Is Spain in the Schengen Zone?

Find out about Europe's border-free area

French border
(c) Damian Corrigan

Yes, Spain is in the Schengen Zone.

What is the Schengen Zone?

The Schengen Zone, also known as the Schengen Area, is a group of countries in Europe that has no internal border controls. This means that a visitor to Spain can cross into France and Portugal and the rest of Europe without needing to show a passport.

You could make the 55-hour car journey from Faro in Portugal to Riksweg in northern Norway without having to show your passport once.

See also:

How Long Can I Stay in the Schengen Zone?

Depends on your country of origin. Americans can spend 90 days out of every 180 days in the Schengen Zone. EU citizens, even those from outside the Schengen Zone, can stay indefinitely.

Is the Schengen Zone the Same as the European Union?

No. There are several non-EU countries in the Schengen Zone and a few EU countries that have opted out. See the full list below.

Are all Schengen Zone Countries in the Euro?

No, there are several EU countries that are in the Schengen Zone but don't have the Euro, Europe's main currency.

Is a Spain Visa Valid for the Whole of the Schengen Zone?

Usually, but not always. Check with the issuing authority.

Can I Leave my Passport in Spain When I Go to Portugal or France?

In practice, you probably could - but remember that, in theory, you are supposed to carry ID at all times in these countries.

And though you are allowed to cross the border and you almost always will cross without being stopped, you have to be able to prove that you have the correct visa in case they do random checks.

During the recent immigration crisis, many countries reinstated border controls, though the borders with Spain remained open.

Which Countries Are in the Schengen Zone?

The following countries are in the Schengen Zone:

EU Countries in the Schengen Zone

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands (Holland)
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Non-EU Countries in the Schengen Zone

  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Switzerland
  • Lichtenstein

These 'micro-states' are also in the Schengen zone:

  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • Vatican City

EU Countries That Have Yet to Implement Their Schengen Zone Commitments

  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Romania
  • Croatia

EU Countries That Have Opted Out of the Schengen Zone

  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom