NYC has been called a world rather than a city, and it’s not only the mix of cultures, food, languages and communities that makes it so. Sometimes its actual appearance — from structures to landscapes — can evoke the feeling that you’re traveling to different countries, even within a few hundred square miles.
Due to the area’s rich history that’s still somewhat preserved today thanks to landmarked buildings and wondrous architecture, there are some beautiful locations that could easily be pictured on European streets or countrysides.
So, here are 11 places in NYC (& around…some are perfect for a day-trip!) that look like they’re in Europe:
1. St. John the Divine, Morningside Heights
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine can actually compete with historic European churches directly — it’s one of the five largest church buildings in the world! Construction of the Cathedral began in 1892, making it 130 years old. Though it is the “mother church” of the Episcopal Diocese of NY and the Seat of its Bishop, you can also visit for sightseeing purposes to admire the architecture for $5. Read more details on their website here.
Where: 1047 Amsterdam Ave.
2. Villa Charlotte Bronte, The Bronx
Italy or the Bronx? The beautiful “Villa Charlotte Bronte” apartments definitely look straight out of Europe. Built in 1926, they sit along the Palisades, overlooking the Hudson River, in the Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood of The Bronx. The design was actually based on an Italian villa, which definitely makes sense, and includes balconies as well as lush gardens! Though you can’t enter unless you’re a resident, you can still nab some lovely photos at the gate. And hey, it’s not too far from the Met Cloisters if you want to make a day of it!
Where: 2501 Palisade Ave, The Bronx
3. Morgan Library, Murray Hill
The Morgan Library feels like a trip to a library from Harry Potter or old-world Europe (like the Old Library at Trinity College or Oxford’s Codrington Library, perhaps?). The historical venue was built as a private library between 1902 and 1906 for financier Pierpont Morgan. He began collecting manuscripts and other historical materials as early as 1890, and now they line the walls of the museum. You can find some of the country’s rarest music manuscripts, early children’s books, Americana and early printed books there. Find more on their website here.
Where: 225 Madison Ave
4. Forest Hills Gardens, Queens
This picturesque NYC neighborhood was modeled after an English village back when it was first built in 1910, offering a little piece of the U.K. in Queens with quaint Tudor-style houses and a town center with a train station. Read more about it here.
Where: 71st Ave, Forest Hills, NY
5. Oheka Castle, Huntington (Long Island)
Perched on the highest point of Long Island sits the majestic Gilded Age masterpiece “Oheka Castle.” It’s still the second-largest private residence ever built in the U.S., spanning 109,000 square feet with 127 rooms. The historic French-style chateau is located in the town of Huntington, about an hour drive from NYC (not during rush hour) or an hour-long train ride on the LIRR (plus a 10-minute Uber ride or half hour walk).Read more here!
Where: 135 West Gate Drive, Huntington, NY 11743
6. Vanderbilt Mansion, Museum and Planetarium, Centerport (LI)
Take a step back in time at another gorgeous 100-year-old estate on Long Island, this time at the Vanderbilt Mansion, Museum and Planetarium in Centerport. The mansion itself on the property was the summer home of William K. Vanderbilt II, great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Called “Eagle’s Nest,” it originated as a small “cottage” when it was first built in 1910, but over the years expanded into a 24 room Spanish-Revival mansion. See more details here.
Where: 180 Little Neck Road in Centerport, NY
7. Wings Castle, Millbrook (Hudson Valley, NY)
Where: 717 Bangall Rd., Millbrook, NY
This adorable avenue is well-known to NYU students, but is still a must-visit if you haven’t stumbled across it near Washington Square Park. The charming cobblestoned street, lined by historic carriage houses covered in twisting wisteria and ivy, was first designed as private farmland in the early 1900s. The NYC passageway was once home to horse stables (hence its name) until they were later converted into studios for “the area’s thriving art community.” Read more here.
*We recommend going in late spring/early summer so you can see the vines in their full green magnificence, and when the wisteria is blooming!
Where: Connecting Fifth Avenue and University Place / closed to pedestrian traffic from 11 p.m. – 7 a.m.
9-11. Upper West Side Apartment Buildings: The Ansonia, The Apthorp, The Dorilton
These gorgeous apartment buildings will make you feel like you’ve been swept away to Gilded Age Paris!
The Ansonia, on 73rd and Broadway, was first built as a luxury hotel in 1904 and was converted to apartments in the ’70s. Its stunning design draws lots of inspo from Paris with its Mansard roof, corner turret towers, and overall Beaux Arts style. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places and is a NYC Landmark. It had scaffolding obscuring the gorgeous architecture for a long while, but it was finally taken down a few weeks ago! *2109 Broadway
The Apthorp up the road on 79th (and Broadway) was designed in 1908 and still boasts beautiful Italian Renaissance Revival architecture with a richly ornamented limestone façade, iconic iron entry gates and is one of only four private courtyard drive pre-war buildings (according to Street Easy). *2211 Broadway
Last but not least, is the grand Dorilton on 71st St. & Broadway, first built in 1902. Its Edwardian-style architecture was painstakingly restored over the years to refurbish its elaborate façade and ornate interior spaces. *171 West 71st Street
Where: Various streets, see listed above