31 In Europe/ Travel

46 Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Man-Made Sites in Europe

Europe is a really incredible continent full of history, culture, beauty and amazing food! There are many sites that come to mind when you hear Europe: Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, The Colosseum, etc. I asked 45 other travel bloggers what their favorite man-made sites in Europe is and I got such an amazing selection of answers! Check out favorites from bridges to churches, castles to spas, and everything in-between.

Sagrada Familia in Spain – Wander with Laura

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One of the most famous tourist attractions in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia is an unmistakeable figure on the landscape. With this in mind, it’s almost unbelievable that work began on the cathedral in 1882 and another ten years of work are predicted before completion. While the detailed outside is undeniably stunning, going inside the cathedral is completely mind boggling – yet something that many people miss out. From the moment you step inside, your attention will instantly be captured by the colours pouring in through the stained glass windows. The pillars rise to form geometric patterns on the vault ceilings and there are parts you can’t quite believe aren’t photoshopped. With this one, seeing really is believing and one visit definitely wasn’t enough for me!

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Zaanse Schans in The Netherlands  – Go Beyond Bounds

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Zaanse Schans is an open-air conservation region along the bank of the Zaan River in the Netherlands and can be visited as a day trip from Amsterdam. Millions of tourists flock to the Dutch countryside to experience the authentic Dutch village that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The main attraction being the surreal landscape and the traditional wooden windmills. Admission to the Zaanse Schans is free of charge however for few attractions including the visit to the windmills would require a small entrance fee. There are several craftsmen’s workshops held in the Zaanse Schans region for all kinds of traditional Dutch crafts. Many houses of the village are turned into museums or workshops while many other serves as private residences.

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Arena di Verona in Italy – Null & Full

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This ancient amphitheatre is a magnificent building and a true masterpiece. It was constructed in the first century and, up to date, it is one of the best preserved buildings of its kind. You might say that Italy has many similar theatres but Arena di Verona is special. Even today it hosts a variety of events, from operas, through classical music concerts up to modern events with famous rock and pop bands.I participated in two operas there and each was a memorable event for me. Not only the acoustic is perfect but also the candles are distributed to the audience and lit after sunset around the arena making the view picturesque. The atmosphere there is one of a kind!

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London Eye in England – A Traveling Pants Universe

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There are many sites and wonders to experience in London, but London Eye is one of a kind. My love for it comes from two sides. First, I absolutely love it from afar. It definitely catches your eye (I know, cheesy!) whenever you see it, and whether I stand at the foot of the Eye or walk along the Victoria Embankment on the opposite side, I always can’t help but marvel at engineering genius behind it. The wheel can carry more than 143,000 lb. in one go, and it’s just standing there (not falling!), daring you to come and enjoy the ride. Secondly, I absolutely love the panorama you get when you rotate in the capsule. On a good day, you’re supposed to see for 24 miles in each direction, and the views are unbelievably breathtaking.

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Hagia Sophia in Turkey – Jess is a Wanderer

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For me, there’s few architectural structures that can compare. It’s such a grand building, so much bigger than you may realise at first. Whether it’s shining in the moonlight or contrasting against the sky on a sunny day, it’s a magnificent building. And that’s just the outside. The inside has so much more to offer, amazing carvings and beautiful colours. It’s a definite European highlight for me. Not only that, it’s located in one of my favourite arty cities where there’s so much architecture to marvel at!

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Dun Aengus in Ireland – Cosmos Mariners

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Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit Dun Aengus, an Iron Age fort located on Inishmore, the largest of Ireland’s Aran islands. The fort in an incredibly isolated location, so construction was based solely on the materials that the builders could find on the island. The builders used dry stone construction, which means that there’s no mortar—when you consider that the fort has been perched on that blustery cliffside for around 3000 years, it’s amazing that the stones are still in incredible condition. Getting to the fort takes some effort, but standing in front of such an astounding structure is well worth the trouble.

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Hallgrímskirkja in Iceland – This FP Planet

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Reykjavik’s Hallgrímskirkja makes an awesome impression on this Icelandic cityscape. Erected high up on the hill, at the epicenter of the city, this bizarre concrete church cuts a dynamic shape against the mountainous backdrop of Mt.Esja to the north and towers over the cute and quirky colourful jumble of Icelandic houses below. I love this church, because it absolutely stands for all things I adore about this country; It’s forward-thinking design is inspired by basalt rock reflecting Icelanders utmost respect for their country’s landscape, It’s bold, it’s wonderfully creative, It’s wildly different and totally not afraid to be. And the best part? Heading up the spire for that incredible view across the city! 

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Blue Mosque in Turkey – Not Without My Passport

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Just as beautiful as the Hagia Sophia is the famous Sultan Ahmed Mosque, more popularly know as the Blue Mosque. Built in the early 1600s by Sultan Ahmet I, this structure is the beautiful design work of Ottoman architect, Mehmet Aga. It’s also known for the tens of thousands of blue tiles that decorate the walls of its interior and the vast, red-carpeted prayer area illuminated by hanging lights. The Blue Mosque truly is a sight to behold.

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Musée D’Orsay in France – Travel Photo Discovery

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For anyone visiting Paris, a visit to any of the wonderful museums around the city are a must. One of the most popular museums worth visiting is the D’Orsay museum which houses the grand master painters of the popular Impressionist period in France.  The galleries are beautifully laid out by each artists and there are revolving exhibits that are worth seeing when you visit the D’Orsay. Also, make sure you take some time for a wonderful lunch in the dazzling classic restaurant inside and makes for a pleasurable experience that the French excel at delivering.

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Whitby Abbey in England – La Carmina

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During a trip to a Goth festival, I visited Whitby Abbey, the church high on a cliff that inspired “Dracula”. These dramatic, Medieval ruins are famous for inspiring Bram Stoker, who lived in Whitby as he wrote his 1897 novel. I paid tribute to the vampire by shooting a dark fashion editorial, right in the ruins!

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Schloss Neuschwanstein in Germany – Chantae Was Here

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Stunning and bizarre, Schloss Neuschwanstein in Germany is a palace with impressive architecture and a strange past. Reclusive King Ludwig II of Bavaria dumped the region’s precious money into building a grandiose palace adorned top to bottom with Ludwig II’s spirit animal, the swan. The palace is atop a hilly valley of emerald trees on one side and sprawling farmland on the other. The inside of Schloss Neuschwanstein are rooms ranging from elegant murals, to rainbows, to even a faux cave complete with stalactites. I love this structure not only for the physical beauty but also because it shows how even the richest and most powerful people in the world use imagination, grandeur, and escapism to cope with everyday life.

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Casa Battló in Spain – Pretty, Wild World

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Casa Batlló is a house designed by Antoni Gaudi, a world famous architect of Catalan descent, and well-known for his eccentric and out of this world architectural designs. He is also notable for other famous buildings but this house totally got me; not only because I love the crazy idea Gaudi had on all of his masterpieces but also because this certain site, when you look at it, is so beautifully weird and people actually lived there. They made history in that house! I’ve questioned Gaudi’s sanity the moment I laid eyes on his works in person but I really could not blame the guy for being unique and like all of us, we are all looking for that certain place in this world where we can be one of a kind.

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Pompeii in Italy – LooknWalk

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Located in Capagnia, not far from Naples and Rome, Pompeii’s fame is due to a disastrous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Rome took control of Pompeii around 200 BC and the city was quickly favored by Rome, which lead to its rapid development. The cataclysmic event in 79 AD buried the city along with the inhabitants who didn’t leave – as there is evidence some of them had fled. It took until 1755 for the city to be found. Easily reached from Napes by train (Circumvesuviana line), Pompeii is one of those sites which will impress you for the second you set foot in. It is huge and overwhelming, but worth any foot pain in the world! Allow about half a day for the visit. You should not miss seeing: the Amphitheater, the Forum and the Basilica. Villa dei Misteri is another building you should not miss.

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Alhambra in Spain – Curiosity and a Carry On

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The Alhambra in Granada, Spain, is one of my favorite places in the world. The enchanting gardens are a peaceful retreat, and the stunning architecture provides a fascinating history lesson from Muslim emirs to Christian kings. Moorish poets once described the Alhambra as ‘a pearl set in emeralds,’ because of the building color and surrounding woods. To visit the Alhambra is to be transported to another era, and with Arabic transcriptions and colored tiles, you’ll feel like you’ve been taken out of Europe. In off season, it’s one of the most tranquil and visually stunning places you can visit. Prepare to spend hours here!

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Buda Castle in Hungary – Hyper Trypsy

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The Buda Castle district has been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The castle was constructed on top of the Castle Hill in the 13th century and has been bombed and reconstructed several times since it was first constructed, most of the damages happened during World War II. Today, some of the top attractions of the Buda Castle include Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Library. One of the fun facts about Buda Castle is that the funicular that takes you up to the Buda Castle is over 140 years old and its the second in Europe!

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Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany – I Am Vagabond

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Neuschwanstein Castle is a nineteenth-century palace built in Neo-Romanesque style near Füssen in Bavaria, Germany. This is one of the most visited castles in Germany and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Neuschwanstein means “New Swan Castle” which is referencing “the Swan Knight” one of the Wagner’s characters. The palace has appeared in several movies and it’s fairytale look inspired Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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Baumwipfelpfad in Germany – Pack the Corkscrew

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The Baumwipfelpfad is a wooden path built high in the treetops of the Black Forest in an area called Sommerberg in Bad Wildbad, Germany. Walking the path provides you with spectacular views and little activity stations for climbing, mini ropes and balance obstacles, and on display are picture boards with facts about the local flora and fauna. To give those with a fear of heights a bit of a jolt, the obstacles are built over a see-thorough mesh netting so you can see exactly how high you are in the trees while maneuvering over the courses. The walk along the flat wooden path is a little under a mile and ends at the base of a massive metal spiral, which is actually a giant slide! At this end, the wooden boardwalk curves upwards to a circular wooden path which surrounds the slide (yes, you can ride it!). If you keep walking past the slide entrance, you arrive at the top of the path where you can enjoy a picnic on one of the wooden benches and soak up the panoramic views of the breathtaking Black Forest.

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La Sagrada Familia in Spain – Life in a Carry On

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It’s probably happened to every traveler; we walk around a beautiful city and stand in awe in front of different structures, built hundreds or even thousands of years ago, and think “Isn’t it sad that we aren’t building anything like that today?”. This is one of the main reasons I fell so in love with La Sagrada Familia in Spain. It is the most intricate and breathtaking church I have ever seen – and, the most astonishing part, is that after a hundred years it is still under construction. From the outside, you can see the immense towers and wonderfully detailed engravings of Jesus’ life. This could be impressive enough, however, once you walk inside, you will find some of the most beautifully crafted pillars that, depending of the time of day, will change colors with the light coming through the stained glass windows.

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Vigeland Sculpture Park in Norway – Crizzy Kiss

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One of my favorite European sites is definitely found in my city called Vigeland Sculpture Park. It is situated in the middle of Oslo, Norway. One should not miss this world famous Vigeland Sculptures when visiting Europe. Unbelievably, these extraordinary unique and weird looking sculptures were created by Gustav Vigeland from 1869-1943. It is considered as the world’s largest sculpture park that is created by only one person.

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Caldea-INUU Spa in Andorra – Travel Addicts

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High in the Pyrenees Mountains in the tiny country of Andorra is one of the world’s most remarkable buildings.  The design (by Jean-Michel Ruols) reminds us of a jagged piece of ice piercing the sky.  The cold, glass exterior reflects the white mountain peaks that surround the valley.  But deep inside the building, pools of warm water great visitors.  This is the Caldea-INUU Spa complex in Andorra la Vella.  The twin spas (Caldea and INUU) welcome thousands of visitors every year to this tiny mountain principality.  Of all the amazing modernist architecture in Europe, this building captured our hearts and minds!

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Jungfrau Railway in Switzerland – Voyager

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We were hypnotized and fell in love instantly with this Engineering marvel of man. We are talking about the Jungfrau railway in Switzerland that has been chugging along the snowy mountains for over a century now. The cog wheel railway carries passengers from the picturesque town of Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch which at 3,454 metres is known as the Top of Europe. The railway station here is Europe’s highest altitude railway station.The distance covered between the two railway stations is nine kilometers and seven of these are through a tunnel that has been bored in the snowy mountains of Eiger and Monch. There are two stations where the train stops to offer passengers a visual treat, as they can feast their eyes at the magnificent snowy mountain landscape through specially designed panorama glass windows. The two stations where the train halts for this purpose are Eigerwand (Eiger Wall) and Eismeer(Sea of Ice). It is indeed a thrilling experience as the train climbs an elevation of about 1400 metres in about 50 minutes time to reach its destination; The Top of Europe.

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Edinburgh Castle in Scotland – Migrating Miss

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You can’t miss Edinburgh Castle as you come into the city centre. It dominates the skyline and can be seen for miles around. The inspiration for Hogwarts, this castle literally sits on top of a rock and Edinburgh Castle can be admired just as much from the outside as the inside. From inside Edinburgh Castle, the most popular paid tourist attraction in Scotland, you can see historical displays, the National War Museum of Scotland, and stunning views across Edinburgh to Arthurs Seat, Calton Hill and the Pentland Hills. The One O’Clock Gun is fired everyday except Sunday and has been since 1861 and in the summer you can see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with performers from around the world.  Edinburgh Castle is a symbol of Scotland and one of my favourite places in Europe.

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The Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland – Divergent Travelers

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The Wild Atlantic Way is the definition of an epic road trip. Covering 1,553 miles, the road takes you along the coastline of the Emerald Isle exploring all the landscapes, villages, cities, castles and sites along the way. Starting in Dublin and following the coastline south, West, then North, you can’t help but stop every few miles to gawk at the scenery unfolding around you. Explore the Ring of Kerry, grab a pint in Dingle and pull in at one of the Titanic’s ports, the Wild Atlantic Way is redefining what a road trip is all about.

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The Blue Lagoon in Iceland – Travels with Carole

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I love hot springs, and so when I went to Iceland the Blue Lagoon was definitely at the top of my must-see list.  I adored my soak there and slathered on plenty of the free grey silica found along the sides to soften my skin.  In addition to being awed by the size of this “lagoon,” I was amazed to learn that it is in fact filled with mineral-rich recycled hot seawater that is first used by a power plant next door to make heat and electricity for Reykjavik.

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Palace of the Parliament in Romania – Travel Tramp

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The Palace of the Parliament is a megalithic, monumental, perhaps even insane legacy to Romania’s former Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu. This was the man’s grandest, some would say maddest project. It was a statement of power. It took so long to build that Ceausescu was violently overthrown before he saw its completion. Now it’s the largest parliament in the world, and the second largest government building in the world after the Pentagon. It is, absolutely huge. It completely dominates central Bucharest, and its extravagance is only outdone by the continued cost of its construction and maintenance. It’s 85 metres high and has an enormous area of 365,000 square metres. And that’s before you calculate the ridiculous length of the underground tunnel system, built out of paranoia and fear. The Palace of the Parliament can be visited on a public tour, but don’t expect to see much of this extravagant building on the one hour trip.

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Ephesus in Turkey – The Traveling Waitress

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Ephesus, Turkey is an ancient Greek city built in the 10th century BC and is the largest collection of Roman ruins in the Eastern Mediterranean. A great deal of the city has been excavated and restored with the two most impressive structures being the amphitheatre, the largest outdoor theatre in the ancient world. As well as the Library of Celsus, a two story monument built for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus. As you stroll through Ephesus you can imagine how the city looked in it’s prime. You almost feel as if you have been transported back to that time period. Unlike other ruins in Europe you can actually touch the structures in Ephesus. Sitting in the amphitheatre imagining all of those who have sat in that very spot throughout time can be almost intoxicating and is one of the reasons it’s my favourite site in Europe.

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St. Basil’s Cathedral in Russia – Roaming Renegades

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There is just nothing quite like the sight of the dazzling view of St. Basil’s cathedral in the heart of Red Square. This impressive and historic building is a true landmark of not only Moscow but it has become a symbol of Russia itself. The colourful and unique onion domes dominate iconic and imposing red square and the interior decoration is simply breathtaking. Seeing St. Basil’s in person is something everyone should experience at least once!

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St. Paul’s Cathedral in England – Global Help Swap

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The City of London is a strange thing. It’s a city within a city with it’s own police force, mayor and rules. As it’s the heart of the financial district most of the buildings are skyscrapers full of offices. However, there is one building that has stood there for 341 years. St Paul’s Cathedral is still the most striking building in the city no matter what the modern architects say. Miraculously, during the blitz in the second world war, St Paul’s Cathedral managed to avoid major damage even though the area around it was in flames. Queen’s Victoria and Elizabeth celebrated their jubilees there and Princess Diana married Charles under the famous domed roof. For Londoners St Paul’s Cathedral is a kind of beacon. You know you are home when you see that beautiful white building and no matter how many times you see it, you never tire of looking at it.

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Royal Albert Hall in England – The Curious Creature

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Royal Albert Hall is an architectural, historical and cultural gem in the heart of London. The beautifully-constructed exterior (mosaic frieze, original 20 000 sq. ft. glazed-iron roof and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Steps) is equally impressive as the interior where millions gather each year to enjoy live performances. Housing what was once the largest instrument in the world, the Henry Willis Organ, the Hall is now home to the world’s longest-running music festival (BBC Proms). The first stone of the Hall was laid by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1867 who later officially opened the building in 1871. Since then, Royal Albert Hall has hosted countless iconic events with the world’s greatest artists, sportsmen and statesmen. One walk around the slightly oval-shaped building and you’ll spot photos of those who’ve graced its stage — from Wagner and Sinatra to Mandela and Beyonce. As one of the UK’s most treasured buildings, it’s one you won’t want to miss!

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The Acropolis in Greece – Travel Passionate

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One of my favorite sites in Athens, Greece is the Acropolis, built on the 5th century B.C. Once you are in Athens you will notice how the Acropolis dominates the city. It can be seen almost from everywhere. Popular sites on the Acropolis rock include the Parthenon which was dedicated to the patron of the city, goddess Athena, the Erechtheion with the beautiful Karyatides, the Propylaea which was the entrance to the Acropolis and the Temple of Athena Nike. As it was built on the top of a hill it enjoys incredible views of the whole city.

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Stari Most Bridge in Bosnia-Herzegovina – Savored Journeys

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One of my favorite man-made sites in Europe is the iconic Stari Most bridge in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a rebuild of the original 16th-century Ottoman bridge that existed before the war that destroyed large chunks of Mostar, but it is every bit as picturesque as before, and is one of the country’s most recognizable landmarks.

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Ancestral McCool House in Northern Ireland – McCool Travel

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My favorite building in Europe has likely not been visited or even viewed by any of your readers. It is the ancestral McCool house in Toberhead, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Many years ago, I was fortunate to be able to trace my McCool family back to the 1670s and even more fortunate to find a distant cousin in Northern Ireland who could take me to the exact house where the McCools lived at that time. The house has been significantly remodeled but it is most exciting to have been able to walk through a place where my ancestors lived 350 years ago.

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Prague Castle in The Czech Republic – Nelson Mochilero

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One thing is true: Prague woudn’t be the same without the Castle. This place born in the 9th century and is the official residence of the President. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it and according to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world.

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The Mole in Italy – Weigh the Anchor

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The Mole Antonelliana in Turin is one of my favourite sites in Europe. Turin is such an underestimated city and the Mole is home to an amazing cinema museum, the kind only the Italians could curate. Dominating the cities skyline against the backdrop of the Italian Alps, the Mole was originally designed as a synagogue for the new Italy’s capital after the unification. Today, The Mole is one of my favourite sites because it’s not just a beautiful and striking building, but it’s home to a great museum on its own right and the streets around it are dedicated to art with a cool bohemian vibe.

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Sainte-Chappelle in France –  Hungry Belly Travels

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My favourite site in Europe is the stunning Sainte- Chapelle in Paris France. This 13th Century masterpiece was commission by King Louis IX for use as the royal chapel. The beauty of this building is overwhelming! Visitors are welcome to quietly sit and observe the architecture of the building- the high vaulted ceilings and the iconic windows. The chapel houses one of the world’s most extensive collection of 13th Century stained glass and in the late afternoon, the sunlight through the windows gives the chapel a magical charm. The history of the building is a draw card; from its royal roots, to the damage caused during the French Revolution, to its modern role as a Parisian travel icon, the building is popular with visitors and religious pilgrims alike. What I loved most was that it wasn’t packed with visitors, allowing one the quietness and peace to really experience the chapel.

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Manarola in Italy – Travel to Be Alive

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Manarola is one of the five colorful villages that make up the world-famous area known as “Cinque Terre”. This area is situated on the west coast of Italy and creates a surreal atmosphere on the sea. Part of Manarola’s charm is that despite the amount of tourists that visit the village very year, it has not changed its look: you won’t find ugly hotels among the colorful houses, nor cars moving around. And this is what I love about that.

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Katski Pillar in Georgia – Unusual Traveler

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Katski Pillar is one of the most unique buildings in Europe,  it’s a tiny church on the top of a 40 metres (130 ft) natural limestone monolith. It’s strangely mot mentioned in any guidebooks even it’s one of a kind in the world, it’s not the easiest place to visit in Europe, but it’s definitely worth it.  This days the church is inhabitante by an old monk.

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The Roman Forum in Italy – Learning Escapes

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In Rome, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful architecture but for me, who grew up there, nothing is as evocative and beautiful as the complex of the Roman forum. An open-air archaeological area, the forum lays between the Capitol and the Palatine hills, the first parts of the city the Romans inhabited and contains vestiges of ancient Rome dating back to the VI century B.C. When you stroll along the ‘via sacra’, the ‘sacred road’ that crosses it, you encounter imposing temples, white columns still lining what used to be Rome’s busy streets, elegant mosaic pavements and elaborately carved marbles. They bask in the Roman sun and, against the city’s blue sky, they are, to me, an incredible testimony of how beauty, man-made in this case, truly transcends time.

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Hallgrimskirkja in Iceland – Baldpacker

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The Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, Iceland, literally can’t be missed.  The church’s 73 meter (244 ft) tower sits atop a hill in downtown Reyjkavik and can be seen far above the rest of the capital city’s skyline. The church was designed to resemble basalt lava flows and took 41 years to build, reaching completion in 1986. Visitors can pay to take a lift up to an observation deck that offers fantastic views over Reykjavik and the surrounding ocean and mountains.

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Cappadocia in Turkey – Ze Wandering Frogs

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Cappadocia is famous for its fairy chimneys and lunar landscape and was as unique as we hoped. What surprised us was the rich history of the region. Beyond its natural beauty, Cappadocia contains reminders of monastic activities dated back to the 4th century, when early Christians hid before Christianity became accepted. We walked down underground cities several floors tall like the Kaymaklı Underground City, visited troglodyte villages high in the hoodoos’ rocks, and admired cave churches featuring post-iconoclastic Byzantine art. I would recommend the Göreme Open-Air Museum as a must-see, where medieval orthodox Christian monks carved caves in the soft volcanic stones between 1,000-1,200 AD. The restored 11th-century Karanlık Kilise (Dark Church) was so detailed, simply mind-blowing! Additional sites around the region include churches hidden in the valleys located between the Göreme and Çavuşin villages. We stumbled upon the beautiful Hacli Kilise while we hiked through the Rose Valley. Also known as the Church with the Cross, we were amazed by the well-preserved frescoes estimated by the historians to date from the 10th century.

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Rubjerg Knude in Denmark – Jaclyn Dyrholm Photography

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Construction of Rubjerg Knude, on the north west coast of Denmark, began in 1899 and it lit up the night sky for the first time on December 27, 1900.  At the time it sat nearly 700 feet inland and 200 feet above sea level, and there were no sand dunes to be seen around the cliff, so you can’t fault the people for thinking it would be safe.  But, overtime the wind blew and the shifting sand dunes posed too much of a danger.  The lighthouse was completely abandoned in 2002, and they predict it will fall into the ocean in about 20 years.  I have to see it every time I am in Denmark, to see how the dunes have shifted.

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Transfagarasan Highway in Romania – Drive on the Left

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We were blown away by the massive engineering accomplishment of the Transfagarasan Highway in rural Romania. The road was built in the 1970s as a strategic military route (in response to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia). Other mountain passes at the time tended to cut through valleys which were prone to attack. The road is just 60 miles long but passes through tunnels, by viaducts and at the top of one ridge is the frequently visited Balea Lake. These days, car and photography enthusiasts are the most frequent visitors, as the road and its surroundings is seriously one of the most awe-inspiring man made sites you’ve ever seen!

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Ephesus in Turkey – Miss Happy Feet

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Is Turkey a part of Europe or Asia? The debate is still going on, but here is some insight into the European side of Turkey. Situated about 3km southwest of Selcuk is the Roman City of Ephesus, one of the seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The excavated ruins of Ephesus marvelously reflects the history of Christianity and the Roman Empire, it is one of the most well preserved historical site of Turkey. Standing at the foot of the “Library”, your guide will tell you an untold story about the tunnel connecting the library to “somewhere” husbands don’t want wives to find out.

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Stari Most in Bosnia-Herzgovina – The Next Somewhere

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Stari Most is hidden away in mountains of Herzegovina in the cultural center of Mostar. Mostar’s namesake comes from the bridge keepers who watched over the stone bridge, named called the “mostari”. It is one of the most important Islamic architectural feats in the Balkans. Legend has it that the architect, Mimar Hayruddin, was forced to build a bridge with an arch wider than the world had ever seen. Failing to do so would result in his immediate death. The legend also says that on the day he revealed the bridge to its commissioner, he had also planned his subsequent funeral. It still remains a vision of grandeur no thanks to the fairytale backdrop behind it and the dazzling Neretva below. The original bridge was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War but was reconstructed in 2004. Since 1664, young men have been recorded jumping off the bridge for sport and to this day, a diving competition is held every July.

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Fahan Beehive Huts & Dunbeg in Ireland – Santa Fe Travelers

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The west of Ireland’s loaded with amazing man-made sites left by early Celtic peoples. Two of my favorites, Fahan Beehive Huts (Caher Conor) and Dunbeg (Dún Beag) Fort, go together. These date to around 800AD though there signs of human habituation dating back 6,000 years. The sturdy huts (known as clochans) were constructed from stone; no mortar was used. Each successive layer tapers a bit to form the hive shape which kept water out. The fort is west of the huts set on a stone promontory overlooking the Atlantic. It served to protect them. A southiain (underground passage) connects the fort and the settlement. It’s believed that it was either an escape route or used for weapons storage. Besides the five clustered huts at the site, the remains of about 500 beehive huts are scattered throughout the area. It’s worth the modest admission price to visit these two sites.

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Hosios Loukas in Greece – For the Love of Wanderlust

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Have you ever had one of those travel experiences that just knock you off your feet? Hosios Loukas was just that for me. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Helicon is this beautiful monastery’s place of worship is actually made up of two chapels. One is older and more simplistic and the other has all those beautiful Byzantine features. Frescoes adorn the domes and walls, gold accents shine in the soft, natural light and archways look out over the foothills. If this place doesn’t cause some sort of religious experience, I don’t know what would.

What about you? What’s your favorite man-made site in Europe?

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46 Travel Bloggers

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Jessica Lancia
    April 30, 2016 at 2:31 am

    So nice to see that many bloggers submitted places in Italy, I feel quite proud 🙂
    Thanks for featuring Manarola 😀

    Jessica
    http://www.traveltobealive.com

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      May 4, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you for contributing! Italy is definitely a spectacular destination! Cheers!

    • Reply
      Ulli
      May 5, 2016 at 3:52 am

      Very interesting cooperation with other bloggers 😀 And I found some useful recommendations here..

  • Reply
    michaelamanningtravel
    April 30, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Thanks a million for including me! It was fab so see such a fantastic set of building all in one place! I love this post – sharing! http://www.thisfpplanet.com

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      May 4, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      It is quite the list, huh? Thanks so much for contributing & sharing! Cheers!

  • Reply
    omobtomtom
    May 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    been to 2 of the places- Edinburgh castle and Roman Forum. Great list!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      May 4, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      I’ve only been to 7 of them! It sounds like we better get a plane ticket & a Eurorail pass, huh?! Thanks for reading! Cheers!

  • Reply
    Nelson Mochilero
    May 2, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Fantastic compilation of places…

  • Reply
    Crizzy Kiss (@CrizzyKiss)
    May 3, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for the feature! I’ve only been to 4 out of 46 sites, lol..more to add on my list.. 😉

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      May 12, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      I have a ton to add to my list too! So much to see, so little time! At least you have the advantage of already being in Europe! 🙂

  • Reply
    April Round-up
    May 4, 2016 at 2:53 am

    […] was thrilled to be mentioned in Jodie’s (ForTheLoveOfWanderlust.com) fabulous post featuring 46 bloggers who shared their favourite man made sites around Europe. The end result is an incredible collection of some of Europe’s greatest sites, including my […]

  • Reply
    Sally E
    May 4, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Wow, what a great collection! I haven’t been to a lot of these but I’m glad to see several of Gaudi’s buildings on there – his buildings in Barcelona continue to blow my mind every time I go back!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      May 11, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      I’ve not seen them yet in person, but they definitely amaze me in the photos alone. Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    Chantell
    May 4, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    This is quite an impressive list! I have been to quite a few of these and hoping to get to Turkey later this year to see the Blue Mosque. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      May 11, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      Turkey is really high on my list so I can’t wait to see what adventures you get yourself into!

  • Reply
    Safari Junkie
    May 5, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Amazing, what humans can do! Iwould add to the list Castle Predjama, its built into the rock and cave.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      May 11, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      I completely agree – it’s amazing what people have created, it makes me proud! I just googled that and that is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Reply
    Live Learn Venture (@LiveLearnVentur)
    May 5, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Wow — what a great list!! The Neuschwanstein Castle looks amazing!!! I need to get my butt to Europe! 🙂

  • Reply
    Christina
    May 5, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Great list! So many more ideas to add to our must sees when traveling.

  • Reply
    Marteen
    May 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Loved this post Paige. The only one’s I’ve visited are the amphitheatre in Verona and the London Eye. Being from Ireland I have yet to visit the sites in Ireland that were mentioned. Dun Aengus is an amazing site. The section of rocks in the ground leading up to the fort were a defense mechanism and are known as ankle-breakers. If anyone was trying to invade on horseback the horses would have their ankles broken trying to cross the rocks.

  • Reply
    Patricia Steffy (@PLSteffy)
    May 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Wow!! There is no way I could narrow down my favorite man-made spots. Maybe the D’Orsay, or Pompeii, or Alhambra or… LOL!! Yeah, I can’t pick. Everything seems so incredible, and there are so many on this list that I haven’t seen in person yet.

  • Reply
    Bailey K.
    May 5, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Wow. I’ve only been to a few of these, but I can’t wait to visit many of the rest. They’re all so spectacular! We’re headed to the UK next year, so I really want to visit Dun Aengus!

  • Reply
    Cassie
    May 6, 2016 at 1:11 am

    I like to think I’ve covered a lot of Europe but I’ve missed most of this list!! Guess I’ve got some travelling yet to do!

  • Reply
    McCool Travel
    May 6, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Thank you for including my submission within your list of manmade places to visit in Europe.

  • Reply
    Portfolio - Ze Wandering Frogs
    May 11, 2016 at 12:26 am

    […] 46 Favorite Man-Made Sites in Europe / For the Love of Wanderlust […]

  • Reply
    abcdeghizzy
    May 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Girl your collab posts are so epic!!! I love your creativity with them and wow, can’t believe someone else on the list put Stari Most! How cool is that!! 😀

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Zaria Papa
    May 28, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Hi Paige,

    Thank you so much for introducing all these wonderful travel bloggers! I will make sure I pay a visit to them. Great post!

    Zaria

  • Reply
    alicevstheworld
    December 9, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Fantastic list! I’ve visited next to none of the places on this list, but I have visited Edinburgh Castle and really enjoyed it! It’s a truly amazing place.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      December 17, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Well, we’re even then because I’ve never been there! I wanted to study abroad in Scotland, and even now I still haven’t made it there. Cheers!

  • Reply
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