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The 26 countries of the Schengen area

What is the Schengen Agreement ?

The Schengen Agreement is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe's Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished. It was signed on 14 June 1985 by five of the ten member states of the then European Economic Community and enacted a decade later, with all countries in the European Union (EU), except the U.K. and Ireland, joining over the coming years. Countries in Europe but outside the EU have also joined, including Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland

What does it mean for those traveling to Europe? 

The agreement has abolished border checks at the signatories' common borders within the area, allowing individuals to travel freely within it. It gives residents in border areas the freedom to cross borders away from fixed checkpoints and has harmonized visa policies, meaning that for short stays of under 90 days, you can get a Schengen Visa. Under the Schengen Agreement, traveling from one country to another within the Schengen Area is done without border controls. In fact, the Schengen Visa makes it possible to visit all the countries in the Schengen Area and to cross internal borders without further formalities.

Please be aware that the European Union and the Schengen Area are two different zones. The list below will enable you to see the difference and check that the countries where you are planning to stay are all in the Schengen Area.

Schengen Countries

Which countries are in the Schengen Area ?

The Schengen Area consists of 26 countries and covers nearly all of mainland Europe, with those countries that fall within the Schengen Area listed below. 

List of countries members of the Schengen zone

To find more information on how to get a Schengen visa, click on the name of the country you wish to visit first, or where you will be spending the biggest part of your trip :

  Schengen EU member states

Austria

Schengen

Austria visa

Belgium

Schengen

Belgium visa

Czech Republic

Schengen

Czech Republic visa

Denmark

Schengen

Denmark visa

Estonia

Schengen

Estonia visa

Finland

Schengen

Finland visa

France

Schengen

France visa

Germany

Schengen

Germany visa

Greece

Schengen

Greece visa

Hungary

Schengen

Hungary visa

Iceland

Schengen

Iceland visa

Italy

Schengen

Italy Visa

Latvia

Schengen

Latvia visa

Liechtenstein

Schengen

Liechtenstein visa

Lithuania

Schengen

Lithuania visa

Luxembourg

Schengen

Luxembourg visa

Malta

Schengen

Malta visa

Netherlands

Schengen

Netherlands visa

Norway

Schengen

Norway visa

Poland

Schengen

Poland visa

Portugal

Schengen

Portugal visa

Slovakia

Schengen

Slovakia visa

Slovenia

Schengen

Slovenia visa

Spain

Schengen

Spain Visa

Sweden

Schengen

Sweden visa

Switzerland

Schengen

Switzerland visa

 

What European countries are not part of the Schengen Zone?

Although 26 countries are inside the Schengen Zone, including most nations in mainland Europe - not every European state is inside the area where border checks have been abolished. Find out the list of non-Schengen countries.

What does this mean if I want to travel to the Schengen Area?

It means that for short stays, the visa process is relatively simple and uniform and that when you get a Schengen Visa to travel to any state, France, for example, you can automatically travel to others within the area, like Germany and Italy, on the same visa.

It also means that the process of obtaining a Schengen Visa is relatively standardized and you will need the same supporting documents - a passport, passport photographs, a travel itinerary and proof of accommodation, a letter of invitation (if applicable), and proof of means of subsistence, to travel to any Schengen state. You will also need travel and medical insurance covering you for expenses up to €30,000 which is valid across the Schengen Area, rather than just the one you are visiting - which is where AXA comes in.

How can AXA help?

AXA offers several insurance policies for travel in Europe, from a low-cost option, priced at as little as €0.99 ($1.11) per day of your trip, that will meet the Schengen Visa requirements, to multi-trip insurance that will cover you for ongoing visits. None of these policies will require you to pay an excess fee on medical costs.

Those seeking a multiple-entry visa can purchase the Multi Trip insurance from €298 per year, which again covers you for expenses up to €100,000.

Additionally, AXA Schengen insurance covers, depending on the policy subscribed, the non-Schengen countries of the European Union, like Ireland, Romania, or Bulgaria.

Related topics on the Schengen visa

How to apply for a visa Schengen ?

What different types of Schengen visas exist ?

What type of Schengen visa do I need ?

Do I need a Schengen visa ?

How to apply in an embassy or a consulate ?

Frequently asked questions about the Schengen Area 

Can I apply for my visa at any Schengen state’s embassy even if I am traveling to another one ?

You must apply to the embassy of the country where you plan to spend the majority of your trip. If you apply to the wrong embassy your visa may be refused or you may have to resubmit it at the correct embassy.

What if I want to travel to the Schengen Area or visit a non-Schengen state and then return ?

You will need to apply for a multiple-entry Schengen Visa. These can come in double or triple-entry visas or longer-term ones that allow you to make multiple trips over a period of one three or five years.

How long are Schengen Visas valid for ?

A short-stay Schengen Visa can be valid for up to 90 days.