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This Is Why San Marino Is Europe’s Fastest Growing Tourist Destination

By Mitti Hicks

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Every year, the United Nations World Tourism Organization compiles a list of the most visited countries around the world using data from international tourists arrivals.

UNWTO’s 2017 data revealed that more than half of the most visited countries in the world were in Europe. France topped the list with 87 million international arrivals, followed by Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Turkey. Despite the European countries on UNWTO’s top 10 list, there is one country that is witnessing an uptick in tourism: San Marino.

Located in the middle of Italy, this sovereign microstate welcomed approximately 78,000 foreign visitors in 2017. The number of visitors doesn’t compare to France, however, that’s a nearly 31 percent increase compared to 60,000 visitors in 2016.

San Marino is considered one of the fastest growing destination in Europe at the moment, and as concerns for over-tourism continue to increase, here’s why you should make this hidden destination a must-see on your travel list:

The scenery

The Republic of San Marino is deemed as the world’s oldest sovereign state that dates to the fourth century AD.  San Marino sits on a cliff surrounded by breathtaking views of Italy.

It has a UNESCO World Heritage site

San Marino and Mount Titano were named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.  A statement on the UNESCO website reads, “San Marino and Mount Titano are an exceptional testimony of the establishment of a representative democracy based on civic autonomy and self-governance.”


As the only surviving city-state in Italy, the medieval city center still has its fortification towers and walls, convents from the 14th and 16th centuries, and an 18th-century theater that are still in use today, as reported in MSN. 

Avoid crowds

As one of Europe’s least visited destinations and with a population of 33,500, San Marino is a great place to unwind if you’re looking to avoid crowds and interruption.

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