Once upon a time…four of the most recognizable words that resonate with the child inside of all of us. Year after year, movies and books produce stories and settings that bring magic back into our heart and turn us into a 12 year old child all over again. Though “Once Upon a Time” is a saying only from Fairytales, these destinations are something that we can not only dream of but actually visit and have our Wish Upon a Star granted.

Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia - David Holt

Image Source: Flickr – DAVID HOLT

1. Sanctuary of Our Lady “Las Lajas Sanctuary” – Colombia

This sanctuary brings to life the elaborate designs of many fairytale like churches and cathedrals. The church was built in Gothic Revival style between 1916 and 1949.


Colmar, France - Russ Bowling

Image Source: Flickr – Russ Bowling

2. Colmar, France

The tiny town of Colmar is linked to Belle’s home in the Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast”. If you look closely, you can see Gaston pursuing Belle as she escapes to her favorite library. The town of Colmar is straight out of a fairytale and offers a beautiful setting for our imaginations to run wild.

Frank Kovalchek - Cappadocia, Turkey

Image Source: Flickr – Frank Kovalchek

3. Cappadocia, Turkey

These stone dwellings seem like something found in a Tolkien novel, but they were actually used as homes in Cappadocia many years ago. What is left of the stone dwellings offers a great look at the past and has been used as inspiration for tales such as the musical “Brigadoon”.


Hallstat, Austria - Jiuguang Wang

Image Source: Flickr – Jiuguang Wang

4. Hallstat, Austria

Also reminiscent of various Disney movies, Hallstat is a picturesque village that brings our imagination to life with its striking architectural appeal. The village also gave its name to the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture and is a World Heritage Site for Cultural Heritage. Hallstatt is a popular tourist attraction owing to its small-town appeal.


DSC_1382 - Version 2

Image Source: Flickr – horslips5

5. Dark Hedges of Armory, Ireland

Straight from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, The Dark Hedges provide a much more sinister looking side of our imaginations. It would be easy to picture an evil witch emerging from the wooded area, holding a poisonous apple.

Mont Saint-Michel - Djof

Image Source: Flickr – Djof

6. Mont Saint Michel, France

This is one of the most striking castles on our list as it looks exactly like the Disney Castle that graces the beginning of every Disney Movie. Mont Saint-Michel was used in the 6th and 7th centuries as a stronghold until it was ransacked by the Franks.

Denmark #38 Copenhagen, Christiansborg Slot

Image Source: Flickr – Nelson L.

7. Christiansborg Palace Library – Copenhagen, Denmark

The library is filled magical allure and the golden trim on the decor allows it to shine bright for all who visit. This library is also a heavy influence on the film “Beauty and the Beast”, serving as inspiration for the library in the Beast’s castle.

Parterre du Midi, Versailles

Image Source: Flickr – Andy Hay

8. The Palace of Versailles, France

Versailles is as large in grandeur as it is in size. The estate sits at over 720,000 square feet and was a symbol of the absolute monarchy during the time of King Louis XIV. The estate is located just outside of Paris and is frequented by thousands of visitors every single year. Known as the Chateau de Versailles, this estate is influence for many fairytales and is a dream come true in real life as well.

Saint Basil's Cathedral - James Whatley

Image Source: Flickr – James Whatley

9. St. Basil’s Cathedral – Moscow, Russia

In the 16th and 17th centuries the church, perceived as the earthly symbol of the Heavenly City. It’s structure served as an allegory for the Jerusalem Temple in the annual Palm Sunday parade in Moscow. The structure is rich with history, as it was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1555.

Stig Nygaard - Faroe Islands

Image Source: Flickr –Stig Nygaard

10. Faroe Islands

Wandering the Faroe islands is much like wandering The Shire of middle earth. Houses with grass roofs and small wooden structures are scattered amongst the beautiful grass and hills of this tiny island chain outside of Denmark. c


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