Articles by "Travel to Europe"
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In a stark contrast to some other European nations, Germany supports immigration of skilled workers and since 2005, it has made permanent residency application to all highly-skilled workers rather than offering them a five-year initial visa as was the case previously. In fact, The German Immigration Act, the supervisory rule of law was changed in 2005 to address the talent shortage of highly skilled workers, the ones who are in IT or in scientific research, in the sprawling nation.

Family Members of German residents having a visa and skilled highly enough can apply for work permit legally. This is applicable to close family members who later want to join their families in Germany, too.

Foreign graduate students passing from a German university can stay 18 months in the country after their graduation. Students having degrees considered valid from universities out of Germany can stay up to 6 months on a Jobseeker's Visa.

Businessmen who could invest roughly about EUR 250,000 and create job opportunities through their initiatives can also apply for permanent settlement visas in Germany.

Additionally, Germany being a member of the Schengen Agreement, people having a Schengen Visa can stay and roam in Germany freely. However, this is applicable to countries that are a member of this agreement.

The Entrepreneur Visa

The Entrepreneur Visa is granted to people the experience and services of who is in high demand in Germany. If your investment can create a positive impact on the German economy, or you have sufficient funds (a minimum of EUR 250,000) to establish a business, then there are very good chances of obtaining an entrepreneur visa.

The Entrepreneur Visa holders have equal rights as any other German citizens. No German associate or guarantor has to be named or proved to get this visa. There is a gestation period of three years after establishing the business in Germany, and once the business is established for these three years, the founder can get unlimited residence permits allowing him/her to stay or enter in Germany anytime wished.

Visa for Spouses and Children

People who marry German citizens get equal rights as that of the permanent citizen whom he/she has married, meaning that if the spouse is permitted to work, the foreign national who married him/her could also stay and work in the country.

Children below the age of 16 can go to stay in Germany if both parents (and the parent having custody of the children) have a permanent residence permit. 16+ minors can also join their parents in Germany provided they speak German. This is also applicable to children moving into Germany whose both parents or a parent having the custody have permanent residency in the country.

The same-sex community has same rights as those of straight individuals in Germany and they are treated similarly to married couples in Germany.

Germany van der Elst Visas

The 'van der Elst' ruling states that a European Economic Area (EEA) company does not need to obtain additional work permits in Europe. While many EEA countries do not allow this ruling to be effective; Germany does accept it.

Additionally, any non-EEA employee residing in the EEA under an employer or service provider for more than 12 months need not obtain additional work permits provided they apply for the 'van der Elst visas.

Permanent Residence in Germany

To stay and work in Germany, separate residence and work visas are not required. The employees should only apply for resident visas and they are automatically granted work permits for working in the country.

Legal residents of the US, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and other designated nations mentioned in the 2005 immigration Act can apply for their residence and work permit while being visitors in Germany. Residents of other countries must apply to the German Embassy or Consulate before entering Germany.

The Application Procedure for Immigration to Germany

Stage 1: The potential immigrant must fill up the residence permit application providing access to the labor market as well. It should be received by the German embassy in the home country of the probable immigrant.

Stage 2: The Embassy send this application to the immigration office known as the Auslaenderbehoerde in the location of a job for the potential immigrant. The immigration office now checks the application along with the employment office called the Arbeitsamt of the selected location by the potential immigrant and makes a decision.

Stage 3: Once the application is approved, the Embassy offers an entry visa to the candidate.

Stage 4: The immigrant and their family members can apply for work and residence permits after arrival in the country at the local foreign national authority.

The Student Applicant Visa

1. The basic requirement for a student applicant visa is to gain admission to a German university. Student Applicant Visas allow prospective students to enter Germany to take admissions tests and go through numerous other requirements related to the university application process. Preliminary student application visas are granted for 3 months, but these can be extended in case of a valid and applicable requirement.

2. Students can apply for student visas to the German Embassy in their own country once they are accepted onto a course at a German university. The verification certificate offered by a registered and valid German university must also be attached to the application.

3. The German Embassy will then take an opinion to the foreigners' authority in the given town or city of the university.

4. If the foreigners' authority approved the application, the German Embassy will issue the visa for entry into Germany.

Holidaymakers who wish to Work in Germany

German working holiday visas are offered to young people between 18 and 30 from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. These visa holders can stay up to 12 months in Germany and seek holiday jobs lasting not more than 90 days to get help to finance the trip. Working holiday visas can be obtained via the local German Embassy.

Author: Sapna Gupta


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As you might expect from a city that's dubbed “capital of Europe", Brussels enjoys strong transport links – not only within Belgium and Europe but throughout the globe. Brussels has strong rail links with other European countries (including Eurostar which even links to London ) and the city has an efficient internal public transport system that uses underground, trams and buses.

Getting To Brussels By Air

Brussels most prolific airport is “ Brussels International Airport " (located in Zaventem) and is 13km away from Brussels city centre. The majority of airlines fly to this destination and as you would expect it has the features & facilities you would expect from a major international airport. From Brussels International, you can reach your ultimate destination by train, taxi or bus.

Alternatively, Brussels second airport is Brussels Charleroi, which is significantly further away from the city centre. The airport is linked to Brussels midi train station.

Getting To Brussels By Bus

Brussels is well connected to various European destinations including the United Kingdom by Bus.

Most coaches terminate at Bruxelles Nord, after which the traveller can take a train or taxi onto their final destination.

Getting To Brussels By Train

The Eurostar operates a full service to Bruxelles Midi, and the Thalys Express also runs between Brussels and destinations including Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne .

Getting Around Brussels – Trams, Trains, Buses & Taxis

It's fairly easy and inexpensive to move about within Brussels . A single ticket can be purchased for under 2 euros and can be used anywhere on the STIB network (metros, trams and buses). The network is quite comprehensive so it's fairly easy to hop from one location of Brussels to another. Once you purchase a ticket, you'll need to stamp it using one of the machines located at the station, tram or bus. Don't forget to stamp your ticket – if you're caught without a valid ticket there are hefty fines of up to 55 Euros imposed. There are various options for discounted tickets depending on your length of stay – for around 30 Euros you can grab a “Brussels Card" which allows unlimited public transport travel for three days as well as free admission to various landmarks.

Public transport in Brussels is made up of a comprehensive yet easy to navigate train system that's well supported by a further network of trams and buses.

The Tram network is a good way of navigating around the city centre. Trams are quite frequent and not only meander through Brussels town centre but also reach much of the deeper suburban areas. Pick up a free map/timetable from the information point in Gare du Midi, Porte de Namur and Rogier.

The STIB also operates a bus network throughout the city and this operates at night-time (with less regularity).

Getting Around Brussels On Foot

For the active tourist, navigating through the city on foot is a distinct possibility. Many of the interesting landmarks are located fairly close together which makes walking a pleasurable way of seeing the town, particularly in the warmer months. Be sure to grab a map before setting out.


Author: Frasier Smith   
Source:              




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Deciding what is the best time of year to travel to Europe for your holiday can be one of the hardest parts of the decision-making process, particularly for the first-time traveller.  There’s no single ‘best’ time to visit Europe as every traveller’s preferences are different but there are a number of things to consider before you book yourself on that flight.

Best time to visit Europe weather-wise
The kind of weather you'd like to experience is going to be a major consideration of your holiday planning. Are you hoping to experience a white Christmas in Europe or the beautiful snowy scenes of a northern winter or would you prefer to travel when it's warmer and you can enjoy the longer daylight hours?


Your response to this question should help you to decide when the best time to travel to Europe from Australia is for you.
The best season to go to Europe is going to be different for everyone so I’ve listed a few of the pros and cons of travelling in the various seasons below.

Pros and cons of travelling to Europe in winter

If a European winter experience is what you're after, some of the pros of travelling at this time (December/January/February) include missing the Australian summer, experiencing scenery and Christmas food and traditions totally different to what we are used to at home (in Australia) such as the amazing Christmas markets.

Mid-December through to the end of February - and sometimes even into March - is definitely the best time to visit Europe for snow.


Every year it seems that Europe’s Christmas markets become more and more popular with tourists and they are a wonderful reason to visit Europe at this time of year.  Many markets open from late November until just after Christmas, with some trading until early January.


Of course you also have to consider the downsides - shorter daylight hours, some attractions (particularly in rural areas) may be closed for the winter, heavy snowfalls can cause transport delays and make driving difficult, and there's the cold weather and bulky clothing that you’ll need to take to contemplate, too.

Tour and cruise companies also tend to have a reduced number of itineraries on offer during the colder months, however train services still run frequently.

Further reading: Tips for travelling to Europe in winter


Christmas market in Tallinn
Christmas markets are a major reason for tourists to visit Europe in winter time. This one is in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

Pros and cons of travelling to Europe in summer
During the European summer there's a pretty fair chance you'll enjoy some warm weather. Southern countries like Spain, Italy and Greece (and the south of France) tend to have much higher temperatures than central and northern Europe, but there can be some surprises.
I have experienced temperatures well above 35 degrees Celcius on numerous occasions in parts of Europe that we don’t normally associate with having high summer temperatures (Austria and northern France, for example).


I’ve often joked that the summer-loving Europeans should pay me to travel to Europe as I always tend to attract the hot weather!  August is usually the hottest month in Europe - I mostly travel in June and July but have experienced some really hot days during those months.

If you are visiting one of the southern regions, temperatures can be stifling hot – so check in advance that your accommodation has air-conditioning.

Another advantage of travelling during the European summer (June/July/August) is the longer daylight hours - with daylight saving it is generally light until at least 9.30pm, and much later in the Scandinavian countries.

Timetables for ferries, lake cruises, cable car rides, etc are also generally expanded over the summer months.

I also find there's an air of vitality in Europe during summer - with window boxes bursting with colour, the freshest produce available at the markets, and Europeans out and about and enjoying the weather.

During the summer months, motorways can also be extremely busy, particularly on weekends, as European holiday-makers head off on their annual break.



Flower boxes in Riquewihr
Colourful flower boxes are at their blooming best during the European summer.

What about Autumn (Fall) and Spring?

Autumn and Spring are popular times to travel for those who don't enjoy extreme temperatures.  Early Autumn and Late Spring, in particular, can still offer warmish days without being either too hot or too cold so this is considered by many to be the best time to visit southern Europe.

No matter how carefully you plan, though, unseasonal weather can occur. Major flooding in Germany, Hungary and Poland in June 2013 caused havoc and upset lots of holiday plans, not to mention livelihoods.

On the other hand, expected snow falls can fail to eventuate as early in the season as normal - your snowy Christmas might turn out to be more of a 'slushy' one!


The table below shows the (approximate) average monthly temperatures for some of Europe’s major cities.


                 Jan        Mar       May      Jul         Sep       Nov
Vienna 1°C        9°C        19°C      26°C      20°C      7°C
Rome    12°C      15°C      22°C      29°C      26°C      17°C
Zurich   -1°C       5°C        13°C      18°C      14°C        4°C
Paris      3.5°C     10°C      15°C      19°C      16°C      12°C
Berlin    -0.5°C   4°C        14°C      19°C      15°C      5°C
London    5°C      10°C      17°C      22°C      19°C      5°C


If the weather isn’t the major factor in determining the best time to travel for you to travel to Europe, there are some other considerations to keep in mind.


Special events
If you are heading to Europe to attend a special function like a wedding or are hoping to catch a major event such as the Tour de France or the tulip display at Holland’s Keukenhof Gardens, you are obviously going to have to be in a particular place on a specific date.

Keep in mind that when major events occur (like the Olympic Games or Rugby World Cup, for example), accommodation, flights and other travel services can be stretched to the limit - and prices can increase significantly.


Tour de France
Major events can have a big impact on the price and availability of accommodation and flights.


Crowds
If you do prefer to travel when it's warmer, be wary of travelling during August. This is the month when many Europeans take their summer holidays (a lot of professional offices in Paris actually close for the whole month!) so wherever you go it is likely to be extremely busy.

If you don’t like crowds, August is definitely NOT the best month to visit Europe.

Major sights and attractions can be a nightmare during August with queues of two hours or more just to buy entry tickets not unheard of!!  I always recommend pre-purchasing tickets to attractions you know you will definitely visit, but particularly so if visiting in the peak summer months.

The late European spring (April/May) and early autumn (September/October) can make a good alternative. If you're not too fussed about high temperatures and definitely want to avoid the crowds, these are good months to visit to Europe.


Price
Another factor to consider when planning when you are going to visit is price. I've previously written about some of the tips you should know before you book your flight to Europe, and one of these is that travelling just outside of the airline's 'peak' season can save you a few hundred dollars.

By departing Australia in May, for example, you might save yourself some money by missing the June 'peak' fares and still be able to enjoy the warmer early-summer days in Europe.


To start planning your travel to Europe, order complimentary European travel brochures and read all my tips for planning a holiday to Europe here.

What other factors do you consider when deciding what is the best time to visit Europe? I'd love to hear your comments below.

Author: Carolyn

Source: 


Are you planning to go on a Europe Vacation someday? If so, you have picked an excellent place to venture to, as Europe has great cultural and historical significance, making it a hot locale for travelers. Places like Berlin, London, Venice, Nice, and Paris are very popular for people taking trips abroad. I have some tips for you, expert information, about how you can make your trip to Europe an experience you will never forget.

Keep an Open Mind

You should never settle on a rigid itinerary for your vacation. By traveling to a foreign location, you are giving yourself the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture and lifestyle than what you are accustomed to. For that reason, you should try looking into short-term rentals on homes and apartments. It is actually a very common practice in that part of the world, and you will find that renting is much cheaper than hotels or resorts. This will give you the opportunity to go into the streets and meet people, allowing you to learn more about the people and lifestyle of that country.

That is the best way to have an unforgettable experience.

Stability

If you are looking for a more stable vacation, perhaps you should contact a travel agent and purchase a vacation package. Packages range in price, but you may be able to find a sale if you look hard enough. A discount package price will allow you to save more money for spending while you're in Europe. The benefit of vacation packages is that they will make sure you are on tours that explore all of the major attractions of a location, allowing for a worry- free vacation.

Bargain Vacations

The true key to getting a discount on a vacation, no matter where you go, is flexibility. You can save a great deal by taking advantage of bargains that only come up at certain times of the year and at certain places. These vacations are great if you can be flexible with:

* Which of the airlines you choose

* Which cruises you want to go on

* What you want to eat

* Where you want to stay

* When you want you to leave

For example, if you have no particular goal in mind, but you just want to see Europe, then you will be able to find cheaper rates for traveling and staying in certain nations. Don't wait until the last-minute to start planning your vacation!

Stretching Every Dollar (or Euro)

Keep in mind that in other countries, prices are often times negotiable. Depending on where you go, especially in countries with weaker economies, you can often time haggle on the prices of your purchases, which will help you save a lot. This usually does not work with large-scale franchise businesses, but will almost always work with small local businesses.

Also, if you choose to eat at restaurants, a local restaurant is good in this respect because they will generally offer you lower prices then places that you are accustomed to seeing in America. Remember, if you truly want to make the most of your European vacation, then save money every chance you get, it will allow you to spend more on the things you like!

Author: Remy Jirek                                        



                                   
Part of the Transylvania region of Romania, Brasov is an up and coming city that is centrally located approximately 160 kilometres from Bucharest.

The population of Brasov is growing at a steady rate and is currently approaching the 300,000 mark.

Brasov is one of the largest and most cherished cities of the country. Surrounded on three sides by mountains, it was a perfect place for a medieval settlement.

The old city, founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211, is one of the best preserved cities in all of Europe.

It was thoroughly restored to the delight of an increasing number of tourists. It is the capital City of Brasov County, in central Romania, in Transylvania, at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains.

Brasov also makes a fabulous base for exploring the surrounding countryside where the air is clean and the people friendly.
The exact origins of Brasov are not known, but there is a definite mention of a settlement in the area in an ancient German document, where it is referred to as Terra Saxonum de Barasu translates as Saxon Land of Baras.

It was not until 1918, when Transylvania became part of Romania, that the region became affiliated with the State of Romania.

Following both World Wars, the area saw an increase in the numbers of Germans fleeing to neighbouring countries.

This continued immediately after the Second World War, when the city became communist and many inhabitants travelled back to Germany to escape the regime.

During the 1950s, the city was named Orasul Stalin, after the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. This name disappeared in 1960 when the communist regime loosened its ties with Moscow.

Centrally located Brasov is a good starting point for trips around Romania. The city is situated at fairly equal distances from several tourism destinations in the country.

Just 12km or 7 miles away from Brasov city you will find Romania`s most famous skiing resort, Poiana Brasov.

It is referred to in ski directories all over the world. The snow layer lasts for 120 days a year.

It features great hotels and restaurants, modern winter sports facilities and numerous ski slopes.

The Black Sea resorts, the monasteries in northern Moldavia, and the well preserved wooden churches of Maramures.

It is also the largest city in a mountain resorts area. The old city itself is very well preserved, and is best seen by taking the cable car to the top of Tampa Hill which is 995m, a beautiful lookout.

Temperatures from May to September fluctuate around 23C or 75F.

Brasov benefits from a winter tourism season centered on winter sports and other activities.

Author: Douglas Scott



Source free range

This spot and its surroundings have many interesting attractions to offer and a variety of entertainment-related activities available for tourists to enjoy.

Some of the constructions and monuments located within the region of The Prado to Sol are very antique and date from many centuries ago, being this one of their most attractive features. Those who enjoy architecture, arts, history among other disciplines would be able to find interesting places to visit in this area of Madrid. There are several restaurants, cafes, pubs, shops, and theaters spread throughout this area and its surroundings in such a way that tourists would be able to have a good time no matter what their preferences are.

One of the most interesting spots tourists can meet within the area of the Prado to Sol is the Puerta del Sol and its main building.

The main building located by the Puerta del Sol is where the Ministry of the Interior functions although originally, there was where the Central Post office was established. This building shows a very appealing style, with several interesting ornaments and features which those who enjoy architecture would be glad of observe.

Other interesting spot visitors can meet while being in the region of The Prado to Sol is the Paseo del Prado. There are several interesting things to observe within the Paseo del Prado, such as for example some of the most beautiful fountains of the region. Two famous fountains, known as the Neptune and the Four Seasons, are located nearby this area.

Near by the area of the Prado to Sol there also are some of the main constructions of Madrid, such as for example the Royal Palace or the Prado Museum. The Royal Palace is a very impressive construction which shows a very clear neoclassical styleFree Reprint Articles, combining some features of Italian style in its facade with some others typical from a French style in its interior. The Prado Museum is very interesting due to the elements and objects exhibited in it as well as to its architectural structure.


Author : Jakob Jelling
Source : 
Source: Free Range

Where does one begin to start when discussing Italy. Well, if you intend to travel there, Rome and Venice are good places to start.

Rome

Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It goes without saying that Rome has a rather prominent past. Lets see, in Rome you will find…[deep breath]…the Vatican, Coliseum, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Church of Saint Agnese, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and a guy name Allassandro. Just making sure you’re paying attention. Indeed, Rome is filthy with historically significant attractions. 

It seems you can’t turn around without bumping into something an Emperor built, captured or destroyed. For those willing to risk potential wrath, there are also the new Divinci Code tours, which take you to the locations found in the book.

In all serious, Rome is a city you should visit at least once in your life. No article could ever do it justice, so I’ll just stop here.


Venice

I fondly refer to Venice as the floating city even though it is apparently sinking.

If you’ve seen Venice is movies or televisions shows, the depictions are accurate. Piazza San Marco looks exactly the same, birds and all. The Grande Canal is, well, a grand canal with incredible houses lining it and boats putting up down this water way. Built on mudflats in a lagoon, the city doesn’t really have much room to grow. It just seems paralyzed in time.

Once you’ve conquered the tourist attractions, it will be time to get serious about Venice. The best way to do this is stand in front of your hotel or hostel, determine which direction the tourist attractions lie and start walking in the opposite direction. While you may feel like you’re driving the wrong way on a freeway for a few minutes, you’ll eventually start getting into real Venice.

An entirely different side of Venice will appear and you’ll love it. You’ll find little cafes with locals happy to talk to you [and non-tourist prices]. In fact, the Venetians will tend to hold you in high regard since you’re a tourist who is bypassing the tourist areas. This, of course, will logically lead to a whirl of introductions to this nephew, that son of a brother and so on. Next thing you know, you’ll be complaining about Italian politicians and how things used to be better in the past.

While Rome and Venice are excellent travel destinations, you can’t really go wrong in Italy. For the adventurous, set your itinerary with the old map on a wall and dart technique.


Author: Nomadrick Chapo
Source


Source: Free range

Berlin brings to one's mind, the Great Divide (or wall) that split the city into two different political entities. However, the newly rejuvenated and reunited Berlin is marching into the future, post millennium. It is casting itself in the light of a new and modern city of Continental Europe .

Berlin 's dark past as Hitler's capital of Nazi atrocities, and as the capital of Cold War in the later years, has not escaped the psyche of the local population or the visitors. Popular opinion is that Berliners do not know where they are going, but know their past, and do not want to go back there. After being completely annihilated in the WW II bombings, Berlin has since rebuilt itself as a modern structure of glass and steel.

The scars still remain, mostly as a tourist attraction. For example the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church displays the shell of the bell tower that remains, in striking contrast to the modern church constructed to the west, fondly nicknamed “lipstick and powderbox" because of the design.

The contrast between East and West Berlin before the wall fell is still evident since East Berlin proud of its cultural heritage rebuilt its museums and churches whereas West Berlin built new museums and theatres.

East and West are still coming together to form a whole Berlin and the process will take its time.

Berlin , being the new German capital is living up to its reputation as the dynamic hub of continental Europe , with nightlife at its most exciting and wild. The city after accommodating the German Government as the seat of the new capital has undergone a major facelift with new streets, skyscrapers and rail lines at a whopping cost of more than $100 billion. Most of this has gone into the central district (Mitte) which houses glittering luxury hotels and shopping arcades. The effort in restoration of Unter den Linden to its pre war glory and Hotel Adlon, the most famous hotel in pre war Germany and Europe has been notable.

The chic district of boutiques and cafes, the Prenzlauer Berg, was not too damaged by WW II bombings and restoration of this area has been relatively easier. This flurry of restoration and activity has caused a spiraling effect in the real estate market with sharp increase in prices as well inconveniences of living around construction sites for Berliners. Most famous buildings of Berlin have been restored in this process. Reichstag now has a new glass dome topped with the Eagle (national symbol) replacing the old imperial hunter.

The Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue (also known as Neue Synagoge Berlin-Centrum Judaicum/The New Synagogue), bombed beyond repair by Allied bombers, has been restored to its old splendor. Likewise, Berlin Cathedral and the five state museums on Museum Island have been restored to their original glory. The natural beauty of Berlin has been enhanced with the few gardens and farms covering about 1/3rd of the total area, which further beautifies the city.

The Berlin Tourist Information Center , Europa Center handles all information regarding Berlin in general and Hotel bookings. The best and easier way to access the information is from the site www.berlin-tourism.de.


Author: Ken Charnly



Image source : Free Range




Although it's many years since I left my home in London I still occasionally use The Tube, as the London Underground is affectionately known.

Hold on. Affectionately? Does anybody actually hold any affection for the network of tunnels that run beneath the surface of our capital, or the rolling stock that runs through them?

They’re over-crowded, far too warm and stuffy (the temperature in the tunnels is about 10 C higher than at ground level), and the views are pretty dire. In central London, all you’re likely to see is the dark walls of the tunnels, although if you’re lucky, you might just get a glimpse of another train passing in another tunnel through one of the gaps between them. Funnily enough, contrary to popular belief, the majority of The Tube is actually over ground. Not that there’s much scenic stimulation along those stretches either. You might see some fascinating factories, some interesting piles of rubbish that have mysteriously grown along the sidings and a few back gardens, but nothing much else.

Anybody who’s ever regularly used The Tube during peak hours will tell you that using this particular form of transport can take great courage and will power. The platforms are crowded to the point where those at the front, closest to the lines, can find themselves fearing for their lives. We’re warned to stand behind the line, which is painted about three feet away from the platform edge, but with all those people behind you, all wanting to get forward and have a chance of getting on the next arriving train, the platform edge can quickly become dangerously close.

Having a position at the front doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a place on the next train though. Oh, no. Whether or not you’ll actually get on it will depend largely upon where on the platform you’re positioned and whether or not the carriage doors will be in front of you when the train stops. If you happen to be standing between two doors, then you’re very unlucky indeed. One way around this is to look at those ‘stand behind’ lines. As the rolling stock on each line of the underground are generally of the same type (the trains differ from line to line) and stop at more or less the same point (note: more or less… this isn’t an exact science), the ‘stand behind’ lines will be more worn where the doors are likely to be. Find those spots and you’ll have a better change of boarding the next one, unless of course the lines are freshly painted, in which case, bad luck.

This next point should be obvious to everybody but unfortunately, my experience tells me that this isn’t the case. When the train stops, even if you’re lucky enough to be standing in front of the doors, LET PASSENGERS OFF THE TRAIN FIRST! Don’t just push your way on, even if others are doing so. It’s bad manners and can cause nasty accidents.

Once on the train, you’ll no doubt have to stand as there are few seats compared with the amount of passengers being transported during peak hours. It’s standard etiquette to offer your seat to elderly passengers and those carrying small children, whether still in the comfortable confines of the womb or otherwise. Anybody else will have little chance of finding a seat. The more experienced underground travellers have their strategies though; they'll target a seat.

Those reading are unlikely to be travelling just a few stops, and although they could have been travelling for ages already, they rarely make good targets. Study people’s faces. If they look bored, they’ve probably already been there a while so maybe they’ll be alighting soon? Mind you, people do get very bored very quickly on The Tube, so they could just as easily have joined the train at the station before yours.

When it comes to seats that are vacated during the journey, there’s a general unwritten rule. Whoever is standing closest to a seat that becomes available has the greatest claim to the seat. He/she can choose to offer it to a fellow passenger, but it’s against etiquette to make a dash for a seat where the privilege of sitting obviously belongs to another.

Speaking of unwritten rules, there are a few others that should be observed if you don’t want to unduly annoy your fellow passengers. The one that’s probably more annoying than any other, is the subject of occupying seats unnecessarily! Bags and other inanimate objects do not have the right to a seat. Sure, if the trains relatively empty, by all means pile them on a seat, but don’t imagine you can do this during peak times, even if you enter to train at its station of origin where seats are still aplenty. Rather than have a small child occupy a seat, you might consider holding your toddler on your lap, too. Mind you, the rush hour on The Tube isn’t the best place for small children to be, so your best bet would be to wait a couple of hours before making your journey.

Getting back to those bags, another point worth thinking about is what to do with large bags if you have to stand. Do as seasoned tube travellers do, and put them between your legs. No, I don’t mean stuff it up your jacksy, I mean place your bag on the floor and straddle it, one foot on either side. It’ll take far less room this way than if you stood beside it, because your feet still won’t be much further apart that the width of your torso. Standing with your legs apart also make balancing easier, and when those trains are dashing through winding tunnels, swaying from side to side, you’ll need all the balance you can get. An added advantage is that should anybody decide to steal your bags, having body contact with it means you’ll be more likely to feel it being moved.

Body contact. Yes, that’s another subject. I wish I knew how many times I’d felt a ‘lump’ being pushed against my backside on a crowded tube. Please…if anybody who's guilty of this is reading, is it really necessary? I understand that the jiggling motion of the train whilst pressed closed to the body of a member of the opposite sex might cause a sensation that could lead to embarrassment, but it surely isn’t necessary to make a show of it?

On some lines, and at certain stations, a voice will tell you to “mind the gap". The posh female voice is known as Sonia, because she “gets on ya nerves" and “the gap" is a terrifyingly wide opening between the platform and the train door. Being of voluptuous proportions, I’ve never had a fear of disappearing down the gap, but the thought of getting my leg stuck down there has been pretty scary. For goodness sake pick up small children and carry them.

The deepest part of the system is at Hampstead Heath (Northern Line), where the rails are approximately 220 feet below the surface. Being the deepest part of any line, you’d expect to find the longest escalator here wouldn’t you? But you’d be wrong, because of all the 409 escalators, the longest is actually at Angel station, where the escalator is 197 feet long with a vertical rise of 90 feet. That’s one awesome escalator!

Whilst on the subject of moving stairways, I have to tell you that sometimes they don’t work and you have to walk up them, like it or not. There’s nothing quite like getting off a crowded tube train, feeling hot and sweaty and probably in need of murdering somebody, only to be presented with an out-of-order escalator that appears to be several miles long. Unless you’re ultra fit, it just isn’t funny. If they are moving, please remember to stand on the right hand side allowing those who want to walk up or down access to the left. You'll find that passengers often feel the need to run down escalators, causing danger to not only themselves but others travelling the escalator with them. It's a bad habit that you shouldn't indulge in.

Despite being uncomfortable at times, The Tube’s a relatively safe means of travelling around London. The most famous accident must surely be the Moorgate disaster, back in 1975, when 43 people were killed. The second disaster was in 1987 at King’s Cross, when a fire killed 31 people. There have been no other major disasters. There have been a few bombs placed on tube trains over the years, but none have actually exploded on packed trains. The 253 miles of railway is, however, renowned for its suicides. Jumping in front of a tube train seems to have been a fashionable way of killing oneself for quite some time now.

Using the tube is relatively inexpensive with a trip for an adult costing anything from ?1.00 to ?3.60, depending on the length of the journey. This is measured by zones, with zone 1 being within central London. The more zones you travel through, the more they'll charge you. Logical really. Child fares are available for those under 15, under five's travel free.

If you need to know which zone you'll be starting from or how many zones you'll be travelling though, 'TubePlanner' is a useful site to visit (www.tubeplanner.com). The journey planner here is actually easier to use than the one on the official London Underground site (www.thetube.com), although don't tell them I said so. You'll be able to access information such as quickest route, journey time and the fare. You can also look up tourist attractions and find out exactly how to get to them.

Those who use the tube often will always complain about it, but the truth is, without it, London would come to a stand still. The streets of London are already chock-a-block with traffic as it is so any attempt at transporting 900 million passengers over ground each year would lead to nothing less than chaos.

It may not be perfect, but it's by far the quickest and most convenient way of travelling through London. And hey.... even the map's easy to understand!

Author: Sharon Jacobsen




Europe consists of many great places with unlimited tourist attractions. This is the reason for Europe being the hottest tourist place for travelers around the world. The pleasing weather, lots of adventurous activities to do and affordable transport options are the specialties of Europe. If you are planning to visit Europe this holiday season then I assure you that it will be the best tour of your life.

Besides many attractions to explore, one thing that is very famous in Europe is its Rail Network. In fact, modern Europe has been made to encourage people to take train rather than other travel options. Rail network of Europe connects all countries and important destinations of Europe. All major destinations like London, Paris, Brussels, Italy, Geneva, Amsterdam, Netherland, Sweden, Denmark and many more are interconnected through the Europe rail network and you can reach anywhere in couple of hours.

The most famous train travel in the continent is of Eurostar that connects London to Paris in France and Brussels in Belgium. This high-speed Eurostar train will take you from London to Paris in just 2 hours and 15 minutes and from London to Brussels in just 1 hour and 55 minutes. Moreover, the journey is super comfortable with many facilities and you need to pay just £69 for a return journey. Can you consider taking any other option after this?

This is just a glimpse of the effectiveness and affordability of European rails. There are many other trains like Thalys, TGV, ICE, Lunea and many more that makes your travel easier than you can visualize. The level of comfort in all European train is of high quality. There are many overnight trains also, so that you can travel in night thus saving money on a hotel room.


Although train tickets are economical if you don't opt for special facilities, yet you can save lot of your money by getting a European Rail Pass also called Eurail Pass. There are special discounts for senior citizens, students and for group travel. You can search online for Eurail passes with many attractive offers and deals that will make you travel more pleasant.

One most important tip about traveling with European trains is to check out train timings and train routes well in advance. You can also book tickets online in advance which helps you to grab cheap train tickets and some great discount offers.

Know more about Eurostar London Paris train [http://www.londonparistraintickets.co.uk/] and about Eurostar Fares [http://www.londonparistraintickets.co.uk/eurostar-prices.html] and enjoy your vacations in Europe.

Author:  Jonathan Clarke