The distinction of smallest country on Earth (by size AND population) goes to Vatican City.
Located within Rome, Italy, Vatican City has less than 1000 inhabitants and has been an independent country since 1929.
Also called the Holy See, it has been the home of the Catholic Pope since the 14th century and is the seat of worldwide Catholicism.
Each year, roughly five million tourists visit this tiny country, each one entering through St. Peters Square.
Though only 44 hectares (110 acres) there is much to see and centuries of history, culture, and religion to learn about.
Let’s have a look at the best things to do in Vatican City:
1. Saint Peter’s Basilica
Built over the tomb of Saint Peter, this is one of the largest churches in the world. It’s also one of the world’s most beautiful.
The modern day structure was completed in the 17th century and built on top of an earlier 4th century church. It took roughly 120 years to complete and is a treasure trove of history.
Entrance is free, though there is a dress code, and once inside you’ll see three of the most celebrated masterpieces of any age: Bernini’s 29-metre-high baldachin which sits over the papal altar, Michelangelo’s Pieta, and his glorious Sistine Chapel.