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33

There's a bit of per-country variation, but the rule of thumb across Western Europe is that service charges are already included in the bill (sometimes as a separate line item, sometimes not) and it's not necessary to tip in addition to this. If you must, and you usually wouldn't unless the service is really good, rounding up a euro or two to the nearest ...


27

Scandinavia (where I'm from): matches the UK as described by Rory here. If the service is really good, you can tip upwards of 5-10% if you want. But please note that most entry-level jobs like cashiers, waiters, cabdriver etc. pays a lot better in Scandinavia than in the US (or frankly, most other countries), so you're not stealing anyone's lunch by not ...


17

For hot food I eat way too many kebabs (a.k.a. döners) in most countries. Styles and quality varies as much by country as by shop/stand. Germany is best, Scandinavia is worst. Kebabs were not common last time I was in Spain so I took up a different diet. I would go to the supermarket and buy bread and cheap packaged chorizo. (Not the same as Mexican or ...


16

In the UK you would definitely be expected to tip in a restaurant if the service is good, and the tip should be around 10% of the cost of your meal. Most reasonable sized places give you the option on the credit card reader, but cash also works.


14

In Europe there aren't really any rules that govern tipping as a whole. Simply reading the various answers might already have given you a good indication; the rules differ per country, and within the countries they often differ per establishment as well. As the rules differ so widely, it may be more useful to use some common sense, and try to figure it ...


14

A few observations (my nephew has a rather broad set of allergies so I have had to deal with this on several trips): In Germany, restaurant menus do mention allergens and additives. It seems to be mandatory EU-wide now but I have never seen it in France for example so I would not rely on it and ask for confirmation in any case. Industrial products and just ...


13

In whole Germany (quite similiar in Austria and Suisse / Switzerland) it's quite usual to tip. As waiters are payed (salary or by hour) the tip doesn't have to be high, typically below 2 or 1.50 Euro (example: 16.80 Euro --> 18) - by every person (!). Of course it depends on the price category... Only if you're really disappointed you would let give back ...


13

This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but it will be better than just dry toilet paper. Wet wipes are sold in most grocery/sundries stores in the baby section. They can even be purchased in small packages which are made to fit in a purse and some of them are specifically sold as being flushable (i.e. it's ok to just throw them in the toilet ...


12

McDonald or Subway are very present in Europe with cheap hamburgers or sandwiches, if you avoid fancy desserts or sodas. You can also find Kebab shops everywhere in Europe. If you want more local food, try jambon-beurre sandwich in France, pizza al taglio in Italy, or various sandwiches in Belgium. Avoid touristic places or locations with captive consumer ...


12

I don't know if cruise ships have safes in the rooms, but they're bound to have somewhere secure. Leave everything you do not absolutely need there when going visiting countries. Take as little money as you need and maybe one bank card. I think the biggest problem in those areas are pickpockets and bag snatchers, so get a money belt or something else where ...


11

With one connection in Paris, the cheapest I found on french voyages-sncf.com was a ticket for two passengers at about 170 EUR (210 CHF). But I agree that usual fares are more in the 400 CHF range. It would be worth to spend some time with a SBB-CFF employee or in a travel agency to find the cheapest train at the dates you plan to travel. Alternatively, ...


11

Take the bus. Idbus has three connections per day. It takes 8 1/2 hours and the price is 29 or 39 EUR, depending on the departure time . Alternatively, you can also have a look at Eurolines. The train is a bit faster, but also more expensive. For the day you mention, prices start at 48 EUR. Easyjet used to operate between Milano Malpensa and Lyon. But they ...


10

If you're willing to sacrifice speed and comfort to travel cheaper, then car pooling or an advance booking on a Eurolines bus is likely to come out cheaper than the train. From Zürich to Brussels, you have to go through either France or Germany. It's quite possible that careful shopping between SBB, SNCF, DB and SNCB will yield a cheaper price than booking ...


9

As mentioned here before, it depends on the country. From my point of view (and I am talking only from my own experience): in Poland - it is not expected. But if you want to, the gesture will definitely be appreciated. It's OK to leave about 2-5 PLN. Usually no need to leave more, but leaving too little can be found insulting by some. in Germany it depends ...


9

Leave all you valuables on the Cruise ship. Usually there will be a little hotel-style safe in your cabin. Leave your wallet here. Work out the maximum you need for the day for what you are planning + 10 %. When you leave the ship take off your Seapass / Cruise card that identifies you on-board ship. Put it in a secure pocket. You will now just look like a ...


9

Is it safe? Safe is a broad word, and nobody can be absolutely certain about safety. You'd consider driving or taking a plane 'safe', presumably, but crashes happen sometimes too. It's relative. So now that we establish that, we can look at hitchhiking. Is it safe? Depends on who sees you, who picks you up, and how you react. We actually have a post on ...


9

You need to be forward with the allergy, don't be shy and ASK. Have an "allergy translation card" (*) with you and/or with the person with the allergy. You need to have it with translation in the different languages that you will come into contact with in Europe. (*) google for that


8

There are similar organizations to Polish Tourism and Sightseeing Society (PTTK). German Alpine Club (Deutscher Alpenverein, DAV) is equivalent to PTTK in Germany Austrian Alpine Club (Österreichischer Alpenverein, OEAV) is equivalent in Austria (they even have a division in Poland) In Czech Republic there is Czech Tourist Club (Czech: Klub českých ...


8

I find in most countries a small tip, i.e. leave the change take the notes (and Euro/Pound coins) is nice. In the UK particularly a lot of restaurants add 15% service charge (I believe they have to state this on the menu and you are legally allowed to not pay it) - which means no tip as you just paid 15% tip anyway. Taxis I always round up to the nearest ...


8

In Finland, you are not supposed to tip the waiter/waitress.


8

Within England, the answer is The Cycle Streets site which will generate much more accurate and helpful cycling routes than Google, and could certainly be used to get you from London to the coast. It also generates astonishingly traffic-free routes through London itself. Outside England, I can only suggest using the Open Cycle Map, which covers most of ...


7

http://www.eurovelo.org/routes/ This would be a good start. According to the site, they have 14 major routes you may follow.


7

Hawker centres are fairly unique, but from my experience the closest thing you will find to hawker centres in Europe are market halls or farmers markets. Because they're next to where the raw ingredients are being sold you are likely to find more economical options to eat that are still freshly prepared (unlike large fast food chains or supermarkets) as well ...


7

As someone who works in a UK restaurant, I have almost never seen anything other than the cost of the food to be shown on any restaurant bill. The exception is indeed really high-end restaurants. Our tips are divided among the floor staff, because we don't have a single waiter catering to a particular table. And the kitchen staff are also included as their ...


7

You might also try to go by car pooling, e.g mitfahrgelenheit.de or mitfahrzentrale.de. It costs around 6 cents per kilometre usually, or 70 CHF for a one-way trip. You have to get lucky, though, to find a ticket. Also, it might be worthwile to ask the DB (German rail company) for cheap tickets from Zürich into Germany and from Germany to Brussels or for a ...


7

Thalys is an all reserved train service, and your ticket is only valid for the train booked. If you want to spend some time in Antwerpen just buy a Thalys ticket from Paris to Antwerpen, and buy another ticket for Antwerpen to Amsterdam. Between Antwerpen and Amsterdam you have the choice between two services. Thalys (which again you need to reserve, ...


7

Many of my Japanese colleagues (as well as Indian colleagues) usually prefer to stay in hotels that provide bidet toilet pots. If that is not available then most will keep an empty bottle in their bathrooms. I can say this for sure about my buddies from the Middle East, India and Asia in general. It is fairly common to instruct house keeping not to dispose ...


6

If you are taking any other trains in Central/Northern Europe during your trip, a Eurail pass may be worthwhile. You could opt for a 3-country pass (Switzerland, Benelux and France or Germany, depending on your route). Or, you could buy a Switzerland/Germany regional pass and pay for a single ticket to take you to Brussels from the border. However, check ...


6

I'd say that in general tipping is a lot less common in Western Europe than it is in the US. More specifically for Sweden I'd say people almost never give tips. The main exception I've seen to this has been among the "young rich" (or "brats" as they're sometimes called around here) who in recent years have taken to tipping generously as a way of bragging ...


6

I have hitchhiked all over Europe, including boats and empty leg flights, on multiple trips. My own experience is generally positive and I see staying in cheap hotels as a far greater danger than hitchhiking. It can be dangerous sleeping in an unlit or unattended rest area. And depending upon your definition of 'danger', standing upon the Autobahn or any ...



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