Some German towns are so mesmerizing they look like they popped up from fairytale books. Some look medieval, others look rustic, and some seem like a place where dreams are made of. The towns look like movie sets, but they are real. No fiction, just pure beauty.

Europe is proud of its medieval towns, and Germany is one good ambassador of this unique type of tourism. History and culture are best enjoyed when visiting such quaint villages. Stepping back in time in these beautiful German towns will let tourists experience a journey unlike any other, with lots of Instagram shots to boot. Good shot and Guten tag!

10 Quedlinburg

So charming is Quedlinburg that a large part of this town is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located near the mountainous Harz, this quaint town has impressive Romanesque architecture seen in its castle, Old Town, and the Collegiate Church. Half-timbered structures dot the area, adding to its unique personality. UNESCO best described Quedlinburg as an “exceptional example of a medieval European town.” The photos look inviting, more so when tourists are in the middle of the square, hugged by nothing but beauty.

9 Gengenbach

When taking photos of the elegant Gengenbach, no filter is needed because the mishmash of colors in this town is superb. Walking around town is an enriching experience, especially since the breeze from the Black Forest accompanies tourists. This German destination is famous because of its Advent tradition, which they protect so much that the town is home to one of the largest Advent calendars in the world. It’s best to visit Gengenbach during Advent when evenings are brighter and mornings richer.

8 Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is always part of any list related to charming German towns, and that’s not surprising because the place looks magical. The town is surrounded by greenery that complements its buildings’ red roof tiles. Wandering in its alleys will lead tourists to stunning attractions, like the Renaissance-era Rathaus (town hall), the fortification of Spitalbastei, the Medieval Crime and Justice Museum, and the Gothic St. James Church, among others. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a humble town with grand surprises.

7 Passau

Three rivers pass through Passau: Danube, Ilz, and Inn. As such, it’s famous for cruises and cycling paths, with one leading up to Vienna, Austria. Tourists flock to its waterways, much so that the city is dubbed the "Venice of Bavaria." The city is notable for its fortresses, the baroque churches of St. Michael and St. Stephen's Cathedral, Gothic structures, and the Scharfrichterhaus, which was once the residence of an executioner. This Bavarian town is a charming place to enjoy the best things in life.

Related: 10 Most Amazing Things To Do In Germany’s Bavaria

6 Schwerin

Schwerin is Germany’s smallest state capital but packed with grandeur. Standing tall in this town is Schwerin Castle, perched on an island surrounded by the main lake. Yes, there’s a main lake because the city has six other lakes, an enticing prospect for paddlers and boaters. Beyond its waterways, its other attractions should not be overlooked, like the Gothic cathedral, museums, the theater, the half-timbered Altes Palais, Schelf Church, the square, and the city hall. Schwerin knows how to impress wherever tourists look.

5 Fussen

Fussen is a place of harmony, thanks to its thriving violin and lute industry. Beyond the musical instruments, the city is a stunning sight of melody, from its red-roof structures to the majestic castles. Add the view of the charming Lech River, and it’s pure bliss. It’s near the famous castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, so fairytales just got real in this town. It’s also proud of the High Castle, known for its illusion paintings, the fresco-famous St. Mang's Basilica, and the lakeside theater. Fussen is fascinating.

4 Meissen

Meissen is known to the world as the origin of high-quality Meissen porcelain. The china made by this German town is so artistic that when tourists visit it, they will understand where the inspiration came from. Right in the town center, visitors will be gobsmacked by the castle of Albrechtsburg, near the equally stunning Meissen Cathedral. At the foot of the castle lies many structures of Renaissance architecture. Whatever the season, Meissen is a destination as flawless and as creative as its porcelain masterpieces.

Related: These Cities In Germany Are The Most Enchanting

3 Nuremberg

Nuremberg is famous for the trials of Nazi officials involved in war crimes during World War II. The buildings related to the tribunal are famous, but the city is more than this historic event. This Bavarian town is also proud of its architectural wonders, like the St. Lorenz Church and the Imperial Castle. Museums also abound, like the house of artist Albrecht Dürer and those that focus on toys, transportation, history, and art. What tourists should not miss, however, is trying Nuremberg’s sausages and beer. What a life.

2 Heidelberg

Tourists should not miss saying hi to Heidelberg, a place where waking up means falling in love. Visitors should imagine this: after a tasty breakfast, the breeze from the Odenwald forest will tempt them for a morning walk. Their feet will lead them along the Neckar River and then cross a stone bridge to reach the old town. There, a grand castle and the late Gothic Church of the Holy Spirit await. The adventure continues if tourists take on the scenic Philosophers' Walk, where they might as well practice their philosophy skills, thanks to the inspiring views. That’s the Heidelberg high.

1 Bamberg

Another Bavarian wonder, the 10th-century town of Bamberg is a place of enlightenment, then and now. This World Heritage Site has unmatched views courtesy of its medieval buildings that stood the test of time. Its Romanesque cathedral is home to the tomb of Pope Clement II, and not to be missed, too, are its numerous castles that once housed bishops. The charm of Bamberg is made possible not just by its medieval structures but by its famous smoked beer, too. Weary travelers are always welcome to end their day with the best beverage until enlightenment comes.