Sure, Europe’s cities have eye-popping architecture, world-class art, and innovative food scenes—but the country’s small fairytale villages have a magic all their own. These nine postcard-perfect towns are quick to charm with their storybook streets and winding canals.
This Iron Age hamlet is so picturesque that the Chinese created a copy of it for their own country. Lining a crystal-clear lake, the UNESCO site offers incredibly maintained Alpine architecture that’s straight out of a storybook. There’s lots to explore from its heritage as an industry town, too—including a tour of the oldest salt mine in the world.
Just outside Lisbon, Sintra looks like a fantasy kingdom. The colorful Romantic-era Pena Palace and the ruins of a Moorish fortress top the tallest hill in the national park.