The 10 Smallest Countries In The World – Travelers Guide

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A list of the 10 smallest countries by total land area – that also offer beautiful beaches, breathtaking landscape and full of fun and adventure for any traveler.

10. Malta – Area: 316 km²

Smallest Countries

Malta is the island country and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is actually made up of three islands: Gozo, Comino, and Malta, which is the largest of the three. This small country has a population of over 450,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Malta is a popular holiday destination and tourism is the nation’s main source of income. Rich in history and archeological sites,  Malta has numerous fortresses, megalithic temples and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to circa 4000 B.C.

9. Maldives – Area: 300 km²

Smallest Countries

The Maldives is a popular tourist destination in the Indian Ocean and is the smallest country in Asia in terms of area and population. There are over 1,192 coral islands in the Maldives, which are spread over 90,000 sq.km, making it one of the world’s most dispersed countries.

The Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean composed of 26 ring-shaped atolls, which are made up of more than 1,000 coral islands. It’s known for its beaches, blue lagoons, and extensive reefs. With its abundant sea life and sandy beaches, Maldives is portrayed by travel companies as a tropical paradise.

The economy revolves around tourism, and scores of islands have been developed for the top end of the tourist market. The capital, Malé, has a busy fish market, restaurants and shops on the main road, Majeedhee Magu, and 17th-century Hukuru Miskiy (also known as Friday Mosque) made of carved white coral.

8. Saint Kitts and Nevis – Area: 261 km²

Smallest Countries

Saint Kitts and Nevis is a dual-island nation situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Together, they occupy a total of 261 kilometers squared, which makes Saint Kitts and Nevis the world’s eighth smallest country.

Known for Its beaches, scenery and a warm, sunny climate is a great tourist attraction. However, in recent times It is also vulnerable to hurricanes such as recently been hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

The larger of the 2 islands, Saint Kitts, is dominated by the dormant Mount Liamuiga volcano, home to a crater lake, green vervet monkeys and rainforest crisscrossed with hiking trails. Tourism, offshore finance and service industries are important sources of income. Its economy is dependent on tourism, agriculture, and small manufacturing industries.

7. Marshall Islands – Area: 181 km²

Smallest Countries

The Republic of the MarshalI Islands – is an island country that is located in the Pacific Ocean, approximately halfway between the US State of Hawaii and the continent of Australia. With a population of 55,000 and area size of 181 square kilometers, the Marshall Islands consist of two chains of coral atolls, together with more than 1,000 islets.

After the World War II, the islands were occupied by the US for several decades and in 1946 were used to conduct a series of atomic tests in (Bikini Atoll), rendering several of the islands inhabitable. They are now a sovereign nation under a Compact of Free Association with the US which came into force in 1986 and was renegotiated in 2003.

The area surrounded the islands are incredibly biodiverse and include over 800 species of fish as well as 160 of coral. The area around the Marshall Islands also hosts a number of shipwrecks.

6. Liechtenstein – Area: 160 km²

Smallest Countries

Liechtenstein is a German-speaking country, the only nation in the world to be completely located in the Alps, between Switzerland and Austria. Despite its size, Liechtenstein is also one of the richest countries in the world by GDP per capita, with the lowest unemployment rate (1.5%).

With a population of 37,666 (2016) – Liechtenstein is known for its medieval castles, alpine landscapes, and villages linked by a network of trails. The capital, Vaduz, a cultural and financial center of Liechtenstein, is home to Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, with galleries of modern and contemporary art.

Liechtenstein owes much of its wealth to its traditional status as a tax haven, though it has in recent years taken steps to shake off its image as a tax haven and to reposition itself as a legitimate financial center.

5. San Marino – Area: 61 km²

Smallest Countries

San Marino is surrounded completely by Italy. With a total area size of 61 square kilometers, it is the fifth smallest country in the world. San Marino is also considered to be the world’s oldest surviving republic and retains much of its historic architecture. Moreover, it is also one of the wealthiest in terms of GDP per capita.

Tourism dominates the economy of San Marino and received more than three million visitors every year. Along with Tourism, sales from the Postage stamps and coins – keenly sought by collectors – are important sources of revenue. Mount Titano, part of the Apennine range, dominates San Marino’s landscape. Three defensive fortresses perch on Titano’s slopes, looking out to the Adriatic coast provides a breathtaking view for visitors.

4. Tuvalu – Area: 26 km²

Tuvalu is located in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia. With a total of 26 square kilometers, Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world and won Independence from the UK in 1978. Its 9 islands comprise small, thinly populated atolls and reef islands with palm-fringed beaches and WWII sites.

With a population of 11,097 inhabitants, Tuvalu was first sighted by Europeans explores in 1568. Life on the islands is simple and often harsh. There are no streams or rivers, so the collection of rain is essential.

Coconut palms cover most of the islands, and copra – dried coconut kernel – is practically the only export commodity. But despite financial difficulties, this small nation has shown ingenuity by exploiting another source of income. It has sold its internet suffix – .tv – to a Californian company for several million dollars a year in continuing revenue. The company sells the suffix on to television broadcasters.

3. Nauru – Area: 21 km²

Smallest Countries

Nauru is an island nation located east of Australia. With a registered population of around 10,000 residents in a 21-square-kilometer (8.1 sq mi) area, Nauru is the smallest state in the South Pacific and third smallest country by area in the world, behind only Vatican City and Monaco.

Economically, Nauru is heavily depended on the financial grant received from the Australian government. Formerly known as Pleasant Island, its phosphate resources are now depleted, leading to a 90% national unemployment rate, with the remaining 10% employed by the government.

Nauru’s highest point, with an elevation of 65 meters – Command Ridge, may not look like an impressive mountain peak, but its summit is among the few in the world where climbers can admire the 360-degree view of an entire country.

2. Monaco – Area: 2 km²

Smallest Countries

Monaco is located on the French Riviera and is home to the largest number of millionaires and billionaires in the world per capita. It is also the world’s second smallest country, with only 2 square kilometers in total land area.

Monaco is known globally for its gambling and luxury goods and services industry and is a favorite playground of the rich and famous. The most popular annual street circuit motor racing event – the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 race held every year is one of the original most glamorized sporting events in the world.

Bordering France on the three sides whereas the southern side borders the Mediterranean sea, Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union (EU), but it does participate in certain EU policies, including customs and border controls and uses the Euro as its sole currency.

1. Vatican City – Area: 0.44 km²

Smallest Countries

The world’s smallest country is the Vatican City State also known as the Holy See – located within the city of Rome. With an area of approximately 110 acres and a population of 800 – the Vatican City State is the smallest country in the world – both in terms of size and population.

Home of the Catholic Church – It is also home to the biggest church in the world – St. Peter’s Basilica, and holds some of the most significant artworks of the Renaissance such as Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo Della Porta, Maderno, and Bernini.

As an independent sovereign entity, the State of Vatican City enclave in Rome as sovereign territory, and it maintains diplomatic relations with other states. The government of Vatican City State is under the jurisdiction of Holy See – with Pope being the Head of the State – and Cardinal Secretary of State as its chief administrator.

The Economy of Vatican City State is supported through the Vatican Museums and post office and is supported financially by the sale of stamps, coins, medals and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by publications sales.