Thanks to the rich history of many European countries and an abundance of buildings and structures built hundreds of years ago, Europe has a ton of abandoned places for tourists to visit.
It isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but many people enjoy visiting eerie places that have stood empty for decades. There’s no shortage of places like that if you’re planning a trip to Europe and are looking to pay a visit to some spirits.
Constanta Casino — Romania
Constanta was once considered to be the Monte Carlo of Romania (who knew?), so it had to have an impressive casino to live up to the name. The Constanta Casino has sat on the edge of the Black Sea since 1880 but has been abandoned since approximately 1990.
Hubertusbad — Germany
You won’t be able to take a dip in this swimming pool on the outside of Berlin, but you can still pay a visit to Hubertusbad. It had two swimming pools, saunas, bathtubs, a sun deck, and even a gym when it opened, making it Berlin’s most modern public bathhouse at the time.
Pripyat — Ukraine
Not just one building or place, Pripyat is an entire ghost city in northern Ukraine. Pripyat was heavily affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, which forced residents to flee, leaving behind what is now one of the most well-known abandoned places in the world. There’s a famous decaying amusement park, toys left in schoolhouses, even clocks frozen in time.
Lake Reschen Bell Tower — Italy
Also known as the lost bell tower of Graun, the bell tower that sits in the center of Italy’s Lake Reschen is all that’s left of a 14th-century church, and all that’s left of the submerged village of Graun. The lake was created in 1950 and demolished or submerged more than 160 buildings.
Canfranc International Railway Station — Spain
At the time that it opened in 1928, the Canfranc International railway station in Spain was one of the largest stations in Europe.
After a train derailment in 1970 demolished the L’Estanguet bridge on the French side, the French government decided not to rebuild, and the cross-border line was closed, eliminating the access to the Canfranc Station.
Hamilton Palace — Scotland
A massive mansion that’s been left to rot for more than three decades, Scotland’s Hamilton Palace was built in all its glory in 1695. Though no one currently lives there, Hamilton Palace is Scotland’s largest private home and is actually bigger than Buckingham Palace.
Teufelsberg — Germany
It looks a bit like the Epcot dome at Disney World in a state of decay, but it’s just the Teufelberg in West Berlin, a former monitoring station that was used for espionage.
Buzludzha Communist Party Headquarters — Bulgaria
It looks like you’re staring at a picture of giant UFO sitting atop a hill in Bulgaria, but it’s really just the former Communist Party headquarters. Buzludzha sits on top of a nearly 1500-meter-tall point in the Central Balkan Mountains but hasn’t seen use in decades.
Lapalice Castle — Poland
Europe isn’t short on castles, but Poland’s Lapalice castle is the largest unauthorized construction ever developed in Poland. It was started in 1984, but construction was halted during the 1990s, and it is currently entangled in a legal battle. In the meantime, it’s become an unofficial tourist attraction.
Cairndhu House — Northern Ireland
It was originally built as a summer residence in 1875, but just take one look at Cairndhu House in its current state, and it’s not difficult to understand why people claim that the run-down mansion in Northern Ireland is haunted. In past lives, it was a stately home, a military hospital, and even a filming location.
Burj Al Babas – Turkey
Turkey’s Burj Al Babas started as a luxury housing project that would include 732 villas, a shopping mall, and entertainment facilities aimed at foreign buyers. Instead, Burj Al Babas ended up becoming the home of 587 abandoned buildings because the project was never completed.
Haludovo Palace Hotel — Croatia
If you look at Croatia’s abandoned resort hotel, it looks more like a futuristic creation than a resort that was abandoned years ago, but that’s the story. Built on a Croatian island north of Malinska, Haludovo hasn’t hosted guests since 2001.
Fort Alexander — Russia
Another name for Russia’s Fort Alexander is Plague Fort, which almost makes us not want to visit. The naval fortress sits on an artificial island near St. Petersburg and housed a research lab on the plague and other bacterial diseases in the early 1900s.
St. George’s Church — Czech Republic
Recently, it was home to a life-sized art installation of 32 plaster ghost statues, so you know that St. George’s church is a properly creepy abandoned building. The 14th-century church is about 2.5 hours outside of Prague, but it has been abandoned since the roof collapsed during a funeral service in 1968.
Rummu Prison — Estonia
If you’re looking to do a little underwater exploration the next time you’re in Estonia (which is a big “if”), Rummu Prison is a popular destination for scuba divers. The prison was built by the Soviet Union in the 1940s but was abandoned in 1991, at which point, the quarry began to fill with water, partially submerging the prison.
Maunsell Sea Forts — England
If you guessed that these large armed towers that stand in the sea were used by the British Navy, you’d be correct. The armed forts were built during the Second World War and operated as army and navy forts to help defend the U.K. by deterring and reporting German air raids.
Craco — Italy
Craco isn’t just one or two abandoned buildings in Italy—it’s an entire abandoned town. After a landslide forced the town to evacuate, it never gained its population back, so it became a ghost town that’s now a tourist destination.
Nicosia International Airport — Cyprus
Originally the main airport for the island, the Nicosia International Airport has not seen commercial activity since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The run-down airport now sits under a layer of dust, but it is still used as the headquarters of the UN’s Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.
Buyukada Orphelinat — Turkey
The building of the Greek orphanage stands on Buyukuda island off the coast of Istanbul, and it is considered one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. It was constructed in the late 1800s as a luxury hotel and casino, eventually becoming an orphanage. In 1964, the orphanage was closed, but the remains of the 206 rooms, library, school, and other facilities still stand.
Balaklava Submarine Base — Crimea
It was a top-secret military facility used by the Soviets during the Cold War, but today the underground submarine base serves as a museum for tourists to visit and learn from.