2024 travel route itinerary ideas for Europe

Travel route itinerary ideas for Europe

We do not recommend that you try an fit all the sights and sounds of Europe into a single trip – there’s too much to see and to do. A better option would be to break it up into a number of mini itineraries and focus on 2 or 3 countries at a time.

Each one of the itineraries below can be covered in around 2 or 3 weeks if you follow them to the letter but do not yourself too hard. If you find a place you really like, by all means stay longer and savour every moment.

Switzerland and France

While it doesn’t really matter where you start with this journey, we recommend starting in Paris because you are bound to be stunned by its sheer elegance. If the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Seine don’t do it for you, just enjoying yourself at the myriad of sidewalk cafes should.

After that, find your way to the vineyards and chateaux of the Loire Valley. After that, travel south to the lovely Bordeaux region, which has some of the finest beaches in Europe and beautiful, busting cities.

Next head further south to the stunning Pyrenees peaks before enjoying a trip via southern France to the unforgettable Côte d’Azur. Do not neglect to visit magical Corsica, a real playground for adventure travelers. Another must is the nation’s gastronomical capital, Lyon.

After that, head to the Alps for some climbing and/or skiing before relaxing for a few days at the riverside or lakeside near Zurich.

Amsterdam, Bruges, and Germany

This trip starts in a Amsterdam with its beautiful architecture, ‘coffee shops’ that don’t serve just coffee, Red Light district, and canal trips. Next you will move to Bruges, with even more beautiful historical buildings and canals. From there go to Cologne with its amazingly beautiful old town. After that, make time to visit Hamburg, with its riotous bars and huge port.

No trip to Germany will be complete without visiting Berlin, with its undeniable style and vibrant energy. Nearby Dresden has in recent years also become a major tourist destination, particularly for backpackers. After that, head south until you reach Bavaria’s capital, Munich, which is famous for its annual Oktoberfest. Make time to enjoy the stunning Alpine scenery in nearby Garmisch Partenkirchen.

Portugal, Spain, and Morocco

Start your trip in Bilbao, the capital of the Basque region in Spain. This city is known as the friendliest in the country. It’s also the home of the world famous Guggenheim art museum. From there, find your way to the late-night bars, lovely beaches, and characterful old town. Next on the list is Ibiza, with a nightclub scene that has become famous across the globe. Don’t worry it will be too hectic, many parts of the city are still very peaceful and quiet.

Once you arrive in Madrid, you can dance the nights away while feasting on tapas. From there, head west to Porto, with its many port lodges. Then take a cruise down the Atlantic coastline to Lisbon, the charming historical capital of Portugal. After that, find your way to the autonomous region known as Andalucia. Landmarks here include the Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral in Córdoba, Seville’s Alcázar castle, and the Alhambra palace in Granada.

From there you have the opportunity to travel across the Straits of Gibraltar by ferry to the medieval city of Fez in Morocco. Here you can spend a few days (or the rest of your life) exploring its souks, alleys, and mosques. Another must-see in Morocco is the colorful city of Marrakesh, which is located against the incredibly beautiful background of the Atlas Mountains.

Italy

This itinerary starts in Milan for some Leonardo da Vinci, Gucci, and Prada. Then you will travel east to experience the beauty of Venice. With its winding canals, lovely bridges and remarkable architecture, it’s not surprise that many people view it as the most picturesque city in Italy.

From there go south to Bologna, the foodie heaven of southern Italy. Next, travel to Tuscany, where Siena and Florence make great bases from where to explore this area’s hill towns.

You can of course never conclude a European tour without seeing Rome and the Colosseum. When it comes to eating pizza against the background of a beautiful crumbling old city, there is no better place than Naples. To see and explore a frozen time capsule of life in a Roman town, visit Pompeii. From there make point to sleep in one of the hand-carved caves of Matera.

Next relax on an idyllic beach against the background of a still smoldering volcano in Sicily, or experience life in the fast lane in Palermo, where Sicilian street food, and the biggest opera house in Italy are among the main attractions.

An unforgettable week in Sardinia

Before leaving Italy, you absolutely have to explore beautiful Sardinia with its stunning beaches, many UNESCO sites, and epic hikes.

Begin your visit in lovely little town of Bosa with its beautiful river and multi-colored houses. Then make your way south to Cuglieri, where you will get a chance to admire the amazingly beautiful hilltop basilica and orange rooftops.

Next explore the lovely beaches of Villasimius of which one of the most beautiful is undeniably Carbonara. Once you start heading north, view the incredibly beautiful sunsets of Capo D’Orso, otherwise known as Bear’s Rock. Also make a point of taking a boat to La Maddalena Island, from where you can cross the bridge to Caprera Island with some of the most stunning beaches anywhere on earth, including Cala Coticcio.

To end your a road trip you will never forget, find your way to Capo Caccia, to view its incredible cliffs, and the mysterious labyrinth of underground caves. Just don’t forget to watch the dolphins swimming at sunset.

Eastern and Central Europe

This itinerary kicks of in Prague, with its rich cultural life, which was once the home of Mozart and great Czech composers such as Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, and Leoš Janáček. It is also said that this city’s beer will ever disappoint. From there head for Warsaw and its lovely Old town, parks, palaces, and vodka.

Also make sure not to miss atmospheric and arty Kraków and the charming city of Lviv, famous for its cafes, coffee, chocolate, and lions. There are an estimated 4,500 statues of lions on the coat of arms, benches, homes, and doors around the city.

Another must-see if atmospheric and arty Kraków. After that, head for the stunning wilderness of the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia, before heading back to Budapest, where you can immerse yourself in beautiful Budapest, with its many monuments and museums.

Complete this itinerary in Slovenia’s charming smaller capital of Ljubljana, the perfect pit stop if you plan to travel to the Adriatic and the Balkans from Central Europe. Try not to leave before you’ve explored Ljubljana Castle and Tivoli Park.

Scandinavia

Begin your journey in the lovely city of Copenhagen, where you will find the Little Mermaid Statue, Tivoli Gardens, Christiansborg and Analienborg palaces, Frederik’s Church, Rosenborg Castle, and many museums.

Then head north to elegant Gothenburg with its beautiful architecture, incredible nightlife, and rainforest. Don’t miss Oslo and from there find your way to the Norwegian fjords.

Something you shouldn’t skip are the wild scenery and mild climate of the Lofoten Islands. Neither should you skip the huskies, reindeer, and Northern Lights of nearby Lapland. No visit to Scandinavia would be perfect without visiting Stockholm, which boasts the planet’s first open-air museum, the 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral, and an iconic city hall.

If your trip takes place in summer, also find your way to the Swedish party island of Gotland, bustling with tanned bodies and DJs.

The Baltic Coast and Russia

Many Russians would say that Moscow is a nation in itself: brash, big, and expensive. Of course you have to check out Red Square, and buildings like the the Moscow Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. From Moscow, find your way to St Petersburg to be stunned by its stunning art collections and incredibly beautiful architecture.

From there head west to Helsinki and its innovative culture, art, and architecture. Don’t miss Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square. Next it’s a short trip across the gulf to the well-preserved and undeniably beautiful capital of Estonia, Tallinn.

Whatever you do, don’t miss Riga, the lovely and cosmopolitan capital of Latvia. Make sure to explore St Peter’s Church and Riga Cathedral (the biggest medieval church anywhere in the Baltics).

From Riga head south until you reach the Curonian Spit, a strip of dense forest and sand dunes that are ideal for hiking and cycling. End this lovely Vilnius, maybe the most beautiful of all Baltic capitals – and definitely the friendliest.

The Balkans

Begin this journey by enjoying the sunshine, watersports, and delicious wine of the Dalmatian coast. After that, move on to Sarajevo, scarred by war but nevertheless always welcoming. Dubrovnik is touristy for good reason: it is steeped in history. Take a few days to explore the City Walls and the historical old town and don’t miss the stunning views from the city’s cable car.

From there, head to Montenegro’s famous Budva with its hectic open-air bars and beautiful beaches. Then make your way south to Tirana for more urban exploration and beautiful architecture. Also make time for Ohrid and its mountain-backed lake. historical churches, and ancient Macedonian theatre.

Also make a point of checking out Sofia with its relaxed ambiance and the hustle and bustle of Belgrade, the hip capital of Servia. Don’t end this itinerary before exploring Transylvania. You might not find any vampires, but you will get a chance to explore picture-perfect villages, track wolves in the Carpathian mountains, and enjoy the region’s lively festivals.

Turkey and Greece

Start your trip by looking for the most beautiful beach in Kefaloniá. Then proceed to Athens to watch the sun going down over the ancient Parthenon. During the day explore the city’s many theatres and temples and at night, enjoy the lively ambiance of the Plaka neighborhood.

There are hordes of Greek islands to explore, but if you like hippie-era charm and partying, head to Íos. From there explore the Samarian Gorge in Crete or enjoy the quintessential white and blue architecture of Mykonos.

If you explore one thing on the Turkish mainland it should be the astonishingly well-preserved mosaics, temples, and baths of Ephesus. If you are into active sports, you will love the paragliding, biking, and diving experiences available in Kas on the Mediterranean coastline of southwestern Turkey.

Next travel East to the subterranean city and volcanic landscape of Cappadocia. End your unforgettable journey among the hammams, bazaars, and undeniably lively nightlife of Istanbul, but not before you’ve visited the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, and Grand Bazaar.

How to travel from Asia to Europe by land

How to travel from Asia to Europe by land

An overland trip from Asia to Europe can either be the adventure of a lifetime or it can (quite literally) be as easy as walking across a bridge. Below we will first look at the hard option but if, after reading that, you realize you do not have the time or the money we will conclude with a much easier (but no less interesting) alternative.

Can one take a train from China to Europe?

The answer is yes. You can take the Trans Siberian Express from Beijing in China to Mongolia. From there, it makes its way to Irkutsk in Russia. The next leg of your journey will be from Irkutsk to Moscow. Once you have explored this great city you can easily get a train to Berlin in Germany and from there to London.

A huge adventure awaits travellers who are planning to embark on this unforgettable train journey. The Trans Siberian is a one-of-a-kind experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. You will pass through landscapes and meet people that you would otherwise never even have known existed.

How much does a ticket on the Trans-Siberian from China to London cost?

Buying a 2nd class ticket for the 10-day journey from Beijing to London directly from the Russian Railroads will cost just over $1000 USD (depending on inflation and exchange rates). This price does not include hotel accommodation, food, or the cost of visas, so you will have to factor in those as well.

How long will the total travel time between Beijing and London be?

The first part of the trip from Beijing to Moscow will take at least 7 days. The second part, from Moscow to London, will take a minimum of 3 days. The total travel time, therefore, is 10 days – provided everything goes according to plan.

The total time of 10 days is provided that you remain on the direct route and never get off the train to do some exploration of your own, which most travellers might prefer to do.

When booking a ticket, you should make sure to take this into account. The train tickets work much the same as flight tickets, i.e. you book for a specific day on a specific route. Once you have left the train, you can not board it again with the same ticket a week later.

The Train From Beijing to Moscow

This section of the journey has various options but we highly recommend the route from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar, Irkutsk, and then on to Moscow. The train trip via Mongolia is not only the shortest but also the most spectacular.

Please be aware that there are major differences between the different carriage classes.

The Train From Moscow to London

One possible option is to take the train from Moscow to Paris and from there to London. The first leg of this journey, however, goes through Belarus, so you will have to apply for a visa before the time. The trip involves only a single change of train, which is why it is somewhat more pricey but a lot more convenient. A first-class ticket for this trip will cost around $500 USD. The price of a 2nd class ticket is about $300 USD.

Another option is to take the train from Moscow to Warsaw and from there to Cologne, Brussels, and finally on to London. This alternative does, however, involve several train changes – and it also goes through Belarus, so many travellers may require a visa to transit.

Cycling from China to Europe

If a long train trip is not your cup of tea, another incredible adventure will be to cycle from the East to the West, provided that you have the time because this journey will take you around one year to complete. Transport costs will be negligible but of course, you have to budget for accommodation, sightseeing, and food.

Not only will this be a great adventure, but you will also seldom be alone. Surprisingly many people nowadays do this journey on a bicycle or motorbike. In our view, long-distance cyclers are the true adventurers because there are so many things that can go wrong and it requires much more planning than e.g. a train journey.

How long will it take to cycle from China to Europe?

It will to a large extent depend on how fit you are, the type of bicycle you have, and how the weather and the road conditions could impact your trip. Cycling 15,000 km in a year will mean that you have to cover around 40 km per day. On the way, you will cross multiple borders and cycle across two continents.

The route you choose will also play a significant role because it will determine how many visas you are going to need and how many border crossings there will be. If you are able and willing to spend a year of your life on the road, however, you are virtually guaranteed of having an unforgettable experience.

The first part of the trip: Cycling through China

It will take an average cyclist about 3 months to cycle from East to West China. The 4.000 kilometre / 2.500 mile journey can be done at any time of the year. The majority of people will cycle 62 miles (100km) on an average day. The rest of the time is used for resting and sightseeing.

However, this of course depends on the route you will take through China and what you would like to explore on the way. Tibet is a popular destination – but it is in the far south of China whereas Beijing lies in the North. It is of course quite easy to take your bicycle with you on the train – so if you ever become somewhat bored with the landscape or you would like to explore an out-of-the-way destination, it’s quite easy to break away from the main route for a day or more.

It is important to be aware that you will normally have to apply for a visa before arriving at a new country’s border. If you apply for a visa outside of your own country you will most likely be given one that is valid for 3 months. This might or might not be enough for your individual purposes. Keep in mind that its validity often starts on the day on which the visa was issued. Luckily it’s often possible to extend a visa in major cities, so make 100% sure to plan for these ‘visa stops’ when you are planning your journey.

The second part of the trip: From China To Istanbul?

The 2nd section of your China-to-Europe trip will be from the Chinese border to Istanbul in Turkey. This will take an average cyclist around 7,5 1months to cover. This includes the time it will take to cross the mountains of Central Asia and to explore the Pamir Highway, the old favourite among experienced over-landers.

You can visit the caravanistan.com website for more details on travelling across Central Asia. This will be one of the most difficult to navigate in terms of visa requirements. The mountain passes here will typically be closed during the winter months, so you have to plan your trip in such a way that you will arrive there during the summer.

The final section of your unforgettable journey: From Istanbul to London

An average cyclist will take around 90 days to travel by bicycle from Istanbul to London. The 1800-mile/3.000-kilometer journey follows European Routes 6 and 15. It is best to do this trip around the end of spring.

If you are a Westerner, the trip across Europe will feel a lot more familiar than that through Western China for example. Leaving behind the mountains of Central Asia and cycling through the EU you will start feeling less like a tourist and more like a local. If you are from Asia, however, the reverse will be true. Prepare yourself for many linguistic challenges.

To save money and to keep your budget within reasonable limits, you can always make use of websites such as couchsurfing.com and warmshowers.com where you will find people who are prepared to provide you with a place to sleep for free. This is also a great way to save money and learn more about European culture and food. Gradually the cultures will start to shift and before you know it you will find yourself in London.

The easier alternative: Crossing from Asia to Europe by walking across a bridge

Istanbul, the biggest city in Turkey and also the 5th-biggest city on earth in terms of population, is viewed by many people as European. The reality is, however, that this metropolis actually occupies both Europe and Asia. Istanbul’s western (European) part is only separated from its eastern (Asian) part by what is known as the Bosporus Strait – a fairly narrow waterway of 31km that forms a connection between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea and also serves as a natural boundary between Asia and Europe.

These two sides are connected by two suspension bridges: The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (also often referred to as the Bosporus Bridge II) and the Bosporus Bridge. Although many tourists never visit the Asian side of Istanbul because the European side is where the majority of the city’s historical buildings are located, all you have to do to cross from Europe to Asia and back to Europe is to walk across these two bridges and back.

What Is An EU Citizen?

European union flag with immigrants

The term EU citizen refers to any individual who holds citizenship in a country that is part of the European Union. This includes citizens from all 27 member states, as well as their associated territories and islands, such as French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Mayotte, Martinique, the Canary Islands in Spain, Saint-Martin and Reunion Island in France, as well as Madeira and Azores in Portugal.

Who Is Considered an EU Citizen?

Any person who holds a passport from an EU member state is considered an EU citizen. If you are a passported citizen of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain or Sweden you are an EU citizen.

It is important to note that EU Citizenship does not replace your original citizenship, but merely adds additional status. EU citizens have the right to free movement and residence within the European Union, as well as voting rights in certain elections.

What Is A Non-EU Citizen?

Any person who holds a passport from a country that is not part of the European Union, such as Switzerland or Norway, is considered a non-EU citizen. However, some countries have agreements with the EU and their citizens may be able to take advantage of certain rights and benefits without actually being an EU citizens.

What Are the Benefits of Being an EU Citizen?

EU citizens benefit from certain rights, including the right to free movement across EU countries (with some exceptions) and equal treatment in any EU country they visit or live in. This includes access to public services, healthcare, education, employment opportunities, and a wide range of other rights.

Being an EU citizen, you’ll be entitled to many benefits, including:

• The right to travel freely within all EU countries without needing a visa;

• The right to work in any other country in the European Union without needing special permission or permits;

• The ability to access public services and social security benefits in any other member state;

• The freedom to take advantage of educational opportunities throughout Europe;

• The right to vote in local and European elections in any other EU member state;

• The right to receive the same legal protection as nationals of the country you are visiting or living in.

EU citizens also enjoy a variety of consumer rights, such as the right to receive higher levels of protection when purchasing goods and services within the European Union. As an EU citizen, you’ll also benefit from consumer protection laws such as the EU Consumer Rights Directive and the EU Package Travel Directive.

Being an EU citizen also provides access to a range of advantages when it comes to foreign trade. This includes reduced customs duties, preferential access to certain markets, as well as assistance in navigating the complexities of international business regulations.

Obligations of EU Citizens

Although there are numerous benefits associated with being an EU citizen, it is important to note that there are also certain obligations.

For example, all EU citizens have the responsibility to respect the laws and regulations of their host country and ensure that they do not abuse their rights or privileges, such as freedom of movement. Furthermore, EU citizens are expected to abide by any rules and regulations set out in their home country, such as paying taxes and respecting the local culture.

In addition, EU citizens have a responsibility to contribute to society and take part in civic activities such as voting or joining local groups or organizations.

What is The Difference Between an EU National And an EU Citizen?

It is important to note that there is a difference between an EU national and an EU citizen. An EU national is someone who’s born or whose parents were born in an EU member state, while an EU citizen is someone who has been granted EU citizenship either through naturalization or through the acquisition of second citizenship.

In other words, a national is someone born in a country, while a citizen can choose to become a citizen of another country.

Is an EU Resident The Same As a Citizen?

No, an EU resident is not the same as an EU citizen. An EU resident is someone who lives in a member state of the European Union but does not have full citizenship rights. As such, they may have limited rights when it comes to working and traveling within the European Union.

In contrast, an EU citizen has full citizenship rights and is able to exercise their right to free movement within the European Union. They are also entitled to equal treatment in any EU country they reside or work in.

Can You Become EU Citizen?

It is possible to become an EU citizen, but the requirements and processes vary depending on your nationality and the country you are applying to. Generally speaking, most people can become a citizen of an EU member state if they meet certain criteria, such as having a permanent residence permit in that country or proving that they have strong links to it.

In addition, some non-EU citizens may be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalization if they have resided in the country for a certain period of time or have married a citizen of that country.

How to Become an EU Citizen

For those looking to become an EU citizen, the process varies by country. In general, you must meet the requirements of your home country in order to be granted citizenship. This may include having a certain amount of years of residency, passing language and cultural tests, or meeting other criteria as set out by the government.

Requirements for EU citizenship

There are several requirements that must be met in order to become an EU citizen, including:

• A valid passport or identity card from an EU member state;

• Proof of residence in the country for a minimum period of time;

• Knowledge of the local language and/or culture;

• Proof of income or other financial resources;

• Evidence of a clean criminal record.

Valid passport

A valid passport or identity card from an EU member state is a requirement for all EU citizens. Depending on your country of origin, you may be able to apply for a passport at any local government office. Alternatively, in some countries, you can apply online.

Proof of residence

In order to become an EU citizen, you must have been living in the country for a minimum period of time. The length of time required will vary from country to country, but it is usually between three and five years.

Language and cultural knowledge

Knowing the local language and/or culture is also an important requirement for becoming an EU citizen. You may need to pass a test or provide evidence that you are proficient in the language and/or culture of your host country.

Proof of income

Those wishing to become an EU citizens must also prove that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and any dependents. This can include proof of employment, property ownership, or other investments.

Clean criminal record

Finally, all those applying for EU citizenship must provide evidence of a clean criminal record. Any offenses or convictions will be taken into consideration and could affect your eligibility for EU citizenship.

The Process of Becoming an EU Citizen

Once you have met all the requirements, becoming an EU citizen usually involves completing a formal application form and submitting it to your local government office. Once your application has been processed, you will be informed of the outcome. If successful, you will have full EU citizenship rights and privileges.

Here’s an overview of the process:

1. Meet the requirements for EU citizenship. – Meeting the requirements for EU citizenship is the first and most important step. You need to have a valid passport, proof of residence, language and cultural knowledge, proof of income, and a clean criminal record.

2. Complete an application form – The next step is to complete an application form and submit it to your local government office. Make sure all the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date.

3. Wait for your application to be processed. – Once your application has been submitted, it will be processed by the relevant authorities. You may have to wait several weeks or even months for a decision on your application.

4. Receive notification of the outcome – After you have received notification of the outcome, you can either accept or reject the offer of EU citizenship. If accepted, you will become an EU citizen and have full rights and privileges.

Does The EU Allow Dual Citizenship?

Not all EU countries allow dual citizenship, but some do. Countries such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Cyprus, Finland, France, Finland, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, and Spain are some of the countries that recognize dual citizenship.

However, it’s important to check with your home country as well as each EU member state for their specific requirements when it comes to holding multiple citizenships.

Final Words

An EU citizen is simply someone who holds full citizenship rights in a member state of the European Union. Becoming an EU citizen requires meeting certain criteria and requirements, and the process varies by country.

If you’re someone who is interested in becoming an EU citizen, familiarizing yourself with the terms and conditions for each country is essential. Once you have met the necessary requirements and successfully obtained your EU citizenship, you will enjoy numerous benefits and opportunities in the European Union.

Is There A Long-Stay Visa For The Schengen Region?

schengen visa

Traveling in the Schengen area is probably one of the most wonderful experiences you can have. With 27 countries in the region, all connected by one visa, it makes for a great opportunity to explore multiple cultures and landscapes. However, with such a huge number of countries to visit and only 90 days for a Schengen visa, it can be difficult to fully take advantage of what the area has to offer.

For this reason, many travelers often wonder if there is a long-stay visa available that would allow them to remain in the Schengen region for a longer period of time.

So Is There A Long-Stay Visa For The Schengen Region?

The great news is that there is indeed a long-stay visa available for those who wish to travel in the Schengen region more permanently. The Schengen Long Stay Visa (also known as the ‘D’ Visa) permits holders to stay in the Schengen zone for a maximum period of up to one year.

Compared to the regular Schengen visa, which permits travelers to stay for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, the Long Stay Visa is definitely the way to go if you are planning on staying in one country or multiple countries in the Schengen area for more than 90 days.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to apply for the Long Stay Visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a non-EU citizen legally residing in a Schengen country
  • Have a valid travel document such as a passport or an alien identity card
  • Meet all the conditions of the Visa Waiver Program
  • Show proof of sufficient financial means to cover the costs associated with your stay
  • Have health insurance that covers the full duration of your stay in the Schengen Zone

Applicants must also provide a detailed explanation as to why they are applying for the Long Stay Visa and they must present a valid purpose of travel, such as:

  • Study or research
  • Employment
  • Family reunification
  • Permanent residence

Processing Time and Fees

The processing time of the Schengen Long Stay Visa can vary depending on the country in which you are applying. Generally, it will take 4-12 weeks for your application to be processed. The visa fee is also determined by the country in which you are applying and can range from €60 to €80.

Can You Extend the Long Stay Visa?

Yes, it is possible to extend the Schengen Long Stay Visa. You will need to apply for an extension at least two weeks before your visa expires. In order to do so, you must provide a valid reason for extending your stay and submit proof of financial means and health insurance coverage.

Reasons that qualify as force majeure to extend the Schengen Long Stay Visa include:

  • Medical emergencies – Illness,  injury or other medical emergencies may qualify as reasons to extend your stay. You simply need proof of medical diagnosis and a statement from the hospital or doctor that you are receiving treatment.
  • Natural disasters, war, and other unforeseen circumstances. – If a natural disaster occurs in the country of residence during your stay, it is possible to extend the visa.  The same applies to wars or armed conflicts.
  • Unplanned professional events –   If the visa holder needs to stay for an extended period of time due to professional reasons, such as attending a seminar or conference, it is possible to extend the long-stay visa. An employer’s letter and proof of the event are generally required.
  • Serious family reasons – Death,  illness or other serious family reasons may also qualify as valid reasons to extend the Long Stay Visa. Proof of the event must be provided.

Is There a 5-Year Schengen Visa?

No, there is no 5-year Schengen visa. The maximum period for which the Long Stay Visa can be issued is one year. After that, you may apply for an extension if necessary.

There is, however, a multiple-entry visa that will allow you to enter the Schengen Area multiple times over a 5-year period. This type of visa is called the Multiple Entry Visa and it allows for stays of up to 90 days per 180-day period.

Schengen Visa Types

There are several different types of Schengen visas available, depending on the purpose and duration of stay. You can get the standard short-stay Schengen visa, the Long Stay Visa, and the Multiple Entry Visa.

Single Entry Short Stay Visa

A single-entry short-stay Schengen visa is the most common type of visa and allows for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. You can apply for this type of visa if you are visiting family or friends, taking a business trip, or attending a conference.

Double entry Visa

This type of visa allows you to enter and leave the Schengen Area twice in a 180-day period. Each stay can last up to 90 days. This type of visa is mostly used for business trips or multiple holidays.

Multiple Entry Visa

The Multiple Entry Visa allows you to enter and exit the Schengen Zone multiple times over a 5-year period. You can get this in a 1-year multiple entry, 3-year multiple entry, or 5-year multiple entry formats. This type of visa is suitable for those who are traveling frequently and need to be able to enter the Schengen Zone quickly and easily.

It’s important to note that you can get the 5-year multiple entry visa only if you have previously held a 1-year multiple entry visa. You must also meet all the requirements and provide justification for your travel plans.

What Happens if I Overstay 90 Days in Schengen?

Overstaying is a very serious offense. If you overstay your Schengen visa, you may be subject to a financial penalty and/or deportation. You could even be banned from entering the Schengen Area for up to five years.

It is important to note that if you are found guilty of overstaying, the fine or ban can differ depending on the country in which you are found. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the terms of your visa and make sure your stay does not exceed 90 days.

What is the Difference Between Visa Validity and Duration of Stay?

It’s important to understand the difference between visa validity and duration of stay. Visa validity is the amount of time your visa is valid, meaning you can use it to enter the Schengen Area during this period.  Duration of stay is the number of days you are allowed to remain in the Schengen Area.

For example, a 3-month visa validity may entitle you to a 90-day duration of stay. You can enter and exit the Schengen Area multiple times during this period as long as your total stays don’t exceed 90 days in any 180-day period.

Many people confuse visa validity with the duration of their stay. It’s important to understand the difference, as overstaying either can lead to severe consequences.

Final Word

If you’re looking to stay in the Schengen Area for a longer period of time, then a “D” type Long Stay visa is the best option. This visa can be extended up to one year, provided you meet all the requirements.

Alternatively, if you want to make multiple trips to the Schengen Area over a 5-year period, then applying for a Multiple Entry Visa would be ideal. Whichever type of visa you choose, it’s important to remember that overstaying your visa is a serious offense and can lead to hefty fines or even deportation and a ban from the Schengen Area.

As such, it is always best to make sure you have all the necessary documents and information before applying for any type of visa. With the right preparation and knowledge, your stay in the Schengen area should be a pleasant and stress-free experience.

What is an EU Residence Permit?

EU residence permit

An EU residence permit is an official document issued by a member state of the European Union that allows a non-EU national to live and work in any EU country for a specified period of time. The permit is also sometimes referred to as a “residence card” or “EEA residence permit”.

EU residence permits grant their holders the right to travel freely within the EU and also enjoy certain advantages in terms of healthcare, employment opportunities, and access to social security. The permit is usually valid for five years and comes with a few rights and privileges.

Who Is Eligible for an EU Residence Permit?

Any citizen of an EU country is automatically eligible for an EU residence permit. This includes citizens of countries that are not yet members of the EU. If you are not a citizen of an EU country, you may still be eligible for an EU residence permit if you have a valid passport and meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are a family member of an EU citizen (spouse, child, parent, etc.)
  • You have a valid work permit for an EU country
  • You are a student enrolled at an accredited university in an EU country
  • You have been granted asylum in an EU country
  • You acquired a Golden Visa from an EU country

Application Process for an EU Residence Permit

To apply for an EU residence permit, you will need to submit an application form along with your passport and proof that you have been living in the EU for at least five years. The application process can take up to three months, depending on your country of residence. In some cases, you may also need to provide additional documents such as a birth certificate or marriage license.

Here’s a brief overview of the application process:

• Complete the residence permit application form and attach your passport and other required documents.

• Submit the application to the competent immigration authority in your EU country of residence.

• Wait for the decision from the immigration authority on whether you have been granted an EU residence permit.

Once you have received a positive decision, you receive a physical residence permit card that must be renewed every five years.

EU Residence Permit Requirements

To be eligible for an EU residence permit, you must:

  • have legally lived in an EU country for at least five years
  • have a valid passport or ID card
  • be employed, self-employed, or have enough financial resources to support yourself
  • have health insurance
  • have no criminal record

If you are not a citizen of an EU country, you may still be eligible for a residence permit if you have a valid visa or another type of permit from an EU country. You will need to check with the embassy or consulate of the country where you want to reside to find out what specific requirements apply to you.

Residence Permit Validity

An EU residence permit is usually valid for five years, but this can vary depending on your country of origin and your personal circumstances. For example, if you are from a country that is considered high risk for immigration, your residence permit may only be valid for one year. You will need to renew your permit before it expires if you want to continue living in the EU.

Once you have held an EU residence permit for five years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency. This allows you to live and work in any EU country without having to renew your permit.

Who is considered an EU resident?

An EU resident is defined as a person who resides in the European Union for at least six months of the year. This includes citizens of EU countries, as well as those who have obtained a residence permit or similar document from an EU country.

What is the difference between an EU citizen and an EU resident? 

An EU resident is someone who is currently living in the European Union and has obtained a residence permit from one of its member states. An EU citizen, on the other hand, is someone who holds a valid passport or ID card from an EU country and is automatically eligible for EU rights and privileges. This includes the right to travel, work, and study in any of the other EU countries.

What is the Difference Between a Visa and a Residence Permit?

Although both a requirement for entry and residence in the EU, a visa is a temporary document that allows you to stay in an EU country for up to 90 days. A residence permit, on the other hand, is an official document granting you longer-term residency rights in the EU. To obtain a residence permit, you must meet certain requirements such as having lived legally in an EU country for at least five years and having a valid passport or ID card.

How Do You Become a Resident of the EU?

To become a resident of the European Union, you must meet certain requirements and follow the application process for an EU residence permit. This includes submitting an application form with your passport and proof of residence, providing additional documents such as a birth certificate or marriage license, and following the guidelines laid out by your country of residence.

Once approved, you will receive an official document called a Residence Card which serves as your proof of residency in the EU. Once you have lived in an EU country for five years, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship. This allows you to live and work in any EU country without having to renew your permit.

What are the Benefits of Having an EU Resident Permit

Having an EU residence permit will provide you with certain benefits not available to those with only tourist or visitor visas. Here are some benefits of having an EU residence permit:

  • Access to educational and vocational training
  • Access to employment
  • Access to core social protection and assistance
  • Freedom of movement within the European Union
  • Access to goods and services

Can I work in the EU with a residence permit?

Yes, you can work in the EU with a residence permit. In fact, one of the main benefits of EU residency is the right to live and work in any EU country. If you have a valid residence permit, you can apply for jobs in any EU country and travel freely within the Schengen Area.

You may need to obtain a work permit before beginning your job, depending on your nationality and the country where you will be working.

What is the Difference Between an EU Blue Card and a Residence Permit?

If you’re planning to move to Europe for work, you may be wondering about the difference between an EU blue card and a residence permit. While both document types allow foreign nationals to reside and work in European Union (EU) member states, there are some key distinctions between them.

An EU blue card is specifically designed for highly-skilled workers from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). To qualify for an EU blue card, you must have a valid job offer or contract from an employer in an EU country with a salary that meets certain thresholds. Once you have your blue card, you can live and work in any other EU country for up to three months without applying for a new permit.

In contrast, a residence permit is a catch-all term that covers any type of permission to live in an EU country for a longer period of time. This includes permits for work, study, family reunification, and other purposes. Residence permits can be issued for varying lengths of time, from just a few months up to several years.

Where Can I travel with an EU Residence Permit?

With an EU residence permit, you can travel freely within the Schengen Area – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. This also includes a few non-EU countries, such as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

When traveling within the Schengen Area, you will not need to show your passport or residence permit at border control points. However, you may be asked to present other documents, such as your travel insurance policy or proof of sufficient funds for your stay. You should also be prepared to show your return ticket or onward journey itinerary if requested.

Final Word

In conclusion, an EU residence permit is a document that allows you to live and work in any EU country. If you’re thinking about moving to Europe, it’s important to understand the process and requirements for obtaining an EU residence permit. This will ensure that you can make the most of your stay and take advantage of all the benefits that come with it. Good luck!

How Can A Country Join The Schengen Area?

schengen flag

The Schengen Area comprises 26 European countries that have abolished all passport and immigration controls at their mutual borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.

However, not all European countries are part of the Schengen Region. Some countries did not sign the Schengen Agreement while others have opted out of it.

Being a Schengen state has many advantages. For example, it makes traveling within Europe much easier and cheaper as there are no longer any border controls or passport checks. This also applies to trade and the movement of goods and services.

So how can a country join the Schengen Area?

In order to become a member of the Schengen Region, a country must first meet certain criteria laid out in the Schengen acquis.

The Schengen acquis is a set of rules and regulations that all member states must adhere to. This includes everything from border control and security to law enforcement and asylum policy.

Once a country has met the necessary criteria, it can then apply to join the Schengen Area. The process of applying to join the Schengen Region is not an easy one. It can take many years and requires a great deal of preparation.

Here’s what countries need to do in order to join the Schengen Area:

1. Meet the Schengen criteria  – The first step in joining the Schengen Area is to meet the Schengen criteria. This includes having a well-functioning democracy, a stable economy, and effective border controls.

2. Apply to become a member of the Schengen Region – Once a country has met the necessary criteria, it can then apply to join the Schengen Area. A commission will then be set up to assess the country’s application.

3. Go through the accession process – If the commission decides that the country is ready to join the Schengen Region, it will then go through an accession process. This involves signing a treaty and ratifying it.

4. Join the Schengen Area – The final step is for the country to actually join the Schengen Area. This usually happens after the accession process has been completed and all the necessary requirements have been met.

How the Schengen Area was created?

The Schengen Area was created in 1985 with the signing of the Schengen Agreement by five  European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

The agreement was named after the town of Schengen in Luxembourg where it was signed. The aim of the agreement was to gradually abolish all passport and immigration controls at the internal borders of the signatory countries.

The Schengen Agreement came into force in 1995 with the signing of the Treaty of Amsterdam. This treaty added three new members to the Schengen Region: Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.

Since then, several other European countries have joined the Schengen Area. Most recently, Croatia became a member in 2015.

What countries are in the Schengen Area?

There are 26 countries in the Schengen Area, these 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.

These countries are sometimes referred to as the Schengen states.

Which European countries are not in the Schengen Area?

There are a number of European countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. These countries include Albania,  Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Georgia, Ireland, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the Vatican City.

What are the benefits of being a Schengen state?

There are many benefits to being a member of the Schengen Region. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it makes traveling within Europe much easier and cheaper.

There are no longer any border controls or passport checks when traveling between Schengen states. The same can be said for trade and the movement of goods and services. This makes life much easier for businesses that operate in multiple European countries. It also makes it easier for people to study and work in Europe.

Another benefit of being a Schengen state is that it allows the free movement of people. This means that citizens of Schengen states can live and work in any other Schengen state. This is a great benefit for young people who want to study or work abroad. It is also beneficial for businesses as it allows them to easily relocate employees to other parts of Europe.

Another benefit of being a Schengen state is that it allows for greater cooperation between police and law enforcement agencies. This makes it easier to track down criminals and bring them to justice.

It also makes it easier to gather intelligence and share information on security threats. This cooperation is important in today’s world where the threat of terrorism is ever-present.

Are there disadvantages to being a member of the Schengen region?

Being part of the Schengen Area has many advantages, but there are also some disadvantages. From security concerns to the risk of becoming a transit country for illegal immigration, there are some potential drawbacks to being part of the Schengen Region.

One of the biggest disadvantages is that it can make a country a target for terrorists. The open borders and free movement of people make it easier for terrorists to travel undetected between countries. This was demonstrated by the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, which were carried out by terrorists who had entered Europe through Greece.

Another disadvantage is that being a Schengen state can make a country a transit point for illegal immigration. The 2015 migrant crisis, when large numbers of refugees and migrants entered Europe through countries like Greece and Italy, is a prime example of this.

This put a strain on the resources of these countries and led to tension between different European nations. Some countries, like Hungary and Slovenia, responded by erecting border fences to stop the flow of illegal migrants.

So while being part of the Schengen Area has many benefits,  there are also some potential disadvantages that countries should be aware of.

Final Word

Since its conception, the Schengen Area has grown to become one of the most important aspects of European integration. The abolishment of border controls and the free movement of people has made traveling within Europe much easier and has boosted trade and commerce.

However, being part of the Schengen Area also comes with some risks. Open borders make it easier for criminals and terrorists to move around undetected. And the free movement of people can put a strain on a country’s resources if there is a sudden influx of refugees or migrants.

Despite these risks, the benefits of being a Schengen state far outweigh the disadvantages. For most countries, being part of the Schengen Area is a positive experience. Bringing the citizens of Europe closer together and expanding the opportunities for trade and commerce make it a very worthwhile endeavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many Schengen countries are there?

There are 26 Schengen countries. 22 of these are members of the European Union and 4 are members of the European Free Trade Association.

Why is Romania not part of Schengen?

Despite being an EU member, Romania is not part of the Schengen Area. This is because Dutch officials raised concerns about the country’s high levels of corruption and organized crime. They argued that opening the Schengen borders to Romania would pose a security risk to the rest of the Schengen area.

Will the UK ever join Schengen?

Very likely not. After UK’s exit from the European Union on February 2020, the country is no longer bound by EU rules and regulations. This means that the UK is now free to set its own immigration policies. Given the current political climate in the UK, it is unlikely that the government will opt to join the Schengen Area in the near future.

What is the difference between the EU and the Schengen Area?

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states. The Schengen Area is a subset of the EU that consists of 26 member states. The main difference between the two is that the Schengen Area has abolished border controls between member states, while the EU still maintains some degree of control over its member states’ borders.

What is the EHIC?

EHIC card

The EHIC is one of the most important documents for citizens of European Union member states. It stands for the European Health Insurance Card and is an essential tool when you are traveling abroad in Europe. The card covers certain medical costs while you are away, ensuring that if you do require healthcare, it will be provided without charge or at a reduced cost.

It can be used to cover medical treatment that is necessary while you are abroad and if the treatment would have been available on the NHS in the UK. This includes treatments from an accident or illness, as well as any pre-existing conditions. The EHIC also covers routine maternity care, provided it is needed during your stay.

How Does The EHIC Work?

The EHIC allows you to access healthcare in the same way as a resident of that country. You can use it at any public hospital or health care provider who accepts it and is not restricted to certain facilities. It does not cover the costs of private medical treatment, however, so if you choose to go private then all associated costs will need to be covered by yourself.

In order to get an EHIC card, you will need to contact your local health authority and fill out an application form. Once processed you should receive your card within ten working days and as soon as you receive it in the post, make sure that you keep it safe! Your EHIC is valid for up to three years, depending on your country of residence and the rules applicable.

Using your EHIC is simple; when you are traveling abroad all you need to do is show the card at your point of care and ask for treatment under the EHIC scheme. Then once you have been treated, a bill will be sent directly to the health authority in your home country.

Who Can Get An EHIC?

The EHIC is available to all citizens of an EU member state, as well as those from Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. It can also be used by family members of these countries who are traveling with you, provided they have their own card.

It is important to remember that the EHIC does not replace travel insurance! While it covers certain medical costs when abroad, it does not cover additional expenses such as lost or stolen luggage and emergency repatriation. Therefore any additional trip-related costs should still be covered by a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

The EHIC is an incredibly useful tool for those traveling in Europe. With access to healthcare in over 30 countries, it provides peace of mind when abroad and is an essential item for any traveler to have. So make sure you apply for your EHIC before leaving home to ensure that you are fully covered in the event of illness or injury.

Which Countries Are Covered by the EHIC?

The EHIC covers the 27 member states of the European Union as well as the EEA countries which include Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Switzerland also participates in the EHIC scheme but does not issue cards itself; instead, you must obtain a form from your local Swiss health insurance provider.

The EU member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

The UK, since its exit from European Union on Feb 2020, is no longer part of the EHIC scheme. The country now uses GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) to cover healthcare expenses while traveling in EU countries.

How Do You Apply For An EHIC?

Applying for an EHIC is quick and simple. All you need to do is contact your local health authority and ask for an application form. Once you have completed the form, it should be returned along with two forms of identification (passport or driver’s license).

As soon as your application has been processed, you will receive your card in the post within ten working days.

Remember that your EHIC can be used across Europe so make sure that wherever you travel; you take your card with you. The European Health Insurance Card is an essential item for any traveler and can provide much-needed peace of mind should you find yourself in need of medical help abroad.

It is important to note that while it covers most medical care, it does not replace International health insurance. As such, you should still take out a suitable policy when traveling abroad.

Why Isn’t The EHIC An Always Enough?

Although the EHIC is a great tool to have when traveling in Europe, it is not always enough. It can only be used for public health services and cannot be used for any other services, such as private healthcare. It also does not cover repatriation, so you may need to take out a comprehensive insurance policy that will cover any additional costs.

It is also worth remembering that the EHIC only covers those traveling within Europe, so if you are traveling further afield then travel insurance is essential. In addition, certain treatments are only partially covered by the card and any co-payments would need to be made by yourself.

Finally, there may still be restrictions depending on which country you are visiting and what type of treatment is required. Some countries may only allow access to public health services and may not offer any private options. Therefore, it is important to research the healthcare system in your destination before traveling.

EHIC Card Renewal

The EHIC card is valid for one to five years, after which it will need to be renewed. To renew the card all you need to do is contact your local health authority and request a new application form. Once completed and returned, you should receive your new card in the post within ten working days.

Final Word

In summary, the European Health Insurance Card is an invaluable tool for anyone planning on traveling in Europe, providing access to reduced-cost healthcare when abroad. However, it should still be supplemented with a suitable travel insurance policy as it does not always provide enough coverage in the event of illness or injury abroad. So make sure you get your EHIC before leaving home and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you are protected wherever your travels take you!

Frequently  Asked Questions

Is the EHIC valid in all European countries?

A: Yes, the EHIC is valid in all European countries that are part of the European Health Insurance Card program.

How long does it take to receive an EHIC?

A: It normally takes up to ten working days to receive your card once you have applied for it.

Can I use my EHIC for private healthcare services?

A: No, the EHIC is only valid for public healthcare services and will not cover any private medical treatments.

Can I travel without an EHIC?

A: Yes, you can travel without an EHIC but it is not recommended as it will not cover any medical expenses you may incur. It is strongly advised to take out a suitable travel insurance policy before traveling.

What happens if my card gets lost or damaged?

A: You should contact your local health authority immediately to request a new card. They will be able to advise you on the process and provide information on how to replace your card.

Why Is Turkey Not In The EU?

turkey flag

Turkey has been an official candidate for membership in the European Union since 1999, more than 20 years after its first application. The country has undergone reforms and implemented changes to meet EU standards, yet the accession process has been stalled for many years.

So, what’s causing the delay? Why is Turkey still not part of the EU? We’ll take a look at the problems that prevent Turkey’s accession and some of the reasons why it is not in the EU today.

Accession Issues

Issues between Turkey and the EU stem from a variety of issues, including politics, geography, and economics, as well as its culture, history, and religion.

Political

Political issues have stood in the way of Turkey’s accession to the EU. Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP (Justice and Development Party), has been criticized for its authoritarian tendencies. This combined with the crackdown on dissent in the country, human rights violations, and deteriorating press freedom has caused concern amongst EU members who do not wish to allow a non-democratic government into their organization.

Turkey has not implemented reforms to its laws governing freedom of expression and freedom of religion and conscience; it has not adequately reformed its civil service; and it has not granted legal recognition to non-Muslim religious communities such as Alevis, Armenians, and Catholics.

Furthermore, Turkey has failed to resolve problems related to freedom of association, including union organizing rights for workers and restrictions on Kurdish associations. In addition, Turkey lacks adequate laws against domestic violence; women still face discrimination under Turkish family law, and children lack adequate protection from sexual exploitation and forced labor.

Turkey’s large population would also mean that it would have a lot of influence in the EU. This doesn’t sit well with some members of the EU who are worried that it would upset the Union’s balance of power and its decision-making process.

Geography

Turkey’s geography is also a major issue. Being located mostly in the Middle East, it is considered to be more distant from the rest of Europe, both culturally and geographically. In addition, being too close to conflict-torn countries like Syria, Iraq, and Iran has made some EU members uneasy.

The threat to European security that Turkey might pose is certainly a concern, particularly with the recent influx of refugees and migrants from these countries.

UK’s former Prime Minister, David Cameron, expressed his concern in 2015 when he said that allowing Turkey to join the EU could mean opening the door for “an even greater wave of migration” to Europe.

And with more than 500,000 square miles, it would be the largest country in the union by far. Many European nations are concerned about admitting such a large population into an already crowded continent and worry that doing so could allow Turkey to sway political decision-making within the union.

Accepting Turkey into the EU could also mean that other countries in the Middle East could soon be considered for membership.

Economics

Turkey’s economy is also a major concern for EU membership. Turkey’s economy is not as developed as those of other EU countries and has been plagued by high inflation and unemployment rates, as well as a large budget deficit. Its per capita income is only about 60% of the EU average.

Having an economy that differs significantly from the rest of the EU and a large population could put a strain on the union’s resources. The EU would likely feel the burden of having to support Turkey financially while it works to strengthen its economy.

Religion

Having a predominantly Muslim population is another factor that has held Turkey back from joining the EU. Even though Turkey is officially a secular state, its population is overwhelmingly Muslim and this has caused some EU members to be wary about allowing it into the union.

The EU is made up of mostly Christian-majority countries and some worry that allowing Turkey in could lead to an increase in religious tension within the union. Some EU members also worry that Turkey’s Islamic culture could clash with the EU’s values of human rights and democracy.

Cultural Differences

Culture is another issue that has held Turkey back from joining the EU. With a large part of the country being in the Middle East, Turkish culture is very different from what is seen in Europe. The country has not been able to fully integrate with the EU’s culture and way of life. And since it didn’t experience the shared history and heritage that most of the other EU members have, the country didn’t have the drive to unity that many of the EU countries had.

History

Turkey’s long-standing conflict with Cyprus has been another issue that has hampered its EU ambitions. The country’s long-standing dispute over the island of Cyprus, combined with Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Republic of Cyprus as a sovereign nation has made it difficult for Turkey and the EU to come to terms.

This has been an insurmountable obstacle in the way of Turkey joining the EU, as Cyprus is currently an EU member. The conflict between Turkey and Cyprus has been going on for decades, and until a resolution is reached, it is unlikely that Turkey will be able to join the EU.

Cyprus Dispute

The long-standing dispute between Turkey and the Greek-Cypriot government over the island of Cyprus is one of the main obstacles to Turkey’s accession to the EU. Turkey has occupied the northern part of Cyprus since 1974 and does not recognize the Greek-Cypriot government as legitimate. 

This dispute has been a major sticking point in the negotiations between Turkey and the EU, as many members are unwilling to accept a country with such an unresolved conflict with a fellow member.

Turkish and Greek Relations

Relations between Turkey and Greece are also strained due to their respective positions on the Cyprus issue. Greece is a member of the EU and has supported Cyprus’ request for EU membership. Turkey, on the other hand, has not recognized Cyprus as an independent, sovereign state. This has led to tension between the two nations, which could further complicate Turkey’s accession process.

Accession Bid Events Timeline

Here are the important events that have happened since Turkey’s first bid for accession:

  • December 1999 –  Turkey is declared an official candidate for EU membership by the Helsinki  European Council.
  • March 2001 – The accession partnership has been adopted by the Council for Turkey
  • May 2003 – A Revised Accession partnership was adopted by the Council for Turkey
  • December 2004 – Council  decides to open negotiations with Turkey starting Oct 2005
  • October 2005 – A negotiating framework has been adopted by the European Council. Negotiations officially start and the screening process begins.
  • June 2006 – Negotiations on Chapter 25- Science and Research are opened and closed.
  • December 2006 – Council decides not to open the eight chapters after Turkey refused to follow certain conditions of the Ankara agreement with Cyprus.
  • February 2008 – European council again adopts a revised accession partnership for Turkey
  • June 2010 – Chapter 12 –  Food Safety, Veterinary, and Phytosanitary Policy is opened
  • May 2012 – Positive agenda, a new project for EU-Turkey relations, is adopted
  • November 2013 – Chapter 22-  Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments negotiations are opened
  • December 2013 – Visa liberalization dialogue is launched
  • November 2015 – The first EU-Turkey summit is held. In return for the halting of Syrian refugee flows, The EU agrees to open negotiations for visa-free travel, accelerate accession talks and provide financial support.
  • December 2015 – Chapter 17 –  Economic and Monetary Policy negotiations are opened
  • June 2016 – Chapter 33- Financial and Budgetary Provisions negotiations are opened
  • November 2016  – Negotiations are suspended due to Turkey’s purges of its military and civil society following the failed coup attempt.
  • May 2018 – Turkey has been omitted from the pre-accession funding program by the European Council, effectively cutting off much of its accession aid.
  • February 2019 – Accession talks with Turkey were suspended indefinitely by the European parliament.

The Future of Turkey and the EU

EU-Turkey relations have been stuck in a downward spiral for many years. And with many of these issues appearing to be insurmountable, the possibility of Turkey joining the EU any time soon seems unlikely. Only time will tell if these issues can eventually be resolved, but with the current state of affairs, it doesn’t appear likely anytime soon.

How Can I Visit Europe If I Am Not A Citizen?

Schengen flag

Europe is a must-see destination for many travelers. Unfortunately, if you are not a citizen of the European Union, getting a visa to visit can be a challenge. However, it is still possible to visit Europe as a non-citizen. With a little planning and some patience, you can make your dream trip a reality.

So how exactly do you go about visiting Europe as a non-citizen? It all depends on your country of origin.

ETIAS vs Schengen Visa

Depending on where you are coming from, you may need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver or a Schengen visa.

ETIAS is a visa waiver program that is being implemented by the European Union in 2021. It will be required for citizens of certain countries to have in order to enter Europe. A Schengen visa, on the other hand, is currently required for citizens of most countries outside of Europe.

Currently, there are 50+ countries whose citizens can travel to Europe without a visa for 90 days.  These countries are part of the Schengen Area and a few other countries with special agreements. These countries’ citizens can apply for an ETIAS (Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System) waiver.

Which Countries Are Allowed To Travel To Europe Without A Visa?

Citizens of the following countries are currently eligible to travel to Europe without a visa:

Albania – Antigua and Barbuda – Argentina – Australia –  Bahamas – Barbados – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Brazil – Brunei – Canada – Chile – Colombia – Costa Rica – Dominica – El Salvador – Georgia – Grenada – Guatemala – Honduras – Hong Kong – Israel – Japan – Kiribati – Macao  –  North Macedonia – Malaysia – Marshall Islands – Mauritius – Mexico – Micronesia – Moldova – Montenegro – New Zealand – Nicaragua – Palau – Panama – Paraguay – Peru – Saint Kitts and Nevis – St Lucia- St Vincent- Samoa- Serbia- Seychelles- Singapore- Solomon Islands- South Korea- Taiwan – Timor Leste – Tonga – Trinidad and Tobago – Tuvalu – Ukraine- United Arab Emirates – United Kingdom – United States of America – Uruguay – Vanuatu – Venezuela

If you are not a citizen of one of the countries on this list, don’t worry- you can still visit Europe. You will just need to apply for a Schengen visa.

What is a Schengen Visa?

The Schengen visa is a uniform visa that allows citizens of certain countries to travel freely throughout the 26 member states of the Schengen Area.

The Schengen visa allows holders to stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Schengen visas are issued by the embassies or consulates of the Schengen countries.

In order to apply for a Schengen visa, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • A valid passport or travel document
  • A completed and signed application form
  • Two recent photographs that meet the requirements
  • Proof of travel insurance that meets the requirements
  • A flight reservation or other proof of travel plans
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your stay
  • A cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip
  • Other documents that may be required depending on your specific situation

Application Process: ETIAS and Schengen Visa

Applying for an ETIAS is a relatively simple process. Citizens of eligible countries can apply online through the ETIAS website. The application must be completed at least 72 hours before travel and costs 7 euros.

Starting November 2023, an ETIAS waiver is mandatory for all citizens of countries who currently have visa-free travel to the EU.

If your country is not on this list, then you will need to apply for a Schengen visa. The good news is that the application process is relatively straightforward and once you have your visa, you can travel freely within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days.

Schengen Visas are issued by the embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit. You will need to submit a number of documents, including a valid passport, proof of travel insurance, and evidence of financial means. The entire process can take up to two months, so it is important to plan ahead.

Applying For a Schengen Visa

If you are not a citizen of one of the countries on the ETIAS list, you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa.

The application process can vary depending on your country of origin, but there are some general steps that all applicants must follow. Here’s what you need to do:

The first step is to check which embassy or consulate you need to apply to. This will depend on your country of origin and your travel plans. For example, if you are traveling to multiple countries in Europe, you will need to apply to the embassy or consulate of the country you are spending the most time in.

Next, you will need to gather all of the required documents. These vary slightly depending on the country you are applying to, but generally include a valid passport, proof of travel insurance, and evidence of financial means.

Once you have all of the required documents, you can submit your application to the embassy or consulate. The entire process can take up to two months, so it is important to plan ahead.

After your application has been processed, you will receive a Schengen visa which allows you to travel freely within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days.

How to Visit Europe as a Non-Citizen

Visiting Europe as a non-citizen can be tricky, but it’s definitely possible with a little bit of knowledge, planning, and patience. Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Determine the reason for your visit. The first step is to figure out why you want to visit Europe. Are you going for business, pleasure, or both? Once you know the purpose of your trip, it will be easier to determine which type of visa (if any) you need.

2. Choose your destination(s). You’ll need to decide where exactly you want to go in Europe. Keep in mind that each country has its own visa requirements, so you’ll need to do some research to figure out which destination is best for you. If you’re not sure, the best bet is to check with the embassy or consulate of the country (or countries) you plan to visit.

3. Check visa requirements. This is an important step! As we mentioned before, each country has different visa requirements. Some countries may not require a visa for certain types of visits,  while others may require a visa for all visits. It’s important to check the requirements of each country you plan to visit before you start the visa application process.

4. Start the visa application process. Once you know which countries you want to visit and what their visa requirements are, you can begin the application process. This can be done through the embassy or consulate of the country (or countries) you’re interested in visiting.  There are also visa application centers that can help with the process.

5. Collect the required documents.  The next step is to gather all of the documents you’ll need for your visa application. This may include things like your passport, birth certificate, proof of financial stability, and more. Again, requirements vary by country, so be sure to check with the embassy or consulate of the country you’re interested in visiting.

6. Submit your application. Once you have all of the required documents, you can submit your visa application.  This can be done in person, by mail, or online, depending on the country.

7. Wait for a decision. The final step is to wait for a decision on your visa application.  This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, so be patient.  If your application is approved, you’ll be one step closer to realizing your dream of visiting Europe!

Final Word

Traveling to Europe as a non-citizen can be daunting, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing all that the continent has to offer. With a little bit of patience and effort, you can make your dream trip a reality. Bon, voyage!

The Top 15 Most Visited Cities in Europe

european map

Europe has some of the most amazing cities in the world. There are so many great places to visit, and each city has its own unique charm and culture. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide which cities to add to your European travel list.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the most visited cities in Europe and why they’re worth a visit.

  1. London, United Kingdom – 19.6 million visitors yearly
  2. Paris, France – 19.1 million visitors yearly
  3. Istanbul, Turkey-14.7 million visitors yearly
  4. Rome, Italy-10.3 million visitors yearly
  5. Amsterdam, Netherlands- 8.8 million visitors yearly
  6. Barcelona, Spain- 7 million visitors yearly
  7. Prague, Czech Republic- 6.8 million visitors yearly
  8. Vienna, Austria- 6.6 million visitors yearly
  9. Milan, Italy- 6.5 million visitors yearly
  10. Athens, Greece- 6.3 million visitors yearly
  11. Berlin, Germany- 6.3 million visitors yearly
  12. Moscow, Russia- 6 million visitors yearly
  13. Venice, Italy- 5.6 million visitors yearly
  14. Madrid, Spain- 5.6 million visitors yearly
  15. Dublin, Ireland – 5.5 million visitors yearly

London, United Kingdom – 19.6 million yearly visitors

As the capital of both England and the United Kingdom, London is a must-see for any traveler. This massive city is home to iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, as well as amazing museums like the British Museum and the Natural History Museum. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that London is one of the most visited cities in Europe.

Paris, France – 19.1 million yearly visitors

As the capital of France, Paris is unsurprisingly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. This beautiful city is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the world, including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. In addition to these iconic sights, Paris is also home to amazing museums, theaters, and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for history, culture, or just a good time, Paris has something for everyone.

Istanbul, Turkey – 14.7 million yearly visitors

Istanbul is a truly unique city that straddles two continents: Europe and Asia. This diverse city is home to a variety of cultures and religions, which is reflected in its architecture and cuisine. Some of the must-see sights in Istanbul include the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. With so much to see and do, Istanbul is a city that should not be missed.

Rome, Italy – 10.3 million yearly visitors

The capital city of Italy, Rome is a must-see for any traveler. This historic city is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the world, including the Colosseum, the Vatican City, and St. Peter’s Basilica. In addition to these iconic sights, Rome is also home to amazing museums, art galleries, and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for history or culture, Rome has something for everyone.

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 8.8 million yearly visitors

The city of Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination for a variety of reasons. This picturesque city is home to canals, cobblestone streets, and quaint cafes. In addition to its charming atmosphere, Amsterdam is also home to numerous museums, including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. If you’re looking for a unique city with a lot to offer, Amsterdam is the perfect place for you.

Barcelona, Spain – 7 million yearly visitors

As the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is full of culture and history. This beautiful city is home to iconic landmarks like the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, as well as stunning architecture by Antoni Gaudi. In addition to its many historical sights, Barcelona is also home to a vibrant nightlife scene and delicious Mediterranean cuisine. From its beaches to its museums, Barcelona should definitely be on your list of places to visit.

Prague, Czech Republic – 6.8 million yearly visitors

Prague is a city that is home to a rich history and culture. This beautiful city is full of stunning architecture, from its castles, bridges, and churches to its squares and parks. In addition to its many historical sights, Prague is also home to a vibrant nightlife scene and delicious Czech cuisine.

Vienna, Austria – 6.6 million yearly visitors

As the capital of Austria, Vienna is a city that is full of culture and history. This beautiful city is home to iconic landmarks like the Hofburg Palace and the Vienna Opera House, as well as stunning museums like the Belvedere and the Albertina. Austria also has a rich musical history, and Vienna is home to the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna Boys’ Choir.

Milan, Italy – 6.5 million yearly visitors

Milan is a buzzing metropolis home to iconic sights like the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and the Teatro Alla Scala. In addition to its many historical landmarks, Milan is also renowned for its fashion scene, and it is home to numerous high-end designer stores. From its museums to its boutiques, Milan is a city that will not disappoint.

Athens, Greece – 6.3 million yearly visitors

Renowned for being the birthplace of Western civilization, Athens is a city that is full of history. In this ancient city, you can find iconic landmarks like the Parthenon and the Acropolis, as well as stunning museums like the National Archaeological Museum and the Benaki Museum. Athens is also home to a variety of delicious restaurants, serving everything from traditional Greek cuisine to international dishes. Whether it’s history or cuisine that you’re interested in, Athens is a city that has a lot to offer.

Berlin, Germany – 6.3 million yearly visitors

As the capital of Germany, Berlin is a city that is full of culture, history, and politics. This vibrant city is home to iconic landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and the Berlin Wall, as well as world-renowned museums like the Pergamon Museum and the Jewish Museum. Berlin is also known for its nightlife, and you can find a variety of bars and clubs to suit any taste. From its historical sights to its modern architecture, Berlin is a city that should go on the top of your list.

Moscow, Russia – 6 million yearly visitors

Russia’s capital city, Moscow is a metropolis that is full of culture and history. Here you’ll find iconic landmarks like the Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s Cathedral, as well as world-renowned museums like the State Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Moscow is also home to many theaters, concert halls, and operas, making it a city that is rich in culture. Whether you’re interested in history or the arts, Moscow is a city that has something for everyone.

Venice, Italy – 5.6 million yearly visitors

As one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice is a must-see for any traveler. This beautiful city is full of canals, bridges, and gondolas, as well as stunning architecture like the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Basilica. Venice is also home to a variety of museums, including the Museo Correr and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Venice is the perfect destination.

Madrid, Spain – 5.5 million yearly visitors

Known for its beautiful architecture and lively nightlife, Madrid is a city that will not disappoint. This vibrant metropolis is home to iconic landmarks like the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum, as well as a variety of parks and gardens. Madrid is also home to a number of parks, including Retiro Park and the Buen Retiro Park. Whether you’re interested in art, culture, or nightlife, Madrid is sure to have something for you.

Dublin, Ireland – 4.9 million yearly visitors

A great destination for history buffs, Dublin is a city that is full of culture and heritage. In this lively city, you can find iconic landmarks like the Dublin Castle and the General Post Office, a museum dedicated to the Irish Rebellion of 1916. Dublin is also home to a number of parks and gardens, including Phoenix Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe. If you’re looking for a city with a lot of character, Dublin is the perfect destination.

Final Word

Europe’s cities are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and for good reason. From historic landmarks that date back centuries to world-renowned museums and vibrant nightlife, these cities will not disappoint. So, make sure your list of must-see destinations includes some of these iconic European cities.