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  • Writer's pictureJ&L

8 Essential Tips for Traveling to Europe

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

1. Transportation

Unlike most American metropolitan areas that require a car to get around with ease, European cities have excellent networks of public transportation. With options for metros, trams, trains, and buses, we have found public transportation to be the easiest, most efficient, and cost effective way of traveling through Europe. The best tool we utilize for pre-planning and on-the-go travel in Europe is Rome2Rio. With Rome2Rio you can assess real-time directions, estimated travel time, and estimated costs.

Germany and Austria have some of the best public transportation we have ever experienced.

2. Speaking the Language

English is the universal language that is most commonly spoken throughout western Europe. With that being said, it is respectful to attempt the native language when communicating with locals. We recommend researching key phrases for the countries you will be traveling ahead of your trip and printing a pocket-cheat-sheet to reference when communicating.

Rest assured, if English is the only language you speak fluently, you will be able to make your way around the metropolitan cities of western Europe with ease.


3. Restaurant Etiquette

Restaurant etiquette varies slightly depending on the country you are visiting in Europe, however, generally you can expect to tip more modestly than in America. Good service could warrant a 5-10% tip (or rounding up to the next euro/pound). Additionally, look on your check for a "service charge" which would eliminate the need for a tip altogether.

It is also worth noting that service in general is much more relaxed in Europe than in America. Do not expect your waiter/waitress to constantly check on you. With that being said, it is not considered rude to flag them down when you need something.

Tap water is served free of charge, similar to America. However, you will be served room-temperature water without any ice. Western European countries have tap water that is safe to drink, however, if you are concerned about the wate