Non Schengen countries in Europe are those that have chosen to stay outside the unitary border area for their own reasons. The Schengen area is a collection of countries, mostly in Europe, who have chosen to abolish border checks. This arrangement facilitates free and easier travel, thus boosting business, tourism, and a sense of community among member states.
Non Schengen countries have opted to stay outside this arrangement; perhaps in order to retain complete autonomy over their borders, their economies, and their culture. Interestingly, this list of non Schengen countries in Europe is populated by countries with zero or minimal ties to the European Union.
For purposes of travel, it is important to be conversant with the Schengen zones; this will prevent contravening the travel laws of the countries involved. Ignorance is not often considered a viable excuse for the contravention of laws.
Non Schengen Countries In Europe
The United Kingdom is arguably the most popular non Schengen Country in Europe. This is a country with a very sound economy which is probably why it is such a popular destination for international travel. The UK has one of the strictest travel policies in the world; this is because there has to be firm regulation of travel to prevent the country from taking in more people than the economy and the society can handle.
The United Kingdom recently introduced a points based program in which visa applicants are filtered on the basis of the impact they are expected to have on the economy. Other kinds of visa applications that are given precedence in the UK include family reunion visas.
The UK is no longer an EU member country; which means that visa applications coming from the EU zone may be given the same level of scrutiny as other applications.
Bulgaria is located in Southeastern Europe. The country is bordered by Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. Bulgaria is a country that is rich in history and culture; it traces its history from Neolithic times, to the roman times, and down to the present day.
Bulgaria is not a Schengen country; it has a communist past, and is not fully opened up to outsiders. As such visas facilitating entry into the country should apply directly at the Bulgarian Embassy in your country. However, Bulgaria is an EU member country; citizens from countries belonging to the European Economic Area can enter without visas.
Romania is a country on the crossroads of Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It has a similar history as Bulgaria above. Border countries with Romania include Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia and Moldova. Romania has a population of about 19 million.
Romania is not a Schengen country; proper passport checks will be conducted at all entry points. However, Romania is an EU country, which means that citizens of other EU countries can enter without visas.
Croatia is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. Border countries to Croatia include Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Montenegro. Croatia shares a maritime border with Italy. Croatia has a population of nearly 3.9 million people.
Croatia is not a member of the Schengen area; therefore passports will be checked at border areas and entry points. Schengen Visas will not suffice for entry into Croatia, rather, people intending to enter the country need to get visas specifically for entry into the country.
Croatia is a member of the European Union; therefore it is relatively easy for citizens of EU countries to get into the country. EU citizens can stay in the country for much longer periods than non member countries, and it is a lot easier to seek economic prospects in the country.
Cyprus is an island country in the Middle East but which has cultural and economic ties with Southeastern Europe. As an island it has no natural borders but it is close to the following countries; Turkey, Greece, and Syria. Cyprus is a small country; it has a population of about 1.3 million people.
Cyprus is a very popular tourist destination; it receives millions of visitors every year. Cyprus is not a Schengen country, that means you need to get a visa to visit the country. Interestingly though, people with multiple entry visas to countries in the Schengen area can visit Cyprus for 90 days.
If you have a Visa to Bulgaria, Croatia or Romania, or if you have a residence permit issued by any of these countries, you may Visit Cyprus unhindered.
Take note that border checks may be made at the borders but with any of the aforementioned documents, one should be able to get into the country.
Ireland is a country in the North Atlantic Ocean, it is geographically located in north-western Europe. Ireland is very close to Great Britain, from which it is separated by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland has a population of about 7 million people.
Ireland is a very attractive place to visit; the economy is very sound, and tourism is also a very big industry in the country. However, a very high number of people wish to travel to Ireland for economic reasons.
Ireland is not a Schengen Country; which means that you will probably need to pass through an immigration check point on your way in. However, if you are a citizen of a country that is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) then you may enter the country without any hindrances.
Furthermore, if you are travelling from Ireland to a Schengen country you are going to need to apply for a visa.
Albania is a country in Southeastern Europe. Some of its neighbors are Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Greece. Albania has a population of about 2.7 million people.
Albania is one of the non Schengen countries in Europe; however it offers an even more generous visa policy than the Schengen Zone. All European Union citizens may enter into Albania without Visas.
Furthermore, citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Vatican City, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Antigua and Barbuda, Kosovo, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Bosnia and Herzegovina, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, North Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela are welcome to enter without visas.
Citizens of the countries listed above may only need to have their passports, or any other Identification document proving their nationalities. Depending on the particular country you are visiting from you may be able to stay from 90 days to 365 days.
Armenia is a landlocked country in Western Asia. Its neighbors include Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Armenia has a population of around 3 million.
Armenia is not a Schengen country; however, it has a very generous visa policy. Citizens of all European Union countries, as well as Albania, Andorra, Argentina, South Korea, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Uruguay, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Ecuador, Norway, Qatar, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Switzerland, Macau, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, and Vatican City are welcome into the country without visas.
Citizens of the countries above can stay in the country for between 90 days and one year.
Azerbaijan is a country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Some of its neighbors include Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, and Iran. Azerbaijan has a population of 10 million.
Azerbaijan is not a Schengen country; but it is a very welcoming one. Citizens of Belarus, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Qatar can enter the country without a visa; as long as they have valid passports.
These countries may enter with only ID cards; Russia, Tajikistan, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
These countries are offered visa on arrival; Bahrain, China, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, United Arab Emirates.
Belarus is located in Eastern Europe. Some of its neighbors include Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Belarus has a population of 9.3 Million people.
Belarus is not a Schengen country, but it has a very good visa policy which is favorable to citizens of Europe and other parts of the world.
Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Mongolia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Albania, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Macao, Montenegro, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates may enter Belarus without visas. Belarus also offers 30 days conditional entry without visas to citizens of North Macedonia.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bosnia & Herzegovina (sometimes called Bosnia) is a country at the crossroads of south and southeast Europe. The country has a population of 3.4 million people.
Bosnia & Herzegovina is not a Schengen country; but it is very welcoming. Citizens of the European Union may enter without Visas. The same privilege is granted to citizens of Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, Brunei, Iceland, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Andorra, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong, and China.
Other countries that can visit Bosnia and Herzegovina without Visa include; Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, United Arab Emirates, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Montenegro, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Solomon Islands, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Venezuela.
Moldova is a country in Eastern Europe. Some of its neighbors are Romania and Ukraine. Moldova has a population of around 2.6 million people.
Moldova is not a Schengen country, but it has a very favorable Visa policy. Citizens of EU member countries are not required to have visas before entry. The same privilege is afforded to citizens of Canada, Georgia, Holy See, Iceland, Japan, Principality of Andorra, Principality of Liechtenstein, Norway, State of Israel, Swiss Confederation, USA, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Principality of Monaco, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, San Marino, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Montenegro is a country in Montenegro is a country in Southeastern Europe. Some of its neighbors are Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, and Croatia. It has a population of about 621,000.
Montenegro is not a Schengen country; however it has one of the most liberal visa policies in Europe. Citizens of the European Union, as well as about 74 other countries can visit the country without a visa. These countries are too many to mention here.
Serbia is a country in Southeastern and Central Europe. Some of its neighbors are Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Serbia has about 8.6 million inhabitants.
Serbia is a non Schengen country in Europe, however, it offers visa free entry to all citizens of European Union countries, as well as 96 other countries across the world.
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest European country after Russia, and has neighbors such as Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova. It has a population of 41 million people.
Ukraine is not a Schengen country; therefore in order to gain access to the country you must get a visa unless you are from one of the visa exempt countries.
Citizens of the European Union are welcome to enter without visa, as are citizens of Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Dominica, Ecuador, Grenada, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Chile, Colombia, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Brunei, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong.
Russia is located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the biggest country in the world by land area. Russia has a population of about 145 million people.
Russia is neither a member of the European Union or the Schegen Zone. However, citizens of the following countries are not required to obtain visas before entering Russia: Abkhazia, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Honduras, Azerbaijan, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Israel, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Moldova, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Suriname, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.
Contrary to public opinion, from this list of non Schegen countries in Europe, it is clear that being a non Schengen country may actually open up the opportunity to explore other diplomatic ties with even more countries. One country on this list offers visa free entry to citizens of 96 countries across Europe, America, The Caribbean, and Africa.