Creative Content Writer & former Tour Guide at HAGGiS Adventures. Scottish travel blogger and adventure lover. Kay enjoys travelling Scotland solo, and has visited 42 Scottish Islands. She loves to live up to stereotypes by dying her hair ginger, and regularly consuming haggis and whisky. A Scottish history geek and all-around chatterbox, she can literally talk for Scotland.
Europe's Most Beautiful Bridges
Why do people visit Europe? Well, they come for all sorts of reasons, but many come to view the epic feats of architecture that make the continent so unique. Cathedrals and period homes aside, Europe is home to some of the world’s most beautiful bridges. We’re going to reveal a bunch of our favourites in this article, and you can easily visit many of these locations on a fantastic hop-on, hop-off coach tour of Europe with our friends over at Busabout.
1) Charles Bridge, Czech Republic
Charles Bridge is undoubtedly the most impressive structure of its kind in the Czech capital, Prague. It was originally constructed in the 14th century, commissioned by the then Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. The bridge has since collapsed and been rebuilt several times, but it still looks like the original. About 30 statues are positioned on either side of the bridge. You can also climb one of the two towers located at each end of the bridge to capture some of the best views of the city.
2) Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland
We’re Scottish adventurists, so we may be a wee bit biased with our first choice. Nevertheless, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is certainly one of Europe’s most beautiful bridges, and it’s Scotland’s most iconic. Construction of this viaduct, which has 21 tunnel spans, started in 1897 and took nearly 15 years to complete. The bridge itself deserves a place in your Instagram account. If the view of the bridge isn’t enough for you, you’ll love the surrounding countryside vistas, waters of Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument.
3) Tower Bridge, London
Before we leave the UK, let’s give a shout out to Tower Bridge, the most recognisable and photographed bridge in the British capital. The bridge spans a distance of 61 metres between the two iconic towers. And if you want to relish panoramic views of the city from above, you can trek across the high-level walkway as part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition.
4) Millau Viaduct, France
We’ve already discussed a British viaduct, so now let’s cross the channel to explore Europe’s largest. The Millau Viaduct in France is a cable-stayed bridge that stretches across the valley of the River Tarn. It’s just 38 metres shorter than the Empire State Building, making it the world’s tallest vehicular bridge. Unimpressed by that record? The Millau Viaduct also holds the world records for highest pylons, highest mast and highest road bridge deck.
5) Rialto Bridge, Italy
We don’t need to tell you about the canals of Venice. And you won’t be surprised to know that a lot of bridges connect the houses that line the waterways. But the oldest and most beautiful bridge in Venice is The Grand Canal. The bridge you can see and walk across today was completed in 1591. Pretty old, right? Actually, the site of the original bridge dates back to 1255. The current bridge, as old as it is, still resembles the original wooden bridge that was built over 700 years ago.
6) Chain Bridge, Hungary
You might know that the capital of Hungary is Budapest. But did you know that it was once two cities: Buda and Pest, each located on either side of the Danube River. One structure that helped lay the foundations for the two settlements to become one was the Chain Bridge, which was constructed in 1849 and spans a distance of 375 metres. In 1989, the locals protested on the bridge for freedom and independence. It’s remained a symbol of liberty ever since.
You can visit - and even cross - the Glenfinnan Viaduct whilst riding the Hogwarts Express on our 5-day Highland Fling Tour, our 7 day Coast to Coast Tour and our 10 day Compass Buster Tour. It’s an incredible experience one of the best ways to see everything Scotland has to offer.