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Famous Sights & More

What comes into your mind first when you think about Europe? Places like the Eiffel Tower, the Roman Colosseum, the Parthenon in Athens, the Alps in Switzerland, Big Ben in London or a the Grand Canal in Venice with its gondolas? Maybe you imagine castles, royal palaces, gothic cathedrals, medieval villages and much more. All of the places that at one time or another that you’ve read about in books and magazines or seen on TV and in the movies. Europe is all that and much more. The list of historic sights to see is far beyond your imagination so let’s just focus on that for a little.

Historic sites of all types are scattered across Europe from the wide steppes in the east to the British Isles in the west and from the warm Mediterranean in the south to the icy Arctic Ocean in the north. Earliest sites from Stone Age to Classical Antiquity, Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance, Colonialism, the 20th century and today can be visited and enjoyed. Sites can be old structures or ruins with significant historical or cultural value like, Castles, Fortifications, Homes, Palaces, Industrial sites, etc.

Religion has also played a big part in Europe’s history and there are many sites associated with it, Abbeys, Cathedrals, Churches, Monasteries, Mosques, Synagogues and Temples. Go to our ➾ Religious Sites page to view a comprehensive list by country.

Conflicts between the European peoples has left it scared through the ages with Battlefields, Cemeteries, Concentration Camps, Monuments and Memorials that can pay honor to an historic event or people who where victims of these tragic events. Some sites can also pay of honor to those who contributed positively to civilization. Go to our ➾ Places of Remembrance page to view a comprehensive list by country.

Even if you do not visit many sites there are the literally, thousands of Museums. Europe does have some of the best museums in the world, not only exhibiting and telling their history but, those from all over the world. From the antiquities of ancient cultures to the documentation of todays modern world. The worlds greatest collection of art is displayed in its galleries and museums for all to enjoy. Go to our ➾ Museum page to view a comprehensive list by country.

The names of sites can vary in their usage as they span the ages. In more recent times the upper class would build large mansions and dub them with a castle or palace name for prestige so name can be some what get mis-used at times.

CASTLES

A fortified, usually walled residence for nobility in feudal times. It cold also have been the strongest fortification of a medieval city. Normally built with high walls and towers. They can be called Burg’s in German, Alcázars in Moorish Spain. Go to our ➾ Castles – Fortifications page to view a comprehensive list by country.

CITADELS

Is fortified city with bastions or the fortified center of a city. Citadels are usually larger than a castle as they contain a whole city within its parameters. An Acropolis was a high fortified area in ancient Greece. Go to our ➾ Castles – Fortifications page to view a comprehensive list by country.

CHÂTEAUS

The word château is sometimes used interchangeably with castle and palace.  Earlier in history they were reinforced residences like castles. Later they became more like palaces or country estates, especially in France without any fortifications. They can be called Manors in Britain and Villas in Italy. Go to our ➾ Palaces & Historic Homes page to view a comprehensive list by country.

FORTIFICATIONS

Is fortified city with bastions or the fortified center of a city. Citadels are usually larger than a castle as they contain a whole city within its parameters. An Acropolis was a high fortified area in ancient Greece. Go to our ➾ Castles – Fortifications page to view a comprehensive list by country.

PALACES

Is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. They can be called Schloss in German, Palazzo in Italian, Palais in French and Palacio in Spanish. Go to our ➾ Palaces & Historic Homes page to view a comprehensive list by country.

Please go below to see Europe’s Most Visited Places and then view the specific pages dedicated to other significant categories of sights.

Ancient Sights
Castles – Fortifications
Industrial Heritage
Old World Europe
Palaces – Historic Homes
Places of Remembrance
Religious Sights
UNESCO World Heritage Sights

In most countries these sites come under the supervision of the State Ministry of Culture or they may be private historical societies and charities whose purpose is to identify and preserve sites of cultural and historical value to their country and community. You may find links below to their web sites if available.

 ALBANIA

 ANDORRA

 AUSTRIA

Bundesdenkmalamt – Austrian Federal Monuments Authority

 BELARUS

 BULGARIA

 CROATIA

 CYPRUS

 Heritage Gazetteer of Cyprus

 DENMARK

Agency for Culture and Palaces – Sites and Monuments Register.

 FAROE ISLANDS (Denmark)

  GIBRALTAR (UK)

  GUERNSEY (UK)

 HOLY SEE

 HUNGARY

 ISLE of MAN (UK)

  JERSEY (UK)

 KOSOVO

 LATVIA

Mantokums
National Heritage Board

 MOLDOVA

National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage (Moldova)

 MONACO

 MONTENEGRO

 NORTH MACEDONIA

 NORWAY

Riksantikvaren Directorate of Cultural Heritage

 SAN MARINO

 SWITZERLAND

Les Plus Beaux Villages de Suisse
Federal Office of Culture

 TURKEY

 UKRAINE

 UNITED KINGDOM

Northern Ireland

 Åland (Finland)

 European Union

Throughout Europe you’ll see those iconic landmarks & monuments, which identify the exact destination where certain historical events occurred or are remembered. The man-made structures may have been created to provide an important function, one that commemorates a person or important event which has gained significant importance and remembrance. They may be a buildings, cenotaphs, columns, fountains, monoliths, mounds, obelisks, palaces, plaques, statues or triumphal arches

The famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Atomium, are symbolic structures left standing from World Fairs held by Paris and Belgium respectively.  Big Ben, the clock in the Elizabeth Tower of parliament building is the recognized symbol of London, The Rialto Bridge of Venice or the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin are all landmarks everyone wants to have their picture taken by to show family and friends. These landmarks always seem to somehow grab our imagination more than others and sometimes leave us with the biggest and most lasting memories. Because these sites are always on the top of everyone’s to see list, they can be very crowded and that make a discouraging visit. However, you will also see sites that aren’t as well know or popular. Small villages in the country and mountains or city neighborhoods, located away from major tourist sites, can take your breath away.
Europe is also very diversified with natural beauty and landscapes. Spectacular natural landmarks, like the Alps, are something of awe to see. The mountains and their valleys below cradle lush forests, meadows and the pristine lakes. The seas surrounding Europe create incredible coast lines, like Italy’s Amalfi Coast and England’s White Cliffs of Dover. Mountains caress the seacoast of Montenegro and the majestic fjords of Norway. Beautiful beaches are everywhere from Portugals Algarve to Turkey’s Antalya. Sandy beaches can also be found on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea and all along the Mediterranean Sea from Cyprus to the Balearic Islands of Spain. The Danube and Rhine are just two rivers that whine through beautiful landscapes of castles, vineyards and medieval cities.

Europe’s Most Visited Places…

Because of the variety of sites to visit it is hard to establishing accurate counts of actual visitors to a location. The annual visitor attendance some locations is based admission tickets purchased for entry. Locations that are open to the public may have no ability to count visitors, we include some of them separately below. Please go to our ➾ Museum page for a comprehensive list of museums.

City, Country
Istanbul, Turkey
Marne-la-Vallée, France
Paris, France
Vatican City-Holy See
Paris, France
Versailles, France
Rome, Italy
Athens, Greece
Paris, France
Venice, Italy
Cologne, Germany
Lourdes, France
San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
Assisi, Italy
St. Petersburg, Russia
Pisa, Italy
Istanbul, Turkey
Barcelona, Spain
Vatican City, Holy See
Tsarskoye Selo, Russia
Naples, Italy
Warsaw, Poland
Vienna, Austria
Barcelona, Spain
Istanbul, Turkey
London, England, UK
Granada, Spain
Berlin, Germany
Valencia, Spain
Normandy, France
Lisbon, Portugal
Moscow, Russia
Istanbul, Turkey
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Warsaw, Poland
Oswięcim, Poland
Córdoba, Spain
Sevilla, Spain
Lika-Senj County, Croatia
Prague, Czechia
Amesbury, England, UK
Colleville-sur-Mer, France
Copenhagen, Denmark
Paris, France
Madrid, Spain
Lisse, Netherlands
Schwangau, Germany
Rome, Italy
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Annual Visitors
91,000,000
14,800,000
13,650,000
11,000,000
10,500,000
8,100,000
7,650,519
7,200,000
7,000,000
6,000,000
6,000,000
6,000,000
6,000,000
5,500,000
5,245,900
5,000,000
5,000,000
4,561,848
4,000,000
3,694,000
3,646,585
3,098,985
3,050,000
2,958,901
2,952,768
2,899,698
2,760,000
2,700,000
2,637,567
2,500,000
2,500,000
2,478,622
2,335,000
2,111,578
2,100,000
2,053,000
1,953,133
1,875,744
1,770,000
1,748,000
1,604,000
1,600,000
1,600,000
1,583,260
1,552,481
1,520,128
1,500,000
1,300,000
1,300,000

Public Sites with no visitor estimates.

Italy
Berlin, Germany
Portugal
Czechia
Croatia
London, England, UK

Florence, Italy
Stockholm, Sweden
Venice, Italy
Brussels, Belgium
Milan, Italy
Budapest, Hungary
Rome, Italy

Europe’s Museums are also high on many tourists list of things to see and do while visiting. You can view a detailed list of museums at our ➾ Museum page.
Something as simple as the Abbey Road pedestrian crosswalk, made famous by The Beatles on their Abbey Road album cover. Today, hundreds of people come everyday to this spot and just to walk across and have their picture taken like The Beatles. These landmarks become memorials and monuments on their own because of their uniqueness or because people can identify with them personally. Some of these can also be important to people of faiths as several religious sites play an important role for personal pilgramages. 
Centuries of civilizations living throughout the lands have created some of the most interesting cities and cultures, that leave us with some of the most fantastic experiences.