The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as a single country abolishing passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders.
Of the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement, 22 are part of the EU and the other 4 are part of the EFTA.
Schengen area covers the majority of European countries, except for the United Kingdom and countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland.
Schengen countries include; Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Top Places To Visit In Schengen
Paris, France’s capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture, and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
France is the most visited country in the world: 83 million tourists in 2012. It is also seen as thé most interesting city of Europe and probably even as one of the most amazing city’s worldwide. People from all over the world travel to Paris to discover and experience this fairy-like city.
Paris is the city of love, inspiration, art and fashion. The night scene, the Eiffel tower and the warm atmosphere will make you feel directly at home. Paris has a lot of interesting architecture and museums to offer, and is also a Walhalla for shopaholics. A city as Paris is one that everyone should visit and experience.
Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Roman Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, boasts St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is defined by quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life.
It is Europe’s largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast, and also the sixth-most populated urban area in Europe after Paris, London, Ruhr, Madrid & Milan. It is also the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, the 11th most populous urban area in the European Union and ranked the 4th most comfortable city for business.
Berlin, Germany’s capital and cultural center, dates to the 13th century. Divided during the Cold War, today it’s known for its art scene, nightlife and modern architecture, such as Mies van der Rohe’s landmark Neue Nationalgalerie. Reminders of the city’s turbulent 20th-century history include its Holocaust Memorial and the Berlin Wall’s graffitied remains. Its 18th-century Brandenburg Gate has become an iconic symbol of reunification.
At more than nine times the size of Paris, is a cosmopolitan city full of alternative boutiques, innovative art, rich history and vibrant night life.
Vienna, the capital of Austria and its largest city. The city also is known for classical composers such as Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert.
Travelers can take a break from music by visiting the Hofburg, which houses the Hapsburg rulers’ imperial jewelry, and the Kunsthistorisches, a museum that has an outstanding collection of paintings by old masters.
Vienna is also famous for its cafes where travelers can rest their weary feet while deciding which museum or park to visit next.
Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels which is the capital of Belgium, the French Community of Belgium, and the Flemish Community.
Brussels is a classic European city with small town charm and cosmopolitan attractions. Among the most celebrated attractions are the Grand Place, Europe’s most beautiful medieval square lined with guild houses. Originally built in the 13th century, the square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every other year for two days (it will occur be in 2012) the Grand’Place is decked out in an amazing flower carpet, made up of 1 million begonias.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, a UNESCO monument, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, with a popular show.
Prague presents itself to you as a changeable city, which likes to alternate styles: it is romantic and successful, ancient and modern, but above all it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, sits on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager, linked to Malmo in southern Sweden by the Öresund Bridge. Art galleries, narrow streets, canals, parks, and Baroque churches round out the city’s cultural attractions.
According to the World Happiness Report 2013, compiled by the Earth Institute of New York’s Columbia University, Copenhagen is the happiest city in the world. It also regularly tops charts of the best place to live.
Pärnu is the fourth-largest city in Estonia. Located in southwestern Estonia on the coast of Pärnu Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Livonia in the Baltic Sea. It is a popular summer holiday resort with hotels, restaurants, and beaches.
Helsinki, Finland’s southern capital, sits on a peninsula in the Gulf of Finland. Its central artery, Mannerheimintie, is flanked by institutions including the National Museum, tracing Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present, imposing Parliament House and Kiasma contemporary art museum.
Helsinki also offers promising sightings and nightlife. The carnivals here are a treat to watch but summers are equally enjoyable with sun never going down the horizon. This leaves you with an option of watching white night. Extract more information about the amazing city here.
Acropolis of Athens, Greece
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
The Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens was built in honor of Athena, the Greek goddess of Athens. Although damaged and no longer complete, it is believed that the Parthenon measured 228 x 111 feet.
Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube, and the 19th-century Chain Bridge connects its hilly Buda district with flat Pest. A funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town, where the Budapest History Museum traces life from Roman times onwards. Trinity Square is home to 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion, which offer sweeping views.
Budapest is home to the third largest Parliament building in the world, has the oldest subway-line in mainland Europe and is home to the second largest synagogue in the world.
Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 73 metres, it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland. It is easily the most recognizable attraction of Reykjavík – the crowning glory.
It has a magnificent steeple of 73 m and you can easily see it from far away. It is the largest church in Iceland with a seat capacity of 1200 people. The construction started in 1945 and took about 40 years to finish. The church was inaugurated in 1986 (on October 26th).
Jūrmala is a city in Latvia, about 25 kilometres west of Riga. Jūrmala is a resort town stretching 32 km and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River.
The resort of Jurmala is well known for its natural resources, its mild climate, the sea, its healthy air, and the curative mud and mineral waters. It fascinates with its white sandy beach that is almost 26km long and its spacious pine forests with modern recreation and resort options.
Liechtenstein is a German-speaking, 25km-long principality between Austria and Switzerland. It’s known for its medieval castles, alpine chalets and villages linked by a network of trails.
The capital, Vaduz, a cultural and economic center, is home to the Kunstmuseum, a sleek museum displaying modern and contemporary art. The Postal Museum displays a selection of Liechtenstein’s postage stamps, which are popular with collectors.
Lithuania is a country and the southernmost of Europe’s Baltic states, a former Soviet bloc nation that borders Poland, Latvia and Belarus. Its capital, Vilnius, near the Belarus border, is known for its medieval Old Town, subsequent Gothic, Renaissance and baroque architecture, and its 18th-century cathedral. Hilltop Gediminas’ Tower, a symbol of the city and the nation, offers sweeping views.
The majority of the population of Lithuania is constituted by the Lithuanians. The other ethnic groups in the country include Poles, Russians, and Belarusians.
Luxembourg is a tiny European country, bordered by Belgium, France and Germany. It’s mostly rural, with dense Ardennes forest and nature parks in the north, and the Moselle river valley in the southeast. The rocky gorges of the eastern Mullerthal region earned it the nickname “Little Switzerland.” Its capital, Luxembourg City, is famed for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs.
Luxembourgish, a Franconian dialect of High German, is the mother tongue of nearly all Luxembourgers. In spite of that, most official (written) business is carried out in French, whereas German is the first language taught in school and used in the media.
Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast, is a nation known for historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of St. John, French and British. It has numerous fortresses, megalithic temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean complex of halls and burial chambers dating to 3600 B.C.E.
This small island is an attractive destination for big budget movies, with major blockbuster productions shooting on various locations around the islands. Scenes in movies like Gladiator, World War Z and Captain Philips as well as TV series like Game of Thrones.
Most Maltese are friendly and helpful by nature and are usually more than happy to help you with whatever you need. Making it a must visit for foreigners.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age.
Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are 400km of cycle paths. There are approximately, 881,000 bicycles in Amsterdam.
20 million tourists and day-trippers visit Amsterdam each year. That’s about 20 times as many tourists as locals! Luckily it is still possible to find peaceful places to relax.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord, and is known for its citywide green spaces and museums. Many of these are on the Bygdøy peninsula, including the Norwegian Maritime Museum, the Vikingskipshuset, with ships from the 10th century, and the Norsk Folkemuseum, with artifacts from Sami and Viking cultures.
Centuries ago, Viking longships prowled the waters around Norway. Some of those longships survived the ensuing years and found their way to the Viking Ship Museum, which is a must-see on any Oslo tour. The three longships on display here have been recovered from various parts of the country, and the museum also contains a number of artifacts from the Viking Age.
Warsaw is the sprawling capital of Poland. Its widely varied architecture reflects the city’s long, turbulent history, from Gothic churches and neoclassical palaces to Soviet-era blocks and modern skyscrapers.
As Poland’s cultural hub, Warsaw has a thriving nightlife and music scene, both classical and underground. After near-total destruction in WWII, Warsaw’s old town was faithfully restored to its pre-war appearance.
The symbol for Warsaw is a mermaid, and mermaids are found on the city’s coat of arms and several statues around the capital. According to legend, a fisherman freed Warsaw’s mermaid from a rich merchant and she then declared her readiness to protect the city and its residents.
Lisbon, Portugal’s hilly capital, is a coastal city known for its cafe culture and soulful Fado music. Nearby, the National Azulejo Museum displays 5 centuries of decorative ceramic tiles. And just outside Lisbon is a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.
It is in fact the second oldest European capital after Athens, many historians believing that it was settled by the Phoenicians around 1200 B.C., and who used the excellent transport possibilities offered by the River Tagus. One of the theories for the origin of the name Lisbon is that it came from the term “Allis Ubbo” or “safe harbour” in Phoenician.
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is set along the Danube River by the border with Austria and Hungary. It’s surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian mountains, crisscrossed with forested hiking and cycling trails.
It is a small historical city, but largest in Slovakia and a youngest european metropolis. Enjoy the shopping, dining and natural wonders Bratislava has to offer as a reemerging sparkler of history, culture, business and recreation.
Ljubljana is Slovenia’s capital and largest city. It’s known for its university population and green spaces, including expansive Tivoli Park. The curving Ljubljanica River, lined in outdoor cafes, divides the city’s old town from its commercial hub.
Ljubljana has many museums, including the National Museum of Slovenia, displaying historic exhibitions, and the Museum of Modern Art, home to 20th-century Slovene paintings and sculptures.
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, encompasses 14 islands of the vast Stockholm archipelago on the Baltic Sea. The cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings of medieval Gamla Stan, the old town, are home to a 13th-century cathedral, the royal palace of Kungliga Slottet and its underground armory, cafes and restaurants.
Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between islands, beneath more than 50 bridges. This Scandinavian city is sometimes called “the Venice of the North.
Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. Old Towns within its cities contain medieval landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Cathedral of Bern.
Switzerland is known for its mountains but it also has a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The country is also a destination for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are renowned.