Thanks to jet travel, our world is more interconnected than ever. We can book a ticket and board a flight to anywhere we want to go — almost. You might be surprised to learn that there are some countries on the planet that don’t have a single airport. Whether it’s because of restrictions on space, limited resources, or a desire to keep noise out, these five nations are the world’s only countries that don’t have airports.
A landlocked nation located high in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, Andorra is one of the world’s smallest countries — covering just 180 square miles. The country is home to around 85,000 people, who speak the Romance language of Catalan as the sole official language. Due to its mountainous location, its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe at 3,356 feet above sea level. The closest airports are in Barcelona, Spain, and Toulouse, France, both about three hours away. Even though Andorra does not have airports, it does have three helicopter landing pads located in La Massana, Arinsal, and Escaldes-Engordany.
Liechtenstein is another tiny, mountainous European nation. Sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, it is not only the world’s sixth-smallest country (covering just 62 square miles) but also only one of two countries on Earth that are doubly landlocked, along with Uzbekistan. It is also the only country in Europe that is entirely located within the Alps. Given its small size and proximity to other nations, Liechtenstein doesn’t have any airports. The distance to the closest airport in Zurich, Switzerland, is approximately 80 miles. Unlike Andorra, Liechtenstein has only one helicopter pad, which is located in Balzers.
Entirely surrounded by the city of Rome, Vatican City is the world’s smallest country. The city-state — the global headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and residence of the Pope — is home to just 800 people and covers 0.2 square miles. It’s no surprise, then, that the Vatican doesn’t have any airport — the city-state doesn’t even have highways. The only way for visitors to reach Vatican City is through Italy’s capital, Rome. The closest airport is the Rome-Ciampino Airport, which is only nine miles away.
Along with Vatican City and Lesotho, San Marino is one of the world’s only three enclave countries. Established in 301 CE, it is the world’s oldest-surviving constitutional republic. San Marino is located in the Apennine Mountains in the northeastern region of Italy and covers just 24 square miles, with a population of just over 30,000. San Marino is also close to the Federico Fellini International Airport in Rimini, Italy, which is located about 70 miles away.
The fifth and final country without an airport is the glamorous country of Monaco in the French Riviera. Nicknamed the “Billionaire’s Playground” for its high concentration of wealth, this coastal country is nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and France and covers just 0.78 square miles. It has the world’s shortest coastline. With a population of just under 40,000 people, Monaco is one of the most densely populated places on Earth — and there’s no room for an airport. Fortunately, Cote d’Azur Airport in Nice, France, is only about 30 minutes away by car. Monaco also has a heliport at Fontvieille that accommodates wealthy visitors and dignitaries.