Europe is full of incredibly beautiful destinations—like this underwater restaurant and these breathtaking romantic cities. But with so many picturesque locations to visit, unfortunately, some hidden beauties can be overlooked. Ever heard of San Marino? If not, let us introduce you to the seriously underrated and least-visited country in Europe.
According to the World Tourism Organization, San Marino only had 60,000 tourists visit in 2016, which is less than any other European country. The gorgeous microstate is only 23.6 square miles and has a population of 32,140, according to the World Atlas.
If you’re visiting from Italy, there’s a cable car that will lift you up to Mount Titano, which is where San Marino is situated. Yes, this small country is located on a mountain. In other words, the views of Italy hugging the bottom of the cliff and the glistening Adriatic Sea in the distance are absolutely astonishing. (Can’t get to San Marino anytime soon? These nine American towns will make you feel like you’re already in Europe.)
But the views aren’t the only reason why San Marino should be on your bucket list. Despite how small this microstate may be, it’s encompassed in history. Its capital (also named San Marino) is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s home to convents from the 14th and 15th centuries, an 18th-century theater, and a basilica from the 19th century. Perhaps the most famous works of architecture are the country’s three medieval fortresses, which can also be seen on their flag: Guaita, Cesta, and Montale Tower.
Besides its gorgeous medieval layout, San Marino is also a tax-free country—which is another draw-in for tourists. Even with its tax-free policy, the country manages to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world (based on GDP per capita), according to the World Atlas. (While you’re in Europe, make sure you don’t fall for these common European travel scams.)
The best part? San Marino is a perfect getaway year-round! Whether it’s covered in glistening snow or illuminated by the summer sun, San Marino is a must-see destination for anyone. Here are ten other places you need to visit this year.