6 Most Beautiful Universities In Europe To Wander In 2023

By Anna Tan | 02, Aug, 2023
6 Most Beautiful Universities In Europe To Wander In 2023

Broaden your horizon with some of the most beautiful universities around Europe!

Forget going to book cafes or museums, European universities are a historical paradise with their stone cloisters, Gothic architecture (dating as far back as the 11th century), well-kept botanical gardens, and ancient libraries to keep you company. As such, you will find that the oldest universities in the world are located in Europe!

You don't have to be a student to explore some of Europe's gorgeous campus grounds. Most of these universities have guided tours for you to wander at your own pace and soak in the wonders of each university's architecture and history.

Want to know what university is worth visiting? Read on!

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1. University of Oxford, Englanduof oxford

Image Credit: Ben Seymour on Unsplash

Most people are led to believe that the University of Oxford is a campus university where all buildings are located within one site. In reality, the university comprises multiple colleges and departments scattered around central Oxford.

Every building has its picturesque angle, with some iconic landmarks including the Radcliffe Camera Library, the Sheldonian Theatre, and Christ Church Cathedral which is often captured in postcards.

The University of Oxford botanical garden is also a popular tourist attraction as it is the oldest botanic garden in Great Britain with over 5,000 plant species within its 18,000-square meter space.

Visiting these sites will require a paid ticket or guided tour before you can enter its premise.


2. Trinity College Dublin, IrelandTrinity College Dublin

Image Credit: Sean Kuriyan on Unsplash

Perhaps the oldest and most beautiful university in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin was created in 1592 to strengthen England's reign in Dublin as a capital city. Hence, you will notice that its architecture is heavily inspired by Oxford and Cambridge's organizational layout.

Trinity College has gained a reputation of its own as a well-known research center and it is no surprise that the Library has some of the oldest book collections, including the 1200-year-old Book of Kells (a New Testament manuscript).

Its most popular attraction is The Long Room in the Old Library, a 65-meter-long hallway with thousands of books on ceiling-to-floor bookshelves built in the early 18th century. It is truly an enchanted space that will leave you in awe.


3. University of Glasgow, Scotlandglasgow

Image Credit: Lewis Ashton on Pexels

Strikingly outstanding in the front of the campus is the University of Glasgow's main attraction, the Gilbert Scott Building. Built in the late 19th century, its iconic 278-meter-high tower stands in the center of the building, completing the symmetrical look of this majestic landmark.

Named after Sir George Gilbert Scott who has constructed most of the university's campus, it is now used as a multi-purpose space for concert halls, events, classes, and graduations.

You can visit the tower depending on the season and weather. Within the tower, you can admire the gorgeous Gothic passageway, slowly taking you back in time.


4. Jagiellonian University, Polandjagiellonian

Image Credit: TICKET

Located in Krakow, Poland, Jagiellonian University is a lesser-known university that deserves to be on the list. As the oldest university in Poland founded in 1364, its unique red brick building along with its reputation as a research center attracts thousands of international students each year.

The university's main attraction is a university museum known as Collegium Maius where visitors can explore its Gothic architecture and several exhibitions. It currently houses the manuscripts of the popular Polish mathematician and alumnus of Jagiellonian University, Nicolaus Copernicus.

Visitors can take a peek into his work through the guided tours that are available on weekdays. The tour also includes several astronomic items used in the 16th century by Nicolaus as well as ancient portraits of kings, rectors, and benefactors.

Another attraction worth visiting is the courtyard replica clock (the original one was burnt down in the 1492 fire) where two wooden figures will appear and march to the music every two hours between 9 am to 5 pm. We recommend visiting in the early afternoon to avoid the peak crowd.


5. Aarhus University, DenmarkAarhus University, Denmark

Image Credit: Aarhus University

Where most universities are famous for their ancient architecture, this university has made itself different by taking on a modern approach with its design.

Constructed in the 1900s, Aarhus University strikes a perfect balance between man and nature with its minimalistic buildings surrounding the parklands. The university was designed by Danish architect C.F. Møller to reflect the young vibrant energy of the students.

When the weather permits, most students enjoy hanging out by the man-made lakes at University Park. There are free guided tours for visitors as well as several university museums such as the observatory near the campus for tourists to enjoy.


6. University of Coimbra, Portugaluof coimbra

Image Credit: falco on Pixabay

How the oldest university of Portugal obtained its name stemmed from its location where it sits on the hilltop overlooking the city of Coimbra. And within the university is another city of its own, University City, where the old Royal Palace of Alcáçova remains and an iconic clock tower stands out.

But the beauty of it all lies inside its pearl-white building where you will find decorated arches, ornate tiles, painted ceilings, and gilded wooden shelves. It is a true art masterpiece where you can lose track of time as you admire the intricate patterns at every corner of the building.

Buildings worth checking out include the Joanine Library, the Sao Miguel Chapel, and the Cathedral of Santa Cruz.


Final Thoughts

Touring around beautiful universities in Europe is honestly worth the trip! Each campus has its unique design and most importantly, makes for a beautiful photo backdrop!

Have you visited any of these universities? Are there campuses we should have included? Please share with us your experience!

Don't forget to include your friends in your "university" research for the most beautiful campuses in Europe by sending them our article link!


Anna is an upbeat travel writer who is constantly hungry for adventure (and food). She writes about her climbing adventures on theamateurclimber.com

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