12 of the World's Most Historic Villages You Can Still Live In

If you're tired of the noise and crowds in major cities such as Los Angeles and New York, maybe you should consider the whimsical charms of these historic villages

By Nick Mafi, Architectural Digest

According to a report issued by the World Health Organization, the world's urban population accounts for roughly 54 percent of the total global population, up 34 percent from 1960. That means of the roughly 7 billion people, nearly 4 billion inhabit major cities such as New York, Paris, and Tokyo, among others. But what about those who not only prefer the quiet life but also desire a location that hasn't been sped up by modernization? AD rounds up 12 of the most historic villages around the world that still are not only livable but happen to be stunningly beautiful as well. From the village of Reine, off the northern coast of Norway, to the bright-blue hues of Júzcar in Andalucía, these charming destinations will surely have you packing your bags for a short (or permanent) stay.

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Located in southern Czech Republic, Český Krumlov is an old town that consists of architecture from the 14th through 17th century. The structures are built around a bend in the Vltava River, and are predominately designed in charming Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque modes of architecture. In 1992, the Český Krumlov Castle (which was erected in roughly 1240 AD) was a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shirakawa-gō, Japan

[post_ads]Situated in central Japan, the village of Shirakawa-gō sits near the peak of Mount Haku in the Ryōhaku Mountains. Built in the 19th century, the village currently has a population of nearly 2,000.

Júzcar, Spain

Roughly an hour's drive north of the Mediterranean Sea is the village of Júzcar. The small Andalusian town includes small buildings that are uniformly painted blue. The current population is fewer than 300 inhabitants.

Èze, France

The picturesque village of Èze sits on a cliff overlooking the French Riviera. Founded sometime around 2000 B.C., Èze has become a tourist destination for its charming medieval aesthetic and breathtaking views of the nearby water. The current population is roughly 3,000 citizens.


Oia, Greece

Situated in the South Aegean Sea is the small village of Oia. This Greek island was first settled in the early 13th century and since then has a population of roughly 1,500 people.

Reine, Norway

Up near the northern reaches of Norway is the quant fishing village of Reine. Founded in 1743, the cluster of homes is situated over 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The current population is just above 300 inhabitants, yet many tourists flock to the village in the winter to witness the Northern Lights.


Vlkolínec, Slovakia

Founded in the 14th century, the village of Vlkolínec is almost exclusively made up of wooden architecture. The structures have since been painted bright colors, adding to the village's charm. In 1997 Vlkolínec was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Alberobello, Italy

[post_ads]Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is the village of Alberobello. Situated in southern Italy and built in the 16th century, Alberobello features a style of architecture called trulli, which is a unique, cone-roofed structure.

Bardejov, Slovakia

One of the oldest settlements in Slovakia, the village of Bardejov is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The architecture spans from the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, which has allowed archaeologists a firm understanding of how European civilizations planned their spaces.


Bibury, England

Bibury is a village situated in south-central England, some 40 miles east of the Bristol Channel. Beloved for its 17th-century stone cottages, a picture of Bibury can be seen on the inside cover of every U.K. passport.

Hallstatt, Austria

[post_ads]The village of Hallstatt is nestled in Austria's mountainous Salzkammergut region. Nearly 40 miles from the German border, Hallstatt is comprised of beautiful, 16th-century Alpine structures that sit along a picturesque lake.

Tallinn, Estonia

In the center of Estonia's capital city, Tallinn, is a walled village commonly referred to as Old Town. Among its many old-world charms is a 13th-century town hall, which boasts a 210-foot tower.

See more at: Architectural Digest


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Travel Magazine: 12 of the World's Most Historic Villages You Can Still Live In
12 of the World's Most Historic Villages You Can Still Live In
Travel Magazine
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