The 36 Best Tips for Travelling in Europe

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Europe has so much history, a variety of cultures, languages, food, people… that there really is no reason not to visit. But with so many travellers visiting Europe – East, West, North, South, and Central, the region is changing rapidly and has sure evolved quicker than I could have imagined since I first visited over 7 years ago. So, here they are:


Tips For Travelling in Europe

1. Research + Planning is key

If I could take back the $400, 8 hour drive from Romania to Serbia, I would. Sadly I foolishly led myself to believe there just must be a train I could catch, instead of doing a little research to find out well in advance. Europe is a tricky one because the West is so crowded with visitors and the East is still so difficult to travel throughout in comparative terms. I love a challenge, so I love venturing East… just be sure to do your research and planning in advance. Especially taking into consideration that during winter, almost everything in Europe changes – opening (or more appropriately closing) hours; weather; light in a day; and so on and so forth.

2. Book everything in Advance

For normal holidays, it is more than sufficient to book your airfares and accommodation, and merely turn up to see what takes your fancy / where you’ll spend your time. But for Europe, especially during March (spring break) or Summer (June, July, August), you’ll often be stuck without a bed or disappointed to miss one of the top attractions if you do not book in advance.

3. Don’t book through third party sites for attractions + activities

Sites like “Viator” are a great place to start when researching the various attractions and activities you can enjoy in a new city, but they’ll also charge you up to double the amount for the bookings. Instead, go directly to the attraction’s website to book or for activities, a quick Google search will take you there.

4. Don’t let anyone help you with your bags – on trains especially

The old saying goes “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And alas, in most circumstances it is. Anyone offering to help you with your bags will proceed to demand cash from you – so to avoid the hassle, keep a tight grip on your bags. On that note, make sure you watch your bags when you depart each station – as they might just so happen to wander off with another passenger.

5. Cheap airlines vs. National Carriers

The age old debate – to save a few bucks and take the risk of paying the price of a new limb just for overweight bags, or to book with an established airline and save the hassle? If you’re going to fly with a cheap airline, be sure to take portable scales around with you – they’ll save you hundreds of dollars. Similarly, consider your luggage constraints in advance and book the necessary weight for your limit, rather than handing over hundreds of dollars for slightly overweight bags.

6. Choose the Right Credit Card

Do yourself a favour – avoid fees wherever you can. They add up. 28 Degrees Mastercard has always been my go-to card, but on the 1/1/2014 they introduced cash advance fees on withdrawals. Thus, the new “best” credit card in Australia is the Citibank Travel Card. On that note, don’t forget to ring your bank to inform them of your travel plans!

7. Seize the Day

Big cities in Europe (I’m talking London, Paris, Rome, etc) are always heaving with tourists. And I mean always. To see the city a different way (and often more enjoyable), start your day early and finish when you pass out on your bed, unable to exert even an ounce of energy.

8. “Skip the Line” Passes

Don’t like waiting? Nor do I when my time is limited! Many European cities offer “skip the line” passes which allow you to do just that – skip. the. line. Amazing!

9. Walk Everywhere

Not only will you save money, but you will also see more of the city, the more you explore on foot.

10. Don’t exchange cash, Instead opt for the ATM

Cash exchanges were the “in thing” about a decade ago. Nowadays it is much cheaper and easier to simply stick your card in the ATM and withdraw the cash you need in the local currency.

11. Carry some Euros, Always

While not all European countries are on the Euro (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the UK), it still pays to always carry some cash around with you. Euros will get you by in most countries, and in others you will need to withdraw a little cash on arrival. Save yourself the hassle of not being able to buy lunch because you couldn’t read the “cash only” sign.

12. When Packing, Consider the Cobblestones

Summer in Europe provides ample opportunity to dress up and enjoy the sunshine. Winter is even more of a trap with all your clothing items suddenly being x10 heavier – i.e. coats, jeans, boots, etc. But when you pack, consider the cobblestone streets and walkways you’ll be dragging that 25 kilogram case over – it ain’t easy! Save yourself the dead arms and always pack less, never more and hardly ever enough. What you don’t need, you can always buy there.

13. Avoid Restaurants with Pictures of Food

This is a general rule to follow across the globe, because quite frankly there could be nothing more off putting than choosing your food based on a photograph. Usually (if not always) these places are a dive. Avoid.

14. High Speed Trains – Use Them

While they may put you a few extra dollars out of pocket, they will work wonders in terms of getting you from A to B in much less time, giving you more time to explore your next destination. You’ve come all this way on a timeframe (be it 3 weeks or 3 months), so make the most of every moment.

15. Do try the Local Cuisine

On my first trip to Europe I was almost petrified of eating anything I hadn’t seen before. What was it? What’s in there? I would visually dissect any pastry or pizza and convince myself it just wasn’t worth the worry. But nowadays, things have changed. I TRY EVERYTHING… and so should you. There will be nowhere in the world that serves pasta like the italians, no better chocolate than in Belgium and Switzerland, and no better excuse to eat copious amounts of gelato for every meal of the day. Go all out!

16. A note on House Wine

It is cheap…. and scrumptious.

17. Eat as Far Away from the Major Attractions as Possible

And/or research great eats before you go. If you have food intolerances, you should make an extra effort to find a number of places you can eat throughout the city and save yourself the hassle of walking for hundreds of metres to no avail.

18. Allow yourself a mix of “Tourist” & “Traveller”

I’m always reading how important it is to be a traveller and not a tourist… but I’m going to make a bold claim here and say it is entirely okay to be both. Having a blend of both major attractions and off the beaten path experiences will give you a well-rounded experience of a new city.

19. When in London,

There are many great free attractions on offer, especially by way of museums! Check out how to experience London on a budget to cut down the costs of one of the world’s most expensive cities to visit.

20. When in Rome,

The Roma Pass is entirely worth your while if you plan on visiting loads of the sights and attractions in Rome (honestly, who doesn’t!?), as well as giving you free metro transport throughout the duration you purchase. It also allows you to use a much shorter access line saving a lot of time and trouble.

21. When in Paris,

You’re allowed to drink alcohol in public areas in Paris, I repeat: alcohol. public. areas. So you’re looking for the perfect picnic!? Grab a bottle of French champagne, cheese, bread, and head for the Eiffel Tower. You won’t regret it.

22. When in Amsterdam,

The best way to get around Amsterdam and feel like a local is to hire a bike for the day. If you want to take it one step further, consider renting a houseboat for your stay (there are a few on offer through Air BnB).

23. When in Berlin,

Just because German food is traditionally heavy carbs + meat, does not mean you have to eat this way in Berlin! Quite the contrary! Berlin is incredibly vegetarian + vegan friendly, even having a fully vegan supermarket! There are some fantastic smoothie bars on offer, as well as plenty of options to eat and stay healthy.

24. When in Venice,

A gondola seats six, so pack yourself in like sardines as the price is per gondola, not per person. Don’t use a map in Venice – ever. Half the fun of this city is to get lost. Don’t skimp out and only visit for one day, this city deserves at least two.

25. When in Copenhagen,

Copenhagen is expensive – there’s no denying it. But many of the top attractions are free to see and experience, even museums on Wednesdays!

26. When in Prague,

Don’t miss the chance to catch a 2.5 hour bus to Cesky Krumlov, arguably the prettiest town in all of Europe!

27. When in Lisbon,

Take to the streets and explore Alfama neighbourhood on foot. It is here where you will find the most authentic and accurate reflection of Portuguese way of life, as well as many great cheap eats options.

28. When in Budapest,

Don’t miss your chance to bath in Europe’s largest thermal bath, Szechenyi, for around $12 for the day.

29. When in Vienna,

Head to the Opera an hour or more earlier and take the side entrance. It is here where you will be able to purchase “standing only” tickets for a few euros, much cheaper than the 60 euros + price tag on regular tickets.

30. Swap Driving for Trains

Driving in Europe is a nightmare, particularly if you’re crossing into other countries and trying to drive a rental car one-way. The easiest way to travel throughout Europe has always been to use the train network. A great option is to invest in a travel pass to ease the paperwork.

31. Come Prepared

This is a bit of an odd one to talk about, but certainly worth mentioning. Imagine yourself in India eating plenty of spicy foods your body is not used to, and imagine what would happen as a result when you rush to the bathroom. Then imagine this is reverse when considering all the bread and pasta your body is likely to consumer in Europe — then imagine the reverse effect. Yup, come prepared with medicinal help to avoid trying to ask for them at the chemist counter.

32. Night Trains

Are a great way to save money on accommodation for the evening and are often cheaper than trains during the day. Book in advance to save money as prices typically hike nearer to the date.

33. Ski in Cheaper Locations

Plan on skiing in Europe during the winter? So do many others! If you head to the French or Swiss alps, you’re gonna have to be prepared to hand over the big bucks. Alternatively, consider the likes of Slovenia or Poland for cheaper but still great slopes.

34. Be Aware of Political Unrest

Political unrest in Europe is not uncommon, so be sure to check online before and during your trip incase any arises.

35. Festivals

Europe has some fantastic festivals on offer that will make your experience all the more enjoyable and memorable. Consider: The running of the bulls (Pamplona, Spain), St Patrick’s Day (Dublin, Ireland) and King’s Day (Amsterdam) among many others.

36. Carpe Diem!

& perhaps the most simple tip of them all – never forget to seize the day.

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    Jacob King
    February 9, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Very useful tips. Just “Great”

    Clipping Path Service
    November 28, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Wow ! so nice and wonderful post about traveling tips it’s also very helpful information all of us so thanks a lot for sharing this with us………

    October 13, 2015 at 12:33 am

    We just returned from Croatia and were grateful to find that every place we visited did accept euros, though it’s worth mentioning that Switzerland is also on the list that doesn’t use euros (you’ll need Swiss francs) . Great tip list!

    Stine F
    October 9, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Great tips! Spent a week in Tuscany this summer – with no plans. It was great! Just drinking cheap wine reading a book in the garden of the house we rented. But did regret not buying a fast pass for the day we spent in Florence, because the lines were so long we had to choose one thing and commit to it. Definetly going back more prepared – and seeing the museums. This time we climbed to the top of the Dome in the cathedral, and it was great!

    Kerjan | Backpack Babe
    October 7, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Love this!! You always give the best tips, Brooke 🙂 This makes me want to hop on a plane to Europe ASAP!

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    September 27, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    The more you travel, the more you learn the how-tos! I travel with two things : firstly, I always use my instinct; secondly, when I eat, it’s at a place where many locals would normally eat, as the food will be fresh and generally good. In Portugal, when you see ‘Prato do dia’ this will mean a full meal for little money, generally under €8 for bread/olives, drink(water/wine), main with choice of meat or fish, always accompanied by a veg or salad if it’s not part of the main, and a dessert and coffee(espresso).

    Ernest Penuela
    September 27, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Really great tips! Cant wait for our next family holiday in Europe. Hope you dont mind me sharing this page link.

    September 26, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Love it! Some great tips

    September 25, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Your tips all are so valuable. I have keep all of your tips as my reference when I got the chance visit to Europe one day! Your trip is really well planned. I strongly agree with Booking Everything in Advance. It really can save up a lots of time, money and stress! Thanks for sharing this great information with us here! Well written!!!

    September 24, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Brooke, I’m new to Bloglovin’ and discovered your blog the other day. I must say that I love it! I’m heading to Paris tomorrow and have used a few of your tips. Thanks for sharing!


    Anca | Globaloud
    September 24, 2015 at 1:10 am

    I was told once that I should never carry more stuff in my luggage than I can carry up stairs. And that’s true. I learned over the time that my luggage should be max 17kg – anything above that makes carrying it around really unpleasant so I always stick to that rule.

    September 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

    I love the short sentence recommendations at the end for some of the more popular cities! Thanks for this guide, it’s so helpful!

    Wandering Donut
    September 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Europe is my first stop on my big travel plan starting at the end of this year and these tips are already very helpful and I havn’t even left yet, so thankyou! As someone who has always grown up being a mix of both tourist and traveller I especially love the number 18.

    Nora @ The Forgotten Recipe
    September 23, 2015 at 12:46 am

    I always liked only booking a few days in advance for my hostels. It always worked out for me. This meant that we were much more flexible and got to do things like travel to Hungary which we would have never been able to do if everything was booked.

    One more tip: If you’re travelling with a backpack, pack your clothes in Ziploc bags. It’s so much easier to find the one shirt you want when you just have to pull it out in bags.

    September 22, 2015 at 7:39 am

    I love the mix of tourist and traveler advice – so true!

    September 22, 2015 at 4:57 am

    such fab tips love reading your blog

    September 21, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    These tips are valuable and everyone should read this. I follow every thing necessary in my travels. I even have jet lag prevention, jetLAGFX to ensure my travel to be jet lag free.

    September 21, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I wish I had this list last year when I was travelling through Europe. Very helpful x

    September 21, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Planning a bit in advance is good, but also having some flexibility can be great as well

    September 21, 2015 at 5:35 am

    Nice! I guess the most important point I learnt here was to always do my prior research… which I always forget to do! This usually leads me to a bit of a financial chaos in the end, haha, but oh well!

    Mijn kleine geheimpjes
    September 21, 2015 at 5:01 am

    Haha, coming from the Netherlands and staying in Iceland right now, i couldn’t help myself laughing for your line “driving in Europe is a nightmare”! After 50 km’s of gravel roads, i lovelovelove to go back to Holland for the nice and flat highways!

    September 21, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Being from Europe I can say these are some great tips 🙂 Especially about booking everything in advance, it saves you so much money and stress!

    September 21, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Love these tips! I used to take night trains all of the time when I was in Europe!

    September 20, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    So many great tips- specifically love the “when in…” ones as they are so helpful! I definitely agree with #7 though! With my trips to Edinburgh, most days when we went to explore we were out of the hotel and breakfasted by 9:30 which meant being able to visit some really popular attractions just when the doors opened- and when it’s super quiet!
    Lauren //

    September 20, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Really great tips, I totally agree with your philosophy of being a mix of both tourist & traveller. Thank you for sharing!

    Fashion Travel Accessories : Fashion Girl
    September 20, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Great tips!! Some people say that it’s good to go with the flow and be more adventurous but I on the other hand love spending time researching important things and perhaps some of the unexpected things. Of course I love to challenge myself from time to time but there is no way I could go anywhere, exploring and traveling without doing thorough research well in advance 🙂

    September 20, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I love this post! I’m really interested in travelling Europe yet have no idea where to start, so these tips will definitely come in handy.xx

    September 20, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Great tips! Can’t wait to get back to Europe asap!

    September 20, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Some great tips there! 🙂

    September 20, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Amazing tips, thanks for shairng! I especially loved the ones for the cities 🙂

    Adelaide Haynes
    September 20, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Great tips as always!!!! Especially the Carpe Diem (I got that tattooed on my ribs in Ireland).
    There’s so many easy ways to save so much money and see and do so many things, it’s well worth the research and preparation to make every moment count!

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    September 20, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    These are all really valuable tips, particularly your point about cobblestones! When I was in Hallstatt, Austria a group of girls were struggling with their luxury luggage, heaving it up narrow, cobbled staircases and walkways. I felt so bad for them!

    Tessa at

    September 20, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Ooh these tips are awesome! I’m from the UK and never really explored Europe other than odd trips to Spain and the Canaries so I’m determined to get a trip planned! Going to bookmark this one, thank you!!