Planning a trip to Europe and done reading a ton of 'What to do in Europe' articles? Here’s a bummer, 19 things not to do in Europe! Sure, you can thank us later for this.
1. Go without a coin purse
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In Europe, everything under 5 euros comes in the form of coins. By the end of your trip, if you still have money, you are ought to feel like Uncle Scrooge given the number of coins you will have. Small businesses and many other places don’t accept debit/credit card payments.
2. Confront someone staring at you
The culture here is deep rooted with art and philosophy. So people here tend to look at everything as a form of art/ philosophy or they just simply like to observe tourists. Don’t get offended, it means nothing. As a tourist, you are just amusing them.
3. Pass the vélib’ rides
One of the best and cheapest bike-for-hire system, Paris's Vélib’ - for velo (bike) and liberté - is one of the best and cheapest in the world, besides being one of the best experiences in this city of light and love! There are stations, bike lanes and 24-hour rentals available.
Embark on some of the best European road trips
4. Hurry your dinner
Image source: flickr.com/jm3 on Flickr
While it’s a known fact that the French are food lovers, not many know that they like to complete their huge fare patiently, unlike anyone else in the world! So, don’t rush your dinner you ordered at a restaurant in Europe, they are taking the best efforts to serve the best. Dinner could take at least two hours from the time you sit down to the time you pay and leave, yes two hours!
5. Be surprised to see naked people on Television
Nudity is not a big deal in Europe, again from the culture it is derived, based on art and philosophy. Television, magazines and other mass medias too do not restrict themselves here.
6. Get trapped at tourist spots
Every country has its share of tourist traps. In Europe especially, gambling at popular tourist spots is a very common site and you won’t even realize that you are being trapped. Gambling with cups, dolls (that disguise as babies), taxi scams and such tactics are a common way to mug you.
7. Stay in the city only
Image source: flickr.com/Lyn Gateley
You can’t go to Europe and miss out on its beautiful country locales. Some of France's and the world's greatest treasures lie within an hour from Paris! Drive or take a train, but don’t restrict yourself to the city sightseeing.
8. Wait in the line at Eiffel Tower
The entire of Europe has the concept of ‘skip-the-line passes
’. So save yourself the crowd, precious time and energy and get yourself a skip the line pass. Or at least visit Eiffel Tower and other popular attractions at unconventional (least touristy) timings.
9. Rely on taxis late at night
Unlike New York and most other major cities of the world, you can’t completely rely on flagging down taxis in Paris. Better alternatives are smartphone car services, like Uber, LeCab, AlloCab, and others operating in Paris.
10. Ask someone smoking to excuse themselves
Image source: flickr.com/Thomas Leuthard
Un-prohibited even at certain public places, don’t be surprised to find someone next to you smoking. Europeans do smoke a lot, so try staying away from it. Remember you are the foreigner!
11. Skip planning a trip in advance
If you thought every attraction in Europe could be just visited as per your wish,you are not absolutely right. Get your hands on the plan de Paris - a small, inexpensive map by arrondissement that can be bought at any newsstand. Paris’ street plans and mapping is a little frustrating for a first-time traveler (especially) so do not skip planning a trip in advance.
12. Limit yourself to the grands magasins
These huge, historic departments are probably the ones you read about in the ‘places to shop in Paris’ and of course you’ll find pretty much everything you could possibly need or want here. But if you want to be spared from the impersonal service and crowded spaces, extend yourselves to other fabulous shopping neighborhoods and enclaves, full of unique boutiques and oh-So-Parisian treasures. Take a clue from this
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While it’s a general custom to tip 15 to 20 percent at a restaurant., it’s best to ask locals (not the employees of the restaurant), for advice on how much tip you should leave, if any. Sometimes a tip is already included in the check, or tipping is just not expected and might offend the staff there.
14. Be loud or obnoxious
No offense, but taken in the right satire, it’s a given conception that Americans (especially) are loud, haughty and sometimes discourteous. To enjoy a safe trip and not demean your national reputation, keep a low profile and avoid loud hasty conversations.
15. Expect everyone to speak English
Some countries within Europe sure take pride in having a large majority of bilingual, even trilingual, citizens, but that doesn’t mean all Europeans speak English. While most of the tourist spots do have English-speaking staff, if you plan to venture to less-touristy places, we suggest you brush up your local language skills.
16. Joke about Hitler
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When in Germany, for obvious reasons don’t joke about Hitler okay. Even if you have less knowledge about anything related to this topic, we suggest - avoid.
17. Expect air conditioning (everywhere)
Primarily most of Europe experiences cool (if not cold) weather. So the requirement of an AC isn’t very obvious. Secondly, most of the buildings are old and so fitting an air-conditioning into old buildings is a difficult situation. Thirdly, who wants to spot an AC while roaming in the Venice gondolas! The last explanation they have never had it and so they don’t think they need it.
18. Feed pigeons in Italy
Venice banned feeding pigeons, back in 2008 and it continues so. If you are found feeding any, be ready to pay a fine!
19. Kiss on railways in France
It is illegal to kiss on a train and even platforms of stations in France. Kissing was reportedly banned to help deter lover-induced rail delays. However, there are "kissing zones” near car parks!
Save yourselves some heavy fines and embarrassments, as you keep in mind the above 'Must Not Dos' and you're welcome!
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