Optima Juris | Regional Guides Europe

Regional Guides: Europe

Overview of Europe

Europe comprises of the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia. Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean and other bodies of water to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast. Yet, the borders of Europe - a concept dating back to classical antiquity - are somewhat arbitrary, as the primarily physiographic term "continent" can incorporate cultural and political elements.

Europe Parties to the Hague Evidence Convention

Albania
Belarus
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein*
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malta
Monaco
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russian Federation
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
Ukraine
United Kingdom
*Non-Member States
Full List of the Hague Evidence Convention Parties

Countries That Require Visas

If a visa is required, obtain it from the appropriate foreign consular representative before proceeding abroad. Allow sufficient time for processing your visa application especially if you are applying by mail. Most foreign consular representatives are located in principal cities and in many instances a traveler may be required to obtain visas from the consular office in the area of his/her residence.

European Countries Requiring Visas:
Armenia
Belarus
Kazakhstan
Russia
Turkey*

Foreign Consular Offices in the United States
Visa Requirements for U.S. Citizens

Currency

Money

Cash is easy, flexible and you don't even have to show your passport as ID to exchange cash like you do with travelers checks. But easy come easy go. Cash is also the riskiest way to carry large amounts of money. If lost or stolen, it's gone - unlike travelers checks which can be replaced.

Credit cards

Check carefully for your credit card's terms and conditions. In particular, check the small print regarding ATM transaction fees and currency conversion charges so you don't get any surprises. Make sure your card has the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol - otherwise you may not be able to use it overseas.

Exchanging money

Compare exchange rates at a number of booths if possible, but don't waste time and money traipsing across town to save ten euros. Banks and booths typically give much better rates than hotels or other businesses. It's wise to exchange money at a licensed foreign exchange location - while you may get a better rate on the street, you may get burned by a scam or wind up with obsolete or fraudulent notes - weigh up the pros and cons.

Travelers checks

The main advantage of travelers checks is that they can be replaced if lost or stolen. The disadvantage is that there is often (though not always) a fee to both buy and cash them. Even so, think of this small expense as a type of travel insurance, guaranteeing that you'll be able to get cash in an emergency, when you'll need it most. Travelers checks are most commonly issued in U.S. dollars, but other currencies are also becoming more widely accepted.

Security Issues

Ask your hotel for a list of safety cell numbers & email.
There should be a main contact and a backup contact whom you can contact in the country you're visiting. Get a cell number and email. Getting a contact number of someone in the USA is ok, but keep in mind that all of Europe is on a different time zone.

Carry some cash.
While credit cards are accepted throughout Europe, cash is still king when you are absolutely in a bind. While we aren't saying to be a walking ATM, do have several hundred dollars on you just in case.

Get your paper work straight.
Do make sure everyone has a passport (more family members means more chances someone is missing something). Do make sure everyone has a visa if applicable. Do check the embassy rules as they are constantly updated. Also, see what items are included in your travel package (insurance, tipping, forms, etc).

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Europe.

Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.

Global Security Updates

Be a smart traveler. Before heading overseas:
Organize comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
Register your travel and contact details, so someone can contact you in an emergency

Tipping Rules

To tip the cabbie, round up. For a typical ride, round up about 5-10 percent (to pay a €4.50 fare, give €5; for a €28 fare, give €30). If the cabbie hauls your bags and zips you to the airport to help you catch your flight, you might want to toss in a little more. But if you feel like you're being driven in circles or otherwise ripped off, skip the tip.

Restaurant tips are more modest in Europe than in America. In most places, 10 percent is a big tip. Tipping is an issue only at restaurants that have waiters and waitresses. If you order your food at a counter (in a pub, for example), don't tip.

Transportation

If you want to call a taxi, your hotel or the nearest tourism information office can recommend a reliable service.

Also available in Metropolitan Areas
Buses
Cars
Taxis
Subways

Country Specific Information

  • Country
  • Capital
  • Currency
  • Official languages
  • Electrical requirements
  • Dialing code
  • Albania
  • Tirana
  • Lek
  • Albanian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 355
  • Andorra
  • Andorre La Vieille
  • Euro
  • Catalan
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 376
  • Armenia
  • Yerevan
  • Dram
  • Armenian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 374
  • Austria
  • Vienna
  • Euro
  • German
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 43
  • Azerbaijan
  • Baku
  • Manat
  • Azerbaijani
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 994
  • Belarus
  • Minsk
  • Belarusian ruble
  • Belarusian, Russian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 375
  • Belgium
  • Brussels
  • Euro
  • Dutch, French, German
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 32
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Sarajevo
  • Konvertibilna marka
  • Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 387
  • Bulgaria
  • Sofia
  • Lev
  • Bulgarian
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 359
  • Croatia
  • Zagreb
  • Kuna
  • Croatian
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 385
  • Cyprus
  • Nicosia
  • Euro
  • Greek, Turkish
  • 240V/50HZ
  • 357
  • Czech Republic
  • Prague
  • Koruna
  • Czech
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 420
  • Denmark
  • Copenhagen
  • Danish krone
  • Danish
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 45
  • Estonia
  • Tallinn
  • Euro
  • Estonian
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 372
  • Finland
  • Helsinki
  • Euro
  • Finnish, Swedish
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 358
  • France
  • Paris
  • Euro
  • French
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 33
  • Georgia
  • T'bilisi
  • Laru
  • Georgian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 995
  • Germany
  • Berlin
  • Euro
  • German
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 49
  • Greece
  • Athens
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 30
  • Hungary
  • Budapest
  • Forint
  • Hungarian
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 36
  • Iceland
  • Reykjavik
  • Krona
  • Icelandic
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 354
  • Ireland
  • Dublin
  • Euro
  • Irish, English
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 353
  • Italy
  • Rome
  • Euro
  • Italian
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 39
  • Kazakhstan
  • Astana
  • Tenge
  • Kazakh , Russian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 7
  • Latvia
  • Riga
  • Lats
  • Latvian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 371
  • Liechtenstein
  • Vaduz
  • Swiss Franc
  • German
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 423
  • Lithuania
  • Vilnius
  • Litas
  • Lithuanian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 370
  • Luxembourg
  • Luxemburg
  • Euro
  • Luxembourgish, French, German
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 352
  • Macedonia
  • Skopje
  • Denar
  • Macedonian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 389
  • Malta
  • Valletta
  • Euro
  • Maltese, English
  • 240V/50HZ
  • 356
  • Moldova
  • Chisinau
  • Moldovan leu
  • Romanian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 373
  • Monaco
  • Monaco
  • Franc
  • French
  • 127/220V/50HZ
  • 377
  • Montenegro
  • Podgorica
  • Euro
  • Serbian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 382
  • Netherlands
  • Amsterdam
  • Euro
  • Dutch
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 31
  • Norway
  • Oslo
  • Norwegian krone
  • Norwegian
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 47
  • Poland
  • Warsaw
  • Zloty
  • Polish
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 48
  • Portugal
  • Lisbon
  • Euro
  • Portuguese
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 351
  • Romania
  • Bucharest
  • Romanian leu
  • Romanian
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 40
  • Russia
  • Moscow
  • Russian ruble
  • Russian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 7
  • San Marino
  • San Marino
  • Euro
  • Italian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 378
  • Serbia
  • Belgrade
  • Dinar
  • Serbian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 381
  • Slovakia
  • Bratislava
  • Euro
  • Slovak
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 421
  • Slovenia
  • Ljubljana
  • Euro
  • Slovene
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 386
  • Spain
  • Madrid
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 34
  • Sweden
  • Stockholm
  • Swedish krona
  • Swedish
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 46
  • Switzerland
  • Bern
  • Swiss franc
  • German, French, Italian, Romansh
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 41
  • Turkey
  • Ankara
  • Lira
  • Turkish
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 90
  • Ukraine
  • Kiev
  • Hryvnia
  • Ukrainian
  • 220V/50HZ
  • 380
  • United Kingdom
  • London
  • Pound sterling
  • English
  • 230V/50HZ
  • 44
  • Vatican City
  • Vatican City
  • Euro
  • Italian
  • 127V/50HZ
  • 39

Major Cities in Europe

Moscow, Russia
London, UK
St. Petersburg, Russia
Berlin, Germany
Madrid, Spain
Rome, Italy
Kiev, Ukraine
Paris, France
Budapest, Hungary
Hamburg, Germany
Vienna, Austria
Barcelona, Spain
Milan, Italy

Major European Airports

London, England
London Heathrow Airport
LHR

Paris, France
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
CDG

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
AMS

Rome, Italy
Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport
FCO

Munich, Germany
Munich Airport
MUC

Istanbul, Turkey
Ataturk International Airport
IST

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen Airport
CPH

Oslo, Norway
Oslo Airport, Gardermoen
OSL

Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich Airport
ZRH

Moscow, Russia
Domodedovo International Airport
DME

Useful Links

Hotels

Agoda Hotel Search in Europe
Lonely Planet European Hotel Search

CIA

CIA Factbook Page

U.S. Embassy

United State Embassies Around the World

Electrical Requirements

Detailed List on Voltage Requirements

Questions? Email us: depos@optimajuris.com