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Top Microstates to Visit

On the map, they’re just little blips. You might not even notice them at first. But when you do, curiosity takes over. Look at those tiny outposts sticking out by themselves in the midst of a much larger country. How did they get there? Why aren’t they just part of the larger country? Well, as you may have guessed, there are some interesting stories behind the creation of microstates. Here are a few unique ones particularly worth a visit.



Hong Kong & Macao

Similarly, Macao was under Portuguese control for more than 400 years before being handed over to China yet retains its own legal and monetary systems. Macao is the most densely populated area in the world with 650,000 people living in less than 12 square miles and is the world’s gambling capital.

Vatican City & San Marino

A 24-square-mile enclave surrounded by Italy, San Marino may well be the oldest sovereign state still in existence, dating to the year 301. Located atop Monte Titano in the Apennine range, San Marino is certainly picturesque, but it’s the charm of its citizens that has kept it independent all these years. Regent Antonio Onofri managed to earn the respect of Napoleon, who promised not annex the republic. Later, thanks to San Marino’s offering of asylum to people persecuted for supporting Italian unification, Giuseppe Garibaldi honored the republic’s wish to not become a part of Italy.

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