While visiting big, booming cities is always great, some of my favorite trips have been when I’ve visited the most random tiny towns, and I’ve decided to share some of them with you. So without further ado, here are 10 tiny bucket list-worthy towns around the world.
Because I studied abroad in this beautiful country for eight months, it was hard for me to just pick one tiny Swiss town to put on this list, but I decided on Montreux. This lake-side town is so picturesque at any time of day and at any time of year. But one of my favorite times to visit is during the winter for the Montreux Christmas market.
Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
Before visiting this tiny Dutch town, I had never heard of it. As a matter of fact, the only reason I decided to visit was because I had a friend who was going to school there. But I’m so glad I decided to take that two-hour train from Amsterdam, because it was such an amazing experience (as I described more in depth in a previous blog post).
Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA
The little town of Kaneohe is one of my favorites on my home island of Oahu, Hawaii, because there are just so many hidden gems in such a small area. There are tons of amazing nature activities, like gorgeous waterfall hikes, turquoise beaches, and the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens (this place has been showing up on Instagram a ton recently). But one of my favorite places to visit is the Byodo-In Temple, a majestic, Japanese-style temple tucked away behind the mountains. (I’ve written about this place in a previous blog post as well.)
Santa Barbara, California, USA
Santa Barbara has been going through some rough times lately, but as I wrote in a blog post a few months ago, it is still a bucket-list tiny town. From the food to the hikes to the views, Santa Barbara is a must-visit California town.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
I love Palma de Mallorca, simply because this tiny town has such a diverse range of activities to do. If you’re a beach-lounger, there are perfect picturesque spots waiting to be discovered. If you’re more of a history buff, check out the Catedral de Mallorca and the Baleares Coliseu Bullring. This small Spanish island has something for everyone.
A few friends and I stayed in Füssen for the sole purpose of visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle, but I fell in love with this tiny town so quickly. I honestly felt like skipping around this fairytale land that seemed like it was pulled straight out of Sleeping Beauty. And the people here seemed magical too. We literally walked into this cookie bakery, and the owner saw how excited we were to be there and gave us free chocolate-dipped, star-shaped cookies. I would definitely recommend splurging on an AirBnb here and spending at least one night.
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Whenever people think about visiting Egypt, they automatically think about Cairo. But honestly, Sharm El Sheikh is where it’s at. You can still see pyramids (granted, not the famous trio), but you can also visit historical monasteries and even enjoy some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced (and keep in mind, I’m from Hawaii).
My experience in Orbetello, Italy was quite a spontaneous one. I basically looked at a map of Italy, pointed at that town, and decided to take a train there. While this could have turned out horribly, it turned out to be amazing. About ten minutes into wandering around this tiny town, I noticed a large body of water with hundreds of pale pink birds lounging around. I was too far away to tell what type of bird they were, so I took out my camera and zoomed in as far as it would go. The pale pink birds slowly got clearer and clearer, revealing their tall, thin legs and long, curved necks – there were hundreds and hundreds of flamingos! So if you like flamingos, I would highly recommend Orbetello.
Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Yes, I realize that Providence, Rhode Island seems like a random addition to this list, and before my family and I drove into this city, I would’ve agreed. But then I found out that it is quite the foodie hub. While we were only there for a fraction of a day, everything we ate – from the French pastries to the Italian dinner – was fantastic. I mean, if you just Yelp restaurants in Providence, almost all of them are four or even five stars – and trust me, it’s not just because the people are nice.
If I decide to live abroad one day, I can definitely see myself living in Brighton. This cozy little town is perfect for a crisp-air-tinged walk on the beach or a day at the pier. Food-wise, the fish and chips from Harry Ramsden’s and the gelato from Boho Gelato are both some of the best that I’ve ever had.
Have you ever been to any of these tiny bucket list-worthy towns around the world? What were your experiences there? Write about them in the comments!