From the arctic conditions of Siberia to the balmy south, Europe has a unique and diverse topography. Encompassing 50 sovereign states, this continent covers 2% of the earth’s surface, and it is in the northern hemisphere. The Arctic Ocean lies to the north of the continent, the Atlantic Ocean is to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Considered to be the birthplace of Western civilisation, Europe has a population of 740 million. This is around 10% of the global population, and there are over 200 languages spoken here. A popular year-round holiday destination, Europe offers the chance to visit multiple countries and explore varied cultures. From city getaways in London, Paris or Prague to lazy beach days sampling the joys of the Med, Europe is a beautiful and diverse continent. Our guide includes our top ten tourist attractions, our hidden gems, and the most instagrammable locations in Europe.
Table of Contents
- Western Europe
- Southern Europe
- Northern Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Top Tourist Attractions in Europe
- 5 Underrated Places in Europe
- Fun Facts
Travel guides for every country in Europe
Dive into detailed free and entertaining travel guides for countries in Europe, divided by geographical position. Watch this space for ever more countries!
German fairytale castles, British fortresses and French architecture. And so much more. Like the European continent as a whole, Western Europe is extremely versatile in its languages, culture and nature and should be given time to explore!
Sun, sea and delicious food. But you really need more perks than these to visit the Southern part of Europe, then you’re in luck. Culture, wine, history and beautiful natural areas are waiting for you here.
Full on wonders and the elusive Northern Lights, Northern Europe is a winter-enthusiast’s dream destination. If you like experiencing the wonderful, weird quirks of nature, then a country is the place for you. From heated springs in the middle of winter to the aurora casting lights in the sky, this is one beautiful corner of the world.
Beautiful, full of jagged mountains and a fierce landscapes, this part of Europe may well bring out the long lost hiker or biker in you. Nature aside, Eastern Europe has some incredible and often less well-known cities with culture, cuisine and history abound!
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Europe
There are so many world-famous tourist attractions across the European continent, but some of our favourites include:
#1 London, UK: Tower of London
20 million international travellers each year visit England’s capital, and this is a city steeped in history. One of the most popular attractions is the Tower of London, which once served as a place of imprisonment and torture. As well as ghost stories aplenty, Beefeaters and centuries of history, this is also the place where the Crown Jewels are stored and displayed.
#2 Athens, Greece: Acropolis
One of the most famous historical sites in the world, this citadel is an iconic symbol of the Greek world. An ancient civilisation that brought us philosophy, mathematics and democracy. Building on the Acropolis was believed to have begun back in the Bronze Age, but it was later rebuilt and restored during Athens’ golden age.
#3 Rome, Italy: The Colosseum
Once the site of gladiator fights and executions; the mighty Colosseum is another iconic landmark that speaks of an ancient civilisation. Construction is believed to have begun around 7-72 CE, with the amphitheatre seating some 50,000 spectators during its heyday. Receiving over seven million visitors each year, a trip to Rome would not be complete without seeing this!
#4 Paris, France: Eiffel Tower
Located on the Champ de Mars in the romantic city of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is another symbolic masterpiece. The tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the French revolution. At 324 metres tall, this is one of the most popular places in the world for people to propose to their loved ones!
#5 Barcelona, Spain: Basílica de la Sagrada Família
One of Gaudi’s most famous works, this Roman Catholic basilica has been under construction since 1882. This means that the symbol of Barcelona has actually taken longer to build than the pyramids. However, the building is expected to be finished by 2026.
#6 Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rijks Museum
This compact and cosmopolitan city is a favourite amongst those looking for a city getaway or a weekend break. Located at the aptly named Museum Square, the Rijks Museum is an art and history museum that houses more than a million artefacts. There are an estimated 8000 objects on display including masterpieces such as Rembrandt’s Night Watch.
#7 Venice, Italy: St Mark’s Square
Home to beautiful cuisine, romance, and gondola rides, Italy’s floating city is one of the most popular tourist destinations across Europe. Piazza San Marco or St Mark’s Square is Venice’s main public square. Characterised by breath-taking Baroque and Victorian architecture, the square houses several buildings including St Mark Basilica and the Doges Palace.
#8 Berlin, Germany: Brandenburg Gate
This 18th-century neoclassical monument is the only surviving city gate and Berlin’s most famous landmark. Built between 1788 and 1791 by Prussian King Frederick William II, this iconic landmark is symbolic of reunification after the division of Germany.
#9 Vienna, Austria: Schönbrunn Palace
Austria is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, quaint towns straight from a picture book and breath-taking city architecture. The Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most famous landmarks, with the summer residence of the Emperor attracting millions of guests each year.
#10 Istanbul, Turkey: Hagia Sofia
In the Heart of Istanbul, the Hagia Sofia was built in the 6th Century, when the city was known as Constantinople. Translating to ‘Holy Wisdom’, the Hagia Sofia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited landmarks in the country.
5 Underrated Places in Europe
Want to keep away from the tourists and immerse yourself in culture whilst taking a break? Our top five hidden gems in Europe are:
#1 Valetta, Malta
The small capital city of Malta is a wonder full of 16th century architecture and beautiful rock formations along the beaches. Beautiful, warm and surrounded by the sea – what’s not to like?
#2 Split, Croatia
History in the form of Diocletian’s Palace, Pjaca Square and St. Duje’s Cathedral comes to life in Spilt. Also located on the coast, you won’t be short of captivating views or water activities here.
#3 Bucharest, Romania
A remnant from its Communist era, Bucharest’s most famous attraction is definitely the Palatul Parlamentului, now the Palace of Parliament. It’s the world’s most expensive, and biggest administrive building and is mostly empty. The city has a lot of history to offer.
#4 High Tratas, Slovakia
Bordering Slovakia and Poland, is the beautiful Trata Mountain range. It’s pretty obvious what you should come here for – winter sports, hiking, spas and basking in beauty.
#5 Riga, Latvia
Riga doesn’t get enough love. A cultural centre of Europe, the city is full of art nouveau architecture and has a beautiful Old Town which you can walk through without navigating cars, which don’t drive here.
Most Instagrammable places in Europe
Some of the most Instagrammable places in Europe are:
- Zurich, Switzerland (#zurich 6.2m)
- Mykonos, Greece (#mykonos 4.3m)
- Amalfi Coast, Italy (#amalficoast 2.6m)
- Dubrovnik, Croatia (#dubrovnik 2.4m)
- Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany (#neuschwansteincastle 230k)
Fun Facts about Europe
Did you know?
- Europe is named after Phoenician princess Europa, who was supposedly seduced by Zeus himself.
- Europe has a landmass of around 3,825,730 square miles, making it around a third of the size of Africa.
- There are 50 countries in the European continent but only 27 are members of the European Union.
- Russia is the largest and most populated country and the Vatican City is the smallest.
- Europe is home to more UNESCO heritage sites than any other continent.