The most visited monasteries in the world offer serenity, beauty, and glimpses into history, with communities ranging from Buddhist monks to medieval Christian monks. The top 10 most visited monasteries list was selected by international travelers who have checked off these famous destinations.
The most popular monasteries in the world according to Visited are:
- Le Mont Saint Michel is the most visited monastery, attracting millions of visitors from around the world to the stunning hilltop abbey on the tidal island in Normandy, France. The abbey dates back to medieval Christian times.
- Meteora is home to an incredible Eastern Orthodox Christian monastery in a rugged rock formation on the coast of Greece. It is the largest archaeological site in Greece and dates back to the 11th century.
- Jeronimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery is a former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome located in Lisbon, Portugal. The stately structure features Portuguese Late Gothic architecture.
- Santa Maria De Montserrat is an abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict located in Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain, that is famous for its statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, one of the only Black Madonnas in Europe.
- Papal Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls also known as Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls is a papal basilica that’s located outside of the ancient remains of Rome’s walls in Italy.
6. Cave Monasteries of Cappadocia are located in central Turkey. The Byzantine-era monasteries are carved from caves and feature fresco paintings from the 9th and 10th centuries.
7. Sigiriya or Sinhagiri is an ancient rock fortress near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The impressive structure has been home to a royal palace and Buddhist monks.
8. Alcobaca Monastery is a Catholic monastic complex founded in the 12th century located in Alcobaça in central Portugal. The expansive monastery is known for its beautiful Cistercian Gothic art and architecture.
9. Batalha Monastery is a Dominican convent in an impressive gothic building in the municipality of Batalha, in the district of Leiria, in central Portugal. The monastery is home to the tomb of King John I and his wife Philippa of Lancaster.
10. Kyiv Pechersk Lavra also known as the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves, is a historic Eastern Orthodox Christian monastery located in Kyiv, Ukraine that is a cultural preservation center as well as a home to over 100 monks.
Have you been to any of the most visited monasteries in the world? Browse more monasteries and top travel destinations using the travel app Visited. You can mark off where you travel, set travel goals, and get a customized printed map of your travels using the app.