Have you ever thought of traveling to the smallest countries in the world? I think it’s a pretty good idea. Since most of us know about the largest countries in the world such as Russia, Canada, the United States, etc., the smallest ones have their own attractions that interest us. Furthermore, you will hardly explore the whole land of a big country, but you can easily and thoroughly roam a small nation.
If you love this idea, below are the top 10 countries with the smallest area. However, don’t be fooled by its size, because these places are always interesting to visit.
Grenada is an island country in the Caribbean Sea, ranked 10th in the top 10 smallest countries in the world. As of the January 1, 2016 census, Grenada covers an area of 344km2. Its population is around 113,000 (2020).
Grenada is known as one of the world’s leading producers of nutmeg and mace – a spice that originates outside of nutmeg, which is used by the locals living around the island. The country’s most popular sport is cricket.
Besides, tourism is also the main economic sector of Grenada. Beautiful beaches and water sports are mainly concentrated in the southwestern area around St. George’s coastal regions. Especially, ecotourism is developing too.
Attractions in Grenada to Visit
- Grand Anse Beach
- Magazine Beach
- Morne Rouge Beach
- Concord Falls
- Annandale Waterfall & Forest Park
- Belmont Estate
The Republic of Malta is an island nation in Southern Europe, consisting of an archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. When comparing Grenada’s population of 113,000, Malta is actually a very busy and vibrant kingdom with a population of 525,285 (as of 2020), which makes Malta one of the top smallest countries but the most densely populated in Europe. The Republic of Malta has 3 large inhabited islands: Malta (Malta), Gozo (Għawdex), and Comino (Kemmuna) and some small abandoned islands. According to a report by the United Nations, Malta ranks 23rd in the happiest countries in the world in 2021.
Malta has the well-known Calypso’s Cave that overlooks the Sandy coast, Ramla Bay. This feature is clearly stated in the epic Odyssey – the location where Calypso kept Odysseus locked up as a “prisoner of love” for 7 years. Calypso assured Odysseus of immortality by her side. However, Odysseus ran away with his wife, Penelope.
Attractions in Malta to Visit
- Valletta: Malta’s Elegant Capital
- The Island of Gozo
- The Medieval Hilltop Town of Mdina
- Casa Bernard and Domvs Romana Museum in Rabat
- Hal Saflieni Hypogeum
The Maldives archipelago, officially the Republic of Maldives, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The country consists of 1,192 atolls into a group of 26 islands, of which about 200 are inhabited. In 1965, Maldives became an independent country. According to the census of 2020, the population of Maldives is about 540,500 people.
The Maldives holds the record as the flattest country in the world. In fact, its natural land level is only 2.3m above sea level along with a mild and warm climate all year round. Therefore, the archipelagoes form an ecosystem with rich marine fauna with endless coral reefs. Tourism and fishing are two key economic sectors of the Maldives. Indeed, Maldives’ tourism “specialties” are world-famous luxury resorts with bungalows located right on colorful coral reefs but also the most expensive tourist places in the world.
Maldives’ Attractions to Visit
- Hulhumale Island
- Banana Reef
7. Saint Kitts and Nevis
The island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis locates in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. It is the smallest island nation on both lists of the United States: List of countries by area and List of countries by population. According to the 2020 census, the population of Saint Kitts and Nevis is ten times less than the population of the Republic of Maldives, about 53,200. The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has developed tourism, agricultural, and industrial economies.
Places to Visit in Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park
- Old Treasury Building & Museum
- Romey Manor
- Fairview Great House & Botanical Garden
- Independence Square
- Old Road Bay
The Principality of Liechtenstein is an independent country in Western Europe, with its capital Vaduz and its largest city, Schaan. According to the 2020 census, the population is 38,200, 14 times less than the Maldives. Located between Switzerland and Austria, the country of Liechtenstein is a safe place with an extremely low crime rate. Indeed, the last murder occurred in 1997.
When adjusted for purchasing power parity, Liechtenstein has the world’s highest per capita gross domestic product (GDP) and the world’s lowest external debt. In addition, Liechtenstein has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the world at 1.5% (the lowest is Monaco). The country’s economy is mainly industrial, but raw materials are mainly imported for processing. Besides, tourism is also a very profitable industry for this principality.
Attractions in Liechtenstein to Visit
- Vaduz the Capital City
- The Treasure Chamber
- Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
- Gutenberg Castle
- The Towns of Nendeln and Eschen
- The Town of Schaan
5. San Marino
San Marino was the first extant sovereign state with a population of about 34,000, according to the 2020 census. It is a relatively small country but its population is quite dense in comparison with Saint Kitts and Nevis. To elaborate, its population density is about 557 people per km2 compared to 204 people per km2 in Saint Kitts and Nevis! Interestingly, San Marino’s long-form name is the Most Serene Republic of San Marino. It is the 5th smallest independent country in the world. Especially, San Marino is located entirely in Italy.
According to legend, this country was founded in the 4th century by a stone carver named Marino – a man who came to hide from the hunt during the emperor Diocletian’s reign. Later, San Marino was considered one of the oldest independent republics in the world when it was recognized by Pope Urban VIII in 1631.
San Marino is a country with a developed industrial, service, and tourism economy. In particular, the economy is mainly based on traditional resources (grapes, building stones), the issuance of postage stamps, and especially tourism.
Places of Attractions in San Marino
- Rocca Guaita
- Monte Titano
- Palazzo Pubblico and Piazza della Liberta
- Basilica di San Marino
- Museum of Agricultural Culture and Traditions
- Maranello Rosso Ferrari Museum
Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and Australia. The total area of Tuvalu, including reefs, coral islands, and dense forests, is about 26km2. Yes, it’s the fourth smallest in the world. Tuvalu consists of 9 scattered and densely populated atolls. According to the 2020 census, the population of Tuvalu is less than 11,800 people, about 454 people/km2.
The capital of this country is Funafuti, whose beautiful beach attracts a large number of visitors. Particularly, the highest area of this country is only about 5m above sea level. Although the country’s economy is mainly fishing and growing food crops, the land in Tuvalu is less fertile and has no mineral resources. Thus, the main income of the government is from selling stamps and old coins, and foreign currency sent back by workers. In 2010, Tuvalu was still a remote location with only 2,000 visitors, in which 65% of the businesses.
Attractions in Tuvalu to Visit
- Marine Conservation Park
- WWII Plane Wreckage Sites
- The Philatelic Bureau of Tuvalu
The Republic of Nauru is a country in Micronesia in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s the third-smallest in the world by area. Even, in terms of island nation criteria, this is the smallest place in the world. Nauru has an area of 21km2 with a population of 10,900 (2020). Especially, Nauru is a country without a capital city.
The island nation of Nauru was occupied by Japan during World War II and gained independence in 1968. Although the country of Nauru has wonderful scenery, there is a very serious problem, the state of unemployment. In fact, only 10% of local people have stable jobs. The country’s economy is mainly based on fishing and mining. Besides, it is said to be the island nation with the highest number of people suffering from obesity, with 97% of men and 93% of women affected.
Places to Go in Nauru
- Moqua Well
- Anibare Bay
- Buada Lagoon
- Command Ridge
- Nauru Museum
Monaco is an independent sovereign state in Europe. It’s also the second smallest country in the world with an area of 2.027km2, according to World Bank’s data. This country has 3 sides adjacent to France. The other side is bordered by the Mediterranean, creating a beautiful tropical country. The official language of this country is French. Despite being a country, Monaco has only 7 wards. As researchers’ statistics, the population of this country in 2020 was more than 39,250 people. Nominally, Monaco is the country with the highest population density and GDP per capita in the world.
In addition, Monte Carlo is a famous city that attracts a large number of tourists every year. Although it’s just a small principality located next to the Mediterranean, Monaco is one of the richest and most luxurious countries in the world. Even, it surpasses Dubai in terms of tradition and sophistication in spending.
Things to Do in Monaco
- Prince’s Palace of Monaco
- Monte Carlo Casino
- Musée Oceanographique
- St Martin Gardens
- Formula One Monaco Grand Prix
- Casino Square
1. Vatican City
Located in Rome, Italy, Vatican City is the home of the Pope and many other religious people. This is the smallest independent country in the world, with an area of only about 0.5km2 and located entirely within the Italian city of Rome. With a population of 800 including cardinals, diplomats, gendarmes, Swiss guards, and laypeople. Yet, in reality, there are only 450 official people there, many other citizens living elsewhere.
The sovereignty of Vatican City was recognized by the Italian government by the Lateran Treaty on February 11, 1929. The Vatican has a unique economy in the world. Their income is mainly from Catholics’ donations around the world and the sale of stamps, publications, souvenirs, etc.
Top Sights at Vatican
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- Vatican Museums
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Saint Peter’s Square
- Gardens of Vatican City
- Vatican Apostolic Library
Are you interested in traveling to the smallest countries in the world now? You can easily explore a whole country from the list in just a single trip. Moreover, you can travel to nearby countries if you have more time for the trip. That sounds pretty cool, isn’t it? Enjoy, and tell me if you do!
PIN THIS LIST OF THE SMALLEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD NOW FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP!