The Most Charming Places to Visit in Europe

From Salzburg's cobblestone streets to Cappadocia's hillside cave architecture, these are the top places in Europe—as rated by Fodor's travelers—for picturesque charm. Envision perfect postcard settings for your next European vacation, from historic architecture to stunning scenery. Whichever photogenic destination you choose, don't forget your camera!

  1. 1

    Salzburg »


    Art lovers call Salzburg the Golden City of High Baroque; historians refer to it as the Florence of the North or the German Rome; and, of course, music lovers know it as the birthplace of one of the world's most beloved composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart... Read more

  2. 2

    Eastern Alps »

    Eastern Alps

    The whole Eastern Alps region is dramatic countryside, with breathtaking scenery and great winter sports equal to those in Switzerland. Here majestic peaks, many well over 9,750 feet, soar above slow-moving glaciers that give way to sweeping Alpine meadows... Read more

  3. 3

    Central Anatolia »

    Central Anatolia

    Some of the oldest known human settlements were established in the hills and valleys of Central Anatolia, but today the main attraction in this part of Turkey is the magical landscape of Cappadocia, where wind and rain have shaped the area's soft volcanic... Read more

  4. 4

    Córdoba »


    Strategically located on the north bank of the Guadalquivir River, Córdoba was the Roman and Moorish capital of Spain, and its old quarter, clustered around its famous Mezquita, remains one of the country's grandest and yet most intimate examples of its... Read more

  5. 5

    The Dolomites »

    The Dolomites

    The Dolomites, the inimitable craggy peaks Le Corbusier called "the most beautiful work of architecture ever seen," are never so arresting as at dusk, when the last rays of sun create a pink hue that languishes into purple—locals call this magnificent... Read more

  6. 6

    Venice »


    Venice is called La Serenissima, "the most serene," a reference to the majesty, wisdom, and impressive power of this city that was for centuries the leader in trade between Europe and the Orient, and a major center of European culture. Built entirely on... Read more

  7. 7

    The Lake District »

    The Lake District

    "Let nature be your teacher." Wordsworth's ideal comes true in this popular region of jagged mountains, waterfalls, wooded valleys, and stone-built villages. No mountains in Britain give a greater impression of majesty; deeper and bluer lakes can be found... Read more

  8. 8

    Cambridge »


    With the spires of its university buildings framed by towering trees and expansive meadows, its medieval streets and passages enhanced by gardens and riverbanks, the city of Cambridge is among the loveliest in England. The city predates the Roman occupation... Read more

  9. 9

    The Southwest »

    The Southwest

    Ever since Killarney was first "discovered" by William Thackeray and Sir Walter Scott, visitors have been searching for superlatives to describe the deep blue lakes, dark green forests, and purple mountainsides of this romantic region. Perhaps it was no... Read more

  10. 10

    Santorini »


    Undoubtedly the most extraordinary island in the Aegean, crescent-shape Santorini remains a mandatory stop on the Cycladic tourist route—even if it's necessary to enjoy the sensational sunsets from Ia, the fascinating excavations, and the dazzling white... Read more

  11. 11

    Sintra »


    It was the Moors who first built a castle northwest of the capital at Sintra as a defense against Christian forces, which, under Dom Afonso Henriques, moved steadily southward after the victory at Ourique in 1139. The castle fell to the Christians in 1147... Read more

  12. 12

    Tuscany »


    Midway down the Italian peninsula, Tuscany (Toscana in Italian) is distinguished by rolling hills, snowcapped mountains, dramatic cypress trees, and miles of coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea—which all adds up to gorgeous views at practically every turn... Read more

  13. 13

    Burgundy »


    Producing a rarefied concentration of what many consider the world's greatest wines and harboring a knee-weakening concentration of magnificent Romanesque abbeys, Burgundy hardly needs to be beautiful—but it is. Its green-hedgerowed countryside, medieval... Read more

  14. 14

    Normandy »


    The maritime Garden of Eden called Normandy sprawls across France's northwestern corner in a shape roughly resembling a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Due to its geographic position, this region is blessed with a stunning natural beauty that once inspired Maupassant... Read more

  15. 15

    Costa del Sol and Costa de Almería »

    Costa del Sol and Costa de Almería

    With an average of 320 days of sunshine a year, the Costa del Sol well deserves its name, "the Sunshine Coast." It's no wonder much of the coast has been built up with resorts and high-rise hotels. Don't despair, though; you can still find some classic... Read more

News & Features

View more blog stories