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List of Schengen Region Countries

list-of-countries-in-the-schengen-region​​

As of May 2024, the Schengen Area consists of 29 countries. This agreement allows over 400 million people to travel freely across these member states without any border controls. As of May 2024, there are 29 countries in the Schengen Area, allowing over 400 million people to travel freely across the member states without any border controls.

Learning about the Schengen region countries is crucial if you are planning a trip to Europe in the upcoming days. It will help you understand the specific travel requirements, move through the visa process swiftly and make the most of your journey abroad.

In this blog, we will discuss a list of all 29 Schengen zone countries, along with other important information you need to know before planning your journey.

What is the Schengen Area? What are the Schengen Region Countries?

The Schengen Agreement, signed in 1985, established the Schengen Region, which currently has 29 countries with no border controls at their mutual borders.

Simply put, these Schengen countries allow free movement of people within the region without any passport or visa restrictions.

Additionally, there is a common visa policy for all the nations within the Schengen Area. It means, you need to apply for a common Schengen visa to visit any Schengen country.

Here is an interesting fact: It is known as the Schengen Area because the agreement was signed in the Schengen village of Luxembourg.

Below is the Schengen countries list in 2024:

S.No​

Schengen Nation

1.

Austria

2.

Belgium

3.

Bulgaria

4.

Croatia

5.

Czech Republic

6.

Denmark

7.

Estonia

8.

Finland

9.

France

10.

Germany

11.

Greece

12.

Hungary

13.

Iceland

14.

Italy

15.

Latvia

16.

Liechtenstein

17.

Lithuania

18.

Luxembourg

19.

Malta

20.

Netherlands

21.

Norway

22.

Poland

23.

Portugal

24.

Romania

25.

Slovakia

26.

Slovenia

27.

Spain

28.

Sweden

29.

Switzerland

 

When is the Best Time to Visit Each Schengen Country?

Now that we have discussed what is the Schengen Area and what are the countries within it, it is time to look at the best features of Schengen countries and the ideal time to visit them from India:

  1. ​Austria: Austria is one of the most beautiful Schengen region countries known for its stunning Alpine landscapes, vibrant art, and historical cities like Salzburg and Vienna that make you turn pages of its interesting history.

    Best Time to Visit: For pleasant weather and less crowds, it is best to visit during shoulder months, i.e., April, May, September, and October. However, if you are keen on experiencing winter sports, then plan your visit from December to February.

  2. Belgium: Apart from the world-class “Belgian chocolate", delicious waffles, and refreshing beer, Belgium is known for its picturesque historical cities, architectural marvels, and, most importantly, its welcoming people.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August is the best time to enjoy tourist activities, including local festivals.

  3. Bulgaria: With its sparkling Black Sea beaches, scenic towns, and ancient ruins, Bulgaria offers a beautiful amalgamation of history, natural scenery, and luxury experiences, making it an attractive destination for travellers from all over the world.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for Black Sea vacations and shoulder months (April-May-September-October) for affordable holidays.

  4. Croatia: Croatia is a newly added Schengen country that has joined the treaty back in 2023. It is known for its cultural heritage and its breathtaking Adriatic Sea coastlines.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for beach vacations and September to October for sightseeing and outdoor adventure.

  5. Czech Republic: The Czech Republic is home to stunning fairy-tale-like castles, vibrant culture, and a unique beer that tastes like no other.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August is the peak tourist season. For less crowds and affordable holiday experiences, consider visiting during September-October and April-May.

  6. Denmark: Denmark is a perfect combination of rich history and modern living. It is a Scandinavian country with charming cities, progressive living, and mesmerising natural scenery.

    Best Time to Visit: September to October for mild weather and June to August for exploring the coastal areas and towns.

  7. Estonia: Estonia is named among the most progressive and advanced countries in Europe. It boasts a magnificent Baltic coastline, nicely preserved historical towns, and, of course, warm and beautiful people.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for warmer temperatures, festivals, and the best touristy experiences.

  8. Finland: Want to experience the breathtaking northern lights and summer midnight sun? If so, Finland is the right country for you. In addition to these amazing natural phenomena, Finland is also known for its attractive architecture, traditional sauna, and reindeer safaris.

    Best Time to Visit: December to February to experience northern lights.

  9. France: France is perhaps the dream destination of most travellers. This Schengen country has something for everyone, from high-street fashion, world-class architecture, and a luxurious way of life to delectable French cuisine that is impossible to resist.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for exploring French cities.

  10. Germany: It is one of the oldest Schengen countries, having existed since the establishment of the Schengen Agreement. It is a powerful economy known for its world-class universities, thriving job landscape, beautiful architecture, and, most importantly, glorious culture.

    Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.

  11. Greece: With a population of over 11 million, Greece is a beautiful Schengen country nestled at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe. It is best known for its ancient civilisation, delectable cuisine, and pristine islands.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for beach vacations and September to October for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

  12. Hungary: From enchanting architecture and soothing thermal baths to a grand history and mixed culture, Hungary has a lot to offer its visitors.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August is ideal for vibrant outdoor events and festivities.

  13. Iceland: Iceland remains at the top of most travellers' bucket lists. If you dream of stunning black sand beaches, unbelievable live volcanoes, aesthetic blue lagoons, and intriguing northern lights, then Iceland is where you should visit next.

    Best Time to Visit: December to February to witness the northern lights and June to August for exploring the outdoors.

  14. Italy: Italy is a tourist magnet due to its rich art, alluring culture, gourmet cuisine, and high hospitality. It is home to high-spirited and welcoming people and iconic landmarks such as the Venice canals, the Colosseum, and the romantic Tuscan countryside.

    Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.

  15. Latvia: Latvia is famous for its high-speed internet, Art Nouveau architecture, pristine Baltic shores, and whatnot.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for enjoying festivals and outdoor activities.

  16. Liechtenstein: Once known as a tax haven for billionaires, Liechtenstein is proud of its financial sector. In addition, it is also popular for picturesque locations and alpine landscapes.

    Best Time to Visit: December to February for winter sports and September to October for outdoor activities and pleasant weather.

  17. Lithuania: Lithuania joined the Schengen area in 2007. It is a stunning country best known for its Gothic architecture, hot-air balloon rides, and gira, the famous alcohol. Lithuania is one of the three Baltic countries.

    Best Time to Visit: April-May and September-October for sightseeing and outdoor exploration.

  18. Luxembourg: This is the most affluent Schengen country. Its highly developed economy and thriving job market make it a dream destination for every overseas job seeker. Luxembourg is also home to lush green valleys, stunning castles, and a booming financial sector.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August are the peak seasons, while September to October is the shoulder season with fewer crowds.

  19. Malta: Malta is a perfect Schengen country for beach lovers. It has some of the most captivating beaches with crystal clear waters and a rich coral life. Besides, there are some of the most popular world heritage sites like Valletta and Hagar Qim Temple.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for beach vacations.

  20. Netherlands: The ultimate Dutch country is famous for its windmills, cycling culture, tulips, and delicious cheese varieties. Some of the most attractive and lively cities include Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Rotterdam.

    Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.

  21. Norway: Norway is a top destination for adventure seekers. From the best views of northern lights, emerald mountains, and stunning fjords, Norway is a complete package for travellers.

    Best Time to Visit: December to February for experiencing Northern lights and April to May for outdoor adventure.

  22. Poland: Poland has a history that is still celebrated in the country. It is a vibrant country with plenty of experiences for travellers, from the best architectural designs to a hearty Polish cuisine. 

    Best Time to Visit: Summer (June to August) for vibrant festivals and outdoor exploration and Spring and Autumn months for a laid-back vacation with fewer crowds.

  23. Portugal: Portugal receives high volumes of travellers throughout the year for its sunny beaches, flavourful cuisine, charming villages, and interesting history.

    Best Time to Visit: Can be visited any time during the year.

  24. Romania: Known for its folklore, history, and natural landscape, Romania was recently added to the Schengen area. It is home to the popular Gothic-horror setting Transylvania.

    Best Time to Visit: April-May and September-October for affordable trips and June to August for exploring outdoor regions and mountains.

  25. Slovakia: Slovakia has the highest number of iconic ancient castles per capita. Due to its picturesque location and scenic towns, it offers the best experience to travel enthusiasts.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for outdoor activities and festivities.

  26. Slovenia: Slovenia is home to some of the most pristine and crystal-clear lakes in Europe. It offers a mix of timeless culture, green scenery, and a welcoming population.

    Best Time to Visit: April to May and September to October for affordable off-season holidays and June to August for outdoor adventure.

  27. Spain: Spain is a very lively country with cities like Madrid and Barcelona flocked with tourists throughout the year. With endless varieties of seafood, football, flamenco music, shiny beaches, and delicious cuisine, there are many things this Schengen region country is known for.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for beach vacations and September to October for fewer crowds and laidback holidays.

  28. Sweden: Sweden offers a cosmopolitan charm through its ultramodern and advanced cities, like Stockholm and Malmö. It also boasts stylish architecture and majestic natural scenery.

    Best Time to Visit: June to August for outdoor summer activities and December to February for winter sports.

  29. Switzerland: Switzerland is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Europe. It is best known for its breathtaking Alpine landscapes, luxurious vacation experience, chocolates, and abundance of adventure activities like mountain biking and hiking.

    Best Time to Visit: April to May and early September to October for pleasant weather and fewer crowds and June to August for outdoor activities like hiking and trekking.

What is the Schengen Visa Policy?

All the 29 countries within the Schengen Area have a common short-stay visa policy. It means, a uniform Schengen visa allows you to travel to any member country for a short-term visit, mainly for the purpose of tourism. This visa allows you to enter and stay in any Schengen country for up to 90 days.

For long-term visas, each country has its own national visa policy.

Moreover, the Schengen member states have a common list of nations that need a visa to enter the Schengen Area.

This leads to the most important question: Do Indians require a visa to visit any country within the Schengen Area?

The answer is YES.

Indian travellers need to obtain a suitable visa prior to entering any Schengen Area country.

How Can I Gain Entry into Schengen Area Countries?

To enter the Schengen Area, you need to get a Schengen visa based on your travel purpose. You can apply for the required visa at an embassy or consulate office of the desired Schengen country you want to enter.

Alternatively, you can also file a visa application with a registered visa application centre near your location.

Note that each visa type has its own requirements. You need to submit the required documents when filing your application. Some of these documents include a passport, air tickets, travel itinerary, travel insurance, proof of funds, return tickets, and so on.

If you want to ensure a fast and successful visa approval, you must understand and fulfil the visa requirements carefully.

Once you get the visa, you can enter the Schengen Area by showing your stamped visa at the Schengen port of entry.

Key Features of Schengen Region Countries

  • Common Visa Policy: All 29 member states of the Schengen Area share a common visa policy for short-term visits for up to 90 days of stay within a period of six months.

  • No Border Controls: As mentioned in the blog, Schengen Area countries do not have any kind of border restrictions. They share open borders with each other.

  • Schengen Information System (SIS): All the countries within the Schengen Area utilise the Schengen Information System to share information about wanted/missing individuals, lost/stolen property, suspicious third-country nationals, and so on.

  • Schengen Visa Information System (VIS): As a robust means of external border management, EU member countries use a technologically advanced Visa Information System (VIS) to collect, process, and share visa information with each other.

  • Mutual Recognition of Visas and Residence Permits: The Schengen nations recognise visas and residence permits mutually. This means you can work and reside in any member state with a visa or residence permit from another state. However, certain additional requirements may apply to each case.

  • Mutual Cooperation and Growth: The main objective of the Schengen Agreement is to enhance mutual growth and development among the member countries. This is achieved by the free flow of trade and tourism across the Schengen Area.

  • Robust Transportation System: The Schengen Area countries have a highly advanced and robust transportation system to facilitate unrestricted and swift travel between the Schengen member states.

How Does a Country Become a Schengen Region State?

To become a part of the Schengen Area, the interested countries need to meet specific criteria laid under the Council Regulation (EU) 1053/2013  The rules are as follows:

  • Must issue common Schengen visas.

  • Must be able to control the external borders on behalf of other Schengen state members.

  • Must be able to cooperate with all the Schengen member states to maintain higher security after the abolition of internal border controls.

  • Must adhere to all the Schengen rules and regulations regarding visa issuance, personal data protection, police cooperation, and border management.

  • Must connect to the Schengen Visa Information System (VIS) and Schengen Information System (SIS).

In addition to adhering to the above regulations, prospective countries must also undergo the Schengen Assessment, which finally decides whether or not they can join the Schengen Agreement.

When are Internal Border Controls Reintroduced Between Schengen States?

To deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, many Schengen area countries reintroduced border controls from 2020 to 2022. Before this, controls have also been reintroduced in critical scenarios, such as the terror attacks of 2015, when internal migration has increased in the EU.

Note that the reintroduction of border controls only takes place under extreme circumstances. In fact, it is reserved as a last resort option to overcome the ongoing situation.

Below are the main circumstances where Schengen region countries are allowed to reintroduce border control:

  • To respond to a major threat to internal security: As per the Schengen Agreement and border code, a member state is allowed to introduce temporary border control in response to a serious threat to the internal security of the country. In such a circumstance, the concerned member state must notify other member countries and the Schengen Commission at least four weeks before such controls are introduced. In case the circumstances are not known in advance, checks can be informed at the earliest possible time. Moreover, border controls under such circumstances do not require approval from the council.

  • To deal with exceptional circumstances: The Schengen border code also allows the member states to introduce border controls in circumstances that can risk the functioning of the entire Schengen Area. In cases like this, the Commission may ask multiple EU nations to implement temporary border controls. Note that this type of border control requires approval from the Schengen Council.

Is Travel Insurance Mandatory When Visiting Schengen Region Countries?

Yes. Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for visiting the Schengen region countries. You need to submit it at the time of applying for a suitable Schengen Visa.

Please note that your travel insurance must meet the specific criteria set by the Schengen Area and provide coverage of at least €30,000 for medical emergencies and related scenarios.

Further, it should stay valid for the entire duration of your stay.

If you are planning to visit a Schengen Area country anytime soon, then purchase a suitable Schengen travel insurance plan based on your requirements.

At Reliance General Insurance, we offer travel insurance plans carefully designed according to global standards. Our plans offer broad coverage for health-related emergencies abroad at premium rates that do not exceed your budget.

So, what are you waiting for? Visit us today and compare travel insurance for Schengen visa based on your specific requirements.

Meanwhile, if you are moving to a Schengen country as a student, you can check out our student travel insurance for exclusive benefits and discounts.

For more information on Schengen travel insurance, contact us!

Key Takeaways for Indian Travellers Visiting the Schengen Region

  • Valid Passport: An Indian passport is the first thing you need to travel to a Schengen nation from India. Therefore, ensure that you have a passport with a validity period of at least 3 months after your stay in the foreign country. In addition, make sure that the passport is not damaged or torn and has at least 2-3 blank pages.

  • Visa Type: There are multiple visa types available for the Schengen Area based on your purpose of visit. Some of the most common ones are as follows:

    • ​Short-stay Visa (Type C): This visa is granted for short-term stays for purposes like tourism, business trips, visiting relatives, and so on. It is valid for 90 days in a 180-day period.

    • Long-stay Visa (Type D): This visa is granted for stays longer than 90 days for purposes such as education, work, research, etc.

  • Transit Visa: An airport transit visa is required if you have a layover exceeding 24 hours in a Schengen Area country en route to another destination abroad.​

  • ​Visa Application Process: Once you have determined your visa type, you can initiate your visa application process at the nearest embassy, consulate, or visa application centre approved by your intended Schengen country. The process typically involves filing and submitting the form, providing biometrics, submitting necessary documents, and appearing for a visa interview based on your travel purpose.

  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is mandatory for visiting the Schengen Area. Make sure that the insurance is well recognised by the Schengen state you are visiting. Moreover, it should offer medical coverage of at least €30,000.

  • Currency: Euro (€) is the official currency used by 19 Schengen Area countries. The remaining countries, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, and Poland, have their own currencies.

  • Proof of Funds: You must submit proof of sufficient funds in order to travel to any member country in the Schengen Area. Make sure you have enough financial savings to support your entire state in the intended Schengen country.

  • Cultural Differences: Different European countries have different cultures and lifestyles. Familiarise yourself with them before visiting. This will ensure a pleasant and fruitful experience abroad.

  • Language Considerations: While English is widely spoken across the Schengen Area, some countries may impose language barriers, especially if you are planning to stay for a longer duration. In scenarios like this, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the local language of your destination country. For instance, if you are visiting Germany for a long duration, consider learning the German language at a level depending on your purpose of travel.

  • Emergency Contacts: Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone regardless of their location. Hence, familiarise yourself with the emergency contacts and protocols of the country you are visiting.

List of Schengen Country Embassies in India

Schengen Nation

Embassy/Consulate Address in India

Austria

https://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/austrian-embassy-new-delhi

Belgium

https://india.diplomatie.belgium.be/en

Bulgaria

https://www.mfa.bg/en/embassies/india

Croatia

https://mvep.gov.hr/embassy-152292/contact-and-working-hours-152293/152293

Czech Republic

https://mzv.gov.cz/newdelhi/en/index.html

Denmark

https://indien.um.dk/en

Estonia

https://newdelhi.mfa.ee/

Finland

https://finlandabroad.fi/web/ind/mission/-/asset_publisher/dqNr4C30tdPU/contactInfoOrganization/id/121149

France

https://in.ambafrance.org/

Germany

https://india.diplo.de/

Greece

https://www.mfa.gr/missionsabroad/en/india-en/about-us

Hungary

https://delhi.mfa.gov.hu/eng

Iceland

https://www.government.is/diplomatic-missions/embassy-of-iceland-in-new-delhi/

Italy

https://ambnewdelhi.esteri.it/en/

Latvia

https://www2.mfa.gov.lv/en/newdelhi

Liechtenstein

https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/india/en/home/services/liechtenstein.html

Lithuania

https://in.mfa.lt/in/en/

Luxembourg

https://newdelhi.mae.lu/en.html

Malta

https://missionsforeign.gov.mt/en/Embassies/Hc_New_Delhi/Pages/Services.aspx

Netherlands

https://www.netherlandsworldwide.nl/contact/embassies-consulates-general/india/embassy-new-delhi

Norway

https://www.norway.no/en/india/

Poland

https://www.gov.pl/web/india/embassy-new-delhi

Portugal

https://novadeli.embaixadaportugal.mne.gov.pt/pt/

Romania

https://newdelhi.mae.ro/en

Slovakia

https://www.mzv.sk/dilli-en

Slovenia

https://www.gov.si/en/countries/india/representations-india/

Spain

https://www.exteriores.gob.es/Embajadas/nuevadelhi/en/Paginas/index.aspx

Sweden

https://www.swedenabroad.se/en/embassies/india-new-delhi/

Switzerland

https://www.eda.admin.ch/newdelhi

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)​​

  • How many Schengen countries are there in 2024?

    There are 29 countries included in the Schengen visa in 2024. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Netherlands, France, Greece, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Finland, Romania, Malta, Spain, Bulgaria, Estonia, Iceland, Hungary, Poland, Portugal.

  • Which Schengen country is easy to get a visa for?

    The ease of getting a Schengen visa depends on several considerations, such as your nationality, type and duration of visa, purpose of visit, and so on. Generally, all Schengen countries have a uniform short-visit visa that allows you to stay in any member state for up to 90 days or three months. Moreover, the ease of getting a national visa varies by individual case.

  • How long before my planned departure should I apply for a Schengen visa?

    Depending on its type, a Schengen visa can take a few weeks to several months to process. Hence, it is recommended to initiate your visa application at least three months before your planned date of departure.

  • Are European Microstates like Vatican City or Monaco part of the Schengen Region?

    No. The European Microstates, including Vatican City, Monaco, and San Marino, are not the official parts of the Schengen Area. However, they, too, have abolished border controls with the neighbouring Schengen countries. For instance, Vatican City and San Marino have open borders with Italy, and Monaco shares an open border with France.

  • Is the United Kingdom part of the Schengen Area?

    No. The United Kingdom is not a part of the Schengen Area.

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