26 Mesmerising Bridges in Europe to Add to Your Bucketlist

Bridges in Europe are landmarks, connecting the shores and welcoming people who travel to amazing European cities. Often, they are masterpieces of architecture, examples of technological progress and symbols of cities. Building the bridges takes decades, but they stay for years, becoming history. 

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Most Famous Bridges in Europe

Europe is known for its ancient bridges, from which an aura of centuries of history emanates, and modern, striking in technical perfection. Each of the European 

Bridges is a unique structure. There are stone bridges, railway bridges, and suspension bridges in Europe. In this article, you will learn about the best European bridges, which are also the most beautiful bridges in the world!


#1 Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, UK

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, UK, bridges in europe

The Clifton Suspension Bridge lies over the river Avon in the west of England, built on the border of Bristol, Clifton and Somerset districts. 

It consists of two towers and a series of hanging structures. It is a symbol of the city of Bristol and a must-see for travellers to the UK with kids

The bridge was opened in 1864 after the death of the chief engineer and designer Isambard Brunel. Even though almost 150 years have passed since its opening, no major repairs have been carried out. Every day, about 12,000 vehicles use the bridge.

The Clifton suspension bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the UK. Magnificent and majestic building!


#2 Charles Bridge, Prague

Charles Bridge, Prague, bridges in europe

Charles Bridge is one of the main attractions of Prague. The second stone bridge across the Vltava is included in the top of Europe’s most beautiful and famous bridges. 

The mystical atmosphere of the old city is felt here especially strongly. Walking on the Charles Bridge in Prague, you go through the history of the Czech Republic.

It connects two historical districts – Prague Castle and the Old Town. The first stone was laid by King Charles IV himself in 1357 at 5:31 am. This time was not chosen by chance: people believed that the combination of numbers was magical, and the bridge laid at this moment will stand for centuries. 

More than 600 years have passed since that moment, but one of the most beautiful sights of Prague still delights visitors.


#3 Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy, best bridges in europe

The Ponte Vecchio is a crossing bridge across the Arno River that is entirely different from an ordinary bridge. It is one of the most famous stone bridges in Europe.

Over the years, the bridge was washed away by the floods that often occurred in the city but rebuilt again. In the 15th century, this area became the smelliest in Florence because it was here that numerous butcher shops were moved away from noble mansions. Later, in the 16th century, jewellery shops and workshops appeared here on the site of the former ones. There is also a bust of Benvenuto Cellini, and the locks of love are chained to it.

 That’s why Ponte Vecchio is also called the Golden Bridge.

This famous bridge in Italy is the only one that has retained almost its original appearance.


#4 Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

The Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in modern Venice. It was the first of four bridges built that span the Grand Canal. 

Today it remains the most popular place visited by tourists in Venice. Its uniqueness, deep history and picturesque architecture with its style are the main attraction of the Venetian Grand Canal.

In 1181, on the site of the modern Rialto Bridge, the first pontoon crossing over the canal appeared under the leadership of Niccolò Barattieri. Since the mint was near this place, the bridge was called Ponte Della Moneta.

 Almost a century passed, and the crossing was replaced by a wooden bridge, which could be raised, if necessary. In the 16th century, the bridge received its historical name, Rialto, after the name of the nearby food market. 

Many exciting souvenir shops and even restaurants are located directly on the bridge. Rialto Bridge in Venice is a must-visit place when travelling to Italy with kids


#5 Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy

The graceful bridge attracts attention with its airy structure, which is hugely harmoniously integrated into the surrounding space, making it of the most famous bridges in Italy.

The Bridge of Sighs over the Canal Palace in Venice was built in 1602 by the architect Antonio Conti. The bridge has a roof and small windows, which makes its appearance extremely memorable. The length of the bridge is about 11 m. 

The name of this bridge is associated with an old story. In the Middle Ages, there used to be courthouses and prisons. And although, at first glance, it seems that this is a good place for romantic dates the name is not connected with lovers. 

From these musty, semi-basement premises, rarely anyone managed to get free, so the convicts passing in custody along this bridge cast their last glance at Venice and took their last breath of clean air.


#6 Tower Bridge, London

Tower Bridge, London, bridges in europe

The Tower Bridge in London is in the city centre, on the River Thames, and is one of the most recognizable symbols of England. This Victorian Gothic drawbridge attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the world.

Tower Bridge is both movable and hanging. Its length is 244 meters, and the height of the towers reaches 65 meters. Initially, it was raised every time a ship approached. This could happen up to 50 times a day.

For pedestrians to cross the bridge while spreading the wings, special galleries were built between the towers at 44m, to which stairs of 300 steps led.

 Inside each tower, there were also two elevators (for ascent and descent), however, this method of transportation turned out to be too expensive, and residents preferred to wait until the bridge was lowered. 

In this regard, in 1910, the galleries were closed, and since 1982 they have been used as a museum and an observation deck. 

The Tower Bridge is the most known globally among all bridges in London. 


#7 Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary

 Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary

The Széchenyi Bridge is a symbol of the city of Budapest, spanning the Danube River. The works started in 1849, connecting two parts of the city – Buda and Pest. The crossing has the name of a famous Hungarian politician, which was given to it in 1898. 

The lions are creations of Janos Marshalko, which appeared in 1852. The structure was restored and strengthened in 1914. The Nazis blew up the bridge during WWII, but it was restored in 1949.

It is believed that the Szechenyi Chain Bridge can bring good luck. So, sailing under it, you should make a wish. No wonder it has become a symbol of the city.


#8 Storseisundet Bridge, Norway

Storseisundet Bridge, Norway, bridges in europe bucketlist, norway bridges

The Storseisundet Bridge is included in all lists of must-see places in Norway and is the TOP of the most beautiful bridges in the world. It is called strange, unfinished and even drunk, compared to a roller coaster and a springboard to nowhere. 

It is the most cool-looking bridge in Europe! The uniqueness of the engineering structure lies in the non-standard geometry, due to which completely different optical illusions are created from different viewing angles.

The “drunk” bridge is part of the two-lane Atlantic Road (Atlanterhavsveien), and that, in turn, is part of the regional highway 64 (Molde – Kristiansund). Due to its originality and practical value, Atlanterhavsveien won the Norwegian Building of the Century 2005 award.


#9 Rion-Antirion Bridge, Greece

Rion-Antirion Bridge, Greece

Rio Antirio is a cable-stayed bridge across the Gulf of Corinth in Greece, connecting the city of Rio (Patras) on the Peloponnese peninsula with the city of Antirio on the other side of the bay. The official name is Charilaos Trikoupis.

The length of Rio Antirio is 2,88km, and the bridge spans 560 meters. Today it is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Europe. The width of the bridge is 27.2 meters. Also, there is a pedestrian zone and a path for cyclists.

 An interesting fact, the bridge can move apart along with the distance of the Peloponnese from mainland Greece (by 35 mm per year).

Preparation of the site and work to deepen the bottom of the Gulf of Corinth began in 1998, and the construction of massive pylons started in 2000. The bridge was opened on August 7, 2004, a week before the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. 

The total cost of the work amounted to about 630 million euros. It is one of the most impressive bridges in Europe.


#10 Øresund Bridge, Denmark and Sweden

Øresund Bridge, Denmark and Sweden

Øresund Bridge is a huge bridge connecting Sweden’s coast with an artificial island with Denmark across the Øresund Strait. 

It is one of the longest combined highways in Europe as the bridge connects continental Europe with Scandinavia. The bridge was built to bring the two cities closer together.

The bridge connecting the two countries began to be built in 1995, and the project was adopted in the 80s. Once the works started in one of the places in the strait, the builders found about 20 unexploded bombs from WWII. It postponed the building process because they needed to clear the area. Interesting that at the end of the bridge is a 4 km tunnel close to the Danish side. 


More Beautiful Bridges in Europe

Even though bridges are primarily built for moving from point A to point B in the shortest possible way, many of them are also architectural landmarks. Some modern bridges conquer with their technical perfection, while the very ancient ones attract with the mysterious aura of centuries of history. European bridges amaze with their beauty and grandeur. Read more about beautiful bridges in Europe. 


#11 Ponte 25 de Abril, Lisbon, Portugal

 Ponte 25 de Abril, Lisbon, Portugal

The suspension bridge of April 25, which connects the banks of the Tagus River, is a landmark of the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. A grand structure crosses the confluence of this river into the Atlantic. The April 25 Bridge in Lisbon is one of the longest suspension structures in the world.

For the first time, it was proposed to build a bridge that would connect the cities of Lisbon and Almada back in 1876. However, the idea was first implemented only in 1951. 

A bridge was built 35 km from Lisbon, but movement from one bank of the river to the other was still difficult.

It was only at the end of 1962 that the construction of a bridge over the Tagus River in Lisbon began. On August 6, 1966, the grand opening of the bridge took place, which was named after the Prime Minister of Portugal, the Salazar Bridge. However, after the overthrow of the dictator’s regime in 1974 and the accomplished “revolution of carnations” in honour of this event, the bridge began to be called after April 25.

It resembles the American Golden Gate bridge in San Francisko. 


#12 Chapel Bridge, Lucerne, Switzerland

 Chapel Bridge, Lucerne, Switzerland

Kapellbrücke Bridge, or Chapel bridge, the symbol of Lucerne, Switzerland, is an old wooden bridge 170 meters long. 

The bridge is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, built in 1333, with a wonderful water tower beside it. The construction is covered with a roof, where it hosts a gallery with more than 100 paintings by Heinrich Wägmann. 

The bridge and many canvases were badly damaged during the fire on August 18, 1993. Although the bridge was restored, many paintings were left charred in memory of the loss. 


#13 Ha’Penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

a'Penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

Ha’Penny Bridge was built for pedestrians to cross the Dublin River Liffey. Before the bridge was built, there were several ferries across the river, operated by William Walsh. The ferries performed poorly, and Walsh was informed that he must either fix them or build a bridge. Walsh chose the latter option. 

Finally, in May 1816, this wonderful arched wooden bridge opened. Now every Dubliner could cross over by paying a halfpenny, the same price he paid William Walsh, the ferry service owner and a city government member. That’s why it has the name Ha’Penny Bridge.

In 2001 the bridge was renovated, serving not only the locals but also hundreds of tourists who come to see the beautiful bridge daily. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the place when travelling to Ireland with kids.

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#14 Bastei Bridge, Germany

Bastei Bridge, Germany

In Germany, there are many attractions to visit. If you are travelling to Dresden or another city in the eastern part of Germany with kids, you can visit the Saxon Switzerland National Park. It is built at an altitude of 288 m above sea level. It is known for its fortresses, waterfalls and the Bastion Bridge, or Basteibrucke. 

One of the most famous German bridges, the Bastei Bridge, is part of a sand rock formation. It was used as a defensive ring that protected Neurathen Castle two hundred years ago. The area around the Bastei bridge began to expand with widespread motorization. This was the impetus for the development of mass tourism. In 1923, the first parking lot was opened next to it. 

Today Bastei is a popular tourist attraction, one of the best European bridges visited by thousands of people every year. 

Bastei Bridge, Germany

#15 Ponte Sant’angelo, Rome

Ponte Sant'angelo, Rome

Many art critics consider the Bridge of the Holy Angel to be the most beautiful bridge in the world!

Built according to the architect Demetrian between 130-135 years. By order of the emperor Publius Elius Hadrian, the bridge originally bore the name of its creator – Ponte Elio. The new bridge was intended to access Hadrian’s mausoleum, located on the opposite bank of the Tiber from the city.

In 1669, the bridge underwent a major restoration by order of Pope Clement IX, entrusted to the famous sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. During the restoration work, the stone balustrades and the iron fence of the bridge were replaced with new ones, and ten new sculptures of angels, symbols of the passion of Christ, were added to the existing statues of the holy apostles. 

In 1892, the building was reconstructed again due to the expansion of the Tiber. Now the bridge rests on five cement arches and is 130 meters long and 9 meters wide. It is probably the most famous bridge in the world! Therefore, the roman bridge Ponte Sant’Angelo is a must-see bridge for those who travel to Rome


#16 UFO Bridge, Slovakia

UFO Bridge, Slovakia

UFO bridge is a well-known landmark of Bratislava, depicted in panoramic shots and souvenirs. It serves as a crossing over the Danube – a picturesque river considered one of the largest in Europe. 

The new bridge in Bratislava is not only an important transport artery but also a tourist attraction that every guest of the Slovak capital seeks to visit.

The official name is an SNP Bridge. It got its modern name from the words “Slovenské národné povstanie”, which translates as “Slovak National Uprising”. It happened in 1944, was directed against the Third Reich and became a landmark for the history and culture of the country.

UFO is the name of the famous restaurant on the bridge because it looks very much like a flying object.


#17 Luis I Bridge, Porto, Portugal

Porto Portugal bridge crosses the Douro River and connects Porto and Vilanova de Gaia. The bridge is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the list of famous, Europe’s most beautiful bridges.

The bridge was built in 1886 and named after the former ruler of Portugal. The construction project was developed by the student and partner of Gustave Eiffel – Theophilus Sayrig. The new bridge is located on the site of the former stone one, some parts of which have survived to this day. They are noticeable when climbing the modern bridge. 

The bridge is one of the main attractions in Porto. The length of the structure is about 385 m, the distance to the water surface is 44.6 m, and the weight is over 3 thousand tons. It is depicted in numerous photographs, and its image can be found in souvenirs and bottles of strong drinks.


#18 Puente Nuevo Bridge, Ronda, Spain

 Puente Nuevo Bridge, Ronda, Spain

The magnificent bridge Puente Nuevo can only be called a new bridge conditionally. The ancient stone bridge was built in 1793. The majestic building that connected the two parts of the city has become a symbol of Ronda for centuries. It is depicted on postcards and in tourist guides. 

However, Puente Nuevo had a predecessor – a simple single-arch bridge built in 1735. After 6 years, the bridge collapsed, and the city again needed a crossing, so a new bridge was built.

Puento Nuevo bridge, Spain is not a simple engineering structure. It looks like a fortress carved into the rocks. The main architect is Jose Martin Aldehuela. Stone for construction was mined right at the bottom of the gorge. Construction equipment was the pinnacle of technical thought at that time. The new bridge connected the old and new quarters, provided transport links and changed the city’s life.

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#19 Millau Viaduct, France

Millau Viaduct, France

Millau Viaduct, one of the highest bridges in Europe, was built by architect Norman Foster and French bridge engineer Michel Virlogeux. The height of the highest support of the bridge: is 343m.

This massive bridge in France is located on the highway – A75 / E11, coming from Paris, over the Tarn River valley. The highest of the pillars of the bridge has a height of approximately 343 meters – this is even more than the height of the famous Eiffel Tower.

According to the engineers who participated in this bridge’s design, the structure’s minimum service life will be 120 years, but only with proper care.


#20 Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam

 Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam

The amazing single-pillar Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam is one of the city’s symbols. The longest drawbridge in the world, also called the Rotterdam Swan, was created by architect Ben van Berkel in 1996.

He created an asymmetrical bridge that connects the city centre with the Koop van Zuid area. The structure combines an unusual single-support suspension bridge and the world’s longest 82-meter drawbridge. This Rotterdam giant has become the third largest cable bridge in the world.

In addition, this is the thinnest bridge in the world. The thickness of the main canvas is just over two meters. Modern materials have made it possible to achieve a relative lightness of construction without compromising its carrying capacity.


#21 Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, famous bridges in Europe

The Old Bridge is in the centre of the city Mostar and is its main attraction and the pride of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The history of one of the oldest bridges of Europe goes back to the 15th century when with the permission of Sultan Suleiman, the Magnificent, it was built. 

It was conducted under the guidance of the best architect Mimar Khairuddin and lasted for 9 years. The result is a bridge with a height of 21 meters, which has a length of 28.7 m and a width of 4.49 m. 

Thanks to the width of the arch, this bridge was glorified throughout the world because it has no equal. Modern scientists still cannot figure out how in the 16th century, the workers managed to build such a strong and high bridge.


#22 Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland, bridges in europe

Going to Scotland, try to visit an amazing place – the Glenfinnan Viaduct – which will take you to a fairy tale. 

This is a railway European bridge located near the village of Glenfinnan, from which it takes its name. The viaduct is an important part of the railway connection between the cities of Fort William and Mallag, as it connects two opposite sides of a deep valley. Nearby is the glacial lake Loch Shiel, popular among tourists, where people come for eco-tourism and fishing.

The length of the concrete arched viaduct is 380 m, and the width is 5.5 m. It is distinguished from the usual railway bridge by giant 30-meter spans. There are 21 of them, each 15 m long. Interestingly, a memorial plaque in honour of the centennial anniversary of the Glenfinnan Viaduct is mounted on one of the pillars.


#23 Pont Neuf, Paris, France

Pont Neuf, Paris, France

The residents of the city consider the New Bridge in Paris to be another “Eiffel Tower”, only built in the 17th century. Today, the image of this attraction is found in many paintings, drawings, and engravings. Moreover, this bridge in Paris was the first building captured on film. Like the Eiffel Tower, the Pont Neuf is an architectural gem of Paris that deserves to be admired.

The grand opening of the New Bridge took place in 1606 during the reign of Henry IV. In modern design, however, there is not a single stone left from those times. Even the former decorative elements were replaced in the 1850s.

This is one of the most beautiful bridges in France and one of the best bridges in Paris!


#24 Love Locks Bridge, Salzburg, Austria

Image by Dennis Jarvis

The Makartsteg Bridge, or Love Locks Bridge, is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Salzach River, located in the centre of the Austrian city of Salzburg. 

The Art Nouveau-style bridge existed here from 1905 to 1967. It was named after Hans Makart, an artist who was born and raised in Salzburg in the 19th century. The “swinging bridge” was built in 1967 but replaced in 2000 by a new bridge, the current construction of Makartsteg.

There are many places with locks on bridges in Europe, but the Love Locks Bridge Makartsteg in Austria is one of the most beautiful and romantic. It is decorated with many padlocks with the names of couples in love and is always crowded with tourists.


#25 Vasco da Gama Bridge, Lisbon, Portugal

 Vasco da Gama Bridge, Lisbon, Portugal

The Vasco da Gama cable-stayed bridge across the Tagus River was opened near Lisbon on March 29, 1998. It is to this day the longest bridge in Europe, including viaducts. 

Its length is 17.2 km, including 0.829 km of the main bridge, 11.5 km of viaducts, and 4.8 km of access roads.

1998 marked the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route from Europe to India. Building a bridge for the anniversary of the great navigator initially seemed unrealistic since the project took only a year and a half to work. However, the construction was completed on time, mainly since a thorough study of the project took another year and a half.

 In total, 3,300 workers from four construction companies were engaged in the construction of the bridge. The overall cost was $1.1 billion, making it one of the most expensive bridges in Europe.


#26 Tara bridge, Montenegro

Tara bridge, Montenegro, bridges of Europe

One of the most interesting architectural objects in Montenegro is the Djurdevic Bridge near Zabljak in Durmitor National Park. The construction of the Djurdevic Bridge across the Tara River was a strategic task since this crossing seriously reduced the path of vehicles inside Yugoslavia near the city of Zabljak. And in case of war, it allowed the troops to move to the right bank of the river quickly.

The design of the Djurdevic Bridge began in the 1930s, then still in Yugoslavia, a state of which Montenegro was a part. The project was prepared by Miyat Trajanovic, professor of architecture, one of the recognized masters of his craft. Today, thousands of tourists come to visit this amazingly beautiful bridge. It is on the list of famous bridges in Europe.

There are several cafes with a view to the canyon and nice souvenir shops. 


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FAQ’s

What is the largest bridge in Europe?

The largest bridge in Europe is the Vasco da Gama Bridge. It is 17 km long and connects Portugal’s northern and southern parts.

Where is the old bridge in Europe?

The oldest bridge in Europe is an ancient bridge in Greece, located in Peloponnese. It was built in the Bronze age by Mycenaeans. 

Which European city has more bridges?

The German city of Hamburg has the biggest number of bridges in Europe based on the Guinness Book of Records. There are about 2.5 thousand bridges in Hamburg.

Which European country has the most bridges?

Germany has the biggest number of bridges in Europe, 83,369,843. 

Which country has the most beautiful bridges?

France is considered a country which has the most beautiful bridges in Europe, many of which are in Paris. However, this is subjective. Italy, the UK, and Portugal also have the most beautiful bridges. 

Which city has a famous bridge?

London has the most famous bridge in the UK, and one of the most famous bridges in the world – the Tower Bridge.

What is the second longest bridge in Europe?

The second longest bridge in Europe is Øresund Bridge, 7,845 km long, which connects Sweden with Denmark across the Øresund Strait. 

What is the longest railway bridge in Europe?

The longest railway bridge in Europe is The Oresund Bridge which has a 16 km long railroad, including the bridge and the tunnel.


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