Europe consists of diverse countries, each has distinctive geographical significance. There are landlocked countries in Europe including Armenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia, Switzerland, Vatican City, and many more. These countries have no direct access to water, unlike coastal states. They are dependent on coastal states to access water bodies. Despite this restriction, all of these landlocked states are economically significant, rich in culture, and have a strong history. Most of them are part of the European Union (EU) as well as some are part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Here, 15 landlocked countries of Europe are discussed in detail.
List of Landlocked Countries In Europe
Here is the list of the largest landlocked countries in Europe:
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Andorra is a landlocked country and one of the smallest countries in Europe. It is situated in the Pyrenees mountain between Spain and France. The capital of Andorra is Andorra la Vella. It has expanded over 468 square kilometers and its population is 79,034 (estimated in 2021). Andorra predominantly consists of rugged mountains. Coma Pedrosa is the highest with 9,552 feet altitude. These are dissected by three Y-shaped narrow valleys that combine into one Valira River, one mainstream.
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Armenia is a landlocked country of Transcaucasia lying in the South of the Caucasus mountain range and faces the northwestern region of Asia. It borders Georgia to the North, Turkey to the West, and Azerbaijan to the East. Yerevan is the capital of Armenia. Armenia has expanded over 29,743 square kilometers with a population of 3 million. Today’s Armenia is a small part of ancient Armenia, one of the oldest centers of civilization in the world. At its height, Armenia stretched from the Caspian Sea to the south-central Black Sea coast and from the Mediterranean Sea to Lake Urmia. Armenia consists of mountains characterized by diverse landscapes and geologic instability. The average height above sea level is 5,900 feet. There are no lowlands in this territory.
Austria predominantly consists of mountains and lies in Central Europe. The Republic of Austria is a landlocked country boundary with the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Austria is strategically important due to its geographical location. Vienna is the capital of Austria. It is the hub of European trade routes including the Danubian trade route and the incredible Alpine passes connecting north and south. This makes Austria significant in geopolitics. Austria has adopted mixed economic policy reforms including centralized economic planning, private freedom, and government regulation. Austria is also a member of the European Union (EU).
Belarus lies in Eastern Europe and is a landlocked country. It borders Poland, Latvia, Russia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. It is the largest landlocked country in Europe and has expanded over 207,600 square kilometers with a population of 9.34 million. Belarus has flat terrains intersected by flat lands, hills, and lowlands with small rivers, lakes, and marshes. There are many transport routes run through Belarus including the route connecting the Black Sea and Baltic Sea.
5) Czech Republic
The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia is a landlocked country in Europe. It lies in Central Europe and consists of the historical provinces of Moravia and Bohemia along with the southern side of Silesia. Collectively, these are called Czech Lands. Czechia borders Germany to the West, Poland to the North, Slovakia to the East, and Austria to the South. Prague is the largest city and the capital of the Czech Republic. It is extended over 78,864 square kilometers with a population of 10,512,000. During the Middle Ages, despite being landlocked, Bohemia had access to the Adriatic and Baltic Seacoast.
Hungary is one of the landlocked countries in Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin. Budapest is the capital of Hungary. The area is 93,030 square kilometers with a population of 9.71 million. Out of this, one-fifth of the population lives in the capital, Budapest. The largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Balaton flows through Hungary. The two longest rivers of Hungary Tisza and the Danube divide Hungary into three parts: the Trans-Tisza region, the plain between river Tisza and the Danube, and Transdanubia. Hungary, which is also known as the Land of Magyars is one of the unique nations in Europe as they have their language which is not a major European language.
Kosovo is a landlocked country in the Balkan region of Europe. It is the second-youngest country in the world, to declare its independence in 2008 from Serbia. Kosovo borders with North Macedonia to the South, Serbia to the North and East, Montenegro to the Northwest, and Albania to the West. It is the smallest country in the Balkan region. Pristina is the largest city and capital of Kosovo. Kosovo covers 4, 203.5 square kilometers with a population of 1.873 million. Kosovo has a significant history as in the medieval era, it was the center of the Serbian Empire and later it was part of the Ottoman Empire.
Luxembourg lies in Western Europe and is a landlocked country. It borders with Germany, France, and Belgium. It is extended over 2,586 square kilometers with a population of 645,400. It is the prominent financial center of the capital Luxembourg City. There are two main regions in the geography of Luxembourg; the Oesling, a part of a hilly region, the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland, a relatively urban part in the South.
9) North Macedonia
North Macedonia is a small, landlocked country in the central Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the East, Greece to the South, Kosovo, and Serbia to the North, and Albania to the West. Skopje is the capital of North Macedonia. It covers 25,713 square kilometers with a population of 2.08 million. North Macedonia has a small and open economy. It is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA).
Moldova, formerly known as Bessarabia is a landlocked country situated in the Northeastern Balkan region of Europe. Moldova announced its independence in 1991 after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It lies between Romania and Ukraine. Chișinău is the capital city of the Republic of Moldova. It has expanded over 33,846 square kilometers with a population of 2.615 million. Moldova is a predominately fertile region that lies between the Prut and Dniester rivers. It has an agro-economy (economy based on agriculture). It has the membership of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
11) San Marino
San Marino is a small and landlocked country in Europe. It is located on the slopes of Mount Titano, surrounded by Italy. It has expanded over 61.2 square kilometers with a population of 33,745. It is the smallest republic in the world with San Marino city as the capital of the country. San Marino’s economy is significantly based on tourism, it hosts 3 million visitors annually. Further, its economy is also mixed with private markets and government regulation.
Serbia is a landlocked country in SouthEast Europe, located in the Western Balkan peninsula. It borders Romania and Bulgaria to the East, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Herzegovina to the West, Hungary to the North, and Kosovo and North Macedonia to the South. Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia. It has expanded over 88,499 square kilometers with a population of 6.834 million. Serbia comprises a dynamic landscape including fertile Pannonian plains and Balkan and Carpathian mountains. Serbia borders and crosses big rivers including Morava, Drina, Danube, Ibar, etc.
Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It borders Poland to the North, Hungary to the South, Austria and the Czech Republic to the West, and Ukraine to the East. Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia. The area of Slovakia is 49,035 square kilometers with a population of 5.447 million. Slovakia is popular for its mountains such as the Carpathian Mountains. It has a mixed economy with centralized government economic policies and free-private markets. Slovakia is a member of the European Union (EU).
Switzerland is situated in central Europe and is a landlocked country. It borders with France, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, and Italy. Switzerland comprises mountains such as Jura in the northwest and the Alps in the south, plateaus, large lakes, and hills. Bern is the capital city of Switzerland. The area of Switzerland is 41,285 square kilometers with a population of 8.703 million. Due to the tourist resorts, it attracts millions of tourists every year which contributes a huge share in the economy of Switzerland. Further, it has a modern market economy with a free price system. Switzerland is a member of the EFTA (European Free Trade Association).
15) Vatican City
Vatican City is a landlocked country and an enclave in Rome, located on the west bank of the Tiber River. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. It has expanded over 0.49 square kilometers with a population of 526. Vatican City is itself the capital of the country. The Vatican Palace is located in Vatican City which is the residence of the pope to exercise his universal authority.
In a nutshell, Europe is a diverse continent with dynamic topography and diverse socio-economic circumstances of the states. There are 44 landlocked countries in the world, out of which Europe has 15 landlocked countries. They play a crucial role in regional security and stability. They provide trade routes to the countries and contribute to global trade and economy. Despite facing the challenges of being landlocked, the countries enjoy resourcefulness and demonstrate remarkable adaptability.
Landlocked countries in Europe contribute to the diverse tapestry of European progress, development, and culture. They cooperate and integrate into the regional and international development and global network. These countries serve as an indication of the tenacity and inventiveness innate in human communities, which exceed geographical limitations to carve out paths toward growth and prosperity.
What are the three countries that are fully landlocked by another country?
The two European countries Vatican City and San Marino are completely landlocked by Italy and Lesotho is fully landlocked by South Africa.
What are the challenges faced by the landlocked countries?
The challenges faced by the landlocked countries include lack of access to the water bodies/sea, high transit costs, and isolation from the world market, which create hurdles in the landlocked countries’ socio-economic development.
What is the largest landlocked country in Europe?
Belarus is the largest landlocked country in Europe with an area of 207,600 square kilometers.
What are the advantages of landlocked countries?
The advantages of landlocked countries are that they are saved from natural hazards due to harsh weather conditions such as Tsunamis, flooding, and hurricanes.
Which landlocked country is wealthy?
Out of all the landlocked countries in the world, some of the European landlocked countries are wealthy with higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP). They are; Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.