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If you were to ask me what most beautiful town in Europe is, 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 an artist’s canvas come to life.
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Hallstatt is a small village, clinging to the side of a mountain, hugging the edges of the pristine Hallstätter 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. Hallstatt is THE true definition of European fairy tale charm and is without a doubt one of the BEST small towns to visit in Europe and is an easy day trip from Vienna!
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 towns in Europe! It’s also considered the wine capital of the Alsace region, so with such beauty and good wine, it’s no wonder the two countries ping ponged this beautiful town back and forth over the last centuries!
Monschau is a small village not far from Aachen and the Belggin/German border which 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. What makes it so über special is the fact that it’s still relatively off the radar and therefore, not entirely over run by tourists, thus allowing you to stroll through one of Europe’s quaint villages!
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. Cinque Terre is no hidden gem though and is definitely one of the most visited towns in Europe, but don’t let that stop you from a visit!
Bruges is considered to be one of several “Venice of the North” with it’s many canals and is by far one of the most magical 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! Best of all, this beautiful town is an easy day trip from Brussels. But, to be honest, the biggest question is, Bruges or Ghent? Guess You’ll have to find out for yourself!
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is by far one of the popular fairy-tale 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, though beauty comes with a price: mass tourism. However, if you’re looking for the BEST day trip from Munich, this is as good as it gets!
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, making it a great alternative to Prague! Another great day trip from Prague would also be Ceske Budejovice or Karlovy Vary!
Located in the Odenwald Mountains, Heidelberg is the town for lovers who come to 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. Heidelberg is one of those classic German towns you just have to visit on a European tour!
Strasbourg, like Colmar sits in one of the most beautiful regions of Europe known as Alsace and is beloved for the half-timbered houses scattered throughout the town. By far one of the most romantic towns in France besides Paris to stroll through with a loved one, especially when the sun starts to set and the town is illuminated with a romantic ambiance. Best of all, you can combine both Strasbourg and Colmar in one trip, especially if you want that true Disney-esque feeling!
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, but it’s underrated charm and beauty is what lands it on my list of most beautiful towns in Europe!
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!
More Picturesque Towns in Europe:
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