Top 10 Charming Small Towns in Europe You Must Visit

Are you looking for your next vacation destination? Most lists mention Rome, Paris, Barcelona and England, the list goes on. These great cities are worth exploring, with great monuments and attractions, but lack the charm and authenticity of real people or traditional experiences. So, if you want to experience the real Europe, we have ten of the most fascinating destinations that are as magical as they are imbued with the true spirit of their countries.

1. Guimarães - Portugal

Guimarães is now a UNESCO World Heritage City, and much of the city center is 600 years old, down to the exquisite Portuguese-style street tiles. It is often called the "Cradle City" because its first king, Alfonso Henriquez, was born here. The town center and most of the squares have old architecture, with family run shops and establishments. No matter which street you go, here you will have a real European feeling, as if you are in a magical fairy tale.

2. Portree - Isle of Skye, Scotland

In this Scottish town, the capital of an island chain, you'll find entire streets lined with colorful houses. Portree has a beautiful backdrop of hills, a calm harbor and pebbly beaches. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the town, enjoy the ferry ride there and come back refreshed from a weekend there.

3. Zell am See - Austria

The beautiful and peaceful Austrian city is a destination for skiing and snowboarding in winter, while summer offers activities such as swimming and cycling. Whether skiing in winter or summer, the Schmittenhöhe offers great views all year round. Even getting there by local train is an adventure in itself.

4. Cesky Krumlov - Czech Republic

The small town of Cesky Krumlov, just an hour's drive from Prague, is finally getting the recognition it deserves as more and more people visit it as a tourist destination. While winter doesn't see many tourists, the cobbled streets and quaint town filled with little craft shops make for a great experience. You can also plan to go there in summer and enjoy rafting on the Vltava River. It's going to be a great day.

5. Lauterbrunnen - Switzerland

This alpine town is scenic, with rocky slopes, tranquil peaks and expanses of flowery meadows. Architecturally, the houses here are log cabin style, small country churches and less populated, which together create an unforgettable sight. Did you know that Rivendell in The Lord of the Rings was inspired by this magical city? Additionally, the city is home to some of the tallest waterfalls in Europe, which are well worth a visit.

6. Marsaxlokk - Malta

The first fishing village on our list is now a favorite spot for those who enjoy fishing, seafood restaurants and enjoying the water on a boat. Whether you want to enjoy the breeze on a fishing boat or more relaxed endeavors on a modern sailboat, the choice is yours. Historically, the city was dedicated to the god Juno and has a base temple in this quaint village. When you come to the fabulous capital of Malta, you must come here.

7. Gangi – Sicily

Most of the town's houses are traditional in style, brown and gold as if in the sun, but the Baroque churches are worth a visit. When you tire of exploring the golden city, admire the beautiful valley from the hilltop castle. Plus, everything you see is impressive against the backdrop of Mount Etna. Here, a few hundred selfies would actually be appropriate.

Finally, the journey is completed with the Tomb of Ciesa Madre, an underground tomb filled with mummified priests, all lying there forever, lining the walls of the catacombs.

8. Colmar – France

If you are in France, there is no doubt that you should visit at least once. But you should also visit Colmar, as the Alsace city combines French and German architecture. The city's hidden gems are colorful and reminiscent of fairy tales from pictures or movies.

The magic is even stronger if you visit the city during the Christmas period, as the markets are packed with stalls and shops, giving you a real European feel. No frills, no frills, true to the colors and food of the Christmas markets.

9. Bled – Slovenia

The city is small and may not have all the sights and reviews you see online. Surrounded by stunning sights, the city is one of the most scenic in Europe. You can see or visit different churches on the small island with crystal clear blue water that most people only see in wallpapers or documentaries. There's a well-preserved 12th-century castle on top of the hill, and from there you can see more than just the water.

Everything is surrounded by the Julian Alps, which can be enjoyed even more when you have tea or coffee in the café or a candlelit dinner in the evening. Finally, end the journey by rowing a rowboat and feel the real European style.

10. Smogen – Sweden

In the north there are Nordic lights, metropolises such as Stockholm and Malmö, or the vast and peaceful grasslands. But when you tire of it, the myriad of small towns lend a whole different charm to these giants. Smogen is a small town worth visiting on the west coast of Sweden.

The village is very charming because of the colorful houses in the port, the cliffs and mountains and many panoramas that are simply heavenly. Spend a weekend in the city, rejuvenate all your senses, and return to your itinerary.

Experience the little things in life

Traveling is an adventure in itself, and it is not enough just to visit famous and important cities and tourist attractions. The real adventure begins when you discover new gems and experiences that truly relate to the culture of a country or city. We hope this list satisfies your thirst for adventure.