Europe is the top continent on everyone’s bucket list. When you ask most people where their dream travel destination is, they are most likely to say somewhere like Paris, Rome, or Athens. Europe is also, of course, the most traveled-to out of all the continents. Check out top travel tips for Europe.
For those of you traveling to Europe, or for those of you who plan to travel sometime in the future, the process may be a little daunting, especially if you have never been to any European country before.
But don’t worry- if so many people dream of Europe and if so many people travel there every year, then it must be worth all the hype. For those who are planning a visit to Europe, here is a list of travel tips for Europe for a fun and memory-filled adventure.
Travel Tips for Europe #1: Travel during the off-season
Everyone wants to go to Europe during the summer when they have a lot more time off than during the rest of the year, but this may not be the best option.
The problem is, everyone else thinks that this is the best time to go too, which results in higher plane ticket prices and busier tourist spots. Tourist attractions in Europe during the summer are far more crowded and you might not even get to see everything that you initially wanted to for this reason.
Therefore, it is better for you to travel during the off-season. There is still plenty to do in Europe during the wintertime (hello, Christmas markets!), spring, and fall. Try to plan your trip to Europe during other breaks that you may have throughout the year and you might end up having a much better experience.
Travel Tips for Europe #2: Learn the local language (or at least a few phrases of it)
There is nobody who expects you to immediately become fluent in a language like French, German, or Italian (if you are able to speak a European language fluently, though, that’s even better!).
However, it is important to learn a few key phrases in the native language of the country or countries that you plan on visiting. This will not only show locals that you are courteous and care about their culture, but it can also help you.
While in many European cities, many younger people do know English, do not rely on this to always save you, especially if you want to venture off to the countryside. There are plenty of resources nowadays for you to learn another language, so always come prepared!
Travel Tips for Europe #3: Do not be afraid to travel to the less popular places
Everyone should see Paris, London, and Rome at least once in their lifetimes. But don’t be afraid to go out and try something new. It may be worth it to one day explore the mountainous and religious country of Armenia, which is not high on many people’s travel lists.
Or visit the beautiful town of Avignon in southern France, take a trip to Hungary, Belarus, Moldova, and other countries that may have not been the first ones you thought about when planning a trip to Europe.
Eastern European countries and cities or villages in Western European countries that are not as popular among tourists are much, much cheaper than the typical tourist traps that people tend to fall into when traveling to Europe.
Not only that, but you will be guaranteed to have a memorable experience, and one that you can share with many people who may have not seen that side of Europe! Be sure to do a lot of research on different towns and cities all across Europe that may appeal to you. There is something for everyone.
Travel Tips for Europe #4: Check visa requirements and plan ahead
Depending on where you are from, this could make or break your trip. You never want to show up in a country on a trip that you had planned for months only to find out that you needed a visa beforehand and that you have been denied entrance.
Hopefully, you will have done a lot more research on your trip before reaching this point.
Many countries in the European Union have some sort of visa-free regimes with many countries throughout the world, but it is best to double check and especially if you plan on visiting a country outside the European Union, such as Serbia or Armenia. I
f you are an American, Russia especially has a rather strict visa regime, so be sure to completely research beforehand how to get a visa, whether or not you need one, if you can get one without an invitation, etc. and plan your trip based on that information.
Travel Tips for Europe #5: Do not be afraid to talk to locals
Please! Locals are not there to hurt you! In fact, many locals may actually be pleased that you have taken an interest in their country and are asking them for advice or help.
When you go out to restaurants, bars, or other settings, don’t be afraid to make some friends there too. You might end up receiving some valuable information or advice that you would not have been able to find on the internet or in your travel guidebooks.
Locals can give you great tips on cheap places to shop, quality places to eat, and great places to tour. Not only that, but you can end up having lifelong friends from all across the world- and just another reason to continue traveling and coming back!
Travel Tips for Europe #6: Have cash with you
Many places in Europe still operate with only cash. Some places will even deny your credit card. It is always a good idea to have extra cash on you regardless of where you go, because there might be an emergency and you will need to have it with you.
Find some of the better places to exchange your cash and judge their rates accordingly; you don’t want to get ripped off. Don’t exchange all of the cash that you have, but having some of the currency of the country you will be traveling to is always a good idea.
Keep in mind that not every place will accept your credit card, so don’t plan on using it to purchase things while in Europe!
Travel Tips for Europe #7: Book tickets to major attractions in advance and online
There are many stories of people who have spent a lot of time waiting in line at places like the Louvre and other museums and tourist attractions. Nobody enjoys waiting hours and hours in line, especially not if they could have been done a lot faster.
Make sure that you book tickets for more popular sites that you want to see in advance so that way you don’t have to stand in line and waste time that you could have used touring the place or other places around the city.
Also, be on the lookout for days that some of these museums offer free admission. There is usually one day every month where a popular museum or tourist site will offer free admission, which will definitely save you some money, especially if you are on a budget.
Travel Tips for Europe #8: Bring your student ID with you
Even if you aren’t a student anymore! When you were a college student (or if you still are one), you may have gotten lots of student discounts and the only requirement was that you had an ID on you which showed the university that you were studying at.
If you take your student ID with you when you travel, it may end up getting you free entrances or tickets to some events or places. Even if not for free, your student ID could help you get somewhere cheaper than you could have gone had you not brought it with you.
Travel Tips for Europe #9: Take lots of pictures
This is definitely a no-brainer, but there are some people who might be embarrassed to take pictures when they travel because of all the people who complain about the Instagram tourists.
Don’t be embarrassed. Take as many selfies and pictures as you want. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to take your photo, too. Take pictures of everything you see, of the sunrise, of the sunset, of your food, of the store you just shopped in, and of course, of all the sites that you see during your trip.
You can always go back again, but you will never be able to relive this very experience. Taking as many pictures as possible means that the memory will always be there and you will always have these priceless souvenirs from your trip.
Travel Tips for Europe #10: Go local
Be sure to go to the local supermarkets and local businesses. This can end up saving you a lot of money. There is nothing better than going to a local supermarket and indulging in all the homegrown fruits and vegetables that people are selling.
Local restaurants which may not be as popular for tourists may end up being much better than the popular restaurants and have more authentic cuisine. Do as the locals do.
This is where they live, and they know what they are doing. You can end up having a much more memorable trip this way- and you are less likely to get ripped off for being a tourist.
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