If you’ve been dreaming of romantic cobbled streets, picturesque towns and fairytale castles that could belong in a Disney classic, Europe is likely to be on your radar this summer; however, if you’ve waited too long to book that Transatlantic trip, it may already be too late

Not only are prices increasing dramatically across the Old Continent, but several European destinations are taking measures to reduce tourism amid a surge in demand, and across large swathes of Spain, France and Italy, Americans are no longer welcome, if the mass protests are any indication.

Luckily, you don’t need to break the bank only to cross the pond, or risk facing hostility for a chance to sample the culture: these 5 North American cities look just like Europe, and they’re a much shorter 2 to 3-hour flight away depending on where you’re based in the States.

Montpellier, Vermont

Montpellier, A Historic Town And State Capital In Vermont, West Coast Of The United States, North America.jpg

For this one, you can even leave your passport at home: the historical capital city of Vermont, Montpellier is named after the ancient French city, and while it’s no medieval wonder, it’s one of the best-preserved colonial settlements in the whole of the U.S. of A.

Criss-crossed by leafy streets lined by heritage houses and romantic lampposts, dotted with church spires, and dominated by the 1859 Vermont State House, a Greek Revival effort with a golden dome, and housing fine art exhibits, it is a world-class cultural hotspot.

Like the faithful daughter of France it is, Montpellier is also famous for its host of museums, most notably the Vermont Historical Society Museum, housed in a landmark 19th-century building, and the T.W. Wood Art Gallery, one of the oldest in town.

Guanajuato, Mexico

Colonial Era Buildings In Guanajuato, Mexico

We’re going south of the border for this one, and lucky for culture aficionados based in the Southern states who hate long flights, this cross-border trip takes only two hours to complete: Guanajuato is one of the most historically-charged cities in Mexico, and it’s sure to take your breath away.

It looks like it could belong in Spain, with its stunning Neo-Gothic churches, stately university and vast network of cobbled streets; the imposing, yellow-washed Basílica Colegiata is an icon of the city’s colorful skyline, and you won’t want to miss Callejón del Beso.

This uphill street is so narrow opposite balconies almost touch, so that couples can reach across the gap for a kiss, and it’s only one of numerous romantic spots around town: picture picturesque hidden courtyards, verdant city parks and Baroque neighborhoods layered with pastel houses.

Quebec City, Canada

Picturesque Place Royale In Old Town Quebec City, Canada, North America

Serving as capital of the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, Quebec City is a literal extension of France on this side of the pond, from the stone-built low houses, to the pedestrianized winding lanes, to the charming squares bordered by cafes, to the hilltop castle.

It’s home to a striking, Gothic Revival Château Frontenac, now housing a Fairmont listing, a preserved Old Quarter, dating back as early as 1608, and city walls, making it one of two cities in the continent that are still surrounded by European-built fortifications.

Thanks to its citadelle, French bistros and Petit Champlain district, where the usual modernist Canadian cityscape gives way to storied boutique shops and ethnic museums, it is one of Canada’s handful of manmade UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

San Francisco de Campeche, Mexico

Aerial view Cityscape of Campeche downtown on a sunny day.

Mexico has a cultural heritage like no other, so it’s only natural it would feature twice on the list: a two-hour train ride from the Yucatan capital of Merida, this overlooked colonial gem is one of only two cities in the mainland Americas to have retained its Old Town fortifications, alongside…

You guessed it, the gorgeous Quebec City! While Canada’s French-speaking microcosm is distinctly North European in character, San Francisco de Campeche, or just Campeche, is a vibrant Hispanic dreamland with brightly-painted facades and a monument-studded waterfront.

Yes, Campeche is coastal, so visitors can both immerse themselves in the History, be it walking the extent of the anti-pirate ramparts or admiring the architecture around Independence Square, and find beautiful unspoiled beaches a short 15-minute drive from the city center.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

A little escapade to the Caribbean, anyone? We love the pristine, powdered-sugar white sands and the crystal-clear waters, but if you’re a culture buff looking for more than just lounging all day by the beach, San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico, is a pretty solid bet.

Founded by Spaniards at the height of the Spanish Empire, it has the cobblestones, the amazing seafood restaurants (with the Latino twist you’d expect), the beautiful 16th-century townscape, the massive fortress, and the intact walls you’d most commonly associate with Southern Europe.

Much like Quebec City, San Juan and its fortified harbor are a World Heritage Site, except it’s far from being your average open-air museum, with lively bars, casinos and five-star resorts galore; plus, as Puerto Rico is U.S. territory, albeit unincorporated, you don’t need a passport to visit as an American.

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