Europe is made up of so many countries that you’ll come across more cultures than you could imagine possible on the continent. It’s therefore impossible to summarise the continent generally, which is why these five tips specific to five of the most popular countries should definitely begin to help you out on your European travels.

When in Italy… Drink your cappuccino early

You may arrive in Italy expecting a few days of sipping away at coffees in the afternoons and beers and wines in the evenings. Well, just make sure your afternoon coffee order isn’t a cappuccino! Italians never drink cappuccino after 11am – as the frothy coffee is a breakfast drink to start the day. Ask for one after lunch and you’ll get a strange look, or else the waiter will think you’ve just woken up!

When in Germany… Eat on the streets

Germany is not generally an expensive country to stay in, but like in every country, eating out can really add up. If you’re looking to save a little bit of money therefore, then eating some of the fast food available on street corners is not only economical, but damn tasty too! Berlin especially has good street food, heavily influenced by its large Turkish population (Berlin has the highest Turkish population outside Turkey itself). The Turkish certainly know how to make a tasty dish and that combined with German ideas makes for a cheap, tasty and quick meal.

When in France… Know a little bit of French

Most Europeans speak very good English that puts a lot of English natives to shame. If there is one place where English is not commonly spoken, however, that would be in France. At least, they might speak and understand it perfectly, but they generally will refuse to speak it unless they absolutely have to.

If visiting France, therefore, it will really help you communicate with the locals if you make the effort to learn even just a few simple phrases in French. And once they see you making the effort, they will be a lot more likely to put their pride aside for a few minutes and help you out in English.


Photo © Flickr ‘JasonParis’

When in Spain… Shout your order at the bar

Yes, although you might not want to come across as being rude, it is acceptable if not necessary to shout across the bar to get your beer. Do not expect for a second that the barman will notice you waiting patiently at the bar top for him or her to turn around and start serving. If anything, they will notice you and not do anything unless you really get their attention.

You’ll either need very good eye contact or the confidence to interrupt the barman’s conversation if you want to get served before closing time. And that is exactly what is

expected of you. Do bear in mind, however, that shouting across the bar in English would be frowned upon in some places. If you don’t speak Spanish, then at least start with a simple ‘Perdona’ to get noticed and then take it from there.


Photo © Flickr ‘vl8189’

When in Austria… Travel by train

If looking to see more than just the capital Vienna when in Austria then look into travelling between cities by train. Not only is train travel in Austria not too expensive compared to in some of its neighbours, but it offers some of Europe’s most scenic routes and views through the Austrian mountains.

The Semmering and Arlberg routes are some of the most spectacular in Europe and there’s no way you’ll arrive at your destination not feeling wowed.

Wherever it is you’re exploring in Europe, you’ll be sure to enjoy learning about and making mistakes with the different cultures. And if you’d like to try living like a local then a stay in an apartment could be an option worth trying out. have apartments to rent in each of the five countries above and in other European countries too. Definitely worth taking out if you want to fully discover the culture!