In the US, our borders are pretty fixed, so it’s easy for forget that with the 196 countries in the world, there are places where borders are constantly being changed and cartographers are working overtime. It’s also crazy to think that some of the tiniest nations in the world have among the world’s highest concentration of wealth (Singapore, you didn’t make the top 10 but we’re looking at you!) Here are the 10 smallest nations in the world biggest to smallest and why you should visit them!
Known as the Spice Isle, this island is the world’s largest producer of nutmeg and mace crops. Beautiful beaches and colorful hillside villas populate this island nation. Be sure to take in a cricket game while you’re there!
This island country is actually comprised of 3 islands, Gozo, Comino and the largest, Malta. Mix the beautiful elegant ancient architecture of mainland Italy and the sultriness of Sicily and you’ve got the mood in Malta. There was a time when only a few people knew Malta existed and with a significant increase in tourism push and film and TV production, Malta is enjoying it’s time in the spotlight.
This tropical island nation in the Indian Ocean is well known for it’s stunning beaches and blue lagoon villas. Those gorgeous little huts that seem to poke out of the ocean easily makes this country one of the most romantic places on earth.
Saint Kitts & Nevis
One of the first islands in the Caribbean to be occupied by Europeans, we’ve told you how much we loved Nevis before. Beautiful white sand beaches, great diving and nightlife on Saint Kitts. These islands really have something for everyone.
This German-speaking principality is the richest country in the world and located completely in the Swiss Alps. Snoop Dogg even once tried to rent out this entire country! Unfortunately for Snoop Dogg the deal never happened — but get this, it’s because his management team did not give the country enough time! Liechtenstein also has the first black woman to marry a member of a reigning European dynasty, Princess Angela of Liechtenstein. Oh and in case you’re thinking about renting Liechtenstein? That will set you back a cool $70,000 per night. Hey, crazier things have been done.
Located within Italy, San Marino, the world’s oldest sovereign state (since AD 301) is also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino. The country of Italy only became unified in the mid 1800s and before that consisted of very powerful city-states and dukedoms each with it’s own ruler, like the Pope in Rome, the Medici family in Florence, the Doge in Venice and the Sforza family in Milan. Think the major players in the Renaissance. What’s fascinating about San Marino is that it’s the last hold out. Definitely visit the Unesco World Heritage site, Monte Titano’s Cittá di San Marino, a medieval settlement.
Here’s a tiny island nation in the South Pacific that’s off the beaten path. But if you’re a snorkeler, diver or general lover of aquatic life, a trip to Tuvalu may be definitely worth your while.
Hard to get to, this nation is 9 islands comprised of atolls and reefs with palm tree lined beaches and WWII sites; transportation between the islands is by boat. The capital is Funafuti (where the only airport is located) and the main spot for diving amongst sea turtles and tropical fish.
Travel tip: Put Tuvalu on your bucket list sooner rather than later. With climate change and the rising sea levels, in a few decades this country could cease to exist.
This small island country in Micronesia in the Central Pacific is definitely off the main tourist circuit. Nauru, with it’s white sand beaches and coral reefs, is the perfect place to go and get away from it all. Unfortunately, the biggest known fact about the island is in reference to it’s major obesity issue: 97% of it’s men and 93% of it’s women are obese or overweight.
Mega-yachts, the Grand Prix, this is a nation that seems solidly dedicated to the good life. And no wonder: located on the French Riviera, Monaco is home to the largest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world. Home of the famed Monte Carlo Casino (pictured above) this tax-haven country is luxury at it’s finest.
This is the world’s smallest country that many often forget is a country because it’s located in the heart of Rome, Italy. Also known as the Holy See, the Vatican is the center of the Catholic Church and home to the largest church in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica.
Travel tip: If you happen to have post to send while in Italy and you can wait until you get to Rome, do it! The Vatican post office is run by the Swiss guard and let’s just say it’s a bit more efficient and reliable than the Italian post.