There is nothing like getting up high and looking out across the endless world. Being able to to see for miles and knowing there is still so much more than what you can see is a humbling and exhilarating experience. These views are only bettered when they are surrounded by a sprawling metropolis where the howling wind is intermingled with the city streets below.
Western Europe is a great place to experience from on high, as its modern cities blend old with new in stunning fashion. London, Paris, and Barcelona are only a few of the great places to find a perch and watch the city move below. There are undoubtedly hundreds of places that provide a fantastic view. These are just a few great places to start.
St. Paul’s is not only a great place to look out and see just how big London really is, but is also an amazing place to actually see inside. Its stunning dome is something that is impossible to capture on film and is something that has to be seen in person. Standing 365 feet off the ground at its highest point you might think the views would be less than grand, but being most of London is incredibly flat and nearly all the other buildings surrounding St.Paul’s are dwarfed by it, the views tend to be spectacular. To get up and actually see the famous Whispering Gallery will cost you around eight pounds but its more than worth the price of admission. From the top you can see from the docklands all the way to Wimbley Stadium.
The London Eye
I hate putting this on the list because I feel its a major rip off, but seeing as how its the best views in Western Europe its hard to leave this off. Standing 443 feet off the ground and sitting adjacent to Big Ben the London Eye definitely delivers the goods when it comes to giving a great view. The problem I have with it is actually quite simple, while you can and will get an amazing view that’s about all you get. You won’t get the amazing history and beauty of St. Paul’s, nor will you even get the thrill of climbing to the top. Worst of all once you get in your trapped for an hour while it slowly makes its way around.
This one is a no brain-er for quite a long time this was the tallest free standing structure in the world, and even though its lost that title over the last century its still gives one-hell-of-a-view. Standing at 1,063 feet high you can only imagine just how far out you can see. The tower is synonymous with the city itself and is one of the first things people think of when the hear the word Paris. The downside to this amazing view point? Its fame and notoriety, of course. Every tourist who comes to the city wants to make the climb to the top of the tower and during the peak months lines can get as long as the Louvre‘s. Not to mention the endless amounts of beggars, thieves, and pickpockets you’ll have to endure while waiting. Yes it gives you an amazing view but in the end is it worth it?
Sacre Coeur may not be the most amazing building to see and it may not have many ancient artifacts worth viewing either, heck even its catacombs really aren’t all that great, but it does give one breath-taking view. Sitting on top of, quite possibly the only large hill in the city, it gives a wonderful 360 degree view of the entire city. Just high enough up to see just high enough to see how vast the city really is. Another great part of visiting Sacre Coeur is the wonderful little town that sits around it. Although its mostly tourist shops and the like it still has a decidedly old world feel.
How could this list be complete without this iconic landmark? Notre Dame’s view may not be as amazing as the Eiffel Tower’s but what it lacks for in distance it makes up for in sheer amazement. The building itself is incredibly old, the construction of it started in 1163 although it took 1345 to complete its still an amazingly ancient structure, especially by American standards. Standing at the top and looking down at the square that has survived countless wars and invasions, leaves one with a true feeling of history and grandeur. Just when it cant seem to get any better right as you begin to look out across the amazing view this happens…