The Smallest Countries in Europe

When it comes to destinations around Europe, size doesn’t matter. Some of the smallest countries are packed full of ancient architecture to view, beaches to relax away stress, and nature to astound the senses. Whether they be a city-state that was once the most powerful on the planet, a recently independent country, or perhaps a highly luxurious location with super yachts and high-rise hotels—the small countries of Europe punch well above their size.

  • Vatican City

    Vatican City

    Technically an independent city-state from 1929, Vatican City is one the more historically important territories in history — at only 109 acres. With the spread of Catholicism throughout the world, Vatican City has played a significant role in shaping political and historical events. One of the more well-known sites is the Sistine Chapel, with its ornately painted ceiling by the artist Michelangelo. St. Peter’s Square is a vast plaza in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

    See More
  • Monaco


    Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world and fits into 499 acres, less than New York’s Central Park. This country is a stop for those looking into a highly luxurious and wealthy location. It is also the most densely populated sovereign state in the world, as well as the world’s shortest coastline (2.38 mi). The traveler will find super yachts and high-rise hotels with almost every amenity possible. Monaco hosts world-famous casinos, but the local citizens are not permitted to gamble in them.

    See More
  • Liechtenstein


    Liechtenstein sits at the border of Switzerland and Austria, a representation of fairy tales from old. It is a mountainous area with the Rhine River running through it, a 62 sq mi area. Trails and skiing are plentiful, along with other winter sports. Though not considered ultra-luxury, Liechtenstein has a strong economy, and it shows in the many lodgings available to both residents and visitors. Liechtenstein hosts lovely views of the alpine mountains, some with castles standing proudly atop them.

    See More
  • San Marino

    San Marino

    Vatican City isn’t the only independent territory in Italy. San Marino is the oldest existing micronation in the world, being formed during the time when Italy was made up of all city-states since 301 AD. It has an area of 23 sq mi that is full of amazing views for the traveler. The Three Towers of San Marino are a group of edifices located on the three peaks of Monte Titano in the capital and are depicted on the nation’s flag and coat of arms.

    See More
  • Andorra


    Between Spain and France sits the 181 sq mi Andorra, an independent state that relies primarily on tourism as its source of income. The terrain is deep valleys within a mountainous area, making it a popular skiing spot. During the months when there’s no snow, the trails of varying difficulty make reaching untamed heights a worthy goal. From duty-free shopping to nature and gorgeous views up above, Andorra might be known for winter getaways, but summer works as well for visitors seeking an active holiday.

    See More
  • Malta


    A small archipelago to the south of Sicily, Malta sits in the center of the Mediterranean. This means that many different cultures have ruled the islands throughout history for their strategic advantage. This 122 sq mi country is a mix of Italian and Mediterranean cultures, with clear blue waters for diving and other water sports. The nightlife offers up festivals, clubs, bars, and theatre entertainment. The food, betrays a wonderful mix of these cultures. Add in the ancient temple of Gozo and beaches on all three islands to relax on, and this country is a delight still unknown to many travelers from North America.

    See More
  • Cyprus


    Just south of Turkey, west of Syria, and north of Egypt, Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean. Like other Med islands, the beaches are top-notch. Greek and Turkish cultures coexist, though not always peacefully, divided into the north and south. Worth checking out is the Adonis Baths, where legend says the god Adonis loved to take baths and a waterfall with a natural pool below. The Stavrovouni Monastery is a monastery dating back to the 4th century and sits atop the 2460 ft hill of Stavrovouni. Amathus, the ancient temple dating back to 1100 BC, museums, and castles are all stops on a trip to Cyprus.

    See More
  • Luxembourg


    Luxembourg is located between the borders of Germany, Belgium, and France. The capital of this 998 sq mile country is an important cog in the European Union. It is home to the institutional seat of the EU and multiple other vital institutions: one being the Court of Justice of the European Union, the highest judicial authority of the EU. These roles have changed parts of the city to be very modern, yet, castles are a draw for the traveler as well, such as the ruins of Beaufort Castle, an 11th-century medieval fortress — and more than 100 other castles.

    See More
  • Montenegro


    Montenegro sits in Southeastern Europe, with borders along Serbia, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This country has 182 mi of sandy beaches along the Adriatic Sea, perfect for a getaway. The approximately 30 mountain peaks over 6561 ft offer scenery from below and above. Between the monasteries, sometimes high in the mountains, to the Venetian-style villages, Montenegro is more affordable for the traveler than many other European destinations but remains relatively undiscovered by many travelers.

    See More