The greatest joy in traveling comes from finding places that don’t feel real.
Whether they are just out of reach of my comfort zone or completely zany in every possible way, our planet is blessed with a myriad of places that feel right out of a fairy tale.
Here are (in no particular order) places that will absolutely blow your mind in this regard.
1. Park Guell (Barcelona, Spain)
Step into the Gaudi-designed Park Guell, and in an instant, you have escaped the bustling street life of one of Spain’s most popular destinations and entered the imagination of both an artist and a visionary. Gaudi has spread his influence throughout the city, from his house that depicts the tale of St. George and the Dragon to the colossal Sagrada Familia church, and his style is prevalent in this magical outdoor space. Adorned with houses that look like they’re made of gingerbread and featuring the famous tiled salamander, the park is a must-see on your trip to Barcelona.
2. Sacre Coeur (Paris, France)
The City of Lights is considered to be one of the most romantic destinations on earth. From the glimmering Eiffel Tower to the impressive galleries at the Louvre, there is no question that Paris is a hub for honeymooners and lovebirds from around the world. In our opinion, one of the city’s most stunning monuments is Sacre Coeur, a cathedral nestled on a hilltop surrounded by charming shops along cobblestone streets. The warm lights of the city glisten like summer fireflies below as the charm of the hill provides the backdrop for a perfect evening with that special someone.
3. Cinderella’s Castle (Orlando, Florida)
Okay, maybe this is cheating. Sure this monument was created in an attempt to bring fantasy into the real world, but come on. If you don’t feel giddy walking down Main Street U.S.A. towards the most recognizable theme park attraction in the world, you just need to dream a little more. No matter how many places I visit in my life, this castle will always evoke the child inside of me.
4. Old Town Square (Prague, Czech Republic)
In the heart of the Czech capital is Old Town Square, anchored by a beautiful cathedral on one end and the mystical astronomical clock on the other. Here, people watching is a national pastime and eating outdoors is an absolute must. If you find yourself in Prague during the spring months, we highly recommend checking out the Easter market, where local artisans and craftsmen show off their latest styles and designs. At night, the square lights up and music fills the air. It’s truly a magical stop on your Eastern European adventure.
5. Rooftop Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
One of the most impressive exhibits at the Met isn’t even in the museum. It is the artwork that is the skyline of the city that the gallery calls home. Enter the rooftop garden and you find yourself six stories high in the middle of the Museum Mile, with the Manhattan skyline surrounding you on all four sides. It is a magnificent sight, and pairs excellently with a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.