Top 10 Fairy-Tale Towns in Germany

There are many charming fairy-tale towns in Germany, scattered all around the country. Many of the most beloved fairy tales – Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty – were compiled for the first time together by two Germans: the Brothers Grimm. They spent years traveling the German countryside and collecting folk tales. Here’s 10 of the most picturesque, straight-out-of-a-storybook German towns you just need to visit.

Rothenburg, Bavaria

Rothenburg, Germany

Massive stone town walls studded with 42 towers; half-timbered houses with red-tiled roofs; cobblestone streets and flower-filled window boxes: That is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, located on the famous Romantic Road. The town is spectacular any time of the year, but really comes alive during Christmas when it transforms into a Winter wonderland. It is the one of the most charming fairy-tale towns in Germany. What a dream!

Rüdesheim am Rhein, Hesse

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Rüdesheim am Rhein is a winemaking town in the Rhine Gorge and thereby part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Making the town worth visiting is, not only the wine or even the Old Town itself, but also the picturesque Rheingau landscape together with the romantic Rhine.

Cochem, Rhineland-Palatinate

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Inundated with visitors most of the year with a bank of pastel-coloured, terrace-fronted restaurants lining the waterfront. Its tangle of narrow alleyways and dramatic castle precipitously perched on a rock, however, are well worth a stop.

Dinkelsbühl, Bavaria

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Immaculately preserved Dinkelsbühl proudly traces its roots to a royal residence founded by Carolingian kings in the 8th century. Saved from destruction in the Thirty Years War and ignored by WWII bombers, this is arguably the Romantic Road’s quaintest and most authentically medieval halt.

Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg

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Known for its distinguished 14th-century university, Heidelberg was restored over several centuries, and red-sandstone Heidelberg Castle stands beside the river on Königstuhl hill. Visitors can ride the Bergbahn funicular to reach the castle and its gardens, which have sweeping views over the river and the baroque Altstadt (Old Town).

Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt

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Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt) divides into two distinct landscapes: to the east sandy plains are scattered with farms, pastures, pine forests and bogs, and a series of gritty, postindustrial cities; while to the west the land suddenly rises into the gentle Harz mountains where sleepy villages nestle in dark forests.

Lichtenstein, Baden-Württemberg

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The main attraction of this town is the Lichtenstein castle, situated on a cliff located near Honau on the Swabian Alps. The first castle here was built in the 13th century but the present palace is a 19th century compound of a hunting lodge of King Frederick I of Württemberg and his nephew’s castle. One of the most enchanting fairy-tale towns in Germany.

Lindau, Bavaria

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In the middle of a clear lake, surrounded by a luscious green environment and snow-covered mountains, lies the historic island of Lindau with its unique charm. With historic buildings, lively squares and picturesque alleys, the old town of Lindau provides an almost Mediterranean flair. On each of the four weekends in Advent the harbour hosts the most magical Christmas markets straight out of a story book.

Meissen, Saxony

Meissen, Saxony

Though hailed as the birthplace of Saxony because it has the earliest castle in the state, Meissen never developed into a major city. It’s dominated by its soaring Gothic cathedral, the first residential 15th-century castle, Albrechtsburg, and wonderful Elbe valley views.

Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein

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A 12th-century gem boasting more than 1000 historical buildings, Lübeck’s picture-book appearance was recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site in 1987. You’ll find streets lined with medieval merchants’ homes and spired churches forming Lübeck’s ‘crown’. Truly charming.

  • WOW, they are all so stunning! I bet you could spend hours and hours just strolling around taking it all in! :)
    — LisaLDN.com

    • Couldn’t agree with you more!

  • O yes! I so needed this this morning! I have been to some if those cities and I have to admit that they all looked absolutely stunning and magical! I would add Freiburg to the list, but there are so maaaany to chose from! And now that winter is coming there are the Christmas markets and they all look more more more more and more beautiful!

    Thank you so so so much for sharing!

    https://pandaonavespa.wordpress.com/

    • How lucky! Freiburg is magical, it was so hard to narrow down this list. Germany boasts some magical towns. The Christmas markets are all a dream!!

      • I know! Every where you go you find a great little city!!!

  • missgetaway

    Oh wow that looks absolutely breathtaking. When I think of Germany for some reason I can only think of the great city buss in Berlin and Frankfurt. These cities, however, look super cute and lovely!

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

    • Same here! I’ve never really put ‘fairy tale’ and Germany together, which is shocking given my supposed devotion for all things Disney and Grimm. Always glad to be proven wrong especially with gorgeous travel photos! x

      Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

  • Oh these places are so enchanting! My cousin is going to Germany tomorrow, hopefully she’lll have the chance to visit some of these towns!

    Miriam ♥ A whole lot of serendipity

  • jodie.keith

    Wow these places look too good to be true! So beautiful

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

  • Dara

    These look great, I have only ever been to German cities, I particularly like the first two. https://champagneinateacup.wordpress.com/

  • Wow these towns look beautiful they are now on my wish list

  • Laura Mareno

    Oh god! These look so beautiful and enchanting!! Great post! kisses:D

    http://laurasavenue.blogspot.com.es/

  • Having lived in Heidelberg for 2 years, I would HIGHLY recommend it! Especially during the Christmas season xo

  • Yooni

    If there’s one thing I love, it is a good ole fairy tale story. These places are getting put into my bucket list of places I need to visit before I die. Truly magical!

    http://threesacompany.net

  • Rachelle Waldon

    I’m flying out to Germany in a little over a week, so this list got me super excited. I’ll be mostly staying in the Baden-Wurttemburg and Bavaria areas, so I may make it to a few towns on this list.

    I’ll be blogging about my trip at caffeinatedlibrary.com. Feel free to stop by. :)

  • Ah, the castles of Germany! This is a great list, thank you for sharing!

    http://www.booksandtrips.com/

  • These places are all like my favourite fairytale stories come to life! The houses are literally like real life gingerbread houses. Super lovely!