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Tips for travelling to Europe

Your essential guide to the ultimate European trip.

With so many countries packed into such a small space, you’ll never run out of places to travel in Europe

Here’s our handy guide to the best sights and experiences across the continent and our top travel tips for Europe.

What to see and do in Europe


Explore world famous cities

Explore world famous cities

Every corner of Europe is filled with amazing cities that travellers visit from all over the world. From the historic sights of Italy to the beaches of Greece, the designer boutiques of Paris to the scenery of Scandinavia, the diversity of Europe is incredible. 

Take in a concert in Vienna or ride a gondola along the canals of Venice? Savour Mediterranean cuisine or enjoy the hipster hangouts of Berlin? You’re sure to have a dream come true when travelling to Europe.

Discover history and cultural heritage

Discover history and cultural heritage

With a history that dates back thousands of years, there’s plenty of culture and heritage to explore in Europe. Pay a visit to the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome to marvel at the Acropolis and the Pantheon, still standing tall after centuries.  

Head to central Europe where you’ll find everything from baroque to gothic architecture  and renaissance, dotted among the streets of Prague and Budapest. Explore modern history in the old eastern bloc, and the remnants of the Berlin Wall. There’s plenty to discover.

Indulge in delicious food

Indulge in delicious food

With so many cultures in such a small space, Europe is rich in a plethora of delicious cuisines. Head south to the Mediterranean delights of Spanish tapas and Greek meze, or north to the Scandinavian smorgasbords and nouveau eateries. Enjoy the traditions of Munich’s Oktoberfest or the sophistication of Parisian gourmet, the pierogi of Poland or the spaghetti of Bologna.

Europe is also home to a thriving food scene with innovative and creative chefs pushing the boundaries of culinary art. From Michelin-starred restaurants to trendy street food markets, Europe offers a wide range of dining experiences for every taste and budget. You certainly won’t regret it.

Soak up the spirit of sport

Soak up the spirit of sport

Europe's sporting culture reflects its diverse landscapes and climates. There’s something for every sports enthusiast. 

Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Europe, with passionate fans and historic rivalries. Sailing is also a beloved pastime, especially in countries like Greece and Croatia, where the stunning coastlines offer perfect conditions. Hiking and skiing are popular in the mountainous regions of countries like Switzerland, Austria, France and Norway, attracting outdoor enthusiasts year-round. Plus, sports like rugby, cycling, tennis, and motorsports have a big following across the continent.

Essential information to know before travelling to Europe

Currencies in Europe

Across Europe there are 28 different currencies in use, dominated by the euro in 20 countries and four microstates. 

As of March 2024, one British pound is roughly worth 1.15 euros.

Other currencies in Europe are:

For up-to-date rates and more information on the euro, check out our dedicated pounds to euro guide.

Whichever forms of money for Europe you need, you can order your travel money online with us.

Credit and debit cards

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted across Europe, but you should be aware of any international transaction fees before you go. Some retailers offer to charge your card in your local currency—be aware of this, as this means the retailer is using their own exchange rate, and this may be less favourable than what your card provider is already offering you.

Some restaurants and attractions, especially those in more rural areas, may be cash-only. It’s a good idea to order your currency before you travel, as ATMs in Europe may charge you a fee to make a withdrawal.

If you don’t want to carry cash on you, you’ll be able to use our Travelex Money Card, powered by Mastercard®, wherever Mastercard Prepaid is accepted.

 You’ll be able to top your card up with our app while you’re away.

Tipping in Europe

In general, tipping in Europe is not as common or expected as it is in some other parts of the world, like the United States. However, it is still appreciated for good service. Here are some general guidelines for tipping in Europe:

  • Restaurants: In many European countries, a service charge is often included in the bill. If it’s not included, a tip of around 5-10% is usually the norm. In some countries like France and Italy, a service charge is included in your final bill so an extra tip isn’t necessary.
  • Bars: Tipping at bars is not as common as in restaurants. You can round up the bill or leave a small amount as a tip if you received good service.
  • Taxis: In most European countries, it is common to round up the fare or leave a small tip for the driver.
  • Hotels: Tipping hotel staff such as porters, housekeeping, and concierge is appreciated but not always expected. A small tip of a few euros is usually sufficient.
  • Tour guides and drivers: If you go on guided tours or use transportation services, a tip of around 5-10% of the total cost is a nice gesture for good service.

Remember that tipping customs can vary, so it's always a good idea to check specific guidelines for the country you are visiting.

Travelling around Europe

By plane

Although Europe is a small continent by the standards of the rest of the world, travelling by plane is a quick and easy way to get from country to country without a fuss. There are plenty of budget airlines to choose from, from the notorious Ryanair and EasyJet to Vueling and Norwegian. To get the best deals, be super flexible and book as far in advance as possible, and you may even be able to find flights for as little as £9.99.

By train

Travelling Europe by train is an iconic way to get around, and with so many different countries and cultures so close together, you can comfortably visit several in one day. Train travel in Europe is known for its amazing views, such as the Bernina Express through Switzerland and Italy, and the Bergen Line across the delights of Norway. Another popular option for European rail travel is interrailing: buying a rail pass that allows you to travel across all the participating countries, getting on and off wherever you choose. Some good interrailing options are Interrail and Eurail.

Within cities

The majority of European cities will have a well-developed public transport system, including buses, trains, trams and metro lines. Popular destinations such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Madrid even run 24 hours a day, meaning you’ll always be able to get yourself home!

Or, if you want to travel in style, look at beloved local options such as the gondolas of Venice—perhaps the classiest way to see the sights of the city and a truly unforgettable experience!

Buy euros with a Travel Money Card

Buy euros with a Travel Money Card

Another great option for spending in euros is our Travelex Money Card.

  • Safe and secure - the card not linked to your bank account
  • Choice of 22 currencies, including euros
  • Seamless spending with Apple Pay and Google Pay 
  • Manage your euros effortlessly via the Travelex Money App
  • In case your card is lost, stolen, or damaged, our 24/7 global assistance team is here for you
Learn More

More travel tips for Europe

A few more things to consider before you book and pack for your European trip.

Get currency before you go. It’s always helpful to have a bit of local money for Europe so that you’re ready to take a taxi or buy a drink as soon as you arrive. It’s easy to pre-order currency with Travelex for delivery to your home or collection at a store. 

Check visa /ETIAS requirements. From 2025, new rules mean that travellers from non-EU countries will need an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). You will need to apply for authorisation before travelling, which involves a small fee.

Set a budget. It’s always helpful to have an overall spending limit in mind, to make sure you keep an eye on your spending and don’t run out of money. Set a daily budget and check your balance regularly to stay on track.

Book top attractions in advance. Many top attractions across Europe have online booking systems which can often save you money on entrance fees. Booking ahead will also mean you’re not disappointed on the day. Sights where this is highly recommended include the Eiffel Tower, Anne Frank’s House and the Colosseum in Rome.

Learn basic phrases. While most Europeans working in hotels, restaurants and attractions speak multiple languages, you will always get a smile for saying hello or thank you in the local language. Translation apps can make this a breeze and will add a little flavour to your travels.

Order your currency

Order your currency

It’s really simple to order your travel money from us before your trip – but if you happen to run out whilst you’re away, you can top up via our app.