probably the Royal Danish Opera House, which is an iconic example of modernist architecture. Other highlights include the Amalienborg Palace, the Christiansborg Palace and the Little Mermaid statue.
6. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is a city with a turbulent history, and its architecture reflects this. The most famous building is probably the Brandenburg Gate, which was once the symbol of division between East and West Berlin. Other highlights include the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust Memorial.
7. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is a city of contrasts, with a mix of European and Asian influences. The most famous building is probably the Hagia Sophia, which was once a Christian cathedral and is now a museum. Other highlights include the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar.
8. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a beautiful city with a wealth of architectural treasures. The most famous building is probably the Prague Castle, which is the largest castle in the world. Other highlights include the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square and the Jewish Quarter.
9. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is a small city with a big reputation. Its medieval architecture is world-famous, and the most popular attractions include the Markt Square, the Burg Square and the Belfry Tower. Other highlights include the Canals of Bruges and the Groeningemuseum.
10. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is home to some of the most iconic buildings in the country. The most famous is probably Edinburgh Castle, which sits atop a volcanic rock and overlooks the city. Other highlights include the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Scottish Parliament Building and the National Museum of Scotland.
The most popular tourist attractions in Europe
1. The Catacombs of Paris – Paris, France
The Catacombs of Paris are a network of underground tunnels and caves that contain the remains of over 6 million people. The catacombs are located 20 metres (65 feet) below ground and stretch for over 300 kilometres (190 miles). Visitors can take a tour of the catacombs, which takes around 45 minutes.
2. The Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa, Italy
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous buildings in the world. The tower is 55 metres (180 feet) tall and leans at an angle of 3.97 degrees. The tower was built in the 12th century and began to lean soon after construction started due to the soft ground on which it was built. The tower was closed to the public in 1990 due to safety concerns but reopened in 2001 after extensive repairs.
3. The Ring of Brodgar – Orkney Islands, Scotland
The Ring of Brodgar is a stone circle that is located on the main island of the Orkney Islands, off the coast of Scotland. The circle is made up of 60 standing stones, with a diameter of 104 metres (342 feet). The stone circle is thought to have been built between 2500 and 2000 BC.
4. The Caves of Drach – Mallorca, Spain
The Caves of Drach are a series of four caves that are located in Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain. The caves are famous for their stalactites and stalagmites, as well as their underground lake, which is the largest in Europe. Tours of the caves take around 45 minutes.
5. The Palace of Caserta – Caserta, Italy
The Palace of Caserta is a royal palace that was built in the 18th century for the Bourbon kings of Naples. The palace is the largest royal palace in the world and covers an area of over 700,000 square metres (7,534,992 square feet). The palace is open to the public and contains a museum, gardens and a theatre.
6. The Giant’s Causeway – County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway is a series of around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that were formed by a volcanic eruption around 50 to 60 million years ago. The columns are located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on the north coast of the island of Ireland. The Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction.
7. The Venetian Canals – Venice, Italy
The Venetian Canals are a series of canals that criss-cross the city of Venice. The canals are used as a transportation system, with boats being the primary mode of transport. The canals are also a popular tourist attraction, with many visitors taking a boat ride through the canals.
8. The Palace of Versailles – Versailles, France
The Palace of Versailles is a royal palace that was built in the 17th century for the French kings. The palace is located in the town of Versailles, to the southwest of Paris. The palace is a popular tourist attraction, with over 7 million visitors each year.
9. The Pont du Gard – Gard, France
The Pont du Gard is a Roman aqueduct that was built in the 1st century AD. The aqueduct is located in the south of France, in the town of Gard. The Pont du Gard is the highest Roman aqueduct in the world and is a popular tourist attraction.
10. The Black Forest – Baden-Württemberg, Germany
The Black Forest is a large forest that covers parts of the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. The forest is home to a number of animals, including deer, boars and wolves. The forest is also a popular tourist destination, with many visitors coming to hike, cycle and ski in the forest.