Incredible Fairytale locations in Europe

Incredible Fairytale destinations in Europe that you must visit

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Thanks to a rich and varied historical timeline, Europe is blessed with an abundance of fairytale destinations that simply exude magical charm.

With pretty towns, magnificent castles and picturesque woodlands, there is something for all the story lovers out there.

Incredible Fairytale destinations in Europe

There are plenty of cobbled villages, walled towns and historic cities in Europe that are overflowing with old-world charm and storybook magic.

Check out my guide to magical, fairytale destinations in Europe that you need to add to your bucket list.

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fairytale locations Europe

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Iconic Neuschwanstein Castle is a 9th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in southwest Bavaria.

Surely fairytale castle in Germany is the ultimate go-to castle for Disney lovers and history fans the world over?

Built in 1869, this truly breathtaking Bavarian castle is snugly nestled at the foot of the alps.

This picturesque castle is also said to be the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella castle in Disney World. It’s certainly at its most picturesque with a dusting of snow.

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Colmar, France

Colmar is an incredibly kooky town in northeastern France, on the border with Germany.

With its classic medieval streets, half-timbered Renaissance buildings and cute cobbled roads, it looks like Belle’s village from Disney’s ‘Beauty and the beast’. 

There is also a gorgeous Gothic 13th-century,  Eglise Saint-Martin church stands on central Place de la Cathédrale.

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

With its wide range of historic buildings, pretty cobblestone streets and impossibly blue river, the town of Mostar looks like it has been lifted straight from the imagination of brothers Grimm.

The architectural centrepiece here has to be the Stari Most bridge.  This beautiful stone arch bridge crosses the river Neretva and connects the two parts of the city.

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway is a stretch of coastline in Northern Ireland that has perfectly formed hexagonal columns next to a frothing and wild sea, making for some pretty mythical and fairytale-like scenery.

These columns were formed by volcanic activity, or, if you listen to local legends, they were built by an Irish giant, Finn MacCool.

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Lake Bled, Slovenia

This gorgeous lake in Slovenia is about as picture-perfect as a lake can be.

This beautiful lake has the added dramatic peaks of Julian Alps as a stunning mountain backdrop, pretty alpine-like trees and a medieval castle overlooking it. It really does look like a scene from a Disney movie!

The lake is also home to a quaint little island that houses a 170-ft high church that you can visit.

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Mantova Italy

Mantova in Italy is small, UNESCO–listed city was founded in 2000 BC and has a long historical timeline. it has a superb selection of fairytale buildings and castles

Mantova is a wildly underrated Italian destination and definitely needs to be on your Lombardia itinerary.

The Ducal Palace is probably the most storybook place in Mantova. It was the Gonzagas’ royal residence and is a grand collection of buildings built between the 14th and 17th centuries.

Take a guided tour of the Ducal Palace and learn more about its history and splendid fresco-painted rooms.

Keukenhof, The Netherlands

Keukenhof is a gorgeous 19th-century park near The Hague that showcases a vast array of multicoloured Dutch spring flowers.

It’s one of the most popular places to vsiit in the Netherland and visitors flock to see flowers in one of the world’s largest flower gardens.

Keukenhof is a fantastic place to photograph Dutch tulips, over 7 million flower bulbs are planted every year.

Dreamy gardens and pavilions show visitors a beautiful collection of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and other flowers.

Castell Coch, Wales

Take a trip to Wales and marvel at over 600 castles ranging from ruins or as restored buildings.

One of the prettiest is the romantic and fairytale-like Castell Coch. This charming castle is definitely one of the must-visit castles in Wales.

It’s an iconic 19th-century, Gothic Revival castle created from a rather vivid Victorian imagination.

This pretty castle is definitely one of the most Instagrammable places in Wales and is built above the small village of Tongwynlais.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Tallinn is a vibrant mix of old and new. This historic town has contemporary hotels and shopping centres next to the impressively preserved, cobblestoned medieval Old Town.

A great time to visit this historic city is in the winter. The air is bitingly cold at this time of the year but the sky can be a gorgeous, clear blue in the winter months.

Tallinn’s Old Town has the accolade of being the best-preserved Hanseatic town centres in the world and looks like it has been lifted straight from a children’s bedtime book.

Fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter

Lapland, Finland

Finnish Lapland is a fairytale come true with sweeping arctic wilderness, dreamy snowscapes, colourful northern lights, midnight sun and herds of reindeer. Especially if you are looking at spending Christmas in Europe?

There’s an almost magical quality about Lapland, helped by the fact that it’s the home of Santa, reindeer and the Northern lights.

Set your inner child free with a trip to Lapland and explore this beautiful fairytale destination in northern Europe.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is best known for its historic old town that is surrounded by giant stone walls. These imposing and beautiful walls are up to 25m high in places.

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The town has a range of well-preserved buildings, including palaces, baroque churches and plazas.

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The City is definitely best viewed from a height, by walking the circuit around the city walls.

Dubrovnik is also a lot less crowded during the winter months if you wish to escape the crowds.

Fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter

Burano, Italy

The Venetian Island of Burano feels like a world away from the bustling crowds of St Mark’s Square in Venice.

There are rows of colourful houses here that look like they were lifted straight from a children’s storybook.

There are locals running small restaurants, local fishing boats coming in and residents looking out from their windows at the wandering tourists.

The colourful houses of Burano are also so beautiful and so photogenic that you definitely have to take a day trip from Venice to experience it.


Whilst towns across the UK race to become the next ‘hipster hotspot’, Stratford-upon-Avon strives to preserve its character and its cultural ties to Shakespeare.

This pretty market town in the West Midlands England is the 16th-century birthplace of one of the most famous writers of all time, William Shakespeare.

The former home of Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway is also located in Stratford-upon-Avon. This is an adorable, fifteenth-century thatched cottage, that is a total storybook location in England.

The Cottage now functions as a museum to its former residents. As you explore inside, knowledgeable staff will regale you with dramatic stories of the family tree.

Le Mont-Saint-Michel, France

Le Mont-Saint-Michel is a tidal island and mainland commune in Normandy, France.

This storybook island is super popular and is one of the most visited places in France.

While it is possible to make a day trip to the Mont Saint-Michel from Paris, it’s a long journey from the French capital.

Instead, plan to spend at least one night in the area to make the most out of this picturesque area.  

Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj is the colourful, crown jewel of the Istria region in Croatia. It’s one of the most photogenic places in the Istria peninsula with colourful houses and rustic charm.

The old town is full of cobbled streets, candlelit bars perched upon cliff tops and romantic restaurants.

It’s the perfect place for fairytale lovers as the whole town has a storybook vibe and is a fantastic place for a city break in Europe.

The Dark Hedges Ireland

No Game of Thrones tour locations tour in Ireland is complete without a visit to the iconic Dark Hedges.

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This road features a haunting and beautiful row of beech trees and is the filming location of King’s Road in the popular fantasy series.

This haunting tree-lined road was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century and well known as a tourist attraction even before Thrones.

The Black Forest, Germany

The dense Black Forest {Schwarzwald} in Germany is a forested mountain range in the state of Baden-Württemberg in the south-west of Germany.

The area is best known for cuckoo clocks, black forest cake, picturesque villages and for being the setting of the Brothers Grimm Fairytales.

This fairytale area is a tourism hotspot and has a range of hiking and outdoor activities, as well as several pretty villages including Calw.

De Haar Castle, the Netherlands

One of the best fairy tale locations in the Netherlands is the romantic De Haar Castle near Utrecht.

De Haar Castle is the biggest and most luxurious castle in The Netherlands and is one of the top European historic houses

This storybook castle has been in existence since the 14th century. However, it got its present ‘turrets-and-towers look’, in the 19th century, at the hands of famous Rijksmuseum architect Pierre Cuypers.

Bela Krajina, Slovenia

Take a hike to the source of the Reka Krupa‘ [River Krupa] in the Bela Krajina region of Slovenia to see the most unreal scenery.

The source lake is located beneath a picturesque 30-meter rock cliff and is one of the most beautiful Slovenian Karst springs around.

Take a stroll around the dreamy scenery and bring a picnic if you can? The water is incredibly blue here and looks like something straight out of a storybook, I’ve not seen water quite like it before?

Go for a picturesque hike around the river canyon, there are plenty of photo opportunities as you walk around this ethereal area.

Storybook locations in Europe

As you can see from my list, there are so many fairytale locations in Europe to choose from.

Whether you love forests, castles, cutesy towns or dreamy islands, Europe has so much to offer visitors looking for picturesque locations.

What do you think of my guide to Fairytale destinations in Europe? Have you visited any? Let me know in the comments below.

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