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If you were to ask me what my favorite town was, I would have a very hard time giving you an answer. Each city, town and village is so unique and special, no two are the same. But I would have to say that my favorite towns are the ones bursting with color that make it look like a rainbow exploded over the whole town, like  artist’s canvas come to life.

1. Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt, Austria - California GlobetrotterHallstatt, Austria - California Globetrotter

Hallstatt is a small village, clinging to the side of a mountain, hugging the edges of the pristine Halstätter See with houses clustered together in every shade of wood possible draped in ivy with a backdrop of lush autumn trees. Around every corner and every other step offers something even more pleasing to the eye than the step before. A true definition of European fairy tale charm!

2. Colmar, France

Colmar sits in one of the most beautiful regions in Europe, between France and Germany. With canals throughout the city, wooden boat rides and houses painted of every color of the rainbow, Colmar tops the list as one of the most colorful, adorable towns in Europe! It’s also considered the wine capital of the region!

3. Monschau, Germany

Monschau, Germany - California GlobetrotterMonschau, Germany - California Globetrotter

Monschau is a small village that has over 300 protected houses that have remained vastly unchanged over the last 300 years and provide an endless amount of half-timbered houses and a small flowing river through the town.

4. Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, made up of 5 towns – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Riomaggoire, Manarola and Corniglia that all cling to the cliffs along the Ligurian Sea. Each town, slightly different but all equally adorable and charming thanks to the lack of honking horns and screeching cars.

5. Bruges, Belgium

A Weekend in Bruges, Belgium - California GlobetrotterA Weekend in Bruges, Belgium - California Globetrotter

Bruges is considered to be the “Venice of the North” with it’s many canals and is by far one of the most magical and colorful towns with 17th century gilded houses lining the market. Forget about Paris and Venice as Bruges is by far one of the most romantic places to go with a loved one!

6. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is by far one of the most adorable, fairy-tale like towns in Germany sitting above the Tauber River, giving Monschau a race for it’s money. The town is still completely surround by it’s Medieval walls and the town has been vastly unchanged. It truly is like stepping back in time when one walks through the town.

7. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Cesky Krumlov: A Perfectly Preserved Medieval Town - California GlobetrotterCesky Krumlov: A Perfectly Preserved Medieval Town - California Globetrotter

Český Krumlov is a small medieval town almost completely unchanged as it was almost completely forgotten about, therefore, preserving it’s unique appearance. The city grew around the 13th century Gothic castle perched above the town and is encircled by the Vltava River. By far one of the most interesting towns to visit if you feel like stepping back to a time long gone.

8. Heidelberg, Germany

Located in the Odenwald Mountains, Heidelberg is the town for lovers to come and stroll down the main street or along the Neckar river. Perched upon the hill, overlooking the town sits the remains of the Heidelberg Castle where one can enjoy a very lovely view over the entire town. It’s a town you can loose your heart in!

9. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France - California GlobetrotterStrasbourg, France - California Globetrotter

Strasbourg, like Colmar sits in one of the most beautiful regions of Europe known as Alsace and is beloved for the half-timbered houses throughout the town. By far one of the most adorable and romantic towns to stroll through with a loved one, especially when the sun starts to set and the town is illuminated with a romantic ambiance.

10. Leuven, Belgium

Leuven is a small town that is vastly overlooked by city-goers headed to Brussels. This adorable little town is full of 17th century gilded houses of red bricks and an impressive city hall that will leave you in awe.

If you’re interested in visiting Europe and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide. Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!


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What are some other adorable towns you have been to in Europe?







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Replies to Top 10 Most Adorable Towns in Europe

  1. I live in Utrecht, which I prefer over busier Amsterdam! Giethoorn and Haarlem in the Netherlands are also adorable, as well as Miltenberg in Germany!

  2. I loved Colmar & Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Both look like they are taken straight from Grimm fairytales.
    To answer your question… other adorable towns I had a chance to visit worth mentioning are Piran in Slovenia, and Deia and Valdemossa in Spain.

  3. Wonderful list! I have only been to Bruges from the list, and I confirm that it’s really pretty, although a bit too touristic. Would love to visit the rest! Most of my other travels in Europe have been in big cities and I am getting a bit tired of it..

    1. I felt the same way! I’ve done all the big cities in Europe too almost and am over the crowds. This year I find myself more wanting to visit the smaller, less touristy places…even the super touristy places we have gotten lucky at going on off seasons, like Hallstatt. It still had a lot of people, but you could tell restaurants and hotels were a little slow because they’re preparing for winter.

  4. Colmar and Strasbourg are such beautiful places – as are most Alsatian towns and villages! (I lived in Colmar last year) In terms of aesthetically pleasing towns in the UK, I would recommend towns around the Yorkshire Dales, such as Ilkley, York and Skipton. There are also several beautiful towns in North Wales, such as Beaumaris, Portmeirion (which in many ways looks like an Italian town!) and Conwy 🙂

  5. These towns are amazing in every sense of the world. I agree with you. I love color too. It is difficult not to agree with your choices. I want to visit them all.

  6. Having been to Colmar, Bruges, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Strasbourg, I can definitely agree with those choices. The others are still on the list, but your photos certainly support your recommendations.

  7. you’ve hit the nail on the head! i’ve only visited Colmar and Strausbourg and loved them both but you have a few of my bucket list destinations listed here. 😉

  8. I love how colourful they all are! Of these, I’ve only been to Colmar, Strasbourg and Heidelber. Colmar is my favourite of those. I would love to visit the rest!

    Nagold and Calw in Germany and Stratford Upon Avon in England are some other pretty European towns I can recommend 🙂

  9. This is so awesome and makes me miss Europe oh so much! I am so sad to say I have only been to one place on your list,,,Brugges (we actually got engaged here!) but your photos make me want to visit the other 9!

  10. Another Brit here who would add some of our home towns. I lived in Bourton on the Water for a while and although it is lovely I think it is a little tacky. Stow is probably prettier, but also Broadway has to be up there. And agree with some of the Welsh suggestions. Conwy is lovely. OOOh and also Lacock……once you start, you realise how many adorable towns there are out there 🙂

  11. Wow, you have really captured some picturesque towns. Great post and you have introduced us to some cities that would not have otherwise been on our radar. We will pin this for future reference!

  12. I’ve been to some of them, but ages ago!! Annecy and Yvoire in France are very pretty! I also love Nurnberg and Regensburg in Germany. But what tops my list is Knaresborough in the UK (near York) which I accidentally discovered while driving from Lancaster to York. Recently I’ve keep seeing photos from that place surfacing on Pinterest!

    1. I would say you would need probably 1 1/2-2 weeks to see 7-8 of the cities without rushing through them. Some are close together like Strasbourg and Colmar. You’re looking at a day in each city but with travel time I would add in several hours of travel to get from one city to the next. Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Cesky Krumlov will be your furthest towns and Cinque Terre probably too far out of your way

  13. I’ve heard great things about most of those towns, Hallstatt and Colmar are at the top of my wishlist. Didn’t know about Leuven, I must visit it when I’ll go to Belgium! 😀

  14. When most people would just visit the bigger cities and tourist mekas, I think it’s great you have had the opportunity to wander around the smaller, less known and sometimes even more charming little towns and villages. You should definitely try and to a volume 2 of this post! Would love to read it! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Even though everyone prefers to look at the bigger European cities when traveling, it’s the smaller towns in between that have the most charm and affection. Bruge and Cinque Terre have had my attention for a long time, they both have great architecture and a welcoming feel to them.

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