Amazing Fairy Tale Destinations in Europe
Forget Paris or Venice – for the true European fairytale, you have to get off the beaten track! See below for some amazing fairytale destinations picked up straight from a storybook and dropped into Europe.
Untouched by the 21st (or 20th!) century, the timeless beauty of the little village of Pérouges never ceases to amaze or inspire – and it is not hard to envision yourself as part of a fairy tale in this ancient place.
Santillana del Mar, Spain
Wander the ancient, buzzing streets of the little town of Santiallana del Mar in Cantabria, Spain. (Though its a misnomer; its not actually on the sea, just near it!)
Birds on the towers of Tallinn, Estonia, one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities as well as most romantic.
The medieval spires and cobblestones of downtown Sibiu in the heart of Transylvania – a place well entangled with myth and folklore – seems lifted off the pages of a story book.
From overgrown towers to colourful facades, the city where Dracula was born is sure to inspire all manner of tales!
The Canals of Annecy, France
Colourful lights illuminate the charming French-Venetian canals of Annecy like a magical fairytale.
Corvin’s Castle, Romania
It’s hard to get more fairytale-esque than Corvin’s Castle with its soaring towers, ancient walls, sweeping moat, and imposing crinolines, deep in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains.
Megeve, French Alps
Snow-covered Megeve, nestled deep in the serenity of the French Alps, is something out of a winter’s tale.
Kazimierez Dolny, Poland
What a place for a fairy tale wedding! Autumn brushes the bustling village of Kazimierez Dolny, an ancient haven of beauty, art and romance.
Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania
Adorning a forgotten isle in Lithuania is the charming Trakai Castle, fit for a queen!
Gauja River Valley, Latvia
Shimmering turrets rise out of the forgotten sun-dusted forests of Latvia’s Gauja River Valley. Not hard to imagine a princess or a king in this enchanted place!
Vajahunyad Castle in Budapest, Hungary
Though just 100 years old and built in 4 different styles, Vajdahunyad Castle in Hungary is an amazing example of people making fairytales come true.
Ardèche in general is a magical place – timeless sun-kissed landscapes, stunning gorges and timeless villages like the quaint and cobbled village of Largentière.
St Guilheim le Desert, France
The south of France is a magical place full of quaint and quintessential villages where it seems anything could happen. St Guilheim le Desert, an ancient place with a rich history dripped in tragedy and culture is one such place.
Gutenberg Castle, Liechtenstein
Ancient and brooding, the moody Gutenberg Castle is snuggled into the Alps of micro-country Liechtenstein, a place in itself belongs in fairyland.
Petite France, Strasbourg, France
Petite France, the historic UNESCO centre of Strasbourg is a place where princesses are real and dreams do come true!
Rivendell or Spain? Ronda and its amazing bridge are something straight out of fantasy class, Lord of the Rings.
Kreuzenstein Castle, Austria
Soaring turrets and imposing towers adorn the magnificent Kreuzenstein Castle – a castle literary cobbled together from various fairytale monuments all over Europe.
Bryggen, Bergen, Norway
Bright and cheery facades adorn the harbour and fishmarkets of Bergen, Norway.
Sognefjord villages, Norway
Snuggled into Norway’s stunning fjords are little villages like this one in the famous Sognefjord – so perfect they could be part of Anna & Elsa’s Arendelle.
Sant Ambrogio di Torino & Sacra di San Michel, Italy
From a snowy, fairytale village in the Italian Alps, follow a wandering forested path dusted in fluffy snowflakes to the ancient monastery of San Michele, this place is pure magic.
At the top of of the hill is the amazing and impressive Sacra di San Michele – a place that literally inspired modern stories and legends.
The Causeway Coast, Ireland
The emerald-carpeted towering stacks of the Causeway Coast make for a dramatic landscape – like something out of a wild story! In fact, this coast’s creation story comes from a mythical tale of two giants.
Prague, Czech Republic
Home to perfect Christmas markets, Gothic cathedrals, shining rivers and soft snowflakes, Prague is an entire fairytale city.
Hidden Glen, Ireland
Sligo’s Hidden Glen feels like just the place a princess or knight might get lost on a quest. On the kind of place where one might come upon a swooping dragon or fluttering fairy!
Dunnattor Castle, Scotland
Hidden coves, towering ruined castles, long-lost jewels and death-defying cliffs under a painted sky – a thrilling tale of romance and adventure awaits!
Chateau de la Batisse, France
Tucked into the lush emerald valleys of the forgotten region of Auvergne, Chateau de la Batisse is as picturesque as it is hidden.
Castillo Xativa, Spain
Crowning the rugged Spanish hilltop is the forlorn Xativa Castle – a little bit like Spain’s Great Wall. Not hard to imagine this in a storybook, eh?
Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland
The poetic Chateau de Chillon clings to the sparkling shores of Switzerland’s Lac Léman.
Brugges is literally the town that invented the term “fairytale town.” Not convinced? Watch the film In Brugges.
Another fairytale town in Belgium is the lovely Ghent. Perhaps less well-known than Brugges, this works to Ghent’s advantage as it means the town stays more magical – and a lot quieter.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
And to finish, how about an actual fairy tale place?? This mountaintop castle lost in the mist was inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Amazing!?