European Countries, Ranked by Instagram Popularity
From the lavender fields of France to the waterfalls of Iceland to the Highlands of Scotland, Europe is full of attractions just begging to be photographed for Instagram. But which countries are particularly beloved on the social-media site?
To answer that question, we've reviewed nearly 200 hashtags to determine the 25 most Instagrammed European countries. We found a huge difference between the No. 1 on our list and No. 25 — 73 million hashtags, in fact! But every destination featured has been hashtagged several million times.
Find out which European countries are, at least according to Instagram, the most popular among travelers.
Number of hashtags: 4.1 million*
Most famous for: Caves and castles
Slovenia isn't typically the first place travelers think of when they think of bucket-list European countries, but it's steadily growing in popularity. The small Slavic nation located between Croatia and Austria — with a portion running along the western border of Italy — welcomed nearly 6 million visitors in 2018, an 8 percent increase from the year before.
Ljubljana is its capital, but nature is the real draw in this intimate country, which is why you'll find its coastline, lakes, rivers and mountains in many an Instagram post.
*To come up with our hashtag numbers, we added up Instagram posts tagged with #countryname, #countryname with flag, #countryname_ig and # countryname_insta.
Number of hashtags: 6.9 million
Most famous for: Mountains, castles and history
Often confused with Slovenia due to their similar names, Slovakia was formerly part of Czechoslovakia (along with what is now the Czech Republic). Since gaining independence, this Eastern European beauty has established its travel bona fides in its own right.
Tourists love to explore Bratislava's historic Old Town, where churches, castles and Communist structures promise a well-rounded educational lesson. The Danube river is a popular location for leisurely cruises to take in the local sights, while adventurers scale great heights along the High Tatras range.
Number of hashtags: 7.2 million
Most famous for: The Prince, Catherine Zeta-Jones and stunning ocean cliffs
No, Wales is not a part of England; it is a part of the United Kingdom as its own country. Thirty-one million people take day trips to this western European nation, with only 941,000 trips originating from outside the U.K.
The capital city of Cardiff is situated on the waterfront and is easily accessed via western England. Those seeking natural landscapes can explore bucolic pastures where sheep roam freely and a stunning coastline. And, yes, castles are a big thing here, too.
22. Czech Republic
Number of hashtags: 7.3 million
Most famous for: Pilsner, castles and Charles Bridge
Since emerging from behind the Iron Curtain, the Czech Republic continues to be one of the hottest destinations in Eastern Europe. More than 10.5 million people arrived in the country in 2018, with many choosing to visit the capital of Prague to see preserved architecture from centuries gone by, paired with cultural attractions like the world-class National Museum.
Wherever you end up here, make sure to try a pint of the country's world-famous beer!
Number of hashtags: 9.6 million
Most famous for: Goulash, paprika and Parliament
To cruise along the Danube to see Hungary's capital of Budapest all alit is truly magical, which could explain why 12.5 million people visited the country in 2018 — almost 1 million more than in 2017. Besides the architecturally beautiful capital, Lake Balaton was the second most-popular place to go.
Number of hashtags: 11.8 million
Most famous for: Hans Christian Anderson, The Little Mermaid and Tivoli Gardens
The gateway to Scandinavia, Denmark welcomed nearly six times its population in travelers in 2017. With its own royal family, a countryside covered in castles and a quaint yet cosmopolitan capital, Copenhagen, there are many reasons to visit this small country north of Germany.
Number of hashtags: 13.2 million
Most famous for: The Blue Lagoon, Vikings and waterfalls
As more travelers aim to go off the beaten path, they are finding their way to the land of the Vikings. Last year, nearly 700,000 visitors to Iceland were from the U.S. — a 20 percent growth over 2017. In fact, more than twice as many Americans visited the country as did people from Great Britain, the nation to send over the second-largest number of tourists.
Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, is the jumping-off point for an adventurous island tour that includes exploring waterfalls, glaciers and active volcanoes.
Number of hashtags: 13.2 million
Most famous for: Reindeer, Iittala glass and Father Christmas
Continuing the theme of Scandinavian travel, and neck-in-neck with Iceland, Finland is appearing on Instagram more and more these days, including its capital of Helsinki. But the country's main draw is its long winter, when its forests become buried in fresh snow.
During these chilly months, Finland closely resembles what we may imagine to be the North Pole, complete with reindeer.
Number of hashtags: 14.7 million
Most famous for: Windmills, tulips and Vincent van Gogh
This Dutch nation filled with tulip fields and iconic windmills saw tremendous interest in tourism over the last few years, with more growth expected in the coming years: It's estimated that 21.2 million will visit the Netherlands in 2020.
Many visitors go to the capital city of Amsterdam, where museums and nightlife are plentiful and the canals are extremely Instagram-worthy.
Number of hashtags: 16 million
Most famous for: "Game of Thrones," the Dalmatians and fortified cities
Credit "Game of Thrones" for creating the mad rush to visit this gorgeous country along the Adriatic Sea — scenes from the blockbuster show were shot in its seaside fortified town of Dubrovnik.
Even after the show's end, the hordes have kept coming. Nearly 20 million people descended upon the eastern European nation in 2018, and Dubrovnik's Old Town has had to limit tourism to 4,000 visitors per day!
Number of hashtags: 18.9 million
Most famous for: "The Sound of Music," the Alps and lederhosen
Seeing the splendor left behind by the Hapsburg family — which ruled Austria for nearly 650 years, until the 18th century — is reason enough to visit. But besides the palaces you'll find in the capital of Vienna, this country nestled into the Alps and its valleys offers spectacular beauty in every season. No wonder it drew more than 40 million people in 2018!
Number of hashtags: 19.2 million
Most famous for: Whisky, tartans and bagpipes
Scotland logged more than 15.5 million overnight tourist trips in 2018, an increase of 3 percent over the previous year. Located in the northern United Kingdom, the majority of the country's visits came from its neighbors, but 3.5 million arrived from overseas.
Scotland's capital of Edinburgh is a seaside stunner where history meets modern-day revelry. But travelers also love to visit (and photograph!) the lush green Highlands and the Isle of Skye.
Number of hashtags: 19.9 million
Most famous for: Chocolate, waffles and beer
Belgium welcomed 17.6 million visitors in 2018 — a significant rise from nearly 12 million in 2006. The country is located north of France and so close to England that there are ferries taking passengers between the two nations.
Its capital is Brussels, but other popular cities include Ghent (shown), Antwerp and Bruges, all of which feature medieval buildings and cobbled streets.
Number of hashtags: 21 million
Most famous for: Celtic music, Ring of Kerry and pubs
More than 100 years ago, the people of Ireland were suffering during the Great Famine and embarking to new worlds (namely the United States) in search of a better life. Over the past decade, descendants of these immigrants have boosted travel to the Emerald Isle by following heritage trails to rediscover their past.
The "Game of Thrones" setting in Ireland (albeit Northern Ireland, which is actually in the U.K. and its own separate country) has driven even more people to visit, resulting in 11.2 million tourists coming here in 2018.
Lively and friendly Dublin is the cultural hub, while nature-lovers venture to the country's stark coastline and rolling green hills that stretch out as far as the eye can see.
Number of hashtags: 22.7 million
Most famous for: Fjords, Vikings and Northern Lights
Yet another cultural phenom drove up tourism to this Scandinavian country, although this one was a cartoon. Never mind that "Frozen" was a work of art; it imitated life in its scenery and gave people a glimpse of what they had been missing in Norway.
Deep fjords, dancing Northern Lights and snow-covered mountains lured nearly 10 million people to visit the Land of the Midnight Sun in 2018. Many fly first into the capital city of Oslo, before making their way to some of the most picturesque and charming villages in Europe.
Number of hashtags: 24.1 million
Most famous for: Renaissance art; food and wine
We're now entering into the top 10 countries, which offer multiple cities, attractions, events, and things to see and do. Of course, Italy can be found high on the list.
Where does one even begin in this beloved country? The capital of Rome? Florence? Milan? Venice? How about the wineries, or the food, or the amazing works of art by those considered to be "The Masters?"
The country saw more than 63 million visitors in 2018, so it makes sense that Insta posts bring it into the top 10.
Number of hashtags: 25.3 million
Most famous for: Glaciers, bridges and Northern Lights
The last Scandinavian nation on our list is the most popular in hashtag land. The country's Instagram count nearly matches 2017's tourism reach of 30 million.
Stockholm, the capital, is a point of entry known for its impeccable style and harborfront sights. Many travelers then head to the northernmost regions to cross into the Arctic Circle for dog-sledding and (with any luck) glimpses of the elusive Aurora Borealis.
Number of hashtags: 26.7 million
Most famous for: Chocolate, Swiss Army Knife and the Alps
Although Switzerland doesn't have an official capital city, Bern is considered the de facto capital, with cities such as Geneva, Zurich and Lucerne also attracting arrivals.
Winter is a particularly popular time to visit thanks to the draw of the Swiss Alps, but the landlocked Alpine country promises untouched beauty all year round.
Switzerland logged nearly 39 million hotel overnight stays in 2018, with the majority of visitors coming from Europe.
Number of hashtags: 29.1 million
Most famous for: Sausages, Pope John Paul II and Auschwitz
Poland was formerly behind the Iron Curtain, but once it was able to welcome Westerners, it became a hot spot for tourism. More than 18 million people visited in 2017, a record-breaker that is predicted to be eclipsed in the coming years.
Krakow and the capital of Warsaw promise architectural marvels in the baroque, gothic and Renaissance styles, plus divine food (if you haven't had pierogis, you haven't lived life).
The country is also home to Auschwitz, the most famous and intact concentration camp from World War II.
Number of hashtags: 30.8 million
Most famous for: Its Royal family, Big Ben, and fish and chips
As one of the most-visited nations in the world, with one of the most-visited cities, London, it's no wonder England falls into the top 10 on Instagram, getting tagged on the social-media network more than most of Europe.
Upwards of 32 million people visited the country in 2018, with more than half heading to London (it helps that the city is an international business hub and that the people speak English).
Outside its famous major city, the country is steeped in history and offers a picture-perfect countryside.
Number of hashtags: 34.8 million
Most famous for: The Acropolis, isles and Greek food
Tourism is so important to Greece, it results in a quarter of the nation's Gross Domestic Product. In 2018, 33 million people visited, an increase of nearly 13 percent over the previous year.
Athens, the capital, welcomes air travelers who make their way to the Parthenon before they hit the water and bop around the Greek Isles, of which there are 6,000. Of the 227 inhabited islands, Santorini and Mykonos get the most love from Instagrammers, who love to shoot the islands' white-washed houses stacked beside the sea.
Number of hashtags: 35.3 million
Most famous for: Port, cork and beaches
In their search for less-traveled destinations, wanderlusters have found their way to the Iberian Peninsula and brought Portugal into the top five countries based on Insta love.
Last year, nearly 13 million people visited the western European country filled with Atlantic beaches, hiking trails, ancient churches and energetic cities. Lisbon, the capital, and Porto, the home of the drink, are lively places ripe for a quick getaway.
Number of hashtags: 58 million
Most famous for: Vodka, the Kremlin and the Hermitage
It makes sense that Russia has far more Insta hashtags than other European nations, considering it is the largest nation and also both partially in Europe and partially in Asia. Nonetheless, as it qualifies as a European country, it technically lands at No. 3.
Its capital of Moscow hosted the World Cup in 2018 and since then has continued to attract visitors. St. Petersburg's beauty is not ignored by world travelers, either.
Still, only 4.2 million people visited Russia in 2018, far lower than most European nations, so Russia's No. 3 spot should come with asterisks.
Number of hashtags: 60 million
Most famous for: Tapas, bull fights and Antoni Gaudi
From the capital of Madrid to the palm-tree-lined Barcelona to the festival-rich Seville, Spain is definitely Insta-worthy. (The paella and tapas alone are well worth a post or two.)
No wonder, then, that the country has had six record-breaking tourism years, reaching 82.8 million in 2018.
Number of hashtags: 78.9 million
Most famous for: Wine, Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower
The world's most-visited country of course lands at No. 1 on Instagram. Ninety million people crossed the border in 2018 and nearly 79 million tagged France.
Factor in love for Paris, Provence, Burgundy, Nice, the Alps, lavender fields and wineries, and you have the recipe for an all-around winning destination. And don't even get us started on the food!