First Time Travel to Europe? Read These 8 Tips Before You Go!

If you’re planning first time travel to Europe, it can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time. But when you have a better idea of what to expect, your trip planning will be easier. That’s why we’ve put together these 8 beginner tips for first-time travelers to Europe. They will give you a leg up before you go, and make you feel a lot more knowledgeable long before you set foot in Europe. Read them, below.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn several things you should know for first-time travel to Europe, including: 

Traveling to Europe Tips You Should Know Before Going

Since you’ve never visited Europe before (or it was a long time ago), you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared for your trip. You’ll want to save money, travel more wisely, and have the most enjoyable time! So follow this list of helpful things to know before you go.

1. Visa-Free Travel

Part of the EU’s (European Union) beauty is the freedom of movement between countries. While this core concept is active, you may still need your passport and an EU visa waiver to cross certain borders.

So, be sure to take your passport when you travel throughout Europe, even if you’re only going to be driving through another country for a day.

2. Europe Is More Than Just France, Germany, And Italy

When we think of traveling to Europe, we tend to think of buzzing destinations like Paris, Venice, Florence, and Barcelona. However, there are so many other fantastic destinations to see!

Add some of the lesser-known destinations to your itinerary. That might be the microstates in Europe, or off the beaten path within more well-known destinations, such as the hidden gems of mesmerizing Dordogne Valley in France.

3. City Trip Europe…European Cities Are Magnificently Unique!

Another amazing reality in Europe is that the cities (let alone countries) differ greatly from one another other.

From London’s bustle to Venice‘s charm or Berlin’s coolness, they are vastly different in both history and culture. It’s hard to believe that even if you’re in the same country, you’ll find tremendous differences. Take, for instance, London vs. Manchester in the UK. They’re just two hours away from each other by train, yet they offer completely unique experiences.

That means if you’re planning a European road trip, you’ll want to include a variety of cities. Then you can truly experience the rich diversity of European Cities.

4. Same Language, Different Nationalities

When it comes to languages, France, parts of Switzerland, and a large portion of Belgium are among the many countries whose people speak the same official language—yet they are culturally distinct. Technically, this should make learning a new language easier. But you’ll still want to be aware of subtle language differences.

Likewise, you’ll find regional dialects within countries. The dialect in the Venice region (Venetian) will have different nuances from the Italian spoken in Sicily (Sicilian), Naples (Neopolitan), and Rome (Romano).

In fact, you’ll find somewhere around 34 languages and dialects spoken in Italy, even though Italian is the official language. Although Italian is the official language of Italy, it’s not widely known that the country boasts some 34 spoken languages and related dialects. 

Related Article: Tips for Communicating when You Don’t Speak the Language

5. Getting Around Europe – Take Public Transportation

Who wouldn’t love to be chauffeured around the Champs-Élysées in a Jaguar? But a bus, metro, or a tube will fit the bill more economically. The good news is that Europe’s public transportation services are excellent.

You can ride the bus or train wherever in big cities and even in remote locations such as Cinque Terre, Italy. It’s a great way to navigate throughout Europe, between countries and cities because it’s quick, cheap, and simple to use.

6. Flights Are Cheap

Even those who hate low-cost travel can’t deny that flights to and from Europe have become unbelievably affordable. That’s in part thanks to lower-cost airlines, if you don’t mind having a little less leg-room, of course.

For as little as £4 (about $5 US) each way, you can fly from London, England to Gothenburg, Sweden, which is one of the cheapest flights. However, the cost of getting there and back from some of the quieter airports they fly into can still add up.

Related Article: How to find Flight Deals Online

7. Hotels In City Centers Are Expensive

Almost everyone wants to visit the amazing cities of Paris, London, and Barcelona. Not so fantastic for your bank account, though!

Typically, Europe’s major cities are busy places. Many hotels offer relaxing stays that are sought-after by weary travelers. You can certainly get a one-of-a-kind city center property and royal treatment if you’re willing to spend a lot of money.

But looking to services like Airbnb can help you save some money. Even better, you’ll have the opportunity to experience life in the city like a local.

Another good possibility is to go out of your way to visit a regional city, instead. You’ll find many scenic towns in the south of France (like Nimes, for instance) for a fraction of the price of Monaco; it still has a picturesque charm that’s just waiting to be explored.

8. Same Currency, Different Price

Although several European countries have adopted the Euro, prices can still vary significantly. That’s because each country has its own economy. As an example, the cost of a bottle of water in Paris could be higher than one you purchase in a small Italian village.

This may seem self-evident, but if you’re only stopping for a few minutes as part of a longer journey, it’s a good idea to keep this in mind. This is useful to know when making your budget, especially for big expenses.

Final Thoughts on First Time Travel to Europe

Now that you know these useful tips for travel to Europe, you’ll certainly be better prepared for the adventure. And with any luck, your first time travel to Europe will whet your appetite for many return trips.

Considering a visit to Spain? Here are the top experiences in Spain not to miss.

Photo credit: Feature: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Roman Kraft (Unsplash), Train: courtesy of Canva Pro.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.