10 Breathtaking European Towns You Can’t Afford to Miss


We Europeans are often far too hasty in packing our bags and flying to the other side of the world in search of beautiful places. The next time you go to book a flight to some far-flung destination, think twice.

Have you given Europe the chance it deserves?

We’ve pulled together this post with the aim of inspiring those who live in Europe, to go off in search of the gems it has to offer, urge those who live further afield to make the trip and remind ourselves to explore more of our fantastic Continent.

Here are our top 10 breathtaking European towns that you really should make sure you visit.


1. Reine, Norway

Have you ever considered running off to Norway, moving in with a fisherman and spending your evenings sat on the dock watching the Northern Lights dance in the sky? You may do after seeing the stunning fishing village of Reine in Norway. With a population of just over 300 people, Reine is a European gem. (I bagsy the red house on the water.)

Reine, Norway(Source)


2. Manarola, Italy

Have you ever seen somewhere so breathtaking? And if the beauty of this Northern Italian town isn’t enough to make you want to pack your bags and leave immediately then maybe this will: Manarola is known for it’s wine-making. Oh yes my friend… picture it now, afternoon hiking in the hills surrounding the town followed by a leisurely dinner with copious amounts of local vino. Have you left yet?? Yes? Good.

Manarola, Italy



3. Colmar, France

I appear to be sticking with the wine theme here (not sure what that says about me)… but Colmar is frequently referred to as the ‘Capital of Alsatian Wine’. Just imagine getting lost down the colourful medieval streets of the Old Town before stopping for a refreshing [large] glass of wine. And if that isn’t enough to whet your European appetite, it also has it’s own sunny microclimate. Sold.

Colmar, France



4. Mykonos, Greece

I fell head over heals for Mykonos. When we visited last year we really didn’t know what to expect. After being warned that it was all gay bars and cruise ships, I was worried we’d made a booking error. We hadn’t. We rocked up in mid-May and it was peaceful, romantic and charming. Visit in May or September and you’ll be treated to this very special side to Mykonos. Get yourself lost down the white washed streets, feast on Greek mezze and treat yourself to a bit of cocktail fuelled cabaret in the evening. Trust me on that – you won’t regret it.

Mykonos, Greece



5. Gruyères, Switzerland

The charm of this Swiss town will knock your socks off. Gruyères can be found nestled at the foot of the pre-alps and, as its name suggests, it is the home of Gruyère CHEESE (one of the most delicious of all the cheeses). Somehow this beautiful place seems to be unaltered by the passing of time. So rewind the clock, head to Switzerland and have yourself a cheesy weekend.

Gruyères, Switzerland



6. Dinant, Belgium

Dinant is so often overlooked. We hear all time about the beauty of Bruges and Ghent, but what about this colourful gem on the River Meuse? Just over an hour from Brussels it’s more than worth the trip… I mean look at it for goodness sake! FUN FACT: Adolphe Sax, the creator of the Saxophone grew up here. Do you feel enlightened?

Dinant, Belgium(Source)


7. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

How could you see that bridge and not want to visit Mostar? Stari Mostar (the bridge) is the most famous architectural landmark in this European town. Arching over the Neretva River, the bridge connects one side of this stunning city with the other… the dare-devil locals have even made a tradition of diving off the 65ft bridge, and they’re bloody good at it! (I’d steer clear of that one if I were you!)

Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina



8. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. When I visited the capital of Slovenia (a terrifying number of years ago now… MAN i’m old) I remember being completely taken aback by the friendliness of the people. Everywhere you go you are greeted by smiling faces. I fell for Ljubljana within minutes. It’s oozing culture, history and happiness – make sure you visit Ljubljana at least once in your life.

Ljubljana, Slovenia



9. Pučišća, Croatia

If you’re looking for charm, then look no further. Just LOOK at this village. I mean – does it get much better? Pučišća is a maze of white stone houses and Baroque buildings, there’s no more idyllic place to get lost. With nearby beaches, breathtaking views all around and countless restaurants serving traditional Dalmatian cuisine… there’s nothing more to say. Just savour it.

Pucisca, Croatia



10. Castle Combe, England

I had to get our little old England in here somewhere. I know I’m always desperate to leave on my next trip, but I have to pay it the respect it deserves. England does boast some truly stunning villages, arguably none more so than Castle Combe in Wiltshire. Quaint, peaceful and quintessentially English. FUN FACT: Doctor Dolittle was filmed here in 1967. If that’s not a claim to fame then I don’t know what is.

Caste Combe, Wiltshire


Did this post get your travel buds tingling? If so, do us a wee favour and pin it? You’ll get 10 awesome points.

10 Breathtaking European Towns you cant Afford to Miss_pinterest

So there you have it… 10 lesser known breathtaking European towns that deserve a visit. Which villages, towns or cities have melted your heart?


  • http://travellousworld.com Maaike – travellousworld.com

    Great roundup! Gruyère, Manarola, Castle Combe, Dinant and Colmar I’ve already been. The other places are still on the Big and Dangerous Bucket List. And I see what you did there with the Pinterest thing 😉

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Wow Maaike you’re doing seriously well there! We haven’t made it to Gruyère or Manarola yet – but we will! Pleased to hear we’ve successfully added to your Bucketlist :). Ah you spotted the Pinterest thing then! I’m trying I’m trying! 😉


  • Bethaney

    These are all stunning little towns! Mostar is the only one I’ve been to personally but I can vouch for it’s beauty 100%.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thanks Bethaney! Oh we haven’t made it to Mostar yet but SO desperate to go. Good to hear you agree that it’s beautiful and worth the trip. You didn’t jump off the bridge did you? 😉

  • Chris Nash

    Some beautiful looking towns! Have you been to them all personally?

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      I wish we could say yes Chris! But unfortunately not… We’ve done Mykonos, Ljubljana, Dinant and Castle Combe. This list came about through our travel planning and includes places we want to make sure we see as soon as we can as well as places we’d love to return to. Just thought it could be inspiring for others also 🙂


  • Gemma

    I’m always ashamed at how little I’ve seen of the continent normally on my door step! We met a chica in Cuba who has family in Norway and she raves about it, it is expensive though. We are doing a Euro leg of the 18 month career break as of next March so will need to take note of these treasures.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      I think so many of us are guilty of this Gemma. I so often find myself dreaming of far off places… I created this list as a reminder that some of the most beautiful places in the world are (in travel terms) a stones throw away. 🙂 Ah yes I’ve heard Norway is expensive but at least they make up for it with their beauty! 18 month career break sounds amazing – maybe we’ll meet you guys on the road some day… we could enjoy some wine and cheese :).

  • http://valisemag.com Valerie

    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    (LOVE this x10… can I go to Europe now please?!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Yay – pleased you liked it Valerie! Absolutely, come to Europe!! You’ve always got somewhere to crash in England :).


  • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

    Isn’t it beautiful! I wasn’t expecting much before I arrived in all honesty, but I was blown away. It’s such a great place with such lovely people. Ah yes, let us know how you get on 🙂 – thanks so much for stopping by!


  • Jet Set Brunette

    Wow, this definitely has put Europe back towards the top of my list! So many gorgeous places to explore!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      SO pleased to hear it! There are so many beautiful places to be found… this is just a small handful 🙂 – thanks so much for the comment!


  • http://www.akeanesenseofadventure.com/ Christine | A Keane Sense

    Great list! I want to visit them ALL 🙂 My husband is pulling for Norway for our next trip… while I’m trying to convince him of Croatia. I say let’s do both? 🙂

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thanks Christine! Isn’t Europe a beautiful place!? I’d say doing both Norway and Croatia is more than acceptable. Why not add in Slovenia for good measure ;). Thanks so much for popping by!


  • Tamara Wilcox

    Beautiful towns! I’d never heard of or seen pictures of Dinant, Belgium. That one really got my interest! And Colmar has been on my bucket list forever! Hoping to see that one next spring when I’m in France…

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Tamara thanks for your message! Pleased you like the photos and that Dinant has struck a cord with you… isn’t it just stunning?! And Colmar as well… hope you make it there next Spring. You’ll have to let us know if you make it over to the UK at all :).

  • http://www.taylorheartstravel.com/ Taylor Hearts Travel

    Beautiful choices – those pictures are epic! I think everyone will be packing their bags after reading this list!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Oh I hope so Taylor 🙂 – There are so many stunning places in Europe, way more than 10… but these ones do stand out from the crowd! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  • Anne Apostol

    It’s always been a dream to visit Cinque Terre so Manarola is high up there in my bucket list. As always, awesome photos, Gabby! 🙂

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Isn’t it breathtaking?! Really pleased you liked the post Anne, thanks for the comment 🙂


  • http://www.mummytravels.com Cathy Winston

    I’ve only managed to get to one of these, Mykonos, so far but I’m hoping to visit Ljubljana in a few months. Mostar looks stunning as well.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Ahhh isn’t Mykonos amazing? It’s one of our favourite places… in fact we’re heading back in October :). I can definitely recommend Ljubljana… I didn’t have a clue what to expect when I visited on an interrailing trip but was blown away. Plus you’ve got the stunning Lake Bled just a short drive away which is also a must. Can’t wait to hear how you found it :). Thanks for stopping by Cathy!