The magical kingdoms in storybooks allow us to escape the banality of everyday life, but we believe the best fairy-tale travel destinations exist in reality. As little ones, legends about princesses, fairies, and dragons lulled us into sweet dreams—or nightmares if you read Struwwelpeter and The Brothers Grimm's sinister stories. But whether or not you enjoyed fairy tales as a child, the lure of a time long, long ago is certainly intriguing as an adult. Even though Shrek and Snow White won't be there in the flesh, we promise these places are worth visiting.
With this in mind, we decided to round up a list of the most enchanting spots to visit for anyone who loves intricate architecture and history. Plus, just like fairy tales, these beautiful spots will bring on the magical romance. Scroll through to read our full list of destinations around the world. And while you're planning your escape, read the fairy tales and fables that are set in some of these regions.
There's no place more magical than the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. Indeed, it was the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland. You may also recognize this Romanesque palace from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
While there may not be a fairy tale based on the Jaswant Thada Temple in Rajasthan, India (at least not that we know of), it's drawing us in with that magnetic glow—literally. It's covered in thin marble, so it radiates warmth and beauty when the sun shines on it.
Wish you'd seen this roundup before Valentine's Day? That's okay; Venice offers boundless romance no matter when you visit. You'll fall asleep to the water lapping up against the buildings and wake up to the smell of gelato. Now that's what we call a happily ever after.
If you have a passion for design and vivid colors, you'll fall in love with Marrakech, Morocco. Dating all the way back to the 12th century, the Ben Youssef Madrasa mosque is truly majestic. We've also dreamed of visiting Casablanca, Rabat, and Tangier, which are all in the region.
Remote destinations allow us to appreciate the vastness of our surroundings. And this one is truly beautiful. Iceland is like a fairy tale for many reasons—the charming towns, natural geysers, and black-sand beaches—but this abandoned home in Westfjords, Iceland, is truly out of this world.
There's not much we wouldn't do to be sitting poolside in Provence, France, right now. Not only can you stay in a real-life château, but you can also do it while enjoying wine tastings, looking at spectacular views from a hot air balloon, and visiting incredible museums.
Get lost wandering through the windy roads in Scotland for a nostalgic adventure. The foggy cobblestone streets and intimate, traditional pubs will make you feel like you've traveled through time.
What do you think are the best fairy-tale travel destinations to visit? Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.