(Closed) Travel Tips in Europe

posted 12 years ago in Beehive
Post # 4
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2008 - United Methodist Cathedral & historic downtown hotel in Cleveland

I lived in Germany for a semester and did volunteer work there for the summer (at an AWO-kindergarten, but it isn’t the typical sort of volunteer organization).  During that time, I traveled extensively, including 2 weeks on my own. 

Hostels are a great way to go travelling by yourself, as it is really easy to meet other people that way. 

Paris is a wonderful city, but can be expensive.

Freiburg, Germany, where I lived, was beautiful, clean and cheap, since it is a college town.  

Budapest is much more interesting than Prague, which I found to be overrated.

If you get a Eurail pass, you can use it for ferries from Stockholm to Helsinki.  From Helsinki, you are train ride away from St. Petersburg, although you need to get your visa for Russia in advance.  You can also take ferries from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia, which is a beautiful city.  They have a gigantic festival (think: state fair) in the summer that celebrates beer.  It’s random, it’s crazy, and is one of the most memorable things that I did.

Something to keep in mind, if you are traveling alone, is the culture of the countries you will be going to, and how many daylight hours they get.  Obviously, the more north you are, the longer the days.  

You can do it very cheaply (I traveled through Scandinavia for 2 weeks on 400 euros, excluding my train ticket but including all meals and hostels), or you can do it more expensively.  If you do get a rail pass, it is generally worth it to pay extra for a sleeping bunk on overnight journeys.  

Have fun!

Post # 5
28 posts
  • Wedding: July 2008

check out Rick Steves books and website.  http://www.ricksteves.com/   He has awesome ideas, suggestions, tips and carries numerous travel items in his travel store.

His website has the following:  A Blog, newletters, tips on planning your trip, A Eurail Pass store and his guidebooks.  My sister and best friend traveled through Europe via backpack for 2 months using Rick Steves advice.

I’ve been to Germany, Austria and Switzerland and Loved every country.  Also, from what I’ve learned from being there, they really appreciate Americans who TRY to learn the language, regions, customs before arriving. 

It’s a great experience.  Enjoy it!

Post # 6
34 posts

I lived and worked in Brussels, and have spent a fair amount of time travelling in Europe.  Here are my reccomendations:

 -Avoid travelling in the summer months.  Alot of Americans do, especially the tour groups, and it gets really crowded.  I reccomend going in the shoulder seasons (Oct/Nov and March).  If you are set on travelling during the summer, avoid August-the Europeans take most of the month off and go to the beach!

 -Some countries are really overlooked, I reccomend:

-Belgium (wonderful culture, not touristy at all, many English speakers, best chocolate in the world)

-Austria-My by far favorite country in Europe.  It’s beautiful, the people are incredibly patient and helpful, and there’s everything from skiing in the Alps to concerts in Vienna

 -Germany, especially Bavaria-warm, friendly people, great beer, great scenery and attractions


Post # 8
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

If you can get to Corsica, I highly recommend it.  I spent 6 weeks in Nice, France and took the boat to Corsica one weekend.  It is beautiful, and gets very few American tourists.  That does mean that people don’t speak much English there though, but it’s beautiful.  There are some hostels there and hiking is amazing.  Have fun!

Post # 10
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

– Watch out for pickpockets

– Don’t be surprised if people yell more than you expect them to, especially if you hit Italy 😉

– Try to avoid boarding night trains late at night – better to get on early and stay through the trip than have to kick sleeping people out of your seats


Post # 11
109 posts
Blushing bee

I loved traveling through London – but my heart belongs to South America. First off – South America is wayy cheaper than Europe. You can see A LOT, as long as you don’t mind long bus rides. Iguazu Falls in Argentina is one of the most beautiful places ever – as is Macchu Picchu. You can get a lot of joy out of seeing beauty in nature and have a great time meeting travelers and eating in fun restaurants, dancing salsa, and seeing ancient ruins.

Post # 12
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA

I have been to London, Paris, Rome, Salzburg, Vienna and Munich.  Some of my thoughts:

Paris – go to the Musee d’Orsay and Pompidou Centre.  Amazing museums if you like art!  Also find a cafe on a busy street, grab a baguette, and people-watch to your heart’s content!  The grounds at Versailles are amazing (I went on a day that the inside was closed!). 

Salzburg – Everything is quaint and lovely; the people are friendly and the language barrier isn’t difficult to deal with.  My best friend has lived there for the last 5 years!

Munich – Go to the Hofbrau house and enjoy a beer 🙂  

Vienna – I was not a fan, but the weather wasn’t nice when I was there and it made everything seem cold and gray.  It felt very repressed to me, but I was only there for a few days so these were just my feelings!

Rome – my favorite vacation ever.  The food was amazing and fresh.  The sites were incredible.  I went in the summer and probably had more gelati each day than water!  It is amazing.  Hang out at night with a bottle of wine on the Spanish Steps to take in the locals.  My grandmother’s sister owns a B&B right next to the Spanish Steps — PM me if you’re looking for a place to stay and want to treat yourself!!! Go to the top of the cupola in St. Peter’s cathedral in Vatican City — well worth the wait and strange staircase up, and the view is breathtaking.  

London – hang out in Hyde Park and enjoy the sites and sounds; go see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace; don’t count on the food being very good!  If you’re there in June, camp out in the queu for Wimbledon.  You’ll get first pick for Center Court seats, you’ll meet some amazing people, and you can enjoy a whole day of strawberries and cream!  Just dress warm b/c it gets cold sleeping outside at night!

Post # 13
123 posts
Blushing bee

Oh I am so jealous. I am from Europe and I also travelled extensively. As a solo woman I think Scandinavian/Northern Europe is the way to go.

Finland is gorgeous in the summer and days are really long. You can take a ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm or Tallin or St. Petersburg (need visa as mentioned before).

Sweden – great country, great food. Can be more expensive if you eat in the restaurants all the time, but we found wonderful food market in Stockholm that served fresh delicious meals ( it had different "restaurants/stands" within). Another place was  in area called Djorgarten ( where Vasa Museum is), the place called Rosendal Tradgard Kafe has "cafeteria" style lunch from organically locally grown produce. The place is great. We were in Stockholm for a week and went twice, yum. They have 3-4 different main courses, including salads, plus coffee, cakes etc. During our stay we rented bikes, which was very inexpensive way of seeing the city. I think it was 35/pp for 24hrs and it allowed us to see places off the beaten path and in outer Stockholm.

Salzburg is a great place to visit, as is Prague. You can get cheap accomodation and food and it’s safe. Budapest on the other hand is overrated in my opinion, but if you have time, go see it, doesn’t hurt haha.

Amsterdam is an amazing place – again, rent a bike and/or peddle boat (and skip canal cruise organized for tourists). We did both when we travelled around Europe and it’s one of our fondest memories. You can rent those peddle boats at any sightseeing spot, aka Anna Frank’s house, Rijksmuseum etc and drop it off at another one.

London is nice ( expensive) but not to be skipped is English countryside and it’s quaint little towns – Bath, Stratford upon Avon, Oxford, Cambridge, Canterbury, etc.

Copenhagen is often overlooked yet great place to visit. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about Antwerp though. The place was rather slow and everything was closed at 5pm ( in the middle of the summer). We stayed one night and went to see a movie ( enough said).

Slovakia is another overlooked place. Its capital Bratislava is smaller and less "fancy" than Prague, but I think it’s worth a stop. Not to mention mountains across the country are great for hiking. People are nice and it’s safe.

I hope you have a wonderful time. I think you will be fine travelling alone using common sense. Good Luck !  

Post # 14
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

Hi! I am from Germany and me and my significant other took a month off and went on a Europe trip. We did 6 countries and were travelling as a group of 3 which included his brother.

This was our itinirary:

Frankfurt – London 
London – Rome
Rome – Paris
Paris – Geneva
Geneva – Island of Mallorca
Mallorca – Frankfurt

Believe it or not. I planned it well and spend on 3 tickets including additional luggage and including tax 600 USD total. Yes you read it right 600!

Now how did I do it?
Here are my links:


These are low cost carriers such as Southwest in the US. Very inexpensive and great. Food costs extra, drinks too, luggage is limited. But who cares? It’s only 1-2 hour flight anyway. They fly to smaller airports but there are always shuttle busses that you can take for an additional ~ 10-15 USD that will bring you to the city centre.

Here are my favorite spots and cities in Europe:

Geneva – Take the shuttle and get to the Aiguille du midi and climb up Mont Blanc. It’s the most breathtaking view that you can get in Europe. Be warned: it’s not cheap but it is worth every penny.

Skip Frankfurt. You can use it to get to other destinations but I would not spend my time here. If you like to see a nice town in Germany I would very much recommend Hamburg (north) to you.

Paris – Get up to Sacré Coeur. It’s the nicest spot and the best view that you can have there apart from the Eiffel tower. Also make sure to visit Quartier Latin. Paris is my favorite city. There are just too many nice things to do and discover there…

Rome – Consider renting an appartment. It’s cheaper and you get a taste of how locals live. The same thing goes for Paris.

London – Probably the most expensive place in Europe. My recommendation is: Consider spending a bit more on the hotel or consider living outside the city. But remember even the public transportation is not cheap here. Believe me: you don’t want to stay in 2 star hotels in London unless you can stand bed bugs, filthy walls and carpet, mould…..

Venice – Try to visit this city. It’s worth the money. Be careful. Restaurants in Italy usually charge a seating fee. Also if you are close to tourist attractions you can easily end up paying 6 USD for a can of coke! Be aware of the time expiration on your ticket when you use the boats. They regularly control the tickets and rarely take excuses.

Have fun!

If you want to see some pics and more infos you can checkout my website 






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