- Most European microstates do not have commercial airports due to lack of space, but they can easily be accessed through nearby major airports in neighboring countries.
- Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, and the Vatican State all lack commercial airports but have alternative air routes and heliports for air travel.
- The closest major airports to these microstates are located in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, providing convenient transportation options for visitors.
Most of the microstates across the world lack commercial airports, often due to lack of space. In such cases, establishing a dedicated airport might not be economically viable, especially when a neighboring country with a nearby airport can offer air connectivity.
Only five of the six European microstates lack airports within their boundaries, although each of them possesses at least one heliport. Let’s look closer at which European sovereign states operate without commercial airports and how you can access them through alternative air routes.
Monaco is the world’s second-smallest sovereign state located on the French Riviera. It is only fair that the state with an area of 2.02 km2 has no commercial airport, especially when the closest major airport is Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE) in France, situated just 30 kilometers away from Monaco.
Monaco is easily accessible from NCE Airport either by bus, train, or car in approximately 45 minutes. Other airports close to Monaco are Genoa Airport (GOA) and Turin Airport (TRN) in Italy.
Andorra, a sovereign microstate in the eastern Pyrenees, is landlocked and bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south. Its development was historically impacted by limited road and air transport links until the 20th century. While there are still no airports for fixed-wing aircraft within Andorra’s confines, the region hosts three heliports that offer commercial helicopter services. Additionally, an airport is situated just 12 kilometers south of the Andorran-Spanish border.
Starting in July 2015, Andorra–La Seu d’Urgell Airport (LEU) began flights to Madrid and Palma de Mallorca, serving as the main hub for Andorra Airlines. However, for long-distance travel to Andorra, the popular options are Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN) in Spain and Toulouse–Blagnac Airport (TLS) in France, the nearest major airports.
Lichtenstein is another microstate in the list of European states with no commercial airports. Located in the Alps between Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Liechtenstein has no airport but has a heliport in the southern town of Balzers.
The airports closest to Liechtenstein are St. Gallen–Altenrhein Airport (ACH) in Switzerland and Friedrichshafen Airport (FDH) in Germany, but they offer only a limited number of scheduled flights. A more significant option is Zürich Airport (ZRH) in Switzerland, with rail connections to Buchs and Sargans.
4 San Marino
Nestled on the northeastern flank of the Apennine Mountains, San Marino stands as one of the world’s tiniest nations, devoid of a commercial airport and solely reachable through its network of neighboring airports or its heliport. It is worth mentioning that San Marino is among the few microstates boasting an airfield featuring a 680-meter grass runway.
5 Vatican State
While Vatican City lacks its own airport, it does possess the Vatican City Heliport nestled in its western corner. This heliport serves visiting dignitaries and Vatican officials. Given the compact expanse of the area spanning just 0.44 km², fitting an airport within its confines would be an unattainable feat.
For air travel, the nearest significant airports in Italy are Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA) and Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO), both serving Rome.