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Discovering The Smallest Countries In Europe


Adventures come in various forms and sizes, and Europe's smallest nations prove that sometimes, bigger isn't always better. Get set to uncover the irresistible charm of Europe's tiniest nations. From the jaw-dropping Vatican City to the sunny beaches of Malta, these adorable European microstates are ready to unlock your next travel fantasy.

Top 10 of the smallest countries in Europe

  • Vatican City
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Liechtenstein
  • Malta
  • Andorra
  • Luxembourg
  • Cyprus
  • Kosovo
  • Montenegro
Picture in Malta of the street

1. Vatican City (0.44 km2)

Vatican City is a city-state surrounded by Rome. The Vatican City serves as the Roman Catholic Church's headquarters and is the world's smallest independent country in the world with around 900 residents. Regardless of your religious beliefs, it warmly welcomes approximately 19,000 visitors daily. Italian is the most widely spoken language in the Vatican City, and it is the language of the Vatican’s official documents, However, Italian is not the only language spoken within the walls of the Vatican City. Several other languages are commonly heard in this tiny country such as Latin, Spanish, French and English.

Regarding food, Vatican City offers a traditional Italian culinary experience closely resembling the cuisine found in Rome, Italy's capital. The city boasts numerous cafe-style eateries and pizzerias serving delectable Italian dishes like pasta, polenta, and risotto.

If history piques your interest, then this country might just be the next stop on your list. It boasts a museum worth exploring.

  • The closest airport to Vatican City is Rome Ciampino (CIA) Airport, situated 16.3 km away. Other nearby airports include Rome (FCO) (20.6 km) and Naples (NAP) (190.5 km) airports.


A shot of Vatican City in Italy

2. Monaco (1.95 km2)

Monaco is an independent city-state nestled between France and the sea. Be amazed at the mega-yachts, try your luck at the casino, and aim to plan your visit during the Monte Carlo Grand Prix for an unforgettable experience. The official language is French. There is a local language, Monégasque. But many inhabitants are well-educated and also speak English, therefore, this is helpful for tourists who are travelling there. The culture and various traits of the nation reflect both Italian and French influences.

The standard of living in the country is notably high, akin to affluent urban areas in France. Monaco has the highest population density in Europe (16,403.6 people per square kilometre) and the world's lowest unemployment rate. There's no doubt that Monaco can be pricey, but if you're just stopping by for a day, there's a chance you might not break the bank. Part of Monaco's appeal lies in simply enjoying the view of luxurious yachts in the harbour and taking a stroll, which doesn't cost a thing. If you have tickets to the Grand Prix and you're still searching for flights then we have you covered!

  • There isn't an airport within the Principality of Monaco. The nearest airport is Cote d'Azur Airport in Nice, France, which is linked to Monaco by the Express 110 bus. Alternatively, passengers can opt for Nice tramway lines 2 and 3 to downtown Nice, then transfer to a train heading to Monaco.


boats at the harbour in monaco

3. San Marino (61 km2)

San Marino is a small mountainous enclave nestled in north-central Italy and is the oldest surviving sovereign state constitutional republic in the world, founded on 3 September 301 As one of the world's oldest republics, it preserves a wealth of historic architecture. It has a population of over 33,745 and the official language is Italian. Despite speaking Italian and being heavily influenced by the surrounding Italian culture, the people of San Marino have preserved their distinctiveness over the centuries. They possess a strong sense of identity and take pride in their unique cultural heritage.

It's a hugely popular day excursion from the nearby areas of Italy, so blend in with the crowds ascending to Castello della Cesta and grab yourself a souvenir. Compared to other parts of Europe, Sab Marino is known for cheap goods therefore, if you're looking for somewhere less expensive then this may be an option for you.

  • The closest airport to San Marino is Rimini (RMI) Airport, situated 16.8 km away. Other nearby airports include Ancona (AOI) (81.7 km), Florence (FLR) (101 km), Bologna (BLQ) (113.1 km), and Venice (VCE) (174.6 km).


Veiw of San Marino

4. Liechtenstein (160 km2)

Liechtenstein is a German-speaking country between Austria and Switzerland. An interesting fact about Liechtenstein is that it has a world record of the lowest debt externally and is one of the wealthiest populations in the world. This particular country is best known for winter sports such as skiing, cycling, hiking and many more thanks to its position in the Alps.

You may wonder Is it safe to live here? Crime levels are low in this country although like in any other country, you have to take precautions against petty street crimes. Despite its alpine location, the climate in San Marino is relatively mild, characterized by wet winters and warm summers. The optimal times to visit the country are during the periods between April and June, as well as September to October. Liechtenstein is a difficult country to fly to as not only is it small but there are no airports, the nearest airport is in Switzerland.

  • The closest airport to Liechtenstein is Altenrhein (ACH) Airport, located 38.6 km away. Other nearby airports include Zurich (ZRH) (82.3 km), Basel (BSL) (160.5 km), Milan Bergamo (BGY) (164.6 km), and Stuttgart (STR) (174.3 km).


Alps in Liechtenstein

5. Malta (316 km2)

Malta, formally known as the Republic of Malta, is an island nation situated in southern Europe within the Mediterranean Sea. The Republic of Malta is not one island but three islands, Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Malta became one of the smallest countries in Europe when in 1964, Malta gained independence from Britain and subsequently became a member of the Commonwealth.

The population of Malta consists predominantly of ethnic Maltese, who are descendants of ancient Carthaginians, Phoenicians, Italians, and various other Mediterranean peoples. Both Maltese and English hold the status of official languages in Malta, and they are also recognized as official languages of the EU. Maltese originated from the blend of North African Arabic and a Sicilian dialect of Italian. Due to its position in the Mediterranean, south of Sicily and east of Tunisia, Malta experiences hot summers and mild winter weather, rendering it a sought-after tourist destination throughout the year. Thinking of flying to Malta? Find out more about flights there on our Malta Airlines page.

  • Malta International Airport, also known as Valletta Airport, is the sole airport serving Malta and all its islands. Positioned 5km southwest of Valletta, the capital city of Malta, the airport offers direct flights to the following destinations.


town in malta

6. Andorra (468 km2)

Andorra is located in the eastern Pyrenees, between Spain and France. The ski slopes and facilities in Andorra are by far the best. however, it also attracts many tourists due to its tax haven status which allows tourists to purchase cheap goods. The capital of Andorra is called Andorra la Vella.

The population is around 80,088 with ethnic groups including Andorran, Spanish, Portuguese and French. The oldest section of Andorra la Vella, known as the Barri Antic, constitutes the historic heart of the city. Comprising approximately one block of narrow streets and squares adorned with charming stone structures, it's a delightful spot for a brief visit to immerse oneself in some culture amidst the otherwise commerce-focused city.

A lot of people decide to go to Andorra for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding or hiking. Find out more information about how to fly to Andorra with Andorra Airlines.

  • While Andorra–La Seu d'Urgell is the closest airport to Andorra, it's not the sole choice for tourists visiting the renowned ski resorts. Other airports such as Barcelona (200km away), Reus (240km), Girona (260km), Lleida (150km), Toulouse (195km), and Carcassonne (176km) are also commonly utilized.


andorra town

7. Luxembourg (2,586 km2)

Luxembourg is a small European country, surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany. Luxembourgish is considered the national language of Luxembourg however, people also speak French and German. The capital of Luxembourg is Lucexembourg city which is popular with those who love beautiful scenery and is crammed with things to do.

One of the popular tourist attractions is the city hall. Luxembourg is open for visits year-round, yet the prime times are typically in May, June, and September when late spring and late summer offer particularly pleasant weather. The nation experiences a temperate climate with mild summers and cool winters, without any extreme conditions. If you are looking for cheaper flights then January would be a better time to travel. If Luxembourg looks like the perfect trip for you then we have more information on flights with Luxair.

  • The closest airport to Luxembourg is Luxembourg (LUX) Airport, located 6.7 km away. Other nearby airports include Hahn (HHN) (89.8 km), Charleroi (CRL) (152.1 km), Cologne Bonn (CGN) (157.6 km), and Strasbourg (SXB) (161.1 km).


town in luxembourg

8. Cyprus (9,251 km2)

Cyprus, formally known as the Republic of Cyprus, is an island nation situated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It lies to the north of the Sinai Peninsula, south of the Anatolian Peninsula, and west of the Levant. There are two parts of Cyprus one is the Turkish side which is Larnaca and the other is Greek which is known as Phapos. The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia and the official languages are Greek and Turkish. The population is around 1.244 million and it attracts tourists due to its beautiful landscape and hot summers.

The best time to visit Cyprus is May, June, September and October as the weather is around 35 degrees however, if you want to go on a budget then Febuary time would be perfect for you. Cyprus is the perfect holiday destination, so if you want to check out which airlines fly there and cheaper routes then we have more information on our Cyrpus Airways page.

  • The closest airport to Cyprus is Ercan (ECN) Airport, situated 38 km away. Other nearby airports include Larnaca (LCA) (44 km) if you are going to the Turkish side and Paphos (PFO) (67 km) if you are going to the Greek side.


Cyprus beach larnaca

9. Kosovo (10,887 km2)

Kosovo, officially referred to as the Republic of Kosovo is a nation in Southeast Europe recognized with partial diplomatic recognition. The capital of Kosovo is Pristina and the language is Albanian and Serbian. The population is around 1.873 million however, it doesn't have a huge population for tourism due to the previous war. Kosovo is known for its distant, rugged mountains, inhabited by fiercely independent individuals, and adorned with breathtaking, untouched beauty. Kosovo is the youngest country in Europe and for locals that live there, it's very cheap.

  • The closest airport to Kosovo is Pristina (PRN) Airport, located 10.3 km away. Other nearby airports include Skopje (SKP) (92.1 km), Podgorica (TGD) (138 km), and Tirana (TIA) (162.8 km).


Kosovo town

10. Montenegro (13,812 km2)

Montenegro is a small, mountainous country in Southeast Europe. It borders Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and the Adriatic Sea. In its compact size, Montenegro offers a plethora of attractions. Along its Adriatic coastline, you'll find charming fishing villages, secluded coves, and beaches, as well as resorts that are gaining popularity. The capital of Montenegro is Podgorica where the centuries-old Clock Tower, built by the Turks, dominates the old town Montenegrin is the official language of Montenegro, with Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Albanian also recognized as official languages. Montenegrin, Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian are mutually intelligible as standard forms of the Serbo-Croatian language.

The people of Montenegro are known for their friendliness, making it a welcoming destination for solo travellers, regardless of gender. Locals generally have a high level of proficiency in English, especially in tourist hotspots, making communication easy and convenient for visitors. Any questions about how to travel to Montenegro? Head over to our Air Montenegro page to find out more.

  • The closest airport to Montenegro is Podgorica (TGD) Airport, situated 72.4 km away. Other nearby airports include Tivat (TIV) (91.4 km), Dubrovnik (DBV) (112.9 km), Pristina (PRN) (131.1 km), and Tirana (TIA) (175.1 km).


Montenegro, Kortor

Final thoughts on the smallest countries in Europe

In summary, delving into Europe's smallest countries unveils a wealth of charm, history, and breathtaking scenery packed into compact spaces. From the enchanting Vatican City to the sunny shores of Malta, each petite nation offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you're captivated by the cultural richness of San Marino or the glamour of Monaco, these pint-sized destinations prove that great adventures can come in small packages. So, dust off your passport and prepare to uncover the hidden treasures of Europe's tiniest countries, where small size promises big adventures!

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