Europe Must-See's

Houston Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 114 › view all entries

Jazy just sent me this list- sounds fun!


Eiffel Tower, Paris: Built in 1889 for the International Exposition, the Eiffel Tower is the most iconic symbol of Paris and is on every visitor’s must-see list. The open-lattice iron tower is the City of Light's tallest structure, standing at 985 feet.

Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic: The historic stone bridge over Prague’s Moldau River was once a critical connection between Old Town and the Prague Castle. Now traffic consists largely of travelers from around the world who walk along the scenic structure, buy art from local vendors and take panoramic photos of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

The Palace at Versailles: This sprawling regal palace was Louis XIV’s extravagant home and the seat of France’s power during the king’s reign. Now, it could take you days to wander the many rooms, salons and gardens where he held court. The palace is also a storehouse of priceless furniture and artistic masterpieces.


Buckingham Palace: When the British royals stay in London they get cozy at their 775-room "home," the official residence of the sovereigns since the early 1800s. Each August and September, the State Rooms ��" filled with paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer, among others ��" are opened to the public.


Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark: If you ever thought amusement parks were a modern source of entertainment, check out Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. Opened in 1843, this park expertly blends old (think wooden roller coaster) and new (the lightning-fast Demon coaster) into one venue. There’s also a large carousel and a summer concert series.


Puerto del Sol, Madrid: The Gate of the Sun is the physical and symbolic heart of Madrid; Spaniards have gathered at this plaza for centuries. The central square sits at kilometer 0 of the Spanish road system, and is home to the city’s famous bear and madrona tree statue. If you’re lucky enough to be here on New Year’s Eve, the clock tower on the square does the official countdown for revelers.


Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain: Architect Frank Gehry designed this museum, located in the port city of Bilbao, to resemble a ship, with its reflective titanium panels mimicking fish scales. Movie lovers might recognize the building from its cameo appearance in the opening sequence of the 1999 James Bond film, "The World Is Not Enough."


Hagia Sophia mosque, Istanbul, Turkey: This soaring cathedral was built in 537 A.D. at Constantinople, today's Istanbul. In 1453, Constantinople fell to the Ottomans and the church became a mosque. Christian mosaics were revealed when the landmark became a museum in 1935.

Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, Paris: During the 19th century, Notre Dame de Paris was in such a state of disrepair that city planners considered tearing it down. Novelist Victor Hugo, an admirer of the French Gothic structure, wrote "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" to help draw attention to the cathedral’s plight. Success of the book sparked renewed interest in the building and led to a fundraising campaign that financed the cathedral’s 1845 restoration.

Red Square, Moscow: Domes with golden cupolas surrounded by red brick walls are at the heart of Moscow's Kremlin. The Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed on adjacent Red Square features nine towers of different colors.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome: St. Peter's is one of the most recognizable churches in all of Italy. During the 16th century, Michelangelo worked extensively on the building; in December 2007, a red chalk drawing for the basilica’s dome, Michelangelo’s last known sketch, was discovered in the Vatican archives.

Piccadilly Circus, London: While the name "circus" technically means a circle, the traffic at this five-road intersection in London’s West End can certainly be circuslike. It’s not only a station on the Underground but a busy shopping district ��" which is fitting, given its name also derives from the success of one particular tailor who made collars called "piccadills" in the 1600s


Colosseum, Rome: The 50,000-seat amphitheater in Rome was inaugurated in 80 A.D. by Emperor Titus, and served as the backdrop for gladiator duels, battle re-creations and dramas. The word "arena" comes from the Latin word for sand, which always covered the colosseum floor.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England: How and why this circular monument of massive rocks was created between 3,000 and 1,600 B.C. is unknown, but some experts say the stones were aligned as part of a sun-worshipping culture or astronomical calendar. Recently scientists have determined that the structure also served as a burial ground.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany: The inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, Neuschwanstein is a creation of "Mad King" Ludwig II of Bavaria. Perched on a peak in the Alps, the gray granite castle rises to towers, turrets and pinnacles.

Giants Causeway: This natural phenomenon on Northern Island’s coast, near Bushmills, consists of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, some more than 20 feet tall, created by an ancient volcanic eruption. The effect looks like steps big enough for a giant to walk into the sea.

The Parthenon on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece: Work began on the temple to the goddess Athena in 447 B.C., and the result was to become one of the world’s most famous examples of Classical Greek architecture. This set-in-stone wonder attracts millions of visitors each year, though restoration efforts are trying to stem the tide of time and pollution on the marble statues and friezes.

Alhambra, Granada, Spain: The palace and citadel ��" once the residence of the Moorish caliphs who governed southern Spain ��" feature mosaics, arabesques and mocarabe, or honeycomb work.

Custom House, Dublin, Ireland: The Georgian-style domed Custom House is prominently situated on Dublin’s skyline, and is arguably the most famous building in the city. The 14 keystones over the doors and windows are known as the Riverine Heads because they represent the Atlantic Ocean and the 13 principal rivers of Ireland


GWA1225 says:
Woo hoo! We've seen 13 of these. Add Mont St Michel in Normandy and the Grand Place in Brussels. Also the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Posted on: Mar 20, 2009
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