11 Picture Perfect European Towns You Haven’t Heard Of 23



What do you envision when you think of Europe? Chances are, you have visions of quaint, colorful little villages with cafes, flowers decorating windowsills and cobble-stoned streets.
There are no shortages of picturesque towns in Europe, but many people jump straight to the big ticket cities like Rome and Paris. While these locations surely have their pros and you can, no doubt, find some great photo ops, many people gloss over some of the towns that not only have countless picture-perfect spots, but also can be a village that has the atmosphere and culture you have always dreamed of feeling in Europe.

Next time you are wanting that picture perfect European experience, consider these towns to fulfill not only your SD camera cards but also your European dreams.

(Disclaimer:  All photos have been taken by the Economical Excursionists.  Besides “Pinning” these photos, each image is copyrighted and may only be reproduced with permission.)

 

Gozo and Malta

Gozo has the perfect Mediterranean blend; combining flares of Greece, Italy, Turkey and other neighboring countries in their foods, buildings and daily life. Between the beautiful old churches and adorable fishing boats, this island is ideal to wander around on (after all, it’s hard to get too lost on only 67 km²!).
Almost nobody goes to Gozo without going to it’s neighboring island, Malta (in fact, this is where you will fly into first). Malta has more of a city feel, but has just the same amount of cultural influences as Gozo and is steeped in amazing and rich history.
Gozo

Gozo

Malta

Malta

Trier, Germany

Trier is surrounded by vineyards and nestled alongside the Mosel river.  Arguably, the oldest city in Germany, it’s history does not disappoint as you view old, Roman Ruins alongside picturesque German Squares. But being so close to France, you will surely get a dose of French influences in the foods and way of life with the locals.

Trier, Germany

Santorini, Greece

Santorini clings to the cliffs of an ancient volcano as it peers out over the Aegan Sea.  Just about every stereotypical picture you see of Greece is, most likely, Santorini. With its white washed buildings snuggled up into the cliff-side with the colorful blue accents of doors and roofs, it is no wonder why this island is postcard worthy. Yet again, a location that you can easily just stop by at (and many people do when on a cruise), but you can also slow down and enjoy all the winding alleys, boutique shops, beaches and stunning views with much more time.

Santorini, Greece

Gimmelwald, Switzerland/ Lauterbrunnen Valley

There is an old saying of, “If heaven is not all it is cracked up to be, take me to Gimmelwald” and it is true!  The refreshing sting of unpolluted mountain air in your lungs, cowbells ringing in the distance and sheer faces of towering mountains streaked with hundreds of waterfalls set below a piercing blue sky makes you want to stay in this area of the Swiss Alps forever.

Gimmelwald, Switzerland
Even if you just stay in the Lauterbrunnen Valley (below Gimmelwald) you won’t be lacking stunning sights!

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Murano, Italy

Murano and it’s popular sister island, Burano are perfect getaways from the overcrowded Venice.  This island is the ideal spot for lace purchases or simply just a glass of local wine as you watch the locals and tourists alike go about their days.  Stay into the evening after all the tourists have headed back to Venice and you are left with peaceful, quiet canals perfect for romantic walks.

Murano, Italy

Plitvice, Croatia

Croatia is often overlooked when planning European trips, which is simply a shame! Pltivice National Park’s connecting lake systems, flora and fauna are a geographical phenomenon! With crystal clear lakes, wildlife and overflowing waterfalls it is not hard to find the perfect picture.

Plitvice National Park, Croatia

Cinque Terra

The five towns dotted alongside the Italian coast look as if a painter just couldn’t decide what color he loved best.  Splashed against the blue ocean below, any of the five Cinque Terra towns is a sight to breathe in.

Cinque Terra, Italy

Photo Courtesy of Thomas Platts

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Cesky Krumlov is slowly breaking out into mainstream tourism, and rightfully so!  Despite being small, you could easily spend days wandering the same cobble-stoned streets, never tiring of the antiquated atmosphere. Cesky Krumlov is considered one of the best preserved medieval towns that Europe has to offer and it is easy to capture in photos all over town.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg is the much more popular, much more touristy sister city of Cesky Krumlov.  Still a picture perfect  Medieval town, you’ll find plenty of great photo-ops and some of the most traditional German buildings out there, just be ready for other tourists trying to find that same, perfect shot.

Rothenburg, Germany

Salzburg, Austria

Set at the foothills of the Austrian Alps, Salzburg is not only geographically beautiful, but also has gorgeous Baroque and modern buildings alike to make for beautiful architecture as well.  The looming fortress surveying the town below is a stunning site, but the winding and narrow streets lined with breweries, churches, high end stores as well as boutiques are the real charmers of Salzburg,
Salzburg, Austria

Brugge, Belgium

Brugge is yet another small town that you can easily breeze through within a day, but why would you want to with all those French fries, waffles and chocolates?  Brugge has its own unique, atmospheric feeling that is a mix somewhere between German and French with a hint of Luxenbourg and a dash of Scandanavia all melded together to create it’s own perfect (and delicious!) culture!
Brugge, Belgium

There are no shortages of picture perfect locations throughout Europe.  What are some of your favorite spots to snap a photo?

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LeAnna

Author and Creator at Economical Excursionists
Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!

About LeAnna

Former teacher turned blogger turned mom turned full time travel addict, LeAnna has never been one to live life by the rules. Whether she is moving to a farm in Switzerland to learn to make cheese (Yes, CHEESE), jumping off a mountain to paraglide over Cinderella castles, or taking her baby all over the world with nothing but a backpack on their backs, LeAnna designs and defines her OWN life. LeAnna, her husband Andy, and kiddo, "Lil B" love to live a minimal lifestyle, not only for the "thrill" of pinching pennies but in order to save for traveling the world. Considering over 40 countries and 90+ cities have been explored, we'd say they are doing something right!


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23 thoughts on “11 Picture Perfect European Towns You Haven’t Heard Of

  • Rebekah Esme

    Some fantastic places to be visited in Europe! I must admit I’ve been very Asian these last few years so I’m very excited to take a road trip around Europe next year! We drive to Italy for a wedding from the UK so will make it up as we go along! I’ll definitely be adding some of these places to my list!

    • LeAnna Post author

      Us living in Europe makes it easy to see all the beautiful places. Although, there is some AMAZING photo-ops in Asia! We just got done with a 2 month back packing trip through several Asia countries, and like most travel…my list of places only got longer after the trip, not shorter!!! Enjoy your roadtrip through Europe and feel free to use EE as a resource for any of your Europe trip planning!

  • Andrea Leblang

    Fabulous list! When I first read the title I was thinking “I bet I’ve heard of all of these places”… I was wrong! You’ve really surprised me and inspired me to circle back through Europe. I’d like to visit Cesky Krumlov and Gozo!

    • LeAnna Post author

      Thanks, Andrea! For people that live in Europe, yes, many of these are known, but for those who want to come for the first (or even second or even third!)time, many of these places are overlooked! Glad you found a few more places for a future trip!

  • Mel Jones

    Favourite snap has to be Cinque Terra. The cute little houses look like they’re about to slide into the sea :O great picture! This is a fantastic list of pretty much everywhere I want to go in Europe! Santorini is on the list for next year but I’d love to check out the other destinations over the next couple of years :)

  • Helena

    Gozo seems like such a beautiful place. Love that first picture! I’m visiting Czech Republic soon, but don’t think I will have enough time to visit Cesky Krumlov. Which is a shame because I’ve heard so many good things about it. And Plitvice in Croatia is a place I hope to visit next year. Aaah, you made me start dreaming of all the places I wanna see :)

    • LeAnna Post author

      I’m so glad I could offer some inspiration! I find instead of crossing off places I’ve been, my list only gets longer as I see more and more places I never knew about! If you can squeeze Cesky Krumlov in, you won’t be disapointed, it’s my favorite town in all of CZ (and we’ve been all over there).

    • LeAnna Post author

      I loved Murano! We were there after all the tourists left and it was PERFECT! Would love to hear where your future travels take you

    • LeAnna Post author

      I absolutely love European charm! Yes, for us world-wide travelers, many of these towns are no longer “off the beaten track” but most people who don’t travel still don’t know about them

  • Toccara

    I’ve actually heard of and been to almost all of these towns! I have good travel taste! :) I’m actually visiting Plitvice for the first time in 4 days and Rothenburg next month! And the rest… I’ll put them on my list, because if I’ve been to most of the others, I’ll probably like the rest of the towns on your list! :) Thanks for sharing!