All You Need To Know: The Schengen Zone

What Is The Schengen Zone?

The Schengen Zone is an area of EU and non EU countries that have made an agreement of ‘free travel’ within all the countries part of this agreement. What does this mean? Well, once you enter any Schengen country, you can travel freely (no passport checks/stamps) between any of the other Schengen countries and areas. For Example: I fly into Italy, i can then cross the borders into France or Switzerland as i would travelling domestically (So no international check points or passport stamps), Border free travel!

Schengen Zone Countries:

Schengen Area Member States MapMap of Europe and Schengen Zone Countries.
(Image sourced: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com)

  •  Austria ­­ •  Belgium  •  Czech Rep.  •  Denmark  •  Estonia  •  Finland  •  France  •
 • Germany  •  Greece  •  Hungary  •  Iceland  •  Italy  •  Latvia  •  Lithuania  •
 •  Luxembourg  •  Malta  •  Netherlands  •  Norway  •  Poland  •  Portugal  •  Slovakia  •
•  Slovenia  •  Spain  •  Sweden  •  Switzerland  •  Liechtenstein  •

The Rules:

  • You must apply prior to travelling for a Schengen Visa if you are not travelling on a passport or are not a citizen from one of the following countries or areas; European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • You only get 90 days within a 180 day period within the whole Schengen area. NOT 90 days in each country.
  • Your 90 days may be consecutive or non consecutive, as long as it is only 90 days in the Schengen area within 180 day period.  
  • The Schengen countries are borderless, so it is easy to travel between them all.

How Can You Stay Longer than 90 days?

In the Schengen Zone, you can stay longer in these countries by applying for a working or student visa to one of these countries. But, keep in mind this will only give you an extended stay within that specific country you have a valid work visa for.

My favourite approach to staying longer in Europe is NOT staying in the Schengen Zone… There are many amazing countries in eastern Europe like Croatia, Bulgaria, and Turkey just to name a few of my favourites, and not only are these countries beautiful they are very cheap! so great for a budget conscious traveller.

Want to know more? Leave a comment below! Or click here to see more Travel Tips.

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