Want to get away from the obvious on your next trip? Then, take a tour of Europe's most charming medieval towns and discover scenes that seem straight out of fairy tales.
Want to get away from the obvious of the most sought after trips? How about knowing the Most Charming Medieval Towns in Europe? With beautiful scenery – which seem to have come out of fairy tales -, the medieval villages are spread across several countries on the Old Continent and, in addition to historic buildings, are full of tourist attractions.
And make no mistake, visit the medieval cities in Europe It is not a program only for those who enjoy history and culture. They are stunning places, surrounded by nature, with incredible views and many tour options to make anyone's trip more than special.
So if what you are looking for is an unforgettable experience, plan a tour of the most charming medieval cities in Europe. You can even get to know several of them in a single trip, due to the proximity of some regions and the ease of locomotion. Want to know more? So, check out our tips, below, and start putting together your script.
Discover the most charming medieval towns in Europe
With a historic center listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco and with the title of European Capital of Culture, Bruges It is a city where you have the impression of stepping back in time. THE gothic architecture, characteristic of the medieval era, is present in most of the buildings that enchant all who visit. In addition, the city is crossed by several canals and, therefore, is known as Venice of the North.
Situated in the south of France, Carcassonne is the best preserved medieval city in Europe and the largest walled community on the continent. Beyond the walls, Carcassonne is surrounded by legends and tales that make it a combination of medieval history and fairy tales. It is close to the border with Spain and is an excellent choice for those who want to discover surreal scenarios, made up of castles and beautiful canals surrounded by greenery.
Prague (Czech Republic)
Capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is among the most charming medieval cities in Europe. There is no one who is not enchanted by its Gothic towers and beautiful monuments. With over a thousand years of history, Prague is one of the most visited European destinations, receiving around 7 million tourists a year. Pulsating, poetic and alive, the city is an excellent option for those who enjoy culture and history.
Located on top of a hill, Gruyeres is a medieval village in Switzerland, famous for its chocolates and cheeses. So charming and preserved, it was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the country. And it's not hard to understand why. Medieval buildings are well preserved, the streets are clean – and they also don't allow the circulation of cars -, there is a lot of green and great places to sit and enjoy the view.
Mont Saint Michel (France)
Mont Saint-Michel is a french medieval village located 350 km from Paris, France. At first glance, the place looks like an immense castle, but it is, in fact, a village of houses, with a monastery and a beautiful Abbey, surrounded by walls and by a natural phenomenon that enchants everyone who visits it: the highest tides of the Europe. During high tide, which occurs for only 50 days a year, the sea waters invade the 500 km² around Mont Saint-Michel and leave the village completely isolated.
Siena is a beautiful city in the region of tuscany, in Italy, which preserves a very well preserved medieval historic center. Surrounded by vineyards, the place has a romantic air and is a perfect destination for those who like to walk. Its main tourist attractions are located within the walled city, including the historic center, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Colmar is a typical French medieval village, but with a strong German influence. Located in the north of France, close to the borders of Germany and Switzerland, it is part of the famous Wine Route. Its buildings are a mix of the medieval era with German culture. In addition, the city is cut by several canals reminiscent of Venice, Italy. For all these reasons, Colmar is one of those places to discover without haste, with great attention to every detail.
San Gimignano (Italy)
Also located in the Tuscany region of Italy, San Gimignano sits high on a hill and offers a beautiful view of the Elsa Valley. The buildings from the medieval period were restored from the 19th century and offer an impressive look to tourists who visit. One of the main medieval works is the Duomo, a 12th century Romanesque church that houses a large collection of works of art.
Located in southern Croatia, Dubrovnik is a city bathed by the beautiful Adratic Sea. Surrounded by huge stone walls, it is one of the best preserved medieval villages in Europe. It is a place for those who enjoy history, beautiful landscapes and a lot of culture. Once an important commercial and economic center, today Dubrovnik is a tourist destination famous for its cultural heritage and natural beauty.
Tallinn, as well as Estonia's capital on the Baltic Sea, is the country's cultural center and one of the most charming medieval cities in Europe. It conserves Gothic buildings, such as the building that houses the city hall, and the walls that surround the old city. So much so that it is considered a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Tallinn is a mix of the ancient and the modern, with beautiful modern buildings and street art set against grandiose palaces and stunning castles.
Venice, Italy, is known worldwide for its many canals and many bridges. Built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, the roadless city was formed in the Middle Ages and preserves imposing medieval buildings. An example is the Basilica San Marco, built between 1060 and 1094. Much sought after by couples in love, Venice is one of the main tourist destinations in Italy and also called “The City of Love”.
Cobbled streets, stone houses and towers, claustrophobic basements and, to top it all off, the hometown of Vlad Dracul, the Romanian prince who inspired the story of Dracula. This is Sighișoara, one of the most charming medieval towns in Europe. Situated in Romania, it is one of the three main municipalities in Transylvania, alongside Brasov and Sibiu. The medieval center of Sighișoara has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, has typical Victorian architecture and does not look remotely like a large metropolis. Divided between Old Town (Old Town) and New Town (New Town), Edinburgh it is small and can be visited in just one day, even on foot. Among its main attractions are Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Do you want to know a fairytale city? Go to Hallstatt, Austria. With less than 1000 inhabitants, the village is between beautiful mountains and a lake, and is full of rustic houses. A stunning setting that enchants everyone who visits it. The city is home to the oldest salt mine in the world and has prehistoric records of human activity there.
Close to Wales, Chester is an English city founded by the Romans in 70 BC Full of medieval half-timbered buildings, it is full of traces of its colonization, such as the amphitheater, walls and gardens. Among its main tourist attractions are the Chester Rows - Tudor and half-timbered buildings -, Eastgate and Eastgate Clock, Chester Cathedral and the Roman Amphitheater.
Founded by the Romans in 71 AD, the city of York is in northeastern England and is surrounded by a wall. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it was inhabited by the Anglo-Saxons and, therefore, in addition to its Roman heritage, it also has Viking remains. The most impressive buildings are York Minster, a beautiful cathedral, and the Undercroft Museum.
Èze is a medieval village located in the south of France, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, between the cities of Nice and Monaco. With well-preserved medieval buildings, the city extends over cliffs, with a privileged view of the sea. At the highest point, at 420 meters high, is the area known as Èze Village which, in addition to hotels, restaurants and shops, is home to ruins of a medieval castle, the town church and the Jardin Exotique d'Èze.
The historic center of Nuremberg, Germany, retains a castle and walls from the medieval era that make it extremely charming. A great destination for those who enjoy history and culture, Nuremberg is in the heart of Franconia, close to Munich. The entire city center was built in the medieval half-timbered style, a stunning setting to discover.
Rhodes is the largest of Greece's Dodecanese islands and, in addition to beautiful resorts and stunning beaches, is famous for its ancient ruins and medieval-era buildings. It is worth mentioning Rua dos Cavaleiros, surrounded by buildings from the Middle Ages, and the Palace of the Grand Masters, in castle style.
Known for its medieval wall with 80 semicircular towers, Ávila is a city in Spain located in a mountain region northwest of Madrid. Other traces of the medieval era can be seen in the Parish of the Apostle Saint Peter, in the Cathedral of Ávila and in the Convent of Santa Teresa.
Located in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, Granada is one of the most charming medieval cities in Europe. The imposing buildings date back to the Moorish occupation. The most famous is the Alhambra in Granada, a fortress left by the Arabs and which has become a World Heritage Site. Postcard of the city, Alhambra has several gardens, palaces and is very well preserved.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (Germany)
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a German city that retains its medieval wall intact. With cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses and imposing buildings, the city seems to have stepped out of a fairy tale. So much so that it inspired Disney to create the animated village of Pinocchio (1940) and served as a filming location for the films Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011).
Situated on the banks of the River Main, Miltenberg is a beautiful city in the German countryside, surrounded by forests and beautiful scenery. Built by the Roman Empire, it has traces of the medieval period that make it even more charming. Miltenberg's historic center has imposing buildings, such as its Gothic church, and cobbled streets.
Ulm is an independent city in Germany, located on the banks of the Danube River. Built in the Middle Ages, the city retains a beautiful Gothic-style church, Ulm Cathedral, and some stretches of the wall. In addition, it has great options for tours for those who enjoy history and culture.
Another destination in Germany that is among the most charming medieval cities in Europe is Cochem, on the banks of the Moselle River. With imposing buildings from the Middle Ages, Cochem was born around the majestic Reichsburg Castle, which seems to have come out of a fairy tale. The city is also surrounded by vineyards and has beautiful landscapes.
A castle of Roman origin, a 14th century wall, colorful houses filled with flowers in the window form the beautiful city of Óbidos, in Portugal. The old medieval village is today a charming city that enchants everyone who visits it. About 80 kilometers away from Lisbon, it is an excellent option for a day trip or a trip for a few days.
Among the most charming medieval towns in Europe, Torun stands out for preserving thousands of Gothic buildings from the Middle Ages. Most of them have red brick facades and are scattered throughout the city, located 200 km from the capital of Poland, Warsaw.
Situated close to the border with Austria and Hungary, the bratislava is a city in Slovakia that has beautiful medieval buildings. Its main attraction is the Bratislava Castle, large and imposing. Its historic center is small and most attractions can be visited on foot.
Located in Catalonia, Pals is a Spanish city with a strong medieval heritage, with defense towers, high bridges, churches and squares that make you feel like you're traveling back in time. Also known as the Stone Town, it has alleys that skirt the imposing medieval buildings and reveal stunning scenery.
Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Known as the cultural capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar is a city reminiscent of fables and fairy tales. Cut by a river with turquoise waters, surrounded by a lot of vegetation and with buildings covered by stones, Mostar is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible medieval cities in Europe. The Old Town (old town) concentrates most of the buildings from the Middle Ages and also the bars and restaurants.
If you want to get off the beaten path and the most popular destinations, taking a tour of the most charming medieval cities in Europe is certainly a great travel option. In addition to discovering amazing places, you'll have the feeling of stepping back in time, visiting the historic and breathtaking scenarios of the Old Continent.
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