Guided tours of Europe are wonderful for learning more about history and culture, making friends, and sampling interesting local cuisines. They’re also great for filling your photo album with amazing pictures of your travels.
We put together our list of the seven most breathtaking cities in Europe—you’d be hard-pressed to snap a bad photo no matter where you are in these gorgeous destinations. Check it out and let us know in the comments which city you’re most looking forward to visiting!
Notre Dame in Paris is wonderful, but there’s nothing like Sacre Coeur crowning the hills of Montmartre.
The Basilica at Sacre Coeur is the second-most visited site in Paris, its dazzling white domes perched atop the summit of Montmartre. It was built in the late 19th century and consecrated in 1919; the Blessed Sacrament has been on continual display there since 1885, even before the basilica was completed. You can climb the 270 steps to the top for the most amazing panoramic views of Paris down below—or take the funicular and enjoy the ride!
London by night is like a carpet of jewels from the gallery of the Shard.
The Shard lives up to its jagged-sounding name, breaking into the sky like a piece of glass. Its 11,000 glass panels have a total area of over 600,000 square feet! Take a few photos of the exterior from down below and then ride to the top to see the incredible views of London down below. It’s said that, on a clear day, you can see 40 miles in any direction from the viewing platform!
The Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg are absolutely mesmerizing.
A 17th-century palace built by a prince for his beloved—what could be more romantic? Is it any surprise that its lavish Marble Hall is considered one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world? The Baroque Mirabell Gardens were featured in “The Sound of Music” when Maria and the children sang “Do-Re-Mi” in front of the Pegasus Fountain.
Prague Castle is fit for a fairytale princess.
The whole city of Prague looks as if it were lifted from a fairytale—and Prague Castle is the pinnacle of this charming capital city. The castle complex has been around since the 9th century, and today it serves as the office of the president of the Czech Republic. Prague Castle is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest castle in the world: At over 750,000 square feet, it’s over twice the size of Edinburgh Castle.
There’s nothing like the Royal Palace in Amsterdam’s Dam Square.
Dam Square dates back to the 13th century and it’s packed with gorgeous historic buildings and monuments. But the Royal Palace is a definite must-see—it’s open for visitors year-round (unless the Dutch Royal Family are in residence). During the summer months, you might find a carnival or street performers entertaining the crowds.
Mark Twain called the Lion of Lucerne “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
You might be surprised to find Lucerne on our list of most beautiful cities, but it’s a must-see if you’re visiting Switzerland. Surrounded by the Swiss Alps, with serene Lake Lucerne stretching endlessly from the Chapel Bridge, this is a city worthy of a camera. But don’t miss the Lion of Lucerne, an unusually moving tribute to the country’s fallen soldiers.
Watch the sun set over the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Square.
You can’t do Paris without gazing at the Eiffel Tower, but our favorite view of this iconic monument is from Trocadero Square at sunset. Trocadero is a mecca of museums and galleries—a wonderful place to while away an afternoon in Paris. But when the sun sets, make sure you have your camera, because you won’t want to miss the marvelous views.
Don’t miss even one of the 30 Baroque statues that line Prague’s Charles Bridge.
One of the great things about traveling as an empty-nester is that you can take your time to really enjoy every unusual sight that interests you and catches your eye. That’s how we feel about the incredible statues that line the ancient Charles Bridge. The bridge itself dates back to the 14th century, and the impressive statues of saints were added over the years. Don’t miss the Statue of St. John of Nepomuk and the sculpture group of St. Lutgarde (although each of 30 deserves a good look, quite honestly).
A cruise along Amsterdam’s tree-lined canals is a little taste of heaven.
Amsterdam’s canal ring was originally created to drain the swamps around the city, and later they served as protection as Amsterdam grew in power. Today, however, they’re recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and there’s nothing quite as lovely as cruising along on a boat tour admiring the charming 17th and 18th-century homes and buildings on your visit to Amsterdam.
Salzburg Fortress stands sentinel over the city—as it has for a thousand years.
There’s a sense of history in Europe that you don’t get in the New World, and Salzburg’s Hohensalzburg Fortress is a prime example. Dating back to Austria’s medieval period, the fortress is one of the oldest and large preserved castle complexes in Europe. Take the funicular to the top of the hill for amazing views of this gorgeous city.
Walk in the footsteps of kings and queens at Westminster Abbey.
What can you say about Westminster Abbey? You just have to see it for yourself. This is the place where Britain’s kings and queens received their crowns since 1066, the final resting place of luminaries such as Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, and 17 British monarchs. It’s also the site of the most captivating royal weddings—raise your hand if you watched Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot. If you’re visiting London, you definitely need to see Westminster Abbey.
Ready to book your own European adventure?
If you’d love to visit these gems of the Old World and fill your photo album with unforgettable memories, we’d love to help you plan your trip. Get in touch today and learn more about our Heart of Europe tours that take you to some of the most beautiful cities in the world.