Travelling in Europe
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Travelling in Europe


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Easy travel forEU citizensCross-borderpaymentsMotorinsurance There are no longer frontier controls at the bordersThanks toEU rules, withdrawing euro froma cashWhen travelling in theEU, yourcarinsurance will between more than half theEU countries.Passportsmachine,makinga cardpaymentora banktransferautomaticallyprovide, atno extra cost,the minimum orID cardsare no longer needed, andflightsbetweenin euro (up to12500) nowcosts the samecover(third-partyliability)required bylaw.Thisalso themare treated asdomesticflights.wherever youare intheEU.applies toIceland, Norwayand Switzerland.If you havecomprehensive insuranceathome, check This is thanks totheso-called SchengenAgreement,whether the fullcoverextends to travelling in other which ispartofEUlaw.The fullSchengen memberscountries. areAustria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Shopping Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Youdo notneed agreencardwhentravelling inthe Portugal, Spain, Sweden (butnotIreland anbd EUutit servesasinternationally recognisedproof of Thereare no limitson what youcanbuy when you theUnited Kingdom) plusIceland and Norwayinsurance,making iteasier toclaimcompensation travelbetweenEU countries, aslongasitisfor (whichare notEUmembers). if youhaveanaccident.If youdo not takeagreen personal useandnotfor resale.Taxes(VAT and card with you, you should carry yourcertificate of excise)are includedin the price youpayandno The 10countries thatjoinedtheEUin2004are notinsurance. further taxisdue inanyotherEU country. yetfullypartoftheSchengenarea.You willtherefore need a validpassportorID card to travel to thoseYourinsurercan give youa Europeanaccident countriesandtoIreland andtheUnited Kingdom.statementform, astandard document thatmakesit easier to makea declaration onthespotifyouhave Buyingtobaccoand alcohol However, asanEU citizen itisalwaysprudent tocarryanaccidentinanothercountry. yourpassportorID cardwhentravelling intheEU as spot Todetermine whether the tobaccoand alcohol you checkscan happen if publicorderornationalsecurity so buy when visiting otherEU coun-require. triesare forpersonal use,each Drivesafely countrycan setguide levels.If When entering orleavingtheEU at the external youexceedthese levels,youmay borders you will need avalidpassport InallEU countries,youmust wear seatbeltsinboth beasked to prove that the orID card. the frontand back ofthecar. goodsare intendedforperson-aluseandto justify theirpur-Remember todrive on the leftinCyprus, Ireland, chase.The guide levelsare Malta andtheUnited Kingdom. generous.Forinstance, you canbring home from The speedlimitisgenerally110,120or130km/h anothercountry800ciga-on motorwaysand50or 60km/h inbuilt-upareas. rettes,plus90litresof wineand110litresof Usingamobile phone whiledriving increases the beer withoutquestions risk ofafatalaccidentfive timesover.Itiseither beingasked. explicitlyorimplicitlyforbidden inallEU countries. In somecountries, the use of hands-freedevices So m e te m p orar y is tolerated. res t ricti o nts si l l applyoncigarettesand The maximum permitted blood alcohol level varies tobaccoboughtinthe newEUmem-between 0.2mg/mland 0.9 mg/ml in most ber statesby residentsof otherEU countries. countries.Butothersapply zerotoleranceand allow noalcohol inthebloodwhiledriving.
You will neverneed avisafor travellingwithintheEU.
Visitorsfrom outsidetheEU
Ifyouare nota citizen ofanEU country you will need avalidpassport to enter theEU.
Nationalsof33countriesdo notneed avisatovisit theEUfor three monthsorless.These include Bulgaria and Romania, due to join theEUin 2007, and Croatia(a candidatecountry) —as wellas Australia, Canada, Japan, NewZealand and the United States.
Bringing in goodsfrom outsidetheEU
Visitorsfrom outside,orholidaymakers returning from abroad, canbring with them goodsfree ofVAT andexcisedutiesforpersonalusewithincer-tain limits.The main limitsare:
TobaccoAlcoholic drinks 200cigarettesor1 litre ofspiritsor 100cigarillosor 2litresofwine 50cigarsor 250gramsoftobacco
If your visaisfroma countryin theSchengenarea, Consumerprotection youcan travel to the otherSchengencountriesas well withoutadditional formalities.If youhavea Asa consumer, youare protected bybasiclaws validresidence permitfroma Schengencountry,itis thatapplyno matter whatEU country youare in. equivalent toavisa.Youmayneed anationalvisato Thesecover things suchas uniform food safety visitIreland, theUnited Kingdomand the newEU standardsand detailed ruleson foodlabelling countries. and advertising.EUlawprovides specificprotec-tion on package holidaydealsand timeshare property schemes.Practical informationand supportinbri n g i n gco m p lai nt sagai ns t The eurot ra der sin otherEU countriescanbe found through the net work ofEu ro p ean The euro is thecurrencyof more than 300millioncos um erce nt res( people inAustria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany,/consumers/map.htm) Greece, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, theNetherlands, Portugaland Spain.Thesymbol for the euro is. Look for the flower The euro is used also inAndorra, Monaco, San Marinoand VaticanCity. Look for the flower, theEU eco-label,on everydayconsumergoods Denmark, Swedenand theUnited Kingdomare not fromdetergents to textiles to help you currently usingthesinglecurrency.The 10countries findgreenerproducts.Foralistof eco-thatbecameEUmembersin2004arecommittedto labelledproducts, the eurobutnone willbe ready todo so label.comYoucan nowalsousethe flower to find an untilatleast 2007. environmentallyfriendlyhotel, bed-and-breakfastor youth hostel. Some retail outletsincountriesoutside the euro area acceptpaymentin euroas wellas the national currency, but theyare notlegallyobligedtodoso.
Notesand coins valideverywhere
Euro notesare identical inallcountriesbuteach countryissuesitsowncoins with onecommon side andone sidedisplayinga distinctive national emblem.All notesand coinscanbe used anywhere in the euroarea.Goneare thecostandhassle of changing money when moving from onecountry toanother.
Driving licence
A valid driving licence fromanyEU countryis valid throughout theEU.Insomecountries,inadditionto carryingavalid driving licence,you will needto have your vehicleregistrationdocument withyou.
Minimumage limitsforhiringa carare notfixed at EUleveland canvarybetween20and23.There may alsobe maximumage limits, whichare generally between65and75.
© Published bythe EuropeanCommission, Directorate-GeneralforPressandCommunication,August2005
Payas yougo
Thereare toll roadsin manycountriesincluding Austria,theCzechRepublic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spainand theUnited Kingdom.Visitors using Austrian motorwaysandA roadsmustpossessand displayatoll label or vignette ontheir vehicle.These canbeboughtatall majorbordercrossingsinto Austria and atlargerpetrol stations.TheCzech Republic, Hungaryand Slovakiahavea similar system ofastickeraffixedtothewindscreen.
Photos Signpost:Zefa.Other photos (from left to right):RobertoTrioschi;Corbis/VanParysMedia;Zefa;EmmanuelTrepant;Zefa.
Europe: a continent with thousands of years of history, a rich and diverse cultural heritageand some of theworldsmost beautifulsceneryso much for thetraveller todiscover andexplore, and allthismade easier by theEuropeanUnion (EU).
The25countriesoftheUnionstretchacross thecontinentfromtheArctic CircletotheMediterranean Sea andfromthewest coastofIreland tothe eastern edge ofFinlandorCyprus.Youcancrossmany borders withintheEUwithoutpassportorbaggagechecksandthe euro makesiteasier toshoparound forbargains.Asingle marketof 457million peoplebrings widerchoiceandlowerprices.
Youhave easyaccess to healthcare,ifrequired, andpetsneedno longerbe leftathome.Ifyoudrive, yourdriving licenceandmotorinsurance issuedin oneEU countryarevalidinallthe others.Andyou canuseyourmobile phone everywhere.
Languages Europe is rich in languages.The main language familiesareGermanic, Romance, Slav, Celtic and Baltic.TheEUinstitutionshave20official languages, but thereare manyotherlesser-usedones. ManyEuropeans speakatleastone otherlanguage besides theirmother tonguebut, duringyour travels inEurope, tryusingafewphrasesof the local language when talking to local people.It will add colour to yourexperiences.Start withaGood morning’:
Youcan learn moreabout theEU at the ‘ EUROPEDIRECTanswers yourquestionsabout the EU: call00800 6 78 9 1011 ore-mailvia
Culture TheEU supportsand contributes to manycultural projectsandevents taking placeacrossEurope.Each year,itdesignatesa culturalcapital ofEurope.Cork inIreland was thechoice for 2005.Itisfollowed in 2006byPatrasinGreece, while the jointculture capitalsfor 2007areLuxembourgand Sibiu (Romania). Europe’scalendariscrowded with festivalsand special eventsin music, art,theatre, danceandfilm. Checkwith nationaltouristofficesfordetailsofwhat isonwhenyouaretravelling. FlyingPhoningwithoutborders Creatinga singleEuropean marketinair transportThere isjustone prefixformaking international hasloweredfaresandincreasedthechoice ofcarriers telephonecallsanywhere intheEU.Itis 00. andservicesforpassengers.Countrycodesforphonecalls: EU rulesalso safeguardpassengerinterests.These includecertain rightsconcerning flightinformation and reservations, delaysand cancellations, compen-sation if youare refused boardingbecause of overbooking,orinthecase ofaccidentordifficulties with package holidays.
Avoid thedelayandinconvenience of having somethingconfiscated byairport securitybymaking Thecountr yabbreviationsarethoseusedon motor vehicles. sure youare not travelling with prohibited articles. EU-wide listsof items thatare notallowedin the cabinand baggage holdon flightsfromEU airports havebeenagreed.Authoritieshave to provide this information to passengersbeforecheck-in, so lookMobile phones outforitinthecheck-inarea. Youcanuseyourmobile phoneanywhere inEurope andin manyothercountries thanks totheEUsGSM technicalstandard.Beforetravelling, however, contact your Access to healthcare service provider to make sure that yourphone is If youareanEUnational, youcan getfree or enabledforinternational reduced-costhealthcare inthecase of illnessoracci-roaming.Thecosts will dentduringa visit toanyEU country, Iceland, dependon yourprovider. Liechtenstein, NorwayorSwitzerland.SinceJune Therecanbechargesfor 2004, a European health insurancecardhasbeen receivingcallsabroad both introducedto facilitateaccess to healthcare intheEU for youandthecaller. and to speed up the reimbursementofcosts.Itis replacing theE111 form which remains valid during thechangeoverperiod. Onlypubliclyfundedhealth treatmentisincludedElectricity inthis scheme for the momentandeachcountryhas itsown rulesforpublicmedical provision.In some, AllEurope has 230volt, treatmentisfree,in some youpaypartof thecost,50cyclealternatingcurrent. in others youhaveto pay the fullcostandthenclaimCyprus, Ireland, Malta and the a refund.So keepall yourbills,prescriptionsUKhavesquarethree-pin plugsbut, Travellingwith pets andreceipts. ingeneral, all otherEU countries havetwo-pin plugs.These may varybut you should be Apetpassport wasintroducedin 2004 making it able to use yourappliances, suchashairdryersand easier totravelwith pets.Allcatsand dogs will need shavers, anywhere.Simpleadapterplugscanusuallybe one, andit willbeaccepted across theEU asproof boughtinairportsandtourist resorts. Medicines thatapethas received theanti-rabies vaccination. However, Ireland, Malta, Swedenand theUnited Take yourprescription with youif youarecarrying Kingdomalsorequire proofthat thevaccination has prescribedmedicines.Do notexceed the quantities been effective.The necessary testsmustbecarried neededfor yourpersonal useduring your trip, asTimezones outatleast sixmonthsprior to travel toIreland, large quantitiesofdrugscancreatesuspicion. Malta and theUK and120daysbeforehandin the case ofSweden. An electronicmicrochipwillbe introduced by 2012 to Bathingwateralloweasyidentification of theanimal.In the meantime, an identification tattoocanbe used Strict standardsaresetforbathingwater throughoutexceptinIreland, Malta and theUnited Kingdom, theEU.Bathingwateris regularlymonitored and anwhereamicrochip isalready required. annualEuropeanCommission report showsbathing waterqualityimprovingallthetime.
The same numbercanbe used tocontact the emergency servicesinanyEU countr y:justdial 112.
An annualversion ofTravelling inEuropeis published asa folder, while anextended versionis publishedon the internet, which also provides links to more detailed information on thesubjects