The Extended Layover: Get More Out of Your Travels

Frankfurt Airport interior

  For years, I flew from point A to point B without even thinking about the cities in which I had layovers. In Europe, I had stopovers in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and more, and I never really thought about the fact that these cities’ magnificent sights and cultures lay just outside the airport walls. Then an old friend clued me into the extended layover, a great way to take in ... Read Full Article

Avoiding Credit Card Woes in Europe

Choose your credit card wisely

  Recently, we have noticed that our credit cards do not always work in some areas of Europe. Although not a cause for panic, there have been a few changes that travelers should be aware of when using credit cards in Europe. The Chip-and-PIN cards were introduced in Europe almost ten years ago and now more than 80 countries use them. The Chip-and-PIN credit cards use an embedded ... Read Full Article

Six Reasons to Visit Europe this Winter

Berlin, Germany-acting like a local while sipping hot cider at an outdoor market

  In the summer, travelers flock to Europe to tour the sites while basking in the warm sunshine. Sounds perfect, right? Well, it is perfect until you step off the plane and realize that everyone else has the same idea. Along with the picture perfect weather, come throngs of camera-toting tourists. To escape the crowds, consider visiting Europe in the winter.Yes, the weather may be chilly ... Read Full Article

Travel Stuff We Love

Samurai Backpack

On our quest to find the best travel items for our readers, we critically examine what we ourselves use and love, and also try out travel items that are sent to us for review. While there are many items sent to us to check-out for a review; we cull through them and publish information only on those travel items we love. Here is our latest list of Travel Stuff We Love! Eccolo Journals As a ... Read Full Article

EuropeUpClose Picks for Best Cities in Europe for Canoodling

Rome at Night

  Looking for romantic Europe?   From the cozy canals of Venice, to sophisticated Paris, to mysterious Valencia, Spain, Europe offers romance around every corner. You can find romance anywhere, but these cities are our favorites for finding that special spot to snuggle. Venice, Italy The city of quiet canals and music is our choice for the best city in Europe for canoodling. What ... Read Full Article

Budget Savers When Traveling in Europe

Ready to go

  With the value of the dollar still lower than that of the euro, Americans traveling in Europe on a budget have to be creative and mindful. The following suggestions can help any traveler, but especially those who prefer traveling independently. Airfare: Finding the lowest airfares to Europe can be incredibly time-consuming. I turn to a reputable travel agent who may charge a fee ... Read Full Article

EuropeUpClose Travel Confessions

Eric Barrier and his Crocs

  Everyone has a quirky thing or two about how they like to travel and what they like to see. Some travelers gravitate to sites in which they have particular interest while avoiding destinations or sites that bore them or they just plain hate. And many travelers, if pressed, would admit to a little embarrassment regarding their own travel proclivities. We have asked a few of our writers to ... Read Full Article

Extraordinary Encounters

Stonehenge sunrise from WikiMediaCC

  Most of my travel, depending on the itinerary, enchants, relaxes or educates. Natural beauty takes my breath away as much as the next person’s; outstanding food and wine are a treat, though fleeting; and meeting locals broadens my pleasure on the road. But none of these explain my serious travel addiction. The extraordinary encounters are at the root of it: those rare moments that make ... Read Full Article

Tired of Trying to Get WiFi in Europe? Try This

Telecom Square Mobil Hotspot package

  We travel to Europe often and we are always looking for reliable WiFi connections so we can do our work and keep in touch with our family, friends and business associates. It has always been a frustrating experience until this last trip. Telecom Square contacted us and asked us to try out their Mobil WiFi Hotspot while on our trip to the Netherlands and Italy. What a difference this ... Read Full Article

Hiring a Tour Guide: Is it Worth it?

Emiliano Tuffano

My husband, Bill, and I had never hired a private tour guide before our recent trip to Italy. In the past, we read our guidebooks, consulted the internet, and reviewed EuropeUpClose.com to see what our writers had to say. We then did our own thing. We have also been part of  large group tours, but this experience showed us the value of a knowledgeable, private tour guide to help us sort through ... Read Full Article