Schengen Country List
The Schengen Area is the world’s largest visa-free zone in which 26 European nations have eliminated their internal borders to allow unlimited movement. For the most part, the region serves as a single jurisdiction with a unified approach to visa requirements for international travel.
Within this territory, Schengen Zone citizens are free to travel between nations as if the entire zone were a single country. Most of Europe is included in the Schengen Area, which also contains some of the oldest and most powerful nations on the continent. The majority of the nations are also a part of the EU. On the other hand, other nations, like Switzerland and Lichtenstein, are not a part of the EU but yet have unrestricted travel within this region because they are a part of the Schengen Zone.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the Schengen countries and give you their brief descriptions.
Austria, which signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Two years after signing the Agreement, it started implementing it as one of the Schengen area countries.
Located in Central Europe, Austria borders eight countries in the Schengen Zone. Thanks to its solid geographical location, it is a developed country in terms of tourism. Austria is an intriguing destination with its capital Vienna and medieval cities such as Salzburg and Feldkirch.
Popular in the Schengen visa countries list, Austria receives hundreds of visa applications through its embassies worldwide.
Belgium is one of the first five countries to sign the 1985 Schengen Agreement.
Located in Western Europe, Belgium borders the powerful Schengen Area countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. Another example of Belgium’s geographically strong position is its capital, Brussels, the administrative center of the EU.
Belgium’s most popular travel destinations include the cities of Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, and Ghent.
3. The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic, included in the Schengen country in 2007, is a Central European country. Shortly known as Czechia, the country borders Germany, Slovakia, Austria, and Poland, which are on the Schengen country list.
Prague, one of the vital tourism destinations in Europe and getting a high income from tourism, is the most popular city and capital of Czechia. In addition, the Czech Republic has important historical tourist cities such as Plzen, Kutna Hora, and Cesky Krumlov.
Denmark, the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, borders Germany, Sweden, and Norway.
Although it signed the Schengen Agreement in 1996, it started to apply in 2001. Especially Copenhagen, Aarhus, Billund, and Odense are prominent cities in terms of tourism. Tivoli Gardens and Nyhavn are entertainment centers that have become the symbols of Denmark.
Denmark, one of the most prosperous countries in the world, hosts thousands of tourists annually.
Estonia, which signed in 2003 to join the Schengen Area countries, started implementing it in 2007.
Estonia, a Schengen country located in Northern Europe, is a Baltic state. It borders Russia to the east, Latvia to the south, and the Gulf of Finland to the west. In addition, there are more than two thousand islands and islets in Estonia.
The Baltic pearl, Estonia, is famous for its beaches and historical sites. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is in an important position in terms of culture and tourism. Also, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Kadriorg Art Museum are attractions for travelers.
Maintaining the title of being the happiest country in the world, Finland also stands out with its environment-friendly and reliable nature. It also borders Sweden, Russia, and Norway.
Finland, which was included in the list of Schengen countries in 1996, started its implementation in 2001. It is one of the most visited places among Schengen countries, receiving thousands of visa applications yearly. Finland’s most popular holiday destinations are Helsinki, Rovaniemi, Tampere, and Turku.
Being one of the five founding countries in Schengen, France is one of the Schengen Area countries that receive the most visitors per year. Apart from the Eiffel Tower, which has become its symbol, it also hosts many important tourist attractions, fine wines, and luxury ski resorts.
Located in Western Europe, France has an important geographical position. It borders Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Italy, Spain, and Andorra.
As one of the founders of the Schengen Area, Germany, like other founding countries, started implementing it in 1995. It is also in the top five of the most visited Schengen countries.
Located in Western and Central Europe, Germany borders many European countries. It is also the most populous European Union country. With the German passport, one of the three most powerful passports in the world, you can visit 191 countries without a visa or by obtaining a border visa.
Many countries of Germany are popular touristically. Some of these include Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Hamburg. In addition to its historical places, car museums and stadiums are among the most visited sites.
Considered the cradle of Western civilizations, Greece signed the Schengen Agreement in 1992. In 2000, it started to be implemented as a Schengen country.
In addition to its historical importance, Greece is an important tourism center with its beaches, gorgeous islands, and culture. One of the indicators of this is that it is one of the five Schengen countries that receive the most visa applications.
It is bordered by Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, whose borders have constantly been changing for centuries. None of the countries bordering Greece are included in the Schengen country list.
Located in Central Europe, Hungary borders Slovakia, Austria, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia.
Hungary, which was included in the Schengen country list in 2003, started implementing it in 2007.
Budapest is Hungary’s capital and one of the world’s most well-known historical and architectural places. In addition, medical tourism is one of the first things that come to mind when Hungary is mentioned. It is famous in Europe and the world in terms of dental tourism.
Iceland, a Scandinavian island nation, is the most sparsely populated country in Europe.
Iceland, which signed in 1999 to enter the Schengen visa countries list, started the practice in 2001. Iceland is one of the countries with the least number of visa applications on the Schengen countries map.
Iceland stands out for whale watching and ecotourism. It has an eye-catching natural beauty with its icebergs, fjords, and waterfalls.
Italy is among the most populated EU countries, with its historical and geographical importance dating back centuries.
Italy started to implement the Schengen Agreement, signed in 1990, in 1997. Popular among the Schengen countries, Italy is one of the three states that receive the most visa applications.
In addition to its historical and cultural importance, it has brought together famous scientists and artists to the world, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Michelangelo. In addition, it is one of the most important tourism centers in the world, with its historical structure as the successor of the Roman Empire.
Latvia is located on the Baltic coast, and its neighbors are Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, and Russia.
Latvia signed on to become a Schengen country in 2003. In 2007, it started to be implemented and became one of the freely visited countries in Europe.
Chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2014, Riga is Latvia’s capital and largest city. Also, Riga is a cultural center with its history and architecture. Art Nouveau buildings reveal the beauty of Riga.
Liechtenstein, one of the smallest European countries, is a German-speaking state in Central Europe.
Liechtenstein is the last country to join the Schengen Area. Liechtenstein is an attractive destination for winter sports open to unlimited circulation and tourism in Europe. In addition, nature trips, camping, and castle tours are other elements that make Liechtenstein stand out.
Lithuania, one of the three Baltic states, borders Poland, Belarus, and Kaliningrad.
With its history dating back to 10,000 BC, it hosted the migration of Indo-European peoples in 2,000 BC. Lithuanian is one of the oldest languages known in the world.
Lithuania signed in 2003 to become one of the countries in the Schengen Zone and started to implement it in 2007. Lithuania, which ranks in the middle in Schengen visa applications, has four regions that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is one of the founding states of the Schengen Agreement, which was signed in 1985 in the Schengen village of Luxembourg, which gave its name to the Agreement. Also, the City of Luxembourg is the capital of Luxembourg and one of the three official capitals of the EU.
Among the wealthiest countries in the world, Luxembourg has the highest minimum wage and is one of the safest.
It has a history dating back to the Roman period and has strategic importance. In addition to historical monuments, it is also the focus of visitors with its natural beauties and cultural and art centers.
Located in the Central Mediterranean, Malta is an island country in Southern Europe.
Malta, which consists of archipelagos and has a small area, is a country rich in tourism. In addition to its famous beaches and sea, it also has historical beauties such as Hagar Qim and Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.
To join the Schengen countries, it signed the Agreement in 2003 and started to implement it in 2007.
18. The Netherlands
One of the founding members of the Schengen Agreement signed in 1985, the Netherlands is a country located in Western Europe and the Caribbean. It borders Germany and Belgium and also borders the North Sea.
Known for its windmills, tulips, and cheese, the Netherlands is the second-largest beer exporter in the world. It has the Port of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe. In addition to Amsterdam, one symbolic city, Rotterdam and The Hague stand out with their architecture and museums.
Known as the land of the midnight sun, parts of Norway get 24 hours of sunlight in summer. Norway borders Finland, Russia, Denmark, and the Skagerrak Strait.
Norway, which signed the Schengen Agreement in 1999, started implementing it in 2001.
Norway, which has an extraordinary view with its steep hills, stands out with its fjords. In addition, Viking Heritage also makes Norway interesting for visitors.
Poland, a Central European country, is an EU country. The importance of its geographical location comes from its border neighbors. It borders many countries such as Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belarus, and the Czech Republic.
It signed the Schengen Agreement in 2003 and implemented it in 2007. Today, it is among the countries that receive the most visa applications.
Most of its visitors are Germans, followed by the Russians and the British, who frequently visit Poland. Among the most visited famous cities are Warsaw, Krakow, Lublin, Malbork, Toruń and Poznan.
Portugal, located in the westernmost part of the European Continent, borders Spain in the east and north. It borders the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south.
Portugal signed the Schengen Agreement with Spain in 1991 and started implementing it in 1995.
Portugal, one of the oldest states in Europe, is the focus of attention with its beaches, historical sites, and football. Besides its capital Lisbon, Porto, Ericeira, Obidos, and Madeira Islands are the most visited places in Portugal.
Another Schengen country, which is a Central European country, is Slovakia. Slovakia became an independent country after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993. In 2003, it signed the Schengen Agreement and implemented it in 2007.
It stands out with its medieval buildings, castles, and castles hosted by Slovakia. Bratislava, the country’s capital, is one of the cities that hosts the most visitors. In addition, Spis Castle, which has become the country’s symbol, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage.
Located in the south of Central Europe, Slovenia borders Italy, Hungary, Croatia, and Austria.
Slovenia, one of the smallest countries on the Schengen map, signed the Schengen Agreement in 2003 and it started to be implemented in 2007.
Slovenia is home to many historical sites and natural beauties such as Lake Bled and Triglav National Park.
Spain, one of the EU’s largest countries in population density, borders Andorra, France, the Bay of Biscay, and Portugal.
Spain signed the Schengen Agreement in 1991 and implemented it in 1995. The country is generally the center of attention for tourists. Barcelona and Madrid are among the cities that host the most tourists in Europe. Besides its historical importance, it is also famous for bullfights, Ibiza parties, and the La Tomatina festival.
Located in Northern Europe, Sweden is a Scandinavian country. Sweden, which borders Norway and Finland, is connected to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge.
It is a country that stands out with its canals, city walls from the Middle Ages, museums, and natural beauty. On the other hand, Stockholm is one of the most beautiful examples of cities from the Middle Ages, as well as Sweden’s capital.
Sweden signed the Schengen Agreement in 1996 and implemented it in 2001.
Switzerland signed the Schengen Agreement in 2004 and started to implement it in 2008. Among the Schengen countries, Switzerland is not a member of the EU.
Four different languages are spoken in Switzerland and these are German, Italian, French, and Romansh. The country’s border neighbors are France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein.
Switzerland, one of the richest countries in the world, has one of the strongest economies in Europe. On the other hand, Swiss citizens have a high standard of living.
Besides Bern, the de facto capital of Switzerland, there are important cities such as Geneva and Zurich. The Swiss Alps are one of the most popular destinations for skiing and mountaineering. For this reason, although Switzerland has a small region, it is one of the Schengen countries with the highest number of visa applications.
What Else You Need To Know
What Does a Schengen Visa Mean for Traveling to Europe?
Countries included in the Schengen Area with the Schengen Agreement abolished border controls, allowing free travel within the area. You can freely move between Schengen countries by obtaining a Schengen visa for stays under three months. With a Schengen visa, you can visit all countries within the region without formalities.
Has England Ever Been Included in the Schengen Zone?
The United Kingdom was never included in the Schengen Zone. Likewise, although Ireland is an EU member, Schengen does not cover it.
Also, when the UK was subject to EU law, they had mutual rights to work and live with Europeans – before Brexit. For non-EU citizens, not much has changed after Brexit. Again, they need to apply for a long or short-term visa through relevant authorities.
Are the Canary Islands and Europe’s Overseas Areas Inside the Schengen Area?
Many overseas territories do not belong to the Schengen Area. For example, the Schengen Area does not include Martinique, Reunion, French Guiana, Curacao, Guadeloupe, and Greenland.
Areas included in the Schengen map are the Canary Islands, and Atlantic islands belonging to Portugal and Spain, such as Madeira.
Features of Schengen Visa Countries
Here are some features you need to know about Schengen visa countries:
- Schengen countries have their police and judicial systems working together to fight crime.
- Schengen Information System is a database for Schengen countries. They share information about people, criminals, and property ownership.
- Citizens of any country can freely cross the borders within the Schengen Area without any control after obtaining a Schengen visa.
Frequently Asked Questions for Schengen Countries
Which European countries are not included in the Schengen Area?
There are 26 countries included in the Schengen countries map. You can see the list of countries included in the first part of the article. Not all European countries are part of the Schengen Area.
Why is the UK not in the Schengen Area?
Due to its political culture and status as an island country, the UK was not included in the Schengen Zone even when it was a member of the EU. It is not currently a member of the EU.
If you're a UK resident, check out how you can make a Schengen application in the UK.
Why are non-EU countries in the Schengen Area?
Due to their close ties with the EU, many countries in the European Free Trade Union or the European Economic Area have chosen to be included in the Schengen Area.
What is the difference between Schengen and the EU?
Schengen allows free movement between the contracting countries and will enable individuals to travel freely.
The EU, on the other hand, is an economic and political union with its parliament and administration as a political structure.
Can a Schengen visa holder travel to more than one country?
Yes, you can travel freely in the 26 Schengen countries as long as you do not exceed the maximum stay of 90 days within 180 days.