10 Little Towns in Europe You Need to Visit Now!
Check out what I consider the 10 most beautiful, charming, little towns in Europe. I hope this wanderlust-inducing list kicks you into booking your next trip, because really, you just have to visit!
1 | Burano Island, Italy
In the Venetian Lagoon, this little island is known as the residence for a large population of fishermen. The vibrantly colored rows of houses were historically used as beacons for finding their way home after a long day at sea. In recent years it’s become a Pinterest sensation and a true photographer’s paradise. While there be sure to try fresh octopus (but not coupled with espresso, like I did).
2 | Positano, Italy
On the Almalfi Coast, this little town is a true treasure. Stunning mountains leap from the clear Mediterranean offering dramatic views while the UNESCO-approved village feels as though you’re in an Italian dream. The vacation destination for the stars, I claimed it here as the most beautiful place in Europe and I mean it.
3 | Oxford, England
Whether you’re a Harry Potter enthusiast or just appreciate history, Oxford is truly captivating. Home to one of the oldest institutions in the world, the town is riddled with stories, beautiful architecture and great pubs! Charming cobble stone streets led through picturesque alleys walked by the likes of Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, Margret Thatcher and… Hugh Grant. 🙂 Here are notes from my afternoon stroll.
4 | Hallstatt, Austria
A shockingly beautiful lake village nestled in the Alps, Hallstatt is the true definition of European charm. Boating on the Hallstatt Lake was one of the most scenic boat rides I’ve ever taken and bucket list worthy for every traveler.
5 | Ronda, Spain
Positioned in the mountains of Andalusia, the views and eats in Ronda are incomparable. High above a steep gorge, the dramatic Puente Nuejo (New Bridge) connects the old and new city. The New meaning 1793, of course. Take a hike down to the gorge then end with yummy churros and hot chocolate. We felt like nobility when we got a free uber-upgrade at Parador de Ronda (two balconies are better than one!).
6 | Nerja, Spain
On the Costa Del Sol this white washed beach town is a true retreat. During your visit expect high stress on deciding which tapa to eat and which beach to relax on. The beauty and fun of the beach plus the vibrant culture of Spain makes it a win-win combo.
7 | Bruges, Belgium
Known as the ‘Venice of the North’ the cozy town of Bruges is a photographer’s AND beer drinker’s dream. Take a canal cruise, munch down moules and frites (mussels and fries), admire the architecture or just sip that lovely Beglian goodness. A super-duper easy train ride from Brussels, Bruges is a MUST if you’re in the region.
8 | Sirince, Turkey
An hour from Izmir, Sirince is a remote village famed for it’s olive oil and fruit wines. So beautiful that at one time it was called ‘Cirkince’ (meaning ‘ugly’) by residents to deter visitors. It wasn’t until 1926 that it was renamed to Sirince (‘beautiful’). Settle in for an amazing Turkish feast with fresh ingredients from the countryside (I claimed this as my best meal of 2013), later stroll the streets and peruse local handcrafts.
9 | Heidelberg, Germany
Perhaps the most beautiful place in Germany, I absolutely adore this town and not just because it’s my hometown. In the Alstadt (old town) lies endless shopping and fantastic restaurants. Stroll the Neckar River, explore the magnificent ruins of the Heidelberg Castle, enjoy city views from the Philosphenweg (Philosopher’s Walk) then end the day with a glass of local Reisling. (Here’s A Quick Guide to Heidelberg)
10 | Garmisch, Germany
Garmisch is an adult playground. Endless outdoor activities (especially Alpine skiing) and fantastic restaurants are all set in a storybook town. On the border of Austria, the looming Alps hugging the town are simply stunning while the traditional German cross-timbered architecture has all the charm you could hope for. (Heading that way? Here’s A Mini Guide to Bavaria)
To help out the map-oriented folks like me:
Did I miss YOUR favorite village? Let me know in the comments below!