It’s so easy to get caught up in arranging tours to famous or bucket list countries like Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, and more. when planning a trip to Europe as they are wonderful nations with a multitude of attractions. However, the continent has wonderful microstates that include a wide variety of interesting attractions despite their modest size. If travelers are unfamiliar with microstates, they are described as independent states with relatively small populations or geographic territories. Nations like Luxembourg and Iceland are also included in this list as many people believe they deserve the title. Regardless of their size and number of citizens, these countries are worth visiting for their stunning splendor and dazzling components. Here are ten splendid European microstates that every true traveler should visit at least once in their lifetime.
The Principality of Andorra, the sixth smallest country in Europe, is located in the Pyrenees and is bordered by Spain and France. The mountains of this small country are one of its main attractions. Skiing and hiking are two of the most popular tourist activities. Skiing has spawned various resorts aimed at people wanting to hit the slopes, especially near Grandvalira and Vallnord. A network of hiking trails and camping cabins that dot the country’s mountains allow for hiking the slopes during the warmer months.
Located in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is close to Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey. It is one of the hottest places in Europe and is ideal for summer holidays with its crystal clear beaches. Travelers must see the beautiful salt lakes of Larnaca and the historic Tombs of the Kings at sunset. It is simply magnificent.
Although Iceland is not generally considered one of the recognized European microstates, many do so due to its small population of just over 300,000. It is without a doubt one of the most magnificent countries in all of Europe, if not the whole world. Iceland is full of vibrant splendor, from the greenish night sky caused by the magical Northern Lights to its breathtaking blue lagoon. Fierce volcanoes, magnificent glaciers and vast mountains are found in its national parks. The largest glacier in Europe and the largest glacial lake in the country are located in Vatnajökull National Parks.
Between Austria and Switzerland in the Alps, landlocked Liechtenstein is the perfect holiday destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Vaduz, the national capital, is well known for being a tax haven. Currently, there are more registered businesses than citizens. Travelers visit it primarily to ski in Malbun and Steg, to experience Vaduz Castle, and to see the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.
The seventh smallest country in Europe by area, Luxembourg is one of the richest countries in the world. For those who like to learn about the past and the culture, this is a fascinating stopover. The fortifications of the city of Luxembourg and the old town are in fact listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Around the capital, travelers can see beautiful palaces, castles and cathedrals. Getting off the usual path will also open up a whole host of adventure options, whether tourists choose to explore the many towns and villages or take walks and hikes through the lush countryside.
Between Sicily and North Africa, Malta is a small archipelago of three islands in the blue Mediterranean Sea that has become a cruise port. It is surprisingly 7,000 years old. Valletta, the national capital, was voted European Capital of Culture 2018. Attractions include the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, the Blue Grotto, the National Museum of Archeology and the medieval city of Mdina.
The oldest monarchy in the world, the Grimaldis, is based in Monaco, which is also the home of famous and wealthy people. As well as having the lowest poverty rate in the world, the highest population density in Europe and the greatest concentration of millionaires and billionaires, it is surrounded by France and the sea. The Grand Prix of Formula 1 Monaco, the Prince’s Palace, the Monte-Carlo Casino and the Saint-Martin Gardens are all attractions that travelers can enjoy during their trip.
Despite its small size, Montenegro is home to an incredible variety of man-made and natural beauties. This magnificent country, hitherto neglected in favor of more famous Mediterranean countries, is quickly forging a reputation as a fantastic destination. There is so much to do and see, including cruising its rocky coastline and glacial lakes, rafting down the Tara River Canyon and hiking the trails of Durmitor National Park, where tourists can observe some local species.
2 San Marino
San Marino, one of the smallest nations in Europe, is known for its magnificent architecture and stunning mountain scenery. San Marino cuisine is related to Italian cuisine, but it also has several distinctive elements and recipes that make it quite intriguing to try. Piadinas, a type of flatbread made from chickpea flour, are particularly common. It is also worth trying the traditional Christmas cake, the Bustrengo. The three towers, the Cesta Tower, the Guaita Tower and the Montale Tower, are also worth seeing.
1 Vatican City
Vatican City, which is surrounded by the beautiful Italian capital, Rome, is home to the Apostolic Palace and the Catholic Church, as well as the Sistine Chapel. It is quite iconic to see and can be combined with a longer trip to Rome and the surrounding area. One thing to keep in mind is that travelers should buy their tickets in advance if they plan to visit the Sistine Chapel. They will be able to select a time slot and avoid the majority of the long lines that form throughout the summer. They can also climb the stairs of St. Peter’s Basilica for breathtaking views of Vatican City and the rest of Italy.