Curious about the top Christian travel sites? Europe and the Middle East are full of these, but we have made a simple list of the very best. Read below to find some great travel destinations for Christians!
There is no doubt that the Vatican City is one of the best Christian destinations you could possibly visit.
It is home to St. Peter’s Basilica, the most famous church in the world. It was designed by all the top artists at the time, such as Bernini, Bramante, Maderno and Michelangelo. The tradition also says that Saint Peter, who was an apostle of Jesus, and later became the first bishop of Rome, was buried at this site and that his tomb is below the high altar.
You can expect to wait in line for hours when visiting the basilica. But it’s all worth it in the end. It’s a beautiful church and there is so much to see on the inside.
In the Vatican City we also find the Apostolic Palace – the official residence of the Pope. This building is also home to the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library, of which you can only explore some parts. Many people visited the Apostolic Palace to see the Sixtine Chapel.
To visit the Vatican City, you must obviously go to Rome. The Vatican is a small enclave within Rome. It is arguably one of the best travel destinations in the world, and you can see countless amazing attractions after you’ve already visited the Vatican.
Santiago de Compostela
The historic city of Santiago de Compostela is a famous destination among Christian pilgrims. In recent times, it has become more of a general tourist destination with all types of people doing the pilgrimage.
Christians will be particularly fascinated with the cathedral. It is reputed as the burial place of Saint James who was one of Jesus’s apostles. The large cathedral is an impressive structure and many people choose to enter it on their knees.
Aside from the cathedral, take a walk around the city and enjoy the old streets. Santiago de Compostela has many small shops, nice restaurants and it is generally a beautiful city. The entire Galicia region of Spain is a gem, so it makes sense to take lots of time to explore it.
Jerusalem is a holy city for all the Abrahamic religions, and of course, Christianity is no exception. It was a place where Jesus did many of his teachings. The Last Supper, which was the final meal with the apostels, took place in Jerusalem. The crucification was also believed to be nearby, on the hill of Golgatha/Calvery.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the holiest sites in Christianity. An impressive site in itself, but even more so because of the history. Jesus’s empty tomb is believed to be located here. Many pilgrims are going to Jerusalem each year, and upon arrival they can enjoy. a visit to this church, which is conveniently located in the Christian Quarter of the city. In total, the Christian Quarter has about 40 holy places, so it is full of nice attractions for interested visitors!
Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Naturally, it has attracted visitors for many centuries because of this fact. Many Christians wish to walk around in the city where Jesus was born and where he spent a part of his life.
Church of the Nativity, the basilica in Jerusalem, is a holy place for Christians. The grotto in Jerusalem is known as the oldest site that has continuously been used as a site of worship in Christianity. It is also a World Heritage Site.
Despite being born in Bethlehem, the city of Nazareth was considered the home of Jesus during his childhood. He was also known as “Jesus of Nazareth”. Like Rome, Santiago and Jerusalem, it is a center of Christian pilgrimage. There are many shrines around the city that commemorate Jesus and events from the Bible.
In early Christianity, Damascus was a highly important city. It is said that Saint Paul encountered Christ on his way there – his baptism happened when he actually arrived in Damascus.
Many early Christians lived in Damascus, including St. Thomas and many others. In the old city of Damascus, you should visit the Christian Quarter. Overall, it’s an incredibly fascinating city, and it is one of the oldest in the world. Just be sure to take safety precautions, in light of the recent troubles in Syria.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is famous for its huge statue of Christ – they call it Cristo Redentor in Portuguese. This monument is so famous that many Christians wish to see it.
Aside from this statue, there are many beautiful churches in Rio. The city has a rich history, and we should not forget that Brazil is one of the most Christian countries in the world. It is absolutely a place worth visiting!
The main attraction here will be the Shroud of Turin. It is also known as the Holy Shroud.
To explain it in simple terms, it is the linen cloth that shows a negative image of a man, often believed to be Jesus Christ. The Gospels tell us that the body of Christ was wrapped by a linen cloth. Many Christians believe this to be the one, although there are several burial cloths around Europe that claim the same. Yet, this one is a highly respected one by many Christians, and it is in the Vatican’s property.
The Shroud of Turin is only available to see during certain expositions, decided by the Vatican. So check up on that before you go. It is located in the Cathedral of Saint John in Turin.
Due to its rich history, Turin also has many other churches worth visiting, and it is easy to have an enjoyable trip there.
Another Italian city with strong links to Christianity is Milan. Since Milan and Turin are located somewhat near each other, you can easily visit both during the same trip.
First and foremost, Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous mural painting, The Last Supper, is found in Milan’s church, Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is an amazing attraction and arguably one of the most famous artworks in world history.
Milan also has one of the largest cathedrals in the world. You will find that in the deep center of the city.
Aside from the Christian attractions in Milan, the city is huge and it is also a world leader in fashion, gastronomy, art, music and sports.
In Moscow, we find one of the most picturesque cathedrals in the world. We are referring to Saint Basil’s Cathedral, located in the Red Square. It was built in the 16th centuries on orders from Ivan the Terrible. The outcome, however, was the opposite of terrible – it is a beautiful Orthodox cathedral, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is one of the most remarkable Christian sites, at least visually, in the entire world.
Don’t forget that Russia is one of the more Christian nations in the world, so you’ll also find many other churches around this giant city. It is absolutely full of cultural attractions.
The Ukrainian capital is home to the Kiev Caves Lavra, which is considered to be the cradle of the Orthodox Church. It’s a huge monastery with a long history, and there is a lot to see. Furthermore, the architecture of the churches in Kyiv is just beautiful and much different than in Western Europe.
Oxford is quite a gem for Christian travelers. You might be familiar with C.S. Lewis and his influential writings. Mere Christianity is arguably one of the best works in modern Christianity. When you visit Oxford, you can take the C.S. Lewis & J.R.R Tolkien Tour and see everything that inspired these two Christians. And when you’re in Oxford, don’t miss out on the University Church or some of the many museums!