It’s hard to find a place that is more breathtaking than Europe. The land of knights and queens is carpeted with fairytale castles, medieval villages, and opulent architecture everywhere you look.
The old continent has so much to offer, from Neuschwanstein Castle and the magical village of Annecy to Colmar’s picture-perfect cobblestone streets. Head to these fairytale cities, and you will feel like you’ve been magically transported into the pages of a fairytale book.
1. Annecy, France
Nestled at the tip of Lake Annecy sits a postcard-perfect town known as the “Jewel of the French Alps.”
Stroll among Annecy’s cobblestone streets and medieval canals with the Rhone-Alps as your backdrop. Everywhere you turn, you’ll be surrounded by opulent Renaissance-style architecture, vine-covered pastel houses, and even the breathtaking Palais de l’Isle, a triangular castle turned history museum that sits on an islet in the Canal du Thiou and adds to Annecy’s magical atmosphere.
And just 12 kilometers away from Annecy, you’ll find the beautiful Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard, a medieval castle that’s perched 200-meters above ground and
2. Neuschwanstein Castle, Füssen, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle is arguably one of the most magical fairytale castles in Europe. Located in the German city of Füssen, this architectural marvel is nestled high up on a rugged hillside overlooking the village of Hohenschwangau.
While Germany is filled with otherworldly sights, you won’t be able to peel your eyes from Neuschwanstein Castle. Filled with thousands of years of history, lavish rooms, opulent thrones, blue turrets, and limestone façade, Neuschwanstein Castle is the kind of dreamy destination that’s totally worth the hype.
3. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of the jewels of “The Romantic Road” in Germany, a tourist holiday route that stretches over 220 miles where you’ll find idyllic villages, emerald green forests, and fairytale castles. My favorite stop along the way is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, one of the 3 best-preserved medieval towns in Germany. Plönlei is the most enchanting landmark in Rothenburg. This scenic square features an opulent yellow half-timbered house, a fountain, cobblestone streets, and two medieval towers that serve as the backdrop of thousands of Instagram photos.
4. Positano, Italy
Positano in the Amalfi Coast is a scenic cliffside destination, filled with staggering landscapes everywhere you look. Famous for its colorful houses towering over azure waters, Positano is a photographer’s dream come true (even if you’re just an amateur!) You’ll be spoiled for choice with all the cute cafes, colorful restaurants, beaches, and of course, the most magical art galleries. Spend your days strolling through the beach paths, open markets, and finish off with some exquisite Italian cuisine at any of the restaurants that are buried among the cliffs.
5. Giethoorn, Netherlands
This fairytale tiny village in the Netherlands is as romantic as it gets. Giethoorn is known as the Venice of the North because it doesn’t have any roads. That’s right! This authentic Dutch village is home to 2,795 residents who move around town by boat, foot, or bike. Since cars are not allowed in Giethoorn, you’ll be surrounded by nothing but tranquility, thatched farmhouses, singing birds, and wooden bridges decorated with flowers.
I hope that these fairytale cities will get your wanderlust going! Add them to your European bucket list whether you’re traveling solo or with the whole family.