Europe is filled with the most stunning monuments and World Heritage Sites you could think of. However, a huge part of them stands at the ancient time stamp, while the modern-day landmarks tend to get overlooked. Well, we cannot have that, can we? So, let us check the top seven modern landmarks you can see in Europe!
Also, if you have yet to make an itinerary, treat this one as exemplary:
- Dancing House, Prague
Undoubtedly the most important piece of modern architecture in the Czech Republic, the Dancing House is one of the funniest-looking and architecturally astounding landmarks.
Initially called Fred and Ginger, it was named after the iconic Hollywood dancing couple of the 1930s, after being designed like a swaying, almost falling house, constantly in movement. Thanks to its non-traditional appearance, Dancing House has become a popular tourist attraction and grabs the attention of every passer.
Unfortunately, the house’s purpose is quite meek compared to its exterior, as it is mainly a space for offices and conferences. However, you can still go up to the top floor, not that it matters that much anyways – this time, all of the beauty is on the outside!
- National Theater and Palace of Arts, Budapest
Jump on the Prague to Budapest train and settle in for one of the most impressive landmarks of modern architecture in Europe.
Settled near the beautiful Rakoczi Bridge, these two fortresses draw the attention of every traveler, especially when the city drowns in darkness and the two buildings shine brighter than anything else. The National Theater and Palace of Arts, both established at the beginning of the century, are significant landmarks showing the great culture of Hungary.
The Theater has a unique stage that can be at 72 different points, changing its direction, and the Palace of Arts is distinctive for its acoustics, interior design, and venues for music, dance, literature, and film.
- DC Towers, Vienna
For your next quick step to seeing the modern beauty Europe has to offer, we suggest choosing the Budapest to Vienna train. If, however, visiting Hungary is not on your agenda right after the Czech Republic, you could always take the train from Prague to Vienna and head straight to the DC Towers.
The DC Towers, otherwise known as the Donau City Towers, is an impressive building of contemporary architecture designed by the French star architect Dominique Perrault. There are two towers, the first one being the tallest skyscraper in Austria, and its intricate exterior is definitely worth your time! It is quite impossible to miss, but remember to keep your eyes open and always look up!
- Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Home to a vast public library and the biggest museum of public art in Europe, Centre Georges Pompidou is a complex building in the heart of France and a truly great monument you should visit.
Walk along contemporary art venues, multiple exhibitions, shows, debate rooms, and entertainment centers for children. While it sounds like a bit much for a single building, the museum makes it work perfectly, allowing you to enjoy all kinds of stunning stuff it provides.
Centre Georges Pompidou is easily recognizable by its exterior escalators and enormous colored tubing.
- MAXXI, Rome
Located in the Flamino neighborhood in Rome, MAXXI is a contemporary art museum and one of the most recognizable modern landmarks in Europe. The museum is protected by the Italian government as a National Heritage Site!
Impressive from the inside, just as it is from the outside, MAXXI opens to an atrium of black and white, with curved concrete walls and a vast staircase. The open ceilings allow natural light to get in and give the whole building a sense of majesty.
Get a break from Rome’s antiquity by visiting this gorgeous piece of contemporary architecture!
- 30 St Mary Axe, London
Somehow meddling perfectly with the historical district of London, 30 St Mary Axe is a marvel of precise glass exterior and an even more impressive inside. Also known as Gherkin, the establishment was built in order to serve as a commercial space, which it does.
However, even if you cannot enjoy some extravagant exhibition or collection inside the building, it is still a sight to behold from an outsider’s point of view. There are not that many constructions such as Gherkin here in London, given its location of a historical street not far from London Bridge. Nevertheless, the skyscraper is still as recognizable of a landmark in England as anything else.
- Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Lastly, step into the wonders of one of the most famous Spanish museums – the extraordinary Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Designed by American-Canadian architect Frank Gehry, the museum stands out as an other-worldly construction and is considered one of the most impressive landmarks in Europe. The mighty exterior got the Guggenheim Museum to be described as a “signal moment in the architectural structure.” The curvy walls are designed to catch the light perfectly and represent an excellent example of Deconstructivism.
Enjoy the works of the genius, modern minds that created these stunning pieces. Remember, every rich city has both historical and contemporary sides. Try to enjoy both, and have a good time exploring!