Unarguably Europe is the melting pot of cultures, traditions, and rich heritage. Everyone like Europe, and it is the world’s largest destination for travel. There is too much to see in Europe that one life can fall short, and at the same time to feel its essence a short itinerary would also do. Travelling to Europe can be a daunting task especially when you are visiting multiple countries. All 53 of them have different cultures, and mostly different languages too. But some advice and tips could always help.
In this blog we have listed some best tips that you must follow while visiting to Europe. They will not just make your life easy but will help you with a smooth travel experience. All these tips might not be applicable to all the European countries, but will give you a high level idea.
Don’t choose the peak season – The best time to visit Europe is in the off season. Summers in Europe can get very crowded. Remember that children have their holiday then and many families flock to Europe for vacations. Also remember that Europeans too travel to their neighboring countries.
Winters in Europe can be truly awesome. But again do not travel at the peak winters, or you could feel frozen. But mild winters are the best. you will also get to witness snow. If you are visiting southern or Western Europe, peak winters are also fine as you get to see Christmas markets.
Don’t stuff your itinerary – Ideally everything likes to see their plates full. But you do not do that. Instead of visiting all places, try to focus on one region, and try to experience the local charm, the regional charm and get on the ground. Visiting too many countries or cities in one go is bad idea.
Don’t use ATM’s everywhere – AS you are headed out the main source of your incoming cash is going to be ATM, but do not swipe that every other machine you see. Try to transact in the ATM”s that are listed as official international partners of your bank in order to avoid additional hefty charges!
Avoid shopping and eating near major tourist spots – We know that you would want to buy souvenirs or would like to have a quick bite after exploring an old historical site. But keep patience and walk a further to neighborhoods around the spot to eat or to shop. Establishments near tourist spots can be flashy and will lure you to spend money, a lot of money, but keep your head right.
Take the rails – Yes train travel in Europe is pretty good. They have world class infrastructure, and offer comfortable rides. It is also affordable. If you are planning to cover long distances In Europe then chose train travel. You can also get yourself made a Euro Rail Pass which works in most of the countries.
European Markets – When visiting Europe always take a note of visiting markets in the city you are visiting. You will always stumble upon something nice to buy, or something tasty to eat. IT is the place where you will get things most closely related to their culture.
Advance Booking – Europe is full of tourists spots that are world famous and get thousands of visitors every day. If you want to beat the queues, save time, and save yourself from exhaustion, then buy tickets to these spots in advance.
Coperto – This is the name of the charge you pay for sitting down to eat. Yes it is widely used in European cities. If you end is some shady touristy place, you could also get scammed and be ripped with hundreds of Euros. So it is better to ask upfront if sitting charges are applicable in place you visit.
Local Language – It is always advisable to learn few words from the local language of the country that you are visiting. You should least know how to greet people, how to ask directions, and how to thank people while showing gratitude. There are always apps on your mobile to do such things, but still you should know the bare minimum.
Museums and Theaters – They might sound like contrast words, but Europe is pioneer in both of them. Being a cultural hotspot, it has lots of good museums, and theaters too. Try visiting them as you will get to learn about their culture a lot.
Offbeat travel – We all have a habit of planning pour itineraries based on the top locations in any given country. Its not bad, as well want to end up our holidays on a good note. But try to insert at least one such local place in your trip that is less visited and vouched by the locals. Trust me, these places will give you the glimpse of the real culture and they will be less crowded too.
Tourist Tax – It is a small fee that is collected by hotels and now also by AirBnb’s for all the travelers. It is calculated per person per night and is usually 2 to 4 Euros per unit. Also note that it is collected in cash, unless big hotels allow you to pay it by card which later would be managed by them in cash. So do not think of it as some scam. It is applicable in most of European destinations but not all.
Walking Tours – Europe is full of history and historical places. In most tourist destinations the most touristy spots are nearby. You will also get many local guides to show you the place around. Summing up, try indulging in walking tours. In Europe there is lots to surprise you.
Air Conditioning – Unlike the rest of the world where air conditioning is included and a standard, in European hotels its not always included. Not even in the hot destinations of Europe. So before making booking and reservations do check this out.
High Heels – Ladies should take a note of it. Europe is not an ideal place to wear high heels. The old towns of Europe have cobblestoned streets, and hence high heels will only cause discomfort. However if you have night planned out in some fancy club of the city, we will rest our case.
Restaurant Service – Restaurant service in Europe is little slow, so you got to be patient. Also be ready to tip the waiter as it is expected in every restaurant. The best thing that if you want to pay by card, the card machine will be brought to you on your table by the waiter! Yes, all is not that bad.
After Noon Closure – In the Mediterranean belt of Europe, cities and even the villages have tradition of after noon closure of business establishments. You got to take note of that. Eat your food, buy your essentials before 2 PM. Also note that in most of the Europe Sunday is a serious holiday!
Budget Airlines – Europe is home to many budget airlines, and while travelling internally we suggest that you make full use of them. They are cheap and easy on pocket. The best thing about it, Europe is not that big, so any budget airline travel will also wrap up in couple of hours.
Renting a car – Renting a car might not be a good idea if you are visiting some major European city. Such places have a very good network of Bus, Rails, and metros. So use them. Renting a car in big cities is a very costly affair in Europe.
Small Cars – However if you are renting a car, especially when you want to travel borders, or through many cities, then go for a hatchback or a small car. The reason being that in Europe the highways are not that huge or wide. So it will be comfortable for your ride.
Tolls and Gas – If you are renting a car in Europe then you also got to know that there are too many of tolls in Europe, yes they are very common. Plus they do not even accept cards, so you got to carry some cash. Also the price of the gas is relatively higher in European countries.
City Pass – We will again assert to tell you this, that Tourism is a very serious business in Europe. Hence in many of the European cities you will find a City Pass, which can bought from the websites of the cities administration or from local tourism centers. It will give you access to all major touristy spots in the city. It will be comfortable and save you from the hassles of queues.
Rainy Wear – Remember whenever or whichever time you are travelling to Europe, at many destinations it’s always a possibility that it could rain. So carry some rainy wears in your packing list, or buy one when you land down in Europe.
Carry some cash – Many smaller establishments in Europe do not accept cards, especially in traditional and offbeat places. So always check before ordering anything if they accept cards. It also doesn’t means that you carry cash for everything as it could cross your budget even without getting noticed.
Use your coins – While travelling in Europe and making cash transactions will quickly leave you with lots of 2 Euros coins. So make sure that you spend these coins together with the case. IT is because when you will be returning leftover currency at airport for exchange they do not accept coins.
Europe is all you need!