Towns To Visit at Least Once in Your Lifetime

Yangshuo, China
Yangshuo, China | © Ana Flašker / Alamy Stock Photo
Harry Stewart

Yearning to escape the pitfalls that modern living entails? While many travel Instagrammers would recommend a visit to one of the world’s greatest metropolises, a trip to a quaint town is the perfect antidote to those 21st-century blues. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Chefchaouen, Morocco


Nestled within the Riff Mountains of northwest Morocco, this delightful blue village was founded as a fortress in the 15th century to fend off the marauding Portuguese. These days, it’s an amicable mishmash of cobblestone streets lined with local tanneries and weavers.

Yangshuo, China

Yangshuo Mountain Retreat Rooms, Yangshuo China Hotels

Sure, the town centre may seem a little touristy at present, but just a short bike or boat ride away is where the real magic is at. Pointy mountains jut out through the mist, while whimsical old men with wispy grey beards and conical hats ply the rivers to fish with their well-trained birds of prey.

Lalibela, Ethiopia

Beta Giyorgis (St. George’s Church), Lalibela

An archaeologist’s wonderland, the monolithic stone churches of Lalibela are among the most underrated on earth. These impressive sacred structures are carved out of sheer rock, a series of ancient pilgrimage sites that give the town a truly mystical air.

Santorini, Greece

Famous attraction of white village with cobbled streets, Oia, Santorini

The undisputed king of the Greek Islands, Santorini is renowned for its countless whitewashed abodes that peer out over the dazzling waters of the Mediterranean Sea. And despite welcoming an army of tourists each year, it still manages to retain a magical small-town feel.

Mont-Saint-Michel, France

Mont Saint-Michel

This is Mont-Saint-Michel, a historic island commune that surrounds a majestic eighth-century monastery. Home to around 50 inhabitants, it really is one of the most enchanting settlements on Earth.

Huacachina, Peru

View of Huacachina

Have you ever wanted to visit a real-life oasis smack bang in the middle of the desert? Well, here’s your chance – for this incredible Peruvian town is not a mirage.

Bruges, Belgium

Traditional brick buildings along the canal in Bruges

Europe is full of Medieval hamlets that appear straight out of a fairytale, but few are as breathtaking as Belgium’s historic city of Bruges.

Alter do Chão, Brazil

Alter do Chao

Could a tropical island paradise really exist in the middle of the Amazon? You better believe it. So pull up a towel and get some serious R & R at the Brazilian jungle paradise, Alter do Chão.

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt village

Straddling a glistening lake beneath forest-covered peaks lies Hallstatt, an Austrian wonderland of distinct European flair.


Panoramic aerial view of the historic town of Dubrovnik

Internationally famous for its stunning fortress that lines the waters of the Adriatic Sea, it’s little wonder this Game of Thrones locale is the jewel in Croatia’s tourism crown.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza village in Cinque Terre

Not just one but five sleepy seaside villages, Italy’s Cinque Terre is not to be missed. Each settlement is accessible via a hiking trail and features an impressive display of colourful houses that stack like Lego on the rugged Italian Riviera.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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