Planning a DIY Europe tour? Picture this: you walk down a veered path full of chrysanthemums, begonias and geraniums. The weather is lovely and the buildings are just as brightly-colored as the flowers. The whitewashed walls of the cottages seem made of cream and the daisies in the fields of powdered sugar. The woodwork and panels look like sculpted chocolate, good enough to eat with fresh strawberries.
You have walked into a fairy tale. Or have you?
Believe it or not the towns below fit the bill. The radiant intensity of their colors and the elaborate yet cozy architecture surpasses all expectations and engages the imagination. Travel her for their truly charming vibe.
Ghent in Belgium
Together with its stunning architecture, Ghent’s canals make this Belgian town indistinguishable from an Elysian dream. Ghent’s flower-filled streets are positively enchanting for any travel lover; it is likely you will stop to smell the roses wherever you go (and no one can blame you!). In addition, the vibrant reflection of Ghent’s colorful buildings in the water are bound to make you feel like a factory-worth of desserts has been spilled and you are coursing through candied fruit and honey. Ghent is bound to make your European trip memorable.
Bruges in Belgium
Historic and dream-like Bruges won’t fail to enchant you. Predictably, this amazing city is brimming with chocolate shops. The soaring buildings evoke such warmth that they look as if they have been made by chocolatiers as well: Bruges’s branching canals seem to be filled with soft ganache and in the bright sunlight its cobbled streets look as if they are made out of salted caramel and toasted pecans. That, combined with the perennial sweetness of chocolate perfuming the air, makes Bruges an unforgettable and delightful travel destination.
Rothenburg in Germany
When I first read Hansel and Gretel the thought of a house made of chocolate with a gingerbread roof and windows of clear sugar was completely life-changing. I’m sure that I was not the only one who hoped to one day eat my way through a chocolate door ( I still do, to be honest.) I always admired the Brothers Grimm for coming up with such a concept. Looking at towns such as Rothenburg in Brother Grimm’s native Germany it is not hard to see where they got their inspiration from.
Rothenburg picturesque atmosphere is hard to resist for any travel lover. With its timeless timber and color-filled streets you would be hard pressed to find a livelier place. It is not hard to imagine the wood panels that adorn Rothenburg’s quaint buildings are made out of carefully tempered chocolate and that their white window-frames have been molded out of icing. Luckily, if you decide to travel to this delightful town you have no witches to worry about and a whole lot to discover!
Gdansk in Poland
I’ll go right out and say it: the lovely old town of Gdansk looks as if it has been taken out of a gigantic cake mold! The stunning, richly-colored buildings are so vibrant that they seem to be flavored and the alternating shades could easily pass for distinct spices and fruit extracts.
Travel to Gdansk for much more than its stunning structure, however. This beautiful port-side community is filled with picturesque cafes and historical churches, promising to make your stay an absolutely magical one.
Cesky Krumlov in The Czech Republic
Cesky Krumlov’s beautifully patterned towers and villas make this town a perfect addition to the list. Though small, Cesky Krumlov holds its own as one of the loveliest places to travel to on your DIY Europe tour.
In addition to the panoramic views of the fields and rivers, Cesky Krumlov’s embellished turrets and rounded roofs resemble a recently iced Bundt Cake in the winter. It’s most striking feature is the massively beautiful Cesky Krumlov Castle, which is filled with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance elements and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. This little town’s a world on its own and a definite pin on your travel map.
Albarracín in Spain
and that’s Albarracín with an accented last syllable. You’re welcome.
Albarracín does much more than just showcase the beauty of the Spanish tongue though. This picturesque town is a Monumento Nacional (National Monument) since 1961 and it’s no surprise: this scenic, unforgettable place is filled with Instagram-worthy landscapes. A great alternative addition to your DIY Europe tour.
Albarracín is perched just above the Guadalaviar River, which means it offers an unbeatable view of glittering, sun-kissed waters and undulating, flower-filled riverbanks. The breathtaking rooftops seemed shiny with whipped frosting and the lively, red-brick town resembles a rustic and forever warm bread-oven. Travel here to explore the ruins of an Alcázar (a Moorish castle) which bears witness to the historic Spanish Reconquista.
Colmar in France
With its photogenic, cobbled lanes and artfully painted walls Colmar brings fairy-tales to life. It’s spectacular wood-lined architecture gives the impression of walking through salted-caramel and coffee-liqueur decorated buildings. Colmar is bound to make you want to buy a ticket to France in the first available flight or, if you are lucky enough to already be in France, prolong your travel for an indefinite amount of time.
Stein am Rhein in Switzerland
The only way in which I can possibly describe Stein am Rhein and do it justice is in this context as Stein am Rhein seems to have been the masterpiece of a superb Michelin Star Chef or an ancient and long since forgotten fondant goddess. The beauty of Stein am Rhein resides in its beauty-filled simplicity as if half-timbered buildings and small spidery streets are transformed by absolutely jaw-dropping frescoes. Side by side, these frescoes make an insanely amazing conglomeration of styles and colors that strangely works. Though the subjects, styles and colors chosen are independent of one another there is a cohesive harmony that makes Stein am Rhein almost hypnotic.
This DIY Europe tour list is meant to reflect much more than just these towns’ picturesque landscapes. Chocolate is synonymous with happiness, coziness and contentment so when I describe the towns listed below as carved out of chocolate I am complimenting them to the highest possible degree. I hope you enjoy your DIY chocolate-inspired Europe tour!