Schengen Visa Rules

I’m going to Bordeaux next weekend.

For a Chinese national with a Schengen Visa issued by France, can they exit the airport in Zurich to visit a hotel?

If anyone has any details on this, or sources of info, I’d be very appreciative, this is my first time & I’ve been searching for 2 hours.

Failing this, I get a direct flight to Paris, drain the bank a/c and go there.

NanoOp and hotels :see_no_evil:


9 hour layover

Why wouldn’t they be allowed? They have a passport?

You make the strangest threads.


I suggest researching Schengen visas then… It is very clear cut for me, but not her.

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Sightseeing? Or just don’t specify that it’s a hotel?

No but I’d be happy to stay in the airport, if it wasn’t for 9 hours between 10pm-7am (ish).

We need somewhere to crash right? I’m really unsure how it works, and stressed.

You just need to research entry requirements for Switzerland. You could also look at getting an airside hotel if you are worried about entering Switzerland.

Edit: two minutes of research… suggests you will be fine to enter as Switzerland is a Schengen member and you have a Schengen visa.


Surely if you have a Schengen visa the point is you can roam around the Schengen area? It shouldn’t matter who issues it.


Still no need to declare the purpose. It’s the same to enter Schengen to shag in a per hour hotel as it is to buy a pack of cigarettes or to see some sights and eat in a restaurant.

Just ask “can she enter Schengen”


That’s not what we’re doing! I’m asking specifically due to the need being to sleep during the layover! Going sightseeing in France!

Going hiking in North Yorks this weekend too.

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Switzerland is in Schengen so yes they can. A Schengen visa is valid in all Schengen countries regardless of which one issued it.

Schengen countries: Schengen Area - The 27 Member Countries of the Schengen Zone

Colleague has a Chinese wife so I’ve been asked similar before.


I’ll throw a curveball, booked into the Transit hotel. Does this negate the need entirely?

I have never been into an airport before. My understanding is we’d go from Gate whichever to Gate D without “leaving” as such? Right?

  • Please inform yourself about the current Covid situation and the regulations for your travel route.
  • Transit Hotel / Dayrooms are located at the Gates D, 1st floor. Non-Schengen area no visa needed.
  • All gates are reachable within 10 to 20 minutes from the hotel.
  • Please follow the signs to gates D and then “Transit Hotel / Dayrooms”, do not go through „Exit / baggage claim".
  • Important for transit passengers: Please make sure that your luggage is checked through to your next or final destination.
  • Important for local passengers: You must use the evening check-in for your baggage. Please inquire the service with your booked airline. If you only travel with hand luggage, the web check-in will be sufficient**.**
  • The boarding card and security checkpoints are open until 22:30, passport control until 23:00 and from 5:30 in the morning (passing through is only possible with a valid boarding pass and only hand luggage).
  • Please note that between 23:00 and 05:30 there is no access to the Transit Hotel from the Schengen area and vice versa.
  • The hotel does not offer meals. Inexpensive snacks available.
  • We prefer credit/debit cards as methods of payment. Payment only accepted upon arrival at reception. We accept cash payments in CHF, USD, CAD, GBP and Euro.
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One thing to be careful of is which countries aren’t in Schengen. Colleague’s wife can’t go to Ireland for instance which is a touch inconvenient as they used to fly out of Dublin all the time and can’t do their cross-border shopping trips either.

You can’t use the Schengen visa in non Schengen countries.

Nope… they won’t be, they’ll probably be very overpriced, but hey… “duty free” and all

Don’t rely on not needing a visa for the country you are physically in (even if not legally). Things happen and you might have to go out of the airside area and therefore require the visa.

Colleague’s wife has almost come unstuck a few times in that kind of circumstance and extended discussions with immigration were required before they let her board the plane.

I am British and she has the Schengen. So there’s no reason we can’t run to the Gate D hotel and then back to the Gate for flight to France after right? Have I sussed this?

I should print our flight confirmations, accommodation etc right and travel insurance?

I personally wouldn’t bother with a transit hotel. Since you have the visa, way better to go to a proper airport hotel.

The Gate D hotel sounds like it’s airside so you’re not entering Schengen.

That said, there are a few things you need to consider:

  1. Are you travelling on a single ticket (ie booked it all with the same airline in one go, rather than a self-transfer)? If it’s a self-transfer (budget airlines do it this way) then you may need to leave and go landside especially if travelling with checked in luggage.

  2. If you’re travelling on a single ticket with any checked baggage (including if your carry-on case gets placed in the hold) ensure that this is checked through to the final destination – otherwise you will have to clear immigration and leave to pick up your bags.

It’s a complicated thing and if you’ve never been to an airport it’s probably not the journey I’d make.


You don’t need to print out everything but make sure your phone is charged. If both boarding passes are on your phone, let her go first, swipe her boarding pass, then you. Way more complicated with a family :rofl: