If you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city and want peace and tranquility, to relax and be inspired by new ideas or just to get away from everyday work, then go to small cities. When big cities are so popular and don’t require special advertising, more and more people choose the charm of a small town. Especially, when it bends around, intricate canals and the bright facades of houses adorn the rocky slopes. So, what picturesque small towns are worth visiting?
We’ve selected the most delightful small towns that can inspire you to visit these mysterious corners of the world. Starting from the distant bins of Greenland, to the fjords of Norway, on the coast of the islands of Greece and Italy: here we’ve collected the best and most amazing small towns in the world.
1. Colmar, France
It is famous for the fact that there are collected some of the best types of architecture and the best wines in the region of Alsace. Located on the river Loshes, Colmar offers tourists a cruise in its surroundings in order to enjoy the river walk and the view of the beautiful medieval buildings built in the Renaissance. Colmar is the capital of Alsace cuisine and a place of culinary pilgrimages. It is also a city of bright festivals of food, wine, music, etc.
2. Burano, Italy
Burano is an island quarter of Venice, with a population of less than 3,000. Small towns such as Burano are distinguished by brightly colored houses. And it is not by chance that it was once conceived by fishermen so that they could recognize their houses from afar when they returned from the sea. Since the 16th century, Burano has been one of the world’s largest exporters of lace.
3. Balestrand, Norway
Such Scandinavian picturesque small towns like Balestrand are impressive not only for their traditional houses but also for their stunning mountain scenery. With just over 1300 people, it’s the most beautiful fjord on that coast.
4. Huescar, Spain
You’ll learn to love the blue color in this Andalusian village, which is affectionately called the Smurf-town. Yes, yes, it was here that they shot the famous children’s cartoon about the Smurfs, who were so loved by children. The population of the city doesn’t reach even 300 people. For the filming, all the houses were painted blue, and at the end of the project, thanks to a surge in tourism, the residents decided to keep the color of the houses by voting.
5. Alberobello, Italy
What, the lost city of gnomes? Not really. Charming Alberobello, with its hundreds of cone-shaped roofs on white houses, is located on top of one of the Italian hills, surrounded by a beautiful olive grove. Such houses you won’t find anywhere else in the world, but they are called “trulli,” which means “domes.” For this landmark in the late 90s, Alberobello was counted on the UNESCO list of cultural heritage.
6. Mandraki, Nisyros, Greece
This town greets guests with levels of white stone houses, taverns and shops located on the coast of the Greek island of Nisyros. In this idyll, Mandraki opens up magnificent vistas of a blue ocean. Just a few-minute walk from here’s the knight’s castle of Sitia (or the “Old Castle”), which is perfectly preserved, despite its location, and its ancient ruins bring us back to the 7th century BC.
7. Wusheng, Zhejiang Province, China
This Chinese water city is about a thousand years old, has an unconventional location of almost 2 km. The city of Wushen is divided into six different districts: the working district, the cultural district, the wealthy communities, the shopping district, the café, and restaurant district and the residential district.
8. Yvoire, France
Yvoire is located near the border with France and Switzerland. This magnificent town is known for its preserved medieval architecture. And also, it’s distinguished by flower design in the summer. All these old houses, the abundance of flowers and boats create a sense of a fairy tale. After all, no wonder that Yvoire is included in the list of the most picturesque cities in France.
9. Cinque Terre, Italy
The cluster of five medieval fishing villages bordering Italy on the West Coast, the Cinque Terre is known for its beautiful architecture and dramatic facades of overhanging cliffs. Cars are prohibited there, so you can get there either on foot, or by train, or by ferry.
10. Qaqortoq, Greenland
Consisting of charming and colorful houses, the quaint town of Qaqrotoq is the largest in southern Greenland. The landmark of this town until recently was a magnificent fountain in the form of whales, spewing water. Now the same fountain is in Sisimiut.
11. Sedona, USA
Sedona is a small miracle for lovers of architecture, hiking, new-age, and languid sunsets. The city is located in the national forest Kokonino among the red rocks. They say about Sedona: “God created the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona.” All Sedona buildings are inscribed in nature, and people think about environmental protection. This is one of the eco-capitals of America. And although it is customary to imagine small towns drowning in greenery, Sedona is a red hot desert with pine forests and unforgettable views.
12. Pai, Thailand
Pai is the capital of North Thai creative personalities. From all over Thailand, artists, musicians, yoga teachers, chefs and amateurs came here to look at life creatively. Pai was transformed from a village in the green valley of the river Pai and turned into an art object.
Compared to other places in Thailand, such small towns as Pai aren’t as popular with mass tourism, but on the other hand, lovers of unique places, as well as backpackers, come here.
13. Safed, Israel
Safed is a beautiful town of the 17th century, which was built by the followers of Kabbalah who returned from Spain. Therefore, Safed is a very spiritual city. Its inhabitants observe strict rules of life: they wear the clothes of past centuries and strictly honor the laws.
Among other things, all the doors, windows and other elements of buildings and structures in Safed are painted blue, and for this, the city is called the Blue City. Its streets are narrow, as in Europe, and paved with stone. Safed also has a quarter of artists. So, the city is not only spiritual but also creative. And somehow it fits together and gets along quite well.
Of course, this is not a complete list that accommodates the most picturesque small cities. In the world there’s a huge number of magical places, enchanting with their hospitality and beauty. But we hope that our list will be the beginning in your knowledge of the world, and you can continue the list yourself by visiting such places.
My name is Alexia Walker, I am a blogger and work as an editor. I have a Master’s Degree in literature and love both reading and writing about books and literary topics. I also help students with their literary assignments – articles, essays and summmaries of books, my works you can see at my site.