From the smallest town in the world, to knighted penguins, and unusual social media management approach — this is Europe how you might not know it
#1 Apparently, the most visited place in Europe isn’t the Eiffel Tower or Colosseum, as might have been your first guess… it is Disneyland in Paris! It receives close to 10 million visitors a year, while for example, the Eiffel Tower sees around seven million a year.
#2 There are over 2,500 types of mosquitoes in the world. Amazingly enough, Iceland is believed to be completely free of any mosquitoes altogether.
#3 In the UK, if you reach your 100th and 105th birthday and every year thereafter, or celebrate your diamond wedding (60th), 65th, 70th wedding anniversaries and every year thereafter, you can get a congratulatory card from the Queen.
#4 For several years, up until 2018, Sweden’s official Twitter account was given to a random citizen every week to manage.
#5 Edinburgh zoo in Scotland is home to a knighted penguin. His name is Nils Olav III (he’s the third king penguin since 1972) and he is the colonel-in-chief and a mascot of the Norwegian’s King Guard.
#6 There is a Victor Hugo street in every town in France.
#7 About 35% of the world drives on the left-hand side. In the past, it was common to travel on the left side as swordsmen could attack more quickly (considering most people are right-handed). In the late 17th century, a new rightism trend emerged due to new farming techniques. It wasn’t until Napoleon’s times, however, that the trend started spreading more quickly. Some countries, such as Britain, were never conquered by Napoleon and stuck to traditional leftism.
#8 Even if you spent only 30 seconds on each piece in the Louvre, it would take you 35 days straight to see all the artwork.
#9 The Kingdom of Denmark is the oldest monarchy in Europe. It was founded in the 10th century by Viking kings Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth.
#10 The Merry Cemetery in a small town in Romania — Săpânţa — celebrates the lives of its deceased residents in an unusual manner. It has over 800 colored crosses and tombstones which depict the lives of the deceased in a humorous way, and often they also share their dirty secrets.
#11 Norway has the longest coastline in Europe and the second-longest in the world. The highly rugged coastline, including all the fjords and islands, is over 100,000 km long.
#12 In Hungary, it is not socially accepted to clink your glasses while having a drink, especially beer. The habit goes back to 1848 when Austrians celebrated Hungary’s defeat by clinking glasses.
#13 Not only the smallest town in Europe but also in the entire world is the Croatian town of Hum. Its population hovers around 20 people and apart from being famous for its size, it is also popular for its mistletoe brandy called biska. Apparently, ancient Celtic Druids left here the recipe here for this alcoholic beverage around 2,000 years ago.
#14 The small Romanian town of Timisoara was the first in continental Europe to have electric street lighting. In 1882, 731 electric bulbs were placed around town — before big places such as London or Paris installed them.
#15 Russia has a population of about 143 million people, out of which 110 million live in the European part of it. Therefore, only about 22 percent of its inhabitants are settled in the rest of Russia which covers 75 percent of the country’s entire landmass.