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There are plenty of great things about big city life. But there’s something seriously mesmerizing about a quaint, European small town--you know, the kind that looks straight out of a storybook. Here, eight of our favorites.

RELATED: 6 Underrated European Cities You Should Visit

ronda
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Ronda, Spain

Just outside Málaga, the small city of Ronda stands in a deep gorge, peering over the Guadalevín River. The Puente Neuvo, an 18th-century stone bridge, connects the two sections--to the south, a Moor-influenced, serpentine old city and to the north, a classic 18th-century Spanish town. 

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Annecy, France

Annecy is nicknamed the Venice of the Alps, and for good reason. The Thiou River winds through the old city, surrounded by walking bridges, cobblestone streets, ancient castles and Baroque cathedrals.

RELATED: These 7 Cities Are Total Time Warps

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Burnham Market, United Kingdom

This colorful village in Norfolk, England, is the epitome of English charm. Located just four miles from the stunning coastline, Burnham Market’s main street is a row of brick and flint cottages occupied by family-owned antique stores, specialty food shops, tiny boutiques and century-old pubs.

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Folegandros, Greece

A rarity among the Greek Islands, the small Aegean isle of Folegandros has been virtually untouched by tourism. As you explore the rocky and secluded town, you’ll see paths paved for donkeys and coves dotted with fishing boats--and not a fancy hotel or casino in sight.

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Coimbra, Portugal

The Cambridge of Portugal, Coimbra is a vibrant college town and home to the country’s best university. During the academic year, the local bars and restaurants are teeming with students, but during the summer months, Coimbra experiences a quiet slumber.

RELATED: Everyone Is Going to Portugal and Here’s Why You Should Too

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Hallstatt, Austria

It’s no surprise that the Austrian town of Hallstatt, found an hour outside Salzburg, is one of the most visited and photographed places in the country. The old, alpine village, which dates back to 800 B.C., is thought to be the world’s oldest salt mine. Today, it’s an idyllic village of pastel-colored houses built along a glimmering lake.

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Atrani, Italy

It’s easy to overlook the tiny town of Atrani when visiting Italy’s Amalfi coast--but we’d encourage you not to. Home to 11th and 12th century churches, charming and dramatic cliffs, Atrani was basically designed for romance.

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Reine, Norway

You won’t find much more than colorful fishing cabins, cerulean water and dramatic cliffs here. But who needs activity when you’ve got the northern lights to look up at?

RELATED: 21 Places in the World You Must Visit at Least Once