(STL.News) A new launch date for the European Travel Information and Authorization System has recently been announced. The program is now set to be in operation from late 2022, pushed back from 2021. It is expected to become mandatory for all citizens of current visa-exempt countries following a 6-month implementation period.
With the aim of ETIAS being to boost security and safety across the 26 Schengen Area countries, there has never been a better time to start planning a trip to the continent. By running checks on all non-European nationals, individuals who could potentially pose a threat can be prevented from entering legally. Great news for visitors and residents.
The Schengen Area includes Europe’s top travel destinations. From vibrant capital cities to relaxing beach resorts, the continent offers something for every kind of holidaymaker. That’s not to mention the diverse cultural landscape and gastronomy.
With the ETIAS, American holidaymakers can take full advantage of a trip across the pond. As the Schengen Area has no internal borders, once within the zone, travelers can move freely without the need to apply for separate travel authorizations.
Some of Europe’s best travel spots in Spain, Italy, France, and Germany are to benefit from the implementation of ETIAS, here are just some of the highlights.
Barcelona: Spain’s Cosmopolitan Seaside City
Barcelona is known for its stunning modernist buildings, many of which are the work of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. The Sagrada Familia, the city’s most visited attraction, receives millions of visitors from all over the world each year. Work began on the basilica in 1882 and it is expected to be finished in 2026, tourists traveling with the ETIAS from 2022 will, therefore, have the chance to see the impressive structure near completion.
The unique juxtaposition of city and sea means visitors can spend one day exploring the cosmopolitan urban center and the next relaxing on the sand. Beach-goers can venture south to Sitges, a picturesque coastal town around 40 minutes away by train.
Once ETIAS is launched, US passport holders traveling to Barcelona will need to apply online for the ETIAS authorization, if eligible, or a visa for Spain.
Venice: Italy’s Most Romantic Destination
Venice has long held a place at the top of travel itineraries. One of the world’s most charming cities, tourists can see Venice from the water by taking a gondola ride along the canals.
Those who head off the beaten track can explore the city away from the crowds and enjoy the exquisite Italian cuisine the nation is famed for. Typical Venetian dishes include Bigoli in salsa, a pasta dish with an anchovy and onion sauce, and Fegato ala Venecia, a classic recipe featuring chopped liver and onions.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Germany’s Perfect Medieval Town
Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt may be the German cities that first come to mind, however, some of the most beautiful destinations are the smaller, lesser-known towns. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, in Germany’s Bavaria region, is amongst Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns.
Within the city walls, there are buildings dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, in astonishing condition. The Old Town appears to be straight from the pages of a children’s storybook.
Paris: France’s Unmissable Capital City
Paris, the capital of France, is a city that everyone must visit at least once. With the launch of ETIAS, tourists in Paris can enjoy all the famous sights, including the iconic Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, with increased security.
Rugby fans heading to Paris for the 2023 World Cup (beginning on the 8th September) will need to ensure they apply for the ETIAS ahead of time. In case of delays, it is recommended that travelers apply 3 business days prior to departure.
Paris is also a cultural hub, home to some of the most important museums and art galleries to be found anywhere. No tourist would want to miss the opportunity to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, whilst contemporary artwork can be enjoyed at the Centre Pompidou.
Applying for the ETIAS Visa Waiver
To apply for the ETIAS visa waiver, travelers will need to fill in an online application form and pay the visa waiver fee. Processing times are fast, it is predicted that around 95% of applicants will receive the approved ETIAS in their inbox within a matter of minutes.
With the ETIAS launch date drawing close, travelers will soon be able to explore European destinations like these with increased security and peace of mind.
Author Bio: Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable travel tips and experience with the audience.