Visas - Travelling to Europe

Last Updated: 2nd Nov 2014

More Tour and Travel Advice for Europe

Depending on the nationality of the passport you are traveling on you may require visas to enter countries included on your tour. Every country in Europe has different entry requirements.

You are responsible for obtaining all the necessary visas prior to the departure of your tour. You can consult your travel agent but the only truly reliable source of visa and entry requirements are the consulates of the countries themselves.

Travel agents often offer visa services and you should obtain multiple entry visa whenever possible.

Importantly, you should check the date of your travel with the validity of your visa/s.

Contiki is prohibited by law from knowingly carrying clients without correct visas.

If you are traveling on a non-European Union passport and are a resident of the United Kingdom (UK) you may be able to obtain visas in the UK otherwise it is advisable to obtain them from consulates in your home country.

Important Information

Multiple Entry Visas

On many occasions during our tours you will enter the same country twice. If you require a visa for such a country, you need to stipulate this when you are applying for the visa to ensure that the visa is valid for more than one entry. Check tours with multiple entries into countries to see which countries on your tour are visited more than once.

Generally it is always advisable to gain multi entry visas as you never know when or if you may like or need to go back into a country.

Schengen Visas

While the Schengen Visa covers most European countries, not all countries in Europe are part of the Schengen Agreement. If you require a Schengen Visa to travel in Europe Multiple entry visas are a must. For more information on Schengen Visas please look at

Russian Visas

All clients need visas for Russia – ensure you have yours before you leave as well as others you may need (Poland for example). Contact Contiki or your travel agent for more information.

United Kingdom Visa for South African Passport Holders

The British High Commission has informed us that as of 3 March 2009, South African passport holders wishing to visit OR transit the United Kingdom will need to obtain a visa before travelling. There will be a temporary exemption to this requirement for those who have previously travelled to the UK while using their current and valid passport.

If you have previously travelled to the United Kingdom using your current passport, you will qualify for the exemption and will not need to apply for a visa at this time. This is however a temporary exemption until mid 2009 and we urge you to keep updated with any changed

See the following link for more information –

Other European Countries

Please Note: It is your responsibility to obtain the correct visas for your tour. This chart should be used as a rough guide only as visa requirements often change.

This information is correct as of 1 August 2007 and should be used as a guide only. If you are unsure or your passport issuing country is not listed, please check the consulate web sites of the countries you will be visiting. If visas are required you should obtain multi entry visas when possible.

Australia Canada EU/UK Japan South
Mexico New
Albania N*** N*** N*** N*** N*** Y*** N*** Y*** N***
Austria N N N N N N N Y** N
Belgium N N N N N N N Y** N
Bulgaria N N N N N N N Y N
Croatia N N N N N N N Y N
Czech N N Y N N N N Y** N
Denmark N N N N N N N Y** N
Finland N N N N N N N Y** N
France N N Y N N N N Y** N
Germany N N N N N N N Y** N
Greece N N Y N N N N Y** N
Hungary N N N N N N N Y** N
Italy N N Y N N N N Y** N
Latvia N N Y N N N N Y** N
Montenegro N N N N N N N Y N
Netherlands N N N N N N N Y** N
Norway N N Y N N N N Y** N
Poland N N Y N N N N Y** N
Russia Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Slovakia N N N N N N N Y** N
Spain N N Y N N N N Y** N
Sweden N N Y N N N N Y** N
Switzerland N N N N N N N N N
Turkey Y* Y* Y N N N N Y Y*
Egypt Y* Y* Y* Y* Y* Y* N Y Y*

Y = Yes – Visa required,
Y* = Yes – Visa can be obtained on entry at the border,
Y** = Yes – Schengen Visa required – Multiple Entry,
Y*** = Yes – Visa required plus border tax upon entry,
N = No Visa required – please note however some restrictions on length of stay may apply,
N*** = No Visa required – border tax payable upon entry