Whether is a market square in a city or a beautiful town square we have it on our list of the most beautiful squares in Europe to visit.
From Trafalgar Square in London to Independence Squares in Kyiv and Minsk – there are many stunning squares in Europe to see!
Europe is steeped in rich history, awe-inspiring architecture and fascinating cultures just waiting to be explored. One of the most charming parts of any European city is the beautiful squares, piazzas, plazas and platz that take pride of place. They are each unique in their own ways and bursting with local history and culture, making them hot spots for tourists and visitors from all across the globe.
European squares – car hire:
We have rented cars many times during our trips to see some of the most beautiful squares in Europe and we always used discovercars.com
Let’s face it, there are many great places to visit in Europe – whether you visit cities, towns or villages, most of them have stunning squares!
Explore the most famous squares in Europe and top ideas for visiting European town squares:
39 Most Beautiful Squares in Europe
1. Piazza San Marco, Venice
Also known as St. Mark’s Square, Piazza San Marco was named after the 11th-century Basilica. It is famed for being the heart and soul of Venice and is lucky enough to be surrounded by incredible Italian monuments and architecture.
Both locals and tourists frequent this stunning square, and it has been the centre of Venetian social gatherings for nearly a millennium. It is truly beautiful thanks to the impressive architecture and serene vibe.
This really is one of the most visited places in Italy so has to be on our list of the most famous squares in Europe!
2. Town Square, Český Krumlov
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While small, the town square in Cesky Krumlov is one of the most beautiful squares we’ve visited in Europe. The beautiful little jewel box village is located approximately 3 hours south of Prague in the Czech Republic. During World War II, the town was taken by the Germans and much of it was left in despair after the war and during the Soviet occupation. While there are some signs of history on the walls of nearby buildings, the square shows none of this today.
Like many towns and cities throughout the Czech Republic, the centre of the square has a plague column surrounded by a pretty fountain. The 18th-century plague column is topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary and decorated with saints believed to be protectors of the city. The square itself is surrounded by beautiful buildings, each a different colour.
Beyond their decorative rooftop peaks, the majestic Krumlov Castle, one of the main things to do in Cesky Krumlov, can be seen on the nearby hill and the Vltava River which encircles Cesky Krumlov’s Old Town can be heard lapping in the distance. This really is one of the best squares in Europe!
3. Trafalgar Square, London
Trafalgar Square is one of the most vibrant open spaces in the city of London and is located right in the heart. It is known for being one of the most famous landmarks in London. A wide range of activities takes place on the square, including New Year, St Patrick’s Day, Pride and many other demonstrations and rallies.
With twin fountains and the infamous lion statues that surround Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square often features in photos and postcards – a key place to visit in London even if you are only one day in the capital city.
To the North of the square is the National Gallery which has taken pride of place there since 1838 – one of the most famous square buildings in London.
4. Raekoja Plats, Tallinn
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Looking for famous European squares? Located in the heart of Tallinn’s gorgeous Old Town, Raekoja Plats is the hub of the city. Here you find a large open square dominated largely by the Old Town Hall. Construction on this building began in the 13th century, meaning that for around 800 years a building has stood here, adding the wonderful history the city has to hold.
All around the square are wonderful restaurants, most of which have outdoor seating, great for when the sun is out on a hot summer’s day. If you visit on a colder day (like we did), then it’s just as nice. Having the chance to snuggle inside a cosy restaurant with a warm plate of old fashioned Estonian food and a shot of Vana Tallinn (a 40% rum-based liqueur that’s famous in the area).
Coming off the main square are half a dozen main roads and small alleyways; each one leading off to more historic sites to explore. It really is a wonderful city to visit and the Raekoja Plats is the heart and soul from where to base your adventures.
5. Markt, Bruges
The Market Square, known as Markt, has been the scene of many medieval festivals, tournaments and fairs over the years. The wonderful Belfry tower shadows it and today is a common meeting place for local residents and tourists.
Markt has been used as a marketplace for thousands of years, but today it is filled with banks and guild houses that have been transformed into restaurants. The Belfry Tower is the focal point of the square, and it is a truly unique building offering a glimpse into Bruges’ past.
6. Skanderbeg Square, Tirana
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Skanderbeg Square (Sheshi Skënderbej) in Albania’s capital city, Tirana, doesn’t have the same long history as other stunning squares in Europe. In fact, it’s very new, having only been completed in 2017.
This is the square’s third iteration; a reimagining of an old plaza that was first built by occupying Austrians then later co-opted by Albania’s communist regime (with a Stalin statue placed at its centre, of course). The new square is a complete contrast: it’s a vast, welcoming space with beautiful details and practicality at its heart.
All materials used to construct Skanderbeg Square – from the stone pavers to the endemic shrubs planted in the 12 gardens that fringe it – were sourced locally from different parts of Albania. Architect-designed to be a ‘flat-pyramid’, the square is slightly sloped underfoot. In summer, water is pumped onto the pavers to cool the area down.
Some of Albania’s most important cultural institutions and religious landmarks are scattered around the square. At its heart, the statue of Lenin has been replaced with one depicting General Skanderbeg, Albania’s national military hero.
7. Piazza del Duomo, Florence
Like most European squares, Florence’s Piazza del Duomo is the heart of the city. Visitors can admire the beauty of the many monuments that stand tall in this historic centre. Overlooking this incredible Italian square is the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore, which features the famed Dome by Filippo Brunelleschi.
The Dome has become known as a symbol of Florence, and it is a majestic structure offering unbeatable panoramas of the city. Piazza del Duomo is also home to Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista.
Without a doubt, this is a great Italian landmark and one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
8. Place du Carrousel, Paris
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There are many stunning European city squares and Place du Carrousel is definitely one of the most beautiful squares in Paris. You might have not heard the name, but you probably know it. It is also known as the Louvre square.
It is indeed located between the courtyard of the Louvre Palace, with its pyramid, and the Tuileries Garden, in the heart of the city, close to the Seine River.
The name “carrousel” refers to a type of military dressage. The square got its name in 1662 when it was used for a display of such dressage.
Even if you don’t visit the museum, you should explore the square and feel like you are travelling back in time. In every direction you look, you will be mesmerized by the views.
9. Triton Fountain Square, Valletta
Looking for famous architecture in Europe? Taking pride of place in Malta’s capital is Triton Fountain Square, located nearby to the famous City Gate. Triton Fountain itself is a huge tourist attraction and is an impressive sight with its spectacular scale and sophisticated composition.
In 2011, Triton Fountain was nearly moved from the square it sits in today, to become part of a reconstruction of the City Gate. After much debate between the local Maltese community and the government, it was agreed that it would remain in Triton Fountain Square.
10. Syntagma Square, Athens
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Syntagma Square is the main square in Athens located in between the National Garden and the major shopping high street, Ermou in the heart of the capital. It is therefore constantly bustling with both locals and tourists and is a popular meeting spot for friends and tours. The square features a number of shops and cafes and also has a metro station with connections around the city.
Throughout the year the square hosts a range of displays and decorations (such as the stunning Christmas lights throughout the month of December) and is also the site of the daily Changing of the Guard (which is particularly impressive on Sunday mornings at 11am!).
Plateia Syntagmatos or Constitution Square is the home of the Greek Parliament and thus plays an important role in the politics and commercial activity of the city and beyond. As such Syntagma is also the location for protests and demonstrations so please be aware of this when visiting.
11. Plaça Reial, Barcelona
Like much of Barcelona, Plaza Reial is magnificent with an elegant ambience. It is known as one of the busiest and most vibrant spots in Barcelona and really comes alive at the night time. The stunning fountain in the centre is complemented by the unique streetlamps and exotic palm trees.
Plaza Reial also boasts a unique history, after most of Barcelona’s religious buildings were destroyed because of confiscation of properties, including the Capuchin convent that used to stand on the square. A few years later, Francesc Molina designed the luxurious square that can be seen today.
Barcelona is definitely one of the most visited places in Spain and Plaça Reial is one of its main landmarks.
12. Grand Place, Brussels
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The Grand Place, the central square of Brussels is the most photographed location in all of Belgium. Thousands of daily visitors attracted by its eclectic mix of Baroque, neoclassical and Gothic architecture.
Measuring 68 m x 110 m the Grand Place was originally a market place and centre for trading goods. Whilst permanent buildings began to be erected in the 15th century the fine examples we see today were mostly constructed after a bombardment of the city by French troops in 1695. The exception being the imposing Town Hall on its western elevation.
Other fine examples include the Maison du Roi or Kings House on the opposite side of the square to the Town Hall and the seven majestic guild houses of the Maison des Ducs de Brabant.
Is this European town square worth visiting? Yes it is!
With Belgium’s love of beer and moules-frites how better to absorb the magnificence of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed landmark than in one of its many charming restaurants?
13. Rynek Główny, Kraków
This is one of the largest squares in Europe. If you are planning a romantic trip in Europe and Krakow is your destinations, there is a good chance that you will book one of the restaurants next to this square. What to eat in Krakow? From pierogi to bigos, Polish cuisine can be found in most restaurants around Rynek Główny!
The historic centre of Kraków is also the largest medieval square in all of Europe. Within it is the Cloth Hall and St Mary’s Basilica, which are both popular visitor attractions. Hailed as one of the most beautiful squares in the continent, this marketplace has an air of magic thanks to the unique mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Rynek Główny is usually filled with horse-drawn carriages and local eateries that really bring it to life.
14. Palace Square, St Petersburg
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Everyone who visits Saint Petersburg will most likely pass through the iconic Palace Square, one of the most stunning squares in Europe. Located in the heart of the Russian ‘northern capital’, Palace Square not only occupies a central place in the city but it also in history, as a site that witnessed many historical events.
It is the site of the attempted assassination of Tsar Alexander II, the Bloody Sunday Massacre and of course the October Russian Revolution in 1917 that saw the Winter Palace stormed and ransacked, marking the end of the Tsarist rule in Russia and the rise of one of the most significant political parties that shaped the course of history for decades to come.
Aside from being a place of historical significance, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to 3 important historical monuments; the grand Winter Palace which houses the world-class Hermitage Museum, the Alexander Column and the General Staff Building which runs 580 metres along the southern border of the square, making the façade the longest in the world.
15. Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen
Amalienborg Palace makes this square special, and it is home to the Royal family. Known as the most beautiful square in Copenhagen, it is a must-visit spot for tourists. The Palace itself was built in the 1700s and purchased by the Royals in 1794. Today, the square is well protected by the Royal Life Guard who demand a respectful distance.
They make up the oldest regiment in Denmark and are the toughest and most disciplined in all of the Danish Army. As well as the Palace, the square is also home to The Equestrian Statue, which took 14 years to finish and was more expensive to produce than the Palace itself.
16. Independence Square, Minsk
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Now known as Independence Square, this huge plaza used to be called Lenin Square when Belarus was part of the Soviet Union. And in fact, the metro station still goes by that name, and the giant statue of Vladimir Lenin still stands proudly right in front of the parliament building, Government House.
When standing under the Lenin statue, you might feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the Soviet days. Belarus has held onto the old ways for much longer than Russia and the other former Soviet countries, and there’s a good reason it’s nicknamed “the last dictatorship in Europe”.
The square covers 70,000 square meters, making it one of the largest squares in all of Europe. In addition to Government House, other buildings of note include the Church of Saints Simon and Helena (known as the “Red Church”) and various university buildings. If you’re looking for a place to eat nearby, head to Khinkal’nya, which serves delicious Georgian cuisine and some of the best options for vegans in Minsk.
17. Place Massena, Nice
Place Massena lies between Nice’s Old and New Towns and is the main square in the area. It is very popular among locals from Cote d’Azur who often stop in at the many shops and restaurants that line the square.
There is an intriguing fountain in one corner which depicts stories of Greek mythology and has a large statue of Apollo in the very centre. Place Massena is used for many events throughout the year, including an annual Christmas Market and Bastille Day celebrations on 14th July.
Place Massena really is one of the most beautiful squares in southern France and probably in Europe.
18. Heroes’ Square, Budapest
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There’s no doubt that one of the main landmarks to visit in Budapest is the Heroes’ Square. It’s a relatively recent creation since the square was designed in 1896 for the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian’s conquest of the Carpathian Basin.
Not surprisingly, hence, the square has had a very symbolic meaning ever since, and it has often been the scene of major political events of all political colours. The square is found at the end of Andrássy Avenue (UNESCO World Heritage site) and is presided by the majestic Millenary Monument. The high pillar in the middle has a golden statue of Archangel Gabriel with a Hungarian crown and cross in his hands symbolizing the country’s attachment to Christianity. The rest of the statue shows a selection of Hungarian political figures starting from the conquering chieftains till the most successful kings and politicians of the country’s history.
There are several other interesting buildings at the square such as the Hungarian Fine Art Museum and the Kunsthalle with its contemporary art collection.
Is this the most beautiful square in Europe? Many would say yes!
19. Dam Square, Amsterdam
Dam Square is one of the most popular checkpoints for visitors to Amsterdam and is the centre for many famed attractions. The National Monument rises from the Eastern side of the square and is used as the site of yearly celebrations for Dutch Memorial Day.
As well as the monument, there is also the Royal Palace which is no longer home to the Royal family but is used for many official receptions. One of the most incredible things about Dam Square is that there is always something happening, day or night, whatever the weather. There are plenty of food stalls, restaurants and shops for visitors to discover.
20. Rathausmarkt, Hamburg
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The Rathausmarkt stands in the centre of Hamburg. Built in the 1840s to resemble St Marks Square in Venice, it was the redesigned in 1980s to make it a place in the centre of the city for people to meet and spend time. It is laid out with pale slabs squares and rectangles bordered with granite cobbles.
The imposing Rathaus (city hall) dominates one side of the square with its green roofs and clock tower. There is a guided tour around the 647 rooms of the Rathaus which is worth taking the time to do.
On the opposite side of the square are various kiosks under an ornate green canopy. When the weather is good, you can sit by the Kleine Alster river which runs to right side of the square.
The square is used throughout the year for various events including a summer wine festival, open-air cinemas and the traditional Christmas Market in December.
21. Town Square, Zante
Zakynthos, a stunning European island, is not only famous for its amazing beaches but also many other natural wonders. The capital city Zante is a perfect place for a base and it’s a starting point for many excursions on the island.
Zante is a beautiful coastal city, and the seaside road known as Santa Marina leads directly into the Town Square, also known as Solomos Square. It is the biggest square on the lovely island and sees many visitors flock to see the square’s attractions.
The statue of Dionysios Solomos is the focal point of the square and pays tribute to the poet that wrote the Greek national anthem.
22. Independence Square, Kyiv
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Maidan Nezalezhnosti also is known as “Independence Square” is the central and main vibrant square of Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine. One of the city’s main squares, it is located on Khreshchatyk Street in the Shevchenko Raion. You can find Soviet-style buildings, Ukrainian baroque styled, and Empire style of architecture. Independence monument is constructed here to mark the Independence of Ukraine from the Soviet Union.
It is said the major movement of independence started from here. Many other political movements, celebrations, and festivals are held at this Independence square of Kiev/Kyiv in Ukraine. This square is also known for its vibrant business centre of Kiev. Many high-end hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, boutiques are located in this area.
Weekends, festivals or holidays are very much celebrated here by street performers, dancers, and musicians. People from all around Kiev flock here on weekend evenings for various activities and that is why this Maidan square or Independence square becomes the most vibrant zone of Kiev, Ukraine.
23. Old Town Square, Prague
Known in Czech as Staroměstské náměstí, the Old Town Square is the centre of historic Prague. The highlight of this square is the famed Prague Astronomical Clock, or Orloj, which is a medieval astronomical clock on the Old Town Hall. It shows the position of selected celestial objects and also has a calendar dial to show the current day.
The Old Town Hall is unique in the fact that it is not one single structure but spread across many medieval buildings around the square. On a visit to the Old Town Square, be sure to visit the tower of the town hall which has an incredible observation deck to view the square in all its glory.
24. Piazza del Popolo, Rome
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Piazza del Popolo, or People’s Square, holds some of the most outstanding historic landmarks in Rome. The most scenic way to access the piazza is from the gate “Porta Flaminia” or “Porta del Popolo”, that was part of the city wall in ancient Rome and was renovated during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, respectively 16th and 17th century.
The interior facade of the three-arched gate is the work of master sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini, performed for the occasion of the visit to Rome of the Queen Christina of Sweden. Just beyond the gate, you’ll find the church of Santa Maria Del Popolo, an artistic treasure chest with sculptures and paintings, including two Caravaggio, that you can visit for free.
The architectural elements which dominate the Piazza del Popolo are the so-called “Twin Churches” and the Egyptian obelisk. The two Baroque churches are apparently identical but, at a deeper glance, you will notice some differences, especially on the domes. The obelisk was brought to Rome in the year 10 b. C., after Emperor Augustus had conquered Egypt. From the square depart three streets that will bring you to more interesting monuments and ultimately, to the Colosseum, but hold on!
Your visit to Piazza Del Popolo isn’t complete if you don’t climb up the ancient, consumed steps to the Pincio Garden, where a panoramic terrace will allow you to admire the square from above.
25. Town Square, Garmisch Partenkirchen
Located in the Bavarian Alps, Garmisch Partenkirchen is one of the most popular year-round holiday destinations and most beautiful towns in Europe. The town has a long history dating back to AD 15, and the Town Square is exquisitely picturesque.
Like something from a fairytale, the area is lined with traditional houses that have wonderfully painted facades and flower-filled window boxes.
26. Republic Square, Yerevan
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The pink city of Yerevan, Armenia is made up of rose volcanic stone called ‘tuff’ and it is one of the most colourful cities in the world to visit in terms of architecture. There are several places you can visit in the city that offer a unique construction such as the Cascade, Opera House, etc. But, one of the most notable and prolific places to visit in Yerevan is Republic Square, the main square of the Armenian capital city.
Republic Square differs from other European squares due to its circular construction, roads running through it, and its illuminating pink architecture. In Republic Square, you’ll find the National Art Gallery, the History Museum of Armenia, the Government House of the Republic of Armenia, the Central Post Office of the Republic of Armenia, and more. It is considered an architectural masterpiece in Armenia and the Caucasus.
Yerevan’s Republic Square was constructed by famous Armenian architect Alexander Tumanyan at the beginning of the 20th century (1924). Presently, you will find a lot of locals and tourists hanging around Republic Square regardless of the time of year. During the Armenian winter, you will see the Christmas markets and tree located there and during the hot Armenian summers, you will see a dancing fountain show in the evenings.
27. Plaza Ayuntamiento, Alicante
Considered as the downtown area of the popular tourist resort of Alicante, Plaza del Ayuntamiento is a must-visit when in the area. It is home to the local City Hall and features stunning Baroque architecture.
The final square was finished during the 18th century, and today it features many bars and restaurants, making it an ideal spot for enjoying the local cuisine.
28. Prešeren Square, Ljubljana
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Spending time in Preseren Square, right by the Ljubljanica River, is definitely among the top things to do in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. With the lovely pink Franciscan Church presiding it and beautiful architecture surrounding it on all sides, Preseren Square is a joy to stroll, day or night.
Don’t miss the statue of France Prešeren, the famous Slovene poet, that graces the square. The memorial to the poet, after whom the square is named, is one of Slovenia’s most well-known monuments. Over the poet is a sculpture of a muse, holding aloft a laurel branch.
On one side of the square is the famous Triple Bridge, designed by Jože Plečnik, Slovenia’s most famous architect. He had the brilliant idea to construct two modern bridges on either side of the original old bridge, to relieve congestion.
But Preseren Square is not just about history or monuments. It is the beating heart of the historical core of Ljubljana, with live music, crowds of people walking and talking, and sometimes, the scene of events and soapbox speeches. So get some gelato and walk the square, or sit and people watch!
29. Plaza De La Merced, Malaga
Malaga offers a few squares for visitors to explore, but one of the very best is Plaza De La Merced. It is located at the top of Calle Granada and is a popular spot for open-air events. To the north side is a range of local cafes which are extremely popular on a sunny afternoon, and towards the north corner stands the house where Picasso was born which has been transformed into a museum.
In the centre of Plaza De La Merced is an obelisk, which is a tribute to General Torrijos and the 49 victims that lost their lives in 1831.
30. Marienplatz, Munich
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Whether you are spending one day in Munich or longer, it’s almost impossible to not walk through Marienplatz at least once! Located right in the heart of the Altstadt (Old Town), Marienplatz is a large central square that is full of attractions as well as many shops and cafes.
Most notably is the New Town Hall building with stands at the north edge of the square. This historic building and its iconic clock tower make for a great photograph – and you can even go up the tower for the views or head inside to explore. At the south end of the square, you can find Cafe Glockenspiel – named after the bells atop of the tower.
Aside from the walking tour groups and the odd street performer, the square has a few other notable features like the Fischbrunnen (Fish’s Fountain) and the Mariensäule – a tall column right in the middle. In the winter, the square hosts one of Munich’s many famous Christmas Markets.
31. Praça Do Comércio, Lisbon
Praça Do Comércio can only be described as the most magnificent plaza in Lisbon. It is surrounded on three sides by bright yellow Pombaline style buildings, and the southern side faces out over Tejo Estuary. In the centre is a grand statue dedicated to King Joseph I, and on the northern side is the famous Rua Augusta Arch.
The luxurious square was created as a symbolic entrance into the city of Lisbon and was once used by captains and merchants to plan the sea voyages to India, Brazil and South-East Asia.
32. Duomo Square, Milan
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Milan is a beautiful city, but the gorgeous Duomo Square, or the Piazza del Duomo in Italian, is the best of Milan’s can’t-miss sites.
The most prominent feature on the square is the Duomo, Milan’s Gothic cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The largest church in all of Italy, and the second-largest church in Europe, the Duomo actually took six centuries to construct. Work began in the fourteenth century and it wasn’t completed until the 1960s!
Another important site on the square is the luxurious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest continuous shopping mall. You simply must pay a visit to the arcade, which is one of the most beautiful photo spots in Milan. Other important sites on the square include the Palazzo dell’Arengario, the Royal Palace of Milan, and the monument to King Victor Emmanuel II.
This is one of the biggest squares in Europe but you do need to be careful here, as its a popular pickpocket spot for people targeting tourists. The square is beautiful at night as well, and it gets a lovely holiday makeover during the Christmas season.
33. Kapitelplatz, Salzburg
Based in the Old Town, or Altstadt, Kapitelplatz is one of the biggest Baroque squares in Salzburg. It can be found next to the Salzburger Dom Cathedral and extends out towards the Fortress. The square is well known for the Baroque horse known as the Kapitelschwemme, but that isn’t the only thing that makes it special.
There are many historical and beautiful buildings to be seen throughout the square, including the Dompropstei and Erzbischöfliches Palais.
Salzburg, as one of the most visited places in Austria and a great base to explore the Salzkammergut area, really is a home amazing architecture. And the Kapitelplatz definitely is one of the best squares to visit.
34. Main Square, Cortina d’Ampezzo
Cortina might be known as a popular skiing destination, but it offers so much more than snow and alpine sports. Surrounded by the Dolomites, there are plenty of beautiful sights and incredible areas to explore, including the Main Square.
Located on Corso Italia, the Main Square was made famous after being the set for James Bond film For Your Eyes Only and is used as the location for Bond taking care of some motorcycle assassins.
35. Plaza Mayor, Madrid
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The stunning rectangular shaped Plaza Mayor in the heart of Madrid is the capital’s most famous and iconic square and must be seen at least once. If you have time, you should definitely come to Plaza Mayor during the day and night, as the atmosphere is completely different.
This square is quite small by European standards. It is completely surrounded by a three-story residential building with balconies overlooking the square. This gives the Plaza Mayor almost an intimate atmosphere.
The centrepiece of the square is an equestrian statue of King Phillip III. The main building behind the statue is the Casa de la Panadería and features some beautiful murals depicting various mythological figures.
Like any good square in Europe, you’ll find numerous cafes along the arcaded columns surrounding the square. From here you soak up the sun, sip on a quintessential sangria while watching the street performers in the square or simply watch the world go by.
Plaza Mayor is situated in the heart of the city and is the perfect starting point for a self-guided walking tour of Madrid. This really is one of the most beautiful squares in the world!
36. Palais Des Festivals, Cannes
Cannes is well known for its many festivals and events, and the Palais Des Festivals was created to accommodate these many events. Particularly known for being the home of the largest film festival in the world, the square was built in haste in order to host the second edition of the festival.
Over the years, it has undergone various renovations and expansions, and today is a much loved architectural and harmonious achievement. Whether there is an event taking place or not, it is worth a trip to see the square in all its glory. This really is one of the most visited places in the south of France.
37. Aristotelous Square, Thessaloniki
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Aristotle (or Aristotelous) Square is an impressive U-shape square in the centre of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece. The square opens up towards the blue sea of the Thermaikos Gulf. On a clear day, you can even see the Olympus from Aristotelous Square.
Its history started with the Great Fire that destroyed a lot of Thessaloniki in 1917. A French architect, Ernest Hébrard designed a monumental square for the centre of the rebuilt city. The square was built later on simplified designs and on a tight budget.
However, the square is absolutely stunning. Its 12 buildings with great façades host impressive mansions, 5-star hotels, and lots of inviting coffee shops. This is where locals come by for a stroll and their favourite iced coffee and also the first place tourists visit when they come to Thessaloniki.
There are some great breakfast places, ice cream shops, fancy restaurants as well as gyros places right under the columns of those grand neoclassical buildings.
38. Funchal Main Square, Madeira
Funchal Main Square is defined and easily recognised by its unique black and white tiling and is a bustling hub in sunny Madeira. The square is surrounded by many intriguing historical attractions, including the City Hall, the Sacred Art Museum and the old Jesuit College.
It is renowned for its beauty created from the half-moon monochrome cobblestones that were made from lava rock. This pattern continues into the many buildings that surround Funchal Main Square.
39. Plaza Del Socorro, Ronda
Plaza Del Socorro in Ronda has recently undergone some changes but is still as beautiful as ever. In 2019, the area was remodelled with a brand new fountain and the famed Hercules statue taking a new spot near the old casino.
Many visitors find themselves questioning the significance of a statue of a semi-naked man and two lions, but it actually represents a rich history. The statue represents Hercules and the pillars of Hercules, which is a nod to Andalusian nationalism.
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Which of the above squares in Europe is your favourite?
Wherever you are heading in Europe, the chances are you will come across some breathtaking squares and plazas. We recommend spending some time researching the local culture and history to get a true understanding of the story behind these incredible areas and what they mean to the locals.
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