The many colourful towns and cities in Europe have long been a reason in themselves to visit regions, and indeed countries, you perhaps might not have even considered visiting in the past.
I remember the first time I saw the colourful houses of Cinque Terre on Pinterest – I just couldn’t get the thought of them out of my mind for weeks and eventually had to book a trip to visit. The same happened with many places in Norway… and Wales…. and Spain… I really could go on and on!
What I tend to do, especially if I’m just on the hunt for a new destination to visit is to tie in a visit to a colourful place (e.g. Cinque Terre) with other places around it (e.g. Pisa and Florence). On that Cinque Terre trip, we headed there first, then popped into Pisa for a day and then spend a couple of nights in Florence.
Having been to Florence and Pisa quite a few times now, I think if I were to do the trip to Cinque Terre again, I’d probably look to tie-in a trip to Cinque Terre with one down the coast to Genoa (or perhaps even fly into Genoa).
Another great combo here is tieing in a trip to Venice with one to Burano. It’s such an obvious easy win… but I digress! This post is all about some of the most colourful towns and cities that you have to visit in Europe so let’s jump right into that, shall we?
1.) Collonges-La-Rouge, France
Arguably one of the most beautiful villages in France, Collonges-La-Rouge is one of those places where you just fall in love with at first sight. All the buildings here are red – ergo the name. It’s idyllic, quintessentially French and one of the most charming spots we visited on our road trip across the Dordogne Valley.
Check out more photos from Collonges-La-Rouge in our post here. Now, do you see what I mean? 😁
2.) Burano, Italy
The perfect accompaniment to a trip to Venice is a visit to Burano Island. For a place so close to a city as iconic as Venice, any other town or village would be far too easy to be ignored in favour of the more popular city of Venice but Burano is so colourfully picturesque that it is one of the most popular places to visit when you’re in Veneto, Italy.
3.) Menton, France
This is one those spots that is perhaps slightly less known but this town on the French Riveria is the stuff of summer dreams.
The colourful stacks of houses that make up Menton look like they are more Italian than French and with a journey time of just 35 minutes from Nice, you have to visit Menton when you’re in the South of France.
4.) Alesund, Norway
Alesund is one of those picturesque little Norwegian cities that heralds the start of an epic adventure through the Norwegian fjords. The journey from Alesund to Geiranger is one of the most scenic driving route, not just in Norway but across Europe!
My favourite time to visit Alesund is around summer – mostly because I am obsessed with puffins and it’s the perfect time of year to see these cute clowns of the seas.
5.) Sintra, Portugal
Sintra is quite simply the land of fairytales. We’re talking Disney-esque castles, parks that look like mythical forests and some of the most stunning buildings in all of Portugal. Best part – Sintra is part of the Cascais (a seaside town) – Lisbon trifecta (it’s a 30-minute journey to both from Lisbon and so a trip to all 3 make for the perfect Portuguese getaway).
6.) Sighișoara, Romania
This Romanian city is chock-full of colour at every turn. It’s rustic, charming and absolutely beautiful – so much so that it’s rather well preserved old town has been made a UNESCO World Heritage site!
The best part is that the prices are relatively cheaper to visit so you can live like Kings and Queens when you visit this picturesque Romanian city.
7.) Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish capital is one of those places that you’ll wanna visit for so many more reasons that just its colours! The food is amazing, the people are so much friendly, there’s an amusement park smack bang in the city centre – and the one that inspired Walt Disney to create Disneyworld none-the-less, stunning architecture and so much more.
If you’re really visiting for colour though – you should definitely head over to Nyhavn! It’s arguably the most colourful part of the city and is a perfect place for food, drinks and generally a good night out in town.
8.) Cinque Terre, Italy
This is one of the most obvious spots to be included in a roundup of colourful places in Europe! The 5 Italian towns are absolutely gorgeous in their own individual ways – in fact, the biggest similarity they have, outside of the fact that they’re by the sea is how colourful they are.
Understandably, these towns have become more and more popular so the best times to visit tends to be at the very start or towards the end of summer as it’s a tad less crowded but the weather is still pretty perfect.
9.) Tenby, Wales, UK
Tenby is one of those colourful Welsh towns that is so picturesque that it’s a place people in Wales actually go on holidays to. This seaside town is like a place out of a British postcard and is a must visit when you’re in South Wales.
10.) Juzcar, Spain
This blue Spanish town actually used to be white until fairly recently! In 2011, in conjunction with the release of the Smurfs movie and despite an offer to change the town back to white, the town loved the new colour (and the influx of visitors it brought with it) that the town of Juzcar decided to remain blue.
Suffice to say, it’s not that often you get to see blue towns in Spain so this kinda makes this spot in Malaga a must-visit.
11.) Positano, Italy
This village on Italy’s Amalfi coast is all kinds of picture perfect! Cascading down a hill through to the seafront, Positano is a spot that pretty much enchants you as soon as you see it in photos and will have you wanting to come back over and over again when you visit. (There are other villages and towns in the Amalfi coast worth visiting but Positano is one of those that you absolutely need to visit).
12.) Colmar, France
Colmar is your French fairytale come to life! It’s every bit the way you’d imagine a French village to be (although it is actually a town) – right down to the quaint timbered houses and pretty little flowers.
13.) Gdansk, Poland
Visiting Gdansk was one unexpected delight! Like, we arrived expecting to have fun and to be amazed but the city, especially the old town, was so much more than we’d initially anticipated. There’s so much fascinating history behind the city and the architecture here is absolutely spectacular.
14.) Portmeirion, Wales, UK
If you’re looking for a spot of Italy in Wales (though not entirely sure why you would – surely one would just actually go to Italy for Italy and Wales for Wales), then Portmeirion is where you need to be.
It’s a beautiful seaside spot that was built like an Italian city and is one of Wales hidden gems – I say “hidden” but it’s not hidden to the Welsh, it’s just one of those places most visitors to Wales wouldn’t normally think to look for but absolutely should. 🙂
15.) Stockholm, Sweden
The Swedish capital is another one of those places you visit for so much more than just the colours! This pretty city has so much to see and do when you visit – most of which you can see in this post here. (I won’t bother repeating all that stuff on here again. 😁 ). Long story short – if you haven’t been to Stockholm, you absolutely need to! 😀
16.) Girona, Spain
A visit to Catalonia (In Spain) is bound to see you visiting its capital city, Barcelona (understandably so too – Barcelona is such a fantastic fun city to visit) but when you’re here, you should set some time to explore the colourful city of Girona! It’s only about 38 minutes away from Barcelona by train, it’s pretty and is a great way to explore even more of Catalonia.
When you’re here, look out for the bridge built by the very same person who built the Eiffel Tower – Gustave Eiffel!
17.) Dartmouth, England, UK
Dartmouth is such a pretty little English town and one of those places worth escaping to once you’re done with the bright city lights.
Actually, scratch that, even if you’re not quite done with the city – make a bit of time to visit Dartmouth whenever you’re in the South West of England. (It’s fairly easy to reach by train so you don’t have to worry too much about driving here if you don’t want to).