There are so many famous landmarks in Europe that it’s hard to know where to start. When you’re planning your next European city break, have a look at the best landmarks in Europe that the whole family will enjoy! From European historical sites to Europe tourist attractions, the landmarks of Europe are always worth a visit.
List of European Landmarks
- The Eiffel Tower
- Big Ben
- The Acropolis and the Parthenon
- The Colosseum
- The Matterhorn
- Loch Ness
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- The Sistine Chapel
- The Berlin Wall
- The Little Mermaid Statue
- The Beatles Statue
- Clifton Suspension Bridge
- The Belfry of Brugge
- Discovery Point and the RSS Discovery
- Odysseus’s Cave
- C.S. Lewis Square
- Blarney Stone and Blarney Castle & Gardens
- Cardiff Castle
- Ales Stenar
Landmarks in Europe Map
Top 10 Famous Landmarks in Europe
These ten landmarks are some of the most well-known, and they’re amongst the top landmarks in the world. These famous European places are sure to please everyone, whether you’re exploring alone or in Europe with kids.
1. The Eiffel Tower
When you think of famous structures in Europe, this tower – the most-visited paid monument in the world – is definitely top of the list! It’s one of the most famous landmarks in Europe, and the most iconic of the landmarks in Paris.
Some of the best landmarks of France are in Paris, but the tower is definitely top of the list! There are two restaurants in the tower, and on top of that, there are fantastic views of the whole of Paris. Be warned, though – there can be long queues to keep this in mind if travelling with kids!
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2. Big Ben
A by-word of English landmarks, Big Ben is actually called the Great Bell of Elizabeth Tower. If someone is asked to think of Britain landmarks anywhere globally, the tower and its bell are usually the first to come to mind!
The best landmarks in England start in Westminster, and Big Ben’s chime isn’t to be missed.
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3. The Acropolis and the Parthenon
Among the best landmarks in Greece, the Acropolis and the temple atop it are some of the most famous architecture in Europe. The word “acropolis” means “highest point of the city”, which is why it’s the most visible of Athens landmarks.
The Parthenon temple of Athena was completed in 432 BC and is just one of the famous ancient buildings on the citadel. As well as a historic trail, the site has a fun museum. Kids and adults alike visit every day – there are often school trips – but be prepared for an uphill trek.
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4. The Colosseum
Historical sites in Europe are all over the place. Still, nothing is so prevalent in the imagination as the ancient Roman Colosseum – the largest standing amphitheatre in the world despite being nearly 1,950 years old!
The ancient gladiator arena is now among the most famous landmarks in Europe and one of the most visited and best landmarks in Italy. As well as guided tours of the ancient underground passages that transported animals and gladiators, the architecture is breathtaking – something for people of all ages, which is why it’s in the top 4 famous landmarks in Europe.
5. The Matterhorn
The Alps, Switzerland and Italy
Natural landmarks in Europe are some of the most astounding and beautiful in the world. The Matterhorn mountain straddles the border of Switzerland and Italy and is a natural pyramid that forms one of the highest mountain peaks on the continent.
It is among the must-see landmarks in Europe, and it’s one of the best landmarks in Switzerland (and Italy!). A trek of the mountain takes about ten days and can include a visit to the alpine museum.
6. Loch Ness
Southwest of Inverness, Scotland
The stunning Highlands of Scotland feature many beautiful lakes and other scenery, but none is as well known as one of the best landmarks in Scotland: Loch Ness. It’s one of the most famous places in Europe.
Long rumoured to be home to Nessie, the affectionate nickname given to the mystical dinosaur-like creature known as the Loch Ness Monster, the second-largest loch in Scotland. It’s surrounded by nine villages, souvenir shops, museums, and another of the top historical sites in Europe, Urquhart Castle.
7. Leaning Tower of Pisa
One of the most photographed landmarks in Western Europe is this famously wonky tower! This famous landmark in Europe is a freestanding cathedral bell tower that leans at least 5 degrees from normal and is still ever-so-slowly falling due to the soft ground.
However, it’s not going anywhere soon – it’s survived its fair share of earthquakes despite its vulnerability. Thousands of tourists take selfies “holding up” the tower every day. It’s a can’t-be-missed among Europe monuments.
8. The Sistine Chapel
Amazing frescos and Michelangelo’s stunning painted ceiling are enough to make this chapel a must for those looking for beautiful landmarks in Europe.
The chapel is inside the official residence of the Catholic pope, known as the Apostolistic Palace, itself a very famous building in Europe. The chapel, considered one of the most iconic landmarks of countries globally, also hosts various musical performances.
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The most mystical of British landmarks is the standing stone circle associated with druids, faeries, and other ancient magic. The stones date back at least 2000 BCE, but may be around a thousand years older or more.
It holds a place of reverence amongst England landmarks and is definitely one of the most interesting landmarks in Europe. Theories to its origins include a burial ground, a ritual site, and more – but nobody knowing for sure is half of the magic.
10. The Berlin Wall
A more modern monument stands (sort of) as one of the most important landmarks in Europe.
Built in 1961, it stood until 1989, splitting Berlin in two for political and ideological reasons. In 1990, the wall was demolished, paving the way for Germany’s reunification. It’s a popular feature in art, music, games, and more and is one of the best landmarks in Germany for those interested in recent history.
It tells a poignant story among European city landmarks that shouldn’t be forgotten.
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11. The Little Mermaid Statue
Denmark landmarks are some of the best landmarks in Northern Europe, and one of the best landmarks in Denmark for kids and adults to see is the statue of the little mermaid becoming human, right on a rock by the waterside.
It’s one of the most whimsical landmarks in Europe, based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale. It’s considered amongst Europe’s iconic landmarks that represent cities.
12. The Beatles Statue
For any fan of classic music, the Beatles landmarks in Liverpool aren’t to be missed, and the famous statue is one of the best. The statue consists of the four members of the iconic band at 1.5x life-size, gracing the Pier Head riverside. It’s one of the best landmarks in London for those interested in music and music history.
13. Clifton Suspension Bridge
Bridges make up some of the most famous architecture in Europe. The Clifton Bridge is famous amongst Bristol landmarks, reaching the Avon Gorge and the River Avon. Interestingly, the two towers on the bridge are not quite identical.
Many cultural events have taken place on the bridge, such as the first modern bungee jump, the last ever Concorde flight, and the Olympic torch relay, making it an unexpected gem amongst cultural places in Europe.
14. The Belfry of Bruges
There are a lot of Belgium landmarks that aren’t to be missed, and the iconic bell tower of Brugge is one of them! Brugge landmarks are some of the city’s most prominent features, and the Belfry has been famous among Belgian landmarks since its construction in the 13th century.
It’s right in the middle of the market square, making for a fun and fascinating family day out to one of the best landmarks in Belgium.
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15. Discovery Point and the RRS Discovery
Some landmarks in Europe used to move around. The steam research ship is now a floating museum that has pride of place amongst Dundee landmarks and is especially fun for families.
The ship has been to the Antarctic and back! It’s amongst the best tourist sites in Europe and offers lively education and events for kids and adults alike – it really is a living museum!
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16. Odysseus’s Cave (Ogygia)
One of the best landmarks in Croatia was a site in a famous Greek myth – the story of Odysseus. Odysseus sheltered for seven years within the stunningly beautiful caves of these Croatia landmarks after being shipwrecked in a storm.
There, he met the nymph, Calypso, who fell in love with him and trapped them in the idyllic sights and beautiful warm waters until Zeus intervened.
As well as its historical and mythical value, the cave has a bonus fun surprise – the beautiful water is excellent for swimming!
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17. C.S. Lewis Square
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Another whimsy amongst landmarks in Europe, one of the best landmarks in Northern Ireland, is the square dedicated to the creator of Narnia, C.S. Lewis. It’s one of the most delightful landmarks Europe has to offer, complete with statues, trees, a visitor’s centre, a coffee bar, and more. It’s a very quiet Europe landmark, but it’s definitely worth a visit, especially if the kids have spent time in the magical world of Narnia.
18. Blarney Stone, Blarney Castle & Gardens
This fantastic castle is one of Ireland’s most famous and best landmarks. It dates back to before the 13th century and is one of the most famous European buildings. Compared to some old buildings in Europe; though it is partially ruined, the castle still stands enough to host exciting tours and adventures for all ages.
What makes it stand out amongst famous European landmarks is the Blarney Stone, a magical stone that will supposedly grant the gift of the gab if kissed.
19. Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle is definitely a gem amongst famous buildings in Europe, and there’s a reason it’s one of the best landmarks in Wales. It’s been a mediaeval castle and a Victorian Gothic mansion, so those looking for famous buildings in Europe steeped in varied architectural history will be thrilled!
As well as the castle tour, there is an interpretation museum and more. Cardiff landmarks definitely shouldn’t be forgotten when considering Europe’s favourite places, and the castle is a big reason why.
20. Ales Stenar (Ale’s Stones)
These prehistoric stones that rival Stonehenge are among the best landmarks in Sweden. Europe’s famous places are often overstated, but this quiet stone ship dates back between 1.5 to 5 thousand years ago.
There are many theories to the purposes of this stone, the most popular being an Iron Age burial ground. Others believe it’s a cult centre or even a sun calendar, connected to the solstices and the lunar standstill. It’s a place to go to get away from the world, a mystical wonder amongst famous landmarks in Europe.
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