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The 27 Most Beautiful “Must See” Small Towns To Visit In Europe

Run with me baby let your hair down

Through every station through every town

Run with me baby let’s take a chance

From Heathrow to Hounslow from the Eastern Block to France

Europe is our playground–Suede, “Europe Is Our Playground” (1996)  

What are the most beautiful small towns in Europe?  Find out here!

Europe is a big place.  Once you hit the major metropolises, don’t forget to check out the less obvious yet charmingly beautiful, European small towns.  From the sun-soaked Greek Isles to the incredible Alps and the noteworthy Norwegian fjords and every beautiful burg in between, here is a list of the 27 most beautiful “must see” small towns in Europe.

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One of the famous Cinque Terre towns, Manarola features numerous vibrant rainbow-colored homes that were carved into a wall of stone located on the Mediterranean coast.  This fishing town is most famous for the paintings of Antonio Colors, who loved the town, and for its own wine, Sciacchetra.  The town has no traffic light because no cars are permitted there.  You can drive to the town but must park across the border.  You can walk in or take a special shuttle bus.

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Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria


The Bavarian mountain town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is said by travel experts to be downright “enchanting.”  A mere 80-minute train ride from Munich, it was once two separate towns.

One town was Teutonic and one was Roman.  The pair of distinctive places joined together for the 1936 Winter Olympics.  Garmisch is the younger of the two since Partenkirchen was founded in 15 AD.

Hence, Partenkirchen is older in appearance.  It has historic buildings that line the narrow, cobblestoned streets.  They are Bavarian gasthaus in architectural style with three or even four stories.  The buildings often include open shutters.  Their facades are colorfully painted with religious, pastoral or regional scenes.

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Portree is the official “largest town” and a port on Scotland’s Isle of Skye.  While there are less than 2,500 folks living there, it is also reported to be “a thriving cultural center.”  The harbor area features not only memorable views across the bay but also several seafood restaurants and pubs as well. From there you can easily explore the scenery of this region.  It’s close to some other highlights of the town including the popular rock formations known as  Kilt Rock, the Old Man of Storr and the famed pinnacles of the Quaraing.

Image: Wikimedia Commons



The little fishing village of Reine is situated on the rather picturesque arctic island of Moskenesoya.  It was voted Norway’s “most beautiful village” with a population of only 300.  North of the Arctic Circle in the well-known Lofoten archipelago, the town is a rather remote region complete with sapphire-watered bays, neighboring mountains, and high fjords.  Visitors can stay in one of the bright red rorbuer, also known as fishermen’s cabins, which provide direct access to the Norwegian Sea, memorable night sky vistas and, of course, the world-famous northern lights.

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