Europe, a shining pearl of this world, is full of cultural and historical charm and natural gifts. Every city, every street and alley, is deeply imbued with the sediment of history and the atmosphere of humanity. From the ruins of Rome to the rich romance of Paris, from the magnificent nature of Scandinavia to the sunny beaches of southern Europe, every corner of Europe has endless charm waiting for you to explore and discover.
Plan your journey before departure
The prelude to a trip to Europe is to plan your itinerary. Determine your destination in order to better embark on this adventure. If you are intoxicated with history and culture, the millennium old historical and cultural treasures of ancient cities such as Rome, Athens, Paris, and London will definitely make you intoxicated. If you pursue the tranquility and grandeur of nature, the fjords of Norway, the Alps of Switzerland, the auroras of Iceland, and the Aegean Sea of Greece are all scenic spots that you cannot miss.
Preparation before departure, processing visa
To travel across multiple countries, the Schengen visa provides a convenient passage for your European trip. It gives you the opportunity to travel freely among 26 countries in the Schengen region, without having to worry about visas for each country.
What is a Schengen visa?
The Schengen visa is a mysterious key that opens the door to Europe, named after the Schengen Agreement signed in 1985 in the border town of Schengen, Luxembourg. The signatories of this agreement were originally only Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, but their influence spread throughout the European continent.According to the Schengen Agreement, Schengen visas issued by Schengen member states are considered valid in all other member states. In other words, travelers do not need to apply for visas one by one. They only need a Schengen visa to travel to all countries in the Schengen region. These countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement are collectively referred to as the "Schengen countries".
What are the "Schengen countries"?
So far, the number of "Schengen countries" has grown to 26, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Malta. (It should be noted that this does not include the UK)
Member States of the Schengen Area:
This means that as long as you successfully apply for a Schengen visa for any of the "Schengen countries", you can freely stroll around the 26 countries mentioned above. However, there is a special situation that needs to be noted: if you plan to go to the overseas territories or trusteeship places of France, the Netherlands, Portugal and other countries, as well as the Faroe Islands and Greenland in Denmark, you will need to apply for a visa from the countries to which these places belong. In addition, countries such as the Vatican, San Marino, Andorra, and Monaco have not joined the Schengen Agreement, but due to the lack of substantive border checks with Schengen countries, Schengen visas can also enter the country smoothly.
If you want to apply for a Schengen visa, you can choose the following channels:
1. Make a direct appointment and go to the embassy/consulate of the requesting country to apply.
2. Find the nearest visa application center for processing. In China, Schengen visa has opened 15 visa application centers, greatly facilitating applicants.
3. Handling through a travel agency. If you plan to visit Schengen countries in a delegation, many steps can be handled by the travel agency, but key steps such as fingerprint entry and photography still need to be completed personally.
How long does it usually take for a Schengen visa to be processed?
While you are eagerly anticipating the Schengen visa, you may be curious about the processing time of the visa. This varies depending on the country of application and the peak season of tourism. Usually, applying for a Schengen visa takes 3-7 working days, but in some countries it may take approximately 15 working days or more. To avoid accidents, we suggest that you start applying about a month before your trip, so that you can maintain full preparation while keeping your expectations in mind.
Convenient travel, ordering transportation
The transportation network in Europe is developed, and trains, airplanes, and long-distance buses can take you to every corner of desire. By purchasing Eurorail Express tickets in advance, you can take unlimited European trains within a certain period of time and explore the charm of each land. For long-distance journeys, such as exploring from northern Europe to southern Europe, airplanes are the ideal choice.
Quality Selection, Looking for Accommodation
There are a variety of accommodation options in Europe, from traditional hotels, affordable youth hostels, to homestays that integrate into local life, all of which can meet your needs. When choosing accommodation, don't forget to consider geographical location, facilities, user reviews, and prices to ensure that your resting place is safe and comfortable.
Ensure smooth operation and prepare for power supply
The voltage and power outlets in Europe may differ from those in your hometown. The voltage in most European countries is 220-240V, with a frequency of 50Hz, and there are also various types of sockets, the most common being Type C and Type F. Therefore, before departure, remember to bring a global travel converter, such as this DOACE travel converter, which is very good to ensure that your device can travel smoothly.
Understanding respect, understanding culture and customs
Before you step onto every piece of land, remember to respect the local culture and customs. Understanding some basic etiquette and behavioral norms can not only avoid awkwardness, but also deepen your integration into local life.
Experience the taste and try local cuisine
Every European country has its own unique cuisine, such as foie gras from France, pizza from Italy, and paella from Spain. During your travels, remember to let your taste buds follow you, taste European flavors, and experience local life.
Europe is a continent with endless charm, whether you are a seeker of history, a lover of nature, or an explorer of cuisine, you can find your travel melody here. As long as you have an open mind and a curious heart, every land and scenery in Europe will bring you new surprises. Wishing you all the best on your trip to Europe and a pleasant journey!