- Check out these Europe travel tips, they are here to help you with your travel in Europe:
- Emergency number is 112.
- There are generally spoken no vaccinations required in Europe, but because Europe is a group of different countries it’s always wise to check the country you’re visiting regarding health issues. You can check this at the website of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or ask your doctor.
- Make sure your medical insurance covers out of country expenses. Check with your insurance company.
- If you rent a car, check out my car renting tips and Driving Tips in Europe.
- Physically challenged traveler: Europe is a group of different countries, so it depends on where you’re going. For more information, check out this helpful website.
- Electricity: All Europe has 220-240 volt and 50 cycle alternating current. EU countries have two-pin plugs, except Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom. They have square three-pin plugs.To know if your appliances have the right voltage capacity, check the manual or sometimes it’s even printed on the actual item. If it says ‘100-240V’, than you can use it anywhere in the world, you only need the right adaptor. (Sometimes they have a switch to change between the two volts)For example, if you have a hairdryer from the USA, that is only able to take 120 volts and you plug it into a European outlet (which is 220-240 volts) you will damage your hairdryer! Adaptors, you can usually find at the airport or in a store that sells travel equipment.
© European Communities, 1995-2009
- Cell phones: in Europe you can use your cell phone anywhere thanks to international roaming as long as you have a multiple-frequency phone. In Europe they use the frequency 900/1800 Mhz. Make sure your network provider covers the country you’re visiting. And check the prices for international calls!
- Taxes: in Europe, most prices include VAT (Value Added Tax). It’s already in the shown price, instead of adding it at the cash register. Find more info.
- Alcoholic beverages: in Europe you are allowed to drink starting from the age of 18.
- Currency: In Europe most of the countries use the ‘euro’. The euro notes are the same in all the countries, but each country has his own coins with one common side and one side showing a national emblem. All the notes and coins can be used in all EU countries that have the euro.The 16 countries that use the euro are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia and Slovakia. (Territories that use the euro as well: Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and Vatican City)
- Tipping: is different from the USA. It’s not as expected as in the USA, but also appreciated. For restaurants, check if the service is included, you can find this on the menus. If it isn’t, 5 % tipping is normal. Tips are a ‘bonus’ for waiters, waitresses,… This is different from the USA, where the waiters, waitresses make a living from tips. So, if you liked the service, you can always do as we Europeans do and give a euro or two extra (depending on the amount of the bill). For taxis round off the fare.
- A lot of cities offer a special card to visit the city. For example the Roma Pass: it gives you 3 days free access on the public transport in Rome. Two free admissions, discounts at other museums and it also includes a map and a guide. The cost is 23 euros. More information in my Rome Travel Guide.
- Stores: opening hours vary in Europe, because of the different countries. Generally it’s from 9-10 AM till 6 PM. It also depends if it’s a smaller store or a department store. The bigger stores are usually open until 7-8 PM. Again, it depends which country you’re visiting. In the Mediterranean countries some close at lunch time because of the warmth, but stay open later in the evening. Sunday’s most shops are closed, except in the bigger cities.
- Postcards: Stamps can only use in the country you’re visiting. There is no global European stamp, even though they may be priced in euro. If, for example, you make a stop in Brussels first, buy some stamps and continue your vacation in Germany and want to send a postcard there. You need to buy new German stamps! Stamps can be bought at local post offices, sometimes souvenir shops that sell cards, sell the stamps too.
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