Grab a map and take a good look at how compact Europe is as a continent. It’s worth doing as a reminder that within this small continent there are 48 countries. Within a few hours, you can jump borders, hear a variety of different languages, and experience diversity of cultures. We got a reminder of how interconnected the continent is geographical via a thread on Reddit this week when a user created a map to illustrate that you can reach 29 countries within 500 miles (around 800 km) from the city of Vienna — though we counted 30, plus Austria itself of course.
It seems a little hard to believe, so we dug into the comments and did some math. Here are some of the results. Reddit users found this map super interesting and it sparked some debate as to the geographical boundaries of Vienna. Here is the list of countries that we have included in our final count.
6. The Netherlands
18. San Marino
19. Holy See
22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Further down the thread, a user has kindly listed 20 world capitals ordered by the number of countries within 500 miles, which is worth checking out.
Dialog concerning the separatist movement in various countries was also an interesting read and a reminder of how much borders and nations have changed and might change in the near future.
Commenters from Australia and the US seemed to be the most surprised by the data, one user from California stated: “Yeah, I could drive 500 miles and still be in California. It’s wild to think that trip would take me through multiple countries.”
If you are interested in geography, it’s worth checking out this commentary for yourself. And of course, this thread wouldn’t be complete without some joker asking this: “What if I walk 500 more?” with the reply “Then you’d be in Scotland.”