One of the most diverse and populated continents on the planet, Europe has a long history of attracting travelers to its varied attractions.

Holger the Dane Statue at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark

Holger the Dane at Kronborg Castle

HELSINGØR, Denmark — One of the most famous attractions at Kronborg Castle, Holger the Dane sits sleeping in the tunnels below the castle. Legend has it he will awaken when his country needs him.

Chapel at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark

Kronborg Castle’s Chapel

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The Chapel at Kronborg Castle isn’t especially large, and it’s not ornate by the standards of other European churches, but it has its charms.

tapestries at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark

Kronborg Castle’s Royal Apartments

HELSINGØR, Denmark — The Royal Apartments at the 16th-century Kronborg Castle are where King Frederick II and his young queen, Sophie, lived and worked.

Moat at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark

Kronborg Castle / Hamlet’s Castle

HELSINGØR, Denmark — Known as Hamlet’s Castle because Shakespeare’s play was set there, Kronborg Castle is a 16th-century castle on a strategic peninsula on the Sound, just north of Copenhagen.

The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Surprisingly Little Mermaid Statue

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Perched on a rock about 10 feet from the shore in Copenhagen, the century-old bronze statue of The Little Mermaid has become a national treasure inspired by the famous story by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

Seafaring Culture Exhibit at the Maritime Museum of Denmark

Maritime Museum of Denmark

HELSINGØR, Denmark — The Maritime Museum of Denmark isn’t your typical maritime museum. It takes a modern approach to telling the stories of commercial seafaring.

Prayer Hall of Nuruosmaniye Mosque Istanbul

Nuruosmaniye Mosque

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — Nuruosmaniye Mosque is newer than many of the other mosques in Istanbul, and its ornate Baroque style gives it a distinctive look and feel.

Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul with tourists

Rustem Pasha Mosque

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — Nestled in a market area near the Spice Market, Rustem Pasha Mosque features exquisite Iznik tiles in its compact yet opulent interior.

Sacristy of the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora in Lisbon Portugal

Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora

LISBON, Portugal – The Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora is a 17th-century monastery that features impressive polychromatic marble and the tomb of several Portuguese kings.

Ramparts of Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon’s Castelo de Sao Jorge

LISBON, Portugal – Sitting high on a hill overlooking the center of Lisbon, the Moorish Saint George Castle looks exactly how a castle should look, with its imposing ramparts offering spectacular views over the city.

National Pantheon in Lisbon Portugal

The Luminaries of Portuguese History and Culture

LISBON, Portugal — Under the distinctive white dome, the National Parthenon pays tribute to luminaries in Portuguese history and culture, including navigators, kings, presidents, writers, poets, and even soccer players.

King Jose I in Praca do Comercio in Lisbon Portugal with Full Moon

Lisbon’s Royal Town Square

LISBON, Portugal — In a space once occupied by the royal palace, Lisbon’s Praça do Comércio (or Commerce Square) occupies not just prime real estate but also a central place in the city’s life.

Coats-of-Arms Room (Sala dos Brascoes) at the Palace of Sintra, Sintra Portugal

Palace of Sintra

SINTRA, Portugal — The Palace of Sintra sits in the heart of the old town section of Sintra. From 1385 through 1880 it was a royal residence and summer escape.

Icons on Display in the Museu de Sao Roque in Lisbon Portugal

Museu de São Roque

LISBON, Portugal — Attached to the Igreja de São Roque, the Museu de São Roque displays artifacts related to the church’s history, collections of the Jesuits, and other items.

World War I Exhibit at Military Museum in Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon’s Military Museum

LISBON, Portugal — Lisbon’s Military Museum, housed in a 16th-century cannon foundry next to the Tagus River, showcases Portugal’s important military history.

Graffiti in Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon’s Graffiti

LISBON, Portugal — Lisbon has nowhere near the level of rampant graffiti that Athens has, but there is still some creative and impressive street art in the downtown area.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, Greece

Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, Greece

ATHENS, Greece — The Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens is one of the grandest churches in this ancient city. And in typical Greek Orthodox style, it is opulently decorated inside.

Fish Market at Dimotiki Agora (Public Market) in Athens, Greece

The Dimotiki Agora in Athens

ATHENS, Greece — If you want to see where many of the Athen’s restaurants gets their fresh seafood and meat, head to the Dimotiki Agora, or public market.

Fishermen on Galata Bridge Istanbul

Galata Bridge

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — The Galata Bridge has multiple personalities. It spans the Golden Horn from Eminonu to Karakoy and provides both a real and symbolic link connecting two key parts of Istanbul.

Karakoy Restaurant on the Banks of the Golden Horn

The Karakoy Waterfront

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — It’s one of Istanbul’s real treats to sit on the waterfront of Karakoy sipping Turkish tea, Rika, or a cold beer and watching the sun setting over the striking silhouettes of the mosques across the other side of the Golden Horn.

Topkapi Palace Imperial Council Hall

The Imperial Council Hall at Topkapi Palace

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — These three chambers, between the Harem and the rest of Topkapi Palace, are where Ottoman Sultans met with their imperial councils to conduct affairs of state.

Blue Mosque Prayer Hall in Istanbul

The Blue Mosque

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — There are good reasons why the Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul’s prime attractions and one of the world’s iconic religious buildings.

Prayer Hall of the New Mosque (Yeni Cami) Istanbul

Istanbul’s Grand “New” Mosque

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — In Istanbul, new is relative. The New Mosque might be newer than the Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia, but having been completed in 1665 it is historic in its own right. And it’s also stunningly beautiful.

Assorted spices at the Spice Bazaar Istanbul Turkey

Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — You can get a lot more than spices at Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar, but spices are the undeniable stars.

Tomb of Sultan Selim II at Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

The Tombs of the Sultans at Hagia Sophia

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — The Tombs of the Sultans at Hagia Sophia show that the Ottomans were as serious about their art and decoration in death as they were in life.

National Palaces Painting Museum at Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul

National Palaces Painting Museum

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — Reopened in a newly renovated space in the Crown Prince’s apartments of Dolmabahce Palace, the National Palaces Painting Museum showcases the collection of paintings of the national palaces.

Tourists at the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s Ancient Basilica Cistern

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — This isn’t just any old water tank. Buried under the streets next to Hagia Sophia might well be the most impressive water tank you’ll ever see.

Istanbul Naval Museum

Istanbul Naval Museum

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — If I was picking a name for this museum, I wouldn’t use the word “naval.” Istanbul Maritime History Museum would be a better fit. Or better yet: Royal Water Taxi Museum. But what impressive water taxis they are!

Great Court of the British Museum in London

The British Museum

LONDON, United Kingdom — The British Museum in central London is one of the world’s great museums and is devoted to human history and culture.

Conwy Castle (Conway Castle) in Wales

Conwy Castle

CONWY, Wales — The medieval castle at Conwy is imposing and impressive–as it was meant to be. But its key virtue was location.

Caernarfon Castle Cannons

Caernarfon Castle

CAERNARFON, Wales — All of the surviving castles that King Edward I had built in the late-13th century are impressive. But Caernarfon Castle was designed to be something special.

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

WATERLOO, Belgium — The Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo, in its own building next to the Lion’s Mound, brings an old-world tourist immersive experience.

Waterloo Battlefield

The Battlefield of Waterloo

WATERLOO, Belgium — Nearly 33,000 men died on these fields. And it was here, on 18 June 1815, that Napoleon’s march toward nearby Brussels was halted and he lost his empire for a second time.

The Emporer's Room at Ferme du Caillou Waterloo

Napoleon’s Last Headquarters

WATERLOO, Belgium — Ferme du Caillou, next to the battlefield of Waterloo, is where Napoleon spent the night before the Battle of Waterloo. The next day, his empire was in tatters.

Bruges Canals at Dusk

Bruges by Night

BRUGES, Belgium — The docks and canals of Bruges once bustled at night. Now it’s still. And beautiful.

Belfry of Bruges, Belgium

The Belfry of Bruges

BRUGES, Belgium — The Belfry of Bruges is the most famous landmarks is this charming medieval city. But it hasn’t all been peeling bells and glorious views in its nearly 800-year history.

Brussels Royal Museums of Fine Arts Main Hall

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Flemish art has a well-deserved reputation for its beauty. Some of the best is on display at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels.

Mannekin Pis Statue in Brussels Belgium

Mannekin Pis

BRUSSELS, Belgium — It’s probably the most famous landmark in Brussels, perhaps in all of Belgium. And yes, it really is a statue of a little naked boy peeing.

Trevi Fountain Rome, Italy

The Trevi Fountain

ROME, Italy — Rome’s Trevi Fountain draws massive amounts of tourists into its cramped plaza all day every day.

Churchill War Rooms London Updating Map

The Churchill War Rooms

LONDON, United Kingdom — This was British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s underground command bunker during some of the most dangerous days (and nights) of World War II.

Aya Sofya interior with tourists

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul’s Byzantine Jewel

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — Hagia Sophia is old. Very old. The building that currently stands on the first of Istanbul’s famous seven hills dates back almost 1,500 years and has had a remarkable and colorful history. It’s also a beautiful place to visit.

View of Paris skyline from Notre Dame de Paris panorama

Paris Skyline

PARIS, France — For a big city–12 million people and counting–Paris doesn’t have the kinds of skyscrapers you might expect. Aside from a few carefully segregated clusters, most of Paris’s buildings aren’t more than five or six stories tall. But the things that do stand out are world class landmarks.

Harlech Castle Panorama at Dusk.

Harlech Castle

HARLECH CASTLE, Wales — Harlech Castle has stood for 700 years so far. And there’s every chance it’ll stand guard of this corner of the Welsh coast for at least another 700.

Highclere Castle, UK 156-09370965x

Highclere Castle

HIGHCLERE CASTLE, United Kingdom — You don’t have to be a fan of Downton Abbey to appreciate the beauty of Highclere Castle sitting on a stately hill in the English countryside of Hampshire about two hours west of London.

London Eye at Dusk with Spokes 169-2154532671

The London Eye

LONDON, United Kingdom — It’s a bit like London’s version of the Eiffel Tower–a towering landmark that the city’s locals initially greeted with skepticism, relying on some extraordinary engineering, and becoming a iconic fixture of the city’s skyline. And both offer unparalleled views of their cities.

Prague, Bohemia’s Capital

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Prague (or Praha, if you’re Czech), the capital of the Czech Republic, is one of the continent’s most charming historical cities and one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations.

Capri's Marina Grande

The Marina Grande Waterfront in Capri, Italy

CAPRI, Italy — From the winding walkways through the village and along the tops of stunning cliffs over the Mediterranean (there are virtually no cars in the main village of Capri), the traditional wooden fishing boats in the harbor, the scrumptious seafood, the Roman ruins, and the role it has played in more modern history, Capri is somewhere I can’t wait to get back to.

Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate

BERLIN, Germany — Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is Germany’s most recognizable landmark and a powerful symbol of Germany history and the Cold War.

Yuri Gargarin Monument Moscow

Yuri Gagarin Monument in Moscow

MOSCOW, Russia – In April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space. The Gagarin Monument in Moscow is a an apt Soviet tribute to a Russian national hero.

Rynek Glowny in Krakow

Krakow’s Rynek Glowny at Night

KRAKOW, Poland — This black and white panorama of the Rynek Glowny central square in Krakow’s Old Town is one of my oldest panoramas but is still one of my personal favorites.

Brightly colored lights for sale in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — With about 4000 individual stores, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar has endless rows of storefronts and a staggering variety of merchandise that make for an assault on the senses and, potentially, on the wallet.

Mosque against the setting sun in Istanbul

Istanbul’s Beautiful Mosques

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Türkiye) — Istanbul’s mosques dominate the city’s skyline, and their understated and elegant interiors can be stunningly beautiful. Here are some examples from some of Istanbul’s most famous mosques.

English Telephone Box at Trafalgar Square at night

London by Night

LONDON, United Kingdom — Like others of the world’s great cities, London really sparkles at night and dusk, making for some beautiful photo opportunities.

Eiffel Tower in Paris on a Sunny Spring Day

The Iron Lady of Paris (The Eiffel Tower)

PARIS, France — The Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. Standing tall over the Paris Skyline, it has become an iconic symbol for all travelers.