Travel to Europe
The European Union of 27 countries stretches over the continent of Europe from Lapland in the north to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the west coast of Ireland to the shores of Cyprus: a rich tapestry of landscapes from rocky coastlines to sandy beaches, from fertile pastureland to arid plains, from lakes and forests to arctic tundra.
The peoples of Europe, with their diverse traditions, cultures, and languages, make up around 7% of the world’s population. Their historic heritage is charted in prehistoric cave paintings, Greek and Roman antiquities, Moorish architecture, medieval fortresses, Renaissance palaces, and baroque churches. Modern Europe too attracts the traveller, with its vibrant cities, colourful cultural festivities, winter and summer sports, and varied cuisine.
Europeans love to travel. The removal of most passport and baggage formalities and the use of the same currency – the euro – in 19 EU countries have made travelling much easier.
The creation of a single market of more than 500 million people has brought wider choice and lower prices. In fact, most Europeans find it as easy to travel around the EU as it is to travel in their home country.
Documents you will need to travel
For EU citizens
Passport or identity card
There are no longer any controls at the borders between 27 EU countries. This is thanks to the Schengen rules, which are part of EU law. All EU countries – except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania are full Schengen members. Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are also Schengen members but are not in the EU. The Schengen rules remove all internal border controls but put in place effective controls at the external borders of the EU and introduce a common visa policy. Internal border controls may exceptionally be reintroduced for a limited period if there is a serious threat to public order or internal security in a given Member State.
You will, therefore, need to present a valid passport or ID card when travelling to or returning from the six non-Schengen countries and when entering or leaving the EU at the external borders. Carry them when travelling in the EU because they may be required for identification or security purposes. Before travelling outside the EU, check what documents are required by the non-EU country you plan to visit. Be aware that the only valid ID is one obtained from national authorities.
Children must have their own passport or ID card.
You will not need a visa for travelling within the EU.
For non-EU citizens
You will need a valid passport.
There are more than 50 countries whose nationals do not need a visa to visit the EU for up to 90 days. In general, most EU citizens do not need a visa to visit these non-EU countries either. They include Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States.
The list of countries whose nationals require visas to travel to Ireland differs slightly from other EU countries. Apply for a visa at the consulate or embassy of the country you plan to visit.
If you hold a Schengen visa, you can travel to all the Schengen countries. Moreover, if you have a valid residence permit issued by one of those Schengen countries, you can stay for up to 90 days in other Schengen countries. You may need a national visa to visit the non-Schengen EU countries.
You can find the relevant addresses in Turkey to obtain EU countries’ visas in the country page of our interactive map.
You can also download our brochure "Travel to Europe."
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