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Be it France, England, Germany or Italy, there is no lack of top tourist attractions in Europe which are full of brilliant cities known for their best restaurants, museums, architecture, and nightlife. So, it is not easy to decide where you should start.
Europe is a diverse and vivid continent. Each of the best tourist cities in Europe has its importance with a fascinating past and culture. It is undeniably a great experience to visit one of these countries as you can find a lot of things to do and see. If you ever have a chance to do so, it is worth to visit as many Europe attractions as possible so you can have an entirely different experience.
You will come across several exciting tourist attractions in Europe when you get there. Every site has a memorable event and story to share about the history and culture of the place you are going to visit.
Here are 15 of the top tourist attractions in Europe you should try and visit while traveling.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 15 of the Most Visited Tourist Attractions in Europe
- 1.1 The Louvre, Paris, France
- 1.2 Colosseum, Rome, Italy
- 1.3 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
- 1.4 Buckingham Palace, London, UK
- 1.5 Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
- 1.6 Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
- 1.7 Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
- 1.8 Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK
- 1.9 Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
- 1.10 Grand Canal, Venice, Italy
- 1.11 Acropolis of Athens, Athens, Greece
- 1.12 Parthenon, Athens, Greece
- 1.13 Neuschwanstein Castle, Shwangau, Germany
- 1.14 London Eye, London, UK
- 1.15 Florence Cathedral, Florence, Italy
Top 15 of the Most Visited Tourist Attractions in Europe
The Louvre, Paris, France
The Louvre is one of the best tourist attractions in Europe for enthusiasts of history, art, and culture. Paris, France is one of the most beloved European cities which have no lack of historical landmarks.
The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and the significant monument in Paris. The Louvre had more than 7.3 million visitors, and it has become one of the most visited museums in the world.
It has more than 38,000 specimens that dated back from the prehistoric era to a modern world. The exhibition of these forms covers over 782,920 sq. ft. The museum is located in the Louvre Palace on the Right Bank of Seine River.
The building was built originally as a fortress during the 12th century according to the guidelines of Philip II. Initially, it was opened as a museum in the year 1793 and displayed 537 paintings.
Now, it showcases a lot of amazing pieces from the most popular artists in the world. It also houses the most famous painting in the world ‘Mona Lisa’ which was designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Rome is one of the oldest and most famous European cities. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, this oval-shaped amphitheater is placed at the heart of Rome, and it was built under the reigns of emperors during the Flavian era.
The construction of the Colosseum started in AD 72 and was finally completed with its modifications in AD 96. The giant structure had a capacity of over 80000 visitors. It was initially used to host gladiator contests and other purposes like battle re-enactments, executions, and animal hunts.
Now it is entirely used as a tourist destination. Thousands of visitors flock to it due to its ruins. The structure also has a museum devoted to Eros.
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
If you are feeling lucky that you are visiting Barcelona, one of the best tourist cities in Europe, don’t forget to visit Sagrada Familia. It is a substantial unfinished church which is spotted from anywhere in Barcelona. A Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi designed this structure. The construction of this structure started in 1882 under the supervision of Paula da Villar, an architect.
After a year, he resigned, and Antoni Gaudi took over the project. He changed the design and renovated it with curvilinear Gothic architecture and Art Nouveau.
In 1923, Gaudi died, and just one-quarter of this project was finished. With donations, constructions continued, but the progress was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War.
The structure was scheduled to be completed by 2026. But it is named a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Now, this complex is rated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Buckingham Palace, London, UK
If you are visiting the capital city of London, you will not want to miss Buckingham Palace, one of the best Europe attractions. In the beginning, it was called Buckingham House at the core, and it was built as a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703.
In 1761, it was acquired by King George III for Queen Charlotte. Then it was expanded till the 19th century by architects John Nash and Edward Blore.
Palace had three wings around a central courtyard by the time when work was finished. In 1837, the period of Queen Victoria started when the palace officially became the home to the British monarch.
It serves as an administrative headquarter and London residence for the reigning monarch of the UK. The palace’s Chapel was destroyed during World War II by a German bomb. The Queen’s Gallery replaced it. It houses the artwork from the Royal Collection.
In 1962, it was opened publically. The phenomenal “Changing the Guard” is one of the main reasons tourists love to get there. Every time, the soldiers standing as the guard out of the palace in strict uniform perform a formal ceremony, when one group of guards ends their shift and to allow new guards to start duty. It is a great view to behold.
If you’re interested to visit other neighboring cities, you can check out our guide about the top day trips from London. Also, check out our post about the most beautiful castles in the UK or some of its beautiful islands.
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited places in Europe and sought-after landmarks in the world. The tower is named after Gustav Eiffel, an engineer who designed the tower from 1887 to 1889 and the entrance of the tower was created for 1889 World’s Fair.
The top design experts and artists initially criticized the wrought iron design of the tower. The structure is around 1063 ft. tall and is placed on Champ de Mars in Paris.
It has 81 floors, three levels, and restaurants on the second and first levels. It was once the tallest building in the world and is currently the tallest structure in Paris. In 1930, Chrysler building was built in New York and broke the record of Eiffel tower as the tallest building in the world.
More than 6.9 million visitors are attracted to the Eiffel Tower every year. It became the reason why France is one of the best tourist countries in Europe.
Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
No matter you are a spiritual person or not, the Sistine Chapel will always attract you as one of the best tourist attractions in Europe. This chapel is located in Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. It is built for both papal and religious activities.
The chapel was originally built in the 15th century and designed by Giovanni Dolci and Baccio Pontelli. Along with the historical and religious importance of this complex, this chapel is also loved for its serene frescoes on the ceiling.
Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Anne Frank is one of the most praised European figures in history due to tragic reasons, and this museum is devoted to her. It is a biographical museum and a writer’s house located next to the Prinsengracht canal positioned in central Amsterdam. The museum houses a building constructed in the 17th century where Anne Frank hid with her family from the persecution of Nazis during the period of World War II.
Frank couldn’t survive the war, but the diary which she wrote was officially published in the year 1957. The museum is located at the block which was planned for demolition. The property was bought by the Anne Frank Foundation in 1957 to keep this from happening. In 1960, the museum was publicly opened.
The Frank family’s hideout has survived the test of time, and there are two main exhibitions in this museum – one depicts the timeline and life of Anne Frank, and another one depicts all kinds of persecution and discrimination. On average, 1.3 million tourists visit this museum annually.
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK
Wiltshire is one of the most touristic cities in Europe because of having this prehistoric monument. Stonehenge is located not far from Salisbury and Amesbury, and it forms a ring of a huge standing stone. Each of these stones weighs up to 25 tons and is over 13 feet tall. This iconic landmark is supposed to be built from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.
The purpose of the building is a matter of debate. These stones are the monuments of Bronze and Neolithic Age along with hundreds of burial grounds. The site became conserved as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1882. In 1986, it was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is managed by English Heritage and owned by the Crown. The National Trust owns the nearby land.
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Sometimes, best engineers and architects make the most iconic landmarks not only purposely, but also by mistake. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the best examples. This human-made marvel is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the most iconic landmarks in the world.
If you are lucky to visit Pisa, this striking landmark may be the part of your wishlist. This wonky complex was built in the 12th century. It is also the Pisa Cathedral’s bell tower. The ground where it is constructed is soft and improper foundations were also the reasons behind its lean.
The lean increased year by year. Engineers decided to stabilize it in the late 20th century. It stands around 183 feet tall, and it has seven bells.
Grand Canal, Venice, Italy
When it comes to Venice, we all are used to think of an Italian man with a mustache on a gondola and sailing through the Grand Canal.
Out of several famous canals, the Grand Canal is the leading waterway sailing you through the city. It is a 3.8km long canal and stretches from San Marco to Santa Lucia railway station.
Read also: Best Day Trips from Venice
Acropolis of Athens, Athens, Greece
Greece is one of the most ancient and prominent countries in Europe which houses a lot of notable historical landmarks where many events took place.
The ancient citadel is placed in the outskirts of Athens on the hilly outcrop in front of the city, and it houses the ruins of various architectural and historical structures.
Read also: Top 15 Places to Visit in Greece
Parthenon, Athens, Greece
The Parthenon is the most prominent monument in ancient Greece, and it is listed among the most famous landmarks in the world. It was known as the Greek masterpiece and was the most sacred monument. Located in the south of Acropolis, the Parthenon lies in the city of Athens, around 156m high, and it can be seen from several miles of distance.
This temple monument was devoted to Athena, a goddess. Parthenon means the epithet of Athena Parthenos (which is the symbol of her being unmarried and virgin), and the myth behind her creation from the head of Zeus.
The colossal Athena Parthenos’ statue stood in the Parthenon, around 12m high. Around 1140kg of gold was used to develop it, and it cost 700 talents to the city, the price of 230 ships.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Shwangau, Germany
It was built in the 19th century, and it is the Romanesque Revival palace built on the rugged hill located atop Hohenschwangau village near Füssen in Bavaria in the southwest in Germany.
Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the castle as a retreat and a tribute to Richard Wagner. Instead of Bavarian public funds, Ludwig paid for the palace off his fortune.
London Eye, London, UK
The giant Ferris wheel, the London Eye is located on the south of River Thames, London. It is the Europian tallest Ferris wheel, and the most anticipated paid tourist attraction with an average of 3.75 million tourists in the UK, and it has appeared widely in pop culture.
It is the highest point for public viewing in London until the high observation deck of 804 ft. superseded it on the 72nd floor of The Shard, opened publicly on February 1, 2013. The London Eye meets the west of Jubilee Gardens (which was once the site of Dome of Discovery).
Florence Cathedral, Florence, Italy
Florence Cathedral is undoubtedly the most visited and serene complex in the whole city and among the best churches in the world built in gothic style.
This building stands high over its neighbors, and it can be seen from different parts of Florence.
Read also: Top 10 Best Day Trips from Florence
Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.