Europe is one of the most remarkable continents to explore in the whole world, possibly the best. Whether it’s the historic Colosseum or the modern Atomium, Europe encompasses all aspects of art, culture, architecture, cuisine, and more. Consequently, people from even other developed countries flock to nations like France, England, Switzerland, and others to lead more captivating lives and experience the vibrant culture and way of life in cities such as Paris, Prague, London, Munich, Zurich, and so on. It also includes transcontinental countries like Kazakhstan, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. These countries are also renowned for their unique cultures.
When visiting the European land, you always need to ensure you’re keeping up with the crucial rules and regulations. There are certain things not to do in Europe that you must consider and not forget during your visit.
12 Things Not To Do In Europe
Europe is one incredible journey, but there are certain precautions and things to bear in mind before embarking on this adventure. Listed below are some actions that define what not to do in Europe.
1. Avoid Littering2. Refrain from signaling the waiter by waving3. Don’t walk on bicycle lanes4. Don’t skip the first verse of the German National Anthem5. Do not assume that everyone knows English6. Minimize noise-making7. Avoid overtipping8. Steer clear of jaywalking9. Refrain from making the Nazi Salute while in Germany10. Avoid taking taxis late at night11. Remove your shoes before entering someone’s house in Poland12. Restrict public drinking
1. Avoid Littering
Several countries in Europe have a bottle recycling system. For instance, Germany has a Pfand system that has brought about a marvelous change for the better. In this system, eight to twenty-five cents are added to your receipt when you purchase plastic bottles, soda cans, or glass bottles of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, which are then returned to another store. Even if they weren’t the ones who sold you those bottles initially, the store has to accept them. The Pfand system is an excellent idea implemented to bring about positive environmental change.
2. Refrain from signaling the waiter by waving
In European countries, particularly France, there is a specific code of conduct to be followed when dining in a restaurant or relaxing in a bar. Usually, the waiter will show you to your seat or you can choose a table of your liking. Sometimes, when the place is very crowded, waiters may take some time to come to your table to take your order. Instead of waving at them, you can either make eye contact and gesture or simply indicate with a slight hand motion that your order still needs to be taken. Waving is considered impolite and disrespectful.
Essential Reading: 13 Playful Beaches In Europe For All The Enthusiastic Beach Enthusiasts Around The World
3. Refrain From Using The Bicycle Lanes For Walking
Bicycles are an extremely efficient mode of transportation in numerous countries throughout Europe. It is cost-effective and environmentally friendly, easily navigable, and the well-connected bicycle lanes also aid young professionals in reaching their workplace punctually. Consequently, traversing the lanes intended for bicycles is a severe violation and can also pose great danger to both the cyclist and yourself.
This could result in injuries which would ultimately spoil the cheerful atmosphere of your vacation. You could also run the risk of being subjected to verbal abuse by irate cyclists and may have to face the fury of their piercing bells.
4. Do Not Omit The Initial Verse Of the German National Anthem
While in Germany, do yourself a favor by acquainting yourself with at least the opening verse, if not the entirety of the German national anthem. If attending a sporting event or any occasion where the national anthem is sung as a customary practice, ensure that you stand up and at least sing the initial verse to avoid offending the patriotic Germans. The German national anthem is known as Deutschlandlied and was composed by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1841.
5. Never Assume Everyone is Proficient in English
Since the Second World War, Europe has been divided into East and West, and these divisions have not only been a consequence of, but also have influenced linguistic and ethnic variances. Despite English being one of the most widely spoken languages, it cannot be expected that all Europeans (even those who are bilingual or trilingual) are proficient in the language.
In public establishments such as restaurants, museums, cafes, etc., you may come across waiters or attendants conversing in English. However, there are still public spaces where the attendants may not possess knowledge of the language.
6. Minimize Excessive Noise
Foreigners frequently have a negative reputation for being excessively loud in the quieter areas of Europe, particularly rural regions. It is acceptable to go out at night and make noise in bars or nightclubs, but it is inappropriate to do so in peaceful areas and disturb the community’s harmony.
7. Avoid Over-tipping
If you are visiting Europe for the first time, this is important information for you! In countries like the United States, it is customary to leave a tip of at least 15 to 20 percent for the waitstaff’s service, but this is not the case in many European countries. In some countries, the tipping rate is not as high.
To be cautious, it is advisable to avoid leaving more than necessary, especially if you are traveling on a budget. Consult the locals to determine the appropriate amount to tip the service staff at a restaurant or café.
8. Avoid Crossing the Street Illegally
Do not even consider crossing the street unless the traffic signal lights have turned red for vehicles. It does not matter if there are no cars on the road; wait for the lights to turn red before crossing. In most countries, there is a system where the signal is displayed on the pavement at the crosswalk and has a button that pedestrians must press to cross the street. If you are caught crossing illegally, you may be fined. The amount of the fine is typically 5 EUR, although it varies in each country.
9. Avoid Making the Nazi Salute in Germany
This is an extremely important thing to remember when traveling in Europe. Making the Nazi salute is highly offensive in Germany and is prohibited regardless of the context. Do not attempt to do it, even as a joke.
10. Refrain from Taking Taxis Late At Night
Choose services such as AlloCab, LeCab, Uber, etc. when you require transportation late at night in any European nation. Although countries like England, France, and Switzerland do offer good local taxi services, it may be challenging to find or even come across one in most other countries. Additionally, these taxis have double the normal fares during nighttime, so if you are on a tight budget, it is advisable to avoid unnecessary expenses.
11. Refrain from Wearing Shoes When Entering Someone’s House In Poland
Similar to many Eastern countries, people in Poland also adhere to the tradition of wearing slippers or going barefoot inside their homes. If you receive an invitation as a guest to someone’s house in Poland, it is important to remove your shoes upon entering to avoid displaying insensitivity toward their social customs. Moreover, wearing shoes indoors may bring in dirt and damage their floors, which is why they themselves avoid it.
12. Avoid Consuming Alcohol In Public Places
While in some countries like Germany, public drinking is completely legal, other European countries such as Poland disapprove of it. In fact, public drinking is considered an offense in Poland, and if caught, you will be fined.
If you wish to consume alcohol, you can always visit a bar or a restaurant.
Further Reading: 31 Festivals In Europe That Will Enhance the Enjoyment of Your Euro Tour
Europe is a continent full of surprises. There is a vast array of activities to engage your body and mind in if you decide to explore the different countries scattered across the entire continent. You will encounter a wide range of diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages, and individuals that will leave you with memories that will endure a lifetime. Just ensure that you keep in mind all the things not to do in Europe mentioned above. This will help you guarantee that no unfortunate incident disrupts your journey to Europe.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Avoid in Europe
What should I evade in Europe?
Here are some of the things to steer clear of during your Eurotrip: don’t limit yourself to the summer season, don’t assume everyone is fluent in English, don’t solely carry Euros, don’t exchange currency at the airport.
How can I ensure my safety while traveling in Europe?
To ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Europe, consider the following measures: Familiarize yourself with the local language, research your destination beforehand, be vigilant about your belongings, exchange currency exclusively at banks.
What do I need to be aware of before traveling to Europe?
Here are a few things to keep in mind before embarking on your journey to Europe: Keep your Visa and Passport easily accessible, pack lightly and bring an extra bag, counter jet lag by sleeping during the flight.
How can I prevent pickpocketing in Europe?
Pickpocketing requires caution during your Eurotrip. Wear a money belt, stay alert, store valuables in your hotel room, and avoid crowded situations to ensure your safety.
Where should I visit in Europe for the first time?
Some of the top destinations for your inaugural Europe trip include Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Venice.
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