25 Of The Most Picturesque Small Towns From Around The World

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The best small towns provide beautiful locales that inspire both creativity and activity. Check out the 25 most picturesque small towns that would definitely breathe back life to your travel and inspiration for your photos.

1. Colmar, France

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Photo by: Joel Holland
Situated in Alsace, Colmar is a unique blend of French and Germany architecture, culture and spirit. It’s as colourful in real life as it looks to be in the photos and is one of France’s true hidden gems.

2. Manarola, Italy

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Photo by: Massimo Pistone
Manarola, Italy is one of the famed Cinque Terre towns, filled with an array of vibrant rainbow-colored homes carved right into an impenetrable wall of stone along the Mediterranean coast. This charming fishing town is famous for its fabulous wine, particularly Sciacchetra, and the paintings of Antonio Discovolors, an artist who fell in love with Manarola and devoted much of his later works to the region. There are no cars here, no traffic lights, no screeching of tires, and no blasting horns.

3. Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

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Photo by: Cesky Krumlov
There’s no other town in the world that I am more fond of than the quaint, charming, fairytale-like town of Cesky Krumlov in southern Bohemia. It’s as if you have stepped into a time warp – small cobblestone roads, bridges every which way you look, and no, there’s no McDonalds! It’s a great short day trip from Prague if you find yourself there but for the best experience, visit Krumlov in the summer season and raft down the Vltavy River.

4. Reine, Norway

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Reine is a quaint fishing village that can be found on the beautiful arctic island of Moskenesøya. The port has a population of only 329, but was rightfully voted the most beautiful village in all of Norway.

5. Shirakawa, Japan

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Photo by: Emran Kassim
Sweet Shirakawa is a bucolic mountain town famous for its thatched roofs designed like praying hands. Find it enveloped in the morning mist, the colors of spring vivid against the rustic homes. Ah, the peaceful rural life..

6. Alberobello, Italy

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Photo by: Atilla2008
Adorable Alberobello (repeat five times fast) has a hundred cone-shaped white-tipped houses that are located on top of a hill, surrounded by lovely olive groves (repeat five times faster).

7. Monsanto, Portugal

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Photo by: Lídia Ramalho
Monsanto has been voted as the most “Portuguese town in Portugal” in 1938, with its rich culture and fascinating architecture representative to the classic Portuguese style. Granite-hewn houses possess doorways of Manueline style. The red-roofed houses sandwiched among large mossy stone structures stand out from the stark gray landscape of Mt. Monsanto, east of Idanha-a-Nova. , The ruins of a castle from the Lusitanian conquest offer a magnificent view of the countryside stretching as far as Serra da Estrela.

8. Göreme, Turkey

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Photo by: C McCann
Golden lunarscapes are the backdrop of this simple Turkish town that’s still growing out of its traditional farming customs. Göreme is famous for its curious “fairy chimney” rock formations, some of which were hollowed out to create houses and churches.

9. Hoi An, Vietnam

They say there are more lanterns in this town than people. Pair the slow, easygoing atmosphere with rich culture and history and you got an unforgettable Southeast Asian town that may stick with you forever.

10. Giethoorn, Netherlands

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Photo by: Juna van der Poort
The town was established around 1230 AD by Mediterranean settlers, who dug up the canals for the transport of peat extract, connecting the two man-made lakes lying at the eastern and southern sides of town. It was only till 1958 when Dutch director Ber Haanstra featured the town in his movie “Fanfare” that Giethoorn became a popular tourist destination. Visitors can take punter or canoe tours, learn the town’s history in local museums, attend art exhibitions, and even go ice skating on the canals during winter.

11. Bibury, England

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Photo by: Paul
Bibury is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England. It is situated on the River Coln, about 6.5 miles northeast of Cirencester.The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary is Saxon with alter additions. From AD 1130 until the English Reformation it was a peculier of Osney Abbey in Oxford. The artist and craftsman William Morris called Bibury “the most beautiful village in England”.

12. Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

The blue and white village of Tunisia has a wide reputation as an artistic bohemian sanctuary. Sidi Bou Said is flocked by tourists, but it’s just one of those special places that don’t lose their charm even with so many loud people littering the streets.

13. Bruges, Belgium

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Bruges has become incredibly popular for travellers looking to photograph the lego-like houses in the city centre (pictured above). It still remains to be one of Europe’s prettiest little towns, but is now more popular than ever.

14. Bled, Slovenia

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Photo by: Domen Blenkuš
Bled is an Alpine town alongside glacial Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia. It is the seat of the Municipality of Bled. It is most notable as a popular tourist destination in the Upper Carniola region and in Slovenia as whole, attracting visitors from abroad, as well.

15. Pucisca, Croatia

Photo by: Arda & Cansu Erlik
Croatia has well and truly opened itself up to tourism in recent years so it may not be as much a secret as it once was, however a visit to the Dalmation coast once in your life is an absolute must. It’s little gems like Pucisca that explain why.

16. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

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Photo by: Alexander Campbell
The small town of Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina has got to be one of the most underrated destinations in Europe. If you find yourself here, be sure to visit nearby Blagaj – another charmer!

17. Odense, Denmark

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Photo by: Bromand
Although it is the third largest city in Denmark, Odense has a small town charm that can’t be found elsewhere in Denmark – a true treasure!

18. Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

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Photo by: Marcel Lopes
Morro de São Paulo is so tranquil that the only way to get to the village is by boat or charter flight because no cars are allowed on the island. The village sits upon three beautiful jungle-topped hills at a point where the Canal de Taperoá meets a crystal blue Atlantic. In the past, the island acted as both a cove for pirates and a stronghold for the Portuguese.

19. Pucón, Chile

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Photo by: Massimo Pistone
Manarola, Italy is one of the famed Cinque Terre towns, filled with an array of vibrant rainbow-colored homes carved right into an impenetrable wall of stone along the Mediterranean coast. This charming fishing town is famous for its fabulous wine, particularly Sciacchetra, and the paintings of Antonio Discovolors, an artist who fell in love with Manarola and devoted much of his later works to the region. There are no cars here, no traffic lights, no screeching of tires, and no blasting horns.

20. Tibetan Village – Jiuzhaigou, China

Tibetan Village Project (TVP) is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development while preserving the rich cultural heritage of Tibet. The organization was founded in 2001 by Tamdin Wangdu to fund a medical clinic in after he lost his father in the village. Several years later, TVP has expanded its program in other villages to support more clinics, schools and community projects.

21. Leavenworth, Washington, USA

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The town was originally a small lumber community built in 1906, but struggled economically. In 1962, a local committee had the idea to completely transform the town into what it is today, saving the community from certain doom through tourism.

22. Rothenberg, Germany

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Photo by: Micjc
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a preserved medieval town in Bavaria, and is well known for being part of the popular Romantic Road through southern Germany.

23. Arosa, Switzerland

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Photo by: Tambako The Jaguar
Arosa is a town and a municipality in the district of Plessur in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. It is both a summer and a winter tourist resort.

24. Hallstatt, Austria

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Hallstatt, one of Austria’s oldest settlements, was originally founded in 5000 BC to exploit the vast salt reserves in the breathtaking mountains that surround the town. So much salt was produced by the town that in the 1300s, miners made the first industrial pipeline from 13,000 hollowed out trees. To this day, the day still mines salt, but is also considered a treasure trove of human history and one of the most beautiful towns in Austria.

25. Marsaxlokk, Malta

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Photo by: Marius Roman
Marsaxlokk is a traditional fishing village located in the south-eastern part of Malta, with a population of 3,499 people. The village’s name comes from marsa, which means “port” and xlokk, which is the local name for south east.


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