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When planning a European vacation, many visions come to mind of the incredible landmarks and attractions. Almost every major city in Europe can lay claim to one marvel or another but there are certain hot spots that have stood the test of time and will continue to do so for generations ahead and are what make travel to Europe an exciting and timeless experience. Whether you're taking a European tour or are going to experience Europe on your own, this guide has 10 places in Europe you won't want to miss.

1. The Acropolis in Athens Greece is an archaeological and national treasure. Visited by millions yearly, Athens' most iconic symbol is a series of remains of temples, altars, theatres and the famous Parthenon that tell the story of ancient civilization and wonder. A museum at the base displays artifacts and artworks that bring insight into Athens' past. Towering above the city, this popular tourist spot is even more impressive when seen lit up at night.

2. The Colosseum in Rome is one of the most recognizable and visited attractions in the world. At over 2000 years old, this former arena is now a monument to the gladiators that were killed in the name of sport for Roman Emperors. The Colosseum not only has an incredible history in legends and stories but is also one of the most impressive examples of Roman architecture.

3. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is the most visited monument in France with nearly 13 million visitors each year. This gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral which began construction in 1163 is considered one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture in all of Europe and is featured in Victor Hugo's book The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

4. The Louvre is arguably the most important museum in the world. From the outside, this magnificent building is a visual delight but the true masterpieces are housed inside the halls within that date back to the 12th century. The Louvre has rotating exhibits of over 35000 objects as far back as 4000 B.C. and displays such masterpieces such as The Mona Lisa, and the Venus de Milo.

5. The Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world until 1929 and was erected for the 1889 World's Fair. Originally not well received as it did not conform to the beauty of other architectural masterpieces in Paris such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the tower was to be dismantled in 1909. Today, the tower is the most visited paid monument in the world and is also the most prominent symbol of Paris as well as one of the most recognized structures in the world.

6. Buckingham Palace was built in 1705 however did not become the official palace of the British monarch until Queen Victoria in 1837. As one of the only remaining working royal palaces in the world, it is also the official London residence and office of Her Majesty the Queen. The palace is open to visitors only 2 months of the year yet attracts thousands to see the official changing of the guards daily.

7. Stonehenge is located on the Salisbury Plain in Britain and is one of the oldest UNESCO World Heritage Sites dating back to the Bronze Age. Although a mystery still exists about the origins and meaning of the monument, and while not being the most exciting attraction, these structures remain high of bucket list of "things to see" for many visitors to Britain.

8. Edinburgh Castle should be high on the list of attractions for any visitor to Europe and especially Britain. The rich and turbulent past of the castle combined with the sheer magnificence and commanding presence make this attraction a must for culture, history, and architecture buffs. Still in use today as the backdrop for the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo, this fortress perched high atop an old volcano has had a royal castle at the site since the 12th century.

9. Vatican City and St. Peter's Basilica with its massive Michelangelo designed dome are the epicenter of the Catholic world. From crossing St. Peter's square to a tour of the world's smallest state, there are awe-inspiring treasures rich with culture and history. Situated within Rome, and surrounded by a boundary of only 3.2 km; The Vatican is recognized as the smallest country in the world. On Sundays, the Pope makes his weekly appearance and tours of the Vatican Gardens are available if arranged in advance.

10. Sagrada Familia or otherwise known as "Temple of the Holy Family" in the city of Barcelona has been under construction since 1882 and estimates put a completion date by 2026. Antoni Gaudi worked on this Roman Catholic Church for 40 years until his death and is buried in the crypt of this remarkable icon of gothic architecture. With over 2 million visitors annually, this is one of the most popular attractions in all of Spain.
When planning your trip to Europe, the hard part is finding the time to see all of the amazing highlights and impressive features of the land. Make it easier by considering an escorted tour through Globus Tours and leave the planning with the experts.

Author: By D McKee