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The Schengen Area is a grouping of 27 different countries in Europe where you can travel without having to go through additional border checks. Named after the Schengen Agreement, which was originally signed on 14 June 1985 by five different countries (Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany).

What Countries Are In The Schengen Area

The Schengen Area (sometimes called the Schengen Zone) currently consists of 27 different European countries. Travel within the Schengen Area does not require any border checks, which is incredibly helpful in towns such as Baarle-Hertog and Baarle-Nassau, where the border literally runs through the middle of the town.

a table and chairs outside a restaurant

Currently there are 27 countries in the Schengen Area

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

This includes 23 countries in the European Union (EU), plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which are not members of the EU but are members of the Schengen Area.

2 New Countries Joining The Schengen Area

On December 30, 2023, the European Commission unanimously voted to include Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen Area. This will start with lifting controls at air and sea borders as of March 2024. I would assume that land borders will be coming over time. Bulgaria and Romania are both members of the EU and have been working towards joining the Schengen Area for quite some time. It will be great for travelers to these 2 countries to not have to worry about border controls traveling to much of the rest of Europe.

(H/T: The Bulkhead Seat)

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