5 Things to Know About Travel Across Europe

Asako Maruoka's picture

There are many countries in Europe that most travelers strive to visit at least once in their lives. France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and others are located relatively close to each other. However, each of these tourist magnets are completely different, and all are worth visiting. If you want to travel across Europe, you must know the essential rules and recommendations to help you enjoy your trip, save money, and avoid any possible problems.

5 Things to Know About Travel Across Europe

Visas and Covid Restrictions

In a nutshell, the European Union includes countries that have no marked borders with each other. Once you enter the EU, you can freely move to different countries without the need to get another visa (Schengen zone regulations allow for a certain amount of time spent in the EU). However, there are a slew of details that you need to keep in mind, especially if you're an inexperienced tourist. 

Caveat: Even though Norway, Switzerland, or Lichtenstein are physically located in Europe, they are not part of the EU. Also, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and Cyprus are in the EU but not in the Schengen zone, so additional visa restrictions may apply. So if you decide to visit the best Universities in Birmingham, you should also remember that the UK is not a part of the European Union, nor the Schengen zone. 

Note that every country has different Covid restrictions. Check the latest updates from each country you intend to visit, to be sure you are in compliance with local regulations.


Unlike the US, public transport is well-developed in Europe; you won't need to rent a car to reach most destinations. Instead, you will be able to reach almost any place with ease using buses, trams, and the subway. However, trains are not the best way to travel in Europe. They may be a fast and affordable solution to go to a neighboring city…but trains between different countries in the EU are costly. 

If you want to visit several countries during your trip to Europe, use a plane. The aircraft transportation industry is well-developed in the EU. You can easily find a flight to almost any city with short layovers. Moreover, there are a lot of low-cost airlines that offer plane tickets for less than $10 (usually carryon only, so pack light!). In addition, almost all airlines offer the ability to buy tickets online and get boarding passes received on smartphones, which is very convenient.

5 Things to Know About Travel Across Europe

Different Currencies and Languages

The euro is used by a large number of countries in the EU. You will easily pay in any shop in France, Italy, Germany, or Spain using this currency. However, you will need to look for an exchange office if you arrive in Poland, Sweden, or Hungary. Some countries, as you see, have their own currencies. Also, it's recommended to avoid exchange offices in airports and bus stations because they offer the worst exchange rates, as usual. Notify your bank of your travel plans, and pack your MasterCard or Visa credit card to pay for your purchases in any European country with no hassle. 

Try to learn the basics in languages of the countries you'll be visiting. Install a translation app on your phone, as well. This shows respect; don't expect everyone to speak your language.

Local Laws 

Remember, all countries in the EU have different laws that you need to research before arriving, to avoid problems. For instance, according to German laws, it's forbidden to work on Sundays; all grocery stores are closed on this day. Also, you will hardly find any attractions open on Sunday in Germany. The only option to buy some food or water in this country on Sunday is to find a cafe or a gas station.

You can get into trouble in Italy if you don't research the local laws. For instance, there are  some vending machines in Italy that offer the opportunity to purchase hemp legally. However, it's illegal to consume it outside. Those who don't know this rule can get arrested. 

Staying Connected

These days, it's impossible to live offline for most people. Unfortunately, no carrier works in all European countries. 

It can be almost impossible to find free Internet hotspots even in major tourist cities. Plan your budget to include purchasing a sim card in every country separately, which will cost around $20 per several GBs of cellular Internet. Alternatively, call your carrier before leaving home, and ask about roaming plans. It might be cheaper!

5 Things to Know About Travel Across Europe