5 of the Most Famous Churches in the World

You don’t have to be any specific religion to appreciate the beauty and architecture of church buildings. Easter Sunday is coming up, and it is the biggest day of the year for church attendance. Are you ready to see 5 of the most famous churches in the world, because they are simply stunning?! 

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St. Peter's Basilica, Rome Italy

Church St. Peters Basilica Rome Italy

St. Peter’s Basilica was built in 1506. In addition to being one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, it is also the largest Catholic Church in the world! It is well known as being the burial ground for the apostle Peter. It is also known for having the tallest dome.  

St. Peter's Basilica Church Rome Italy

If you are only visiting the Basilica in Rome, you should plan for about 1 hour or less to take in the amazing Renaissance Style architecture of one of the largest churches. Tripadvisor ranks St. Peter’s Basilica #1 out of 53 things to do in the Vatican City. 

St. Peter's Basilica Church Rome Italy

When we went to Rome to celebrate my daughter’s 16th birthday we did a skip-the-line guided tour to visit St. Peter’s Basilica. It was incredible! Did you know that the famous artist Michelangelo also painted the ceiling in St. Peter’s Basilica? It’s a once in a lifetime experience to see it. If you want to take a virtual tour of the Basilica, and other famous Roman sites, read my fun post How to Travel Virtually From Your Home to Rome.

Church St Peters Basilica Rome Italy

Admission:

I STRONGLY recommend that you do a Skip the Line Guided Tour for your visit. The lines are always VERY long for popular tourist attractions in Rome. There are lots of different options to choose from.

Use Get Your Guide and Viator to book in advance. That way you have everything you need right on your phone. The best part is most of the options let you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled experience with NO FEES! So if your plans change, there’s no risk.

For Tickets to the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica Skip the Line 3.5 hour Guided Tour CLICK HERE. 🎟

Early Access: CLICK HERE for tickets to a 3 hour Papal Audience, St. Peter’s Basilica Tour and Vatican Gardens tour by Minibus. 🎟

CLICK HERE for tickets to the Original St. Peter’s Dome Climb, Basilica, and Vatacombs 2 hour Tour!  🎟

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Spain

Church Sagrada Familia Barcelona Spain

The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is a stunning Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain. The construction of the church started in 1882 and is still evolving today. When it’s completed it is expected to be the tallest church in the world. You can see the evolution of this incredible building on Sagrada Familia’s website.

Approximately 2.8 million people come to visit this breath-taking church every year. It’s not hard to see why Tripadvisor ranks the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia #1 out of 1,213 things to do in Spain. It’s said to be the MOST FAMOUS church in the world so make sure you add it to your bucket list! Out of the 5 of the Most Famous Churches in the World, this one is my favorite!

Church Sagrada Familia Barcelona Spain
Source: Pixabay.com

Architecture:

The interior of the church looks like a movie. Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is filled with unusual shapes and lots of colors shining through the stained glass windows

Antoni Gaudi is the architect who spent more than 40 years creating Sagrada Familia. You can see various works of Gaudi’s Art Nouveau style throughout Spain, but I think this one is especially different! It was his desire to serve God through architecture

Although I have not seen this church yet, it is definitely on my bucket list to visit Barcelona! After studying architecture in college, it would be a dream come true for me to see Antoni Gaudi’s work in one of the most beautiful churches in the world

Planning a visit:

Make sure you visit the official website for the visitation schedule because it does change periodically. You should plan for approximately 2-3 hours for your visit at la Sagrada Familia.

In order to maximize your time in Barcelona I’d strongly suggest that you purchase “skip-the-line” tickets. You will still have to go through security, but it’s more of a 20-30 minute process. IF YOU DON’T purchase skip-the-line tickets, then you should expect to wait in line for 1-3 hours

Admission:

I STRONGLY recommend that you buy your tickets in advance because they are likely to sell out. There are lots of different options available.

Use Get Your Guide and Viator to book in advance. You will have everything you need right on your phone. The best part is if your plans change, most of the options let you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled experience with NO FEES!

For Tickets to Sagrada Familia Skip-the-Line 1.5 hour Guided Tour CLICK HERE. 🎟

Priority Access: CLICK HERE for tickets to a 1.5 hour Barcelona Sagrada Familia Tour with Tower Entry. 🎟

CLICK HERE for tickets to a 2 hour PRIVATE TOUR of Sagrada Familia.  🎟

Cologne Cathedral, Cologne Germany

Cologne Cathedral Church Germany

The Cologne Cathedral is one of the most popular churches, and one of the largest religious buildings in the world. You should set aside more than 3 hours to tour this massive Roman Catholic cathedral.

It holds several impressive titles including: the tallest twin-spired church in the world, largest façade of any church in the world, and largest Gothic Style church in the world! It’s obvious why TripAdvisor ranks the Cologne Cathedral #1 out of 325 things to do in Cologne.

The Cologne Cathedral is more than just impressive Gothic Revival Style architecture. It holds a large collection of unique relics including the oldest crucifix, remains of the three wise men, and ancient bells. Currently you are permitted to visit the cathedral, treasury, and climb the south tower. Make sure you check out the Cologne Cathedral website before you visit to make sure you are familiar with the important notices

The Cologne Cathedral was built in 1248 and declared a World Heritage site in 1996. This incredible building has been through World War II, when most of the city was destroyed, and it was hit 14 times. It needed some repairs, but it still stands tall and proud as a prominent landmark in the German city skyline

Cologne Cathedral Church Germany

Admission:

I STRONGLY recommend that you buy your tickets in advance because they are likely to sell out. There are lots of different options available.

Use Get Your Guide and Viator to book in advance. You will have everything you need right on your phone. If your plans change, most of the options let you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled experience with NO FEES!

For Tickets to the Cologne Cathedral and Old Town 2 hour Guided Tour CLICK HERE. 🎟

CLICK HERE for tickets to a 2 hour Cologne City and Cathedral Tour Experience. 🎟

CLICK HERE for tickets to a 3 hour Cologne Walking Tour with Visit to the Cathedral.  🎟

Notre Dame, Paris France

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris France

Anyone who knows me knows that Paris is one of my favorite places to visit. I was fortunate enough to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral three times. The Gothic Medieval Style Cathedral is a Parisian icon that was built in 1163. TripAdvisor ranks the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris #6 out of 3,306 things to do in Paris.

Some of the best restaurants in Paris are located near Notre Dame in the center of the city, so make sure you have something to eat while you are in that area. 

Notre Dame Church Paris France
Source: Pixabay.com

Since the devastating fire in 2019 the Medieval Catholic Cathedral has been closed. It is in the process of restoration, but visitors are still encouraged to appreciate the beautiful exterior of the detailed Gothic architecture. They are also encouraged to visit the Archaeological Crypt, which is open. Notre Dame is undeniably one of the most magnificent churches in the world.

It has been closed for a long time, but the construction work continues. The current building is on track to reopen in 2024 when the Olympics are scheduled to be held in Paris. 

The fire in 2019 was not the first time that Notre Dame was damaged. The cathedral suffered neglect and war in the 1790’s. That loss is what prompted Victor Hugo to write the story Hunchback of Notre Dame. It won’t be long and the cathedral will once again be restored and open to the more than 13 million visitors that come each year.

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris France
Church Notre Dame Cathedral Paris France

Admission:

Although you can’t tour the inside of the Cathedral right now, there are still tours available of the exterior and the Archeological Crypt

Use Get Your Guide and Viator to book your tickets so you have everything right on your phone. The best part is most of the options let you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled experience with NO FEES!

For Tickets to the 1.5 hour Notre-Dame, City Island and St Severin Church Guided Tour CLICK HERE. 🎟

PRIVATE TOUR GUIDE: CLICK HERE for tickets to a 2.5 hour Notre Dame & Sainte Chappelle Skip the Line Tour. 🎟

CLICK HERE for tickets to a 2 hour Notre Dame Outdoor Walking Tour with Crypt Entry.  🎟

Westminster Abbey, London England

Westminster Abbey Church London

Have you watched the Downton Abbey series? (I started watching it, but haven’t finished yet.) Downton Abbey is a famous Netflix series, and Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches in the world. It’s all about the Abbey. 

The Westminster Palace has ALL of the amazing Gothic Style architecture, but it’s paired with the royalty vibes of the United Kingdom. In addition to being a Presbyterian Church holding 17 royal weddings, Westminster Abbey is also a burial place for over 3,000 people

Planning a visit:

You can expect to spend 1-2 hours visiting Westminster Abbey Church. Tickets are available to purchase on their website and it’s very easy to navigate. They offer upgrades for behind-the-scenes tours as well.  

It’s quite impressive that one of the oldest churches, dating back to the 960-970’s, still holds its architectural style and value. TripAdvisor ranks Westminster Abbey #10 out of 2,424 things to do in London. 

Westminster Abbey is well known for its ties to royalty. Its most recent royal wedding was when Prince William and Catherine Middleton got married in 2011. Before you start looking to reserve this wedding venue, keep in mind that only members of England’s royal family, members of the Order of the Bath, and people who live in the Abbey’s precincts are allowed to get married there.  

Admission:

I recommend buying your tickets in advance for your visit. There are lots of different options out there.

Use Get Your Guide and Viator to book, then you will have everything you need on your phone. The best part is most of the options let you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled experience with NO FEES!

CLICK HERE for Westminster Abbey Entrance Tickets. 🎟

For Tickets to the 2-4 hour Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament Tour CLICK HERE. 🎟

CLICK HERE for tickets to a 2.5 hour SEMI-PRIVATE guided walking tour of London City Center Westminster.  🎟

After seeing 5 of the Most Famous Churches in the World, I hope that you can appreciate these magnificent places of worship a little more. In addition to being sacred places, they are also historical landmarks. 

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If you liked 5 of the Most Famous Churches in the World, then you might also want to read 1 Thing you MUST do EVERY TIME you Travel.

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LET’S CONNECT: Out of 5 of the most famous churches in the world, which one have you visited or do you want to visit?

A Capone Connection

Andrea Capone is a travel blogger at www.acaponeconnection.com | A Capone Connection was started to help inspire and connect people who are passionate about travel.

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