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EUROPE

hi! i'm going to europe this summer...end of april till end of may.. and i need you guys to give me tips on what to bring, wear, etc. some of the places i'll be visiting are italy, france, spain, amsterdam, london, germany, switzerland, etc.
where is the best place to shop in europe if you're on a budget? what's the temperature in those countries at that time of the year? how much money should i bring?

Comments

  • fiorrefiorre Member PExer
    hi! I guarantee that you'll have lots of fun coz Europe is really a wonderful place to go on vacation.

    Anyway, since you'll be moving a lot, I suggest that you TRAVEL LIGHT! Don't bring unnecessary stuff. Bring a light jacket for italy and france but you would need a thicker jacket for germany, switzerland and UK. Also, only bring shoes that are comfortable coz you'll be doing lots of walking! Bring also pants that can be used more than once. A few pairs of black pants would be perfect. And, learn to mix and match instead of bringing truckloads of clothes! Of course, you would still want to look best while you stroll along the streets of any European city!

    For shopping, Italy (esp Flroence and Rome) and UK for me are the best. but of course, Paris and Switzerland have a lot of nice shops too...but of course, they are very expensive.

    Pocket money...depends on how much you have to spare. but be careful. Would be wise not to put them all in one wallet. I suggest you buy yourself a secret wallet too that you can hide inside your pants. Europe (esp Italy and France) is very notorious for its swarms of pickpockets (watch out for those gypsies!)

    Last piece of advice. Bring a camera and lots of film and of course, a video cam if any! Bring a journal and jot down all the places you'll be going to and some of the highlights! This will surely help you remember a few years after. Also, try to buy one uniform souvenir from all the cities (I collected shot glasses from each city!) as your collection.

    Well, hope I was able to help in some way! Have fun...I'm sure you'll fall in love with it like I did!
  • Chesca84Chesca84 Member PExer

    i was just in Italy ( got back last week ) and the weather was freezing , i had to buy a whole new wardrobe !! It was snowing and when i left the temperature was still below zero . By the end of April though i bet the weather'll be nicer , but just in case , pack something for the possibilities
  • makilingmakiling Member PExer
    when you say summer what month will this be? spring is cold, start of summer about june just needs a light sweater in the evening. august is hot! i hate going to europe in august, there are two weeks in this month when many shops are closed cos most of the europeans are on holiday. its onlky a few weeks that many of them can bask in the sun. \

    do you already have an itinerary? i could tell you where to shop but it depends on which countries you will be visiting.

    as mentioned in other posts pls be careful with ur money. Remember the intitials PMT- passport, money at ticket, i keep them all inside my clothes. i have a secret waist band where my PMT is kept. i just put in some loose change, a couple of dollars in a different waist band- the one i will keep on opening if i have to pay.

    dont forget to keep your impt stuff in your handcarry. be ready to lose your suitcase. you can never tell in international travel sometimes your suitcase can get misplaced. at least you can have spare clothing in your handcarry, your impt medecines etc.

    For shoes and bags, leather stuff its italy otherwise its Paris or London. Perfumes of course in Paris or anywhere in France. London is shoppers delight but terribly expensive. The only country in europe where you divide instead of multiply when converting :-)
  • bLaCkbLaCk Member PExer
    last year, i visited europe and girl, was it so different from the past...

    Shopping:

    in England-New Look, Miss Selfridge, Oasis and the classic Marks and Spencer
    in Italy-Versace (the best.. all original)
    in France-there's this clothing boutique almost everywhere without a name, but the whole place is color red. it sells shoes like that of Nine West, and clothes like that of Guess

    Food:
    la akong masabi sa Italy and Switzerland. Spain comes second.

    Weather:
    Spring is really nice... although it's still a little cold, you can feel the bright and sunny aura when you take walks everyday


    Have fun! c",) travel light, shop tight!
  • CaRaMBaCaRaMBa Administrator PEx Moderator
    There's a thread on this already, started by Chiqui. :) Please refer to that thread. :)

    EUROPE
  • Pao|oPao|o Foodie ✭✭
    Announcing to all PExers: The thread will be closing in a few minutes. It'll be countinued on other (stale) one.Thank you. Sana hindi... :D

    *cracks knuckles*

    If I recall correctly you only need one Visa (a Dutch one in my case) to travel within the EU except for the UK and Germany. I was there last summer around the same time tRin will be going. One should remember that you can use your GSM phone within the EU. Only problem is if you're a pre-paid user with a SIM-locked phone in which case your phone is only good for a time piece or a currency converter (assuming your phone has it).

    Belgium: Try to check out the City of Antwerp (Antwerpen). This country is famous for its beer, diamond industry and for the author Herg? of "Adventures of Tintin" fame. To tell you the truth I spent about three days there mostly hanging out with my relatives so I was really limited on where to go... Remember to try to get some Belgium chocolates. :D

    France: I traveled by train (not the famous TGV) to Paris from Antwerp. If you will be traveling by train I suggest you travel during a weekday to avail of a cheaper fair and better seats. Traveling within the French capital is fairly easy. One could take the public tour bus called the Le Rouge (The Red Bus) or the Subway. The Le Rouge is a red roofless double decker bus that allows you to get on and off at your leasure. All you need to remember is to keep your ticket to show the conductor whenever you decide to get on another one and that the ticket is good for 2-3 days. I for one decided to sit topside to appreciate the wonders and beauty of the city but the problem was it was raining at the time and I got soaking wet. :D One can see the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elys?es and Notre Dame to name a few from this bus. If you're an love the arts you will love this city. The museums are very big and contains a large collection of painting, statues and artifcats.

    Italy: When traveling in Italy be very mindful of your belongings on your person and in your hotel. There are alot of pickpockets within the cities. According to Italian authorities this can be contributed to the largely impoverished Gypsy community. With that done with we can proceed.

    In Rome one can find the Forum, the famous Colosseum, Arch of Septimus Severus, the Temple of Saturn, the House of the Vestals, the Temple of Antoninus & Faustina, the Arch of Titus, House of Livia, the Domus Augustana, the Palace of the Flavians, the ruins of the Baths of Septimus Severus, the Circus Maximus essentially Rome is filled with a lot of Churches, Cathedrals, Bridges, Fountains and Monuments

    Traveling to Florence from Rome by bus takes about 1-2 hours. Florence is a small late-medieval centre that contributed so much to the cultural and political development of Europe. Places to see are Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Santa Croce, Piazza San Lorenzo, Pitti Palace and Bargello Museum. It was also the city that has Michealangelo's David on display. If you watched the movie "Hannibal" you'll see some of the scenes featured in the film.

    If you're a Ferrari fan or know someone who is there are a lot of paraphernalia that you can get. Also be on the look out for the real Ferrari sports cars. I counted 6 while I was there.

    If you're in Italy you would be commiting a crime if you ate in those fastfood joints. Try going for the local cuisine. Most of the meals cooked are in the traditional Italian style in which they are made from scratch.

    The culture of the Italians is very similar to those of our own. Anything bought within Italy costs in the tens of thousands bu don't worry though PhP1.00 == 45 Italian Lira. :D


    Vatican City: If you're a follower of the faith or even against the faith it is still something to visit this citystate. For those who don't know this is the country where the Pope lives. It's a museum in itself featuring a large collection of Christian and Roman art. It also has the tombs of a lot of Christian martyrs, Popes and Saitns. If you'll be staying in Rome long try to hear Holy Mass in the Vatican. It's really something different and something I wish I did. The places to go are St Peter's Square, St Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.

    Spain: Madrid's the capital of Spain. The places to see and go to are Museo del Prado, Habsburg Madrid, Palacio Real, Parque del Buen Retiro and Museo Municipal to name a few. While you are there you might notice a lot of Filipino traits among the Spaniards both positive and negative. I believe this should be mentioned while we were staying in our hotel a lot of our groups cellphones and chargers were stolen. So keep a close watch on your possesions.

    I believe this is the country to shop other than Italy.

    The Netherlands Amsterdam's attractions are Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Anne Frank's House (Frankhuis), Amsterdams Historisch Museum and the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum.

    You might not consider this but try to buy a wheel of Dutch Cheese at the airport.

    If you'll be in Amsterdam during April 30, you might want to join the biggest party of the year, Queen's Day (a.k.a Koninginnedag). This is one big fiesta where in everyone (even the prostitutes) go off work and party hard. If you're into the rave/club scene you'll love it here cause most of the top DJs of the world come here to spin. This is a fact and I do not condone its use but party/rave drugs are legal here.

    Now to the attractions unique only to Amsterdam that might need Parental Guidance. These are Seksmuseum (Porn Museum), the Hash and Marijuana Museum, the Tattoo Museum and the Red-light district. You should be warned that after a certain time (I think it's 10PM) a lot of the public TV channels become start showing X-rated shows/films/video.

    Tips
    • I suggest you travel light cause you'll end up buying clothes along your trip.
    • Buy the clothes you know you can where here.
    • If you get easily chilled, bring a jacket along
    • Wear comfy shoes. You'll be walking most of the times and dress shoes/high heels are very impractical.
    • Bring a lot of film for your camera. Film in the EU is expensive.
    • Get the FREE city maps available in all the airports and train stations.
    • Don't be shy about taking the train. This is how most of the population gets around.
    • Eat in the native restaurants in the country you are in. I got sick from eating Chinese cause of my fellow travelers could not stand not eating rice. :(
    • Bring as much cash as you can get or are willing to spend. Bring an international credit card as well for emergencies.
    • If you're bringing your cellphone avoid texting cause you'll be paying at the rate of the local network you'll be using. Sometimes these rates could be more expensive than voice calls.
    • If you own a phone with a currency converter built-in calculator, learn to use it. It'll save you a lot of hassles.
    • Bring a traveler's plug adaptor kits. A lot of these countries have differing ways to plug in there appliances.
    • Alcohol and tobacco are highly taxed items.
    • Avoid eating beef. This is the continent of Mad Cow Disease :crazy:

    • Remember to keep ALL your receipts you've collected through out your trip and keep all your purchases in seperate travel bag(s) cause when you leave the EU your are entitled to a tax-deduction reinbursed via cash or credit card. This can save you possibly hundreds of pesos.
    • If you're leaving the EU via The Netherland's Schiphol International Airport I suggest you refrain from buying any electronic goods cause you can easily buy them all there at bottom basement rates. One example would be the newest Sony MD player (at the time) I bought for myself. I got it for below US$200. If you buy the lowest end model here it would cost you a cool US$300. In the US/HK it would cost US$250
    Don't be fooled by how little I wrote here. There are a lot of things to be seen in Europe. I would estimate you would need at least a week in each city to see the major sites in detail.

    Lastly, enjoy yourself and have a safe trip. :D
  • Ice BurnIce Burn Conflicting Karma ✭✭
    I just came from Germany and Austria. Enjoy it too the max!!!

    First of all, you'll need a Schengen Visa. That covers most of the European countries you've mentioned except for Switzerland. You'll need to get s Swiss Visa as well.

    Use Euros instead of getting a currency for each country. It will make your life easier.

    Bring a heavy long coat. It is still very cold. I suggest you better buy thermal underwear, long wool socks, either a headband or a hat which covers your ears (you wouldn't want it to get wind burned, believe me), shoe insulator (made of lamb wool) gloves, scarf, facial and body lotion (the cold really bites into the skin), and a soap-free facial and body cleanser (don't use soap for bathing unless you want your skin to crack).

    Bring lots of film. I made that mistake of leaving film and had to buy there. It cost me a fortune. :(

    When you go to Germany, drink lots of beer :lol:. Seriously, their beer is very good. Go to the small towns like Dinkelsbühl, it's very quaint and romantic. If you go to any small towns, visit their brewery, and the dairy. Buy their freshly made yoghurt!!! Grabe it's so damn good! No preservatives and they put fresh fruits!!! You buy it by the bucket!!! I miss it so much!!!

    If you plan to go skiing or snow boarding, go to the Austrian Alps, it's the cheapest place to go skiing as compared to the Swiss or Italian Alps.

    But I warn you, there is no Chicken or Beef for sale in Europe. There was a chicken scare prior to the mad cow and foot and mouth disease. You'll soon get sick of eating pork.

    But if you do get the chance eat Kalbsleber, Schweinebraten and Kaisserschamarren in Germany. :D

  • benjiepbenjiep Member PExer
    Central Europe is a cold place until July, so bring layer clothes at all times - a decent overcoat will serve you well. Dark, smart clothing will get you most anywhere (esp. the snooty British high-street stores) and will keep longest. Use fashionable backpacks and take care of your feet - it's a walk and rail land. Don't be shy to wear rubber shoes if needed, many tourists do. By now all EU street currency's in Euros, except for Swiss Franc and UK Sterling. Bring Mastercard/Visa just in case, sometimes Amex isn't accepted. And bring every medication you think you'll need, you can't just buy medical Rx stuff over-the-counter.

    Above all get a decent guidebook to supplement the free tourist info. If you want a guide to cheap and offbeat experiences, try Lonely Planet. For cheap Harvard-Student-type fun, try Let's Go. To find top-rated cuisine and lodging, get Guide Michelin Red. Ask your concierge to give you written directions so you can get back to your hotel by taxi just in case. For travel around the continent just get the 1-week German, France, Swiss, and Austrian national railpasses. Eurailpass for tourists is too expensive unless you're going on a whirlwind tour.

    For museums and antiques London is the most accessible. Oxford St. is the main shopping avenue, but Kensington High St. has many places, too. There's also the new outlet mall at nearby Ashford.

    For classical music Vienna and Salzburg are it, especially the Staatsoper for opera and Schonbrunn Palace for more intimate recitals. The Parndorf Designer Outlet mall east of Vienna is probably the cheapest shopping. If you like flowery stuff visit the Dutch Keukenhof gardens which bloom in May.

    For chic and trendy cafe life and shopping in Paris, the areas around Sorbonne U. (esp. around St. Germain-des-pres) and the Marais (right bank) are very happening now. If you just want to shop non-stop, Blvd. Haussman is where the big Galleries L., Printemps, and M&S are. There's also the fancy outlet mall 2 hours southeast at Troyes where Versace, Armani, La Coste and Ralph Lauren have shops.

    Aside from the usual places, don't miss the picture-perfect Lugano/Lake Como region bordering Switzerland and Italy. The Engadine Valley area near Merano/Bolzano is probably the most beautiful alpine land on Earth. Then there's the Amalfi coast and its fantastic seaside towns of Amalfi, Ravello, Positano. Positano in particular has all the best boutiques from Milan and Rome, and a great ambience to boot.

    Milan the Italian shopping mecca (and best value fashion shopping in Europe) is just an hour away by rail from Lake Como. Smart Europeans shop for seasonal sales around the streets of Via Monte Napoleone/via Spiga off P.S. Babila. Or you can go to the fancy outlet mall at Serravalle, northeast italy.

    [Edited by benjiep on 03-21-2001 at 09:11 PM]
  • coffeemugcoffeemug a shot of java PExer
    hi:)... sa mga countries you mentioned, i've been to amsterdam, london and italy...

    seems like everyone has given you tips na on what to bring and wear... what else can i add pa?...hmmm... regarding film... yeah buy your film here, apart from being cheaper, compatible ang film at ang processing (this happened to my dad once... he bought film abroad and had it developed here... the pictures really came out awful coz it had a bluish hue... ang sabi ng nag process, special fil daw kzi yung ginamit at wala silang nung chemical for that)...

    ngayon naman sa countries:

    the netherlands: apart from the usual attractions that the others mentioned na open the whole year round, try to see kung your visit will coincide with the floriade flower show... it's a seasonal thing (as in every few years lang)... the floriade flower show is essentially a huge collection of giant greenhouses where you can find almost every plant imaginable on earth... (they keep them in greenhouses para controlled ang climate)

    if you have the luxury of time, i'd suggest a stroll in the neighborhood of vollendam... its a quiet fishing village... while it may not appeal to those after the hustle and bustle of the city, i'd recomend it to get a good feel of the life they have in the place... it's a very nice neighborhood... been to many places, and if i were given the chance to settle down somewhere outside the philippines, i'd choose the place hands down... btw, you can walk around till 7 or 8 in the evening dahil mahaba ang light hours doon...

    ...nga pala, if you want a hotel that's good but not overly expensive, try hotel krasnapolski we found the place nice...


    Italy: been fortunate enough to visit the country 4 times (lagi kasing nasa route namin)... kung first time mo, visit the regular tourist spots which of course includes the basilica... i have a tip though, they have a museum beneath the basilica which they call tesoro (treasury) they don't always open it to the public, so hope they do while you're there... the place houses the treasures/gifts the church has amassed over the centuries... you'll find there solid pillars of gold, crowns, scepters, rings and the like... bawal kumuha ng litrato sa loob... my dad tried to sneak a few shots, but they came out pretty dark kasi nga hindi makagamit ng flash...


    U.K.: hmm was only in the country for 2 days kaya i don't have much tips here apart from the usual stuff...

    ...hmmm last piece of advice, try to bring 2 cameras along and use both of them (or at least 1 still camera and 1 video cam) in the places you would really like to remember... there's nothing more frustrating than coming home and having your only roll of film developed only to find out that something went wrong sa camera mo or film... kainis talaga yun...

    ...so there hope that helps:)...
  • Lisbon tour. DIY walking tour around Lisbon: Baixa, Alfama ,Chiado and Belem.Blog on http://www.annalaviajera.com/


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