Young Pioneer Tours

5 Countries that Used to Exist (and How to Still Visit Them)

Countries of the world are constantly changing. Where usually we get new countries declaring independence, sometimes countries implode, fall, or are absorbed by other nations.

Here are our 5 favourite countries that no longer exist.

Plus, how you can actually (kind of) visit them.

#5 Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia was originality part of another honourable mention ex-country, Austro-Hungary, before becoming a kingdom. After which it became a communist state under the leadership of Joseph Bronz Tito. It all fell apart in the early 90s with Serbia and Montenegro keeping up the name until Montenegro left.

How to visit?

Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, and Kosovo in one sitting!

#4 South Yemen and North Yemen

The People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen in the South and the Yemen Arab Republic in the north were formerly two separate countries.

The former was a socialist state with close ties to the USSR, Mao’s China and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and its constitution was modelled on another former country – East Germany. The latter was inspired by General Nasser’s pan-Arab ideology and later joined with another former country, the United Arab Republic to briefly form the United Arab States.

How to visit?

Go to the island of Socotra, which was a part of the former PDR Yemen!

#3 The United Arab Republic

The UAR as the cool kids called it was a short-lived union between Egypt and Syria that lasted between 1958 and 1961, under the leadership of General Nasser. It was expanded into the even shorter-lived United Arab States, which included North Yemen. The eventual plan was to unite the whole of the Arab world, but alas Syria left in 1961. Egypt continued to use the UAR name for a further 10 years until they realized they were not in fact united to any other country.

How to visit?

Go to Egypt and Syria!

#2 Gran Colombia

You might have heard of the ‘Bolivarian Revolution’, Hugo Chavez’s self-styled name for his socialist program in Venezuela. But did you know what it means?

Simon Bolivar was an anti-Spanish colonialist revolutionary from Venezuela and a key hero of a certain Che Guevara. And he was also the president of Gran Colombia, a state that contained present-day Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, as well as controlling much of the continent of South America.

Internal political struggle and regional differences eventually led to their split in 1831, and the failure of the Bolivarian vision of a united South American superstate. Although the concept is far from extinguished in the continent today.

How to visit?

Go to Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama in one go!


The obvious number one! The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Soviet Union, or the CCCP, was formerly the largest country in the world. But is now 15 independent republics, as well as 4 frozen conflict zones that have some degree of independence.

How to visit?

Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan AND Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Visit Belarus, the ‘last Soviet state in Europe’, or Transnistria, ‘the place that didn’t hear the Cold War ended’, or go total Unrecognised Countries to get a feel for the former Soviet Union!

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