7 Things That Surprise First Time Travelers to Europe

Revelations for New Travelers to Europe

Author: The Traveling Professor/Thursday, July 25, 2019/Categories: General Travel

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The Traveling Professor has taken travelers on small group tours to Paris, small group tours to Italy, small group tours to Ireland, small group tours to Austria and just about everywhere else in Europe.

These are the things that most surprise first time travelers to Europe:

The Hotel Rooms are Small:  Yes they are.  A typical hotel room, even at a 3 and 4 star property can average about 15 square meters.  That means about 150 square feet.

Not All Rooms Have A/C:  This is especially true in Paris.  When traveling to Europe during summer months, make sure rooms have A/C.  Another thing regarding hotels that people are surprised about is how different rooms can be, even at the same hotel.  This is because some buildings, like in Florence, Italy, are 500 years old.  They have been modified and retro-fitted into an old design to accommodate rooms that now have plumbing and electricity.

You Can Get Just About Everything in Europe You Can Get in North America:  There are supermarkets and grocery stores that sell just about everything we have here.  The only thing we had real trouble finding was Gatorade, of all things.

How Friendly the People Are:  All it takes is a "bonjour", "buongiorno", "hello", "guten morgen" or "zdravo" to get the conversation going.

How Many People Speak English:  On everywhere we go on our small group tours, English is spoken by about 95% of the people we meet, especially younger people.  This was not so true when The Professor first went to Europe in the '90's, the age before the internet was as prevalent as it is today.

There are Starbucks All Over the Place:  Except in Italy.  McDonald's is everywhere.

Tipping is Minimal or Non-Existent:  North American are used to tipping restaurant servers, for instance, 15%-20% of the bill. Not in Europe.  Just a few coins are fine when leaving a tip.  Many Europeans don't tip at all.

Join The Traveling Professor on a small group tour.



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