Discover Top 18 Tourist Attractions in Europe | Europe Package Tour from Thane | Crossworld Holidays Thane

Explore Europe's top-rated tourist destinations with our guide to the best attractions, including Amsterdam's canals, Vienna's Hofburg, Alhambra in Spain, and more. Plan your dream Europe package tour from Thane today! | Crossworld Holidays Thane



18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Europe - Part 2

June 2024

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Tourist Attractions in Europe

  1. 10. Amsterdam's Canals, The Netherlands

    Aptly known as "the Venice of the North," Amsterdam is fueled by the many hundreds of kilometers of grachten (canals) that cut through the city. The city has three main canals - Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht - and over 1,500 bridges connecting the islands.

    The Prinsengracht canal is probably the most famous canal in the Netherlands, as a number of notable buildings are situated along its shores. These include Anne Frank's house; Amsterdam's tallest church, Westerkerk; the 17th-century Deutzen Hofje house, and a number of other impressive historical constructions.

    The Singelgracht canal, though not one of the largest, is well known for bordering the very upscale Jordaan neighborhood, where Rembrandt spent the last few years of his life.

    Another famous canal, the Brouwersgrach, was once used by ships returning with spices from Asia. Today, it's a favorite canal to park houseboats, and it's flanked by warehouses that have been converted into chic, expensive apartments and lofts.

  2. 11. The Vienna Hofburg, Austria

    The House of Habsburg originally had the palace built in the 13th century to house one of the most influential royal families in Europe. Once an imperial palace, home to kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, the Hofburg is now the official residence of Austria's president.

    The palace was expanded over the centuries with the addition of royal residences, a chapel, the Hofreitschule (Spanish Riding School), the Court Library, and the imperial court theater (which is the National Theater of Austria in Vienna today).

    The Vienna Hofburg is massive at 240,000 square meters divided into 18 wings - and much of it is open to the public. The sprawling complex also houses 19 courtyards and over 2,500 rooms, many of which are still occupied by the people who work and live here.

  3. 12. The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Spain

    The palace and fortress complex Alhambra - which literally translates to "the red one" - was originally built in 889 CE, though it didn't achieve its current look and massive 142,000-square-meter size until the mid-13th century.

    The fortress was neglected and vandalized over the centuries, and though it was also partially restored, it wasn't always done with great care. Still, the Alhambra stands as one of the most magnificent displays of Muslim art and architecture in Spain.

    Built using a mix of red clay, layered brick, and stone, the natural earth red color of the Alhambra is its most stunning feature. Inside, intricate stucco work covers the many Moorish palaces, royal baths, and fortified towers.

    The adjoining Palacio de Generalife, with its terraced Persian gardens is also worth a visit - not only for its magnificent views of the Alhambra but also because the summer palace, with its many colonnades and pavilions, is a beauty in itself.

  4. 13. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Portugal

    The Jerónimos Monastery is one of Portugal's most recognizable constructions. Built in Lisbon near the Tagus river, the UNESCO World Heritage Site monastery is a beautiful example of Manueline or Portuguese late Gothic style.

    Manueline architecture is notable for its ornate details, with lots of semicircular arches in doors and windows, and for incorporating maritime elements, such as shells and pearls, into the design.

    Construction on the monastery began in 1501 and took just over 100 years. The original structure is built of gold-colored limestone, but different kings and architects over the years added their touch via imposing murals, gold-tiled ceilings, and lots of detailed woodwork.

    The main entrances to the monastery are through the gates of the Church of Santa Maria, including a 32-meter, two-story-high side entrance and the smaller southern doorway, which opens directly to the main altar. The monastery itself has large grounds and gardens, where fountains, 16th-century buildings, and pavilions offer plenty to explore and discover.

  5. 14. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

    Construction of the tower of Pisa – which is part of the cathedral complex that includes three other buildings – started in 1172, thanks to the generosity of widowed nobleman Donna Berta di Bernardo. Unfortunately, the architect overseeing the construction failed to properly survey the ground before starting, and the tower started to sink by the time the second floor had been built.

    Battles with neighboring Florence then halted construction for over a century. By the time the work resumed, the soil had settled enough that the tower didn't fall – it did end up being 55.86 meters tall on the lower side and 56.67 meters on the higher side. It took almost two hundred years for the construction to be finally finished.

    Today, tourists can again climb one of two staircases (the north-facing one has two extra steps because of the incline) to the tower bell chamber to see its seven bells, one for each note of the musical scale.

  6. 15. Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

    There's no better reason to visit Vatican City than walking through the stunning beauty of the Sistine Chapel. Built starting in 1473 and decorated with frescoes by Botticelli, Domenico, Michelangelo, and other Renaissance painters, the chapel is still used today for the papal conclave, during which a new people is chosen.

    Michelangelo himself is responsible for the jaw-dropping paintings that adorn the 40-meter-long and 13-meter-wide ceiling – this is over 460 square meters of images inspired by both the Old and New Testament.

    The chapel can only be accessed through the Vatican Museums, a vast complex of galleries that stretches for over 14 kilometers and houses one of the world's largest collections of ancient art –too big to be fully explored in one day, so good planning is needed if your ultimate goal is to make it through to the Sistine Chapel, too.

  7. 16. Sagrada Familia, Spain

    The church of the Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882 and today is one of Barcelona's most famous sights. Part of the reason for the delay was that once the first architect resigned, the second one who came on board, Antoni Gaudi, completely changed the original plans to build a stunning Art Nouveau and Gothic architectural marvel. His original design included eighteen spires and three grand façades (the south-facing one has yet to be completed).

    Gaudi worked on the church from 1883 until his death in 1926 – but by then only a quarter of the project had been finished. He is buried in a crypt inside the church. The hope was that the Sagrada Familia would be finished in 2026 to commemorate 100 years of Gaudi's death, but this has been delayed again.

  8. 17. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

    The castle that inspired Disney's Sleeping Beauty's castle was built high up in the Bavarian Alps by order of 19th-century King Louis II – better known historically as "Mad King Ludwig." If the castle looks like something out of a fairy tale it's because that was Louis II's vision all along. He wanted a castle that looked somewhat medieval, somewhat out of legends, and very much over-the-top romanticized.

    Despite its medieval design aspirations, the king also wanted comfort, and had the castle outfitted with running water, flush toilets, an elevator and a telephone line – even though phones were so rare at the time, he was probably unable to call anybody. Louis II only used the castle for about six months before dying, and the place was almost immediately converted into a museum.

  9. 18. Pompeii, Italy

    The ancient city of Pompeii is one of Italy's most visited attractions and perhaps one of the most fascinating. The tragedy of Mount Vesuvius erupting in 79 CE caused the death of about 10 percent of Pompeii's population and resulted in an incredibly well-preserved town, as the city was buried under tons of volcanic ash.

    Today, visitors to Pompeii can again walk its streets and venture into the town's most popular buildings: the Lupanare (brothel), the Villa of the Mysteries (home to a massive fresco that covers three walls), and thermopolium (the Roman version of a fast food joint).

    Pompeii ruins cover a massive 440,000 square meters, and it would take visitors three to four days to truly explore them completely.

Also read: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Europe - Part 1


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