Fairytale Towns In Europe You Have To See To Believe

There are some truly spectacular places on Earth—especially if you like fairy tales! These towns and villages really do exist, and you really have to visit at least one of them.

These towns and villages really do exist, and you really have to visit at least one of them. Here is our list of fairytale towns in Europe.

Have you ever read a fairy tale and dreamt of living in a quaint, little town somewhere? Maybe where there was still a bakery, a cheese shop, a greengrocer and a butcher and not a supermarket? Well, low and behold, these kind of towns and villages still exist.

While I can’t promise that there aren’t any supermarkets in any of the places listed below, what I can promise is that they look like something out of a fairy tale.

1. Cinque Terre, Italy

Panorama of Vernazza and suspended garde

Multicolored houses built into rocks leading down to the ocean. Did I say that it looks like a fairy tale? Images of the turquoise sea in the evening as street lights casting a warm glow on the houses will make you swoon. This is actually five (cinque) villages that are so close together you can walk between them.

2. Portofino, Italy


This is a small fishing village with rather palace-like houses built into the rocks by the ocean and surrounded by trees. Portofino’s stunning natural beauty, vibrant colors, and relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere create a fairy-tale-like experience that transports visitors to a world of sun, sea, and romance.

3. Bibury, England

Houses of Arlington Row in the village of Bibury,

If you like old-fashioned stone cottages, then Bibury is the place you need to visit. It’s the kind where roses bloom in summer and fires roar in winter.

It’s quaint as anything, and you’d expect to be invited in and served scones with clotted cream for high tea. The most scenic area is Arlington Row, dating back to the 17th century.

This is where homesere built to house weavers from Arlington Mill. Bibury can be found in the hilly Cotswold region in England, which, in general, is known for its natural beauty.

4. Avignon, France

bridge of Avignon and The Popes Palace in Avignon

Avignon is a medieval town with sand-colored houses and cobblestone streets. You cross a river to enter the town through its city walls, and it truly looks like you’ve stepped back a couple of centuries in time.

If you love theater, then you have to head to Avignon where, in July every year, there is a theater festival held within its walls. You will find jesters walking the streets, impromptu performances held at street corners and a generally festive atmosphere. I went when I was seventeen, and I still remember it as one of the best experiences of my life.

5. Leuven, Belgium

Leuven Belgium

This is an university town in Belgium that looks like the picture perfect medieval town with a large square surrounded by quaint houses. I went there when I was nineteen, and walked around the alleyways lit by the warm glow of street light.

Visit in winter when the town square is transformed into an ice skating rink and there’s a large Christmas market on. Get lost among the cobblestone streets and small boutiques. It’s a town filled with stone bridges and waterways. It’s beautiful.

6. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges Belgium

Visit in winter when the town square is transformed into an ice skating rink and there’s a large Christmas market on. Get lost among the cobblestone streets and small boutiques. It’s a town filled with stone bridges and waterways. It’s beautiful.

7. Venice, Italy

Famous carnival in Venice

A city built on water. How’s that for romantic? The narrow alleyways, the waterways, the stunning architecture and the many artisan boutiques all make Venice what it is—an incredibly beautiful town.

The large San Marco Square with its cathedral is also worth mentioning—it’s like walking around palace grounds. Oh, and the gondolas and the gondoliers who sing opera as they steer your gondola through the canals in a town where there are no cars are truly magical.

If you want to visit during carnival in February, then you are probably going to experience the world’s largest masquerade ball—no one will know your face, just your mask. Debauchery is about to begin.

8. Cochem, Germany

Castle Reichsburg sits above the medieval town of Cochem on the Mosel River

This little village is set on the banks of the Moselle River with hills rising behind it with a castle perfectly placed on one of the hilltops. In autumn, the changing colors of the leaves offer a beautiful backdrop. You will also find wine produced in this region, so it’s perfect if you’d like to sample local white wines while visiting.

9. Marsaxlokk, Malta

Early winter morning in Marsaxlokk

This is an old fishing village with limestone houses and gaily painted boats bobbing about on the turquoise sea. Nearby, you’ll find a cove called St. Peter’s Pool where you can dive straight into the crystal clear water. Having been to Malta, I can attest to most of the island looking like a fairy tale.

10. Ibarracín, Spain

Albarracin Spain

On barren hills, enclosed by fortified walls, you find lbarracín. Narrow alleyways weave their way through the village, and old castles and chapels give the architecture-obsessed something to obsess about. It’s all built in the Mudéjar style, which is typical of the region.

11. Colmar, France

Colorful traditional french houses on the side of river Lauch in Petite Venise

The Alsatian village of Colmar has several canals running through it, as well as cobblestone streets. The half-timbered houses, with their mixture of French and German architectural influences, make it a unique place to visit.

12. Hallstatt, Austria

Famous Hallstatt mountain village and alpine lake

Set on the banks of the on the bank of the Hallstätter, you find a towering mountain and sparkling lakes surrounding this picturesque town. It’s the kind of place that makes you think you can go back in time to a day when life was a lot less industrial.

13. Smögen, Sweden

Smogen Sweden

In the stunning Bohuslän archipelago lies a fishing village called Smögen. Here, you can enjoy local seafood, while mingling with the many boat owners that visit the harbor in summer.

The small fishing houses adorn the dock, painted in traditional Swedish colors. It’s an incredible place to visit in summer, and to make the most of it, you should get on a boat tour and explore nearby islands as well.

14. Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia in Turkey

This area of Turkey has fairy chimneys in it—natural rock formations in which people have created houses. There are also a lot of underground cities here, like Derinkuyu, where people used to hide out when war and other dangers loomed and that you can now visit. Goreme is a town you will want to visit to see the fairy chimneys and the magic of the area in its full glory.

15. Giethoorn, Netherlands


This small town is often called the “Venice of the North” because of its many canals and beautiful bridges. Its thatched-roofed houses and small boats make it a picture-perfect destination.

The only ways to get about the town are by boat or on foot because there are no roads. Tourists may either join a guided tour of the canals and surrounding wildlife, or they can rent a boat and explore the region on their own.

16. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber-Germany-833x500.jpg

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is often referred to as a “fairytale town” because of its well-preserved medieval architecture and charming, romantic atmosphere. It is a small town located in the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany, and it is known for its winding cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses, and fortified city walls. Visitors can also visit the medieval Crime and Punishment Museum or explore the town’s Christmas Museum, which showcases the town’s long-standing Christmas traditions.

If you ever feel that you’ve seen it all on Earth, think again. There are always new places to go and towns to explore—some which happen to look like a fairy tale.

This is our list of fairytale towns in Europe. Have you visited any of them?

About the author

Maria Montgomery

Writer. Social Entrepreneur. Foster mommy (twins). Change maker. Foodie. Health freak. Nature lover. Creative nutcase. Blogger (Confessions of a Dizzy Blonde). A friend of mine once described me by saying “One minute she’s like the Dalai Lama, the next a dizzy blonde” and maybe that does sum me up…

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