Europe is full of sightseeing opportunities, historical landmarks, and rich culture, so the problem most people face is deciding what they truly want to do and experience on their trip. You may be wondering what places are worth visiting or what to bring on your trip. You might even still be figuring out which countries you’d like to visit. No matter if your trip is in six months or next week, here are some things to keep in mind on your European adventure.

Attractions and sights worth seeing

No matter where you decide to go, plan to see popular attractions, but don’t completely fill up your itinerary. To save money and to learn more about the culture, “do as the locals do.” Explore the back roads, visit small shops and restaurants, and take the time to experience and appreciate the culture. That being said, we narrowed down some of the top destinations for first-time travelers to Europe:

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London

London is a popular travel destination for several reasons! It offers a plethora of experiences and sights including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, gorgeous museums, marketplaces, and multicultural restaurants.

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Vienna

The birthplace of Mozart is full of gorgeous architecture and monuments and typically has several festivals and events throughout the year. In January and February, you can even attend a formal ball in Vienna!

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Barcelona

Barcelona is home to the Picasso Museum and the Sagrada Familia, along with several other attractions that you can experience on a guided tour with one of the locals.

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Paris

Paris is the top spot for people who love high fashion, art, glamour, and quality entertainment. Along with the iconic Eiffel Tower, Paris has many beautiful attractions including the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre Museum.

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Venice

This Italian city’s “main street” is actually a canal! “The City on the Water” has several places to explore including the Palazzo Dulce Museum, San Pantalons Church, and several local shops and cafes.

Do your research

Once you’ve narrowed down the top attractions you want to see, start planning your trip in more detail. Find out when certain locations are especially busy if you prefer to avoid crowds, and make hotel reservations months in advance. Plan how you’re going to get around the city; will you need to rent a car, or do you need to buy a rail pass? It’s also highly recommended (and polite) to learn at least some of the language of the country you’re going to visit. Even if you only know a few basic phrases or questions, it can be really helpful and can help you connect with the locals.

Take care of yourself!

Before leaving on a trip, make sure you’re in good health and that everything at home is in order. Visit the doctor before your trip, and make sure to get refills on any of your prescriptions. You should also make sure to schedule accommodations for your pet in advance, and check that your passport hasn’t expired.

A week before your trip, call your post office to have them hold your mail while you’re away and call your credit card companies to let them know that you’ll be out of the country. You don’t want them to notice foreign charges on your card and come to believe it’s been stolen!

Traveling on a tight budget?

You can still experience the top sights and attractions in Europe while on a budget! For every expensive restaurant in each country, there are many more reasonable local options. You can take advantage of busses and trains instead of renting a car to save money. If you book a hotel that’s a bit farther away from a major city, you’re much more likely to get a cheaper rate. A few other tips for traveling on a budget include:

Book activities in advance

If you want to see popular attractions, you should reserve tickets ahead of time. While this doesn’t necessarily save money, you can save time by skipping the lines for certain sightseeing attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower, and you can pack more experiences into your trip.

Find free tours

Nearly every major European city offers free guided tours for tourists. While you can also feel free to explore on your own, you can learn much more about the culture and history from a tour guide.

Visit during an “off” season

If you don’t mind the cold, winter is the least busy season for tourists! Fewer visitors typically means that hotels will be cheaper as well.

Make sure to stay connected

While you’re traveling, the last thing you want is to have to pay for expensive roaming charges. Today, staying connected while abroad is easier than ever thanks to the Unlimited Europe SIM card from BNESIM. This SIM card has coverage in 31 European countries and gives travelers unlimited access to high-speed Wifi.