Europe visas and the Schengen area


A guide for Australians visiting Europe.


Do I need a visa to visit Europe?

  • Australian passport holders can visit any countries within the Schengen area visa-free for up to 90 days over a 180-day period for the purpose of tourism.
  • Some non-Schengen countries also allow visa-free tourism thanks to bilateral visa waiver agreements with Australia.
  • Other European countries require Australians to apply for a visa.
Visa rules by country
Country Schengen Rules for Australian tourists
Albania x No visa required for up to 90 days
Andorra x No visa required for up to 90 days
Austria No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Belarus x Visa required
Belgium No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Bosnia Herzegovina x No visa required for up to 90 days
Bulgaria x No visa required for up to 90 days
Croatia x No visa required for up to 90 days
Cyprus x No visa required for up to 90 days
Czech Republic x No visa required for up to 90 days
Denmark No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Estonia No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Finland No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
France No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Germany No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Greece No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Hungary No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Iceland No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Ireland X No visa required for up to 90 days
Italy No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Latvia No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Liechtenstein No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Lithuania No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Luxembourg No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Macedonia X No visa required for up to 90 days
Malta No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Moldova X No visa required for up to 90 days within a six-month period
Monaco X No visa required for up to 90 days
Montenegro X No visa required for up to 90 days
The Netherlands No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Norway No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Poland No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Portugal No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Romania X No visa required for up to 90 days
Russia X Visa required
San Marino X No visa required for up to 90 days
Serbia X No visa required for up to 90 days
Slovakia No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Slovenia No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Spain No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Sweden No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Switzerland No visa required for up to 90 days within a 180-day period
Ukraine X Visa required
United Kingdom X No visa required for up to 180 days
Vatican City X No visa required for up to 90 days

Important: The above chart is a guide only. Visa rules can change so you should always check with the embassy of the country you're travelling to. Entry requirements may vary from country to country, for example you may need to prove you have enough money to support yourself or you may be denied entry if you have a criminal history or have overstayed a visa in the past. Again, always check with the relevant embassy.

If you're visiting Europe for any reason other than for tourism (for example, to study or work) then it's likely you'll need a visa.

Schengen countries

The Schengen area is made up of 26 European countries that share similar entry and visa laws: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain.

You still need a stamp in your passport

There's often very little or no border control between Schengen countries, but it's important for Australian travellers to get entry and exit stamps on their passport to prove that they aren't overstaying their 90-day limit. Travellers can even be fined for not having a stamp from their initial port of entry into the Schengen area.

EU or Schengen?

The Schengen area is not to be confused with the European Union (EU). Some non-EU countries are part of the Schengen area and some EU countries are not.

Non-Schengen countries

Non-Schengen countries, including the UK and Ireland, have their own rules. Many still allow Australians to visit without a visa, but some may require you to apply for a visa.

Long stays in Europe

If you want to visit Europe for more than 90 days, you can split your time between Schengen and non-Schengen countries. Consider using a non-Schengen country with a bilateral visa waiver, such as the UK, as a base to maximise your time.

If you want to visit Europe for more than 90 days, you can split your time between Schengen and non-Schengen countries, and consider using the UK as a base to maximise your time.

Have you bought insurance yet? Check our free, comprehensive and independent travel insurance reviews to find out which policy is best for you.

When does your passport expire?

Most countries require that you have a certain amount of validity left on your passport. For Schengen countries, you'll need three months' validity from your intended date of departure from the Schengen area. In many other countries, the minimum limit is six months' validity from your date of arrival.

Visa rules for Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have strict visa rules and time limits on how long you can stay.

Russian visa

To be issued a visa for Russia, you'll need a letter of invitation from a Russian travel agent, as well as proof of your itinerary or round-trip tickets.

Ukraine visa

To be issued a visa for Ukraine, you'll need a letter of invitation from a Ukrainian travel agent or a hotel reservation, as well as proof that you have medical travel insurance and enough money for your trip.

Belarus visa

To be issued a visa for Belarus, you'll need a letter of invitation from a travel agent and proof that you have worldwide travel insurance with cover of at least $20,000 for medical expenses.

Visa rules for cruise ships docking in Russia

Cruise ship passengers may be entitled to a 72-hour visa waiver while visiting Russian port cities such as St Petersburg. Check with your cruise ship operator to find out if you're eligible.

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