Europe’s a developed continent, and in most countries, tourism is flourishing, yet there are still some remote parts of it, rarely reached by anyone. Have you ever wondered what Europe’s most hidden gems are? Here’s the answer then – a list of 7 countries in Europe that are usually overlooked by tourists and can be seen as the least visited European countries.
1. Moldova (11,000 visitors per year)
Squeezed between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova’s rather hard to reach – that’s the first reason why the country receives so few visitors. It doesn’t have any popular tourist attractions, that’s another. Yet for travelers who like to get off the beaten track, Moldova’s a great destination. Nowhere else in Europe than in Moldova is the number of tourists so small. Thus you can be sure whoever you meet in Moldova, they’re either locals or the adventurous, extremely curious kind of travelers. As for the locals, they’re charming and genuinely hospitable. Besides, they’ve got one incredible talent – making wines. Moldavian wineries are excellent, and their products are some of the best in Europe. Countryside’s quiet and lovely, the capital’s surprisingly vibrant and across the Dniestr River there’s the eccentric region Transdniestr, a Russian-speaking ministate that is a throwback to the times of Soviet Union’s glory.
2. Liechtenstein (54,000 visitors per year)
Liechtenstein is also one of the least visited European countries. Actually, if you consider the size of Liechtenstein, the number of people visiting it isn’t that low. Liechtenstein is a fairy-tale setting: small, lovely, wealthy and governed by a prince. It’s scenically located in the Alps, between Austria and Switzerland. There are lots of castles for dreamers, romantics, and history lovers, or trails and slopes for outdoor enthusiasts. Both skiing and hiking are fabulous, so whether you visit the country in the summer or winter, you’ll have things to do. Just keep in mind; you’ll have to make a bit of effort to get to Lichtenstein because there’s no international airport. You can go to Switzerland first and then take a bus or train from there; luckily it doesn’t take so much time since the distances are short.
3. Belarus (119,000 visitors per year)
Belarus is still a dictatorship (the last one in Europe), and that’s the primary reason why it is one of the least visited European countries. Despite the controversial political system, the country’s safe for visitors. Nevertheless, it’s isolated, and tourist attractions aren’t abundant, so few people decide to go there. Those who do though are welcomed by the beautiful nature, lovely villages and local hospitality. European countries usually have lots in common, at least when it comes to basic cultural and political principles. Belarus is as different as it gets. Judgments aside, it’s definitely an interesting place to visit.
4. San Marino (139,000 visitors per year)
San Marino is one of the tiniest countries in the world, so no wonder it doesn’t receive millions of visitors. Even if they all wanted to come, there wouldn’t be enough space to fit them in. That said, as for such a small country San Marino has a lot of attractions actually. The world’s oldest republic, it’s historically fascinating. Although it only measures 61 square kilometers, San Marino has nine settlements. Most of the visitors head to the one called Città di San Marino, a picturesque area on the slopes of Monte Titano.
5. Monaco (292,000 visitors per year)
The second smallest country in the world, Monaco’s tiny, but the size doesn’t keep it from making a big impression. Situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the 200 hectares of Monaco are truly enchanting, but not in a humble way. It’s urban, wealthy and majestic. Rarely visited by backpackers, it’s rather a fancy tourist’s destination. Yachts, luxurious hotels and ubiquitous elegance, that’s what dominates the landscape, but there are some other things to do besides of dining and sailing. Charming cafés, the medieval village of Monaco-Ville, oceanographic museum, exotic gardens and art galleries are nice to visit.
6. The Republic of Macedonia (351,000 visitors per year)
Slowly leaving behind the complicated past, Macedonia’s now a lovely and captivating country. There’re lots of ethnic minorities, and some subjects are better to be avoided. But generally, the situation now is stable, and the fact Macedonia’s society is so complicated makes it even more interesting than before. There isn’t an equivalent of Eiffel Tower or Big Ben in Macedonia, perhaps that’s why tourists still have trouble noticing this country. If you’re not looking for famous tourist attractions, this lack won’t bother you. Macedonia has lots of beautiful nature, beautiful lakes and attractive beaches, traditional villages, medieval architecture and delicious wines.
7. Bosnia-Herzegovina (439,000 visitors per year)
It’s been about 20 years since the tragic civil war, and Bosnia’s name is still associated with the dramatic conflict. The country isn’t very developed comparing to most of the European states. That’s why it is among the least visited European countries, but it’s making its way towards the future. Right now Bosnia-Herzegovina is a fascinating place, with warm, welcoming locals and unique atmosphere. Because of the Ottoman influences, there’s still a bit of Eastern vibe in the air. There are also the reminiscences of Socialist era and the modern Western culture. With the medieval castles, beautiful villages, and beautiful mountains, Bosnia-Herzegovina is truly picturesque. There are great hiking and skiing opportunities.
Have you ever visited any of these least visited European countries? Let us know! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends.