Schengen Travel Insurance
A trip to Europe is on the bucket list of most of the travellers. However, travelling to European countries requires a Schengen Visa. And a Schengen Travel Insurance is mandatory if you are applying for a Schengen Visa. Moreover, medical coverage of at least 30,000 Euro is essential to get a Schengen Visa. So, you can buy a Schengen Travel Insurance policy that can provide you with the required medical coverage and makes it easier for you to get your Schengen visa. Most of the travellers planning to visit Europe apply for a Schengen visa every year. In 2015 alone, more than seven Lakh applications were from India.
Schengen travel insurance policy will offer you coverage in all the 26 European countries that belong to the Schengen area namely – Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Iceland, Malta, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Norway, Netherlands, Slovenia, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland , and, Sweden.
Buying a Schengen travel insurance policy is necessary to process your VISA application; however, there are various other reasons too. While visiting an unknown country you may be exposed to certain contingencies that can burn a hole in your pocket. From flight delays to baggage loss to trip curtailments, there are various other risks that may arise but can be covered under a Schengen travel insurance plan.
Benefits of Schengen Travel Insurance
Apart from travel tickets and visa costs, even the daily cost of living, medical treatments, and other routine expenses are much higher in Europe including all the 26 Schengen countries. During your trip, if there is an emergency medical situation it can easily drain off all your savings. For this reason, investing in a good Schengen travel insurance plan when travelling to Schengen countries in Europe would be a good idea to avoid any hassle during the trip. Here are some of the most outstanding benefits of buying a Schengen travel insurance plan:
- Schengen travel insurance offers cashless hospitalization cover
- Emergency medical expenses incurred during the trip are covered under Schengen travel insurance
- It covers accidental injuries during the trip
- Schengen travel insurance also offers Medical evacuation cover
- Schengen travel insurance offers personal accident cover
- Schengen travel insurance also offers third-party damage cover
- Coverage for the total loss of checked-in baggage is also offered by Schengen travel insurance plan
- Loss of passport is also covered under a Schengen travel insurance policy
However, the benefits will vary from one Schengen travel insurance plan to another depending on the purpose of your visit. There are special Schengen travel insurance plans for students as well.
Entry Essentials to Schengen Countries
To visit any of the 26 Schengen countries, you would need to have a valid Schengen visa along with Schengen travel insurance. Depending on your purpose of visit - be it tourism, business or medical treatment every traveller needs to have a Schengen visa that grants permission to travel within these countries. However, the visa should be obtained before travelling, as it cannot be granted on arrival at the airport.
For anyone planning to Schengen countries to pursue higher education, A Schengen study visa can be obtained. Similarly, people planning to work in Schengen countries would need a work permit from the Embassy or Consulates of Canada in India. To reiterate every traveller would need to obtain Schengen travel insurance from India before you apply for a Schengen visa.
Types of Schengen Visa
There are different types of Schengen visas for travellers that serve different travelling purposes. Here is a quick rundown of some of the types of Schengen Visas:
- National Visa
- Airport Transit Visa
- Tourist Visa
- Business Visa
- Visiting Family and Friends
- Official Visit
- Medical Reasons
- Study Visa
The visa can be issued for a single entry, double-entry or multiple-entry visa depending on the purpose of visit. Please note that a short stay visa is valid for to 90 days in within a period of 180 days for business or tourist purposes, not more than three months. A short-stay visa is of two types- Uniform Schengen Visa (USV) and Limited Territorial Validity (LTV).
Documents Required for Schengen Visa
The list of documents that are required while applying for a Schengen visa would also depend on the type of visa that you have applied for. All these documents need to be attached to your online visa application. Here are some of the documents that need to be submitted while applying for a Schengen visa:
- Duly filled and signed Visa application form
- Valid passport
- Schengen travel insurance policy with the medical cover of minimum €30,000
- Air Tickets
- Round trip itinerary or reservation
- Two recent passport size photographs (35 mm x 45 mm)
- ITR proof for the last 3 years
- Last 6 months bank statement
- A letter of declaration for the purpose of travel and duration of stay
- Admission proof if travelling for further studies
- Appointment letter from the employer ( if for work purposes)
Schengen Visa Procedure
Schengen visa application needs to be submitted at least 15 days before the trip date. However, you should apply for it at least 30 to 60 prior to your trip. In some cases, the consulate may ask for additional documents or would need to further examine your visa application. You can even submit your application 3 months before you plan to take your trip.
So, if you are a Resident of India you would need to apply for a Schengen visa in India only (permanent resident country). You would need to apply for visa application and schedule an appointment at the consulate of the Schengen destination country that you are planning to visit. However, while applying for Schengen visa there are certain things that one needs to consider apart from a Schengen travel insurance policy:
- If you are planning to visit only one Schengen country, then you would need to apply for a Schengen visa with the consulate or embassy of that particular country. For example, if you are going on a trip to Italy you would need to apply for a visa at the consulate of Italy.
- For trips to multiple Schengen countries, you would need to apply for a visa with the consulate or embassy of your main destination country.
- In case you are planning to visit different Schengen countries, and there is no main destination, then you can apply for a visa with the consulate or embassy of the country from where you will be entering the Schengen territory.
Transportation in Schengen Countries
Travelling within Schengen Countries and entire Europe is actually quite convenient and simple. All the countries have a vast network of buses, trains, planes, and even ride shares to choose from and you can do it all online. However, to know the best method for each country here is a quick guide:
The best way to travel in most of the Schengen countries i.e. Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, and Switzerland, etc. is by train. Cities such as Antwerp, Ghent, and Bruges are great spots for a day trip from Brussels and are accessible by train in under or around one hour. While in Greece you can take trains and even ferries. However, within Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria bus is the most convenient mode of transport. While in Germany flights, buses, trains, all make sense depending on what suits your pocket. Most of the people take up a bike to travel through individual cities in the Netherlands. Even Portugal and Spain are well-connected by trains and buses. Most tourists can get through different cities in the most convenient and cost-effective manner.
Otherwise, travelling through different destination countries would require individual visa applications and passport checks. However, while travelling within the Schengen zone, it is almost like travelling in a single country. Within the Schengen zone, you can cross borders without going through passport control checks in each country. Similarly, your Schengen travel insurance and Schengen visa would work in each of the Schengen member countries. Thus saving your money, time and extra paperwork.
Weather in Schengen Countries
Europe is beautiful throughout all the weather and can be visited at any time of the year. There are some places that can be too harsh in winters. However, the best weather would depend on the kind of weather you prefer. Check out the below table with Europe weather details during all the seasons:
|December - February
||14°c to 24°c
||7°c to 10°c
|June - August
||2°c to 18°c
|September - November
||7°c to 14°c
Best Time to Visit Schengen Countries
During summers, you can enjoy amazing music , as the weather is delightfully warm. It is the perfect time for Indians to explore most of the Schengen countries like France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, and Italy.
The autumn season is popularly known as the shoulder season for tourism in Europe. This time of the year is best to visit Belgium, Netherlands, or Sweden. However, the rains are fairly common and the weather can get cold and wet at times. During this time Mediterranean Europe including Italy, Spain, France, Croatia, and Greece remains quite busy and expensive.
During the winter the temperature can drop down to -10 degrees in Poland. It can be biting cold but it is the most mesmerizing time of the year for visitors to enjoy the Christmas feels all around. Moreover, the cost of flights and hotels is comparatively cheaper during this time of the year.
Spring is also a good time to visit Schengen countries. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, which makes it perfect for sightseeing as Europe is at its peak of beauty during this season. Being a low period the cost is also a cheaper time to visit France and Scotland among other countries.
Tourist Spots in Schengen Countries
The Schengen area has 26 countries and each one of them has a number of exciting, picturesque, and unique destinations and experiences waiting for you. Here is a quick rundown of the popular attractions in some of the Schengen countries. And your Schengen travel insurance policy would offer coverage in all these countries:
Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Hallstatt the oldest Austria village, Kahlenberg Mountain that gives the view of entire Vienna Seefeld are some of the popular attractions in Austria. Some of the other main attractions are Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave, Hochosterwitz Castle are some of the ultimate attractions that you can explore.
Bruges, Waterloo, Ardennes have historical relevance and some of the other attractions include Flanders Battlefield and Grand Place.
The Czech Republic
Prague castle- the largest castle in the world, Prague Zoo, Moravian Karst- one of the incredible natural wonders, and Charles Bridge.
Tivoli Gardens is a popular amusement park, Legoland Billund, Bornholm among others.
Sooma National Park, Viljandi in the Southern Estonian forests, and Tallinn old town in Estonia’s capital.
The spectacular Northern lights that are quite visible from August to April, Santa Claus Village and Turku Archipelago that constitutes almost 20,000 islands and some of them are inhabited.
Palace of Versailles is a popular tourist attraction, French Riviera that has been a popular vacation spot for the elite, Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, and Chateaux of the Loire Valley
The famous Neuschwanstein castle, Black forest, Berlin Wall, etc.
Parthenon temple in Athens, Santorini for breathtaking views, and Thessaloniki- the second largest city in Greece.
Lucerne for the beautiful lakeside experience, Ticino, Geneva, Matterhorn, etc.
Moreover, there is Buda Castle and Danube River in Hungary, the blue lagoon and Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland. Italy is also loved by most of the travellers is home to some of the breathtaking tourist sports – The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice city and Colosseum in Rome. Whether you are visiting Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and other Schengen cities there are options galore. Simply enjoy the experience and travel carefree with Schengen travel insurance cover.
Shopping Attractions in Schengen Countries
Europe is considered as one of the most famous shopping destinations. There are different shopping outlets, expensive brand stores, malls, and even second-hand shops to splurge in. here is a list of some of the best shopping attractions that are a must-visit:
The French capital is every shopper's dream destination. If you love brands then you must visit Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. For vintage shopping, the Marais quarter is the place to be. From chocolates to a variety of teas and books there is something for everyone to splurge in.
The city has some of the best and magnificent architecture and oozes out fashion in every corner. Milan is the best shopping place in Italy. Go to Via Montenapoleone and Corso Venezia for all the brands. Also visit, Corso Buenos Aires the longest shopping street with more than 350 stores.
Barcelona has numerous shopping destinations to explore. Passeig de Gracia is one of the most beautiful shopping streets and is home to many luxurious brands. Another great shopping place is Plaza Catalunya and Portal de L’Angel where you can find fashionable stores and traditional food cafes. La Rambl is another popular fashion street and is a must-visit if you are in Spain. You can find some of the finest food cafes and drinks here.
One of the most expensive shopping destinations in Switzerland is Geneva. For a good shopping experience, you must visit Bon Genie – Grieder. For chocolate lovers, Chocolatier Auer is the place to be. Also, do not forget to buy Schengen Travel Insurance.
If you want to enjoy shopping in Germany, then walking along the streets is the best way to do so. Berlin and Munich are some great cities for joyful shopping. The most popular places are Sendlinger Straße, Kaufinger Straße, and Theatinerstraße. There are budget-shopping options for students as well.
To explore a wide range of shops, boutiques, stores, and restaurants many tourists visit Mariahilfer Straße. Another on the list should be Landstraßer Hauptstraße and the nearby Rochus Market. You will find both budget and expensive shopping options in Vienna.
It is a shopping paradise and is much popular shopping centres in Europe. From fashion to traditional products to a wised variety of food, you can find everything at Avenue Louise, Rue Neuve, and Rue Bailli.
Well, the list can go on. Since every Schengen country has something unique to offer, so we have shortlisted some of the top shopping destinations that are must explore for a delightful experience even if you are there even for a short stay. However, it is actually important to have Schengen Travel Insurance plan to enjoy a hassle-free trip.
Eating Out in Schengen Countries
There are myriad of eating out options in entire Europe and the Schengen zone is no exception. From Michelin star restaurants to street foods, there are a wide variety of food options that can offer you the most delightful experience. Here is a list of some of the top restaurant ants to vouch on: Palermo is a Michelin star restaurant in Italy and Naples has some of the best Pizzas. Some of the best cities for food in Italy are Rome, Venice, Florence and Modena
- If in Spain try Girona, Arzak, and Martín Berasategui for some of the best Spanish and a variety of cuisines
- If you are in Prague (Czech Republic) you can go for lunch at Karlin and experience the best fine dining at La Degustation
- San Sebastian in Spain is another food paradise. Some popular restaurants are Mugaritz, Akellare, and Martín Berasategui.
- The growing culinary scene in Berlin, Germany has opened up delightful eating options for the tourists. There is a plethora of street food, weekend breakfast, and Michelin star options.
There something special about every Schengen country. Though we have highlighted some of the top-rated eating out places, you can always check with the locals for some of the best eating out joints.
Hotels in Schengen Countries
For a pleasant stay, it is advisable to get hotels near the city and closer to all the popular destinations. Hotels are mostly expensive; however, you can still find affordable options if it is not the peak season. Most of the hotels in the entire Schengen zone offer all the basic amenities and luxurious experience. Here is a list of some of the best hotels in some of the most visited Schengen countries:
|Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa in Salerno, Il Salviatino, in Florence, The First Roma Arte in Rome and Grand Hotel Quisisana in Capri
|Archipelagos Hotel in Mykonos, and King George in Athens
|Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon, The Yeatman Hotel, and Maison Albar Le Monumental Palace in Porto
| Buergenstock resort, The Dollar Grand Zürich, The Lodge Verbier, The Chedi Andermatt, Park Hotel Vitznau and Hotel Palafitte
|Almanac Barcelona, Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona and Villa Magna in Madrid
|Hotel Palafitte, MONDI Resort am Grundlsee, and Hotel - Schloss Gabelhofen
|Hotel - Schloss Gabelhofen, Capella Breidenbacher Hof Düsseldorf, Mandarin Oriental, Munich
|Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, Hilton Amsterdam
Things to Do in Schengen Countries
From Amsterdam to Italy everyone has their favourite destination and the set of things that they want to do. Here is a list of some of the things that you should keep on your bucket-list:
It is the 15th most beautiful destinations in Europe. It has one of the best Christmas markets that offer a delightful experience to its travellers. The city is full of monuments, palaces, and has a rich culture that catches tourists round the year.
It is one of the most loved tourist destinations. The city has a number of monuments and museums to visit. But if you are visiting Eiffel Tower make sure that you book it in advance. Don’t forget Disneyland- it is a must-visit.
The Prague Czech Republic
This city has been loved by travellers for many years now. When in Prague do visit the historic sites. There are a number of Cathedrals, Palaces, and castles to mesmerize you with their beauty. Do not forget to take a cruise on the Vltava River and enjoy the scenic beauty of the lovely city.
It is one of the trendiest destinations in Europe. When in Prague take a tour of all the famous monuments such as Buda Castle. The most popular places to visit are Margaret Island, The Chain Bridge, and the list is endless when it comes to churches, parks, beautiful facades, and atypical shops.
It is one of the top 10 most visited destinations in Europe. When in Athens make sure that you visit Acropolis Museum, Monastiraki Flea Market, and Ancient Agora.
These were the top 5 popular destinations. However, every Schengen country and its cities have something unique to quench the wanderlust of almost every traveller.
Top Hospitals in Schengen Countries
The cost of medical treatment is quite exorbitant and the currency difference makes it all the more expensive. A Schengen travel insurance policy would cover up for any unforeseen medical expenses that may arise during the trip. And some of the most advanced hospitals for tourists in the Schengen zone are as follows:
|Landspitali University Hospital
|Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois Lausanne, UniverstätsSpitals Zürich, and Inselspital Universitatsspital Bern,
|Leiden University Medical Center
|Universitätsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf, Asklepios Klinikum Bad Abbach, and Asklepios Klinikum Bad Abbach
|Sahlgrenska University Hospital
|Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii,
|Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven
|Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris
Note: Do check with your insurer if these hospitals are covered under your Schengen travel insurance policy.
Money-Saving Tips in Schengen Countries
While a Schengen travel insurance policy can save you a lot of money in case of a medical emergency, third-party damage or any accident or loss of belongings. But there are various other ways to save money when travelling to Europe. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most useful tips:
Save Money by Rail
To save the transportation cost you can consider travelling by rail. And if you book it in advance you can save a huge amount of money and can even get great discounts and deals.
Free WiFi Connectivity
You can access free Wi-Fi everywhere and stay connected without spending a single penny.
Avoid Museum Fees
if you are on a budget you can visit museums that do not require a fee. There are particular days when the museum entry is free of cost. You can check the days and plan your visit accordingly and save money.
Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 05 December 2019