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Europe is the most visited continent on earth. And it’s no surprise either. With such a wide variety of culture, architecture, food, and scenery, there are endless adventures to be had. If you’re traveling from Australia, you will find the transition into European life pretty easy. English is widely spoken and the culture is laid-back as a whole. However, there are some key differences. Here are the biggest mistakes to avoid on your first trip to Europe.
When you first arrive at the airport, you will probably be tempted to get a cab to your hotel. However, in most European countries, this is the most expensive option (by far). Most places have excellent public transport that is considerably cheaper. Plus, you will get to soak up a bit of local culture on your journey. Jump on a bus or train and your wallet will thank you.
If possible, you should always plan journeys in advance. You can save a heap of money by booking your tickets early. If you book them last minute, expect to pay a premium. If you are planning to travel extensively by train, you should check out Interrail tickets. These allow you to jump on any train (in certain countries) for a pre-agreed length of time.
Like in Australia, sport is huge in Europe. If you’re a sports fan, you’d be a fool to miss out on the sporting culture. Soccer is by far the biggest sport across Europe. Every four years, they have the UEFA European Championships to determine the best team on the continent. Check out the Euro 2020 groups and pick a team to back. Even if you catch a game in a local bar, you won’t be disappointed.
The quality of restaurants can vary pretty wildly in Europe. Many countries – like Italy and France – are famous for their cuisine and you should not waste one meal in the wrong restaurant. Do your research before deciding where to eat and, if in doubt, pick a busy restaurant full of locals.
Walking around any major city in Europe with a ton of cash is a bad idea. Tourists are targeted by criminals and you could get yourself into some danger. Plus, most places accept cards, at least in built-up areas. You should only carry as much cash as you need to get around.
Okay, the weather in Europe might not be as consistent as Australian weather. But that doesn’t mean you should spend all of your time indoors. Don’t be put off by a few grey clouds. Alfresco dining is hugely popular in most European countries and the locals will rarely be put off by a spot of bad weather.
Neglecting to Smile Many European cultures have a reputation for rudeness. But you will find that a smile goes a long way. People are generally happy to welcome tourists and the friendlier you are, the easy you will get along.