While Europe is a fairly small continent, it still has a wide variety of cultural heritage, scenery, and cuisines. Here are some fun facts about Europe:
Regions: Europe is generally divided into five regions: Northern, Southern, Central, Eastern, and Western. I’m basing this on geographical sub-divisions, and not geopolitical or linguistic regions. To read more about those regions, head to my All About Regions In Europe blog.
Countries: Well, that depends on who you ask. Generally accepted, Europe has 50 countries, but only 44 of those countries have their capital city on the European continent. That being said, almost 100 UN member states recognize Kosovo as a country, so some people say Europe has 51 countries. Only 27 countries belong to the European Union as of 2022.
Population: More than 748 million people (2022) live on the continent of Europe which means approximately 10% of the world’s population calls Europe home. Depending on who you ask, there are around 87 distinct “peoples of Europe”.
Language: In Europe, around 94% of their population speaks an Indo-European language, including Russian, French, Italian, German, and English. Russian is the most spoken native language in Europe.
Religion: In Europe, they primarily practice Christianity.
Geography: Russia is the largest transcontinental country in Europe, while Vatican City is the smallest. Ukraine is the largest non-transcontinental country. Sognefjord is the largest fjord and Mount Elbrus is the tallest mountain. Lake Ladoga is the biggest lake and Vinnufossen is the tallest waterfall.
Europe attracts more tourists than any of the other continents, with an estimated 600 million international visitors per year. This is no surprise when you think of how tourist ready Europe is, with the fairly efficient and well-maintained transportation infrastructure they have across the continent (like the Eurail). But also, millennia after millennia of cultural heritage.
Its wealth of attractions in a relatively small and well-connected space is likely its biggest draw. Europe is the second smallest continent but has the highest continental population density (based on the number of people per square mile or kilometer). Despite its population density, it still has such stunning and iconic natural scenery, as well. And while small, it retains a tremendous amount of visual and cultural diversity.
From the iconic Eiffel Towel and Stonehenge to Gulfoss Falls and the Cliffs of Moher, from the Leaning Tower of Pisa and over to Canals of Bruge to Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Neuschwanstein Castle – wherever you find yourself on this birthplace of Western Civilization, you will be awestruck and ready to explore.
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