The 26 countries of the Schengen area

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:

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

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 visa



Belgium visa

Czech Republic


Czech Republic visa



Denmark visa



Estonia visa



Finland visa



France visa



Germany visa



Greece visa



Hungary visa



Iceland visa



Italy Visa



Latvia visa



Liechtenstein visa



Lithuania visa



Luxembourg visa



Malta visa



Netherlands visa



Norway visa



Poland visa



Portugal visa



Slovakia visa



Slovenia visa



Spain Visa



Sweden visa



Switzerland visa


Schengen Countries

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. Britain has subsequently left the EU - meaning it is extremely unlikely to join Schengen in the foreseeable future.

Why is it called the ‘Schengen’ Area?
The name Schengen comes from the town in southeastern Luxembourg where France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands signed the original Schengen Agreement in 1985.

What does it mean if I want to travel 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.

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.

Do I always need a visa to travel to the Schengen Area?

Some countries have reciprocal visa-free travel arrangements with the Schengen states - including the U.K. and America. From the end of 2022, those traveling from these countries will need to apply for ETIAS authorization - an electronic document that allows for streamlined background checks and the collection of biometric information.

Was the U.K. ever in the Schengen Area?

The United Kingdom was never a member of the Schengen Agreement, as it secured an opt-out that other countries did not. Similarly, while Ireland is in the EU it is not in Schengen
Before Brexit, the U.K. was subject to European Union law and Europeans had a right to live and work in the U.K. - and vice versa. Little has changed for those outside the EU as they were subject to these laws before Brexit - and so they have to apply for a short or long stay visa accordingly to the relevant authorities.

Are the Canary Islands and other Europe's overseas territories part of the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area includes the Atlantic islands belonging to Spain and Portugal, such as the Canaries (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa) and Madeira. However, most overseas regions and territories are not part of the Schengen Area. For example, French Guiana, Martinique (France), Reunion (France), Guadeloupe (France), Curaçao (Netherlands), and Greenland (Denmark) are not a part of the common travel area, and may not be within the EU. 

How can AXA help?

AXA offers several insurance policies for travel in Europe, from a low-cost option, priced at as little as €20 ($22) per week 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 U.K. and the non-Schengen countries of the European Union, like Ireland, Romania, or Bulgaria.

Related topics on the Schengen visa

How to apply for a Schengen visa?

Who needs a Schengen visa?

Frequently asked questions about the Schengen Area 

Why is the U.K. not in the Schengen Area?

Due to its status as an island nation and its political culture the U.K. secured an opt-out from the Schengen Agreement when it was an EU member. It has now left the EU.

Why are non-EU countries in the Schengen Area?

Several countries that are in the European Economic Area or European Free Trade Association have opted to join Schengen due to their close ties to the EU.

What is the difference between the EU and Schengen?

The EU is a political and economic union with its own parliament - political structures - and governance whereas the Schengen Agreement is a treaty that allows for the free movement of people between participating countries.