Whether you go for the thrill, the untold histories, the loneliness or the spookiness, this list is sure to satisfy you. From Europe to the farthest continent, we bring you 20 more abandoned places in Europe (and more!) you should definitely visit in your lifetime:
1. Hotel Serra da Pena (Portugal)
We start in Portugal, a small country in the west of Europe that despite its size, has a lot of history and places to visit. Hotel Serra da Pena is one of them. During its golden years, this place served as a hotel in which radioactive water was believed to have healing and purifying effects on its guests. However, with the end of the Second World War and with the effects of radioactivity being visible to everyone, the hotel closed in 1945 and has been abandoned ever since.
2. Hotel Monte Palace (Azores, Portugal)
It seems that the tourism in Portugal hasn’t always been booming as it is now, seeing as this is the second hotel on our list. This one is located in São Miguel, Azores, one of the Portuguese islands located in the Atlantic, and despite its luxurious design and surroundings, it was open for only a year, from 1989 to 1990. Despite its empty and degraded interiors, it’s still worth visiting for the amazing view!
3. Church of Sant Roma de Sau (Spain)
This church and its town, Sant Romà de Sau in Catalonia, stood for more than a thousand years before the creation of reservoir that submerged them in the 1960s. The residents found new homes and their belongings went with them, leaving behind the empty buildings, including this church, which is especially visible when it’s low tide.
4. Castle of Mesen (Belgium)
The Castle of Mesen is located in Lede, a municipality in Belgium, and was once a very important aristocratic building and a noble residence in the 18th century. Today, however, it’s completely abandoned and you are free to explore its halls — or at least what’s left of them!
5. Kelenfold Power Plant (Hungary)
The Kelenföld power plant of Budapest was built in 1912 and was the largest electrical generation plant in the world, until it was partially abandoned in 2005. Since then, the building has been used for recording music videos and movies. The main attraction of the Kelenfold power plant is the control room; the rare public tours inside the facility have to be booked well in advance.
6. Old Fishing Hut of Obersee Lake (Germany)
Very close to the Austrian border, you can see this old fishing hut in the crystal clear waters of the Obersee Lake. No one can understand why this hut is abandoned. Besides the wonderful green view, you can be sure to only hear yourself and the birds while picturing what would be like to own your dream lake house.
7. Pripyat (Ukraine)
This city was created to house everyone who worked at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, so as to live close to their workplace. However, when the nuclear disaster stroke in 1986, all of the over 50,000 residents had to evacuate Pripyat in two days, leaving behind a big part of their lives. Now they are on display since the radioactivity levels have significantly decreased. You can go on tours or on your own — and your radioactivity levels are checked at the entrance and exit.
8. Salto Hotel (Colombia)
Located in the Tequendama Falls, southwest of Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, this hotel provides a great view to the 157 metre-tall waterfall and the surrounding nature. After being abandoned in the 1960s, many believe it to be haunted since many people tragically chose this spot to commit suicide.
9. Fort Jefferson Island (USA)
Some of us might think it only happens in The Pirates of the Caribbean, but in the 19th century, acts of piracy in the Caribbean Sea were very common. To fight this, the US Army built Fort Jefferson, which remained unfinished and is currently abandoned. Some walls of the fort are almost 180 meters high, giving a great view to anyone that decides to explore these parts.
10. New York’s Letchworth Village (USA)
Letchworth Village was a residential institution in Rockland County, New York, built for the physically and mentally disabled of all ages. It opened in 1911, but since the 1920s there have been very serious complaints and accusations regarding horrifying experiments and forced labour that its residents had to go through. Despite all this, it wasn’t until 1996 that this institution was closed. Nowadays, it’s believed that the place is haunted by the numerous victims that died there.
11. Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church (USA)
Another building in the USA that was built in 1911, Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church in Detroit is a 56-meter long and 31-meter wide church. As people started moving to the suburbs, this church started to lose followers, and in 2005, it was completely abandoned. The gothic-style church has an interesting architecture that attracts the curious and the ones brave enough to enter.
12. Balestrino (Italy)
Situated in the southwest of Genoa, little is known about Balestrino’s history and origins, as well as its fall. This town dates back to the 11th century, and its beauty has caught the eye of both tourists and Hollywood alike. The ghost-city was the set for the movie Inkheart, among other well-known movies.
13. Vallone dei Mulini (Italy)
In a deep canyon called “The Valley of the Mills”, located in the town of Sorrento in southern Italy, we can find this next gem. Once an old mill that had been functioning since the beginning of the 900s and used to produce flour, it has been abandoned since 1866, when constructions isolated the mill from the sea and impeded the production of flour. The vertiginous view is one of the most beautiful views of Sorrento.
14. Kalavantin Durg (India)
Kalavantin Durg is located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, and reaching the top is only possible by climbing thousands of hand-carved steps. That’s right, there are no elevators. This 685-metre high fort was built in 530 BC, which just emphasizes the effort and how ahead of its time the construction was… But still, no elevator.
15. Kharanaq (Iran)
The abandoned village of Kharanaq is near the city of Yazd, in Iran. This village is more than 4,000 years old, and around 400 people still live here. Despite not being completely abandoned, it’s still worth exploring to see its beautiful landscapes, constructions, and to feel like you’re traveling back in time!
16. Kayakoy (Turkey)
Close to the resort town of Fethiye in Turkey, there is an abandoned village called Kayakoy. It was built in the 18th century and was mostly inhabited by Greeks, however, during the Greco-Turkish war, this place was left abandoned when they were ordered to return to their country. What remains here is about 500 houses in ruins, including two churches, which are the best sights in this ghost town.
17. Lion City (China)
This jaw-dropping underwater city is almost 1,450 years old, and it’s something you won’t definitely see everyday. Shicheng, or Lion City, is located in eastern China, and it was submerged in 1959. You can only visit with a diving instructor. Your first glimpse of the ruins of Lion City will take your breath away as its structures appear out of the dark waters the moment you approach them with your flashlights.
18. Hashima (Japan)
If you’ve watched 007: Skyfall, you will recognise this place. But before being the set of important scenes from a Bond movie, this island was appreciated by its access to underwater coal mines. However, as Japan started using less and less coal, the mines closed and the island was abandoned, sitting now in the middle of the sea looking like a ghostly concrete battleship.
19. SS Ayrfield (Australia)
We move on to our only entry on this list located in Oceania, more specifically in Homebush Bay, Australia. This place is home to a few decommissioned ships, and the SS Ayrfield stands out because of the vibrant vegetation that grew on top of it. After being active for more than 60 years, it’s now abandoned and waiting for you to go see it.
20. Ait-Ben-Haddou (Morocco)
The fortified town of Ait-Ben-Haddou dates back to the 17th century, and it’s made up of six forts and nearly 50 palaces with forts of their own, besides a mosque, two cemeteries, and a public square. Its beauty hasn’t gone unnoticed; it’s been the set of many movies and TV shows, like The Jewel of the Nile, Gladiator, Prince of Persia, and even Game of Thrones (yes, it was the basis for Yunkai in season 3).
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What is the scariest place you have ever visited? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the perfect student home on Uniplaces.
Rodrigo is an avid reader and writer of content. Solitude is the preferred state of mind when it comes to his writing and he prefers to do it while holding a hot cup of coffee during late night hours. By the age of 20, Rodrigo had published his first book which was acclaimed by The New York Times editorial as “capable of challenging mindsets for years to come”. He is also a great story teller, encouraging him to come up with false descriptions of himself, like this one.