Europe is full of must-see attractions. If you plan on traveling abroad in the near future, you may be wondering what museums, monuments, and landmarks to pencil into your itinerary. Let’s take a look at some top attractions to visit.
The Palace of Versailles | Versailles, France
Visitors from all over the world travel to Versailles, France to visit The Palace of Versailles. This former French royal residence and center of government is one of the most well known national landmarks around, and it is located just 10 miles southwest of Paris. Some other fun facts about The Palace of Versailles include:
- The original residence was primarily known as a hunting lodge and private retreat for Louis XIII (who reigned from 1610 to 1643), and his family.
- From 1943 to 1715, Louis XIV transformed the building into an extravagant complex that was surrounded by beautiful French and English gardens.
- All of the materials used in building and decorating the palace were made in France.
- The palace eventually became a point of admiration among European kingdoms and its unique design was copied on several occasions.
- The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682 to 1789.
- Major political declarations that came out of the Palace of Versailles include the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
- During the breakout of the French Revolution, some of the palace’s artwork was moved to the Louvre.
- The Palace of Versailles covers an area of 87,728,720 square-feet. It is the world’s largest royal domain.
- One of the most famous rooms in the palace is called the Hall of Mirrors. It contains 15 large mirrored arches, each of which has 21 mirrors.
- 210,000 flowers and 200,000 trees are planted in The Garden of Versailles each year.
Stonehenge | Wiltshire, England
If you’re planning a trip to southern England, you should definitely take a day trip to see Stonehenge. Ranked as one of the world’s most iconic archaeological sites, this 5,000-year-old monument has been examined by scientists for centuries. Stonehenge is believed to have been built in several stages.
- There are two types of stones used at Stonehenge: larger sarsens and smaller bluestones.
- There are 83 stones total at the site.
- A unique circle of 56 pits called the Aubrey Holes (they were named after its founder, John Aubrey) sit inside of the enclosure.
- During excavations at Stonehenge, archaeologists have found Roman pottery, stone, coins, and metal.
- In 1882, the historical site became legally protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
- It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
Anne Frank House | Prinsengracht, Amsterdam
The Anne Frank House is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Amsterdam. As one of Amsterdam’s most well-known former residents, Anne Frank is known for hiding with her family for more than two years during World War II. Located at Prinsengracht 263, Anne’s house has been converted into a museum where people can see a sobering exhibit on the persecution of Jews during the war.
- The Anne Frank House became a museum in 1960.
- Historical papers, photographs, and original objects from the original time period are still in the house.
- Visitors can see Anne’s original diary and other notebooks on display in the museum.
- Anne and her family went into hiding on July 6, 1942.
- Anne’s father, Otto Frank, was the only person from the secret annex to survive.
St. Peter’s Basilica | Vatican City, Rome
If you are planning a trip to Rome, you’ll definitely want to visit St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. As one of the world’s holiest catholic shrines, thousands of visitors and tourists visit this attraction each month. While visiting this amazing landmark is free of charge, there is a fee for going up the dome and for seeing the Vatican Necropolis.
- There are two levels below St. Peter’s Basilica. The first level is called the Vatican Grottoes, which is a large underground graveyard where 91 popes have been buried.
- The level below is known as the Vatican Necropolis and it houses St. Peter’s tomb.
- There are only three women entombed in the Vatican Grottoes: Queen Christina of Sweden, Queen Charlotte of Cyprus, and Agnesina Colonna Caetani.
- One of Michelangelo’s most famous carvings of the Pieta can be found in St. Peter’s Basilica. It was carved from one slab of marble, and it’s the only piece of work that Michelangelo has ever signed.
- In the courtyard right outside St. Peter’s Cathedral, there are 140 statues of saints.
The Leaning Tower Of Pisa | Pisa, Italy
Italy is full of wonderful attractions, but nothing beats the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Located in Pisa, Italy, this landmark became famous for the mistakes that architects and engineers made when it was constructed. As one of the most iconic structures in the world, tourists love taking photos with this one-of-a-kind monument.
- Construction began in August 1173 and lasted for about 200 years due to a series of wars.
- The word “pisa” comes from the Greek word for “marshy land.”
- The tower has 207 columns that are arranged on eight stories.
- Designed as a circular bell tower, the tower was made of white marble.
- There are seven large bells at the top of the tower. Each bell weighs nearly 8,000 pounds, and represents a musical note from the major scale.
- Benito Mussolini, Italy’s 20th-century dictator, was ashamed of the tower. He believed the monument was an embarrassment to Italy’s reputation.
As you can see, there are many incredible attractions worth visiting in Europe, and we hope that this list has been helpful to you as you start to plan your journey. If you’re flying to Europe this summer and you’re flying out of the Denver International Airport (DIA), be sure to park your vehicle with ParkDIA. We offer the closest, fastest, and least expensive off-airport parking near DIA.When you download our mobile app on your smartphone, you can book your parking space, check on shuttle times, and earn points redeemable towards free parking.