Facts about the Schengen Zone

Sooo what’s a Schengen…?

We found travelers asking this very question during our last trip. It makes sense. There’s not a lot of talk about the Schengen area. But if you’re mapping out a European trip - be sure to know the facts. It’ll keep you cruising and enjoying your adventure abroad.

Below is the most frequent asked questions about this mysterious area in Europe.

Let’s get started -

What’s the Schengen Area? It’s a region of 26 European states that officially abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders. For the most part, the area functions as a single country for international travel - holding a common visa policy.

What does Schengen mean? Derived from the town of Schengen in Luxembourg - the Schengen Agreement was signed on June 14, 1985, by 5 of the 10 members of states of the European Economic Community. The treaty was fully implemented by 1995.

How big is it? Pretty massive - encompassing 1.665 million mi².

List of Countries included? Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and (last but not least) Switzerland.

What countries aren’t included? Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Be ready to follow their passport laws.

What’s a Schengen Visa? It enables you to travel for a maximum of 90 days within 6 months to all Schengen states.

Changes due to recent migration crisis? Yes. The rising numbers of unauthorized foreign migrants into Europe have caused new controls on borders. Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland, and Sweden temporarily imposed restrictions on some or all borders on Schengen states. And after the November 2015 Paris attacks - France took measures to control borders, too.

More questions? We’re happy to help - ask in the comments below!

Stay Adventurous,

Your GlobeKick Fam