How many countries in Europe map how many how many european countries
How many European countries are there?

Confused? Let us explain why the number of countries in Europe varies so much. 

On our journey to every country in the world, we have visited all countries in Europe and we think you can never get bored exploring this continent. 

But let’s get down to business and explain how many countries in Europe there are.

How many countries in Europe are recognised by the United Nations?

Let’s start with the definition of European countries by the United Nations. According to the UN, there are 44 countries in Europe. What countries are in Europe? 

Here is the list of European countries:

  • Albania, 
  • Andorra, 
  • Austria, 
  • Belarus, 
  • Belgium, 
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina, 
  • Bulgaria, 
  • Croatia, 
  • Czech Republic, 
  • Denmark, 
  • Estonia, 
  • Finland, 
  • France, 
  • Germany, 
  • Greece, 
  • Holy See (Vatican), 
  • Hungary, 
  • Iceland, 
  • Ireland, 
  • Italy, 
  • Latvia,
  • Liechtenstein,
  • Lithuania, 
  • Luxembourg, 
  • Malta, 
  • Moldova, 
  • Monaco, 
  • Montenegro, 
  • Netherlands, 
  •  North Macedonia, 
  • Norway,
  • Poland, 
  • Portugal, 
  • Romania,
  • Russia,
  • San Marino, 
  • Serbia, 
  • Slovakia, 
  • Slovenia, 
  • Spain, 
  • Sweden, 
  • Switzerland, 
  • Ukraine, 
  • United Kingdom

What countries are sometimes considered countries of Europe?

45. Cyprus

Let’s start with Cyprus. It’s an island nation in the Mediterranean and geographically speaking is closer to the Middle East and it belongs to the Asian continent. Yet it is part of the European Union.

If you ask us, we consider it a country in Europe and we would count it if someone asked “How many European countries are there?”

46. Kosovo

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008 and while many countries have recognised it as a country, many have not.

Today it is part of the disputed territories by the UN. Most travellers would count Kosovo as part of Europe, and therefore it would be easy to answer the question of how many countries in Europe with the number 46.

47/48/49 Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia

For some, The three countries in the Caucasus are hard to pinpoint on a map. Technically, they are located on the continent of Asia; however, we see them more and more connected to Europe.

Maybe the fact that you see all three countries competing at Eurovision each year has something to do with it.

We have a great itinerary for Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan if you are planning a visit here.

Or maybe because the Caucasus mountains mark the edge of the European continent, hence this would be the geographical border of Europe? Essentially all three countries are part of the European tectonic plate.

If you agree with this, then the answer to the question of how many countries in Europe are there would be 49 countries. Ok, let’s continue with this countries of Europe list.

Caucasus regions how many European countries
Georgia & Armenia and Azerbajian on a map. Credit: Peter Fitzgerald and the map of ethnolinguistic groups

Russia and Turkey – Are they in Europe or Asia?

Both Russia and Turkey are transcontinental countries as they are countries with territories in both Europe and Asia. 

As you can see on our list of European countries by the UN, Russia makes the list. This is a little bit tricky as Russia is a huge country and the majority of its landmass is in fact in Asia.

Of course, if you ask people in St Petersburg they would say they are Russian and European as they clearly are in the geographical part of Europe, not in Asia.

But, if you try to ask someone at Lake Baikal or Vladivostok, which is located on the opposite side of this huge country, they’d likely consider that they are truly in Asia.

Turkey is a similar case. However as only 3% of Turkey, a part of the city of Istanbul is located on the European continent, then Turkey is always considered to be part of Asia as the majority of the country is in fact in Asia.

But as for Russia, I think everyone would of course define it as a European country when asked “How many European countries are there?”.

A special note on the United Kingdom when considering how many countries in Europe are there.

I often meet travellers who refer to the 4 parts of the United Kingdom as 4 individual countries. The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and while all four of them provide a really different and unique experience for travellers, they are not 4 individual countries.

Yes, each of them has some autonomy, but essentially they are part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There is a lot more to explain about each of them and their sovereignty as Scotland is really unique in this sense and we personally always thought of it as a country of its own. 

And you never know, maybe one day Scotland might just go for full independence from the UK. If that happens, this countries of Europe list will change. 

How many countries in Europe UK map countries in europe how many
What countries are in Europe? United Kingdom vs 4 individual countries

And that’s your answer to how many countries in Europe are there. What do you think? How many countries are in Europe according to you? We would love to hear your point of view in the comments below.

Travel Tips for Europe

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Maybe these 8 things to know about travelling to Eastern Europe will inspire a visit, but read these 7 misconceptions about Eastern Europe before you go.

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