There are around fifty countries nestled within the borders of Europe! That, alone, makes for a lot of countries to explore. Now, you’ve got the big-hitting countries like; England, Germany and France to visit but you’ve also got a heap of the best small countries in Europe that are incredible to explore. 

Honestly, there are so many diverse places to visit, with a few that sometimes get overlooked. Shocking, right?

You see, although Europe is dominated by bigger countries, we shouldn’t forget those totally gorgeous (and relatively) small countries in Europe that are incredible, too.

In fact, around 20 per cent of all European countries are classified as micro-states, that are smaller but no less charming than its neighbouring siblings. 

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With that in mind, take a look at the best small countries in Europe to visit this year. Have the best trip! 


1.) Vatican City

Surrounded by the gorgeous Italian city of Rome, the Vatican City is home to the Catholic Church, the Sistine Chapel and Apostolic Palace. It’s totally iconic to see and easily paired up with a wider visit to Rome and the region around the city. 

One thing to remember, if you are wanting to visit the Sistine Chapel, make sure to buy your tickets before you arrive. You’ll get to choose an allotted time and you’ll skip most of the immense queues in the summer months. 

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Don’t forget to climb the stairs of San Pietro’s Basilica for a truly breathtaking view of Vatican City and Surrounding Italy. Though, the stairs can be tight and narrow, so be aware of this! 

Read more: Exploring the Vatican City

2.) Malta

Perched just off the northern coast of Africa, between Italy and Tunisia, Malta is one of the best small countries in Europe to visit that is totally charming. 

Visit the ancient capital city, Mdina which is famed for its glassworks and head across to the Blue Lagoon by boat. It’s so gorgeous and the waters are totally stunning.

Afterwards, hop on a boat and explore the neighbouring island of Gozo. It’s a little lusher than Malta and is like Malta’s back garden. 

Read more: Best things to do in Malta

3.) San Marino

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This mountainous micro-state is nestled high in the Italian hills and is one of the world’s oldest republics.

With a population of just over 30,000, San Marino is a peaceful micro-state to explore. Don’t forget to see; Guaita and the Palazzo Publico.

You can drive across to San Marino when exploring places like Tuscany, too. Plus, it’s really easy to visit for a few days when heading down the ‘spine’ of Italy. 

4.) Andorra

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Situated on the border of France and Spain, Andorra has become known as a skiers’ paradise due to its location in the Pyrenees mountains. 

To get here, you’ll likely fly into Barcelona or Toulouse (in France) and drive towards Andorra itself. Just remember to take plenty of hiking gear and skiing gear. It’s one of the best small countries in Europe for the great outdoors! 

Read more: Best things to do in Andorra

5.) Luxembourg

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Luxembourg is certainly one of the best small countries in Europe that’s totally easy to visit.

Not only is it right next to Germany and France, but it’s also well connected via its airport to many other places in Europe.

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Explore the many UNESCO heritage sights within Luxembourg City and head outside the capital to see much more of this amazing country.

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We loved heading around and seeing so much of the country. 

Read more: Exploring Luxembourg

6.) Monaco

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The favourite destination for the rich and famous is Monaco, which is situated on the French Riviera.

Now, it might be best known as the playground for the rich and famous, but you don’t have to be a billionaire to enjoy it here.

Monte Carlo is its most famous district, filled with all things luxurious. If you go here, you’ll definitely need a good amount of spending money.

Alternatively, if you’ve got a  few million to spare, grab yourself a yacht and invite me along, too! 

7.) Montenegro

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Facing west onto the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is a country that is becoming increasingly accessible to visitors.

Its rugged coast and glacial lakes are gorgeous, and it’s just so incredible to see.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit Durmitor National Park and Tara River Canyon, where you can spot some European Bears and Wolves.

8.) Liechtenstein

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On the border with Austria and Switzerland, Liechtensteinians (is that right?) speak German, one of the best small European countries to visit when driving in this region. 

Head to the capital, Vaduz, for some of the best museums in any micro-state. Don’t forget to visit the Kunst Museum of Contemporary Art, too. It’s gorgeous. 

9.) Cyprus

Cyprus (south) is a relatively large European Island split into two parts. Now, most people tend to visit the Republic of Cyprus, but the Turkish Republic (in the north) is also becoming more popular (if you visit via Turkey).

It is located in the Eastern Mediterranean, just between Egypt, Israel, and Turkey. It is one of Europe’s hottest places and perfect for a nice summer holiday. 

Once here, don’t forget to head to visit the Tombs of The Kings and the Larnaca Salt Lakes at sunset. It’s gorgeous. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cyprus

10.) Iceland

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Okay, before you say it… Iceland is huge! Well, by landmass, at least. 

That being said, although Iceland’s geographic landmass is much larger than most of the small countries in Europe, its resident population is smaller than most. 

Honestly, Iceland is such a perfect place to visit and witness the Northern Lights, the Blue Lagoon, Whale-Watching, Glaciers, and rugged and dramatic hikes too. That’s even before you start with all the quaint little towns and places to stop on your road trip. 

Read more: Best things to do in Iceland

11.) Kosovo

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Although a disputed territory, Kosovo has named itself the youngest of European countries. 

Formed in 2008, this landlocked country is filled with a rich cultural heritage that’s becoming more and more accessible. 

Once here, don’t forget to visit the Visoki Decani Monastery and the Sharr Mountains for an unforgettable experience. It’s easily one of the best small countries in Europe if you fancy going off the beaten track a little. 

Read more: Best Greek islands to visit

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