Can I change my itinerary and hotel reservation after getting a Schengen visa?
My route trip is Prague-->Berlin-->Vienna. I want to change the route to be Prague-->Berlin-->Paris.
Additionally, I already got my Schengen Visa, but after that I found a good deal in another hotel.
Can I change the first hotel I will visit before I travel?
If yes, is that going to cancel my visa or anything like that? Also I planned to go to Vienna and go back to my home from there.
Can I change it and go to Paris instead?
You can definitely switch hotels or make some small changes to your itinerary. This should not invalidate your visa (but see Andrey's answer regarding some questionable practice by some Schengen countries). Going to a different country could be slightly more risky but it's still generally possible. For example, stopping somewhere on the way, changing the order of countries or adding a new destination to a trip is perfectly OK. By contrast, using a visa for a completely different purpose is not (at least in theory).
Specifically, the rules are laid out in article 34 of the Schengen Visa Code:
A visa shall be annulled where it becomes evident that the conditions for issuing it were not met at the time when it was issued, in particular if there are serious grounds for believing that the visa was fraudulently obtained. A visa shall in principle be annulled by the competent authorities of the Member State which issued it. A visa may be annulled by the competent authorities of another Member State, in which case the authorities of the Member State that issued the visa shall be informed of such annulment.
A visa shall be revoked where it becomes evident that the conditions for issuing it are no longer met. A visa shall in principle be revoked by the competent authorities of the Member State which issued it. A visa may be revoked by the competent authorities of another Member State, in which case the authorities of the Member State that issued the visa shall be informed of such revocation.
Annulment is more serious than a mere revocation because it's a black mark on your record. It implies that you lied to obtain a visa.
In practice, if you show up somewhere unexpected, say in Germany with a visa for Greece, you might get a few questions about that. If you have a good explanation and all the necessary documents, there is no reason you would be denied entry and/or your visa revoked but if the border guards think you lied to get a visa and you always intended to come to Germany, they can annul it and send you back.
So the answer is not a clear-cut “your visa will become invalid if you change your hotel” but it's not “this visa is valid for anything anywhere within the Schengen area” either. Border guards have to decide whether it looks like you obtained your visa fraudulently and they do have the power to invalidate it if they think that's the case.
In your case, you are still going to typical tourist destinations, you would be entering through the same country as originally planned and the itinerary sounds very similar to the one you submitted when applying to the visa so I would not expect any problem. In all likelihood, the border guards in Prague won't even ask you anything beyond routine questions. If you are leaving in time, the border guards in France obviously have no reason to be concerned either.
Travelers' forums in Russia (for example, this one) have lots of reports from tourists who were notified that their visas were canceled after they canceled a hotel booking in the Czech Republic. There are also a few similar reports with German visas and I never heard of any such occasions with the French.
I also never heard of any occasion when a Schengen country canceled a visa after a hotel was canceled in another country (although, of course, it proves nothing).
Rules laid out in the Schengen Acquis are quite vague in their wordings and are open for interpretation. On one hand, there are references to possible plan changes. On the other hand, the EC made a number of condemnations of the practice called 'visa shopping' when travelers procure visas for 'lax' countries and then go to 'strict' countries instead.
As it seems, some countries, like the Czech Republic, systematically control hotel bookings by foreigners, some, like Germany, perform occasional selective checks, and some, like France, turn a blind eye on all this.
There is definitely no rule providing that cancelling an hotel booking is in itself grounds to cancel a visa and it makes no sense to say that “France is turning a blind eye” to it because it's not forbidden, there is no ambiguity about that. The only possible way to do that is to rule that the visa was obtained fraudulently or that it is not justified anymore. And “consulate shopping” is indeed a form of fraud, as discussed before on this site.
So I think that for some of the cases mentioned on the forum, the Czechs are clearly overzealous, revoking a visa because you added a day somewhere and removed one elsewhere just isn't reasonable in light of the regulation. Of course, it's still good to know they do it and to be careful (+1).
As far as the Schengen rules go, there is nothing odious about making small changes to your travel plans after you apply for a visa, as long as the overall purpose and destination of the visit remain true to what you described in the application. Switching to different hotels certainly falls under that.
Nevertheless, we do have some anecdotal reports of travelers finding their visas annulled at the border after canceling a hotel reservation they had used to support a visa application. It is not quite clear in those cases whether
- the consulates would spontaneously call the hotel to check if the reservation is still valid when the day of travel draws near, or
- the hotel actively "ratted out" the traveler to the appropriate consulate in retaliation for canceling, or
- the traveler misrepresented or misunderstood what they got into trouble for -- perhaps the real problem were that they didn't have any coherent accommodation plans at all when they were interviewed at the border?
If you ask me, it doesn't seem likely that you will get any trouble of this kind. But if you do have problems, it won't do you much good that a random stranger on the internet told you you'd be fine -- so the decision whether to risk it is ultimately yours to make.
If you want to play it safe, one way do that could be to keep your original reservations live until you've already crossed the Schengen border. Once you're in, it is unlikely bordering on impossible that anyone in authority will be able to use such small deviations against you.
Cancelable hotel bookings can often be canceled until some time in the afternoon on the day you are to arrive, so if you flight arrives early this would be a possibility. And it would certainly be an option for the second of the two cities you're visiting.
I have also read in many places and I don't know why people are spreading wrong information. It is clearly written here:
A Schengen visa obtained by any of the Schengen Area member countries allows free movement to its holder within the whole Schengen Zone regarding the European Union Schengen members as well as the EFTA Schengen members, up to its validity and timeframe.
and in another place
Can I travel to more than one Schengen country with the same Schengen visa? Yes, once you are issued the visa you can travel within the Schengen area as long as you don’t exceed the timeframe granted your visa.
The only thing you need to remember is
If the applicant is planning to visit two or more Schengen countries, it is highly recommended to be applying for the visa in the embassy/consulate of the country you will be residing in for most of the traveling days, referred to as the main destination.
It is simple as that. No ifs and buts. The Schengen visa means the visa is for the Schengen area; otherwise it will be called a country-specific visa.
There is no requirement to enter first to the country who issued you visa and hence no hotel change issue.
**If** the immigration authorities conclude that the visitor misrepresented the itinerary to gain the visa, the visa may be cancelled and/or future visa will become much harder. Making hotel reservations and cancelling them directly after the visa was granted certainly looks deceptive.
The itinerary is just for the information purposes. It's not written in stone. The schengen visa is collective visa for whole member state. If the visitor cannot freely travel to any country he wants, what is the point of giving Schengen Visa? They may as well just give country specific visa. It's a travel visa and it's not desception if the traveler change his itenary as long as he stays within the days limit. I know many people who has travel whole europe like that.