Unlocking borders: Romania and Bulgaria enter Schengen Zone

City of Sozopol on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria.

City of Sozopol on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria. Image: rustamank / Shutterstock.com.

March brings exciting news for Romania and Bulgaria as they officially join the Schengen zone on 31 March, allowing their citizens to travel freely among member states without passports.

Despite being EU members since 2007, travellers from these countries still need passports for entry into other EU nations, but this requirement will change with their Schengen accession in 2024.

While the immediate impact on currency and prices remains uncertain, experts expect significant changes.

Unlike Croatia, which adopted the Euro upon entering the Schengen zone, Bulgaria and Romania are not expected to do so immediately.

However, various aspects of daily life and travel will undergo adjustments.

Travel expert Elaine Warren suggests that increased competition may help prevent significant price increases, as businesses strive to remain competitive.

While some costs may gradually align across Schengen countries, the overall impact on prices is likely to vary.

Popular tourist destinations may see modest increases, while rural areas and consumer prices could face downward pressures.

As Bulgaria and Romania transition into the Schengen zone, potential changes in currency, prices, and competition emphasise the importance of monitoring developments in the region.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.