What the hell is the Schengen zone you might ask? Well you’re in the right place because I’m going to tell you. Hi everyone! Welcome to another episode of Digital Nomad TV. I’m your host, Kristin Wilson. And today, we are in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, one of my favorite Digital Nomad destinations. Make sure to check out my videos on coworking and Amsterdam, as well as Amsterdam as a Digital Nomad Destination,. I will link them. So raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to travel to Europe But we’re super confused about which countries you could go to, how long you could stay there and how all that works. Me, too So as I was saying, I’m an American here in the Netherlands, which is an EU country in the Schengen zone and that’s what this video is all about What the hell is the Schengen Zone? Who’s in it? Who’s not in it? And how does it affect you. Just to sum it up, you have your EU Member States , your European Member States that are in the Schengen Your Schengen zone countries that are not in the EU and your non-schengen EU countries, your EU non-schengen countries, your micro states, and countries that are in the EU not in the Schengen but might be in the Schengen someday, sound confusing? Exactly. And many a digital nomad has been stuck at the border or with an immigration agent because they overstayed their welcome. But that’s not going to happen to you because I’m gonna sum it up for you really quick. So here are the only things you need to know, what the Schengen Zone is, which countries are included, how long you can travel there, and a couple other fun facts I’ll throw in at the end Coincidentally, the first time I was in Amsterdam was in 2013 and I thought that I was going to stay a month or so in every European country But then I realized what the Schengen Zone was. The Schengen area was established by the EU in 1995 and it was just basically a way to open up the borders and allow the free flow of goods and people to of course boost economic growth. On the pro side, the Schengen Zone allows free travel through 22 of the 28 European Union member states. But it doesn’t just include European Member States. So there are actually 26 total member states in the Schengen area 22 of them are from Europe. These are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. Then there are 4 countries that are not EU Member States But they’re still in the Schengen and those are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland Then there are a few microstates and these are the smaller states like San Marino, the Vatican City, Monaco Andorra. And these are not officially Schengen countries, but they’re still basically generally considered part of the Schengen. Three of them, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican are considered de-facto Schengen States. And then who are those four other strugglers who are entering the Schengen sometime soon? Well, I’m glad you asked because it’s Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia and Romania So what about other EU countries that are not part of the Schengen but are in the EU who are these people making everything so difficult? Well, that’s the UK, Ireland Northern Ireland and the three British Crown Dependencies. So this is Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man. Gibraltar which is also part of Europe is actually an overseas territory. It’s not part of the EU or the Schengen. So it’s its own category. So what does it mean for you? Basically if you’re from the US, Canada, Australia New Zealand and other generally considered states countries like Japan, South Korea, and even throughout Latin America, Mexico, Costa Rica. And I’ll link all of the countries below then you probably don’t need a visa to travel for up to 90 days every 180 days in the Schengen zone. Anyone from many parts of Eastern Europe Africa the Middle East and the South Pacific probably need a visa. So to travel within the EU you need a passport and you can break up the ninety days over a hundred and eighty days or you can have them all consecutively back-to-back and It just means that you can only remain within Schengen zone countries not Europe, not the EU but specifically Schengen countries for 90 days total cumulatively 180 day period. So, there are actually some apps that I’ll link below that you can put in all of your travel dates and track the days and that’s the easiest way to do it. Now, there’s a lot of talk on the internet over who enforces this rule and who doesn’t but in my opinion it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are rumors that some of the Latin countries like Malta and Italy aren’t as strict as Germany or the Netherlands or the UK for that matter, which is a separate thing. But you know, you should still abide by the rules because you don’t want to get deported and you don’t want to get banned from the EU either, or the Schengen zone. So the general rule of thumb is that you can stay in all of those countries that I listed for up to 90 days per 180 days and then if you want to remain on the continent but you have run out of time in those Schengen zone countries, then what you could theoretically do is travel to a EU non-schengen country like the UK or Ireland or another EU Member State that is pending Schengen like Romania, Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, or an Eastern European country that’s not in the EU and not in the Schengen. And you can still remain in the general vicinity of Europe. So that’s my short explanation of the Schengen zone, what it means, who’s included, who’s in , who’s out? I hope that you guys found this helpful and make sure that you follow the rules or your next euro trip. That’s all for today’s episode of Digital Nomad TV. Make sure to come back next week. We’re here every Wednesday at 12 p.m. eastern.


  1. Awesome, I’ve worked extensively with the Schengen Agreement as part of my profession, and this video is spot on with the facts!

    Very good!

  2. You should have added that some Schengen countries allow passport holders who have had visa exemptions before the Schengen agreement got into effect still allow a stay for another 90 days. For example: you can stay in the Schengen area for 90 days and can still for another 90 days in Denmark if you hold a passport of a country that had visa exemption agreements prior to Schengen: some of these are Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, or the United States.

  3. For a full breakdown with examples of how the Schengen Zone works, how long you can stay, how to calculate your days in and out, which countries are included/excluded, which countries need visas, etc, make sure to check out my Schengen Blog Article! ✈️ 🆒

  4. Thankfully I'm not heading to Europe soon. I am more confused about the Schengen zone now than before I watched your video.

  5. So what happens if you travel from a Schengen country to a Non-Schengen country like Greece to Cyprus and then back to Greece and then to the U.S?

  6. Thank you for the video- this was the most informative thing I've managed to find on the Schengen countries. 🙂

  7. Personally speaking I think that Schengen visa policy with regards to which countries can enter visa free is utter bullshit. Why do Latin American countries enter Europe without visa? They are filled with gang violence corruption, murder, drugs etc

  8. Very nice video. So when i enter to Schengen zone basically my 180 day period starts and i can only stay 90 days then out 90 days.

  9. So if i want to flight from Brussels to Dublin which line should i get, the non-schengen lounge or the schengen? Can you help me 🤗
    Ps: I'm an European citizen

  10. How long can I stay as a Swiss citizen in Bulgaria without a visa? (I also would have a Hungarian EU passport but it is expired. But maybe I won‘t need to renew it.)

  11. Thank you for the info!!! My question is what happens after those 180 days? When they finish and you want to re enter the schengen zone the time starts counting from 0 again?

    I'll be based in the UK for 6 months, but my flight is from Mexico to Spain with a layover of one day, and then to London the next day. (so I think my 180 days will start then).
    After those 6 months in the UK I'm planning to go to italy for 90 days. Thats why I'm wondering if the 180 will start counting again or if I need to wait certain time.

  12. For me as a european, schengen means that you only realise that you crossed a border somewhere when the street signs are in a different language

  13. Hello dear, I will be going to Greece 🇬🇷 with my wife and baby , Tourist visa, but we want to go to Germany 🇩🇪 or Luxembourg 🇱🇺 not Greece 🇬🇷, please I want to know if we can go to Luxembourg even as we put Greece first. And what happened after the one month visit? Please help because we are planning to live there but we only have Tourist visa to Greece, help me 🙏

  14. Hi there, I'm from Mexico and I will be traveling to Spain this coming this April, I would like to make a quick trip for two days to Rome from Barcelona, my question is, can I travel for m Spain to Italy with no issues if the both countries are within the Schengen zone? Or do I need a permit to travel between these two countries? Gracias

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