Welcome to The Urban Explorer blog! We have stories about urban exploration from around the world, from interesting public places to hidden, exploded bunkers with rebar pointing all the wrong ways. The Urban Explorer has explored 240 places in 29 countries. You can also click on the map below to see where in the world they took place.

The Urban Explorer articles appeared originally in the Blogspot Planetskier series, at TGR posts, or at the Relaa website. See also the articles about skiing, climbing, cycling, caving, flying, swimming, and saunas.

All urban exploration-related articles:

Lago di Como tower ruins
Castello Baradello is a fortress on a nice hill above present day Como, with great views of the city and the lake. Fortresses on this site date back to the 6th century, although the current fortress was rebuilt in the 13th century. This is also the site of the original settlement in Como.
Full story

January 2024, Castello Baradello, Como, Italy
Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites, Towers)

Tower of Velate
The Velate tower is in town of Varese northwest of Milan. It is in ruins, only two sides of the tower remain.
Full story

January 2024, Tower of Velate, Varese, Italy
Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites, Towers)

Grotta San Giovanni Mystery
Grotta San Giovanni is near Lecco and Lago di Como, in northern Italy. As you can see from above, the views are wonderful! But there's a mystery: did this cave inspire Leonardo da Vinci's painting Madonna (or Virgin) on the Rocks?
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January 2024, Grotta San Giovanni, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni side cave 1, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni side cave 2, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni cemetery side cave, Lecco, Italy
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst); Urban-Exploration (Other)

Sunken church
Interesting. A sunken church, abandoned in the face of rising waters for a dam built in 1952. The Old Mavrovo Church is repeated submerged, and as a result has been considerably damaged, e.g., the roof has caved in.
Full story

December 2023, Old Mavrovo Church, Mavrovo, North Macedonia
Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Screaming Underground
I've been here many times before, but doing it with my friends this time made me realize an annoying thing. We visited the Itäkeskus swimming hall, a wonderful underground creation. But... one of the nicest pools in a rock-dug hole was painful when kids were screaming at the full power of their lungs. And it is a massive echo chamber. In fact, the entire swimming hall is quite bad at acoustics; hard surfaces for the sounds to bounce off.
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September 2023, Itäkeskuksen uimahalli, Helsinki, Finland
Sauna (Normal, Steam); Swimming (Indoor, Water, Waterbody-Pool); Urban-Exploration (Bunkers)

A Finnish Caving Buffet
If your caving friend was coming over for a weekend, what would you show about the Finnish caving scene? Here's our menu for a caving buffet, covering everything from ice saunas to block caves to cracks in granite, mines, limestone caves, to salmon meals to ... did I already mention saunas? Not to forget Sibelius for dessert!
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September 2023, Viking Glory, Stockholm, Sweden; Luolavuoren luola, Turku, Finland; Rotkoluola, Kaarina, Finland; Itäkeskuksen uimahalli, Helsinki, Finland; House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland; Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Ansabunkkeri, Siuntio, Finland; Korkbergetin lohkareluola, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Hvitträsk cliff, Kirkkonummi, Finland
Sauna (Normal, Steam, Other); Caving (Basic, Rock, Morphology-Crack, Morphology-Boulders, Equipment); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Granite, Morphology-Crack, Equipment); Sauna (Normal, Steam); Swimming (Water, Waterbody-Pool, Indoor); Travel; Caving (Basic, , Rock, Equipment, Morphology-Erosion); Urban-Exploration (Bunkers); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Granite, Morphology-Boulders); Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Mine sauna
I've been here before, but it is always refreshing: the Tytyri kaivos keeps having less miners but more and more tourists and elevator researchers. This time we found a treasure: a sauna in the depths of the mine, on level 80.
Full story

September 2023, Tytyrin kaivos, Lohja, Finland
Sauna (Normal); Urban-Exploration (Mines)

Venice again, no skiing, just heat
Many years ago, I tried to find some skiing inVenice. No luck, could not score any snow from local skating rinks, so was unable to plaster the Calatrava Bridge with snow... sad... or maybe good. This year we went back there.
Full story

July 2023, Venice, Italy
Skiing (None); Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Predjama Castle
I had only heard about the Postojna Cave before coming to Slovenia. But it turns out that there are many caves (of course) as well as many very interesting or famous cave sites. Right next to the Postojna cave, a 10 minute car ride away for instance is the Predjama Castle, which is world's largest castle built in a cave.
Full story

July 2023, Predjama Castle, Postojna, Slovenia
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst); Urban-Exploration (Military, Castles, Historic-Sites)

Walls of Piran
Piran is a medieval town on the coast of Slovenia. A wonderful town, clearly retaining its historic parts. The protective walls of the city date back to the 7th century, and can be toured for a nominal fee. Much recommended.
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July 2023, Walls of Piran, Piran, Slovenia
Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites, Castles); Flying

Northern Croatia swim
On our tour of Slovenia's Piran, we also peeked on the Croatian side, and had a swim in the Polynesia Beach in the town of Umag. Little did we know that the ruins we started our swim from were actually the ruins of the Sipar Castle from A.D. 1000 or thereabouts. Some have even called this place the Atlantis of Sipar. Interesting!
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July 2023, Polynesia Beach, Umag, Croatia
Swimming (Outdoor, Waterbody-Sea, Water, Beach); Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites, Castles)

One kilometer walkway tunnel
This tunnel appeared on my walk while visiting Rotterdam. I was walking from my hotel to the conference venues, as a like to do to keep my step counts up :-) And as one expects, there are some waterways to cross in the Netherlands cities :-) I thought there'd be a bridge though. But no, it was a tunnel. It was only in the tunnel and later in Wikipedia that Maastunnel is actually 1070 meters long that crosses the Niewwe Maas.
Full story

May 2023, Maastunnel, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Urban-Exploration (Tunnels)

The Golden Gate of Sääksmäki
We visited an old, not so big, but quite famous bridge in Finland. This used to be on the main road, but since the opening of the highway from Helsinki to Tampere, it is no longer getting as much traffic as before. The bridge is still beautiful, though.
Full story

May 2023, Sääksmäen silta, Valkeakoski, Finland
Urban-Exploration (Bridges)

Trust me, it is NOT a watertower
It does look very weird. For some reason I thought it was a water tower. It is in the town of Oberreid in the Black Forest area in Southern Germany, near Freiburg. But ... it is in fact a defense against against nuclear weapons and natural disasters...
Full story

May 2023, Barbarastollen, Oberried, Germany
Urban-Exploration (Towers)

Kalemegdan bunker
In the Kalemegdan park / Belgrade Fortress there's also a bunker. This is a bunker Tito ordered to be built, and it was constructed in early 1950s. It has two gun ports (now closed), and it is today an open museum that you can visit.
Full story

May 2023, Belgrade Fortress Bunker, Belgrade, Serbia
Urban-Exploration (Ruins, Military, Bunkers)

Burg Hohenzollern
It is an imposing, massive castle on top of a high hill. Worth a visit!
Full story

May 2023, Burg Hohenzollern, Hechingen, Germany
Urban-Exploration (Castles)

This is the 1th set of articles. The next sets are set 2, set 3, set 4, set 5, set 6, set 7, set 8, set 9, set 10, and set 11.