Bustling cities, historical architecture, dreamy coastline, rich culture…
We could go on and on. The best thing about Europe is that every country is so different from the next. It might be the world’s second smallest continent, but Europe’s packed with over 40 countries to explore.
There’s not too much to do to make sure your trip to Europe runs smoothly – just a few things you should know before you get too far into that Italian phrasebook.
What do you need to go overseas?
If you’re heading to Europe, you’ll need to have at least six months left on your passport when you get home from your trip. If you don’t have that, be sure to renew your passport right away!
You don’t need a visa if you plan to spend less than 90 days in the following EU countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
If you plan on staying longer in these countries, you’ll need to apply for a visa.
If you’re travelling to the UK, you can visit for up to six months without a visa.
If your trip includes any of the following European countries, you should check the visa requirements with the nearest High Commission, Embassy or Consulate for each country:
Ireland, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.
Proof of travel and return
Border officials may need to know where you’ll be staying and who you’ll be visiting and require proof that you’ll be travelling back to Australia or on to another country. You can show them your flight bookings, hotel reservations and the contact details of anyone you’re planning to visit while you’re away.
It’s always a good idea to get the most up to date information before you go. The World Health Organization recommends that all travellers be immunised against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella and polio. Most Australians will already have had these vaccinations, but you should check the latest for the countries you’re travelling to.
Travelling around Europe
Travelling from country to country in Europe has been made much easier thanks to the budget airline revolution started by the likes of easyJet and Ryanair. The number one rule is to book your flights as far ahead as you can.
If you’re renting a car, check what you’ll need by law in each country, as you may need an International Driving Permit in some countries.
Taking the train?
Book in advance and you can get some great rail deals. It’s amazing to be able to go from Frankfurt to Amsterdam or Copenhagen to Hamburg in a matter of hours.
For longer journeys – like Amsterdam to Copenhagen – try getting a sleeper train and waking up somewhere new.
Plan ahead and save money
See if there’s a city pass for where you’re going – then you can pay one price that includes entry to attractions, access to public transport and useful discounts. You’ll save a lot of money and hassle that way. We like the London Pass, the Berlin Welcome Card, the i amsterdam card and the Paris Pass. It’s also worth booking individual attractions in advance – you might get a cheaper deal and you can skip the line when you get there!
Don't forget your currency!
With 19 of the countries in Europe using the euro as their currency, it's a great idea to pick some up before you jet off. And even if you're heading somewhere that doesn't use the euro, we've got plenty of other currencies in stock!
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