Julie Travel Inspiration 21 Comments

When you think of fairy tales, what comes to mind? Breathtaking castles, quaint, colorful villages, majestic mountains, all set in a landscape that seems like something out of this world? Well, there are spots on this planet that look like they are plucked right out of the pages of a children’s book. If you want to be whisked away to some of the most magical places on earth, check out these fairytale destinations.

15 Magical Fairytale Destinations

Bavaria, Germany

Bavaria has it all…snowcapped mountains, whimsical towns, and breathtaking castles. Neuschwanstein Castle served as the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle in Disney World. It is a gorgeous castle with a stunning location at the foot of the Alps. Venture a little farther, taking a road trip on Germany’s Romantic Road, visiting picturesque towns like Rothenburgh ob der Tauber and Wurzburg.

Plan the perfect trip to Bavaria with our 10 Day Bavaria Itinerary.

Neuschwanstein Fairytale Destinations

Rothenburg Fairytale Destinations


Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled is one of the prettiest places to visit in Slovenia. With its aquamarine lake, castle perched on a cliff, and the centerpiece of Bled Island, this is another magical spot in Europe. 

Lake Bled Slovenia Fairytale Destinations

Lake Bled Fairytale Destinations


Zhangjiajie, China

Zhangjiajie is one of the most extraordinary landscapes on the planet. Pinnacles of sandstone rock stretch for miles. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park served as the inspiration for the landscape in the movie Avatar. It really does look like it is out of this world.

Heaven Pillar Fairytale Destinations

Zhangjiajie


Santorini, Greece

Santorini is a windswept, volcanic island in the Cyclades. Magical sunsets in Oia, photogenic blue dome churches, and a myriad of colorful beaches make this island look like something right out of a fairytale.

Santorini Fairytale Destinations

Santorini Greece


Hobbiton, Come Visit the Shire

Hobbiton, located in New Zealand, really is a fairytale destination. This is a movie set constructed for both the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movie series. This colorful, hobbit-sized village can still be visited today. Tour the cute houses, see the home of Bilbo Baggins, and end your visit with a pint of ale at the Green Dragon.

Visit the Shire in our post about Hobbiton.

Hobbiton Fairytale Destinations

Tyler and Kara at Hobbiton

The Shire


Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia…the land of whimsical fairy chimneys and peculiar rock formations. The landforms are so unique that it’s hard to believe they really exist until you see them with your own eyes. If you want to visit a place that is like stepping into another world, then put Cappadocia on your list of places to visit. And if you want a truly magical experience, take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia.

Plan the perfect trip to Cappadocia with our three day itinerary.

Cappadocia balloons Fairytale Destinations

Fairy Chimneys


Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

With cobblestoned streets, old stone buildings, and its beautiful bridge spanning the picturesque Neretva River, the town of Mostar looks like it was plucked from the pages of a fairytale. The highlight of a visit here is seeing Stari Most, the old bridge that is the centerpiece of the town. But the charm of Mostar extends well past the span of this bridge into the cobblestoned streets and cafes that make this town such a delight to visit.

Mostar Fairytale Destinations
Neretva River


The Giant’s Causeway

For another one of the world’s great fairytale destinations, enter the land of giants. Located in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway is a stretch of coastline with perfectly formed hexagonal columns, all massed together at the water’s edge. This landscape was formed by volcanic activity eons ago, or you could believe the tale that the Giant’s Causeway was built by the Irish giant Finn MacCool.

Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway Ireland


Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon

Bhutan has all the ingredients of perfect fairytale destinations: towering, magnificent mountains, small, quiet villages, and some of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever see. Visit centuries old fortresses tucked away in the valleys in the Himalayas and do not miss the Eagle’s Nest, a monastery precariously perched on the side of cliff.

Tigers Nest

Bhutan


Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

For the ultimate fairytale village, visit Cesky Krumlov. This town escaped the bombings in WWII, preserving its ancient architecture. Stroll the narrow streets, eat lunch or dinner in a quiet, cozy café, and visit the castle that is guarded by bears. Cesky Krumlov is one of best small towns to visit in Europe.

Do you want to plan a trip to Cesky Krumlov? Check out our Central Europe Itinerary.

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov Street


Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is the mystical land of temples in a tropical, misty landscape. See it by bus, by bike, our soar over Bagan in a hot air balloon. Bagan is a magical place, definitely a fairytale destination to add to your Southeast Asia bucket list.

Bagan Balloons

Bagan Temple

Bagan Sunset


Hallstatt, Austria

This is a picturesque fairytale town…colorful buildings, cobblestoned streets, church steeples, all set against the backdrop of the Alps. Beware, this has become a very popular destination in Europe in recent years, so unless you spend the night in Hallstatt, expect to share these beautiful views with many other visitors.

Hallstatt Fairytale Town


The Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Isle of Skye just may be the ultimate fairytale destination. This truly is the land of fairies. Visit the Fairy Pools, hike the Fairy Glen, say hello to the Old Man of Storr, and tour Dunvegan Castle. Just a short drive away from the Isle of Skye is the stunning Eilean Donan Castle, one more fairytale destination to add to your list of places to visit. The Isle of Skye is wonderful place to visit, one of our favorites of all time.

Plan the perfect trip with our Complete Guide to the Isle of Skye.

Old Man of Storr Fairytale Destinations

Fairy Glen

Eilean Donan Castle


Alsace Wine Region, France

When I first saw photos of Colmar, France, it immediately got added to our travel wish list. With its colorful buildings, bouquets of flowers, and scenic streets, it looked like it was plucked right out of a fairy tale. With a little more research, I was thrilled to learn that Colmar is just one of many fairytale towns you can visit in the Alsace wine region.

Eguisheim, another popular town on the Alsace Wine Route, was used as the inspiration for the town in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Read our article 10 Fairytale Towns on the Alsace Wine Route to see more of these picturesque towns.

Colmar Fairytale Town

Colmar

 

Fairytale Town

Eguisheim

 

Riquewihr France

Riquewihr


Rakotzbrücke, Germany

This picture perfect bridge looks like it was created for a fairytale. Located in Saxony, Germany, Rakotzbrücke makes a great day trip destination from Berlin or Dresden.

Read more about how to visit Rakotzbrücke.

Rakotzbrücke


What is your favorite fairytale destination? Share it with our readers in the comment section below!

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Comments 21

  1. I have traveled many places in Europe. As a US citizen I love Brugge& to climb Acropolis hill & on to the Parthenon were my two favorites ! Also being in a hotel facing The Hill at night with the hi.l lit-up was incredible! Pulling into Budapest at while traveling on the river ! The building are all lit up & appeared to be Gold !

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