REAL LIFE LOCATIONS THAT BELONG TO A FAIRY TALE

If you’re a lover of fairy tales and a lover of travel, then this bucket list is just for you. From castles in Germany, to Wisteria tunnels in Japan, we’ve scoured the globe for the best lookalike fairy tale destinations. These locations will have you feeling like you’ve stepped straight into the set of your favourite Disney movie. Whilst they may not make a fairy tale come true, they will have you instantly transported back to your childhood, reminiscing about your favourite Disney characters.

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, GERMANY

One of Germany’s most famous tourist attractions, Neuschwanstein Castle is also the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty’s castle, both in the movie and Disneyland itself.

FT_Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany_Buzzfeed*Image via Buzzfeed.

HOBBITON NEW ZEALAND

The movie The Hobbit may not have been a fairy tale, but that doesn’t stop the movie set from looking like one. Hobbiton is the hometown of character Bilbo Baggins and the setting for the Peter Jackson trilogy. Located in Waikato, 2 ½ hours from Auckland, New Zealand, it is one of the world’s only preserved film sets.

FT Hobbiton_Hobbiton Tours*Image via Hobbiton Tours.

THE DARK HEDGES, IRELAND

One look at this mystical work of nature and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve strolled into a dark forest from the set of a fairy tale. When the light is streaming through the trunks of these beautiful beech trees, it makes for a majestic entrance to the Georgia mansion that lies at the end of the walkway. So spectacular is this setting, it was actually featured in the Game of Thrones as the King’s Road.

FT The Dark Hedges_Alamy*Image via Alamy.

PALACE OF VERSAILLES

One of the largest castles in the world, the Palace of Versailles boasts around 2000 windows, 1200 fireplaces and 67 staircases. Located just outside of Paris in France, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for it’s opulent décor and perfectly manicured gardens.

FT PALACE OF VERSAILLES _ Pinterest*Image via Pinterest.

TULIP FIELDS, NETHERLANDS

The Tulip Fields in The Netherlands makes for a magnificent visual masterpiece of striking layers of colourful tulips. From red to purple, to yellow and blue, this colour explosion can be seen from the end of March until the second week of May, instantly transporting you to a field of magical dreams.

FT Tuplip Fields_Getty Images*Image via Getty Images.

CHÂTEAU DE CHILLON, SWITZERLAND

The Château De Chillon in Switzerland has had several uses since it’s creation, including a fortress and a prison. But what’s perhaps it’s lesser known and arguably better use is providing the inspiration for a famous Disney movie. This incredible castle was actually the inspiration behind Prince Eric’s castle in The Little Mermaid.

FT CHÂTEAU DE CHILLON, SWITZERLAND_Expedia*Image via Expedia.

THE TAJ MAHAL, INDIA

The Taj Mahal in India is an absolutely mesmerising piece of architecture, attracting thousands of tourists every day. What some people don’t know is that it was also an inspiration for the creators of Disney’s movie Aladdin, who modelling the Sultan’s palace on the Taj Mahal.

FT Taj_Newmarket Holidays*Image via Newmarket Holidays.

NORWAY

The magical land that is Norway was the inspiration for the setting of Disney’s highest grossing animated film, Frozen. The rolling landscape, snow capped mountains and majestic lakes form the setting for the home town of main characters Anna and Elsa.

FT Norway_Alamy*Image via Alamy.

AVENUE OF THE BAOBABS, MADAGASCAR

This spectacular array of baobab trees lining a dirt road has become one of Madagascar’s most popular tourist attractions. You can easily imagine some cartoon animals from a Disney movie roaming around, telling the stories of your childhood daydreams.

FT AVENUE OF THE BAOBABS, MADAGASCAR _Pinterest*Image via Pinterest.

ALCASE, FRANCE

The inspiration behind the village square in Beauty and the Beast, Alcase’s cobblestone streets and picturesque houses really do look like they’re straight out of the movie. Alcase lies in Northeastern France, bordering Germany and Switzerland, and is said to take a lot of inspiration from Germany, with its villages of brightly coloured roofs and half timbered houses.

FT ALcase France*Image via Getty Images.

SWALLOW’S NEST CASTLE, UKRAINE

This medieval mini castle in Ukraine was created by its owner Baron Von Steingel as a romantic retreat for himself and his ballerina mistress. With the ocean as its backdrop and set atop a cliff, this 20th century mini castle looks like it should belong to a fairy princess.

FT Swallows nest castle_Gallery Yopriceville*Image via Gallery Yopriceville.

WISTERIA TUNNEL, JAPAN

A walk through Wistera Tunnel in Kitakyushu, Japan is enough to make you feel like you’re in fairyland. The breathtaking scenery of flowers completely engulfs the surroundings and makes for a romantic tunnel – the perfect place for lovers to take a stroll.

FT Wisteria_shuttershock*Image via Shuttershock.

SAINT BASIL’S CATHEDRAL, RUSSIA

Located in Moscow, Russia, this idyllic cathedral was once a church, but is now a museum and is said to be one of Russia’s most popular tourist attractions. With its brightly coloured façade and quirky architecture, you can see why it makes for a fairy tale setting.

FT St Basils_Lonely Planet*Image via Lonely Planet.

PAMUKKALE, TURKEY

Pamukkale, or ‘Cotton Castle’ is a natural site in Turkey that is famous for its hot springs and travertines. People from all over the world flock here to relax in the small turquoise pools and take in the idyllic setting.

FT Pamukkale, Turkey_International Traveller*Image via International Traveller.

ADMONT ABBEY, AUSTRIA

With an interior that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale novel, Austria’s Admont Abbey contains one of the largest libraries in the world. Spanning over 70 metres and brimming with over 200,000 volumes of books, this beautiful piece of architecture would make Belle from Beauty and the Beast very jealous.

FT Admont Abbey Austria_Getty Images*Image via Getty Images.

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