I’ve been too Europe twice so far. Both times I did a little on my own as well as tours with Topdeck. Now obliviously Europe is a big place with a lot of different countries but I feel like these general tips should help out.
Cary a bit of Cash With You
Being from Canada almost everywhere takes cards. I can even by a small coffee of $2 and pay with my debit card. In Europe though a lot of places still prefer cash. Also it’s good to have some small notes with you as some places don’t really like big ones. The problem I had was ATMs would give you big ones. My advice is to go to a supermarket and just get something small to break it up.
Restaurant Service may be Different from What You’re Used to
In Canada if you 4 friends go out to dinner it’s normally no problem getting 4 separate bills. We are also used to free refills or soft drinks, big bottles of ketchup on the table, and plum or tartar sauce coming with our meals. In much of Europe bills won’t be split and you will get one per table. This is also a reason it’s good to cary a little cash with you. It’s rare to get soft drink refills and what you do get may be smaller than you’re used to. Often things like sauces may cost extra.
Learn a little of the Local Language
Especially in most major cities people will speak English. However learning basic phrases such as hello, please, thank-you and excuse me can go a long way.
Research How to Stay Safe Each Place you are Going
Europe is quite safe. That being said there are scams and pick pockets in a lot of the major cities. Mostly use common sense. Research scams in the cities you are going to before hand. Keep your wallet in your front pocket. Don’t leave your purse of phone on a table at a cafe or restaurant. When going somewhere at night walk with a friend or take a cab.
Europe is an amazing place with so much diversity in culture, language and food. From the rich history to amazing beaches to great food it’s a place you just have to explore.