Budget Travel: 10 Coolest Small Towns in Europe


Back in October I wrote about Budget Travel taking nominations and votes to help select the Coolest Small Town in the U.S. for 2014.

The nominations are now closed and at some point within the next week or two, finalists will be selected and readers will get to vote for a winner. (BTW- In 2013 the winner was Lititz, Pennsylvania.)

I recently came across a list by Budget Travel of  10 Coolest Small Towns in Europe.

According to BTsome of the most charming, delicious, historic, and, well, cool places in Europe that we’ve covered in Budget Travel have been off-the-beaten-path villages and towns.

I was definitely interested in finding out about these towns and wondered if I had been to any on previous trips to Europe. After looking over the list, it turned out that I hadn’t been to any of these places. I was even more surprised that I had only heard of one of them.

I almost visited the one town that I’ve heard of, Cesky Krumlov during a trip to the Prague and Eastern Europe years back. However, with lots to do in Prague, we decided to do a couple of day trips to other sites rather than take the longer trip to Cesky Krumlov.

Here is the list from Budget Travel:

  • Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
  • Palmanova, Italy
  • Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, Germany
  • Bibury, England
  • Durnstein, Austria
  • Binn Switzerland
  • Tremolat, France
  • Tenby, Wales
  • Ericeira, Portugal
  • Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

If you’ve been to a small town from this list, let us know which you visited. Is it worthy of the title of Coolest Small Town in Europe?

Find out about each of the towns listed above in the Budget Travel article HERE.

7 thoughts on “Budget Travel: 10 Coolest Small Towns in Europe

  1. Visited Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber in the Fall 2013 while traveling through Germany upon advice from Rick Steve’s . The two days spent in Rothenburg were the most favorite part of our trip. Plenty of boutique hotel options, tasty restaurant choices and historic sightseeing and museums. A step back in time so do not miss the nightly Watchmans Tour to learn about the towns history. The town also houses the largest Christmas theme store year around. Looking forward to a return visit someday.

    1. Steve- Thanks for sharing your experience in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber! It sounds like a great part of Germany to visit. Having been to Germany two times, I might need to take a third trip there eventually!

      That Christmas stores sounds interesting and similar to one that we stopped by in New Orleans last year!

  2. Rob & Rachel- Glad to hear that you both had a great time in Cesky Krumlov. If/ when we go back to the Czech Republic I think it would definitely be on our list of places to visit!

    Jean- Your visit sounds pretty amazing and a quite memorable experience! Tremolat defintely sounds like a place that I’d like to visit in the future. I’d also love to hear more about your Michelin Star meal!

    1. Michael-I wish I could remember enough about the meal to tell you! I’m pretty sure it involved an incredible food presentation in the renovated tobacco barn of the estate 🙂

  3. My husband and I had just two days to tour the Dordogne between visits to Paris and Carcassonne. The train brought us to Brive-la-Gaillarde. We rented a car and had the most beautiful and relaxing drive through many small towns until we reached our hotel, Le Vieux Logis, in Tremolat. The town is small, beautiful, and peaceful. We had a Michelin starred dinner at our hotel followed by a pleasant walk around the village. It is the type of town where you can really experience the culture. We followed our stay with another gorgeous drive toward Carcassonne with stops in many other beautiful villages such as Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, but Tremolat was the village with the least amount of tourism and greatest feel of local culture.

  4. Upon the advice of a friend, we spent a day in Cesky Krumlov last spring, and it was absolutely wonderful! We felt like we’d wandered back in time.

  5. About 11 or 12 years ago my wife and I were driving from Germany to Prague. We had reservation in Prague for the next night but none for the current. As we were driving my wife was looking through Rick Steve’s book and saw Cesky Krumlov which was not far out of our way. We decided to go. The first hotel we stopped at had no room but they found us another place to stay. It was actually a suite in a house. Very nice. The town was absolutely charming. We went to a nice restaurant for a good but very cheap dinner. We still talk about Cesky as one of those totally unexpected things you run across as you travel. We often wonder what it is like today.

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