Steeped in ancient, medieval and modern history, it’s no wonder that the UK and Europe are absolutely jam-packed with landmarks.
From stunning period and modern architecture including iconic landmarks such as Tower Bridge, The Eiffel Tower and Colosseum to the many hidden gems scattered across the continent, here are some incredible landmarks to visit throughout the UK and Europe.
Leaning Tower of Pisa (Pisa, Italy)
The Leaning Tower of Pisa attracts a remarkable 5 million visitors each year. Climbing its 300 spiraling steps is quite the experience – you’ll be able to feel quite how leaning the leaning tower really is!
You may want to leave off the Italian beers before you ascend the dizzying crooked tower, but you’ll be rewarded with some wonderful views over the historic Tuscan town when you reach the top.
Lake Bled (Slovenia)
Situated just 55km from Slovenia’s capital city Ljubljana, Lake Bled is a stunning beauty spot nestled in the Julian Alps.
At the center of the azure-blue waters is The Church of Mary the Queen, also known as Our Lady of the Lake. In the winter months, the entire lake can freeze over- it’s popular for ice skating and you can walk across to the church rather than get a boat.
Millau Viaduct (France)
An unconventional but spectacular landmark, the Millau Viaduct in southern France is the highest bridge in the world at a mighty 336.4 meters, with 270m clearance below the car deck.
An incredibly expensive but triumphant architectural achievement, driving across the Millau Viaduct is a memorable experience.
St Michael’s Mount (Cornwall, England)
St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. It’s home to a castle and monastery and can be accessed between low and mid tide by foot, or by boat otherwise at higher tide.
Originally built in the 12th century, St Michael’s Mount has a rich medieval history and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Landmarks in Europe and the UK: Mont-Saint-Michel (France)
Mont-Saint-Michel is French for St Michael’s Mount – they are identically named in their respective languages!
St Michael’s Mount in England is the counterpart of Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. They share many similar characteristics, but Mont-Saint-Michel is considerably larger and features a commune with a small village of just 30 to 40 residents.
Similarly to St Michael’s mount, Mont-Saint-Michel can be accessed at low tides only. It’s just a short journey from Normandy’s famous D-Day beaches; Utah, Omaha, Gold, Sword and Juno.
The Partheon (Athens, Greece)
Built in the mid 5th century BC upon the ancient Acropolis of Athens, the Partheon is one of the largest surviving Ancient Greek buildings. Initially dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Parthenon has served a variety of purposes throughout its 2,500 year existence. It’s one of the most important cultural landmarks in the world.
Greece is scattered with landmarks ranging from Mount Lycabettus to Mycenae and the hilltop Monasteries of Meteora. Santorini, with its beautiful blue-topped white buildings is another highly memorable Greek destination with its Three Bells of Fira church.
Blackpool Tower (England)
Blackpool Tower, which stands at 158m tall, was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. When it was built in 1894, it was the tallest man-made structure in the British Empire.
Blackpool Tower is built above the famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom which has hosted prestigious dance events for over a century. It’s also just a stone’s throw away from Blackpool’s historic North Pier.
The Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)
The Eiffel Tower needs little introduction as one of Europe’s premier landmarks.
The most-visited paid monument in the world, over 6 million people ascend the Eiffel Tower each year. Measuring 324 metres tall at its highest point, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years.
Other famous Parisian landmarks include the Arc de Triomphe and Sacré-Cœur.
The Colosseum (Rome, Italy)
Built some 2000 years ago, The Colosseum is one of the largest, most spectacular landmarks in Europe. Embedded in Rome’s rich ancient historical heart, the Colosseum took over 50 years to complete and remains safe and stable for visitors to this day.
Rome is home to many other incredible historical landmarks including the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Roman Forum. They are all within walkable distance from each other.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Bilbao, Spain)
A museum of contemporary and modern art, the building of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is spectacular, designed and crafted by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry.
Clad in glass and titanium, the Guggenheim mirrors the iridescent waters of the neighbouring Nervion River.
Tower Bridge (London, England)
London is host to many fantastic landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye amongst others. Tower Bridge, built in the late 1800s was a masterwork of architect Horace Jones.
Tower Bridge was a great achievement as it combined a bascule (drawbridge) and suspension bridge to allow taller river traffic to pass safely underneath. It raises around 2 times every day. It is perhaps at its most spectacular when viewed at night from a river trip on the Thames.
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