Have you ever dreamed that your life was more like a fairy tale? Even the most wonderful stories have been influenced by real places. From the collections of tales of Grimm brothersand up to the stories ofHans Christian Andersen, European cities and landscapes have been an important source of inspiration for classical tales. Whether you have already planned a trip to Europe, or are looking for new ideas, be sure to visit one of the places on our list to add some magic to your vacation! Discover Europe’s fairy tale destinations by bus!
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Explore Alice in Wonderland’s playground in Oxford
Known as the birthplace of modern fairyland, the city of Oxford has inspired some of the greatest authors of the genre, who have also settled there to write. From JRR Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings to Chronicles of Narnia of CS Lewis, and to Lewis Carroll with Alice in Wonderland, the university town is full of legends. With its breathtaking architecture and countless charming gardens, you can easily imagine Alice chasing the white rabbit during your visit.
Bus to Oxford
Relive your childhood with Winnie the Pooh in Ashdown Forest
This idyllic forest was once the haunt of the author A. A. Milne and his young son, Christopher Robin. Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England serves as a beautiful setting for the Hundred Acre Wood, or Forest of Blue Dreams, in Winnie the Pooh. The countryside and the sublime landscapes will certainly take you back to your childhood.
Nearest bus station: Forest Row
On site, local trains and buses will help you navigate the forest and the East Sussex region.
Stroll through the village of Beauty and the Beast in Alsace
Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé, two neighboring Alsatian towns, conjure up the picture-perfect image of a fairytale town, and indeed served as the inspiration for Belle’s village in the Disney cartoon. The beauty and the Beast. With their rows of colorful houses, narrow cobbled streets and no modern buildings in sight, you will truly feel transported to another world.
Nearest bus station: Colmar
After reaching Colmar, you can easily access these towns using local buses.
Visit Snow White Castle, the Alcazar of Segovia
The historic castle in Segovia, Spain has the typical architecture of a fairytale castle, and served as the inspiration for Disney’s first cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This castle is only one hour from Madrid, in the superb Castile and León region.
Bus to Segovia
Climb the hillside town that inspired Pinocchio
When Carlo Collodi wrote Pinocchio in 1883 he was inspired by the highest point of his birthplace, Collodi, in the town of Pescia, in Tuscany. At the foot of the hill is the Pinocchio Parkin which is placed a plaque engraved with the first words of the tale, as well as a statue of the main character more than 4.5 meters high who greets visitors!
Nearest bus station: Lucca
From Lucca you can reach Collodi in around 25 minutes by local bus.
Climb Rapunzel’s Tower in Bavaria
Not far from the borders of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the Rapunzel’s tower rises in the Bavarian town of Lindau on Lake Constance. With an old stone lighthouse, a view of the crystal clear waters of the lake and an impressive panorama of the mountains, this tower is truly worthy of a fairy tale! You can even see a long lock of golden hair hanging from one of the floors.
Bus to Lindau
Relive the story of Sleeping Beauty at Neuschwanstein Castle
The main inspiration for the Castle of The Sleeping Beauty by Disney, Neuschwanstein Castle, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. Its construction began under the reign of King Ludwig II, in 1869, but was never completed. This does not prevent visitors from all over the world from dreaming and giving free rein to their imagination, especially since the building has been elected among the new wonders of the world in 2007.
Bus to Neuschwanstein Castle
You can book a tour departing from Munich to go directly to Neuschwanstein Castle, and enjoy a guided tour included in the price of the ticket.
Discover the fairytale towns of the Black Forest
Near the childhood home of Grimm brothersthe Black Forest is the starting point of the german fairy tale routewhere the inspiration for stories like Snow White Or Hansel and Gretel. On your journey through fairytale towns like Steinau and Marburg, don’t forget to stop in Kassel to see the original manuscript from 1812.
Nearest bus station: Kassel
Visit the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen
There little mermaid statue is one of the most important symbols of the city of Copenhagen. It represents the eponymous character from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale who transforms into a human for love. Since its inauguration in 1913, it has attracted tourists from all over the world.
Bus to Copenhagen
Think you’re Frozen in Bergen
With incredible mountain vistas, fjords, and a historic shopping district, this Norwegian city has it all. Bergen is cited among the sources of inspiration for the fictional kingdom ofArendelle in the Disney cartoon Snow Queen. With a population of only 200,000 inhabitants, it is quite easy to get your bearings.
Bus to Bergen
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