Travelling in Europe
12 pages
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Travelling in Europe


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Tout savoir sur nos offres
12 pages


Information policy
Target audience: All



Publié par
Nombre de lectures 43
Langue English


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Passport or identity card There are no longer any frontier controls at the borders between EU countries (with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland) or between the EU and Norway or Iceland. When you cross the external borders of this area you will need a valid passport.
You will need a valid passport for travel to the United Kingdom or Ireland, or an ID card if you are an EU national. Take a valid passport or ID card for travel elsewhere because you may be required to prove your identity.
Make sure that any children either have their own passport or ID card or are registered on yours.
Schengen.The decision to abolish border controls between EU countries is often referred to as the ‘Schengen’ agreement, after a town in Luxembourg where it was signed. It covers internal and external frontiers, visas, law enforcement and judicial cooperation. These rules became an integral part of the EU treaties in 1997 and the non-EU countries Norway and Iceland also take part in the cooperation scheme. The United Kingdom and Ireland do not participate in the aspects that relate to frontiers. If public order or national security so require, checks at the borders between the Schengen countries may be carried out for a limited period.
Visas You will not need a visa for travelling within the EU if you are a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway. There are many other countries whose nationals do not need a visa if visiting the EU for three months or less. These include the United States and Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand and all the candidate countries except Turkey. If in doubt, check with the nearest consulate of any EU country. If you get a visa to any of the countries in the Schengen area, this will automatically allow you to travel freely throughout the Schengen area.
Insurance documents Don’t forget your travel, health and car insurance documents. Further details below.
The euro Since 1 January 2002 the euro is the legal tender for the 300 million people in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and the symbol for the euro.
The euro is used also in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City, and also in the Canaries, Madeira, the Azores, Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Réunion, Mayotte and St Pierre and Miquelon, which are all part of EU countries using the euro.
The euro is divided into 100 cents. There are seven banknotes, each in a different colour and featuring a different architectural period, from classical to modern, and there are eight coins. The euro notes are identical in all countries but each country produces its own coins with one common side and one national side. All the notes and coins can be used anywhere in the euro zone.
If you still have notes or coins in the old currencies, you can give them to charity. Otherwise you will still be able to exchange them at national central banks for several years.
Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom are not currently participating in the single currency. The exchange rates for the Danish krone, the Swedish krona and the British pound are not fixed and vary with the market.
Exchange rates 1 euro buys approximately (April 2002):
Danish krone Swedish krona Pound sterling US dollar Japanese yen
7.43 9.01 0.61 0.87 116
Some retail outlets in non-euro zone countries are likely to accept payment in euro as well as the national currency but they are not legally obliged to do so.
Postage stamps Postage stamps can only be used in the country in which you buy them, even when priced in euro. They cannot be used throughout the euro zone.
Cross-border payments Under new EU legislation, cross-border payments in euro will cost no more than national ones. From 1 July 2002, when you withdraw euro from a cash machine or make a euro payment (up to 12 500 euro) using your bank card, the charges must be the same whether the transaction takes place in your own country or in any other euro-zone country.
From 1 July 2003, charges for euro credit transfers (up to 12 500 euro) between bank accounts must also be the same whether they are national or cross-border.
Outside the EU If you are coming into the EU from a non-EU country, you can bring with you goods free of VAT and excise duties for personal use with the following limits. The same applies if you come from the Canary Islands, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar or other territories where VAT and EU excise provisions do not apply.
Tobacco products 1 200 cigarettes or ( ) 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco
2 Alcoholic drinks( ) 1 1 litre of spirits over 22 % volume or ( ) 2 litres of fortified wine or sparkling wine 2 litres of still wine
Perfume 50 grams
Eau de toilette 250ml
Other goods 3 4 5 Up to a value of 175 euro ( ), ( ), ( )
1 ( ) 2 ( )
3 ( )
4 ( )
5 ( )
100 cigarettes and no spirits for Danish residents who have spent less than 24 hours in another country. Until the end of 2005, Finland is allowed to apply a limit on the amount of beer. In 2002 the limit is 16 litres and the value of the beer is included in the value limit of 175 euro. The limit is reduced to 90 euro for travellers under 15 years old to all EU countries except Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The limit is 100 euro for travellers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia entering Austria or Germany overland or by sea. The limit is 600 euro (150 euro for the under 15s) for travellers from the Canary Islands, Ceuta or Melilla entering mainland Spain and/or the Balearic islands.
Meat Because of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom in 2001, you are not allowed to take any meat products out of the United Kingdom. Check before you travel to find out whether the ban has been lifted.
Consumer protection Some basic laws for consumer protection apply throughout the EU, for example rules on product safety and protection against misleading marketing. If you have an unsettled dispute with a supplier in another EU country or in Norway or Iceland, you can get practical information and assistance in settling the dispute out of court through an EU network of national consumer organisations called EEJ-Net. Further details at:
Driving licence A driving licence issued in an EU country is valid throughout the EU. Remember that in most countries the minimum age for driving is 18 and if you are younger you will not be allowed to drive in those countries even if you hold a valid driving licence from another country. In some countries, in addition to carrying a valid driving licence, you will need to have your vehicle registration document with you. There are age limits for hiring a car, usually 20 as a minimum age.
Motor insurance Your car insurance policy will automatically provide, at no extra cost, the minimum cover (third party liability) required by law. This applies in all EU countries, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and some east European countries. If you have comprehensive insurance at home, check that the cover extends to travelling in other countries. You may also want to consider vehicle breakdown insurance.
A green card is not necessary when travelling in the EU but it serves as internationally recognised proof of insurance and it makes it easier to claim compensation, if you have an accident. If you do not take a green card, you should carry your certificate of insurance.
Your insurer can give you a European accident statement form, which is a standard document that makes it easier to make a declaration on the spot if you have an accident in another country.
Driving safely In all EU countries it is compulsory to wear seatbelts in both the front and back of the car. Remember to drive on the left side of the road in the United Kingdom and Ireland and remember that in some countries, such as France, the Netherlands and Belgium, you normally have to give way to traffic coming from your right. Using a mobile phone while driving increases the risk of a fatal accident by five times. It is either explicitly or implicitly forbidden in all EU countries. In some countries, the use of hands-free devices is tolerated.
1 ( )
50 50 50 50 50 50 50 48 30 miles 50 50 48 30 miles 50 50 50 50
1 ( )
100 90 100 80 90 90 80 96 60 miles 110 90 96 60 miles 90 90 100 90
1 ( )
130 120 2 130 ( ) 110 120 130 120 112 70 miles 120 130 112 70 miles 120 120 120 110
3 ( )
4 0.5 ( ) 0.5 0.5 0.5 5 0.5 ( ) 0.5 0.5 0.8
0.5 0.8 0.8
0.8 0.5 0.5 0.2
1 ( ) Maximum speed limits for cars in km/h, general rule. Left to right: urban roads, other roads and motorways.
2 ( ) In Germany there is no general speed limit on motorways but the recommended speed limit is 130 km/h (more than half the network has a speed limit of 120km/h or less).
3 ( ) Maximum permitted blood alcohol level. Grams of alcohol in 1 litre of blood. The European Union supports national campaigns against drinking and driving in which the driver is encouraged not to drink at all.
4 ( ) 0.1 g/l for novice drivers, truck and coach drivers and motorcyclists under 18.
5 ( ) 0.3 g/l for novice drivers, truck and coach drivers and drivers of vehicles transporting dangerous goods.
Tolls There are toll roads in Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria and Portugal. Visitors using Austrian motorways and ‘A’ roads must possess and display a toll label or vignette on their vehicle. These can be bought at all major border crossings into Austria and at larger petrol stations.
Medicines If you are using special medicine, check that it is legal in the country you are visiting and carry with you your prescription or a letter from your doctor.
Access to healthcare If you are an EU national and you are suddenly taken ill or have an accident during a visit to any EU country plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, you can get free or reduced-cost emergency treatment. A form known as E111 can be helpful as evidence that you are entitled to these benefits. Pick one up from your local social security or sickness insurance office before you travel. A passport, however, is often enough in many countries to get medical treatment.
Only publicly funded emergency treatment is included in this scheme and each country has its own rules for public medical provision. In some, treatment is free, in some you pay part of the cost, in others you have to pay the full cost and then claim a refund. So keep all your bills, prescriptions and receipts.
Travel insurance It is advisable to take out travel insurance. Few EU countries pay the full cost of medical treatment, even under reciprocal health service arrangements. Illness or accident abroad may mean extra travel, accommodation and repatriation costs for which you would need to be insured.
Vaccination There are at present no requirements for vaccinations in the EU.
k k k k
You can take your dog or cat with you to most EU countries provided you have a valid rabies vaccination certificate. Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom have until recently had a long history of requiring quarantine as protection against rabies, and dogs and cats have not all been vaccinated. To take your dog or cat into these countries a test is required after rabies vaccination.
Weather Europe’s weather is generally temperate although the coldest months in Finland and Sweden can average – 16°C while temperatures in Greece in the hot summer months can reach into the 30s. This table shows average temperatures in the coldest and warmest months in the capitals of the EU countries.
Vienna Brussels Berlin Copenhagen Madrid Paris Helsinki London
Athens Rome Dublin Luxembourg Amsterdam Lisbon Stockholm
Average temperature January
1 4 2 2 8 6 –3 6 13 11 7 2 5 14 –1
Average temperature July
25 23 24 22 31 25 22 22 33 30 19 23 21 27 22
Check your national press for weather forecasts or contact national tourist offices for more detailed weather information.
Time zones There are three different time zones across the EU:
GMT +2
United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal; Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden; Finland and Greece.
Summer time Summer time began across the EU on 31 March 2002 when clocks were moved forward an hour and it ends on 27 October 2002 when clocks are put back an hour.
New year’s day Epiphany Carnival Monday St Patrick’s day Annunciation and national holiday Maundy Thursday Good Friday Easter Monday Abolition of slavery Liberation day The Queen’s birthday Labour day Anniversary of the Liberation May holiday VE day 1945 Ascension day Day following Ascension day Whit Monday Corpus Christi Golden jubilee/Bank holiday Spring Bank holiday Constitution day Portugal day Midsummer day National day National day National day Saint James day First Monday in August Assumption day Day following Assumption day Bank holiday Day of the sheepfair Day of German unity Republic day National day National day National day of ‘No’ Party Last Monday in October Reform day All Saints’ day All Souls’ day Armistice 1918 Royal family day Restoration of independence Constitution day Independence day Immaculate conception Christmas eve Christmas day Boxing day/St Stephen’s day Bank holiday End of year closing New year’s eve
Main public holidays in 2002
3/5 6/5
1/1 6/1 11/2 17/3 25/3 28/3 29/3 1/4 25/4
9 May: Europe Day
30/4 1/5 5/5 6/5 8/5 9/5 10/5 20/5 30/5 3/6 4/6 5/6 10/6 21-22/6 23-24/6 14/7 21/7 25/7 5/8 15/8 16/8 26/8 02/9 3/10 5/10 12/10 26/10 28/10 28/10 31/10 1/11 2/11 11/11 15/11 1/12 6/12 6/12 8/12 24/12 25/12 26/12 26/12 27-31/12 31/12
Cultural capital of Europe The cities chosen as cultural capitals of Europe for 2002 areBrugesand Salamanca. They are both organising extensive cultural programmes throughout the year. Bruges is unveiling the Concertgebouw, a new concert hall which can seat 1 200 and Salamanca has a baroque opera programme and many theatre and film events. For further details on and for
Festivals Europe’s calendar is crowded with festivals and special events. Some of the major events in 2002 include the Queen Elizabeth II golden jubilee celebrations in the United Kingdom and the Year of Rhine Romanticism celebrated in Germany with hiking and biking tours, concerts, theatrical performances and tournaments along the Rhine. Barcelona will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the famous architect Gaudi while Brussels and Wallonia will be welcoming visitors to historic castles, sites and monuments in a celebration of history.
Emergency number: 112 To contact the emergency services in any EU country, dial 112.
Who to contact Report any theft to the local police. You will need to enclose the police report when making your insurance or compensation claim. Cancel any lost or stolen credit cards immediately. If your passport has been stolen, report it to your country’s consulate or embassy as well as the police.
For help in cases of a death, serious accident or serious illness, arrest or detention, contact your country’s embassy or consulate.
Air passenger rights As an air passenger you have certain rights when it comes to information about flights and reservations, overbooking, compensation in the case of accident and package holidays.
If you have a complaint or a grievance, contact the airline or organiser of the package holiday, or your national air transport or consumer protection organisation. You can also e-mail the European Commission at :
Other information on the European Union
Information in all the official languages of the European Union is available on the Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server (
EUROPE,,is a freephone service to help you find answers to your questions about the European Union and to provide information about your rights and opportunities as an EU citizen:
1800 55 31 88 (Ireland) 0800 58 15 91 (United Kingdom)
Information and publications in English on the European Union can be obtained from:
Representation in Ireland 18 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel. (353-1) 662 51 13 Fax (353-1) 634 11 12 Internet: E-mail:
Representation in the United Kingdom Jean Monnet House 8 Storey’s Gate, London SW1P 3AT Tel. (44-20) 79 73 19 92 Fax (44-20) 79 73 19 00/10 Internet:
Representation in Wales 4 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF1 9SG Tel. (44-29) 20 37 16 31 Fax (44-29) 20 39 54 89 Internet:
Representation in Scotland 9 Alva Street, Edinburgh EH2 4PH Tel. (44-131) 225 20 58 Fax (44 131) 226 41 05 Internet:
Representation in Northern Ireland Windsor House 9/15 Bedford Street, Belfast BT2 7EG Tel. (44-28) 90 24 07 08 Fax (44-28) 90 24 82 41 Internet:
Information services in the United States 2300 M Street, NW — 3rd Floor Washington DC 20037 Tel. (202) 862 95 00 Fax (202) 429 17 66 305 East 47th Street 3 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza New York, NY 10017 Tel. (212) 371 38 04 Fax (212) 688 10 13 Internet:
Office in Ireland European Union House 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 Tel. (353-1) 605 79 00 Fax (353-1) 605 79 99 Internet: E-mail:
United Kingdom Office 2, Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AA Tel. (44-20) 72 27 43 00 Fax (44-20) 72 27 43 02 Internet: E-mail:
Office in Scotland 9 Alva Street, Edinburgh EH2 4PH Tel. (44-131) 225 20 58 Fax (44-131) 226 41 05 Internet: E-mail:
European Commission and Parliament representations and offices exist in all the countries of the European Union. The European Commission also has delegations in other parts of the world.
This publication is available in all the official languages of the European Union: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.
European Commission Directorate-General Press and Communication Publications B-1049 Bruxelles/Brussel Manuscript completed in April 2002. Illustrations: © Rumeurs
© European Communities, 2002 Reproduction is authorised.
Printed in Belgium
EN NA-40-01-577-EN-D
Europe is the most visited tourist destination in the world with four EU countries ranked among the world’s top six destinations in 2000. The great majority of visitors, 87 %, come from within the EU. Travellers are attracted by Europe’s great natural beauty, from mountain grandeur to rocky coastlines and sandy beaches, from lush green pastures to arid plains, from lakes and forests to arctic tundra.
The wealth of Europe’s historic heritage is everywhere evident: prehistoric cave paintings, Greek and Roman antiquities, Viking and Moorish influences, medieval fortresses, renaissance palaces, baroque churches and so on.
There are winter and summer sports to be tried, vibrant modern cities to be explored, art and music to be enjoyed and all complemented by fine food, wine and beer.
Travel and tourism worldwide were badly hit by the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001. International tourist arrivals in 2001 fell by 1.3 % to 688 million, the only significant decrease since the Second World War. The signs are, however, that the tourism industry is recovering well and a steady growth of tourism is forecast in Europe.
Travelling around the EU has become progressively easier over the years with the removal of most passport and baggage formalities and, of course, most recently the introduction of the euro in 12 out of the 15 EU countries. This is making life much easier for travellers who can now compare prices directly and no longer have the cost and inconvenience of exchanging money within the euro zone.
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