As a very old country, India has a unique past. You can see its history while traveling through cities. Even if you live in India and just want a break or something new, why not get a taste of a non-Indian place in India? There are many European towns in India (not anymore technically, but stylistically) that you can spend a week in and get a taste of Europe.
India was colonized by different countries in different areas, some more recently than others. The foreigners have left, but they left behind some European charm. Others were never taken over by their dopplegangers but just look incredibly similar. These aren’t actual European cities in India.
Places in India that look European
1. French in Pondicherry
The French are long gone from Pondicherry, now known for the surf. It has a French look in many ways from the paint jobs of the buildings to the cute cafes.
2. Ancient Ruins of Rome or Athens in Hampi
If you want to wander around ancient stones from the people of the past, you can do that in Hampi just like in Athens or Rome. Read more on Hampi: Guide to Hampi
3. Scotland in Coorg
It’s not far-fetched to call Coorg the Scotland of India, as many do with its bright green hills and mountains with mist. Here, people worship the nature. Coorg is one of the coolest places in India. Check out this article 11 kickass things to do in Coorg.
Scotland / Coorg (Thadiyandamol)
4. Azores in Munnar
West of Portugal is an island known as the only tea plantation in Europe. India has its own town known for tea called Munnar in Kerala.
5. Iceland in Sikkim
Want to do some outdoor snow activities? Find adventure with the glaciers of Sikkim, which could be confused for the lakes of Iceland.
6. Portuguese in Panjim
The old churches still stand tall and people even now are Catholic in this area of India. If you wonder Panjim, the capital, the alleys are very telling of Goa’s past. Many locals have the last name D’Souza or Fernandez.
Goa (Panjim) / Portugal
7. Britain in Mumbai or Mysore
When wondering through the streets you can’t help but notice the British architecture. For example compare Big Ben to the Rajabai tower! There’s still a strong connection between the Britain and India in many cities, but I especially loved it in these two.
8. Venice in Udaipur
The floating palace in the lake of Udaipur makes it feel very romantic and luxurious. There’s no surprise that Udaipur is called the “Venice of India”. Some also call the backwater boats in Kerala “Venice of India” so I guess there are two!
9. Swiss in Khajjiar
When you wander through Shimla’s charming town, you won’t be surprised that it’s where the British chose to vacation back in the day. It looks very similar to the Swiss towns I saw while backpacking through the Alps: rolling green hills, snow-capped mountains, cute little homes.
10. Greek Islands in the Andaman’s
The Andaman’s are a group of stunning islands of India. Clear blue water, luxury villas dotting along the water, and a big diving and honeymoon destination, it’s great to know India has a place like this!
11. Ireland in Maharashtra
When driving through the coast line of this state in the rain, I couldn’t help but be brought back to when I hiked along the coast of Ireland in the rain. The forest up to the ocean isn’t tropical palm trees, but looks like one I would see in Ireland or somewhere like Oregon.
Ireland / Ratnagiri
12. Lithuania in Jaipur
The Rambagh Palace in Jaipur is what many consider to be a similar castle to Trakai Castle in Lithuania. I don’t disagree it has some charm, but it’s not a perfect math.
13. Bordeaux or Tuscany in Nashik
Want wine? Check out the very European looking vinyard of Sula wines in Maharashtra.
There are so many amazing places in India that are great on their own. Even if an Indian national didn’t leave their country, they could see so much beauty of the world! One thing I love about India is its huge array of landscapes. This isn’t to say Europe doesn’t have it’s charm, but to show you how varied India really is!
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very interesting article..but its a totally different feel one gets in Europe..perhaps because the weather,people and clean environment..and less people..different smell..
I remember wondering ..’am I inside of an English movie..?’ while I was in train or bus in Europe and looking outside..
You’re totally right as well! Europe’s charm is totally different and more relaxing/clean than India’s.
oh wow! Impressive article! It’s so easy to forget how big India is and how much we don’t know about. Is this article a sign that you are missing Europe?
Yes a little! I was just in London & Vienna but I want to go back in the summer soon and go by train again to places I missed the first time around.
Ok, some of these were EERILY spot on!!! But I do agree with others, Europe has a COMPLETELY different feel, atmosphere, culture etc from Europe….which is what makes traveling all over the world that much more special
Yes they may look the same, but are not similar in culture at all lol
Rachel- I really enjoyed this post! The pictures were so similar and it is crazy to see how similar landscapes can be all over the world–just filled with completely different societies, cultures, people, smells, tastes, etc.!
I would love to go to all of these places in India and abroad. Loved this, thanks for sharing.
I really enjoyed this article (especially as I am missing Europe like crazy, right now!). I have been to a few of these places, and will definitely be heading to more over this year. Europe does have a completely different feel, to me at least, yet when I travelled to Europe with two Indian friends over the summer they spent the whole time in Hamburg commenting on how it was “just like Bombay!” I must admit that I struggled to see the similarities, but to them it was very clear :D
haha that’s hilarious!
Nice post Rachel . Looks so similar but Europe is far better than India because India has several sick states and Europe is a prosperous country . And India it will NEVER be prosperous because of corruption . People over there only think about money, scam, money, scam, and money.
haha really nice and interesting post
Interesting post. But I sadly beg to differ.
Its not just one small stretch/monument/alley taken in a photograph which makes it closer to Europe. Its the entire experience, which includes people, behavior, place, population, smell (like pointed by Venus), climate, town architecture (not just one alley/road), food etc. And in that scenario, above mentioned India places are nowhere close to its counterpart European locations. Mumbai & London..Definitely no! Just a Gothic architecture here and there doesn’t make it anywhere close to London.
Good luck & have fun!
It’s such an irony that people are much more fascinated by things that are not their own. I left Goa to be in Europe and you left Europe to live in Goa. As they say, the pastures are always greener on the other side. But overall, a good blog indeed.
Looking great work dear, I really appreciated to you on this quality work. Nice post!! these tips may help me for future.
We’ve got almost everything in India- Islands, Desert, Himalayas, Plains, Plateaus. Only if we learn to keep clean and respect everybody, India could be so great.