10 Must-See European Cathedrals

european cathedrals

Europe is full of stunning cities rich in history and culture. Unfortunately, nowadays, all we have left are mostly stories and architecture, and while reading about something is a good way to get an idea of the events, there is nothing else like experiencing it!

Like, for example, do you know how many cathedrals in Europe carry tales that would blow your mind? Why not find that out?

Here is our list of top 10 must-see cathedrals on your Eurotrip! 

1. St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

Now, this one is a given. One of the most famous cathedrals in Europe, and certainly the most important one in a Catholic society, St. Peter’s Basilica is a must-visit. You will get to see the magical Michelangelo’s dome, the resting places of the first Pope and Apostle Peter, and the treasured Pieta sculpture. 

No way you can miss it! Your trip is not complete until you visit St. Peter’s! 

2. St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral

The largest and most important temple in Prague, St. Vitus cathedral, has overcome many difficult changes over the years, like the fact that it was built in the Romanesque style but later on was adapted to Gothic. Also, aside from the religious meaning, St. Vitus was a place of coronation for the royal family of the Czech Republic. 

3. St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna)

St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna)

When you are ready to leave St. Vitus, purchase train tickets from Prague to Vienna and carry on enjoying the most impressive, must-see cathedrals ever!

Unsurprisingly, like many things in Vienna, St. Stephen’s is quite relatively connected to art and music! For example, it is said that Beethoven discovered he was deaf in the very same church of eye-catching architecture, complicated designs, and underground catacombs. 

Additionally, Mozart also basically worshipped the cathedral; he also celebrated his wedding day, and his funeral was held here too. He was quite attached to the place in general, so you probably just need to go to see it for yourself – maybe you will be another worshiper! 

Side note: Vienna is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in the world. There are many things to see and experience beyond its cathedral. Consider spending a few days to a few weeks in this breathtaking city to take it all in. You’ll not be disappointed. Moreover, hotels, holiday rentals and apartments in Vienna tend to be cheaper than other major European cities. So, you’ll get to explore a gorgeous place without breaking the bank. I often use rental websites like Airbnb, Immoscout and Homelike to find a place to stay in European cities.

4. St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Budapest)

St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Budapest)

You can easily travel between these namesakes! One jump on the Vienna to Budapest train and see a completely different St. Stephen’s Cathedral. 

The cathedral is considered the most important religious building in the country, as well as the most significant historical monument. It was named after King Stephen, the first king of Hungary. And these are not the only titles St. Stephen holds. It is also the largest church in Budapest, with the most aesthetic exterior and intricate inside. 

5. Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe, Sagrada Familia, is worth your time and money! A masterpiece of Gothic architecture designed by Antoni Gaudi, the basilica is the highlight of Barcelona. It has also been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been a signature mark of Spain for centuries. 

You will also get to witness its development and the most prolonged construction ever. What started in 1883 is still ongoing and is due to be finished in 2026! 

6. Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral

Another one for Italy, Milan Cathedral, is one of the biggest cathedrals in Europe and one of the most stunning ones. 

When you see how many items are inside, it makes sense that the church is so big. It has approximately 135 marble spires and gargoyles, over 3000 statues, and 55 stained-glass windows. 

The cathedral is also a great spot to see the best of Milan’s panorama. There is a lift that can carry you up to the top, allowing you a display of what Milan is like from a bird flight. 

7. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

A multipurpose cathedral in central Istanbul, Turkey, is a sight for sore eyes. Still impressive at the age of 1,500, Hagia Sophia has been a Greek Orthodox Christian cathedral, a mosque, and a museum as of recently. 

You will immediately notice the distinction from all the other European cathedrals, too, so your visit will be even more exciting and enjoyable. That is because Hagia Sophia represents outstanding Byzantine designs and vibrant colors, instead of what Europeans are used to! 

8. Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral

Now, back to Spain! The lovely city of Seville has many enticing attractions, but the cathedral is the most important one. 

Standing proudly as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Seville Cathedral is the third-largest church in Europe and the absolute gem of Andalusia, Spain. The cathedral is quite legendary, literally for the stories surrounding it. For example, it is said that the real tomb of Christopher Columbus lies there, as well as some other historically-crucial items.

9. St. Mark’s Basilica

St. Mark’s Basilica

The most stunning religious building in Venice, Italy, St. Mark’s Basilica, is another remarkable representative of unique Byzantine architecture. 

Standing proudly in the middle of St. Mark’s square, the most famous place in Venice, the church is never vacant – tourists, especially Catholics, are eager to see the impressive architecture and worship! 

Admire the 12th-century marble floor, a golden altarpiece, and thousands of square meters of mosaics! 

10. Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral

Yet another perfect example of Gothic architecture, Cologne Cathedral towers over Cologne, Germany, at 200 meters! Yes, obviously, you have come across the tallest church in Europe! 

If you want to see more of the charming Cologne and sore muscles are not scary for you, climb the 533 steps up to the top for the best view of the city, not to mention the triumph of personal achievement! 

More than enough to choose from! All of these cathedrals are a must-see, so make sure to include as many as you can in your itinerary. Now, off to planning, and have a great Eurotrip! 

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