When we made our motorhome trip through Europe, we visited dozens and dozens of citys and about 25 european capitals. We always did the usual “what to do”, “what to visit”, “tips” .. but we began to realize that certain practices were common to all cities.
# Tip 1 – Search for an information point
Whenever we visit a new city, whether it is a capital or a large city, despite all the research done in advance, it is important for us to go to the tourist information point. It is about 15min that is spent, but can value the trip. In these places there is a wide range of information content .. such as monuments to visit, timetables, prices, unique experiences to enjoy on the spot and even some discounts.
# Tip 2 – Get a city map
Having a map is a key to a visit to any city. Want to know objectively the points of interest, or for guidance of travelers.
It is important to do a planning, idealizing a program for the days that one will be traveling. In the program you must take into account the days you have to visit, against what we want to see. This way you will optimize your time and money.
# Tip 3 – See the city from a high point
Almost all major cities have high points, be they on hill tops, monuments or rooftops.
For us, there is nothing to pay for the pleasure of contemplating a city from above, in the late afternoon, at sundown or even at sunrise. It is an experience that marks any trip and except for rare exceptions (such as rooftop) one does not have to spend money.
# Tip 4 – Attention to monuments
Almost all historic centers have monuments, some more emblematic than others. Do a search, see the prices, schedules and perceive the ones that will most meet your budget and interests.
Do not forget to search the hours and days that the monuments are closed.
There are several cities, especially capitals, that have discounts for European Union citizens, students, young people from the European Union or even many are free. With an early research, certainly it will make better choices and enrich the trip.
For example, in Paris, most of the monuments (Louvre Museum, Tower of Notredame ..) are free to young people of the European Union up to the age of 26. In Rome, climbing to the second floor of the Vittorio Emanuele Monument is also free.
# Tip 5 – Look for Green Spaces
The green spaces renew energies, are great for a walk or to make a picnic. Large cities always have public gardens with green spaces, beautiful trees and benches to rest a bit. In many, there are also natural parks nearby, which one can do on excursion. As in Krakow, which has the National Nature Park of Ojcow about 10 km.
# Tip 6 – Absorb city and the locals
All places are a place. A place with history, with several stories happening at that moment. With several lives intersecting each other, it aligns with what we observe and absorb.
Pay attention to the details and try to perceive and put yourself in the other’s life. Help the neighbor and get acquainted and interact with the local people. Buying local foods, talking to people and trying to always understand their cultures and roots a little more.
#Tip 7 – Search for places near Water
Lakes, rivers, channels .. There are several cities and capitals, which has a water course, running between them. Lisbon, Porto, Amsterdam, Venice, Salzburg, Paris, Rome .. are some of the places where water plays an important role and it tastes good, sit a little on your fringe and just watch life go by.
# Tip 8 – Try new flavors
Each country has its own cultures, traditions, colors and flavors. When you visit a new city, try typical dishes, it will be a new experience and you will get more involved in the local culture.
For those who are more economical, usually in big cities there are always restaurants with menus, see the most complete and ‘good-looking’ ones, as we also eat with our eyes.
You can also always “escape” to more touristy restaurants and buy food or have a meal in a restaurant that feels more local.
# Tip 9 – Beware of “pickpockets”
All cities with many tourists tend to have some people trying to fool the tourists. There are many ways to fool a tourist. Learn to say .. NO!
1– Never take hold of any object or souvenir that you want to try to sell; In Rome we saw a couple where the boy had just asked for the hand of his beloved in marriage at Fontana Di Trevi. In this, there is a guy who takes one of those photographs that come out automatically and gives them to the couple, they accept and soon there is a chase from the guy to the couple insisting that he give them the money. Which is a bit embarrassing situation:
2- Always pay attention to your suitcase or backpack on public transport, if you have a backpack, put it on your chest and your suitcase always;
3. Even if they say it’s an offer, do not accept flowers! They will always ask you for money;
5 – If you are asked to take a picture, pay attention to your things, sometimes there are pickpockets to make this kind of mockery.
6- Do not line up in games! In Venice we saw a very large group of people around a game .. in the game entered balls that hid under glasses and who entered had to find out where the ball was. There were about 4 people who were combined and always failed, when a tourist entered and it seemed obvious where the ball was hidden, always lost. The values of the bets were only notes of 50 €.