European Small Countries: Best City Breaks?

Read about these European small countries & smallest microstates in Europe to learn why they are great for city breaks & how to get there.

If you want to find a destination for your next perfect city break or a cool mini vacation, consider these small European countries and microstates. I will show you why they are ideal destinations for a memorable getaway. From picturesque towns to cultural experiences and cool places to stay, these small countries are well-suited for city breaks.

Because of their size you will be able to explore an entire country in one long weekend, if you wish so. Or, you might just stay in one place and enjoy it without a hurry slow traveling (my personal favorite way). You can always return back to explore some more.

Some of these small countries are well known, and others are hidden gems you would be happy to learn about.

I also explain how to get there with different options.

Let's see which are the smallest countries in Europe by size.

A few iconic images & a custom sign: 'European small countries for best city breaks'
A few iconic images & a custom sign: 'European small countries for best city breaks'

Updated February 2024

Hello, I’m Tatiana. I’m hopelessly in love with old uniquely looking buildings, and cozy urban scenes, and finding best places in Europe to go.

Check out my travel tips of over 20 years of travel experiences and reviews of the best European destinations and city breaks. Let's connect on social media!

10 smallest countries in Europe

Here are 10 smallest European countries by area:

1. Vatican City: 0.49 square kilometers (0.19 square miles)

2. Monaco: 2.02 square kilometers (0.78 square miles)

3. San Marino: 61 square kilometers (24 square miles)

4. Liechtenstein: 160 square kilometers (62 square miles)

5. Malta: 312 square kilometers (122,000 sq miles)

6. Andorra: 468 square kilometers (181 square miles)

7. Luxembourg: 2,586 square kilometers (998 square miles)

8. Montenegro: 13,812 square kilometers (5,333 square miles)

9. Slovenia: 20,273 square kilometers (7,827 square miles)

10. North Macedonia: 25,713 square kilometers (9,928 square miles)

Out of this list, the first 7 countries on the list are also called one-state countries.

Let’s look at all one state countries in Europe in more details to find out why they can be perfect European city break destinations.

European city states

Did you know about European city-states? These tiny small independent countries are centered around one city and have smaller populations compared to others in Europe.

They are also called microstates or ministates. However, the term microstate doesn't have a strict definition and mainly refers to any very small country.

While these nations are centered around a single city, the main focus and hub of activity , they may also have smaller towns or districts within their territories. The microstates also work closely with their larger neighboring countries.

Here are the smallest European countries by size.

7 microstates in Europe

1. Vatican City

2. Monaco

3. San Marino

4. Liechtenstein

5. Malta

6. Andorra

7. Luxembourg

With the exception of Liechtenstein, which was formed in the 17th century, these microstates date back to the first or early second millennium. This alone makes visiting them very exciting!

Now let's  find out why these one state countries in Europe can be perfect European city break destinations.

Vatican City

Vatican City is the smallest independent country in Europe with a population of around 1,000 people and one of the best European destinations to visit. Despite its size, it has its own currency, and a famous small army of 100 Swiss Guards, wearing colorful uniforms. The city even has its own license plates for vehicles.

Vatican City developed near the burial site of Peter the Apostle, who was crucified upside down. St. Peter's Basilica was built over his grave.

Modern day Vatican City is the spiritual center of the Roman Catholic Church. It also the residence of the Pope and the headquarters of the church.

why Vatican City is a perfect city break destination

Vatican City is a perfect city break destination because it has everything you want to see in a small area. In just over 100 acres, you can explore amazing artwork and architecture without feeling rushed. Vatican.

I personally love the grand a