What countries are sometimes considered countries of Europe?
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 countries in Europe are there.
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
The three countries located in the Caucasus are hard to pinpoint on a map for some. 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? By the way, 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 on how many countries in Europe are there would be 49 countries.
Russia and Turkey – Are they in Europe or Asia?
Both Russia and Turkey are transcontinental countries as they are countries with territory 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.
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. But you never know, maybe one day Scotland might just go for full independence from the UK?
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.