7 Useful Tips by Country: Europe

Detailed below are useful tips organized by country to help you navigate your way through Europe and enjoy your global adventure to the fullest. 


Belgium

Grand Place during Christmas in Brussels, Belgium.

1) Official languages: Dutch, French, German

2) Helpful phrases:

Dutch

Hello: Hallo
Goodbye: Vaarwel
Yes/No: Ja/Nee
Sorry: Sorry
Bathroom: Badkamer
Thank you: Dank je
You’re welcome: Graag gedaan
How much: Hoe veel
Do you speak English?: Spreekt u Engles?

French

Hello: Bonjour
Goodbye: Au revoir
Yes/No: Oui/Non
Sorry: Pardon
Bathroom: Salle de bains
Thank you: Merci
You’re welcome: De rien
How much: Combien
Do you speak English?: Parlez vous anglais?

German

Hello: Hallo
Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen
Yes/No: Ja/Nein
Sorry: Es tut uns leid
Bathroom: Badezimmer
Thank you: Danke
You’re welcome: Bitte
How much: Wie viel
Do you speak English?: Sprichst du Englisch?

3) Currency: Euro

4) Must eat: Belgian fries, chocolate and beer

5) Climate: Temperate maritime; cool summers, moderate winters

6) Tipping: No tipping obligation, but you can leave a small tip (10%) at restaurants if very pleased with your meal

7) Transportation: SNCB international railway, bus, tram, metro, taxi. Click here for more information on transportation in Belgium.

Other:

  • Be cautious of pedestrian crosswalks as they are not always acknowledged
  • Be aware that many shops and markets are closed on Sundays
  • Be cautious and aware of petty theft

Croatia

Picturesque cascades at Krka National Park in Lozovac, Croatia.

1) Official languages: Croatian

2) Helpful phrases:

Hello: Zdravo
Goodbye: Doviđenja
Yes/No: Da/Ne
Sorry: Oprosti
Bathroom: Kupaonica
Thank you: Hvala vam
You’re welcome: Molim
How much: Koliko
Do you speak English?: GovoriŠ li engleski?

3) Currency: Croatian Kuna

4) Must eat: black risotto, manestra (bean soup), oily fish

5) Climate: Continental, alpine and Mediterranean; usually cool winters and hot, dry summers

6) Tipping: Commonplace to tip 10%-15% at restaurants, even where there is already a service charge

7) Transportation: Public buses are the main form of transportation in Croatia and tickets usually cost between 10KN and 15KN per ride.

Other:

  • Renting a car and driving through the country is an affordable alternative mode of transportation for traveling Croatia
  • Bring or purchase mosquito repellant if visiting from spring to early autumn

Czech Republic

Church of Our Lady before Týn in Prague, Czech Republic.

1) Official languages: Czech

2) Helpful phrases:

Hello: Ahoj
Goodbye: Ahoj
Yes/No: Ano/Ne
Sorry: Promiňte
Bathroom: Koupelna
Thank you: Děkuji
You’re welcome: Nemáš zač
How much: Jak moc
Do you speak English?: Mluvíš anglicky?

3) Currency: Czech Koruna

4) Must eat: traditional roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, trdelník (pastry), street food sausages

5) Climate: Temperate; mild, humid summers and cold, cloudy winters

6) Tipping: Commonly expected

7) Transportation: Metro, trams, buses, ferries, cable cars

Other: 

  • Avoid Gordon Gekko currency exchanges
  • Be sure to validate tickets before riding public transportation, namely trains
  • Winters can be very, very cold; dress appropriately if visiting during winter months

Denmark

A depiction of Denmark’s prominent cycling culture in Copenhagen.

1) Official languages: Danish

2) Helpful phrases:

Hello: Hej
Goodbye: Farvel
Yes/No: Ja/Ingen
Sorry: Undskyld
Bathroom: Badeværelse
Thank you: Tak skal du have
You’re welcome: Selv tak
How much: Hvor meget
Do you speak English?: Taler du engelsk?

3) Currency: Danish Krone

4) Must eat: Smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich), organic hotdogs, porridge

5) Climate: Temperate; mild winters and cool summers

6) Tipping: Customs vary and are debatable; tipping 10% will be appreciated by waiters

7) Transportation: Rail, ferries, metro

Other:

  • If wanting to indulge in Europe’s cherished Christmas markets, Denmark is a great alternative to some more touristy countries such as Germany and Austria
  • This is a country known for its cycling population, so be aware of cyclists on streets and sidewalks

England

Remnants of Beatles history are found throughout Liverpool, England.

1) Official languages: English

2) Currency: Pound sterling

3) Must eat: Fish & chips, haggis, full breakfast

4) Climate: Temperate maritime; warm summers and cool winters

5) Tipping: 10-15% of the bill at restaurants, except when a service charge is already added on for large groups

6) Transportation: buses, coaches, taxis, red double-deckers, trams, underground

Other:

  • Respect queues and mind the gap on public transportation
  • Train and underground fares can be incredibly pricey; always look into alternative forms of transportation

France

Spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

1) Official languages: French

2) Helpful phrases:

Hello: Bonjour
Goodbye: Au revoir
Yes/No: Oui/Non
Sorry: Pardon
Bathroom: Salle de bains
Thank you: Merci
You’re welcome: De rien
How much: Combien
Do you speak English?: Parlez vous anglais?

3) Currency: Euro

4) Must eat: Macaron, escargot, duck meat, crêpe

5) Climate: Oceanic, continental, Mediterranean

6) Tipping: Waiters should be given 1-3€ or 5% of the bill if dining at a swankier spot, taxi drivers should be given 10% of the fare and doormen are usually tipped between 1-2€ for hailing cabs

7) Transportation: Metro, train, buses

Other:

  • Dress the part: since Paris is known as the fashion capital of the world, be sure to be dressing for the occasion when in France. Doing so will help you blend in and not stand out as much as a tourist.
  • Beware of petty theft in heavily crowded, touristy areas

Germany

Leisurely strolls along the Port of Hamburg are enjoyed amongst tourists and locals alike.

1) Official languages: German

2) Helpful phrases:

Hello: Hallo
Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen
Yes/No: Ja/Nein
Sorry: Es tut uns leid
Bathroom: Badezimmer
Thank you: Danke
You’re welcome: Bitte
How much: Wie viel
Do you speak English?: Sprichst du Englisch?

3) Currency: Euro

4) Must eat: Currywurst, German beer, schnitzel, potato pancake

5) Climate: Temperate, marine; cold, cloudy wet winters with moderately warm summers

6) Tipping: Service charges are usually added everywhere in Germany, but it is common to round the bill up to a whole Euro in restaurants

7) Transportation: U-Bahn, S-Bahn, tramlines, buses

Other:

  • Beware of street game scams
  • Dress appropriately for cold winters
  • Visit during Christmas for some of the best seasonal markets in Europe

Hungary

The popular Széchenyi thermal baths in Budapest, Hungary.

1) Official languages: Hungarian

2) Helpful phrases:

Hello: Helló
Goodbye: Viszontlátásra
Bathroom: Fürdőszoba
Yes/No: Igen/Nem
Sorry: Sajnálom
Thank you: Köszönöm
You’re welcome: Szívesen
How much: Mennyi
Do you speak English?: Beszélsz angolul?

3) Currency: Hungarian Forint

4) Must eat: Goulash, fisherman’s soup, dobos torte 

5) Climate: European continental; warm, dry summers and fairly cold winters

6) Tipping: Many restaurants add a 10% service charge already, otherwise customary to tip 10-15%

7) Transportation: Metro, trams, buses, taxis, domestic trains

Other:

  • Bring a swimsuit for Hungary’s renowned thermal baths and hot springs
  • Never clink beer bottles (related to war history with Austria)
  • Take Hungary’s public trains: they’re affordable and adorable

14 thoughts on “7 Useful Tips by Country: Europe”

  1. So helpful to have all of this information in one place! It’s so cool to me how varied the languages are in Europe (and even in just a single country).

  2. Such a comprehensive list for a European vacation! Tipping is always such a tough one to gauge when traveling, and I have found many contradictions, so it’s a nice reminder to be aware of different customs.

  3. This is a really helpful post, especially the phrases I always try and learn a few words of the local language where-ever I go so will return to this when I next visit somewhere on the list 🙂

  4. What a nice post of the tips you have combined, great to compare them too! I’ve been to a few. I’m in the Netherlands so it’s very similar to Belgium, however most stores are now open on Sundays whereas a few years ago it wasn’t.

  5. What a helpful roundup of tips! Thanks for putting this together. This would have been so helpful when I was traveling in Europe a couple years ago. I know I’ll be back, so I’ll be saving this for next time!

  6. It’s interesting to see how varied and unique each of the countries are! Love having the top phrases included, I always try to make a point to learn the basics!

  7. This is so helpful! When my daughter and I arrived in Germany at midnight, we got off the train and found our hotel and asked “How do you say hello?” The young man kept yelling happily, “Hallo, hallo!” We asked again. He shouted. We finally realized it’s basically the same. We had come from France and lots of bon jours, no hellos! I will admit I went to Prague last summer and never learned a single word. The language escapes me, I’m afraid!

  8. This is a really handy guide! Definitely bookmarking this for later this year when I visit Copenhagen! As a Brit I can definitely confirm trying the fish and chips, especially on the coast!

  9. These are certainly helpful tips for first time visitors. I’ll be saving this for later as I do plan on visiting Croatia next year. Great suggestions!!

    1. Thank you for your kind words! We strive to provide useful information for travelers, so we are happy you found this article helpful!

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