In 2023, the Schengen Zone allowed travelers from 91 countries to visit without a visa, which significantly boosted tourism. A total of 395.9 million visitors came to the Schengen countries, with France leading by welcoming 100 million tourists. This visa-free access highlights the appeal and cultural richness of the Schengen countries.


Top Tourist Destinations

Among the top 10 tourist destinations globally, seven are Schengen countries. France remains the most popular, with over 100 million tourists, showing a 93% recovery to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2024. This surge supports the sector, contributing €220 billion to the economy and 2.7 million jobs. Airports like Orly and Charles de Gaulle saw significant increases in passenger numbers. Spain, Italy, Germany, Greece, and Austria also feature prominently as favorite destinations.


Non-Schengen Popular Destinations

The United States attracted 66.5 million tourists, Mexico had 42.2 million, and the United Kingdom welcomed 37.2 million visitors, highlighting their strong presence in international tourism.


Visa-Free Countries

Travelers from 91 countries, including Argentina, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom, can visit Schengen countries without a visa. This policy enhances the Schengen Area's attractiveness, providing a seamless travel experience across 29 European countries.


Schengen Area Attractions

The Schengen Area includes countries with rich histories, diverse cultures, and stunning landscapes. The Nordic countries offer natural beauty and high living standards, while other regions boast vibrant cities, historical landmarks, and world-renowned cuisine. This diversity makes the Schengen Zone a prime destination for travelers worldwide.


Top Tourist Spots


  • Eiffel Tower, Paris: Iconic tower with stunning city views.
  • Louvre Museum, Paris: World's largest art museum, home to the Mona Lisa.
  • Palace of Versailles, Versailles: Grand former royal residence.
  • Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy: Island commune with an ancient abbey.
  • Côte d’Azur (French Riviera): Beautiful beaches and luxury resorts.



  • Sagrada Familia, Barcelona: Gaudí’s unfinished basilica.
  • Alhambra, Granada: Moorish palace and fortress.
  • Park Güell, Barcelona: Whimsical park by Gaudí.
  • Seville Cathedral, Seville: Largest Gothic cathedral.
  • Prado Museum, Madrid: Premier art museum.



  • Colosseum, Rome: Ancient amphitheater.
  • Venice Canals, Venice: Picturesque waterways with gondolas.
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa: Famous tilted bell tower.
  • Vatican Museums, Vatican City: Art and history treasures, including the Sistine Chapel.
  • Amalfi Coast, Campania: Dramatic coastal area.



  • Hagia Sophia, Istanbul: Historic basilica-turned-mosque.
  • Cappadocia, Central Anatolia: Unique landscape best viewed from a hot air balloon.
  • Blue Mosque, Istanbul: Ottoman-era mosque with blue tiles.
  • Pamukkale, Denizli: Terraces of thermal waters.
  • Ephesus, İzmir: Ancient ruins with the Library of Celsus.



  • Brandenburg Gate, Berlin: Symbol of German reunification.
  • Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria: Fairy-tale castle.
  • Oktoberfest, Munich: World’s largest beer festival.
  • Berlin Wall, Berlin: Historic wall remnants.
  • Cologne Cathedral, Cologne: Gothic cathedral.



  • Acropolis, Athens: Ancient citadel with the Parthenon.
  • Santorini, Cyclades: Island with white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches.
  • Meteora Monasteries, Thessaly: Monasteries on rock formations.
  • Mykonos, Cyclades: Island known for nightlife and beaches.
  • Delphi, Phocis: Archaeological site with ancient ruins.


Schengen Area Benefits

The Schengen Area allows over 425 million EU citizens and non-EU nationals to move freely without border checks. This freedom lets EU citizens travel, work, and live in any EU country without special formalities, enhancing the overall travel experience.


Environmental Concerns

TTW Editor-in-Chief Anup Kumar Keshan highlighted the boost in tourism due to visa-free access but warned about the impact of climate change on the industry. He emphasized the need for action to protect the sector from environmental threats.


Expansion of Schengen Area

The Schengen Area includes most EU countries, with recent additions like Bulgaria and Romania for air and sea border crossings. Non-EU countries like Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein are also part of the Schengen Area.