Tips on travelling to Europe (part 1)

10:17:00 AM

Taking photos in Florence

I was wandering around Europe since i was very young, so big European cities and being on the go paradoxically feel like home to me. Traveling from Stockholm on the north to Malta on the south and from London and Paris on the west to, well, eastern Serbia on the east i learned a thing or two about being traveller in Europe. Sometimes in the harder way, though.
(Note: there is a big difference between being a tourist and a traveller. Tourist travels to visit (and take picture in front of) the important places only. Traveller explores the place to the core; meets the locals, eats local food, wanders around, tries to understand the place as it is. I consider myself a traveller)

1. Get lost (but not too lost). You haven’t expected this? If it’s not dark already and if you’re not in a ghetto part of the city, getting lost is the best way to get to know the place. Because city is not only its center and tourists spots. Last time when i got lost i was in Stockholm with my friends. We met super friendly locals, saw really interesting, old architecture, saw cute dog (i know you’re not traveling to pet dogs, but hey, it’s always a plus), found another way to come to our hotel, found what we were looking for (and were super proud about it), took great pictures, and laughed a lot. Not bad.

2. Where to take a break and have a coffee? After you spent a lot of time exploring, you’ll probably feel tired and your legs will hurt and you will really want a coffee or something to eat. Gold tip: do not go to caffes/restaurants that are in front of or on main tourist spots/must-sees (for example: in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris), unless you want to pay 10e for a cup of coffee. Instead, check out nearby backstreets and you’ll probably find a nice place to eat and drink for a lower price. Also, another tip: If you’re in a backstreet and you see a queue of people in front of something that sells food (unfortunate word choice but it could be anything: fast food shop, restaurant, gelateria, bakery… anything), that’s good. That’s probably where the locals eat (example: gelateria Vivoli in Florence. Best ice cream i’ve ever eaten. I love you, thanks for existing).

3. Become friends with local people. This can be amazing but can also turn out to be really bad if you come across a jerk so be careful. But supposing you met someone nice, your traveling experience will become so much better. Firstly, you’ll firsthand find out about what are people there like, their mentality, habits, likes and dislikes, they can recommend you good places to visit/eat/party, and you will have a friend from another country, how cool is that.

4. Leave some room for spontaneous decisions. When you’re travelling, it’s a good thing to organize your day and plan everything so you can see everything you want. But don’t take your schedule too serious. Some of the best things happen unplanned. Also, leave some time just to feel the energy of the place you’re visiting, become a part of its unique vibe.
Two years ago i was in Elba and we needed to get to our ferry on time but we still decided to take the longer route to it and wander around an island a bit. My favorite memory from there was standing in the middle of the narrow, cobbled street and just feeling everything - smell of pasta, sound of some italian song on the radio and someone who’s singing along (not very good, but they were really trying), laundry drying on wires between buildings, smell of salt and the sea, windows with green wooden frames, seagulls flying above my head - my idea of la dolce vita.

Picture taken in Florence 2014.

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19 comments

  1. I recently moved to Prague from New York, and just talking to locals doesn't really come easy, sometimes for the language barrier and also personalities. Some people can be very friendly and appreciate the fact that you try speaking their language and others can just take it in a wrong way. But I certainly love spontaneity and leave a room for the unexpected. Have a lovely weekend! http://www.withoutlipstick.com

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    1. Sorry to hear that you had unpleasant experiences with some people! It's really hard to learn completely new language, specially Czech. But take your time, beginning is always the hardest :) Wish you a great weekend too! xx

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  2. These are really great trip for traveling anywhere but if I ever end up going to Europe I'm going to go back to this post because it was very helpful

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  3. I like getting lost, just a little lost haha it is great for exploring and sometimes a good story comes out of it.

    I find the making friends part a tad more difficult. I think people would feel a bit concerned if you suddenly asked them to hang out with you on their trip lol but I think if you start with asking for directions or something and hit it off it would be so cool! I want to experience that one day.

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    1. Haha yes, well, making friends needs to be spontaneous :) I met some quite interesting people from all over the world while travelling and that's such a great experience!

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  4. Travels are great experience in any part of the world.. Here in Africa its loaded with fun also.... Great post and am glad I visited your blog for the first time... Btw your blog is wonderful.

    Greetings from.... leXHansplaCE

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    1. Thank you so much! I agree with you, i can't wait to go to other parts of the world :)

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  5. You know I find the tips are similar wherever you're travelling. Although I haven't been to Europe since I was 9, I often recommend the same tips to persons going to Japan or Taiwan as well. Experiencing a country needs to be a bit spontaneous!

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    1. I guessed everything is pretty similar, but unfortunately i haven't got the chance to go outside the Europe yet, so i didn't want to write about something i've never experienced :)

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  6. I would like to travel for all Europe. It's my dream.

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    1. Me too! I've visited a lot of places but there's still sooo many more to visit :) But then again, i want to travel the whole world

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  7. thanks for the tips they were super helpful...Europe is also on my travel destination list..hopefully one day i can put these tips to use.best of luck.

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    1. Thank you, wish you best of luck yoo and to travel everywhere you want :)

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  8. želja za putovanjima jeste zarazna bolest, neporolazna...

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  9. Your articles made me feel like visiting there once in my lifetime

    Regards
    Salman Noorani

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  10. I am on Europe, but again, Europe is so big, so much to see and so much where to get lost! Loved your post!

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  11. a good tip....leave some room for spontaneous decisions. Basically, have fun! Typically, I study the plan and strictly stick to it.

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  12. Like your tips! I'd call them tips to travel to every cities in the world because I think they are good tips for travelers :)

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