Traveling to Europe
Photo: Madrid, Spain
Europe has an unimaginable amount of historical landmarks and attractions. From the house of Anne Frank to Pompeii, or even the very birthplace of democracy (hint: it’s Greece). If history isn’t your interest then how about wine, food, culture, or fashion? Europe has something for everyone.
Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden), Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta
Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Andorra, Portugal, Spain
Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungry, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine
Do I Need A Visa to Travel to Europe?
Currently, there are no visa requirements for Europe for an American passport holder, for trips that last less than 3 months (90 days). You will however, need to make sure that your passport will not expire within 6-months of your travel dates.
The Schengen Agreement will take effect beginning January 2021. The agreement includes 26 different European countries. Anyone traveling to Europe for longer than the allotted 3-months will need to apply. Click here for more information about the Schengen Agreement.
Photo: Jokulsa a Dal River. Iceland
Is Europe Safe?
While no where in the world is 100% safe. On a broad scale, Europe is typically a very safe place to travel. Thanks to their comprehensive healthcare, generally low crime rates, and political stability.
Europe can be a great place to travel solo. Though the safety concerns are no different than pretty much any large city in the States.
Western Europe is one of the best places to travel for those belonging to the LGBTQ community. Not all, but many of the countries celebrate passing anti-discrimination laws, and legally recognize same-sex marriage. Over all the social views on homosexuality are positive especially in big cities.
Europe’s views change as you near Central and Eastern Europe, towards Russia and the former Soviet Union. Central Europe has adopted anti-discrimination laws as a condition of joining the European Union. Though in some cases, the legal situation is ahead of their social views. In contrast, Prague has a thriving gay community.
For more useful travel advice check out our Trips Tips section. You’ll find useful information designed to save you time, keep you safe, and show you what being a good global citizen looks like.
When Is A Good Time to Visit Europe?
Any time of year is a great time to visit Europe.
If you choose to visit over the summer, you can generally expect long sunny days, warm weather, and lots of people. Summer falls within the busiest times to visit Europe. Which means you can expect lines and lots of tourists pretty much anywhere you go.
Scandinavia and other countries towards the North will have cooler temperatures compared to the heat of the of the south. Visiting the north means you can enjoy extra long summer days due to their geographic locations. Seeing the midnight sun is one of the wonders of summer in the north.
Traveling between April – June or September-October, are fantastic times to visit Europe. You can expect the weather to be cooler in the south and less crowds due to school being in session. Plus, there’s still plenty of day light.
November – March is considered “off-season” which means people are less likely to travel during this time. Traveling in off season has its perks. Many European cities have big Christmas and holiday markets, that are a must if you’re a big holiday fan. Just make sure to pack for the weather as it may be less cooperative than the summer months. You might want to pack some rain gear.
Will I have Trouble With the Language Barrier?
English is spoken in most countries. Especially in places like large cities with a high tourist turnout. But keep in mind that Europe is home to dozens of languages. Each country has its own primary language, which differs from the country next to it. You’ll find that English is spoken less in the more rural areas outside of city centers.
Is Europe A Good Place to Travel With Children?
Absolutely! Europe is one of the safest regions to travel to. Plus, thanks to the expansive rail systems and inter-Europe flights, it’s also easy to travel between countries. You’ll find an array of kid-friendly tours and attractions anywhere you go. There are endless opportunities for your family to experience an expansive melting pot of different cultures, climates, and food. It’s hard to go wrong.
ATM’s are pretty much everywhere throughout Europe. Call your bank and order an extra debit card, just in case. Visa and Mastercard are accepted regularly and more often compared to American Express. Check your details and research foreign transaction fees.
For the most part, people working within Europe’s hospitality industries don’t depend on customer tips as part of their income. As a guide, look for a “service included” charge on your check. However, leaving a tip is still considered a bonus for great service and is appreciated.
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