Travel to the EU

Travel to the EU

Your European travel questions answered

Travel to the EU

You do not need a visa for short trips to the EU or countries in the Schengen area if both of the following apply:

  • you’re staying for 90 days or less in a 180-day period
  • you’re visiting as a tourist or for certain other reasons

Other reasons include:

  • studying a short course
  • getting medical treatment
  • travelling for business for your UK employer, for example to attend a business meeting or conference
  • journalism or other media activities

Check the entry requirements of the country you’re visiting to find out what you can and cannot do during your stay.

These rules do not apply to travelling and working in Ireland.

Travelling to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period

You can travel to more than one country in a 180-day period. How long you can stay in each country depends on whether or not it’s in the Schengen area.

The countries in the Schengen area are:

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

Your total stay in the Schengen area must be no more than 90 days in every 180 days. It does not matter how many countries you visit. The 180-day period keeps ‘rolling’.

To work out if your stay is within the 90 day limit, use the following steps.

  1. Check the date you plan to leave the Schengen area on your next trip.
  2. Count back 180 days from that date to get the start of the 180-day period.
  3. Add up the number of days you have already spent in the Schengen area in that 180-day period (you can use the dates stamped in your passport showing when you entered and left a country).
  4. Work out how many days you will spend in the Schengen area on your next trip. Add this number to the number of days you worked out in step 3.
  5. Check that the total number of days is not more than 90.

Travelling to EU countries that are not in the Schengen area

Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania are not in the Schengen area. You can stay up to 90 days in a 180-day period in each of these countries without a visa.

Any time you spend in the Schengen area does not affect the number of days you can spend in these countries.

When you may need a visa

​​You may need a visa or permit if you want to either:

  • work
  • stay for more than 90 days

If you’re travelling for work, check the rules for the country you’re visiting.

If you’re travelling for another reason or staying longer than 90 days, check the entry requirements for the country you’re visiting.

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