How to Memorize the Countries of Europe

How to Memorize the Countries of Europe | Map of Europe | Sporcle

With 47 countries, memorizing all of Europe’s nations can be a little tough. The easiest ones, like the UK, France, Italy, and Spain, have guess rates of over 95% on our Countries of Europe quiz. You can probably nail those every time. But the tougher ones? The micro-states and the hard-to-spells? Those might take a bit of practice. We’ve got a few strategies for embedding those in your brain so you can nail them every time.

Least Guessed Countries of Europe

10. North Macedonia – 65.8%
9. Andorra – 63.5%
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina – 62.8%
7. Malta – 62.7%
6. Monaco – 60%
5. Montenegro – 59.1%
4. Moldova – 58.3%
3. Liechtenstein – 54.9%
2. Kosovo – 54.4%
1. San Marino – 52.9%

For reference, here are the least guessed countries of Europe. If you’re consistently getting most of them, memorizing this list might be enough to take you the rest of the way there.

Chunking

One of the effective methods for memorization is chunking. Your short term memory only holds so much information at once – so breaking things down into more digestible pieces is to your advantage. How you choose to break it down, however, depends on what works best for you personally.

By region or shared quality

Europe is big enough that it might be worth memorizing the countries in smaller regions. Any quiz that focuses on the region you struggle with would work – for example, this Click the Baltic Sea Countries quiz focuses on the northeastern countries. Another option would be something like this Mediterranean Countries Map quiz. Once you nail the toughest regions, you can swing back to the big quiz and work forward with confidence.

Alternatively, you can focus on another shared quality to form your list. Small nations and island nations tend to be tough for people, so either of those could make a good chunk. The smallest European countries can be found in many quizzes. Island nations aren’t quite as common in Europe as other continents, but this Island Nations quiz could still help you narrow down your Europe (and Countries of the World!) time.

By language patterns

Language tricks can help break things down into smaller chunks as well. If you try answering in alphabetical order, or from shortest to longest, that might help you develop a rhythm that keeps you on track.

Alternately, linguistic patterns can help. Europe, for example, has fifteen countries that end in the letters ‘-ia’ (counting Bosnia and Herzegovina). If you go after those first, you’ll have a lot of Eastern Europe covered, which can be one of the trickier areas for some people.

Mnemonics

Another option that works really well for some folks is a mnemonic. It’s a short little rhyme or acronym that helps you remember all the pieces of something. Coming up with your own is a powerful memory exercise, but if you need a little inspiration, we’ve got you covered with our post on Mnemonic Devices to Learn the Countries of Europe.

Context and Long Term Memory

One of the best ways to keep something in your mind is to learn it in context. Having a hard time remembering all the Eastern European countries? Get some food from the region, and read up on their history. Watch a documentary, or a travel show that features a few of the countries you can’t seem to remember. Personalize it! If you love art, check out some of their famous painters, or musicians.

Find some quizzes that feature the country prominently and learn a bit about them – like this Anything but Liechtenstein one or this Hidden Neighbors of North Macedonia one (which will help you learn about that whole region!)

Watch Someone Else Do It

Practice makes perfect. Challenges & showdowns will help you memorize the countries of Europe in no time.


If you’d rather start on a smaller geography set, check out How to Memorize the Canadian Provinces.

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Herb11
About Herb11 86 Articles
Haley is a Web Content Manager at Sporcle. She's likely to walk into the office with a pastry and a book in hand, and a couple weird blog post ideas in her back pocket. Working at Sporcle is a constant learning experience, but she's probably never mastering the capitals of the world.