I want to travel to Europe but someone told me you must have 10000 euros. I don't really have that much money available. I wish to visit many places in Europe by the next year, but there is no possible way that I could come up with that much money. Is this going to be a real issue?

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    Europe saw 588 million tourists in 2014 source. Would you think they all had 10 000 EUR? That's an awful lot of money! For example, the median net worth in the US is only 45000 USD so a full half of the US population would only be able to enter the EU if they have a quarter of their net worth in cash. That's far beyond unrealistic.
    – user4188
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 22:23
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    I think the confusion comes from requirement to declare financial instruments worth 10K and more while traveling to/through EU. Commented May 24, 2016 at 23:59
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    You don't need 10.000€ to enter europe. nobody's gonna ask how much cash you're travelling with as long as you don't bring in more than 10.000, which is the legal limit and they'll notice from the x-ray your stuffed bear is filled with cash
    – CptEric
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 6:33
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    is it okay to have less than 10,000 eu when in europe? Yes it is. Even if you had 10k when you landed in Europe, after a day you will most probably have less :) Commented May 25, 2016 at 7:00
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    I hope so. I live here and I have nowhere near that amount Commented May 25, 2016 at 10:31

5 Answers 5


There is no requirement to have €10,000 when you are in Europe. It sounds like someone is confusing two things:

  • The requirement to have enough money to support yourself for the duration of your trip. This amount varies according to the duration of your trip, and according to the kinds of things you plan to do.

  • The requirement to report cash if you are importing or exporting an amount whose value is greater than €10,000.

The first requirement is not universally enforced, but a well prepared traveler should be ready to handle the question. It is not necessary to have cash; a credit card will normally suffice, possibly along with evidence to show your bank balance.

The second requirement in fact implies that it's better to have less cash than €10,000 worth, since that will save you from paperwork and possible questioning about the provenance of the cash.

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    The first requirement is more important if you're required to apply for a visa. While they aren't specifically looking for a magic figure like €10,000, they will want to see enough money for you to support yourself traveling, and they may, fairly or not, use your bank statements to draw conclusions about your likelihood of returning home (see, for instance, this question). If you're planning to spend a year's salary on a vacation, that raises a lot of suspicion. Commented May 24, 2016 at 21:48
  • may it is someone who confused usa requirement of having 10000 $ in an account with europe.
    – kifli
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 11:41
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    @kifli Having travelled to the USA several times (under the Visa Waiver Program, admittedly, rather than on an actual visa), I'm pretty sure they also don't have a requirement of having $10,000 in an account. I'd be interested in seeing official statements that prove me wrong though. Commented May 25, 2016 at 12:18
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    @kifli The situation is similar in the USA as in Europe. There's not a set amount, but they do want to make sure that the amount of funds you have available matches up with your stated situation and plans for being in the country. For some situations, that might actually be $10k, though for others it will be much less.
    – reirab
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 14:06
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    I have flown to the US many times, by myself and with my wife. I have never been asked how much money I have, nor had to prove any funds availability. Admittedly I am usually there for 2 weeks or less, so maybe this is not a concern for a short visit.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 23:22

When you apply for a Schengen visa, the officials will try to admit genuine tourist or business travellers and refuse entry to illegal immigrants. They want to know if you intend to leave again after your visit, or if you intend to overstay and work without paying taxes. They can't know that for sure, so they are looking at the premise of your visit and your conditons.

The visit will probably cost more than a thousand Euros. Is it reasonable that somebody in your circumstances would spend that much money on a vacation? An illegal immigrant might sell everything he owns to afford the trip, and even borrow money. A tourist who expects to go home again doesn't usually do that.

The best case for visa applicants is a steady job with enough income to save a couple hundred Euro each month and a bank account with a few thousand Euro. If you don't have that, you have to explain how you want to pay for your trip. Simply having money in the account isn't enough, and it might even be a very bad sign if there is no explanation where the money came from (that's called funds parking).

And it is entirely normal for young people to take vacations even if they could not afford them on their own. Then it becomes a question of who really pays, and if it is reasonable for them to pay. If the money comes from your parents, do they have a steady job and enough money in their account so that it looks normal if they give the money to you as a gift? Same for other relatives. All this needs to be explained and documented.

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    Actually, this is a good description of what you need to apply for a tourist or business visa anywhere, not just to Schengen. Commented May 25, 2016 at 17:11
  • @DavidRicherby, that depends on the origin and destination countries. That's why some countries give some others visas on arrival.
    – o.m.
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 17:19

Yes, it is okay to have less than €10,000 when visiting Europe, to a point.

In the Schengen Area, you must have an a means of substinence - however the amounts vary between countries, lengths of stay and age. A full list can be found here.

However, there is also a maximum amount you can bring into the EU undeclared, which is €10,000. Any more than that and you will have to declare it and have a valid reason why you are bringing such a large amount. You can find more information here.

Please note that not all EU countries are part of the Schengen Zone, and not all Schengen Zone countries are part of the EU. These countries will also have their own separate rules.

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    Not all Schengen Zone countries are part of the EU. Switzerland is the prime example, I can travel around Europe without a passport. There are even no security checks on airports when the target airport is also in the Schengen Zone.
    – Thomas
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 12:04
  • The minimum "means of subsistence" amounts are generally quite low, and it's very easy to exceed them if you want to stay in a remotely clean room in a major city (especially during peak season) or visit a museum with an admission fee or eat anything other than the cheapest available food. I'm not saying it's impossible to travel in Europe at that price, but it's quite difficult. Also, if you apply for a visa, they will usually be looking for significantly more than these minimum amounts as part of their efforts to determine whether you are likely to return home after your trip. Commented May 25, 2016 at 16:24
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    @lightswitchr Sorry. I blame lack of coffee or some other lame excuse. Downvote undone. Commented May 25, 2016 at 17:06

Short answer: I don't think it is true.

Reason: When I arrived in Amsterdam in October 2014, no one asked me how much money I had. (It was about a hundred euro.) Spain, May 2015 and April 2016, no one asked. Wales, June 2015, they asked if I were capable of supporting myself but didn't ask what I had. Iceland, July 2015, no one asked. İstanbul, October 2014, no questions asked. I am citizen of USA through no fault of my own.

When I get low, I draw a little from an ATM, never more than €250 and usually much less. I have never in my life had five thousand US dollars at one time in banks.

  • Part of that may be down to where you're coming from. Were you travelling within Europe or were you from further away? If you're already a European citizen then the countries are less worried about you supporting yourself, as you're actually entitled to work there Commented May 25, 2016 at 20:14
  • @MatthewSteeples And live there, if you have the means to support yourself (which usually, but not exclusively, means paid work of some kind).
    – user
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 20:41
  • @MatthewSteeples: see edits.
    – WGroleau
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 21:24

You don't need any cash for a vacation, I went to EU 4 times this year and only once did I have any Euros on me when I entered. You might be confusing the requirement to prove that you have enough to support yourself for one year if you are moving to the EU on a work or study visa. For example, when applying for a study permit in Canada you need to show proof that you have at least $10,000 to survive while living there for a year.

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    you seem to be generalizing your situation to everybody, and that may not apply. What passport do you have? Try entering the EU with a South American/African/Asian passport and no cash. They deny entry to people with those passports every day, even in cases where they have a visa. Commented May 25, 2016 at 6:35
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    @MartinArgerami While it's true that different originating countries will see more stringent investigation, I doubt that bringin 10 000 Euros for a vacation is required for any originating coutry.
    – Taemyr
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 8:51
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    @Taemyr: I never said that was the case. Commented May 25, 2016 at 13:39

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