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Top 10 Medieval Towns in the World

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Want to have a travel in time? Consider visiting theses cities, especially if you are interested in the Middle Ages. Here are ten towns with the very well preserved architecture from the Dark Ages. Some are more famous like Siena, Oviedo and Prague, while others like Pingyao, Ghardaïa or Trakai might be unheard of before, but definitely worth attention.

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10. Mystras, Greece

The important center of Byzantyne Empire, Mystras has a lot of prominent Medieval architecture. The cityscape has various influences: from Latin and Byzantine Empire to Venetians and Turks. Today the Medieval ruins, surrounded by the stunning nature, is protected by UNESCO.

Why to go there?

Mystras has a rich historic and architectural heritage, as well as beautiful nature.

When to go there?

Anytime, although it might get pretty hot in summer.

How to get there?

The nearest airport is in Kalamata and Athens. Or catch a bus from Athens or Sparti.

Read more or book: Byzantion Hotel, Erhan Sasmaz

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9. Ghardaïa, Algeria

Situated in the Sahara Desert, the city, which was included in the World Heritage Site list, has a very well preserved Medieval architecture. The fortified town in the valley was established in the 11th century. Many historic, cultural and architectural influences are present.

Why to go there?

One of the most visited places in Algeria, often referred to as „the pearl of the oasis“.

When to go there?

The camel race is held every spring; the carpet festival is held in March and April – the city is famous for its rugs.

How to get there?

Ghardaïa has its own airport. Buses from other cities also go there.

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8. York, England

Although a lot of Medieval buildings were lost through the ages, York is famous for Madieval churches and Micklegate – the Medieval city walls. The guides tell stories about the severed heads, that were put on the pikes and posited at the Micklegate to warn people.

Why to go there?

York has a long and great history, as well as rich architecture from various eras.

When to go there?

York has four distinct seasons, however, various festivals and events take place all year round.

How to get there?

Catch a bus or train from the various British cities.

Read more or book: Visit York, The Royal York Hotel

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Photo by Stephen Candler-Photography

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7. Trakai, Lithuania

The town has a gorgeous island castle in the lake. The Medieval Royal palace served as the capital of the Duchy. Today a museum is established here, with a wide collection of exhibits from the Medieval era.

Why to go there?

A unique Medieval complex on an island, surrounded with beautiful nature makes it a great tourist destination.

When to go there?

Anytime – summers are warm and in winter the lake gets covered with ice and snow. Various festivals take place during summer and autumn.

How to get there?

Get there by bus or car – Trakai is a short ride from capital Vilnius.

Read more or book: Trakai Island Castle, Artis Centrum Hotels

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Photo by Elena Korneevets

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Photo by Marius Kasteckas

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6. Bruges, Belgium

The Medieval part of Bruges has many remarkable monuments: the Church of Our Lady, for instance, is one of the highest brick buildings in the world. The tourists love taking a romantic boat tour in Bruges canals – probably the best way seeing the town.

Why to go there?

Certainly a gorgeous town, often referred to as the Venice of the North.

When to go there?

Go there in summer – winters get quite chilly.

How to get there?

Trains go frequently to Bruges from many Belgian cities.

Read more or book: Bruges, Grand Hotel Casselbergh Brugge

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Photo by Sam De Gueldre

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Photo by Dan Biggins

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Photo by Piet Flour

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Photo by Juan Pablo de Miguel

5. Pingyao, China

In the 14th century the city was the financial center of China. Today it is listed as the World Heritage Site because of its ancient walls. The narrow Medieval streets and markets make you believe in time travel – Pingyao is a truly authentic town to visit.

Why to go there?

Many historic sites from Ming and Qing era are present.

When to go there?

Lantern Festival takes place on September and city becomes so romantic with the lit lanterns.

How to get there?

Fly to Taiyuan’s airport, which is 90 km from Pingyao. Catch a bus or train from Taiyuan, Xi’an or Guangzhou.

Read more or book: Pingyao, Pingyao Yide Hotel

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Photo by Martin Schirlo

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Photo by Austin Johnsen

4. Siena, Italy

The city has one of the greatest Medieval cityscapes, preserved by UNESCO. Siena Cathedral is a beautiful monument among the other staggering examples of Italian architecture. Siena is one of the most frequently visited towns in Italy.

Why to go there?

Siena is one of the most popular towns for its Medieval and well preserved architecture.

When to go there?

Anytime – the climate is mild all year round.

How to get there?

Siena is often included in an Italian tourist routes. Otherwise, catch a train from Florence or a plane – Siena has its own airport.

Read more or book: Siena, Hotel Athena

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Photo by Pieter Arnolli

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Photo by Marco Monticone

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Photo by Andrea J Ceroni

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Photo by Tobias Richter

3. Carcassonne, France

The historic town is defined by the impressive Medieval citadel, which was reconstructed in the 19th century. One of the towers even used to house the Catholic Inquisition in the 13th century. The fortified city in south-west France attracts over 3 million tourists each year.

Why to go there?

Carcassonne is definitely one of the most exciting Medieval city’s in the world.

When to go there?

Anytime – the climate is mild all year round in the area.

How to get there?

Planes to the local airport come from many European cities, including British, Portuguese and Belgian airports. Trains from many French cities go to Carcassonne.

Read more or book: French Castles, Mercure Carcassonne Porte De La Cite

carcassonne- Alexander Sysuev
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Photo by Alexander Sysuev

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Photo by Marco Caciolli

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Photo by Ariasgonzalo

2. Oviedo, Spain

The city was found in the 8th century and it still has amazing Medieval churches, monasteries, fountains and other buildings. Being the capital of Asturias, Oviedo is protected by UNESCO and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain.

Why to go there?

Oviedo has preserved many buildings from an early Medieval period.

When to go there?

A fun La Ascensión fair takes place in May; St. John with bonfires and decorated fountains – on the 23rd of June; various concerts and festivals – in September.

How to get there?

Airport of Asturias is 40 km from Oviedo. Catch a bus from various Spanish cities or Paris, Brussels and Genève.

Read more or book: Ayre Hotel Oviedo, Room Mate Marcos

1. Prague, Czech Republic

The European city is filled with beautiful Medieval architecture: the famous Charles Bridge, the biggest Medieval square in Europe, amazing Prague Castle and churches. The Powder Gate was built in the 11th century and leads into the spectacular Old Town.

Why to go there?

The city is indeed beautiful, with such interacting sites like the astronomical clock with its appearing figurines.

When to go there?

Anytime, although it might get pretty chilly in winter.

How to get there?

Being the capital Prague is the most accessible city in the country. Catch a flight to the local airport from any European country.

Read more or book: MOODs Boutique Hotel, Hotel UNIC Prague

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Photo by Liban Yusuf

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Photo by Mark Kats

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Photo by Erhan Sasmaz

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