When we want to go on a vacation, usually the places we pick are the famous, populous, and touristy ones. However, small countries could also offer you unforgettable and memorable experience. Here are 9 small countries/states that you should definitely visit.
Yes, Italy has Venice, Sicily, and a lot more. But when you’re visiting Italy, consider going to San Marino. It’s a microstate which has been an independent republic since 1599. Even though it’s tiny, there are mountain landscapes as well as medieval and Renaissance era castles. It’s also perfect for people who love history because there’s a historic center there.
The nickname of this country is Kingdom of the Sky, probably because Lesotho’s lowest elevation is more than 2.4km above sea level. Here you can enjoy the winter snows, or the famous trekking on foot or horseback. If you like skiing, there are ski resorts as well. If you think you can only go see the wildlife in South Africa, then you have to go to Lesotho. This country is truly a paradise.
Wanna go to the world’s smallest republic? Go to the Republic of Nauru. It’s an island country in Micronesia in the South Pacific. This 21km² wide country has around 9,000 citizens. There are 12 tribes in Nauru as you can probably tell from the national flag.
Now, the thing about isolated but developed area is that you’ll get the best experience when you visit that place. Nauru has its own airline, tropical weather, and an interesting history. Even though it has no capital city, you’re going to have a great time exploring the island country.
Because of its small size, not many people know about The Principality of Liechtenstein. You can find this German-speaking nation between Austria and Switzerland, and you know those two countries are incredibly pretty, so you get the idea of what you’re going to get when you travel here.
Liechtenstein is known for its beautiful mountain scenery, ski resorts, classic architecture, and the beautiful villages. And did you know? This nation is the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire. Now the principality is ruled by a constitutional monarchy.
This nation has a strong political and economic ties with its neighbor, Switzerland, so the currency uses Swiss franc. If you want to have a high-end shopping experience, you should go to Vaduz, the capital, and enjoy the retail outlets as well as the classic architecture.
Between France, Germany, and Belgium, there’s a small country rife of castles that look like something out of a children’s book and small, idyllic villages. The citizens of this country are based in rural areas.
If you’re looking for a tourist-centered place, you can go to the capital, Luxembourg City, and/or Echternach. But you really don’t want to miss out the forested valleys and the country’s highland areas. If you’re an artist, you’ll want to paint/draw/sketch what you see.
And even though Luxembourg is small, it’s one of the wealthiest nations in the world because of its highly developed technology, steel industries, and finance. The people here speak a lot of language because of the country’s many borders, not unlike Switzerland. It’s perfect if you want to practice all that language lessons you’ve been learning.
With a population of over 30,000 in an area of less than about 2,6km², Monaco is the second smallest independent nation on Earth in terms of land area. Monaco is also almost completely urban, which is different from other places on this list. You can reach this nation from the Italian border, since it’s only a few miles from it.
The most urban area would be Monaco’s main district, Monte Carlo. It’s well known for its sports-car culture, glittering casinos, and opulent hotels. Not a fan of all the blings? Don’t worry. The older section of this country features outdoor street markets and delightful narrow streets. You can stay in Nice, France to stay in the more affordable hostels and guesthouses as well.
If you’re an architecture geek, you’ll be pleased with the palatial, classic buildings in Monaco. Want the views? There’s a coastline and hilly terrain that you can easily reach. More of a museum or art gallery goer? There are Marlborough Gallery and Jacques Cousteau’s Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium here. Everybody can enjoy this small country.
St. Kitts and Nevis
Located in the Leeward Islands, The Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas by area and population. The highlight of this country is the Mount Liamuiga. It’s a dormant volcano with dense tropical forest, warm waters, white sandy beaches, and overall natural beauty that will make you fall in love at first sight. In fact, St. Kitts and Nevis might be the most memorable place to visit in the Caribbean.
Vatican City might be the world’s tiniest sovereign country. However, there are plenty of attractions that you can go to. There are museums, art galleries, gardens, and some of the world’s most famous religious structures like the infamous Basilica San Pietro (St. Peter’s Basilica) and many others.
You should definitely visit Vatican Museums because it features the Sistine Chapel and other works by Renaissance artists that you know. If you’re into Christian history, there are also early Christian artifacts here.
What you’ll love about visiting Vatican City is that you can see everything this mini country has to offer in one day only. In fact, you’re still going to have time to experience other parts of Rome before night time falls and you have to go back to your hotel.
You can find this country in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. It was once remote and impoverished, but the country’s great scenery and status as a tax haven made it a popular destination for tourists as well as immigrants.
When you get here, you can enjoy the ski slopes, go biking round the mountain biking trails, or simply walk and enjoy the architecture and atmosphere of Andorra’s villages and towns. If you want to go shopping, you can do so in Andorra La Vella, which is the country’s only city and capital, because it’s got a lot of duty-free shopping options.
To experience this country like a local, you should go to the old town area and stay in classic guesthouses and/or inns that provide a good base for exploring mountains and valleys around you.