Discover Fairy Tales in Europe: Magical Destinations to Visit Now

Beyond quaint villages and majestic castles, Europe overflows with destinations that bring fairy tales to life. Follow in the footsteps of famous storybook characters, explore enchanting forests, and live your own fantastical adventure across this magical continent.

Let your imagination roam freely as you journey through these spellbinding settings straight from your childhood dreams. The magical journey begins now!

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Tour Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, Germany
  • Wander the Black Forest, Germany
  • See Dracula’s Castle in Bran, Romania
  • Marvel at Chateau de Chambord, France
  • Discover Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
  • Explore Old Town Tallinn, Estonia
  • Get Lost in Sherwood Forest, England
  • Visit Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, New Zealand
  • Stay in a Cottage in the Cotswolds, England
  • Dine at Cinderella’s Castle in Orlando, Florida
  • Castles of Europe
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs About Visiting Fairy Tale Destinations


As children, many of us dreamed of venturing into the magical worlds of fairy tales and fantasy. The good news is those fantastical places actually exist! Across Europe and beyond, enchanting destinations seem plucked straight from the pages of storybooks.

Towering castles perched on Alpine cliffs, mossy forests dotted with mushrooms, and mythical lakes that spark imaginations – these wonders await you. It’s time to unleash your inner child and embark on a real-life fairy tale voyage.

Let your sense of wonder lead the way to misty ruins, lands of legends, and village scenes from folklore. Fairy godmothers not required – this adventure is already blessed with magical charm!

Tour Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, Germany

Soaring on a rugged hilltop near the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle provided inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella Castle. Tour “Mad” King Ludwig II’s 19th century palace filled with paintings, chandeliers, and ornate rooms fit for royalty.

Pose in front of the iconic yellow facade with pointed white towers that launched a thousand fantasies. Nearby, explore crystal clear Lake Alpsee and the grand medieval Hohenschwangau Castle too. This corner of Bavaria is fairy tale magic personified.

Wander the Black Forest, Germany

Filled with legends, the dense pine and rolling hills of Germany’s Black Forest offer endless enchantment. Follow winding trails to discover quaint villages, historic clocktowers, medieval monasteries and lactose-laden creameries.

The dark, mossy woods filled with mountains, lakes and waterfalls inspire fairy tale scenes of Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel. Give your imagination free reign to wander here.

See Dracula’s Castle in Bran, Romania

Vampire fans flock to 14th century Bran Castle, mythologized as Dracula’s Transylvanian lair. Scale the cliffside stairs to explore its Gothic towers, secret passages, and elaborate wooden interiors.

Nearby, hike through Romania’s Carpathian mountains shrouded in dark forests and mystical legends. Discover other storybook villages like Râşnov with its fairy tale fortress. Romania indulges your dark fairy tale fantasies.

Marvel at Chateau de Chambord, France

Rising like a palace from dreams on the Loire River, the elaborate Chateau de Chambord exhibits French royal extravagance. Spiral up its famous double-helix staircase and gaze at 440 rooms of opulence.

The palatial castle’s turrets, dormer windows and 365 chimneys look plucked from a fairy tale. Let your imagination run wild wandering Chambord’s grandeur.

Discover Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

With its turquoise lakes, thundering waterfalls and beech forests, Plitvice Lakes looks supernaturally beautiful. Trek on elevated boardwalks and wooden paths linking the 16 terraced lakes and dozens of waterfalls – a magical natural wonderland.

Resist urge to clap your hands with glee like a fairy tale princess! Plitvice’s misty cascades and colorful hues create a dream-like escape.

Explore Old Town Tallinn, Estonia

With its spire-studded skyline and cobblestoned lanes, Estonia’s capital Tallinn evokes fairy tale charm. Meander amongst the stone houses, hidden courtyards and 15th century apothecaries of the UNESCO-listed Old Town.

Listen for mystical stories of pagan spirits and werewolves that still haunt Estonian folklore. For fairy tale magic and legends, Tallinn delivers.

Get Lost in Sherwood Forest, England

The legendary home of Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest invites exploration of 450 hectares of majestic oaks and woodland trails. Follow in the footsteps of the heroic outlaw across leafy paths dotted with twisting trees that inspired tales of adventure.

Listen for the distant twang of bows and arrows as the forest works its fairy tale magic. Robin Hood fans flock here to unleash their imaginations.

Visit Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, New Zealand

Fans of Frodo and Bilbo can tour the bucolic hillside Shire from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films on the North Island of New Zealand. See the Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, and other renderings of Middle Earth populated by Hobbits.

The vivid landscapes around Matamata fed directly into JRR Tolkien’s fantastical imagination. Journey through this stunning interpretation of Middle Earth.

Stay in a Cottage in the Cotswolds, England

Rolling emerald hills dotted with grazing sheep set a bucolic fairy tale scene in England’s Cotswolds region. Stay in a thatched roof stone cottage overlooking the peaceful pastures and dreamy villages.

Follow country walking trails between storybook hamlets, stopping for tea and scones along the way. With its tranquility and charm, the Cotswolds casts an idyllic spell.

Dine at Cinderella’s Castle in Orlando, Florida

Every magical kingdom needs an iconic palace, and Walt Disney World’s Cinderella Castle is quintessential. Have your fairy godmother moment dining inside the whimsical castle surrounded by princely decor.

Kids and kids-at-heart delight in this chance to live their Disney fairy tale fantasy. Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!

Castles of Europe

Beyond this list, Europe overflows with archaic castles igniting fantasies. Here are 12 more storied castles:

  1. Bran Castle, Romania: Infamously known as the home of Count Dracula
  2. Eltz Castle, Germany: Medieval castle dramatically rising from the hills above the Moselle River
  3. Alcazar, Segovia Spain: Disney’s Cinderella castle modeled on this edifice perched on a rocky crag
  4. Predjama Castle, Slovenia: Integrated into a limestone cave halfway up a cliffside
  5. Mont Saint-Michel, France: Island abbey likened to castle in the sky with spires piercing the horizon
  6. Corvin Castle, Romania: Gothic fortress featuring legend of Dracula and secret tunnels
  7. Vianden Castle, Luxembourg: Romanesque and Gothic style castle looming over a quaint village
  8. Miramare Castle, Italy: White castle on the Gulf of Trieste with a fairy tale quality
  9. Hohenzollern Castle, Germany: Hilltop neo-Gothic castle with dazzling white towers and turrets
  10. Conwy Castle, Wales: Medieval fortress town on the Irish Sea for defending England’s coast
  11. Castle Howard, England: Flamboyant Baroque palace featured in Brideshead Revisited stories
  12. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland: Iconic fortress atop an extinct volcano overlooking Scotland’s capital


Who says fairy tales are only for children? Let your inner child run free on a voyage to Europe and beyond’s most magical destinations. Epic castles, enchanted forests, charming villages – these wonders exist not just in books but dotted across the earth.

Use your imagination and sense of adventure as your guide. Wander misty ruins, explore mystical woods, get lost in mazes of cobblestoned alleys. Fairy tales come alive when you open your heart and mind to possibility.

Don’t be afraid to believe in a little magic!

FAQs About Visiting Fairy Tale Destinations

What are the best places related to fairy tales?

Magical castles like Neuschwanstein and Bran, medieval villages, forests like Black Forest with legends, lakes like Plitvice with myths.

When are the best times of year to visit?

April-June and September-October typically offer pleasant weather without summer crowds. But winter can feel most magical.

What fairy tale-esque activities do you recommend?

Guided storytelling tours, themed events at castles, dressing up in period costumes, fantasy-inspired cooking classes, hiking in an enchanted forest.

How can I visit on a budget?

Book value accommodations like B&Bs, opt for pass tickets to multiple castles, cook your own food, go in shoulder seasons.

How long should I spend at each fairy tale destination?

1-3 nights gives you time to take it all in. But even just a few hours lets you see the highlights.

Do people dress up for the theme?

While not necessary, costumes or mystical inspired garb adds an element of playful fun!

What essential things should I pack?

Comfortable shoes for exploring, rain jacket, camera to capture magical moments, mini tripod for unique photos.

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