Holidays in Europe are on everyone’s bucket list. Be it the enchanting hills of Switzerland, gorgeous Paris, sun-bathed Mediterranean beaches, or the heritage monuments of Greece and Italy, Europe impresses every kind of traveller.For those who are planning to visit this fascinating destination, here are some Europe travel tips for a smooth and seamless vacation.
Europe Travel Tips for First-Time Visitors
Is this your first time? These travel tips will help you plan a flawless vacation in Europe by saving you time and money on your vacation.
1. Visa Requirements
To travel to different European countries you need to apply for a Schengen visa from the Consulate or Embassy of the particular country you are visiting. Here are some important points you must know before applying.
- Your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date of travel. The passport must have at least two blank pages and copies of all previous visas applied for through the same passport.
- Documents required for a Schengen visa are visa application form, photographs, complete itinerary, all tickets and hotel booking confirmation vouchers, approved leave application from employer (NOC from schools for children) and sufficient funds.
- To apply for a Schengen visa, you must have valid and authorized travel insurance of a minimum of €30,000 coverage within the entire Schengen area.
- Tourists traveling to multiple countries must apply for a visa to the country of maximum number of days, regardless of the first port of entry. If the number of days in both or multiple countries is the same, the visa must be applied for the first port of entry. Like if one is traveling to Netherlands and France and spending 4 days in Netherlands and 6 days in France, then the visa should be applied for France even if Netherlands is the first port of entry.
2. Best time to visit Europe
If you have an exotic European vacation in mind, try planning it in the off-season. Summer is the peak season in Europe and thousands of tourists come to Europe from different parts of the world. Beaches are crowded, hotel rates and flight tickets are very high and long queues can be seen at popular tourist attractions. Since most of the famous attractions are open year-round, it is a best idea to travel to Europe in the off-season. One can save on flight tickets, hotel accommodation and avoid crowded places.
Wise and judicious use of any foreign currency is essential on any international holiday and Europe is certainly no exception. The first and foremost guidance regarding the use of currency is to not exchange money at the airport. You can get better rates in the city before travelling, or exchange it from India.
MasterCard, Diners, Visa and American Express debit and credit cards are widely accepted throughout Europe. But during holidays it is always advisable to use currency cards or international travel cards. Most of the authorized nationalized and private sector banks issue this International Travel Card. You can issue this card from any bank in India and pre-load Euros for smooth and hassle-free transactions in Europe.
It is advisable to carry cash with you but use it only where it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, use the travel card elsewhere. There are many countries like Croatia, Sweden, Denmark etc. which do not use Euro and have their own currency. Try to keep these countries in your plan. Travel expenses there will be comparatively cheaper.
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4. Travel by train
Most Europe travel guides recommend traveling by train when traveling from one country to another. We strongly support this suggestion. Depending on the destination, train travel is far easier, hassle-free and affordable than air travel. For example, if you are traveling from Brussels to Paris, flying is difficult and quite expensive. Instead, book a ticket on Thalys or TGV and reach Paris in about 2 hours. But is it equally important to book train tickets in advance to get the best deal?
5. Local language
Don’t assume that everyone in Europe knows English. One of the best travel tips for Europe is to know some keywords in the local languages of the country you are visiting. If Paris is in your plans, learn some key French words or if you’re in Italy, learn some basic Italian words.
6. Mobile connection
Another very important travel tip for Europe is regarding mobile connections. There is no SIM card that can be used in every European country, so it is always advisable to activate the international roaming plan as per the countries you are traveling to before departing from India.
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7. Book tickets online
Europe is full of fascinating monuments and structures. There are huge palaces, museums, churches and gardens which amaze every traveller. To enjoy a seamless and hassle-free visit to these monuments, book entry tickets online. There are separate queues for online ticket holders and this way you can avoid long queues.
8. Packing Tips
If you’re confused about what to pack for a vacation to Europe, here’s a checklist of the essential things you should take with you. Carry a small bag for day trips, cotton clothing and shade, umbrella and raincoat for summer as Europe has unpredictable rains. But the most special thing about Europe is shoes. Carry mostly sneakers and walking shoes with you as the best way to explore the city is by walking and hiking. If you are traveling to Greece, stay away from high heels as there are many monuments that do not allow women to wear high heels.
9. Shopping Tips
The most important tip for shopping in Europe is to explore local markets rather than luxurious stores and boutique shops. The goods in the street markets look amazing and vibrant and it is a lot of fun to choose the best goods and souvenirs through hearty bargaining. One thing every traveler should keep in mind about shopping in Europe is; Greeting a shopkeeper and exchanging pleasantries with him counts as social etiquette and never forget to do so.
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10. Food Tips
With a variety of cuisines to choose from, the different countries in Europe will always leave you spoiled for choice. If you are a foodie and want to try different dishes, go to local bistros and roadside cafes instead of classy restaurants. Also, when visiting different countries, always try to check out the specialties of their food, such as when in France always try different cheeses and local wines, while when in Belgium, try different types of waffles. Try and enjoy the different flavors if you are visiting Greece. Greek yogurt and Greek salad.
11. Travel to non-euro countries
If you want to get the most out of your euro travel, list countries that have retained their native currencies. This will help you save some money on your Euro travel as you will not have to use the Euro exchange rate and you will get maximum exposure to different cultures and traditions. The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and Romania are some of the countries that are not dependent on the euro and are less expensive than Western European countries. This is one of Best Euro Travel Tips This will come in handy if you are planning a vacation on this continent.
12. Join a walking tour
City walking tours are one of the best ways to get to know Europe in the best possible way. These walking tours not only take you to famous attractions and tourist spots in the city but also provide you with interesting anecdotes and knowledge that you might not otherwise know. There are walking tours in the city where you can learn to cook Italian food or explore the ancient ruins of Greece or Istanbul.
Food can be expensive when traveling in Europe. are here travel trips in Europe So that you can save some money and your stomach also remains full. You spend more on lunch than on dinner. Order the restaurant’s lunch special, which is a sumptuous three-course meal that will be easy on your budget and keep you satiated. Restaurants in Europe serve free bread and water anyway. European restaurants also charge extra for meals. Therefore, it is advisable to carry food on the go. Street food in delis and local restaurants will be cheaper than dining in restaurants any day.
one of the most important euro travel tips One thing that you should have deeply ingrained in your mind is related to accommodation. After all it is the next most expensive thing after flying. Do not stay in hotels near airports or railway stations. If you’re traveling alone, turn to backpacking hostels otherwise budget-friendly chains like Ibis, Easyhotels and Travelodge are better choices for families and groups.
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So, now you are complete with all the amazing and useful Europe travel tips. Check it out again before you fly to Europe. Europe can be expensive but if you keep these tips handy and do it right, you’ll have the best time you can on the continent.