Europe encompasses an area of 10,180,000 km² (3,930,000 square miles), stretching from Asia to the Atlantic, and from Africa to the Arctic. European countries welcome more than 480 million international visitors per year, more than half of the global market, and 7 of the 10 most visited countries are European nations. It's easy to see why — a well-preserved cultural heritage, open borders, safety and efficient infrastructure makes visiting Europe a breeze, and rarely will you have to travel more than a few hours before you can immerse yourself in a new culture, and dive into a different phrasebook. Although it is the world's second smallest continent in land surface area, there are profound differences between the cultures and ways of life in its countries.
The eastern border of Europe is poorly defined. The Caucasus states are sometimes considered part of Asia due to culture, history and geography, and much of Russia and Turkey is geographically part of Asia.
Politically, some countries are members of the European Union (EU), which aims to integrate the states of Europe in a common political framework. However, Europe is a diverse region and countries have varying ideas of what membership means.