Planning a European Vacation? Hit These Lucky Spots
Superstition isn't dead in Europe. Want proof? The continent is home to numerous famous landmarks that are supposed to bring good luck or grant wishes to those who visit them.
Even if you're a non-believer, you'll want to visit these 10 lucky spots on your next European vacation, as they're all remarkable. Who knows? The legends might be true — and who doesn't need a bit of extra luck?
Just be warned: Europeans apparently have a thing for rubbing statues.
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The Blarney Stone
Location: Cork, Ireland
The luck of the Irish is famous around the world, but did you know a visit to the Emerald Isle can also make you more eloquent? All you have to do is visit the impressive Blarney Castle in Cork. Here, you'll make a long line to lie down and hold on to two bars so you can kiss a stone.
No one knows where the legend of the Blarney Stone comes from, but it's been around for over 200 years. Will it actually give you the gift of gab? You won't know until you try it.
Where to stay: Muskerry Arms Bar and B&B Blarney
Location: Prague, Czechia
Charles Bridge is a must-see landmark for anyone visiting Czechia's beautiful capital. While you're at the bridge, don't neglect to look for the statue of the martyred St. John of Nepomuk, who is said to have been thrown off the bridge to his death.
Travelers who want to return to Prague and receive a bit of luck should rub the plaques at the bottom of the memorial. To do it correctly, you must use your left hand and use all of your fingers.
Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel Prague
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Gregory of Nin Statue
Location: Split, Croatia
Standing at 28 feet tall, this enormous statue commemorates Gregory of Nin, a medieval bishop who worked to preserve Croatian culture. People visiting this landmark have gotten into the habit of rubbing the statue's big toe for good luck.
Despite having been unveiled in 1929, the statue is such a famous charm that the toe is already shiny from how much it's rubbed each day.
Where to stay: Cornaro Hotel
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
You can't visit Istanbul and not go to the astonishing Hagia Sophia. A former cathedral turned into a mosque, this World Heritage Site draws in around 3 million visitors annually. And a large portion of them looks for the wishing column.
Once inside, look for a column with a metal plaque where a line of people gathers. Because the column is always damp, legends have sprung up about its wish-granting powers. When your turn comes, put a finger into the hole and rotate it in a circle. If your finger is damp, it means that your wish will come true.
Where to stay: White House Hotel Istanbul
The Trevi Fountain
Location: Rome, Italy
Perhaps the most famous of all European lucky spots, the Trevi Fountain draws in millions of people who partake in the tradition of throwing a coin over their left shoulder into the water. Doing so guarantees that you'll return to Rome one day — who wouldn't want that?
So many people follow this superstition that the fountain has been reported to collect up to $1.7 million a year! The money all goes to charity, so you'll definitely be getting good karma for this.
Where to stay: Relais Fontana di Trevi
Statue of St. Jacob
Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
If you want to get luck but don't feel like waiting in line at popular landmarks, look for this lesser-known charm in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. When visiting the impressive fourth-century St. James Church, look for the statue of Saint Jacob holding a shell.
The friendly-looking statue has an index finger that points out, almost inviting you to touch it. Doing so will give you protection — a good thing to have while you're traveling!
Where to stay: Hotel Herrnschlösschen
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Location: Milan, Italy
The design capital of Italy delights visitors with its sumptuous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Large domed ceilings covered in glass panels let light flood into this shopping gallery, while intricate mosaics adorn the floors.
Look for people spinning around like fools over a bull mosaic. This is where you want to go. To receive blessings, make sure to step onto the bull's balls, then spin around once or twice. It probably won't make a difference in how lucky you are, but it'll be a fun experience.
Where to stay: Galleria Vik Milano
Statue of Everard t'Serclaes
Location: Brussels, Belgium
If you fall in love with Belgium (as many do) and want to come back, go to the Hotel de Ville and find the statue of Everard t'Serclaes.
This 14th-century hero once helped repel invading Flemish forces from the city. In 1898, Julien Dillens made this statue to honor him. It didn't take long for the people of Brussels to start rubbing his arms and legs while asking for wishes to be granted. Tourists then began touching the statue as a way to ask to return to the Belgian capital.
Where to stay: Roco Forte Hotel Amigo
Location: Nuremberg, Germany
Tired of rubbing statues around Europe? You'll probably like Nuremberg's lucky spot better. Standing in the main square, this 14th-century fountain has stone figures that have been beautifully preserved. An iron gate surrounds the fountain with two rings, which you turn while making a wish.
While in Nuremberg, you'll visit this famous site anyways, so it's worth going the extra mile for a little bit of luck.
Where to stay: SORAT Hotel Saxx Nürnberg
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Location: Girona, Spain
If you already kissed the Blarney Stone, head to Girona to kiss the butt of a lioness. Hanging onto a column near Cathedral of Santa Coloma, this scared-looking lioness statue is the luckiest spot in the city.
Why do you have to kiss the butt, specifically? Most people say that it's simply because it's the easiest part to reach. But we suspect that locals just find it hilarious to watch tourists do this.
Where to stay: Hotel Museu Llegendes de Girona