One of the highlights of a trip to Europe is to explore the long, fascinating history that you’ll find in cities across the continent. Luckily for travelers, there are several beautiful old towns in Europe.
Almost every capital city has an ”old town” where you can admire buildings dating back several hundred years and eat in restaurants that have been serving food in the same place for centuries.
The old towns are not to be missed on a trip to Europe – here are three of our favorite Old Towns to get you started…
Tallinn – Estonia
Tallinn does an excellent job at bringing its visitors back to the past. From the Toompea hill you get a great view overlooking the Gothic spires and the wonky buildings that are surrounded by the medieval fortification wall and its red rooftop-towers.
Walking back to the Old Town on the cobblestone lanes you pass old fashioned street stalls, medieval markets and quaint traditional restaurants where the waiters dress in medieval outfits.
The medieval atmosphere is everywhere around you, it kind of feels like you are at some medieval festival, but this is really what it’s like here every day.
So let yourself be brought back to the medieval century in a city with ivory covered-towers, hidden courtyards and castles – and whenever you’re ready to get back to reality – there is free Wi-Fi everywhere…
Stockholm – Sweden
Founded in 1252, Gamla Stan in Stockholm is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centers in Europe.
Located on a small island in the heart of the city, it’s almost irresistible with its buildings in so many different shades of gold, and on snowy winter days the town reminds you of something taken out of a fairy tale.
The town is like a small labyrinth, with charming cobbled streets, unique boutiques and of course lots and lots of cafes.
The Swedish cafe culture is a very important part of peoples’ daily lives here, so joining the locals in one of the small cafes and enjoy a typical Swedish treat (like kanelbulle), is just in order.
The Old town is also where the parliament, main cathedral and Royal Palace are located, the Royal palace is huge, but the main attraction is to watch the changing of the guards on the square around noon.
Prague – Czech Republic
The narrow cobble stoned streets of the old town in Prague are full of surprises – few cities have as impressive Gothic architecture as this city with its old town square, astronomical clock and the impressive Charles Bridge – and the none can match the romantic roughness of Prague.
There is a lot of interesting history and legends about the historic spots in the old town, so taking a tour here is well worth it to hear about the funny details about the buildings surrounding you and of the people who used to walk these streets.
Don’t plan where you will be eating, get lost in the back streets and you’ll stumble upon a hidden gem sooner than you know it.
There are many more beautiful old towns in Europe, some others that we recommend are; Budva (Montenegro), Edinburgh (Scotland), Bergamo (Italy) and Dubrovnik (Croatia).
Posted by Nathan and Sofia from As We Travel.
What are your favorite beautiful old towns in Europe? Leave us a comment below!