Europe is home to an abundance culture and stunning architecture. From the Eiffel Tower in the French capital Paris to the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, the European continent is full of beautiful buildings and amazing places of worship. I’ve rounded up seven that are definitely worth a visit.
1. St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
One of the grandest and most beautiful buildings on Earth (and the most remarkable building I’ve ever seen), St Peter’s Basilica is an Italian Renaissance church which sits inside the walls of the world’s smallest nation – Vatican City. Frequented by visitors on a trip to Rome, the church boasts a lavish interior combining spectacular works of art, marble columns and flooring, and a mosaic-lined dome which can be ascended for great views across the city-state and surrounding Rome.
2. Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik
The newest place of worship that features on this list, Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavik, Iceland which was consecrated in 1986. It stands at a height of 74 metres and is one of the country’s most recognisable landmarks as it is Iceland’s second-tallest building. The church also contains a gargantuan pipe organ weighing 25 tonnes and has a viewing platform built into its main tower.
3. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
One of Europe and Spain’s great attractions, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is an architectural masterpiece. Still unfinished, work will continue until 2026 to complete Antonio Gaudi’s designs, even though the temple has been open to churchgoers and visitors since the 19th century. The multiple-spired church is impressive on the outside, but its true beauty lies within, where a forest of angled pillars soar towards the ceiling and dance in the coloured light that shines through stained glass windows. If you’re visiting, make sure to get your tickets from the official website before you go as they are seldom available on the day.
4. Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow
Often confused with the Kremlin, Moscow’s famous Saint Basil’s Cathedral is one of Russia’s flagship landmarks. Ordered by Ivan the Terrible to mark the 1552 capture of Kazan from the Mongol Empire, its striking onion domes and eye-catching brickwork characterise this popular tourist attraction and museum. Whether you’re on Red Square at night or in the day, make sure you snap a pic with this iconic attraction.
5. Blue Mosque, Istanbul
The Blue Mosque, also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is one of Istanbul’s finest attractions and sits on the banks of the Bosphorus strait. Standing out with its six minarets and known for its blue interior, hence its less formal name, it is such a popular attraction that admission is controlled in order to preserve its sacred atmosphere.
6. Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, Kiev
Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Ukrainian capital Kiev is the city’s oldest standing church. Named after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, it was commissioned to commemorate a victory for the Kyivan Rus and to glorify Christianity. With an interior of rich frescoes and mosaics, many of which are still intact more than a millennium later, the gold and green-domed cathedral and its surrounding grounds form one of Kiev’s must-see attractions.
7. St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta
St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta is a gem of baroque art and architecture. It was built for the Knights of St John where they would gather for communal worship on its marble floor. The Grand Masters and several knights donated gifts of high artistic value and made enormous contributions to enrich it with what they deemed to be only the best works of art, helping to create a flawlessly beautiful interior that still impresses churchgoers and visitors to this day.