I have traveled to many places, but there are still so many I have yet to explore. Lost cities, ancient civilizations, mysterious caves, magical waterfalls, glaciers, volcanos and more.
There’s just so much more to see. So I put together an epic list of places I absolutely must see before I die.
This is my unfinished (and in no specific order) fairy tale travel bucket list. Every place on this list is guaranteed to come back home with you through stories, inspiration, and appreciation of the magic around us that is this beautiful world.
My Fairy Tale Travel Bucket List
On a side note, I want to say I know that travel is expensive. I understand that these bucket list ideas are a pipe dream for many. We often spend more on material things than the moments that enrich our lives.
But sadly, when we look back, it’s not a life of things we’re proud of, it’s a life rich with stories, experiences, and adventure. That said, I hope if any of these places strikes your fancy that you make that commitment to just do it.
1. See the Storybook Castles in Germany and Road Trip the Fairy Tale Route
Oddly enough, I’ve never seen the incredible fairy tale castles of Germany. Castles like Neuschwanstein, Hohenzollern, Liechtenstein, Schwerin, Drachenburg (Dragon Castle), and Eltz look like something from a storybook.
In addition to the storybook castles, there’s a tourism route called the “Fairy Tale Route,” which stretches through Germany and takes travelers on a journey through the Brothers Grimm legacy. In a place where Snow White, Hanzel, and Grettle were born, it seems like an obvious choice for a fairy tale travel bucket list.
2. See the Fairy Tale Chateaus of France
The chateaus of the Loire Valley, France, have always reminded me of fairy tales. The type of places where knights in shining armor saved damsels in distress.
And not to mention they are spectacular to see. Rich with history and teeming with stories, they’re high up on my fairy tale travel bucket list.
3. Visit the Sleepy Village of Colmar, France
I’ve always loved the little village of Colmar, situated in France’s wine capital Alsace. Its half-timbered buildings and flower-lined canals look like something from a Mother Goose tale.
4. See Wolves in the Wilderness of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada
There’s something mystical about wild wolves. The natives knew it and even today, they are marveled. I would love to experience the wilds of British Columbia and Alberta to hopefully witness (not too closely) a pack of wolves. Also, the Prince of Whales Hotel has always seemed magical.
5. Explore the Myths and Legends of the Magical Ring Road, Iceland
The island of Iceland is one giant magical fortress if you ask me, and probably number one on my list for fairy tale travel. Where else can you drive into the northern lights as you pass by glaciers, rainbows, volcanoes, waterfalls, caverns, and mountain ridges that look like something from a fantasy sci-fi film?
They don’t call it the “land of fire and ice” for nothing. This magical road trip will warp you into another universe (until you come home, of course).
6. Visit Famous Lord of the Rings Film Locations and Otherworldly Places in New Zealand
As a major film geek, visiting Hobbiton is pretty high up there on the must-see list for me. I mean, who wouldn’t want to visit Middle Earth, right?
Chosen for its otherworldly-like features, New Zealand is filled with breathtaking landscapes. From Glowworm caves to Hobbit holes, New Zealand is a magical place indeed.
7. Get Geeky in Tokyo
There are loads of places to get your geek on in Tokyo. From themed cafes (like the Robot Cafe) to all-out fandom dedicated districts like Akihabara, there’s no shortage for the traveling geek.
8. Explore Legends of Odin and Thor in Denmark
Denmark is known as one of the Viking capitals of the age. And where there were early Vikings, Norse Myths are not too far behind. I’d love to explore the runestones and mounds in Denmark and learn firsthand about the footprint of Norse gods.
9. Experience the Magical Architecture of Spain
From the enchanted city of Cuenca, Spain, famous for its hanging houses, to the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain is full of whimsical and quirky architecture. The Sagrada Familia has always reminded me of where “Moonchild” from The Neverending Story lived.
10. Visit the Ossuaries and Mummies of Italy
Italy is home to some really weird and creepy stuff. And you know I like weird and creepy. Here you can explore the mummified remains of monks, walk into a cathedral made of bones and even see some anatomical leftovers from saints.
11. Explore Ancient Egypt
This is kind of a no-brainer. If it’s ancient, I’m pretty much there. And with Ancient Egypt being among the most popular (and mysterious) civilizations, I had to get it on the list.
12. Explore Witch Folklore on the Isle of Man
Many friends and fans have told me I must visit the Isle of Man for its witch folklore. Can’t say I can argue with that. It’s known for its magical past, fairy lore, animal lore, and sea lore.
Not to mention it sits between two of my favorite places, Scotland and Ireland.
13. Visit Vlad Dracula’s Castle in Romania
Now I know “Dracula” the vampire, did not live in Bran Castle, but it’s pretty damn cool that Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula, by the man who did, Vlad Dracul. Vlad was known as the ‘Impaler’, having been responsible for an unimaginable amount of Turkish bloodshed by impalement.
14. Explore the Lost City of Angor Wat, Cambodia
This abandoned city in the Cambodian jungle is home to hundreds of monuments made from stone and overgrown by Mother Nature. Once an empire, its people fled the city over 500 years ago leaving a trail of mystery and artifacts in their wake.
15. Visit the Otherworldly Landscapes of Arizona
Talk about exploring a place that makes you feel like you took a UFO to get there, Antelope Canyon, Arizona looks like something from a Star Wars movie. It’s hard to imagine it’s just right here in the USA.
16. Feel Like I’m on Another Planet in China
I always love finding places that make me feel like another world. The Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia are a great example in China, showing weathering and erosion at its most beautiful.
Another scenic understatement is the Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie. Home to thousands of sandstone pillars that are nature’s version of skyscrapers. Some even stretch taller than the Empire State Building’s midpoint.
17. Explore Ancient Civilization at Machu Picchu, Peru
Nothing takes you through the ages like exploring the ruins of an ancient civilization like that of the Incas of Machu Picchu, Peru.
18. Explore South Pacific Myths in Kauai, Hawaii
Some of the world’s most stunning coastlines are in Kauai (like Na’Pali which can only be seen by helicopter, catamaran, or seriously gnarly hike). Rich in legends and interesting facts, Kauai is certainly magical.
19. Feel Like I’m in a Fairy Tale in Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg, Austria is a charming storybook old town beneath sleepy hills. Talk about some fairy tale feels. The city os rich in culture and in one of the most beautiful regions of Europe.
20. Explore Otherworldly Places Like Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
Another one of those places much like Arizona, right here in the US, which looks like it came from another planet. I could see this being the scene of a post-apocalyptic film or a sci-fi alien invasion film.