Schengen Countries

While you’re traveling within the Schengen Area, you’ll probably want to know a little bit about each country. We’ve compiled relevant information about each Schengen country for you to reference before you go, including demographic facts and important information on healthcare, laws, and crime. 

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Click on a country below to jump to that country’s information.

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

 

Austria

Austria

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Demographic Facts:

Austrian Border Countries: Austria is located in central Europe, bordering the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

Languages of Austria: German is the official language of Austria. Turkish, Croatian, Hungarian, Serbian, and Slovene are spoken throughout the country by minority populations. However, English, French, and Italian are the main foreign languages spoken in Austria.

Population of Austria:  Austria has a population of 8,747,358 and a population density of 106 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Austria: Austria has 3 distinct climates. There is a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers in the northeastern region around Vienna. The higher altitudes in the west have colder winters but fairly warm summers. And the alpine climate in mountainous regions produces cold, snowy winters and cool summers.

 

Visiting Austria:

Schengen Visa Details - Austria:  Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Austria for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Austria without a visa for a short stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Austria: Austria has 3 main international airports:

  • Schewchat International Airport, in Vienna
  • A. Mozart Airport, in Salzburg
  • Kranebitten Airprot, in Innsbruck

Five Largest Cities in Austria:

  1. Vienna - capital of Austria, located in the northeast corner of the country. Population of 1,840,573.
  2. Graz - located in the southeast corner of the country. Population of 273,838.
  3. Linz - located in the northern Austria. Population of 198,180.
  4. Salzburg – located in western Austria. Population of 148,420.
  5. Innsbruck – also in in western Austria. Population of 126,851.

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Austria: Austria has medical facilities and care that meet western standards. The U.S. Department of State notes that Austrian hospitals will not settle accounts with American insurance companies. You are responsible for paying medical bills up front and claiming a refund with your insurer later. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal within Austria. Always carry the original packaging and your doctor’s prescription. Tick-borne encephalitis is common. Travelers participating in camping/adventure travel should take precautions.

Local Laws in Austria: While traveling in Austria, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  Austria has long prison sentences and heavy fines relating to illegal drug use, possession, or trafficking. Full face coverings are prohibited, including religious attire, in public spaces and public buildings.

Crime in Austria: Austria has imposed temporary border controls due to increased terrorist activity in Europe. The U.S. Department of State reports that Austria has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, with violent crime being rare. Theft is common in areas like the plaza around St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the pedestrian shopping center in Vienna’s First District. In Austria, report crimes to local police by calling 133 or 0800/ 112 112.

 

Belgium

Demographic Facts:

Belgian Border Countries: Belgium is a western European country, sharing borders with France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Languages of Belgium: Belgium has 3 official languages: Dutch, French, and German. English is also widely spoken throughout the country.

Population of Belgium: Belgium has a population of 11,348,159 and a population density of 375 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Belgium: Belgium has a cool and wet climate, with cool and damp winters and rather mild summers.  

 

Visiting Belgium:

Schengen Visa Details - Belgium: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Belgium for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Belgium without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Belgium: Belgium has 2 main international airports:

  • Brussels International Airport, on the northeastern side of Brussels
  • Brussels South Charleroi Airport, on the southeast side of Brussels

Five Largest Cities in Belgium:

  • Brussels – capital of Belgium, located in the central/northern part of Belgium. Population of 1,789,447.
  • Antwerp - located in the northern tip of the country. Population of 940,671
  • Liege - located in the eastern part of the country. Population of 633,934.
  • Ghent - located in the northwestern part of the country. Population of 416,493
  • Charleroi - located in the southern part of the country. Population of 403,868.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Belgium: Belgium has high-quality medical facilities that are widely available. The U.S. Department of State recognizes that emergency services in Belgium are excellent. In Belgium, emergency medical treatment is free, but patients are charged for follow-up care. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Belgium: While traveling in Belgium, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  Belgium has severe penalties relating to illegal drug use, possession, or trafficking.

Crime in Belgium:  The U.S. Department of State notes that low-level street crime (robberies/purse snatchings/pickpocketing) is common in major cities and public areas. Theft from vehicles is a common problem. In Belgium, report crimes by calling the local police at 101. Dial 112 for emergencies.

 

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

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Demographic Facts:

Czech Republic Border Countries: The Czech Republic, or Czechia, is a central European country that shares a border with Poland, Germany, Austria, and Slovakia.

Languages of the Czech Republic: Czech is the official language of the Czech Republic, with parts of the country also speaking German and Polish.

Population of the Czech Republic: The Czech Republic has a population of 10,561,633 and a population density of 137 people per square kilometer.

Climate of the Czech Republic: The Czech Republic has a cooler climate, with cold winters and warm summers with cooler nights. During the winter, cities like Prague have a temperature that averages around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, with dull and cloudy weather. The spring has unstable weather, with warm days potentially followed by frosts and snowfalls, and Vis versa.

 

Visiting the Czech Republic:

Schengen Visa Details - the Czech Republic: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter the Czech Republic for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter the Czech Republic without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into the Czech Republic: There are a few international airports in the Czech Republic:

  • Prague International Airport, in Prague
  • Brno Airport, in Brno
  • Ostrava Airport, in Ostrava
  • Karlovy Vary Airport,  in Karlovy Vary
  • Parducibe International Airport, in Parducibe

Five Largest Cities in the Czech Republic:

  • Prague - capital city of the Czech Republic, located slightly northwest in the country. Population of 1,165,581,
  • Brno - located in the southeast corner of the country. Population of 369,559.
  • Ostrava - located in the easternmost part of the country. Population of 313,088.
  • Pilsen - located in the western part of the Czech Republic. Population of 164,180,
  • Olomouc - located in the east. Population of 101,268.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in the Czech Republic: The U.S. Department of State notes that Prague has western-style medical clinics with English-speaking medical professionals. Central emergency rooms exist in most hospitals. However, due to the healthcare structure, patients are sent to specialty clinics to treat specific medical conditions. All major hospitals accept credit card or cash. The U.S. Department of State recognizes that ambulance services are on par with those in the U.S. Ambulance companies expect payment at the time of service. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 155 for rescue and first aid.

Local Laws in the Czech Republic: While traveling in the Czech Republic, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. Czech police, customs, or immigration officials can request to see your passport at any time. You may be fined if you fail to produce your passport. The Czech Republic enforces strict regulations regarding import/export of firearms, antiquities, medications, business equipment, etc. Pedestrian traffic violations, such as jaywalking, are enforced in Prague’s city center. While generally accepted in Prague, LGBTI travelers should be aware that such relations are less accepted outside of the city, and particularly less-so in small towns.

Crime in the Czech Republic: The U.S. Department of State notes that pickpocketing is problematic in major tourist areas within Prague.  Dial 158 for police, 150 for firefighters, and 112 for emergencies.

 

Denmark

Denmark

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Demographic Facts:

Danish Border Countries: Located in northern Europe, Denmark only shares a physical land border with Germany, but also connects to Sweden via bridge.  

Languages of Denmark: Danish is the official language of Denmark, but English is also spoken throughout the country.

Population of Denmark: Denmark has a population of 5,731,118 and a population density of 136 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Denmark: Denmark is cold in the winter and mild in the summer, with a generally warmer climate. It can be humid and rainy in the summer, with snow in the winters.

 

Visiting Denmark:

Schengen Visa Details - Denmark:  Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter the Denmark for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter the Denmark without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information. The Faroe Islands and Greenland are not party to the Schengen Agreement.

How to Fly into Denmark: Denmark has 3 main international airports:

  • Aarhus Airport, located just northeast of Aarhus in Tirstrup
  • Copenhagen International Airport, located southeast of Copenhagen in Kastrup
  • Esbjerg Airport, in Esbjerg

Five Largest Cities in Denmark:

  • Copenhagen - the capital of Denmark, located in the eastern part of the country. Population of 1,153,615.
  • Arhus - located in the northwestern part of the country. Population of 237, 551.
  • Odense - centrally located. Population of 145,931.
  • Aalborg - located at the northern tip of Denmark. Population of 122,219,
  • Frederiksberg - just west of Copenhagen. Population of 95,029.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Denmark: The U.S. Department of State notes that excellent medical facilities are widely available in Denmark. In the Faroe Islands and Greenland, medical facilities are limited. Emergency medical treatment is free of charge, but follow-up care is not. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Denmark: While traveling in Denmark, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  Greenland has strict laws regarding the removal of natural resources, including precious and semi-precious metals, stones, and gemstones.

Crime in Denmark: The U.S. Department of State notes that Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen is known for illicit drug activity and residents in this area have imposed a strict no-photography policy. Pickpocketing and purse snatching are popular in high-tourist areas. While in Denmark, report crimes to local police at 112.

 

Estonia

Estonia

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Demographic Facts:

Estonian Border Countries: Located in northeastern Europe, Estonia shares a border with Latvia to the south and Russia to the east.

Languages of Estonia: Estonian is the official language of Estonia, while Russian is also a common language.

Population of Estonia: Estonia has a population of 1,316,481 and a population density of 31 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Estonia: Estonia has a Baltic climate, meaning it is freezing in the winter and cool in the summers, with moderate rain. Spring is unstable, with cold weather periodically appearing up through early May. Autumn is dull and rainy, and cold weather returns quickly.

 

Visiting Estonia:

Schengen Visa Details - Estonia: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter the Estonia for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter the Estonia without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Estonia: Estonia has 4 international airports.

  • Tallinn Airport, in Estonia’s capital city
  • Tartu Airport, located just southwest of Tartu in Reola
  • Kardla Airport, in Kardla
  • Kuressaare Airport, in Kuressaare

Five Largest Cities in Estonia:

  • Tallinn - the capital of Estonia, located in the northwestern part of the country. Population of 394,024.
  • Tartu - located in the southeastern part of the country. Population of 101,092.
  • Narva - located in the northeastern-most tip of the country. Population of 66,980.
  • Parnu - located on the southwestern side of the country. Population of 39,620.
  • Kohtla-Jarve - located in the northeastern part of the country. Population of 35,187.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Estonia: The U.S. Department of State acknowledges that Estonian medical care falls short of western standards outside of larger cities. While medical professionals are highly trained, a lack of resources affects their functionality. Tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme-disease are widespread throughout the country. The CDC recommends using bug spray with 20% DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil, or IR3535. Hepatitis A and Tuberculosis are health concerns in Estonia. There is a high prevalence of HIV, with intravenous drug use being the main cause. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Estonia: While traveling in Estonia, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  Estonian law requires people to wear small reflectors during the dark winter months. Fines for violating this policy range from $50-$500 U.S. dollars.

Crime in Estonia:  The U.S. Department of State notes that, while the crime rate is relatively low in Estonia, petty crime is popular in Tallinn’s Old Town. Tourists are often targets of pickpocketing and purse-snatching. Dial 112 for emergencies.

 

Finland

Finland

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Demographic Facts:

Finnish Border Countries: Finland is a northern European country that shares a border with Norway, Sweden, and Russia.

Languages of Finland: Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of Finland, while Russian, Estonian, and English are also popular languages throughout the country.  

Population and Population Density in Finland: Finland has a population of 5,495,096 and a population density of 18 people per square kilometer.

Finnish Climate: Finland has long and cold winters, with short, mild, and rainy summers. Even in the southern parts of the country, the temperature remains below freezing from mid-November to late March. Winter is the longest season in Finland. The shortest day lasts only 6 hours.

 

Visiting Finland:

Schengen Visa Details - Finland: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Finland for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Finland without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Finland: Finland has 4 international airports:

  • Helsinki Airport, in Helsinki
  • Oulu Airport, in Oulu
  • Rovaniemi Airport, in Rovaniemi
  • Turku Airport, in Turku

Five Largest Cities in Finland:

  • Helsinki- capital of Finland, located in the southern tip of the country. Population of 558,457.
  • Espoo - located close to Helsinki. Population of 256,760.
  • Vantaa - also located close to Helsinki. Population of 190,058.
  • Turku - located in the southwestern part of the country. Population of 175,945.
  • Oulu - located in the central part of the country. Population of 128,618.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Finland: Medical care in Finland is generally excellent and widely available for emergency services. English is often spoken by medical professionals. While most hospitals honor foreign credit cards, cash may be expected. The U.S. Department of State explains that local medical centers, clinics, and first aid stations are located at hospitals. It also recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 112 for emergency services in Finland.

Local Laws in Finland: While traveling in Finland, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  

Crime in Finland:  The U.S. Department of State notes that violent crime in Finland is rare. However, petty theft and pickpocketing are prevalent. Organized crime groups operating in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe are also present in Finland. Report crimes by dialing 112.

  

France

France
 
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Demographic Facts:

French Border Countries: Located in Western Europe, France shares a border with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Languages of France: French is the official language of France, while English, German, and Italian are popular foreign languages spoken in the country.    

Population and Population Density in France: France has a population of 66,896,109 and a population density of 122 people per square kilometer.

French Climate: France has 3 distinct climates. There is an oceanic climate with cool summers and winters on the western and northern coasts. Paris, central, and eastern regions have a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. There is a Mediterranean climate along the southern coast, with mild winters and warm summers. Mountainous regions throughout the country generally experience colder weather.

 

Visiting France:

Schengen Visa Details - France: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter France for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter France without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas.

How to Fly into France: France houses a large number of international airports:

  • Paris Charles de Gaulle, in Paris
  • Paris Orly Airport, in Paris
  • Nice Cote d’Azur Airport, in Nice
  • Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport, in Lyon
  • Marseille Provence Airport, in Marseille

Five Largest Cities in France:

  • Paris - French capital, located in the northern part of France. Population of 2,138,551.
  • Marseille - located in the southeastern part of the country. Population of 794,811.
  • Lyon - located in eastern part of the country. Population of 472,317.
  • Toulouse - located in the southwestern part of the country. Population of 433,055
  • Nice - located in the southeastern tip of the country. Population of 338,620.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in France: Medical care in France is comparable to that found in the U.S. The U.S. Department of State acknowledges that you may be required to pay for service prior to receiving treatment, except for emergency services. You may be denied routine care if you lack the ability to pay. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas.  Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription

Local Laws in France: While traveling in France, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  In France, there are severe penalties relating to possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs.

Crime in France: Foreign visitors are often targets of pickpocketing and other forms of theft. The U.S. Department of State recognizes that there are high incidences of smash-and-grab robberies in economically-depressed areas, as well as in heavily-traveled thoroughfares. In France, report local crimes to 112. In Monaco, dial 17 for police.

 

Germany

Germany

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Demographic Facts:

German Border Countries: A western European country, Germany shares a border with Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

Languages of Germany: German is the official langue of Germany, while English is also a popular foreign language.    

Population of Germany: Germany has a population of 82,667,685 and a population density of 237 people per square kilometer.

Climate in Germany: Germany has a continental climate, meaning cold winters and warm summers. The northern part of the country is subject to more rain and wind. There are mountainous climates in the Alps along the southern border of Germany.

 

Visiting Germany:

Schengen Visa Details - Germany: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Germany for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Germany without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Germany: Germany has a few major international airports:

  • Berlin Airport, in Berlin
  • Dusseldorf Airport, in Dusseldorf
  • Franz Josef Strauss Airport, in Munich
  • Frankfurt Airport, in Frankfurt

Five Largest Cities in Germany:

  • Berlin - German capital, located in the northeastern part of the country. Population of 3,426,354.
  • Hamburg - located in the northern tip of Germany. Population of 1,739,117.
  • Munich - located in the southeastern part of the country. Population of 1,260,391.
  • Cologne - located in the western part of the country. Population of 963,395.
  • Frankfurt - located in the southwestern part of Germany. Population of 650,000.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Germany:  While Germany has high-quality medical care and facilities, hospitals may expect immediate payment in cash to provide service to foreign travelers. Most hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies do not accept credit cards. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 112 for an ambulance.

Local Laws in Germany: While traveling in Germany, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  Germany has strict regulations regarding temporary importation or exportation of firearms, military artifacts (especially those of World War II), antiquities, medications, and business equipment. In Germany, it is illegal to bring in or take out any literature, music, or paraphernalia that glorifies fascism, the Nazi past, or the “Third Reich.” 

Crime in Germany: While violent crime in Germany is rare, it has a higher risk of occurring in larger cities or high-risk areas such as subway systems and train stations. Pickpocketing is common. There have been incidences where “skinheads” have harassed foreigners after believing they were members of a rival group. There have been some racially-motivated assaults against “foreign appearing" U.S. citizens. Report crimes to 110.

 

Greece

Greece

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Demographic Facts:

Greek Border Countries: Greece is a southeastern European country that shares borders with Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey.

Languages of Greece: Greek is the official language of Greece, while Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian are popular minority languages. English is widely spoken throughout the country.

Population of Greece: Greece has a population of 10,746,740 and a population density of 83 people per square kilometer.

Greek Climate: Greece has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. Northern cities can experience a more continental climate, with colder winters. The northern, mountainous areas have cold and snowy winters, with mild summers.

 

Visiting Greece:

Schengen Visa Details - Greece: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Greece for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Greece without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Greece: There are two main international airports in Greece:

  • Athens Airport, in Athens
  • Thessaloniki Airport, in Thessaloniki

Five Largest Cities in Greece:

  • Athens – Greek capital, located in the southeastern part of the country. Population of 664,046.
  • Thessaloniki - located in the northeastern part of the country. Population of 354,290.
  • Patras - located in the southwestern part of the country. Population of 168,034.
  • Piraeus - located just west of Athens. Population of 163,688.
  • Peristeri - located slightly northwest of Athens. Population of 139,981.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Greece:  Greece offers adequate medical care. Some private hospitals are affiliated with U.S. facilities and have high-quality care. However, the economic crisis has led to the degradation of the quality of services. In Greece, private hospitals require proof of insurance or cash before admitting a patient. Staff can oftentimes speak little or no English. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Please be aware that forest fires are common during the dry summer months. Greece also experiences tremors and earthquakes.

Local Laws in Greece: While traveling in Greece, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." Police may detain you if you fail to provide proper identification. If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  Mace and pepper spray are illegal in Greece. Greece also has strict regulations regarding the exportation of antiquities, including rocks from archeological sites. The U.S. Department of State advises not to remove anything, no matter how small, from historical or archeological sites, as well as not to purchase protected antiquities.

Crime in Greece: Common tourist-targeted crimes, such as pickpocketing and purse-snatching, occur at popular tourist areas and on public transportation. Report crime to local police at 112 (for emergencies) or 100.

 

Hungary:

Hungary

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Demographic Facts:

Hungarian Border Countries: Located in central Europe, Hungary is bordered by Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, and Serbia.

Languages of Hungary: Hungarian is the official language of Hungary, while English and German are also popular in the region.

Population of Hungary: Hungary has a population of 9,817,958 and a population density of 108 people per square kilometer.

Hungarian Climate:  Hungary has a continental climate. Given its location in central Europe, Hungary has cold winters and warm summers. Spring and autumn are mild, with frequent changes in temperature.

 

Visiting Hungary:

Schengen Visa Details - Hungary: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Hungary for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Hungary without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Hungary: There are 3 main international airports in Hungary:

  • Lizst Ferenc International Airport, in Budapest
  • Pecs Pogany Airport, in Pecs
  • Debrecen Airport, in Debrecen

Five Largest Cities in Hungary:

  • Budapest - capital of Hungary, located in the northern part of Hungary. Population of 1,741,041.
  • Debrecen - located in the northeastern part of Hungary. Population of 204,124.
  • Miskolc – located in the northeastern part of the country. Population of 172,637.
  • Szeged - located in the southeastern part of the country. Population of 164,883.
  • Pecs - located in the southwestern part of Hungary. Population of 156,649.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Hungary:  Hungary has well-trained medical professionals who mostly speak English. The U.S. Department of State notes that adequate medical care is available to address most health concerns, but the quality of facilities and support may not be up to western standards. The U.S. Department of State also recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas.  Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Hungary: While traveling in Hungary, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. 

Crime in Hungary: In Hungary, extreme ethnic nationalist groups have gained popularity advocating intolerance towards Jews, Roma, and LGBTI persons. Pickpocketing is prevalent on trains between Budapest and Vienna. Report crimes and contact local police by dialing 107 or 112.

 

Iceland 

Demographic Facts:

Icelandic Border Countries: Iceland is an island, and therefore shares no physical borders with other countries.

Languages of Iceland: Icelandic is the official language of Iceland, while Polish, English, and Danish are also popular on the island.   

Population of Iceland: Iceland has a population of 334,252 and a population density of 3 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Iceland:  Iceland has a cold and windy climate. Coastal influences translate into unpredictable weather, with sudden changes in temperature (within a limited range). Snow falls about 100 days of the year in the northwestern part of the country, and 40 days of the year in the southeastern part.

 

Visiting Iceland:

Schengen Visa Details - Iceland: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Iceland for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Iceland without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Iceland: Visitors can access Iceland by flying into 4 international airports:

  • Reykjavik Airport, in Reykjavik
  • Keflavik International Airport, in Keflavik
  • Akureyri Airport, in Akureyri
  • Egilsstadir Airport, in Egilsstadir

Five Largest Cities in Iceland:

  • Reykjavik - capital of Iceland, located in the southwestern part of the country. Population of 118,918.
  • Kopavogur - located slightly southwest of Reykjavik. Population of 31,719
  • Hafnarfjoerdur - located southwest of Kopavogur. Population of 26,808.
  • Akureyri - located in the northern part of the country. Population of 17,693.
  • Gardabaer - located west of Reykjavik. Population of 11,421.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Iceland:  While medical care in Iceland is high quality, it is limited outside of large cities. Visitors to the island are expected to pay for their medical expenses in full before leaving the hospital or clinic.  The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 112 for emergency medical assistance. The Icelandic Red Cross has a 24-hour helpline for people dealing with grief, fear, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts, and can be reached at 1717.

Local Laws in Iceland: While traveling in Iceland, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  While whale products are available throughout Iceland, it is illegal to bring them back to the U.S. Importation of these goods can result in criminal prosecution, jail time, or fines of up to $10,000.

Crime in Iceland:  Iceland has a low crime rate, as noted by the U.S. Department of State. Dial 112 for local police.

 

Italy

Italy

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Demographic Facts:

Italian Border Countries: Italy is a southern European country, and shares borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia.

Languages of Italy: Italian is the official language of Italy. French, German, Slovene, and Sardinian are also popular languages.     

Population of Italy: Italy has a population of 60,600,590 and a population density of 206 people per square kilometer.

Italian Climate: There are 4 types of climates in Italy:

  • continental climate in the north
  • cold and mountainous climate in the Alps, along the northern border
  • Mediterranean climate along the coasts and islands
  • cool and windy climate in the Apennine Mountains in central Italy

 

Visiting Italy:

Schengen Visa Details - Italy: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Italy for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Italy without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Italy: There are quite a few international airports in Italy:

  • Leonardo da Vince Airport, in Rome
  • Milan Malpensa Airport , in Milan
  • Milan Linate Airport, in Milan
  • Bergamo Airport, in Venice
  • Naples Airport, in Naples
  • Pisa International Airport, in Tuscany
  • Florence Peretola Airport, in Florence
  • Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport, in Genoa

Five Largest Cities in Italy:

  • Rome – Italy’s capital, located in central part of the country. Population of 2,318,895.
  • Milan - located in the northwestern part of the country. Population of 1,236,837
  • Naples - located towards the southwestern part of the country. Population of 959,470.
  • Turin - located in the northwestern tip of the country. Population of 870,456.
  • Palermo - located in the southwestern tip of the country. Population of 648,260

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Italy:  While medical facilities are available, they can be limited outside of urban areas. Public hospitals are generally free of charge for emergency services, but may not be at the same standards as hospitals in the U.S. Private hospitals require payment up front. The U.S. Department of State notes that it is not possible to obtain an itemized hospital bill from public hospitals in Italy. It also shares that in parts of southern Italy, burning garbage has led to toxic emissions that can affect respiratory problems. Be sure to double check if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Italy: While traveling in Italy, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. 

Crime in Italy:  Italy has experienced politically-motivated violence connected to social issues. The U.S. Department of State claims that Italy has a moderate rate of crime, mostly relating to theft and economic crimes – not violent crimes. Tourists in Italy can be fined for buying counterfeit goods. If you do not validate train, metro, or bus tickets prior to boarding, you can be charged a fine and be expected to pay on the spot. Failure to do so will result in the doubling of the fine.  Thieves often impersonate police officers – if you are stopped by a plainclothes policeman, ask for a uniformed officer or insist on seeing an officer’s identification card. Report crimes by dialing 112.

 

Latvia

Latvia

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Demographic Facts:

Latvian Border Countries: Located in northeastern Europe, Latvia sits between Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, and Russia to the east.

Languages of Latvia: Latvian is the official language of Latvia, with Russia as a popular language throughout the country.       

Population of Latvia: Latvia has a population of 1,960,424 and a population density of 32 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Latvia: Latvia’s climate is freezing in the winter and mild and rainy in the summer. There are only around 30 – 40 days of sunshine annually. Latvia can be humid and windy.

 

Visiting Latvia:

Schengen Visa Details - Latvia: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Latvia for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Latvia without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Latvia: There are 3 international airports in Latvia:

  • Riga International Airport, in Riga
  • Ventspils International Airport, in Ventspils
  • Liepaja International Airport, in Liepaja

Five Largest Cities in Latvia:

  • Riga - capital of Latvia, located in the western part of the country. Population of 742,572.
  • Daugavpils - located in the southern tip of the country. Population of 111,564 and is.
  • Liepaja - located at the southwestern tip of the country. Population of 85,260.
  • Jelgava - located southwest of Riga. Population of 61,791
  • Jurmala - located just west of Riga. Population of 54,088.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Latvia:  The U.S. Department of State recognizes that Latvian medical care is not on par with western standards. While there are highly-trained medical professionals, hospitals and clinics are affected by a lack of resources and equipment. There are a few private clinics with medical care that does meet western standards. Payment is expected upon admission at private hospitals. Tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease are widespread. There are vaccinations for tick-borne encephalitis, but they are not available within the U.S. The CDC recommends using bug spray with 20% DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Hepatitis A is a concern in Latvia, as is Tuberculosis. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 113 for ambulance services.

Local Laws in Latvia: While traveling in Latvia, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  While societal attitudes are slowly improving, there has historically been widespread intolerance against LGBTI people.

Crime in Latvia:  You are required to wear small reflectors on clothing during the dark winter months. The U.S. Department of State outlines the most common crimes against foreigners as purse snatching and pickpocketing. Popularly targeted places are Riga’s Old Town, the Central Train Station, the Central Bus Station, and the Central Market. Dial 112 for police or firefighters.

 

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein

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Demographic Facts:

Border Countries of Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein is a small, central European country that shares a border with Switzerland and Austria.

Languages of Liechtenstein: German is the official language of Liechtenstein. Swiss, German, Alemannic, English, and Walser are other languages spoken in the country.        

Population of Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein has a population of 37,666 and a population density of 235 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. There is an alpine climate in mountainous regions.

 

Visiting Liechtenstein:

Schengen Visa Details - Liechtenstein:  Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Liechtenstein for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Liechtenstein without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Swiss visa requirements apply to travelers staying in Liechtenstein.

How to Fly into Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein does not have its own international airport. The closest international airports are:

  • Zurich-Kloten Airport, in Switzerland
  • Gallen-Altenrhein Airport, in Switzerland
  • Friedrichschafen Airport, in Germany

Five Largest Cities in Liechtenstein:

  • Schaan - located towards the northwest. Population of 5,748.
  • Vaduz - capital of Liechtenstein, located on the western edge of the country. Population of 5,197.
  • Triesen - located towards the southwest of the country. Population of 4,701.
  • Balzers - located in the southwestern tip of the country. Population of 4,447.
  • Eschen - located in the northwestern part of the country. Population of 4,008

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Liechtenstein:  Medical care in Liechtenstein is widely available. Payment in the form of cash is often required at the time of service. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 118 for fire services, 114 for health emergencies, or 112 for general emergencies.

Local Laws in Liechtenstein: While traveling in Liechtenstein, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. 

Crime in Liechtenstein:  Report crimes in Liechtenstein to 117.

 

Lithuania

Lithuania

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Demographic Facts:

Lithuanian Border Countries: Lithuania is a northeastern European country that shares a border with Latvia, Belarus, Poland, and Russia.

Languages of Lithuania: Lithuanian is the official language of Lithuania. Given its surrounding countries, Russian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and English are other languages spoken within the country.          

Population of Lithuania: Lithuania has a population of 2,872,298 and a population density of 46 people per square kilometer.

Lithuanian Climate: Lithuania’s climate is transitional between the maritime climate of Western Europe and the eastern European continental climate. Lithuania has cold winters, with mild and rainy summers.

 

Visiting Lithuania:

Schengen Visa Details - Lithuania: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Lithuania for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Lithuania without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Lithuania: There are 4 international airports in Lithuania:

  • Vilnius Airport, in Vilnius
  • Kaunas Airport, in Kaunas
  • Palanga International Airport, in Palanga
  • Siauliai International Airport, in Siauliai

Five Largest Cities in Lithuania:  

  • Vilnius - capital of Lithuania, located in the southeastern corner of the country. Population of 542,366.
  • Kaunas - centrally located within the country. Population of 364,643.
  • Klaipeda - located in the northwestern corner of the country. Population of 192,307.
  • Siauliai - northern location. Population of 130,587
  • Panevezys - located in the northeastern part of Lithuania. Population of 117,395

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Lithuania:  Medical facilities in Lithuania may be limited outside of larger cities, and they do not always meet Western standards. Payment is expected upon admission to private hospitals in Lithuania. Tick-borne encephalitis, Lyme disease, and rabies are prevalent. Sexually-transmitted diseases are a growing health concern. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 118 for fire services, 114 for health emergencies, or 112 for general emergencies.

Local Laws in Lithuania: While traveling in Lithuania, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  There are heavy penalties relating to the use, possession, and trafficking of illegal drugs in Lithuania. Driving under the influence is a serious offense with hefty penalties. There are strict regulations regarding the temporary importation and exportation of firearms and antiquities.

Crime in Lithuania: The U.S. Department of State notes that foreigners, ethnic minorities, and LGBTI persons have been subject to robberies and racially-motivated harassment. Petty crimes such as pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in popular tourist areas. Report crime to 112.

 

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

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Demographic Facts:

Luxembourg Border Countries: Luxembourg is a western European country that shares a border with Belgium, Germany, and France.   

Languages of Luxembourg: Luxembourgish is the official language of Luxembourg. Given its border countries, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, and English are also popular throughout the country.            

Population of Luxembourg: Luxembourg has a population of 582,972 and a population density of 225 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Luxembourg: Luxembourg is rainy with a relatively mild climate. The northern part of the country is colder and more humid than the southern part. There are cold winters and mild summers in Luxembourg.

 

Visiting Luxembourg:

Schengen Visa Details - Luxembourg: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Luxembourg for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Luxembourg without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Luxembourg: The Luxembourg-Findel International Airport, located in Findel, is the only international airport in Luxembourg.

Five Largest Cities in Luxembourg:  

  • Luxembourg City - capital of Luxembourg, located in the southern part of the country. Population of 76,684.
  • Esch-sur-Alzette - located in the southwestern tip of the country. Population of 28,228.
  • Dudelange - located in the southern tip of the country. Population of 18,013.
  • Schifflange - located northeast of Esch-sur-Alzette. Population of 8,155.
  • Bettembourg - located just northeast of Schifflange. Population of 7,437.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Luxembourg:  Medical facilities are widely available, and pharmacies can be found throughout the country. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 118 for fire services, 114 for health emergencies, or 112 for general emergencies.

Local Laws in Luxembourg: While traveling in Luxembourg, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.   

Crime in Luxembourg:  The U.S. Department of State acknowledges that theft often occurs on the trains to and from Brussels. Home burglaries are increasing, especially during the holiday time when local residents are likely to be on vacation. Low-level drug vending has also increased. The U.S. Department of State recognizes that petty crime spikes during “Schueberfouer,” a three-week fair held in Luxembourg City every summer. Report crimes by dialing 113 for police.

 

Malta

Malta

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Demographic Facts:

Malta Border Countries: Malta is a small island off the coast of Italy, and therefore shares no physical land borders with any of the Schengen states.     

Languages of Malta: Maltese and English are the two official languages, but Italian is also popular on the island.              

Population of Malta: Malta has a population of 436,947 and a population density of 1,365 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Malta: Malta has a Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. Most of the annual rainfall in Malta occurs between October and March, while June, July, and August are quite dry.

 

Visiting Malta:

Schengen Visa Details - Malta: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Malta for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Malta without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Malta: The Malta International Airport, located between Luqa and Gudja, is the only international airport on the island of Malta.

Five Largest Cities in Malta:  

  • Birkirkara - located on the southeastern part of the island. Population of 21,676.
  • Qormi - located just south of Birkirkara. Population of 18,230.
  • Mosta - located northwest of Birkirkara. Population of 17,789.
  • Zabbar - located in the southeastern tip of the island. Population of 15,030.
  • Paul’s Bay - located on the northeastern part of the country. Population of 14,057
  • Valletta – capital city of Malta. Population of 6,098.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Malta:  In Malta, medical care is available from private and government clinics and hospitals. The U.S. Department of State notes that customer service and communication standards are lower, and there may be long wait times for non-urgent care. It further recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 112 for medical emergencies.

Local Laws in Malta: While traveling in Malta, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. Malta has lengthy criminal proceedings. 

The U.S. Department of State highlights that the laws on the rights of arrestees are different in Malta – most importantly, contacting a lawyer removes the right to remain silent. Malta has severe penalties relating to use, possession, or trafficking of illegal drugs. Malta also has strict regulations regarding currency restrictions and the importation and exportation of firearms, antiquities, or anything with a resale value.

Crime in Malta: The U.S. Department of State expresses that simple assault, pickpocketing, and petty theft are the most common crimes in Malta. Incidents are focused in areas frequented by tourists. Precaution should be taken in the Paceville nightclub area – excessive drinking and poor crowd control can lead to violence. Report crime to 112.

 

Netherlands

Demographic Facts:

Border Countries of the Netherlands: The Netherlands is a northwestern European country that shares a border with Belgium and Germany.

Languages of the Netherlands: Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, while English, French, and German are also spoken within the country.                

Population of the Netherlands: The Netherlands has a population of 17,018,408 and a population density of 505 people per square kilometer.

Climate of the Netherlands: The Netherlands has a temperate climate, with gentle winters, cool summers, and rain occurring in almost every season. It is generally cool, cloudy, and humid.

 

Visiting the Netherlands:

Schengen Visa Details - the Netherlands: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter the Netherlands for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter the Netherlands without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas.

How to Fly into the Netherlands: There are four ways to fly into the Netherlands:

  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, in Amsterdam
  • Eindhoven Airport, in Eindhoven
  • Rotterdam The Hague Airport, in Rotterdam
  • Maastricht Aachen Airport, in Beek

Five Largest Cities in the Netherlands:

  • Amsterdam – the Netherland’s capital, located in the western part of the country. Population of 741,636
  • Rotterdam - southwestern location. Population of 598,199
  • The Hague - located southwest of Amsterdam. Population of 474,292.
  • Utrecht - located southeast of Amsterdam. Population of 290,529.
  • Eindhoven - located in the southern tip of the Netherlands. Population of 209,620.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in the Netherlands: Good medical facilities and pharmacies are widely available throughout the Netherlands. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in the Netherlands: While traveling in the Netherlands, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. The U.S. Department of State also highlights that, “despite common misperceptions, marijuana and hashish are controlled substances in the Netherlands, and although not enforced in defined tourist areas, possession is a crime that can result in a fine.”  It is illegal to take any controlled substance, such as marijuana, into or out of the Netherlands.

Crime in the Netherlands:  The Netherlands has a low rate of violent crime, but tourists are often the targets of pickpocketing, purse snatching, and other petty crimes – especially in train, tram, and metro stations in city centers. Petty criminals also prey on tourists in Dutch “coffeeshops.” Report crimes to 112.

 

Norway

Norway

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Demographic Facts:

Norwegian Border Countries: Norway is a northern European country that shares a border with Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

Languages of Norway:  Norwegian is the official language of Norway, while English is a popular foreign language in the country.

Population of Norway: Norway has a population of 5,232,929 and a population density of 14 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Norway:  Norway has a warmer climate than you might expect from its northern location. Due to its proximity to water, western Norway has a milder climate with cool summers and mild winters. The region experiences an average 90 inches of precipitation each year. Eastern Norway, sheltered by mountains, has warm summers, cold winters, and significantly less annual precipitation.

 

Visiting Norway:

Schengen Visa Details - Norway: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Norway for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Norway without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Norway: Norway has a large number of international airports:

  • Oslo Airport, in Oslo
  • Bergen Airport, in Bergen
  • Stavanger Airport, in Sola
  • Tromso Airport, in Tromso
  • Trondheim Airport, in Trondheim
  • Alesund Airport, in Alesund
  • Haugesund Airport, in Karmoy
  • Sandefjord Airport, in Sandefjord

Five Largest Cities in Norway:

  • Oslo - capital city, located in the southeastern tip of the country. Population of 580,000.
  • Bergen - located in the southwestern part of Norway. Population of 213,585.
  • Trondheim - southern location. Population of 147,139.
  • Stavanger - located at the southwestern end of the country. Population of 121,610
  • Drammen - located just southwest of Oslo. Population of 90,722.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Norway:  Medical facilities are widely available and high quality, but can be limited outside of larger urban areas. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas, and always carrying the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Norway: While traveling in Norway, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately.  The U.S. Department of State brings attention to the fact that the Svalbard Archipelago is not part of the Schengen Agreement, and therefore a passport is needed to enter. The Svalbard Archipelago presents life-threatening dangers to travelers, such as extreme weather conditions, limited transportation infrastructure, limited medical facilities and resources, animal attacks, and boating incidents relating to unpredictable weather and ocean conditions.

Crime in Norway: Norway has a low level of crime. The most common crime is petty theft, especially in the metropolitan area of Oslo. Pickpocketing and petty theft occur in major tourist areas and train/transit stations. There are some areas in eastern Oslo known for drug trafficking and gang problems. Dial 02 800 for the police.

 

Poland

Poland

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Demographic Facts:

Polish Border Countries: Poland is an eastern European country that shares borders with Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.   

Languages of Poland:  Polish is the official language of Poland, but Belarusian, Ukrainian, and German are other languages spoken in the country.   

Population of Poland: Poland has a population of 5,232,929 and a population density of 124 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Poland:  Poland has a continental climate that is milder along the northern coast. Overall, Poland has very cold winters and warm summers.

 

Visiting Poland:

Schengen Visa Details - Poland: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Poland for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Poland without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Poland: You can access Poland by flying into the Frederic Chopin Airport in Warsaw.

Five Largest Cities in Poland:

  • Warsaw - capital of Poland, located slightly east of the center of the country. Population of 1,702,139.
  • Lodz - located in in the central part of Poland. Population of 768,755.
  • Krakow - southern location. Population of 755,050.
  • Wroclaw - located in the southwestern part of the country. Population of 634,893.
  • Poznan - located in the western part of Poland. Population of 570,352.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Poland: The U.S. Department of State identifies Polish medical care as adequate, with the quality of hospitals and nursing support below U.S. standards. Emergency services can be lacking outside of larger cities and urban areas. However, physicians are relatively well-trained and younger medical professionals often speak English. Doctors and hospitals expect cash payment prior to treatment. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Poland: While traveling in Poland, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. In Poland, taking pictures of military buildings and other national security objects is illegal. Penalties in Poland for using, possessing, or trafficking illegal drugs are severe. Poland has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol. Local Polish police can request identification at any time.

Crime in Poland:  Major cities in Poland have the highest rates of crime in Poland. The overall crime rate is low.  Report crimes to 112.

 

Portugal

Portugal

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Demographic Facts:

Portuguese Border Countries: Portugal shares a border with Spain.

Languages of Portugal:  Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. Spanish, English, and French are also popular throughout the country.     

Population of Portugal: Portugal has a population of 10,324,611 and a population density of 113 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Portugal:  Portugal has a temperate climate. In the northern parts of the country, the climate is cool and rainy, with the country becoming gradually warmer and sunnier as you move south. The southernmost part of the country has a dry and sunny climate.

 

Visiting Portugal:

Schengen Visa Details - Portugal: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Portugal for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Portugal without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Portugal: There are 5 international airports:

  • Lisbon Airport, in Lisbon
  • Porto Airport, in Porto
  • Faro Airport, in Faro
  • Madeira Airport, in Madeira
  • Azores Airports, in Azores

Five Largest Cities in Portugal:

  • Lisbon - nation’s capital, located in the southwestern part of the country. Population of 517,802.
  • Porto - located in the northwestern part of Portugal. Population of 249,633.
  • Amadora - located just northwest of Lisbon. Population of 178,858.
  • Braga - northwestern location. Population of 121,394.
  • Setubal - located just southeast of Lisbon. Population of 117,110.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Portugal:  Good medical care is available in Portugal, but it may be limited outside of urban areas. Public hospitals are often cheaper than private hospitals. Payment is expected upon admission to private hospitals. Dial 112 for ambulance services and emergencies – but beware that responsiveness of emergency services in Portugal is not up to U.S. standards, according to the U.S. Department of State. The Department of State further recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas and always carrying the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Also note that Portugal is an earthquake zone and is at risk for tsunamis.

Local Laws in Portugal: While traveling in Portugal, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. Filming or photographing police or military buildings in Portugal is illegal. Driving under the influence can land you immediately in jail. In Portugal, possession or use of narcotic drugs means you could face mandatory drug treatment. Other penalties for trafficking illegal drugs are severe. Pepper spray is also illegal in Portugal.

Crime in Portugal: Petty crimes like pickpocketing and purse snatching are common at popular tourist sites. Drug vending increases at night and travelers have been approached by drug dealers.  Dial 112 for police.

 

Slovakia

Demographic Facts:

Slovakian Border Countries: Slovakia is a central European country that shares borders with Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and Ukraine.

Languages of Slovakia: Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, but given its many border countries, Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, German, and English are also spoken in the country.       

Population of Slovakia: Slovakia has a population of 5,428,704 and a population density of 113 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Slovakia:  Slovakia has a continental climate in the plains, with a colder climate in the mountainous regions of the country. There are cold winters and warm summers in Slovakia. Precipitation occurs throughout the year, though it is most abundant during late spring and summer.

 

Visiting Slovakia:

Schengen Visa Details - Slovakia: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Slovakia for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Slovakia without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Slovakia: There are 4 international airports in Slovakia:

  • Bratislava Airport, in Bratislava
  • Kosice Airport, in Kosice
  • Poprad-Tatry Airport, in Poprad
  • Silac Airport, in Silac

Five Largest Cities in Slovakia:

  • Bratislava - capital city of Slovakia, located in the southwestern part of the country. Population of 423,737.
  • Kosice - located in the southeastern part of Slovakia. Population of 236,563.
  • Presov - located north of Kosice. Population of 94,718.
  • Nitra - located northeast of Bratislava. Population of 86,329.
  • ZIlina – located in the northern part of Slovakia. Population of 85,985.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Slovakia:  The U.S. Department of State notes that the quality and availability of medical facilities varies throughout Slovakia. A limited number of doctors speak English. Medical emergencies are treated at four main hospitals in Bratislava: Petrzalka, Kramare, Rusinov, and Old Town. Children’s emergencies are handled at Bratislava’s Children’s University Hospital. Doctors, hospitals, and ambulance services expect cash payments. A tick-borne encephalitis vaccine is recommended. However, they are not available in the U.S. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Slovakia: While traveling in Slovakia, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. Slovakia has a blood alcohol tolerance level of zero percent. Driving under the influence can land you in jail. It is illegal in Slovakia to take photos of security or military installations. If traveling over the age of 15, you must carry your passport with you at all times. There are strict regulations regarding temporary import and export of firearms, antiquities, medications, and business equipment in Slovakia. Same-sex marriage is banned in Slovakia. Same-sex unions are not recognized in the country.

Crime in Slovakia: The U.S. Department of State claims crime is low in Slovakia. Street crimes against tourists occur in popular tourist areas. There have been incidents of racially-motivated harassment against non-Caucasian foreigners. Slovakia has well-established domestic and foreign criminal organizations. Dial 112 for police.

 

Slovenia

Demographic Facts:

Slovenian Border Countries: Slovenia is a central European country that shares a border with Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia.

Languages of Slovenia: Slovene is the official language of Slovenia. Italian, Hungarian, English, and German are also popular in Slovenia.         

Population of Slovenia: Slovenia has a population of 2,064,845 and a population density of 103 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Slovenia:  Slovenia can be divided into 2 distinct climates. There is a transitional climate in the western part of the country, with hotter temperatures during the summer months and milder winters. The rest of the country experiences a continental climate. There are cooler summers in the central and northern parts of Slovenia. Summers are gradually warmer farther east. The continental climate also means colder winters with regular below-freezing temperatures. Rain is abundant in western Slovenia.  

 

Visiting Slovenia:

Schengen Visa Details - Slovenia: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Slovenia for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Slovenia without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Slovenia:  The Jože Pučnik Airport, or the Ljubljana Airport, located in Ljubljana, is the main international airport in Slovenia.

Five Largest Cities in Slovenia: 

  • Ljubljana - capital of Slovenia, central location in the country. Population of 272,220.
  • Maribor - located in the northeast corner of Slovenia. Population of 95,171.
  • Celje - located in the northeast. Population of 37,520.
  • Kranj - located northwest of Ljubljana. Population of 36,874.
  • Kranj Velenje - located northwest of Celje. Population of 25,456.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Slovenia:  Adequate medical care is readily available in Slovenia. The U.S. Embassy’s website contains a list of English-speaking physicians and 24-hour pharmacies. The U.S. Department of State recommends a vaccine for tick-borne encephalitis if staying in Slovenia for longer than 3 months. The vaccine is available in Slovenia. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas.  Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 112 for medical emergencies.

Local Laws in Slovenia: While traveling in Slovenia, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. Penalties for using, possessing, or trafficking illegal drugs in Slovenia are severe. Buying counterfeit or pirated goods may break the law in Slovenia. Slovenian laws allow inspectors to request a receipt of purchase before exiting a business, so always ensure you receive a receipt before leaving. There are strict regulations regarding the import, export, and use of firearms in Slovenia.

Crime in Slovenia:  Vehicle break-in and theft is a problem in Slovenia. “Gentlemen’s clubs” in Slovenia have been known to inflate bar bills for foreign tourists, as well as threaten those who refuse to pay. Sexual assaults can occur at nightclubs in Slovenia. Report crime by dialing 113.

 

Spain

Spain

Credit: @cpazto

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVAO6HLhlot/

 

 

Demographic Facts:

Spanish Border Countries: Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain shares a border with France and Portugal.

Languages of Spain: Spanish is the official language of Spain. English, German, and French are also popular in Spain.

Population of Spain:  Spain has a population 46,443,959 and a population density of 93 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Spain:  Spain has a few climates. On the Atlantic coast, it is cool, humid, and rainy. In the central plateau, it is arid with cold winters and hot summers. The southern and eastern coast experience a mild and sunny Mediterranean climate. In the Pyrenees and Sierras, there is a mountainous climate that gets colder at higher altitudes. Finally, there is an almost African climate in Andalusia, with mild winters and very hot summers.

 

Visiting Spain:

Schengen Visa Details - Spain: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Spain for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Spain without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Spain:  Spain has a couple of major international airports:

  • Madrid Barajas Airport, in Madrid
  • Barcelona Airport, in Barcelona
  • Palma de Mallorca Airport, in Palma
  • Malaga-Costa Del Sol Airport, in between Málaga and Torremolinos
  • Gran Canaria Airport, in Gran Canaria

Five Largest Cities in Spain: 

  • Madrid – capital city of Spain, located in the center of the country. Population of 3,255,944.
  • Barcelona - located on the northeastern tip of the country. Population of 1,621,537.
  • Valencia - located on the western coast of Spain. Population of 814,208.
  • Seville - located in the southwestern part of Spain. Population of 703,206.
  • Zaragoza - located in the northeastern part of the country. Population of 674,317.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Spain:  Good medical care is available in Spain. Spanish regulations do not permit the international shipment of medication – do not ship medication to Spain.  The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Local Laws in Spain: While traveling in Spain, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. Penalties for using, possessing, and trafficking illegal drugs in Spain are severe. Most cities in Spain have banned the consumption of alcohol in the street. Driving under the influence can land you in jail. Police in Spain can request identification, so carry your passport or a copy of your passport with you at all times.

Crime in Spain: Street crimes against tourists occur in popular tourist areas. Madrid and Barcelona report frequent incidences of pickpocketing and mugging. Report crime to police at 112.

 

Sweden

Demographic Facts:

Swedish Border Countries: Sweden is a northern country that borders Norway, Finland, and Denmark.   

Languages of Sweden: Swedish is the official language of Sweden. Sami, Finnish, German, and English are also spoken in the country.

Population of Sweden:  Sweden has a population 9,903,122 and a population density of 24 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Sweden:  There are varying climates throughout Sweden. Fifteen percent of the country exists north of the Arctic Circle. In these areas, May to mid-July has around-the-clock sunlight. However, even in southern part of the country where Stockholm is located, sunlight lasts for the majority of the day. Conversely, there are only about 5.5 hours of daylight in the winter. There is a semi-continental climate along the northern and central coasts. These areas experience colder winters and warmer summers. The climate is much colder in the mountainous regions of the country. It snows in the winters and rains during the summers and autumns.

 

Visiting Sweden:

Schengen Visa Details - Sweden: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Sweden for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Sweden without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas.

How to Fly into Sweden: There are 3 international airports in Sweden:

  • Stockholm Arlanda Airport, in Martsa
  • Gothenburg Airport, in Gothenburg
  • Malmo Sturup Airport, in Malmo

Five Largest Cities in Sweden: 

  • Stockholm - capital of Sweden, located in the southeastern part of the country. Population of 1,253,309.
  • Gothenburg - located in the southwestern part of Sweden. Population of 504,084.
  • Malmo - located in the southern tip of Sweden. Population of 261,548.
  • Uppsala – located just northwest of Stockholm. Population of 127,734.
  • Vasteras - located west of Stockholm. Population of 107,194.

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Sweden:  Medical care in Sweden is comparable to that found in the U.S. Non-residents of Sweden are expected to pay for medical costs in full. Passports must be presented when visiting a local medical center or clinic. There are strict regulations regarding the shipment of drugs to Sweden. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Dial 112 for medical emergencies.

Local Laws in Sweden: While traveling in Sweden, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. There is no bail system in Sweden, so arrest means you are held in custody until the trial is complete.

Crime in Sweden:  Sweden has a low crime rate, as noted by the U.S. Department of State. The majority of violent crimes occur in major cities. Petty theft is common in tourist areas, especially in Stockholm’s Old Town. Contact the police at 112.

 

Switzerland

Demographic Facts:

Swiss Border Countries: Switzerland is a central European country that shares borders with France, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Germany.

Languages of Switzerland: Switzerland has 4 national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. However, English is also popularly spoken throughout Switzerland. 

Population of Switzerland:  Switzerland has a population 8,372,098 and a population density of 212 people per square kilometer.

Climate of Switzerland: Switzerland has a continental climate on the plateau and an alpine climate in the mountainous regions. The continental climate in Switzerland has cold, dull winters and warm summers. There is an average of 35 days of snowfall per year on the plateau in Switzerland. The alpine climate has sunny, cold winters. Temperatures drop as altitude increases. There is a milder climate in the southern part of the country where there is a larger amount of rain in the summers.

 

Visiting Switzerland:

Schengen Visa Details - Switzerland: Depending on your nationality, you may need a Schengen visa to enter Switzerland for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Travelers exempt from the Schengen visa requirement may enter Switzerland without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Stays longer than 90 days require additional visas. Click here for more information.

How to Fly into Switzerland: There are 7 international airports in Switzerland:

  • Zurich International Airport, in Zurich
  • Bern Airport, in Belp
  • Geneva Airport, in Geneva
  • EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg International Airport, in Saint Louis, France
  • Lugano Airport, in Lugano
  • Sion Airport, in Sion
  • Gallen-Altenrhein Airport, in Altenrhein

Five Largest Cities in Switzerland: 

  • Zurich - located in the northeastern part of the country. Population of 341,730.
  • Geneva - located in the southwestern tip of Switzerland. Population of 183,981.
  • Basel - located in the northwestern part of the country. Population of 164,488.
  • Bern - nation’s capital, located slightly northwest from the center of the country. Population of 121,631.
  • Lausanne - located northeast of Geneva. Population of 116,751,

 

Things to Know:

Medical Environment in Switzerland:  Switzerland has one of the largest private healthcare sectors in the world. You must have a Swiss-based health insurance policy if you remain in the country longer than three months. Unless it is an emergency, you have to be referred to a hospital by a doctor. The U.S. Department of State recommends double-checking if your prescription medication is legal overseas. Always carry the original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. There are alpine hazards such as avalanches, snowdrifts, landslides, flooding, glacial crevasses, falling rocks, sun exposure, and sudden weather changes in Switzerland. Call 144 from any public phone for an ambulance free of charge.

Local Laws in Switzerland: While traveling in Switzerland, you are subject to local laws. The U.S. Department of State shares that, “if you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned." If you are detained, you should notify your embassy immediately. In Switzerland, individuals “highly suspected” of a crime are placed under police detention.  Numerous Swiss banks do not accept U.S. citizens as clients.

Crime in Switzerland:  Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in Switzerland, especially in train and bus stations, airports, and parks. Report crimes to police at 117.

 

 
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