The world map is constantly changing, and with those changes comes a new list of travel destinations. Over the past 30 years, the map has changed a few times, and these countries have become the newest independent nations from around the world. Some of these nations include well-known locations for their history as part of other nations, while others are full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
The world's newest nation, South Sudan, first became a country in 2011, when it split off from Sudan. However, now is not the time to travel to South Sudan, as the country has been gripped by civil war and is a haven for violent crime.
Someday, South Sudan could become an excellent destination for travelers, as it's home to Boma National Park's kob antelope and the elephants of Nimule National Park. When the country has moved past its war-torn situation, it will have plenty to offer visitors.
Kosovo has a complicated past because of its history as a part of both Yugoslavia and Serbia, which has dissuaded tourists from going there. However, visiting this nation is a worthwhile experience, because it's one of the least expensive and most beautiful nations in central Europe. The Rugova Valley is full of mountain views and tantalizing forests. The city of Prizren is home to the Old Stone Bridge and the Sinan Pasha Mosque, some of the most beautiful structures from Kosovo's Ottoman history.
Speaking of Serbia, it became its own nation in 2006, as it split off from Montenegro. It's not exactly a hidden gem, however, as Belgrade has long been considered one of the best places to experience a festival and try some of the best selections of grilled meats. And that doesn't even touch the beer pubs and party boats that are a quintessential part of Belgrade nightlife. Belgrade might be one of the more known locations in the world's newest countries, but it's still one of the best.
If you can't find space to stay on Croatia's coastline, don't worry about it because Montenegro's coasts might be even more beautiful than its neighbor, with a lot less crowding. Since splitting from Serbia in 2006, Montenegro has been a lesser-known destination, which has left it as one of the most beautiful and natural destinations you'll find in Europe. If you're interested in quality hiking, exquisite views, and some of the best food on the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is a great destination for you.
East Timor has taken some time to rebuild itself after struggling to gain independence from Indonesia, but oil reserves have helped the nation start to make progress since it gained autonomy in 2002. East Timor is the kind of place that's perfect for the outdoorsy, as it offers some incredible biking as well as gorgeous coastal views. Whether you want to relax or push your body to its limits, this is a great place to get out and connect with nature.
Palau first became a nation in 1994, and this archipelago is now well-known as one of the places to go if you want to relax and get away from it all. Sunbathing is one of the best ways to enjoy a day in Palau, and the relative isolation of the islands means that you'll have plenty of options for solitude and great views of natural beauty.
If you're able to get to Eritrea, you'll be one of the few. The country has been called the North Korea of Africa since gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993, in large part because it's one of the most difficult nations to visit in the world.
As with most isolated nations, this one is all about natural beauty, and Eritrea's location provides two real options: the Eritrean Highlands and the coastline on Eritrea's east coast of the Red Sea.
If you're a traveler, it's impossible not to know much about Czechia, considering that Prague is one of the most famous cities in the world. Once known as the Czech Republic and an independent nation since dividing from Slovakia in 1993, Czechia is one of the most historic places in Eastern Europe. That's because Prague was largely left untouched by World War II, so its historical buildings remain to this day. Prague offers incredible cultural activities, including music and nightlife, so it shouldn't be missed.
The other half of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia became an independent nation in 1993 and is considered one of the best places to see ancient castles. Slovakia is home to 120 citadels that are still around today, and the country offers the perfect chance to explore architecture from centuries ago. Slovakia's location is on the Danube River, creating some incredible views of Bratislava and other Slovak cities that are more than worth the visit.
It's been decades since the Yugoslav Wars, and it's now perfectly safe to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, which became its own nation in 1992. Sarajevo was once considered one of the crown jewels for winter sports. It hosted the 1984 Olympics, and the Bosnian capital offers plenty of options, including a hike up Mount Trebevic and a wide array of museums. Mostar offers views of Stari Most, one of the architectural marvels of the Balkan nation.