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Plan a trip to Europe from the UK
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The UK is a convenient place from which to take a holiday to continental Europe. This page explains where to get the information or how to make bookings to organise such a trip.

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For a map showing the countries of Europe, see the Lonely Planet site: You can select a country to see a map and basic travel information about each country.
A specialist shop for maps and travel books is Stanfords:
Many useful books for European travel are produced by . These guides are illustrated with many pictures.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: Europe (travel guide)
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Date: November 2001
Europe on a Shoestring
Author: Scott McNeely and others
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: January 2001
First Time Europe (plan your first trip to Europe)
Author: Louis CasaBianca
Publisher: Rough Guides
Date: March 2003 (for earlier edition, click here)
Take Your Kids to Europe (travel with children)
Author: C.W. Harriman
Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
Date: February 2002
"Let's Go 2003": Western Europe ; Eastern Europe ; Europe
Author: Let's Go Inc; Publisher: Pan
Date: December 2002
2003 Map of Europe
Publisher: Collins
Date: October 2002

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You may enjoy your travelling in Europe more if you learn at least a little of the languages of the countries you will be visiting.
For information about how to find a part-time language course, see: Course/Short.

If you are London, you may be able to attend cheap classes given by trainee teachers:

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: European Phrase Book
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
Date: November 2001

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Some of the most popular European destinations are:
Ireland: Dublin; France: Paris; Netherlands: Amsterdam; Belgium: Brussels; Bruges; Denmark: Copenhagen
Italy: Milan; Florence; Venice; Rome; Spain: Barcelona; Madrid
Germany: Munich; Berlin; Cologne; Austria: Vienna; Switzerland: Geneva; Interlaken; Czech Republic: Prague

In many European cities you can buy a city pass which allows you to use public transport and get free entry into the main sightseeing attractions. You can buy passes for one day or for several days, and usually purchase them after you have arrived. For details, see:

Scenes of Paris

Arc de Triomphe

Notre Dame

Eiffel Tower

Metro (underground)

Classic Short Breaks in Europe
Editor: Jeff Evans
Publisher: Thomas Cook Publishing
Date: February 1999

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Immigration rules often change, so check before you travel. The information below is only for general guidance.

If you are travelling from the UK to another European country, you can check visa requirements using the website of that country's embassy in London. To find this, see: Links (select the country you will visit). You may also find it useful to look at the website of the country's embassy within your own country.

If you have an EU passport, you can travel freely within the member countries of the EU, but you should carry your passport or identity card with you while travelling in other countries (for details, see: Prepare/Visa).

If you need a visa, you will need to complete an application form (these can usually be downloaded from the embassy's website). You may also need evidence that you have enough money for your stay, and may need to provide details of your plans for accommodation and your return travel. You may be able to apply by post, but in many cases it will be necessary to visit the embassy or consulate in London to obtain a visa - you may have to make an appointment in advance. There is normally a fee which you have to pay to obtain a visa.

A Schengen visa is a visa issued by one of these countries, which together are known as the Schengen area:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.
A Schengen visa will allow you to travel through all of the countries listed above.
Note that the UK is not part of the Schengen area, so having a valid visa to stay in the UK does not give you the right to travel in other European countries.
If you will travel around many countries in the Schengen area, you should apply for a Schengen visa from the embassy of the country where you expect to stay for the longest period.

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For information about finding an organised trip to Europe, see: Travel/Tours

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For information about travelling to or around Europe, see these pages:

By air: Travel/Transport/Air
By railway: Travel/Transport/Train
By sea: Travel/Transport/Ferry
By coach: Travel/Transport/Coach
By car: Travel/Transport/Car

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For information about finding somewhere to stay in Europe, see these pages:

Hotel: Travel/Accommodation/Hotel
Hostel: Travel/Accommodation/Hostel/Guide
Camping/caravan site: Travel/Accommodation/Campsite

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If you have a UK bank account, if your debit card shows a Maestro or Cirrus logo it can also be used in most European countries to obtain cash from a cashpoint machine or to pay for goods in many of the shops or restaurants. Check with your bank before travelling. You should order your currency and traveller's cheques from the bank about a week before travelling.
The euro (€) is the currency used in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. The three EU countries that do not use the euro are the UK, Sweden and Denmark.

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