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Europe has some of the most splendid, picturesque top places on the planet to explore – France, England, Scotland, Ireland and Belgium have in store some of this continent's best hiking and biking, with tours that traverse the lush, rolling countryside and overnight at quaint inns. If you want to enjoy some breath-taking mountain climbing all the way up to the Alps, then Germany, Switzerland, eastern France and northern Italy are your dreams come true. Picture a fjord curise through Sweden, Norway, and Finland and play insomniac in the arctic midnight sun. Even Russia is getting in on the act, introducing adventure travellers to the snow-capped Caucasus Mountains and the windswept Kola Peninsula
Best Destinations to Visit
What's the best place in this continent?" is the inevitable question asked a million times, a question as impossible to answer as "how long is a piece of string?" London, England - May through October is a good time, but you're liable to get rained upon anyway. A crisp winter day is not altogether bad, though, especially if you're planning a day out in the suburbs. Pale penny-pinching paupers without the money to fly further than the first cheap stop in this continent are not advised to go to London, as it is one of the most expensive cities in the world. London is paradise for history buffs and travellers who like theatre. If you love Dutch Masters, cycling and wandering along canals and museums, Amsterdam, Holland is the place for you. For starving artists, Henry Miller fans and foodies, Paris, France is a treat. Hit the Louvre, gawk at the Eiffel Tower and tap your feet to some jazz in the Montparnasse. In Venice, Italy, take note of the contrast between the opulent Doge's Palace and the nasty prison on the other side of the canal. Then again, anything touristy can be magic in Venice--it's just a crazy anachronism in a precarious environment. You need to see it. No one can explain it, not even Italo Calvino. Rome, like Venice is a walking city. Lots of things you've always wanted to see are free or cheap, so don't sweat the entertainment budget if you're reasonably mobile (don't throw it away, either--you'll spend it on lodging). If you’re in Madrid, Spain have tapas in the evening, and maybe later you'll feel like eating somewhere along the Hemingway trail. Visits to the Prado and then on to the Reina Sofia--where you'll see more modern art like Picasso's Guernica--are good bets for the art lovers.
Best Time to Visit
It can rain at any time in Amsterdam, but that's not a reason not to visit this fascinating city. Off season tourists will be rewarded with enough decent weather to stick around. April-May is tulip season. Summer is good for sun worshippers--July and August is the peak season--but there's nothing like brooding off-season clouds. Spring is the best time of the year to visit the romantic city of Paris. The best time to visit Venice is when the famous Venice Carnevale is held and the weather is usually cold and foggy--perfect weather for Venice. Rome is a carnival all year long. Italians avoid Rome in August because it's hot and muggy and everybody who's anybody is away at the beach, so August isn't even high season.
Take your time - It would take travellers years to discover all the marvels that France alone has to offer, so it recommended that you take your time, This continent is not going anywhere and you can always return. If you are travelling a long way to discover this continent delights choose just one country and explore a few major cities within that one country rather than try and do a few different countries on one short trip. Doing this will give you a much more rewarding and a lot more relaxing holiday, and if you are still worried about what you can tell your friends at least you will know a lot more about that one country than they might!
Airport - If you are travelling to this continent, keep in mind that security in airports and train stations is no joking matter. Do not attempt to bring anything illegal into or out of this continent. Show respect for security and answer any questions that you are asked with an honest serious answer. When you are in line with immigration, it is not the time to start telling jokes. You are travelling to have a good time, but this is not the time to draw attention to yourself.
Safety Information - Theft happens in this continent just as it does in the States. Using common sense at all times is the best way to avoid becoming a victim. Train stations, buses and subways are notorious for theft so take extra precautions there.
Currency - It's a common currency that has replaced 16 national currencies in Western part of this continent--among them, the French franc, the German Mark, the Dutch guilder, and the Italian lira. However, many European nations have chosen not to support the euro: among them, Britain, Switzerland, and all but one of the Scandinavian countries. Others haven't met the economic requirements for participation in the common currency.
Comfort -You will do a lot of walking in this continent. Bring very comfortable shoes. Never bring new shoes that you have not "broken in". To prepare for your trip, start a walking regimen at home a few weeks before your trip. You would hate to miss a major sight because your feet are sore and tired.
Blend in -It is recommended that you wear clothes to blend with the local culture. Having pride is great; wearing an American flag t-shirt in a foreign country is just not smart in today's environment.
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