Is it just me or are bridges underrated? Think about it! Not only do they serve specific functions but they can also hold fascinating moments in a culture’s history in its construction and survival. Europe has a variety of bridges worth visiting for their beauty and history. Whether it’s made from limestone, mortar, wood, stone, etc, it’s time to cross that bridge and get into some of the best and most memorable bridges you will want to visit while in Europe.
- 1 16 Beautiful & Famous Bridges in Europe
- 1.1 Devil’s Bridge – Germany
- 1.2 Chapel Bridge – Switzerland
- 1.3 Glenfinnan Viaduct – Scotland
- 1.4 Rialto Bridge – Italy
- 1.5 Chain Bridge – Hungary
- 1.6 Stari Most – Bosnia & Herzegovina
- 1.7 Tower Bridge – England
- 1.8 Pont du Gard – France
- 1.9 Charles Bridge – Czech Republic
- 1.10 Puente Nuevo – Spain
- 1.11 UFO Bridge – Slovakia
- 1.12 Ponte Sant’Angelo – Italy
- 1.13 Clifton Suspension Bridge – England
- 1.14 Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge – Portugal
- 1.15 Bastei Bridge – Germany
- 1.16 Millau Viaduct – France
- 2 Plan Your Europe Itinerary
16 Beautiful & Famous Bridges in Europe
Devil’s Bridge – Germany
The Azalea and Rhododendron Park is a 200 acre landscaped park in Gablenz built in the nineteenth century. Inside the park is the Rakotzbrucke, also known as Teufeksbrucke which means ‘Devil’s Bridge’. This bridge was especially built to create a complete circle when reflected in the water beneath. It is easily one of the most naturally beautiful bridges in Europe.
READ ALSO: 125 Cool Things To Do In Europe
Chapel Bridge – Switzerland
Located in Lucerne, Chapel Bridge is one of Switzerland’s most visited, painted, and photographed landmarks. This wooden bridge paired with spectacular views of the neighbouring Water Tower and Lucerne Theatre creates a dreamlike cityscape beloved by locals and tourists. While walking across the bridge, you can see a cycle of paintings by historian and artist Renward Cysat. The paintings depict the ancient history of Switzerland and Christianity throughout the country. A significant portion of the bridge burnt down in the 90s, and what remains of the original bridge and the panels of paintings continue to stand proud!
Glenfinnan Viaduct – Scotland
This railway viaduct is located in Glenfinnan, Inverness-shire in Scotland and was made famous after appearing in the Harry Potter films. Built from 1897 to 1901, the impressive viaduct overlooks the Glenfinnan monument and the waters of Loch Shiel. It’s so impressive, it even appears on some Scottish bank notes. The 2007 series of notes issued by the Bank of Scotland depict different Scottish bridges as an example of Scottish engineering. The Glenfinnan Viaduct features on the £10 note.
Rialto Bridge – Italy
Otherwise known as “Lover’s Bridge,” Rialto Bridge is an elegantly arched bridge that stretches over the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. The bridge gets its name from Venice’s first commercial and financial district, Rialto. Its architect, Anthony da Ponte, competed against renowned, established artists of the time to have his design chosen. He managed to beat the likes of Michelangelo, Sansovino, and Palladio! The 7.5 meter arch is held up by thousands of wooden pilings, allowing boats to pass underneath the arch and for pedestrians to cross the Grand Canal.
Chain Bridge – Hungary
The Chain Bridge in Budapest connects two parts of the city – Buda and Pest! The stone bridge connects Clark Ádám Square in Buda and Széchenyi Square in Pest, allowing visitors to get panoramic views of the city while getting from point A to point B. Iron chain links hold the hanging road-beds on top of two river piers, hence giving the bridge its name.
Stari Most – Bosnia & Herzegovina
Also known as the Mostar Bridge, the Stari Most you see today is a rebuilt 16th-century bridge. The original bridge was destroyed in the Bosnia War of the 1990s and that was a tragic loss of Turkish/Ottoman architecture and history. However, the bridge was rebuilt using the stones recovered from the river below and with the help of a committee of scientists dedicated to reconstructing the Old Bridge and the surrounding towns. The bridge is now a UNESCO world heritage site and has hosted international cliff diving competitions since the 1960s!
Tower Bridge – England
Tower Bridge is the bridge you will see on thousands of postcards from London, England. Built in the late 1890s, over 11,000 tons of steel were used to build the bridge, now one of the most, if not the most, famous landmarks in the country. The bridge is fully functional, with cars and pedestrians crossing over its suspension panels every day making it one of the more popular of the famous bridges in Europe.
Pont du Gard – France
Pont du Gard is a piece of ancient Roman history that still spans across the Gardon river in Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France. The bridge’s original purpose was as a water duct into the city of Nemausus, using a three-tiered system and design to deliver water to civilians. Made from soft, yellow limestone, breeze blocks, and mortar, this bridge weighs over 50,000 tons. Today, Pont du Gard represents ancient Roman art and architecture, a civilisations stamp on history and design.
Charles Bridge – Czech Republic
Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s most iconic landmarks that is sought out by tourists, artists, and locals for its beauty along the Vltava River. Built in the 1300s, this bridge is an excellent example of Gothic art and architecture. It is held up by 16 pillars and is adorned by eye-catching statues and street lamps. Urban legend has it that egg yolks were mixed into the mortar or cement to make the bridge structure extra strong.
Puente Nuevo – Spain
Dividing the city of Ronda, Puente Nuevo is a beautiful bridge spanning across the El Tajo canyon. While a beautiful site, the bridge also has an air of sadness to it. The original construction of the bridge collapsed into the canyon, killing 50 people. However, the bridge was safely completed in the 1790s after 34 years of construction. Just above the central arch of the bridge is a chamber that is said to have been used as a prison and torture chamber. Visitors can enter the chamber for just 2 euro.
UFO Bridge – Slovakia
The Most SNP (Bridge of the Slovakia National Uprising) is more commonly known as the UFO Bridge because of the flying saucer shaped structure at the top of the 84.6 meter pylon. The flying saucer houses an observation deck offering panoramic views of Bratislava. Visitors can go up the lift for the price of €7.40 for these incredible views. There is also a restaurant up top called ‘UFO’ offering traditional Slovak food, as well as international cuisine. Anyone visiting the restaurant will have the lift price deducted from their bill.
Ponte Sant’Angelo – Italy
Ponte Sant’Angelo, the ‘Bridge of Angels’, is literally lined with statues of angels along the Tiber river in Rome, Italy. The ten angel statues were created by world renowned sculptor Gian Bernini, with each angel representing a piece of the story of Jesus Christ – his life, death, and resurrection. The bridge’s construction dates to the Roman emperor Hadrian, who ordered the bridge be built as a pathway for Christian visitors on their way to St. Peter’s Basilica.
Clifton Suspension Bridge – England
Located in Bristol, England, the Clifton Suspension Bridge’s design and history give the city its status as a place for inventive spirit and independence. It is one of the world’s oldest, surviving iron suspension bridges that was built in the 1700s. Its architect, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was just 24 years old when commissioned to design and lead the construction of the bridge, which ended up earning a Grade I listing. Still stretching across the Avon Gorge, Isambard’s innovative spirit lives on through the conservation of the bridge.
Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge – Portugal
The Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge, or 25th April Bridge, is a suspension bridge over the Tagus river that connects the city of Lisbon to Almada. The bridge was originally named the Salazar Bridge after the Portuguese Prime Minister who ordered its construction. However, after the Carnation Revolution where the Salazar regime was overthrown, the bridge was renamed to the date of the revolution. Its total length is 2,277 meters (7,470 ft) which makes it the 43rs longest suspension bridge in the world.
Bastei Bridge – Germany
Located in the Saxon Switzerland National Park, Bastei and Bastei Bridge are geological phenomena that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Stretched across the Elbe river, the bridge was built in the 1820s to assist visitors in reaching the different rock formations that make up Bastei. It’s a beautiful place to go on a nature walk and get some fresh air in the German hillside!
Millau Viaduct – France
The Millau Viaduct, or le Viaduc de Millau, is a multispan, cable-stayed bridge across the gorge valley of the river Tarn, near Millau in southern France. With a structural height of 336.4 metres (1,104ft), it’s the tallest bridge in the world. The bridge has constantly been ranked as one of the best engineering achievements of modern times and has even won awards.
There you have it, 16 beautiful and famous bridges in Europe. Are you lucky enough to live near one of these incredible structures? Which ones would you like to visit? Any beautiful bridges missing from this list? Let me know in the comments below!
Plan Your Europe Itinerary
Looking for more things to do in Europe? Check out some of these posts to help plan your Europe itinerary.
- Europe Bucket List
- Underrated Wine Destinations
- Beautiful Castles in Spain
- Cat Cafes in the UK
- UNESCO Sites in Poland
- Northern Lights Chasing in Finland
- Disney Themed Afternoon Teas in London
- Best Things to do in Riga, Latvia
Like this post? Don’t forget to pin the below image
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.