Skip to main content

Travelling in the EU

Your rights & EU rules

As an EU national, you enjoy the right of free movement. This means you’re entitled to travel, work and live in another EU country. If you’re a citizen of a Schengen country – which is most EU countries – you’re also free to travel to other Schengen countries without the need for border checks.

As an EU national, you can also benefit from EU-wide passenger rights for travel into, out of or within the EU by air, rail, bus/coach or ship. You can travel with pets and other animals in the EU provided you comply with the rules (pet passports). There are EU limits on taking alcohol, tobacco or cash with you to another EU country. Each EU country can set its own limits or restrictions, so check before you go.

Travelling to or within the EU? Follow the links below to check which documents you need to take.

Documents you need to travel in the EU

Information on travel documents needed by EU nationals, non-EU national family members, non-EU nationals and children when entering the EU or travelling across it. Find out what to do if you lose your passport or it expires when travelling in the EU.

Public Register of Authentic travel and identity Documents Online (PRADO)

View authorised travel and identity documents issued by EU countries and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Schengen – ID-free travel zone

What is it?

The Schengen area is a travel zone without borders between the 26 Schengen countries. It allows EU nationals and many non-EU nationals to travel freely without border checks. Since 1985, it’s kept growing, and now covers almost all EU countries and a few non-EU countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland). It guarantees free movement to more than 400 million EU nationals.

Any person, irrespective of nationality, can travel between Schengen countries without going through border checks. However, national authorities can carry out police checks at borders between these countries and in border areas.

Having abolished their internal borders, Schengen countries have also tightened controls at their common external borders on the basis of Schengen rules to ensure the security of those living or travelling in the Schengen area.

See all the Schengen countries

Common visa policy

The common visa policy enables non-EU visitors to make transit or short stays to the Schengen area. A short-stay visa issued by one of the Schengen countries generally entitles them to travel through all Schengen countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

In practice, this means that if you’re cleared to enter one Schengen country, you can travel to any of the other Schengen countries without having to show your travel document again.

Follow the links below for more information about your rights when travelling in the EU.

What can you take with you?

Information on what you can take with you when travelling in the EU, including pets, food, alcohol, tobacco and cash. Find out the luggage restrictions when flying from an airport in the EU and which EU countries use the euro.

Air passenger rights

Information on where and when EU air passenger rights apply and how to make a complaint. Find out who to contact if you need help or advice with your claim.

Assistance for travellers with disabilities or reduced mobility

Information on your rights if you’re travelling in the EU with a disability or reduced mobility. See if you’re entitled to an EU disabled parking permit.

Further information