The Schengen Area is an icon of European unity, providing passport-free travel between its member countries. However, many travellers might be unaware that having a Schengen Visa opens doors beyond just its 26 member states – in this article, we explore some non-Schengen countries you can visit with one, expanding travel possibilities while making use of this valuable document.
The Schengen Zone
The Schengen Zone consists of 26 European countries that have signed an accord to eliminate passport control at their mutual borders, enabling seamless travel within this area. France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Greece are among the most visited tourist spots within this zone.
Non-Schengen Countries You Can Visit
While the primary purpose of a Schengen Visa is to explore the Schengen Zone, several non-Schengen countries also recognize this visa for entry, albeit with certain restrictions. Here are some non-Schengen countries you can visit with a Schengen Visa:
Albania, situated on the Balkans, boasts stunning landscapes, a rich history, and an intriguing cultural experience. Holders of a Schengen Visa may stay for up to 90 days within any 180-day period in Albania – its diverse geography–ranging from Adriatic and Ionian coastlines to rugged mountains–making it a wonderful travel destination for nature enthusiasts and history lovers alike.
There are many airline companies that have the choice to either allow customers to hold their flight reservation without payment for 24 hours or issue a refund if the reservation is cancelled within 24 hours of purchase.
Montenegro shares its southern border with Albania and welcomes Schengen Visa holders for stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period. Boasting idyllic coastlines along the Adriatic Sea, charming old towns, and dramatic mountain landscapes, Montenegro makes an excellent travel destination for travellers in search of natural beauty as well as cultural exploration.
North Macedonia, is known for its long and rich history and beautiful landscapes. It is accessible to those holding a Schengen Visa for stays of up to 15 days within any 180-day period. Skopje offers an eclectic blend of ancient and modern architecture; Lake Ohrid is a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasting crystal-clear waters that beckon tourists and boasting historic significance.
Serbia, nestled in the Balkans, allows Schengen visa holders to stay for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. This country boasts an array of experiences, from its bustling capital city of Belgrade with its bustling nightlife to tranquil countryside areas with historic monasteries.
Bosnia And Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for its mix of cultures and breathtaking natural beauty, allows Schengen Visa holders to stay for up to 15 days within any 180-day period. Sarajevo serves as an epicenter for history and culture, while Mostar boasts famous bridges and picturesque river views.
Bulgaria, situated at the Eastern and Western European crossroads, allows Schengen Visa holders to enter for short stays. Bulgaria’s historic landmarks, gorgeous scenery, and low costs attract tourists despite its non-Schengen status.
Croatia, an EU member but outside of the Schengen Zone, accepts Schengen Visas as valid entry documents for travellers entering its stunning coastline along the Adriatic Sea, historic cities like Dubrovnik and Split, as well as numerous national parks.
Romania, with its mediaeval castles, rich forests, and bustling cities, allows short stays for Schengen Visa holders. Travellers can explore Dracula’s Castle, hike in the Carpathian Mountains, and experience culture in cities like Bucharest and Brasov.
Cyprus, an island nation located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, does not form part of the Schengen Area but accepts Schengen Visa holders for stays up to 90 days during any 180-day period. Offering stunning beaches, ancient history, and Mediterranean cuisine – Cyprus offers visitors an unmatched combination of experiences.
Kosovo, a relatively young Balkan nation, allows Schengen Visa holders to spend up to 15 days within any 180-day period. Known for its historical sites, warm hospitality and flourishing cultural scene.
While these non-Schengen countries welcome Schengen Visa holders, there are some essential considerations to keep in mind:
Accommodation Letter For Visa
Accommodation letter for visa is very essential as it gives proof that you have a proper place to stay in Schengen zone.
Duration Of Stay
The permitted duration of stay can vary from country to country, so it’s crucial to check the specific entry requirements and limitations for each destination.
Purpose Of Visit
Schengen Visas are primarily intended for tourism, business, or family visits. Ensure that your trip aligns with the visa’s intended purpose.
Although Schengen Visa holders are generally allowed to enter these countries, local authorities can impose additional requirements or restrictions at their discretion. Always verify the latest entry regulations before travelling.
It’s advisable to have comprehensive travel insurance when visiting these non-Schengen countries to cover any unexpected medical expenses or emergencies.
Keep in mind that border control and customs regulations can change, so stay informed about any updates that may affect your travel plans.