Europe's Cutest Storybook Villages

By Jessica Russo

Step into your favorite fairytale! Meander through narrow cobblestone streets, pass by colorful cottages, and stop for a spot of tea at a charming cafe.

Just one warning when traveling to these charming towns: you will catch yourself saying, "Oh my gosh, this is sooo cute!" as you turn down every corner. Don't worry; you won't be the only one.

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Bibury, England

Nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds on the banks of River Coln, Bibury is a true English gem. In this picturesque village, you'll find quiet streets of quaint stone cottages, adorned with vining green ivy and colorful flower boxes.

Colmar, France

Are you a fan of Disney's Beauty and the Beast? Well, it just so happens that Disney based Belle's hometown village off of enchanting Colmar! Walking through this real-life fairytale town, you'll feel like you might run into Belle or Gaston at any corner. Hum the spirited songs of the film as you stroll along cobblestone streets through adorable medieval and early Renaissance buildings.

Hallstatt, Austria

This lakeside beauty sits in Austria's majestic Salzkammergut mountain region. Weave through 16th-century Alpine houses and meander through cute alleyways lined with shops and cafes! Hallstatt's stunning natural scenery creates a spectacular contrast with the quiet charm of its main town center.

Cinque Terre, Italy

When it comes to the five fishing villages of Cinque Terre, you can't just pick one. Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Riomaggiore all have one thing in common: they're absolutely adorable.

These candy-colored, old-world villages on the Italian Riviera boast charming outdoor restaurants, stone walkways, tiny hidden shops, olive & lemon groves, and more. Not to mention jaw-dropping views of the teal-blue water! No cars are permitted into the villages, so hike from town to town, take a scenic ferry ride, or hop on the local train and enjoy that gelato.

Rinquewihr, France

Sip your way through Riquewihr, a storybook town on eastern France's Alsace Wine Route. The cobbled streets of this whimsical wonderland are speckled with half-timbered winemakers' shops, authentic restaurants, and cozy tasting rooms. Clink glasses, indulge in some local cheese, and nibble on a fresh baguette!

Annecy, France

Escape to the Vieille Ville (old town) of Annecy! This alpine town in southeastern France rests where sparkling Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River. Known for its winding canals, cobbled streets, amazing architecture, and pastel-colored houses, Annecy is a true spectacle. Relax on the terrace of a riverside cafe, sail on the lake, or visit the historic Chateau d'Annecy!

Kinsale, Ireland

Feel the luck of the Irish in this adorable coastal town! Kinsale is chock full of eye-popping color, unique art galleries, and lively pubs. Unwind with a pint, treat yourself to some fresh seafood, then watch yachts float by in the harbor. Aside from Kinsale, many postcard-worthy villages are strung along the coastline of County Cork. Be sure to stop at Clonakilty, Schull, and Cobh!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Walk through a real-life storybook! This gem of a town is exactly what one pictures when they imagine traditional Germany. Renowned for its well-preserved medieval town center, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a fantasyland of half-timbered early Renaissance homes, castle-like structures, cobbled streets, and authentic restaurants. When in Bavaria, treat yourself to some schnitzel, bratwurst, and of course, beer. Prost!

San Gimignano, Italy

Visiting San Gimignano is like stepping back in time. You'll think: is this the 13th-century or the 21st? This picture-perfect Italian hill town is encircled by walls built in the 1200s and filled with old stone piazzas and medieval towers. Just outside the city walls, find the rolling green landscape of Tuscany - Cyprus trees, vineyards, terra cotta roofs - the whole nine.

Stein-Am-Rhein, Switzerland

Nestled where Lake Constance meets the River Rhine, Stein-Am-Rhein the perfect old town. It's actually located so close to the German border, many locals bike from country to country. This unspoiled fairytale town features half-timbered buildings with antique frescoes painted right on the facades! A colorful world of art and culture, Stein-Am-Rhein is a jewel on the Rhine.

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