Understanding the Schengen Area is crucial for those looking to explore Europe without any restrictions. Imagine the freedom of being able to hop between countries without the hassle of passport control at each border – that's exactly what the Schengen agreement offers.

Participating countries include popular travel destinations such as France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and more. For citizens of these countries, travel within the Schengen Area is as easy as taking a train from one city to another. However, for those coming from outside the Schengen Area, a Schengen visa is required to enjoy the same benefits of borderless travel.

So for those planning a trip to Europe, the Schengen Area should definitely be taken into consideration when planning an itinerary. With no border control, travelers can easily explore multiple countries in one trip, each with their own unique culture, cuisine, and landmarks to discover.

Countries in the Schengen Area

There are currently 26 countries – including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Non-Schengen countries

Did you know that there are some European countries that are not part of this area?

These non-Schengen countries include Albania, Andora, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Ireland, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, The United Kingdom and Vatican City. Keep this in mind when planning your next adventure in Europe.

What does it take to become a Schengen Area country?

It's important to know which European countries are part of the Schengen Area. However, not all countries can become Schengen members without meeting certain requirements. Here are some things countries must be able to do before being granted Schengen membership:

1. Control external borders of the Area and issue Uniform Schengen Visas on behalf of other member countries.

2. Collaborate with other member countries’ law enforcement agencies after the abolition of border controls between member states for better security.

3. Apply "Schengen Acquis" rules for controlling land, sea, and air borders, issuing short-stay visas, police collaboration, as well as protecting personal data.

4. Put in use the Schengen Information System (SIS) after joining.

It's important to keep these criteria in mind when planning a trip to Europe to avoid any visa or travel complications.

Types of Schengen visas

There are several types of Schengen visas, including single-entry visas, which allow one entry into the Schengen Area, and multiple-entry visas, which allow multiple entries. The duration of stay for each entry also varies depending on the type of visa.

How to apply for a Schengen visa

Citizens of many countries do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Area for short stays, usually up to 90 days within a 180-day period. However, citizens of some countries do require a visa. The type of visa required depends on the purpose of the visit, and can be for tourism, business, study, or other purposes.

To apply for a Schengen visa, applicants must typically provide a valid passport, proof of accommodation, travel insurance, and proof of financial means to support themselves during their stay.

Know the Schengen Area countries

The Schengen acquis is fully implemented by 23 members, which eliminates passport and border control at their mutual borders. Four members of the EFTA, including Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein, have implemented the Schengen acquis through specific agreements related to the Schengen agreement. Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City have opened their borders, but they are not part of the visa-free zone.

The Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands are special members of the EU and part of the Schengen Zone, despite being outside the European continent. Ireland has not joined the Schengen zone and still maintains opt-outs, while Romania, Bulgaria, and Cyprus are seeking to join soon.

Details for countries in the Schengen Area

With a Uniform Schengen visa, one can visit all 27 member countries in the Schengen Area. Here, we will examine the entry requirements and information for each country.


Beyond its status as one of the richest countries in the world, Austria is a true feast for the senses. Nestled in the heart of Europe, it's a land of soaring peaks, sprawling vineyards, and charming villages that will take your breath away. You'll be mesmerized by the majesty of its mountain ranges, like the Alps, and enchanted by its quaint, picturesque towns.

The capital city of Vienna is a highlight of any trip to Austria. With its stunning architecture, rich musical history, and delicious cuisine, it's one of Europe's most beloved destinations. Austria has something for everyone. From the bustling streets of Vienna to the serene beauty of its highlands, this country is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.


Belgium, the small yet charming country in Western Europe, is a must-visit destination for any travel enthusiast. With its rich history and vibrant culture, Belgium offers an unforgettable travel experience.

One of the reasons why Belgium is such a popular destination is its location. The country is bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg, making it an easy access point for travelers exploring Europe. Belgium is also known for being one of the first countries to sign the Schengen agreement and implementing it in 1995, allowing for ease of travel within the Schengen Area.

Czech Republic

Nestled in the heart of Europe, the beautiful country of Czechia is a must-visit destination for every travel enthusiast. The beautiful country has established itself as a major tourist destination in recent years, with Prague ranked as the fifth most visited city in the continent. From its stunning architecture to its fascinating history, there is no shortage of reasons to visit this enchanting country.

It's easy to see why the country has become such a popular tourist destination, not only for its scenic beauty and captivating culture but also for its easy accessibility.


Croatia, the land of turquoise waters and ancient history, is an enchanting destination for travelers from all over the world. With its recent inclusion in the Schengen area, visiting this European beauty has become even more stress-free for tourists.

Located in Central and Southeast Europe, Croatia is a charming country with a land area of 56,594 km2 and a population of over 4 million people. Sharing borders with Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, and the Adriatic Sea, the country offers a diverse experience for any traveler.

Croatia is a diverse and exciting destination that is now even more accessible than ever before. Boasting natural beauty, historic landmarks, and a rich culture, a visit to Croatia is one you surely won't regret.


Denmark, the land of the Vikings and hygge, is a fascinating destination for those seeking a unique and memorable experience. Situated in Northern Europe, Denmark is a small but mighty country with just over 5 million inhabitants.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast or a history buff, Denmark offers something for everyone. Denmark is also home to a rich cultural heritage, evident in its Viking museums and medieval castles, that offer a glimpse into a fascinating era of ancient history.

Traveling to Denmark is now more accessible than ever, with efficient public transportation systems, a variety of accommodations, and a welcoming and friendly local community. So if you're dreaming of sipping coffee in a cozy café while watching the locals cycle by or exploring the picturesque countryside, then Denmark should be on the top of your travel list.


Estonia, one of Europe's best-kept secrets, is a Nordic country nestled in the Baltic region. This beautiful country boasts picturesque landscapes, medieval castles, and beautiful coastline. Although not commonly thought of as a tourist destination, Estonia has a lot to offer.

Estonia is also known for its natural beauty, with over 50% of the country being covered in forests. There are many national parks, nature reserves, and hiking trails that offer a peaceful escape from the city.

Since Estonia is part of the Schengen agreement, traveling to other European countries is easy. It is also easy to travel domestically as Estonia has an excellent public transport system, including a train ride through the Estonian countryside that offers beautiful views of the landscape.


As a Nordic country, Finland is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, such as scenic forests and awe-inspiring lakes. More than that, Finland has a rich cultural heritage, making it rich in history and traditional activities that you can do during your stay.

One thing that sets Finland apart from other countries is its excellent educational system. The Finnish government heavily invests in education, leading to an impressive literacy rate among the people. This makes it a perfect destination for those who love learning about different cultures, as well as those who simply love traveling and experiencing new things.

In addition to its renowned education system, Finland is also known for being one of the safest and most eco-friendly countries on earth. Combine this with the beauty of its natural wonders, and you have an environment that truly provides a unique experience.

But that's not all - Finland is also known for being the happiest country in the world! Its residents are friendly, welcoming, and always up for a good time. You can explore the local markets and try traditional Finnish cuisine or join in on one of the many festivals and events that are hosted throughout the year.


Ah, France, the land of love, wine, and croissants! It's no wonder that it's the most visited country in Europe - with so much to offer, it's easy to see why travelers from all over the world flock here. Of course, the Eiffel Tower is a must-see attraction, but there's so much more to discover in this magnificent country.

France is rich in heritage sites, with plenty of historical monuments, museums, and art galleries to visit. Exploring these landmarks and learning about their history is a great way to immerse yourself in French culture.

France truly has something for everyone - from the buzzing energy of Paris to the scenic countryside, there's no shortage of beauty to explore. No wonder it attracted a record-breaking 85.7 million foreign visitors in 2013, and it continues to do so today. Why not add it to your travel bucket list and see for yourself what makes this country so special?


Germany, a land known for its engineering excellence, has much more to offer than just technology. With its stunning architecture, vibrant cities, and rich history, Germany is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves travel.

The country is the second most visited Schengen country, welcoming millions of visitors each year to explore its 16 constituent states. From the cultural hub of Berlin to the charming cities of Munich and Hamburg, there is no shortage of exciting destinations in Germany.

But it's not only the cities that attract tourists to this European country. Germany boasts breathtaking natural scenery too, with the Rhine Gorge, the Bavarian Alps, and the Black Forest among the many picturesque sights to be found.

And with one of the most powerful passports in the world, German residents have the freedom to explore 188 countries visa-free. Truly, Germany is the perfect destination for those seeking adventure, culture, and natural beauty all in one package.


Greece, a country that holds immense historical and cultural significance! If you’re a proud traveler, exploring Greece is a must-do, and let us tell you why.

As the birthplace of western civilization, Greece is steeped in history and culture. With landmarks such as the ancient Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon temple, and the magnificent Meteora monasteries, there's never a dull moment as a visitor to Greece.

Not only is Greece rich in culture and history, but it's also home to some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the world. From the famous island of Santorini to the lesser-known and charming island of Naxos, Greece boasts a plethora of stunning locations to add to your travel itinerary.


First of all, Hungary's capital city, Budapest, is a sight to behold. Often referred to as the "Paris of the East," this city is famous for its stunning architecture, beautiful bridges that span the Danube River, and numerous thermal baths. If you want to experience the beauty of Budapest at its finest, then we recommend visiting the Buda Castle District in the evening, where you can witness the illuminated Parliament building and Chain Bridge.

But Budapest is not the only attraction in Hungary. The country has an abundance of beautiful small towns and cities, such as Eger, Pécs, and Szeged, which all offer visitors a glimpse into Hungary's rich history and culture.

In addition to its cultural and historical attractions, Hungary is also known for its natural beauty. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Central Europe.


Iceland, a land of fire and ice, is one of the most fascinating and unique countries in the world. This Nordic island country is an underrated gem that boasts of stunning landscapes, breathtaking natural wonders, and a fascinating culture.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland is its ecotourism scene. For those looking for a more relaxed pace of life, Iceland's hot springs and natural spas offer the perfect way to unwind and rejuvenate.

Despite its many attractions, Iceland remains one of the world's least-visited countries, with just 7,610 visa applications received in 2017. This makes it the perfect destination for travelers who want to get off the beaten path and experience something truly unique.

Plus, the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, is a charming city that offers a mix of old-world charm and modern amenities. With a vibrant music scene, great nightlife, and excellent restaurants, Reykjavik has something for everyone.


If you haven't yet been to Italy, it's time to add it to your travel bucket list. This Mediterranean gem is an absolute paradise for history buffs, culture enthusiasts, and foodies alike.

When you think of Italy, you probably think of the famous Roman Empire that once ruled over much of Europe. That history is still very much alive in Italy, with countless cultural landmarks and attractions to explore. From the ancient ruins of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum to the grandeur of the Vatican City, there's no shortage of historical sites to explore in this country.

Italy is also known for its contributions to the world of art, with some of the most famous artists in history hailing from this beautiful country. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael are just a few of the names that come to mind. And of course, we can't forget about the food! Italian cuisine is world-renowned for good reason. Italy's food scene is an absolute feast for the senses.

Whether you're looking to explore Italy's rich history, indulge in delicious cuisine or simply soak up the Mediterranean sun, there's something for everyone in this beautiful country.


If you're looking for a destination that has something for everyone, consider Latvia. This small but mighty country in Northern Europe boasts beautiful landscapes, unique culture, and a rich history.

From the cobblestone streets of Riga, the capital city, to the pristine beaches of Jurmala, Latvia is full of surprises. You can explore the stunning coastline, hike through dense forests, or take a dip in one of the many natural hot springs.

But Latvia isn't just about outdoor adventures. The country has a rich cultural heritage that is evident in its architecture, music, and traditions.

If you're a history buff, Latvia has a lot to offer, too. The country has been shaped by centuries of war and occupation and you can explore its rich history at the Riga Castle, the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, and the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum.


If you haven’t heard of the magical principality of Liechtenstein, then you’ll learn about it now. It is nestled in the heart of Central Europe and this enchanting microstate is a hidden gem that is waiting to be discovered. While it may be small in size, it is overflowing with natural beauty, cultural treasures, and a fascinating history that dates back centuries.

Despite its small size, the principality is packed with historical and cultural treasures for visitors to explore. From the majestic Vaduz Castle, the official residence of the Prince of Liechtenstein, to the quirky Postage Stamp Museum, which boasts the world's largest collection of Liechtenstein stamps, there's something for everyone. Visitors can also take a stroll through the quaint streets of the capital city, Vaduz, and shop for souvenirs or admire local art at one of the many galleries.


Lithuania is a land of vast landscapes dotted by dense forests and meandering rivers. Bordering the country are Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest.

But Lithuania is not just defined by its natural beauty; it is home to a rich cultural heritage too. It is a place where folklore and mythology are an integral part of everyday life. The country's national language, Lithuanian, is one of the oldest languages in the world and the only surviving language in the Baltic language family.


The picturesque country of Luxembourg is truly a gem waiting to be discovered. This tiny country may be small in size, but it packs in a lot of history, culture, and natural beauty that you wouldn't want to miss.

Luxembourg is a country of great diversity, with three official languages - Luxembourgish, German, and French. This linguistic richness just adds to the charm of this wonderful place. The country is steeped in history and is renowned for its stunning architecture and centuries-old fortifications.

Luxembourg is a perfect destination for those who love to explore the great outdoors. The country is filled with breathtaking natural landscapes, from soaring mountains and lush green forests to tranquil rivers and sparkling lakes. The countryside is dotted with charming little villages, each with its unique character and story to tell.


Malta, the charming little island in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea! This Southern European country may be small in size, but it boasts a rich cultural history, stunning architecture, and breathtaking beaches that are hard to resist.

With an area of only 316 km2, Malta has a population of just over 429,000 residents. But don't be fooled by its small size - this island packs a big punch when it comes to attracting visitors. In fact, in 2017 alone, Malta received an impressive 37,881 visa applications!

What makes Malta such a popular destination for travelers? Well, for one thing, it's the perfect place to soak up some sun and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. With a coastline that stretches over 196 km, Malta boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.


The Netherlands is also a great choice for those who want to explore Europe without breaking the bank. With an area of 41,526 km2 and approximately 17 million residents, this country offers a range of affordable accommodation options, transportation, and delicious cuisine. Foodies will be delighted with the vast array of local delicacies, including stroopwafels, poffertjes, and, of course, the delicious Dutch cheese.

This charming country is renowned for its vibrant tulips, breathtaking windmills, and mouth-watering cheese. But there's so much more to discover in this little gem of a country that lies between Germany, Belgium and the North Sea. With twelve provinces, the Netherlands offers a variety of scenic landscapes ready for exploration.


Norway truly is a land of awe-inspiring natural beauty. Its famous fjords attract visitors from all over the world who come to marvel at their majesty. Imagine standing between towering cliffs that seem to plunge straight into the icy waters below. It's a sight that you will never forget.

But it's not just the fjords that make Norway such a popular destination. Its Viking heritage is also a draw for many visitors. The country has a rich history that is celebrated in museums and historic sites throughout the land.

So if you're looking for a destination that combines breathtaking natural scenery, a rich cultural heritage, and plenty of opportunities for adventure, Norway is the perfect choice. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder that so many people are flocking to this stunning country every year.


If you're looking for a travel destination that offers a diverse blend of culture, history, and natural beauty, look no further than Poland. This EU country, located in the heart of Central Europe, boasts an impressive array of attractions that draw visitors from around the world.

One of the must-visit cities in Poland is the capital city of Warsaw. This bustling metropolis is home to a rich history, including the Old Town, which has been beautifully restored after being destroyed in World War II.

With so much to see and do in Poland, it's no wonder that it is a popular destination for travelers from around the world.


Portugal is more than just a country, it's a place of wonder, excitement, and natural beauty all rolled into one. With its warm climate, stunning beaches, and picturesque towns, Portugal is quickly becoming one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations.

When it comes to things to do in Portugal, the possibilities are endless. From exploring Lisbon's vibrant neighborhoods and its iconic yellow trams, to soaking up the sun on the Algarve's golden beaches, Portugal offers a wealth of adventure for travelers of all ages. With its diverse landscapes, rich history, and delicious cuisine, it's no surprise that this Western European gem is quickly rising to the top of everyone's travel bucket list.


This small, landlocked country boasts of stunning natural attractions, rich cultural heritage, and a vibrant modernity. Slovakians are proud people, and they should be, for their country has so much to offer.

There's something special about Slovakia that sets it apart from other European countries. Perhaps it's the warm hospitality of the locals or the feeling of being off the beaten path. Whatever it may be, you'll leave Slovakia with a sense of wonder and appreciation for this fascinating country.


At just over 20,000 km2, Slovenia may seem like a small country, but don't let its size fool you - this enchanting destination has so much to offer. To the west lies Italy, with its delicious cuisine and romantic charm. In the north, Austria awaits, with its majestic mountains and stunning vistas. In the northeast, Hungary beckons, with its unique culture and rich heritage. And in the southeast, you'll find Croatia, with its sparkling coastline and breathtaking landscapes.

Whether you're an adventure-seeker, a culture-vulture, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, this enchanting destination has something for everyone.


The land of flamenco dancing, tapas, and siestas. This vibrant and colorful country is located in the southwestern part of Europe, with a rich history and unique culture that spans back thousands of years.

One of the most fascinating things about Spain is its size. With an area of over 510,000 sq km, it is the second-largest country in the European Union. This means that there is no shortage of things to explore, from its diverse landscape to its unique cuisine and rich history.


If you're looking for a travel destination that boasts stunning natural landscapes, rich history and culture, and a modern way of life, Sweden is a must-visit. This Scandinavian country offers visitors an experience like no other, with its stunning landscape and diverse attractions.

With its unique culture, beautiful scenery, and rich history, Sweden should definitely be on everyone's travel bucket list. Whether you're exploring the cities or reveling in the great outdoors, there is something for travelers to enjoy in this beautiful Scandinavian country.


Despite not being a part of the European Union (EU), Switzerland has signed the Schengen agreement, allowing free travel for citizens of the EU and non-EU countries. The country boasts a diverse cultural heritage, with four national languages spoken throughout the land.

Ultimately, a trip to Switzerland is a journey that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. From stunning landscapes to an unmatched culinary heritage, Switzerland is a true gem in the heart of Europe, waiting for you to discover. So hop on a train or a flight and explore what this wondrous country has to offer – we guarantee you won't regret it!

Overall, the Schengen Area has made travel within Europe easier and more efficient for citizens and non-citizens alike.


Why choose AXA Schengen Insurance?

AXA Schengen Insurance provides comprehensive travel insurance coverage that meets the requirements of the Schengen visa. It offers 24/7 assistance and covers medical expenses, emergency medical transportation, repatriation, and other travel-related risks. With AXA Schengen Insurance, you can travel with peace of mind knowing you have reliable protection.

Does AXA offer other types of Schengen Visa travel insurance?

Yes, AXA offers different types of Schengen Visa travel insurance plans to suit different needs and budgets. These plans provide varying levels of coverage for medical expenses, emergency medical transportation, and other travel-related risks.

What is Schengen insurance?

Schengen insurance is travel insurance that meets the requirements of the Schengen tourist visa. It provides coverage for medical expenses, emergency medical transportation, repatriation, and other travel-related risks.

What are the different types of Schengen visas?

There are three types of Schengen visas: Type A, Type B, and Type C. Type A is an airport transit visa, Type B is a transit visa, and Type C is a short-stay visa that allows you to visit or travel through one or more Schengen countries for up to 90 days within a six-month period.

Who needs a visa to enter Europe?

Non-European Union citizens typically need a visa to enter Europe, depending on their nationality and the purpose of their trip. Citizens of certain countries are exempt from the visa requirement for short stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period.

Which European countries are not part of the Schengen area?

Albania, Andora, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Ireland, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, The United Kingdom and Vatican City.

What is the Schengen area?

The Schengen area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders. The member countries share a common visa policy for short stays, making it easier for travelers to move between them.