Entering Europe requires a Schengen visa for travelers from outside Schengen areas to enter the country.
All of the Europe countries visited on this tour are within GMT+1
Languages spoken in the countries visited on this tour vary based on the countries, but most are English, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Roman, and Latin though most people there speak English.
Currency and Payment
Euro (EUR or €) is the common currency used in Europe along with its own currency, the Swiss Franc (CHF), in Switzerland. The exchange rate is 1EUR = 1CHF = 1.07USD. Visa and MasterCard cards are widely accepted in malls and shopping centers, but for local restaurants, it is always better to prepare cash.
Here are some dos and don’ts in West Europe:
- Greetings – Greetings are traditionally formal in Western Europe with a firm handshake, a smile, and even a slight bow in certain old-fashioned circles.
- Kissing – Familiar colleagues may kiss each other 3 times on the cheek. However, men rarely kiss men, they shake hands!
- Dining – Western Europeans follow the Continental or the traditional knife and fork custom when dining. Even sandwiches are eaten with a knife and fork in most West European set-ups. Wait for the host to offer the first toast. Serve yourself small portions to avoid wastage. Place your knife and fork diagonally parallel to each other on your plate, to indicate that you have finished your meal.
- Sitting – Men sit only after all the women are seated at the table.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit West and East Europe are in spring (April-May), summer (June-August) and fall (September-October). In general, West and East Europe countries enjoys mild temperatures, although there are regional variations e.g. there’s a Mediterranean climate in the south and wetter weather in the north. In August, most of the countries closes down to chase the sunshine in the south. For budget travels, winter is one of our preferred times to explore West and East Europe, as the crowds are fewer, yet the restaurants are still lively with locals.
Spring (April to May) is considered one of the best seasons to visit West and East Europe, as temperatures start to rise and life pours back into the towns and countryside. Markets tend to reopen or double in size. Although the Easter school break can increase domestic tourism, West and East Europe during springtime is still relatively peaceful in terms of crowds.
In summer (June to July) across the countries, many visitors either head to the sea or to the swimming pool. June is considered one of the best months to visit, as schools are yet to break up for the summer and temperatures are just right for exploring the cities.
Some businesses throughout the countries close in August, as this is when many of the locals take trips of their own and the schools take their long summer break. However, it’s still a very popular month for travel. Temperatures are at their warmest, so you can spend your days soaking up the sun and dining alfresco.
Autumn (September to October) is one of the best times to visit West and East Europe. Temperatures are still warm but not too hot, creating ideal conditions for exploring both the cities and the countryside. The crowds have thinned, families have returned to school, and landscapes are illuminated with vibrant reds and golds.
In Winter (November to December), although the weather is cooler, it is still great to visit West and East Europe. Museums and sites are quiet, while restaurants in the cities are still lively. Christmas markets open up across the cities, where vendors sell mulled wine, cheese, charcuterie and seasonal arts and crafts. Rural areas can be quiet during these months.
Points of Interest (not all visited)
The Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. Despite the fact that visitors from all over the world visit this neighborhood every day, it is good to know that people still live here. Keep this in mind during your visit. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh cookies, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. You should be sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter foundry and the various windmills. The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, mills, barns and workshops.
Renovated as a major national event between 2004 and 2006, the Atomium – which was not intended to survive Expo 58 for which it was the flagship construction – is today, with over 600,000 visitors per year, the most popular tourist attraction in the capital of Europe, an art centre and an international symbol of Brussels and Belgium.
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe, in full Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile, massive triumphal arch in Paris, France, one of the world’s best-known commemorative monuments. The Arc de Triomphe is an iconic symbol of French national identity and took 30 years to build. The Tour de France bicycle race ends near it each year, and the annual military parade marking July 14—known both as French National Day and Bastille Day.
The tower is 330 metres (1,083 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. It was the first structure in the world to surpass both the 200-metre and 300-metre mark in height. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest free-standing structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.
There are plenty of good reasons to visit the Louvre! So many works of art to discover in this fabulous museum that used to be a palace!
The history of Luxembourg is considered to begin in 963, when count Siegfried acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications, known as Lucilinburhuc, “little castle”, and the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in nearby Trier. Siegfried’s descendants increased their territory through marriage, conquest, and vassalage. By the end of the 13th century, the counts of Luxembourg reigned over a considerable territory.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart celebrates the automobile invented by Carl Benz in 1886: it relates its history and tells its stories, bringing both alive by placing them in the context of technology, day-to-day life, social history and popular culture. More than 160 vehicles of all types are the main protagonists. They range from some of the oldest automobiles ever built to legendary racing cars and futuristic research vehicles.
Together with other exhibits, they form the centrepiece of the permanent exhibition covering a total of 16,500 square metres in twelve rooms. This unparalleled world can be discovered on two tours that follow a “Legend” and “Collection” narrative.
Downtown and Old Town Zurich (Switzerland)
Zurich is Switzerland’s largest city and a financial and tourist hub. Located on the river Limmat and the northwestern tip of the Zurich Lake with the Alps on the horizon, this city has so much to see and do that there is something special all year round, and no season is a bad season to visit.
With its picturesque old town, the famous Bahnhofstrasse with its extravagant shopping, and the scenic waterfront, you can spend your time simply meandering through the streets, stopping off regularly in the many cafes and restaurants. Shopping in Zurich, and the rest of Switzerland, is a delight, but it is pricey; indeed, it is so pricey that the Swiss usually take a day trip to Germany to fill their cupboard and wardrobes. So beware of your travel budget.
After Lake Geneva, Lake Neuchâtel, Lake Constance and Lake Lucerne, Lake Zurich is one of Switzerland’s “Big Five” in terms of lakes. In the past, it was mainly used as a traffic and transportation route, but today it is a popular excursion destination for swimming, sailing, boating, and picnicking on the shore.
The fourth-largest lake in Switzerland, beautiful Lake Lucerne stretches from the eponymous picturesque city right up to the gorgeous Swiss Alps. It was formed 12,000 years ago during the shrinking of the River Reuss’ glacier, the evidence of which can still be observed in the fascinating Jardin des Glaciers de Lucerne. It is well worth taking advantage of the boat rentals and boat tours here to get the full experience of this breathtaking lake.
Beautiful view of the historic city center of Zurich with famous Fraumunster Church and swans on river Limmat on a sunny day with blue sky, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
Chapel Bridge Lucerne
Lucerne’s landmark is considered to be Europe’s oldest covered bridge. It was built in the 14th century and was originally a part of the city fortifications. The pictorial panels, which were incorporated in the 17th century, contain scenes of Swiss history as well as the Lucerne’s history.
Lion Monument Lucerne
The Lion Monument in Lucerne is a giant dying lion carved out of a wall of sandstone rock above a pond at the east end of the medieval town. It was designed as a memorial for the mercenary soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution.
Titlis is a mountain of the Uri Alps, a mountain range in Central Switzerland and part of the Western Alps. It is located on the border between the cantons of Obwalden, which is a canton of Switzerland, and Bern, which is the second-largest of the 26 Swiss cantons by both surface area and population. The height of Mount Titlis is 3,239 metres above sea level.
Mount Titlis is mainly accessed from Engelberg on the north side and is famous as the site of the world’s first rotating cable car. The cable car system connects Engelberg to the summit of Klein Titlis through the three stages of Gerschnialp, Trübsee and Stand.
Mount Titlis Cliff Walk
The Titlis Cliff Walk is a pedestrian bridge along the cliff of Mount Titlis in the Swiss Alps. Built at around 3,000 m (9,800 ft) above sea level, it is believed to be the highest-elevation suspension bridge in Europe.
Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, sits on the Rhine River near the Swiss border. On a hillside overlooking the town, Vaduz Castle dates back to the 12th century and is a royal family residence. In the Städtle, the pedestrianized town center, the sleek Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein displays modern art. Nearby, the National Museum houses archaeological and cultural artifacts in a medieval building.
Lake Como, also known as Lario, is the third largest of the Italian lakes (after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore). With a maximum depth of approximately 410 meters (448 yards), Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in Europe.
Its characteristic shape, reminiscent of an inverted Y, results from the melting of glaciers combined with the erosive action of the ancient Adda river. This led to the formation of the two southern branches, in the midst of which there is the world popular Bellagio.
Located at the foot of the Alps, Lake Como provides one of the most picturesque sceneries in the world. If you’re going to visit the Italian lakes, you’ll be surprised to learn about the many things to do in Lake Como.
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, commonly known as San Siro, is a football stadium in the San Siro district of Milan, Italy, which is the home of A.C. Milan and Inter Milan. It has a seating capacity of 80,018, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe, and the largest in Italy.
Galleria Vittoria Emanuele
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is Italy’s oldest active shopping gallery and a major landmark of Milan in Italy. Housed within a four-story double arcade in the centre of town, the Galleria is named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy.
Serravalle Designer Outlet
Visit the Serravalle Outlets on a full-day shopping trip from Milan. Europe’s largest shopping mall is located just 60 minutes away from Italy’s fashion capital. Enjoy discounts of 30-70 percent on all the major Italian designer brands.