Europe is full of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations. I’m here to share with you the 50 most beautiful European villages and towns.
Make sure to add them to your bucket list because each of these destinations is unique. Without further ado, these are the most beautiful small towns in Europe.
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50. Brasov, Romania
Located in the heart of Transylvania, Romania, Brasov is surrounded by beautiful mountains and it’s full of history. However, since tourism in Romania is not very developed, few tourists get to visit this beautiful place.
Take a walk on Republicii Street, admire the beautiful Black Church, or take the cable car to the top of Tampa Mountain for the best views of the city. Brasov will definitely steal your heart!
49. Hallstatt, Austria
If you’re looking for picturesque towns in Europe, you have to visit Hallstatt. It has a population of only 800 people but it receives more than 1 million tourists each year.
This postcard-perfect town is situated on the shore of a beautiful lake surrounded by tall mountains. If you’re visiting Salzburg, I recommend taking a day trip to beautiful Hallstatt.
48. Ivalo, Finland
Have you ever dreamed of visiting Lapland? The first city that comes to mind when thinking about Lapland is Rovaniemi but there are many other winter wonderlands that are worth visiting in Lapland.
47. Haarlem, Netherlands
If you want to avoid the crowds, one of the Europe’s best towns to visit is Haarlem. Located just a short train ride away from Amsterdam, Haarlem is the perfect destination for those who want to relax and enjoy the Netherlands’ culture and history.
Take a boat tour, visit Grote Markt, and admire the beautiful Molen de Adriaan. Don’t hesitate to get lost on the narrow streets. You’ll discover hidden courtyards and pretty canals.
46. Colmar, France
Colmar is located in the Alsace region, at the border between France and Germany and very close to Switzerland. It’s well known for its fairy-tale-like houses and winding canals. Each house in this town is painted in bright colors, complemented by wooden architectural details.
This pretty European town can be visited in only one day. Don’t expect to find a bustling city, with lots of activities. Colmar is rather relaxed. Walk around the city and explore it!
45. Ghent, Belgium
Ghent is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. Its charming old town and beautiful churches are some of the most popular tourist attractions. While you’re here, don’t forget to try the famous Ghent Noses (traditional gummy sweets).
Ghent can be visited as a day trip from either Brussels or Bruges and it’s easily accessible by train. If you only have a few hours in this beautiful city, I recommend taking a boat tour to explore it!
44. Hydra, Greece
Take a day cruise from Athens and you’ll arrive in Hydra, the only inhabited island in Greece with no cars. Eat some delicious ice-cream, shop for souvenirs, and admire the views.
Hydra is small enough to be explored on foot but if you want, you can use donkeys for transport. If you have time, you can try scuba diving. The marine life near Hydra is incredible.
43. Menton, France
When exploring Cote D’Azur, don’t hesitate to stop for at least one day in Menton. With colorful houses, beautiful architecture, and stunning beaches, Menton is one of the most scenic destinations in Europe.
Explore the old town, drink Limoncello, and relax on the beach. One thing is certain – you can’t leave Menton without falling in love with it.
42. Reine, Norway
If you’re looking for charming towns in Europe, make sure to visit Reine in Norway. When it comes to natural scenery, you can find plenty of breathtaking landscapes in Reine.
The fishermen’s red and white huts and the majestic mountains blend, creating an unforgettable view. If you’re visiting Reine during winter, you can even see the Northern Lights!
41. Bled, Slovenia
Famous for the picturesque small island situated in the middle of Bled Lake, Bled is a small corner of paradise and one of the most visited places in Slovenia.
While in Bled, take a walk to the castle, visit Vintgar Gorge, and take a boat tour around the lake. Also, don’t hesitate to try the delicious cream cake called Kremsnita.
40. Bellagio, Italy
Lake Como is a glamorous and romantic destination, perfect for an escape in the middle of nature. Also called the Pearl of Lake Como, Bellagio is a mix of luxurious villas, jawdropping views, and delicious food.
If you’re looking for the most scenic places in Europe, Bellagio is definitely one of them. Plan to spend at least one day here and you’ll fall in love with this place!
39. Zermatt, Switzerland
If you want to see some of Switzerland’s most iconic mountains such as Matterhorn, Weisshorn, or Monte Rosa, stop for a few days in Zermatt. This is one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe and the views here are simply stunning.
Zermatt is the perfect destination for skiing, hiking, and trekking. If you only want to admire the alpine landscapes without getting tired, you can use the cable cars.
38. Casares, Spain
This beautiful hillside village in Spain is located in the western region of Costa del Sol. In its white houses scattered around the hill live about 3 thousand people.
Get lost on the narrow streets, visit the San Sebastian Church, and climb to the top of the hill for some incredible views. Casares is the perfect holiday destinations for those who want to unwind.
37. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
One of the prettiest places in Europe is Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This Medieval town feels like a real-life movie set. Some of the colorful houses here date back from the 900s.
The most iconic tourist attraction in Rothenburg is Plönlein Corner. This beautiful small square has been featured in many famous movies, including Beauty and the Beast (2017). If you want to avoid the crowds, make sure to wake up early in the morning!
36. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
You can’t visit the Czech Republic without stopping in the beautiful South Bohemian town named Cesky Krumlov. If you’re looking for hidden gems in Europe, this is one of them!
With a giant castle overlooking the city, and a winding river making its way through the old town, Cesky Krumlov is a place with many fascinating tourist attractions waiting to be discovered.
35. Split, Croatia
When exploring Croatia, stop for a few days in Split. Get lost in the maze of cobbled streets and you’ll discover beautiful souvenir shops, local restaurants, and pretty boutique hotels.
Split is one of the most visited destinations in Croatia thanks to its beauty. Every corner of this town is postcard-perfect.
34. Giethoorn, Netherlands
Giethoorn is one of the most famous fairytale towns in Europe. It’s also called the “Venice of the North” or the “City with no roads”. The only way to visit this small town is on foot or by boat.
You can visit Giethoorn as a day trip from Amsterdam. While you’re here, visit the Museum de Oude Aarde. Here you’ll find an impressive collection of gemstones and minerals. Also, if you want to see how a traditional Dutch farmhouse looks like, don’t skip the Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus.
33. Alberobello, Italy
Situated in the region of Puglia, this one of Europe’s prettiest towns. Alberobello is well known for the beautiful conical-roofed houses called trulli.
With a population of a little over 10,000, Alberobello is now a popular tourist destination. People from all over the world come here to admire the unique white houses and take memorable photos.
32. Sintra, Portugal
Sintra, the city of castles, palaces, and impressive gardens. Take a day trip from the busy Lisbon and you’ll arrive at this oasis of pure beauty.
Stop at the colorful Pena Palace, visit the famous Quinta de Ragleira, explore Castelo dos Mouros, and stop at the impressive Montserrate Palace. For a stunning sunset, head to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in Europe.
31. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Welcome to one of the most beautiful villages in Europe! Mostar is one of the most visited destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for good reason.
Cross Stari Most Bridge and admire the views. Did you know that some adrenaline seekers jump from this 24-meter tall bridge straight into the river? That’s pretty crazy.
30. Kotor, Montenegro
Situated on a corner of the stunning Bay of Kotor, this Medieval town is one of the most underrated European destinations. Visit the Kotor Cathedral, hike to the fortress and you’ll fall in love with this place.
If you have enough time, take a day trip to the beautiful village of Perast. The Bay of Kotor is full of hidden gems and stunning views!
29. Vernazza, Italy
Home to only 850 people, Vernazza is one of the five towns of Cinque Terre and a huge tourist attraction. Known for its pastel-colored houses and beautiful beach, Vernazza is small enough to be explored in one day.
Eat a delicious pizza, drink a glass of wine, and enjoy this unique town. At sunset, head to the beach and relax for a few moments while enjoying the view.
28. Castle Combe, England
Take a step back in time and visit Castle Combe in England. An interesting fact about this town is that no new houses have been built here since the 1600s.
This beautiful Medieval town is the perfect destination for a day trip. Explore its beautiful alleys and admire the stunning cottages lined up along the streets. Caslte Combe is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
27. Zalipie, Poland
As soon as you’ll step foot in Zalipie, you’ll be stunned by the flower patterns painted all over the houses in this little village. There’s no other place like Zalipie.
Apart from the houses, patterns are painted on barns, furniture, fences, everything! The atmosphere here is incredible and every corner of this village looks like a scene from a fairytale.
26. Sighisoara, Romania
Located in the heart of Transylvania, Sighisoara is one of the most underrated European towns. A fact not many know about this place is that Sighisoara is Europe’s last remaining inhabited medieval citadel.
One of the main attractions is the Clock Tower. Climb to the top for a panoramic view. While you’re in Sighisoara, also stop at Count Dracula’s birthplace.
25. Rovinj, Croatia
Our search for the prettiest towns in Europe continues with beautiful Rovinj. This coastal town is best to be explored on foot.
You’ll pass by colorful houses, beautiful souvenir shops, and art galleries. Don’t worry if you’ll get lost inside the maze of narrow alleys. They will lead you to beautiful hidden courtyards.
24. Olvera, Spain
Once a Moorish Fortress, now a quaint village in Andalusia, Olvera is one of those places forgotten by mass tourism. It’s the perfect destination for those looking for a relaxing holiday.
Olvera can be visited as a day trip from Seville or Malaga. Stop by the beautiful Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Church and the Olvera Castle and find out more about the history of this village.
23. Burano, Italy
The brightly colored houses of Burano attract thousands of tourists every day. Easily accessible as a day trip from Venice, Burano was once a fishing village.
Nowadays, the colorful houses are an Instagram sensation. A dream for every photographer, Burano is a small island of only 500 meters across at its longest point. While you’re here, stop by the Leaning Tower.
22. Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
One of the best small towns in Europe is Veliko Tarnovo. Not many tourists choose Bulgaria as their holiday destination and that’s a shame. Veliko Tarnovo is a charming small town, with beautiful houses scattered on hills.
Wander the streets, visit Trapezitsa Fortress, and if you have enough time take a day trip to the UFO-like monument called Buzludzha.
21. Kufstein, Austria
This list of beautiful villages in Europe isn’t complete without Kufstein. Located between Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Munich, Kufstein is a Medieval town, worth exploring for at least one day.
The streets are filled with traditional restaurants, archways, and boutique stores waiting to be explored. Make sure to visit the beautiful Kufstein Fortress which is home to the world’s largest organ with 4,948 pipes.
20. Bruges, Belgium
Bruges is probably one of the most romantic cities in the world. With countless tall towers overlooking the city, picturesque canals, and fascinating museums, Bruges is the perfect destination for anybody.
One of the most iconic corners of this city is Rozenhoedkaai. Prepare your camera because you’ll want to take lots of photos here.
19. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
Well known for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, this small town is an ideal day trip destination from Prague. If you have the time to spend more days here, don’t hesitate to try the famous hot springs!
There are many things you can do in this charming European town such as tasting Becherovka, visiting the Diana Observation Tower, or visiting the Museum of Glass.
18. Kaysersberg, France
One of the highlights of traveling to Alsace is visiting the small colorful villages and Kaysersberg is one of the secret small towns you have to visit in Europe.
Get lost on the narrow streets, cross beautiful stone bridges, and admire the ruins of Chateau de Kaysersberg. Don’t forget to admire the houses! Most of them date from the 16th and 17th centuries.
17. Lucerne, Switzerland
Located in the Swiss Alps, Lucerne is surrounded by majestic mountains. Mount Pilatus is standing at 2.128 meters above the city and is one of the main tourist attractions in the area.
Apart from the beautiful nature, Lucerne has a charming old town, waiting to be explored. If you’re looking for unique hotels in the area, book a night in a real castle – Chateau Gutsch.
16. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Well, in case you didn’t know already Dubrovnik was one of the filming locations for King’s Landing.
It’s by far one of the most beautiful European old towns, tucked between thick walls. For the best views of Dubrovnik take the cable car to Srd Hill.
15. Oxford, England
When we think about Oxford, the first thing that comes first to mind is Oxford University. However, this English town has a lot more to offer. With world-class museums, great pubs, and stunning architecture, Oxford is the perfect destination for your holiday.
Take a walking tour, go punting, and visit the Oxford Castle. There are tons of activities waiting for you in this fairytale town.
14. Symi, Greece
Orange and yellow Greek houses lined up along the shore, beautiful beaches, and delicious seafood waits for you in Symi, Greece. This picturesque European town is the perfect place to go for a day trip from Rhodes.
Stroll along the harbor, visit the Agios Ioannis Church or stop by the Folk Museum. There are lots of activities you can try on this beautiful Greek Island.
13. Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
Only 200 people live in this small village in Iceland. Many tourists come to Vík to admire the beautiful coastline and get a glimpse of the stunning black sand.
A few sea stacks can be seen near this village. They look like tall soldiers, guarding the city. Vík only has a few homes and a beautiful church on top of a hill but it’s worth visiting for a few hours.
12. Brno, Czech Republic
If you’re looking for unique European towns, you have to stop for at least one day in Brno. With bustling squares and a lot to offer in terms of tourist attractions, Brno is an increasingly popular tourist attraction.
Hike to Špilberk Castle, admire the Moravian Square, and if you’re brave enough, visit the 2nd largest Ossuary in Europe. Brno is a beautiful destination and you should spend at least one day here.
11. Budva, Montenegro
The old town of Budva is a place full of history and culture. Budva’s history starts 2,500 years ago and today, this town is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Montenegro.
Known for its nightlife and beautiful beaches, Budva is one of Europe’s hidden gems. Explore its quaint old town and you’ll fall in love with this place.
10. Hvar, Croatia
Croatia is full of beautiful places and Hvar is one of them. With ancient fortresses, stunning sunsets, and Venetian architecture, Hvar Town is the perfect place to spend a few relaxing days.
Go to Dubovica Beach, visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and head to the fortress for some stunning views of the town and Pakleni Islands. To relax, go to one of the local restaurants and drink a glass of wine while admiring the sunset.
9. Bamberg, Germany
If you’re searching for charming towns in Europe, make sure to add Bamberg to your list. The rich history of this town remained trapped in the beautiful alleys and half-timbered houses.
While you’re here, make sure to stop and try a glass of smoked beer. After that, explore this Medieval town on foot and get your camera ready – every corner of this town is super photogenic.
8. Piran, Slovenia
Welcome to the beautiful coastal town of Piran. With colorful houses, a bustling harbor, and lots of tourist attractions, Piran is one of Europe’s off-the-beaten-path destinations.
For the best views, head to St. George Church or climb the Bell Tower. The sea of orange rooftops and the harbor are just some of the places that you can admire from above.
7. Gjogv, Faroe Islands
With a population of only 48,000 people, the Faroe Islands and its jaw-dropping landscape attracts more and more tourists every year. Gjogv is a tiny village, next to the ocean. It’s the perfect place to get a real taste of the local way of life.
There’s not much happening here. Life is simple but the views are to die for. Add this place to your bucket list and you won’t regret it.
6. Annecy, France
The old town of Annecy is also called the “Venice of the Alps”. Take a stroll on the cobblestone streets, wonder at the beautiful canals, and eat some delicious ice-cream.
The most popular and probably the most photographed place in this small town in France is Palais de l’Isle. Make sure to visit this beautiful corner during the night too when the lights from the surrounding buildings are reflected into the water.
5. Santana, Madeira, Portugal
This small town in Madeira has some of the most beautiful traditional homes. With triangular rooftops made from straws, these houses were used by local farmers.
Nowadays, most of these houses are kept as a tourist attraction and people from all around the world come to see them.
4. Portree, Scotland
One of the best small towns in Europe is beautiful Portree. Located in the Isle of Skye, this bustling port city has a population of only 2,500.
Here you’ll find delicious seafood, awesome pubs, and some pretty stunning views. While you’re here, take a day trip to the impressive rock formation called Old Man of Storr.
3. Telc, Czech Republic
It seems that the smallest cities are always the most beautiful. Located in Southern Moravia, Telc is a scenic town, filled with beautiful houses with Renaissance and Baroque facades.
Head to the town square and admire ornate homes with tall arches. Some of these homes have a mark on them, representing who used to live in them. For example, one of the houses has a pretzel sign on it, signifying that a baker used to live there.
2. Sibiu, Romania
Sibiu is one of the secret destinations in Europe. Even if this city is very popular among locals, not many international tourists come here. In the old town of Sibiu, you can find countless museums, local shops, and traditional restaurants.
While you’re in Sibiu, you have to try sarmale and papanasi, two traditional Romanian dishes. You’ll thank me later.
1. Smogen, Sweden
Our list of small cities in Europe comes to an end. Last but not least we’ll talk about beautiful Smogen in Sweden. Colorful houses guard the harbor while others are located on the cliff above.
This postcard-perfect town is an increasingly popular tourist destination. Put on some comfortable shoes and explore this village on foot!
Our search for the best small towns led us to some of the most beautiful countries in Europe. All these destinations are stunning and I only wish I could visit them all.
How many of these towns and villages have you visited until now? Let me know in the comments section below.
May the travel bug bite you!
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