Useful Information About Europe
European Time Zones
Synchronize your watch with the time zone the country you are traveling belongs to, right after boarding the plane to avoid any confusion.
Mainly Europe comprises 3 different time zones.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) - in Iceland, Britain, Ireland and Portugal.
Central European Time (CET), GMT+1 hour - spans Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta, Poland.
Eastern European Time (EET), GMT+2 hour - covers Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Greece, Turkey, Finland, Ukraine, Latvia, Cyprus and Lithuania.
Almost all European countries go on Daylight Saving Time (DST) or Summer Time from the March’s last Sunday to the last October’s Sunday, with the only exception for this being Iceland. However there are some European countries, which use the DST but do not necessarily start and end the period at the same time as European Summer Time, so pay attention during the spring and autumn or even better inform yourself in advance for the country where you are traveling to.
Passports & Visas for Europe
In order to visit and travel (leisure and business trips) within Europe, all travelers, need a valid passport. Those looking for information on passports and visas that give the right to work in Europe will need to consult the Embassy for the particular country they are planning to visit.
When applying for a passport from your passport authority, make sure you know how much time to allow for delivery, and also check if your passport is due to expire within six months, due to the fact that some of the European countries may not accept a passport so close to expiration, so it is advisable consider applying for a new one.
Travel visas may be required for travelers who will stay for longer periods in Europe – usually more than 30 to 90 days, depending on the particular country they are visiting. Inform yourself what are the regulations for citizens of your home country and the particular countries you will be visiting.
Europe includes a zone called the Schengen area - it is a group of countries which have signed an agreement to make travelling across their borders easier. In most cases, foreign visitors can obtain a single Schengen Visa, with which they could visit any of the countries in this zone, instead of applying for such to each country. Usually, an application for a Schengen visa is made only to the 1st country in the Schengen zone that you will travel to.
Note that only with a Schengen visa you might not be able to visit another European country that is not the in the Schengen zone and you may still need to apply for a separate visa for that country. If you are a citizen of a country within the Schengen area, then you can travel to another Schengen country only with ID card.
Loss of passports in Europe
If you lose your passport, immediately report it to the local police office and the nearest consulate or embassy of your country, which can reissue your passport. It’s advisable to bring a photocopy of your passport with you as well as 2 passport-sized photos of yourself, which can speed up the replacement time.
Emergency Numbers in Europe
The countries within the European Union all have a single European emergency call number – 112, which is also the worldwide emergency number for mobile phones. If dialing the 112 number, an operator will speak in both - in English and the language of the country you are calling from.
In addition to the universal 112 European emergency number, there are also 24-hour local emergency numbers for immediate service in case you need the attention of the police, fire or ambulance. Here is a list of them for all European countries:
Austria – 133 for police, 144 for ambulance, 122 for fire
Belgium – 101 for police, 100 for ambulance and fire
Britain – 999 for police, ambulance and fire
Bulgaria – 166 for police, 150 for ambulance, 160 for fire
Croatia – 92 for police, 94 for ambulance, 93 for fire
Cyprus – 199 for police, ambulance and fire
Czech Republic – 158 for police, 155 for ambulance, 150 for fire
Denmark – 112 for police, ambulance and fire
Estonia – 110 for police, 112 for ambulance and fire
Finland – 112 for police, ambulance and fire
France – 17 for police, 15 for ambulance, 18 for fire
Germany – 110 for police, 112 for ambulance and fire
Greece – 100 for police, 166 for ambulance, 199 for fire
Holland – 112 for police, ambulance and fire
Hungary – 107 for police, 104 for ambulance, 105 for fire
Iceland – 112 for police, ambulance and fire
Ireland – 999 for police, ambulance and fire
Italy – 113 for police, 118 for ambulance, 115 for fire
Latvia – 02 for police, 03 for ambulance, 01 for fire
Lithuania – 02 for police, 03 for ambulance, 01 for fire
Luxembourg – 113 for police, 112 for ambulance and fire
Malta – 191 for police, 196 for ambulance, 199 for fire
Monaco – 17 for police, 18 for ambulance and fire
Norway – 112 for police, 113 for ambulance, 110 for fire
Poland – 997 for police, 999 for ambulance, 998 for fire
Portugal – 112 for police, ambulance and fire
Romania – 955 for police, 961 for ambulance, 981 for fire
Slovakia – 158 for police, 155 for ambulance, 150 for fire
Slovenia – 113 for police, 112 for ambulance and fire
Spain – 091 for police, 061 for ambulance, 080 for fire
Sweden – 112 for police, ambulance and fire
Switzerland – 117 for police, 144 for ambulance, 118 for fire
Turkey – 155 for police, 112 for ambulance, 110 for fire
Ukraine – 02 for police, 03 for ambulance, 01 for fire
Be assured that English is widely used all over Europe but learning to say please and thank you in the local language will be nice and always a welcomed gesture.
It is of course helpful to learn a few phrases in the local language, as it will enrich one’s experience in the area and help you find your way around. You may not really need it, but it is still advisable to get a dictionary with you before your departure.
Below is a list of the main languages in different European countries:
Austria – German
Belgium – Dutch, French and German
Britain – English
Bulgaria – Bulgarian
Croatia – Croatian
Cyprus – Greek, Turkish, English
Czech Republic – Czech
Denmark – Danish
Estonia – Estonian
Finland – Finnish and Swedish
France – French
Germany – German
Greece – Greek
Holland – Dutch
Hungary – Hungarian
Iceland – Icelandic
Ireland – English
Italy – Italian
Latvia – Latvian
Lithuania – Lithuanian
Luxembourg – French, German, Luxembourgish
Malta – Maltese and English
Monaco – French
Norway – Norwegian
Poland – Polish
Portugal – Portuguese
Romania – Romanian
Slovakia – Slovak
Slovenia – Slovene
Spain – Spanish
Sweden – Swedish
Switzerland – German, French and Italian
Turkey – Turkish
Ukraine – Ukrainian