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About the county

Ukraine which is located in Eastern Europe is one of the largest country in that region of Europe bordering Russia in the northeast, Belarus in the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Romania and Moldova in the southwest and also Black Sea and Sea of Azov in the south. It is a popular tourist destination especially for tourists from Western Europe and North America. The main selling point is the rich historical character of the country with as many five hundred cities dating back as early as nine hundred years. Visitors are spellbound by the architectural beauty of Ukraine. Kiev is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine where most travelers begin their journey.

Population & Languages

Ukraine has a population of roughly 46.7 million and the official language is Ukrainian. The other languages spoken here are Russian, Romanian, Polish and Hungarian.

Electricity

Voltage – 220 volts, Frequency – 50Hz. Standard European Round pin attachment plug

Geographic Location

Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe bordering Russia in the northeast, Belarus in the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Romania and Moldova in the southwest and also Black Sea and Sea of Azov in the south. The strategic location of Ukraine between Asia and Europe made it a transportation hub in the region.

Local Customs

Ukrainians are warm hearted and welcoming people. Casual dressing is mostly worn here though it will be a good idea to wear smartly for theatres. Small gifts are appreciated. Tipping is not very common; service is usually included in fine restaurants and hotel bills.

Places to see
St Sophia Cathedral ? As old as nine centuries, it is one of the architectural marvels of Ukraine.
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Caves Monastery) ? These caves are as old as one millennium and dating back to 11th century.
Great Patriotic War Museum
Statue of the Motherland, Kiev

Travel

By Air ? The national airline of Ukraine is Ukrainian International Airlines. In collaboration with Aer Fi Group and Austrian Airline it links Kyiv to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, Vienna and Zurich. There is one more airline in Ukraine called Air Ukraine which serves relatively less number of European cities. Lviv is also connected to New York, Warsaw and Washington. It is connected to Turkey through Simferopol and to UK through IvanoFrankivsk. The major airport is Boryspil State International Airport (KBP) which is located twenty five miles from Kiev.

By Sea ? The primary ports of Ukraine are Izmail and Odessa which are situated on the River Danube. The ferry services connect Ukraine with Russia and Georgia. They also connect various cities on the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Sevastopol is the port which connects Istanbul, Turkey.

By Rail ? Ukraine has approximately 14,000 miles of railway tracks linking most towns and cities. Kyiv and Lviv are the main stations which connect with Moscow on a daily basis. Ukraine also has direct lines to Berlin (Germany), Budapest (Hungary), Warsaw (Poland) and Bucharest (Romania).

By Road ? Ukraine has an extensive network of roads with approximately 107,000 mile of road network out of which nearly 18,000 mile is main or national roads.

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 gm tobacco
2. 1 liter spirit over 22% or 2 liter wine or 32 liter beer
3. Goods for personal use with a combined value of ?200

Prohibited Items
Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.



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Travel tips to European Countries: UK

About the county

The United Kingdom also called as England or Great Britain is the country which once ruled nearly the entire world a century ago. The glory might have been lost but people are still proud of their country and heritage. It has come a long way from a colonial empire to a member of the EU. The country comprises mainly of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The country is full of scenic locales and energetic cities. Also the county is home to nearly two million heritage points. The capital city of UK is London. A city beyond comparison, representing itself as an icon of diversity with people from different races, creeds and all walks of life blended into its culture. It is also home to many architectural marvels and one of them is the London Bridge. While York and Durham manifests the bygone era of country, Liverpool and Newcastle are modern industrial marvels. Not to forget the scenic Lake District and Edinburg still attract people from all over the world.

Population & Languages

The population is around 61 million and the official language is English. Other regional languages spoke are Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish etc.

Electricity

The voltage is 230-240 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The type of plug used is rectangular blade.

Geographic Location

It is located in Western Europe and consists of islands including the northern one-sixth of the Ireland. It is 22 miles from the France border and linked by a under sea tunnel. The terrain is mostly rolling lowlands and low mountains.

Climate

It has a moderate climate but lots of rain with around half of the years being overcast. The lowest temperatures never go below ?15 ?C (5 ?F) and in summer the average maximum is 34 ?C (93.2 ?F). It also gets snow in winter and early spring.

Local Customs

The handshake is customary when you are meeting somebody for the first time. When visiting someone?s house a small gift like flowers or chocolates is customary. Waiting till everyone is served before eating is also one of the etiquettes. Tipping is usually 10-15% in hotels, restaurants and taxis. Smoking and non-smoking areas are clearly designated and thus should be taken care of.

Places to see

London ? Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Whitehall Palace and the Tower of London
Scotland – The Bannockburn Heritage Centre and Ben Lawers Mountains
Wales – Aberdulais Falls, King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Great Orme Mines, Portmeirion Village, Rhossili Visitor Centre, Taff Valley Activity Centre and TechinQuest

Travel

By Air ? The domestic airlines is British Airways which also connects almost all major world destinations. Almost all airlines connect UK through London which is hub for all international flights between east to west and west to east. Heathrow and Gatwick are international airports of London.

By Sea ? Since UK is surrounded by water from almost all sides it has many ports. There are many ferry services operating between Europe and UK.

By Rail ? Trains connect Ferries at Dover, Folkestone, Newhaven, Portsmouth and Weymouth, sailing for Belgium, France, Germany and Spain (you need to board at Victoria Station in London); and at Harwich, sailing for Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavia (you need to board at Liverpool Street). Eurostar train connects London with Brussels and Paris through channel tunnel.

By Road ? The vehicles can enter UK through channel tunnel. Cars and motorcycles, coaches, minibuses, caravans, campervans and other vehicles over 1.85m (6.07ft) can also use channel tunnel. Bicycles are also provided for.

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 3200 cigarettes
2. 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars
3. 1 liter spirit over 22% or 2 liter wine or 32 liter beer
4. Perfumes
5. Gifts up to ?145

Prohibited Items
Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.



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About the country

Switzerland is blessed with all the bounties of nature. It is the most preferred tourist destination among all the countries in the world. The Alps region has a cold weather most of the times, where as the summers are warmer in the northern area. Visit Saas Fee to ski and snowboard. Dream of living in real life igloo can come true as many resorts, like Zermatt and St Moritz (which is a celebrity resort), had them built for their customers.

Culture

Italian, German and French are the official languages of Switzerland. Many English people can also be found here. Unwrapped flowers must be presented to the host to show appreciation. White asters and chrysanthemums flowers are reserved for funerals, so precaution must be taken when presenting flowers to others, even red roses are better avoided. One can move around in casuals but it is important to dress in warrant jackets and ties when attending social gatherings or when eating out at a fine restaurant. Swiss Franc is the currency used here.

Shopping

Switzerland is famous for its exotic chocolates, finest handmade clocks and luxury watches. Other specialties are embroidered linen, music boxes, wood carvings, Swiss cheese and Swiss army knives. Many shops remain close on Monday, so shopping should be avoided on that day. Since service charge is applied on all services, so tipping is an issue of free-will. 7.6% VAT is charged on all purchases made in Switzerland, which can be reclaimed later by asking for a global refund check, if the purchase crosses 400 CHF.

Electricity

The standard current used is 230 volts (AC) and 50 Hz.

Getting There

Swiss airline is the national airline of Switzerland, which connects to 71 destinations all over the world. Zurich is the most popular airport, located at a distance of 11km from the city. Every 15 minutes, trains shuttles passengers to their destination. Fly-Rail Luggage ticket can be bought if the passengers want to collect their luggage at the railways station rather than the airport. While leaving Switzerland, Fly-Rail Baggage service can be availed that enables passenger to check-in their luggage at the railway station itself. Other facilities provided here are duty free shops, banks, restaurants and car hire. Check out Geneva, Basle and Bern airport for offers.

Since weather conditions are worst during the winters, train is an efficient and cheaper option. They are also great if one wants to enjoy the scenic beauty of Switzerland. Swiss Pass can be purchased to visit most of the tourist attractions in Switzerland.

High quality roads are maintained here. Roads connect to Austria, Germany, Italy and France. But in winters things can get worse, so it is better to carry chains and snow tires. Cars should be kept to the right.

Duty Free Items

a) Visitors from European countries

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
2 liter of alcohol (up to 15 per cent) and 1liter of alcohol (over 15 per cent)

(b) Visitors from non-European countries

400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500g of tobacco
2liter of alcohol (up to 15 per cent) and 1liter of alcohol (over 15 per cent)

Meat items, narcotics and absinthe are strictly not permitted. Other items that come under the prohibited items list are firearms and animals.



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Travel tips to European Countries: Sweden

About the county

Beautiful and clean, the peaceful Sweden is a land of cultural diversity with a mix of Danish and Wild Arctic North influences. One can also get the feel of urban living in its beautiful and sophisticated cities and at the same time one can feel the tranquility in the countryside. Sweden is full of charm with scenic medical villages, islands, lakes and forests dotting its landscape.
Most of Sweden?s area is covered by forests and not to forget thousands of lakes. One of the beauties of Sweden is its islands and one cannot go without seeing these islands. They offer the most scenic and beautiful experience to any visitors. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, a city with 14 islands dotted with great restaurants, nightclubs, pubs and artistic grandeur. Wherever you go most people speak English. If visitors want to have a taste of seafood the west coast is the place to be. Also it is popular for ancient city Uppsala. Do no miss a trip to the Ice Hotel which is sculpted from ice each winter in Lapland. Sweden is an exciting country with great roads and state of the art high speed train system.

Population & Languages

Sweden has a population of around 9 million and the official language is Swedish. Lapp is spoken by Sami people in the north. Most people speak English fluently and also many speak German and French.

Electricity

Voltage – 230 volts, Frequency – 50Hz. Standard European 2-pin plugs are used.

Geographic Location

Sweden is a Nordic country lying in the Scandinavian Peninsula and is the fifth largest country in Europe. Its west neighbor is Norway; Finland in the northeast, the southwest border is surrounded by Skagerrak and Kattegat straits and the west coast is surrounded by Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia. Majority of the area is forest and there are thousands of lakes mostly in the Southern part of Sweden.

Local Customs

Like any other country Sweden has its own customs too. It is customary not to drink until the host makes a toast. Smoking is prohibited in most public areas. It is also customary to say Tack f?r maten to the host after having a meal which means thanks for the food. Casual dress is acceptable for everyday wear and formal wear for social gatherings. Also tipping up to ten percent is customary for service in restaurants and around same percent for taxis also.

Places to see

Stockholm ? The biggest city and capital of Sweden and is one of the most beautiful cities of the world. The old town is a treat for your eyes and a walk around city?s waterways and parks is an experience to cherish. Most visitors prefer walking around on foot and visit the medieval part of Gamla Stan. The city is basically constituted by archipelagos which are outstandingly scenic and can be explored by cruises.

Gothenburg ? it is the second biggest city of Sweden. Not to be missed attraction in this city is Liseberg, a world class amusement park. It is home to popular museums like Ostindiska huset, Konstmuseet and Sj?fartshistoriska museet.
Vadstena – The Renaissance castle Vadstena slot & klosterkyrkan.

Visby ? Port of Visby, ruins of Drotten, St Nicolai, St Lars and St Carin, cathedral of St Maria and Gotlands Fornsal historic musem.

Oland ? Fort of Graborg, Eketorp museum and ruins of Borgholm Castle.

Travel

By Air ? It is well connected to the rest of the world by air. Many international airlines serve Sweden apart from its national airlines SAS. The other airlines are Air Canada, Air France, Aeroflot, British Airways, Finn air, Lufthansa, Ryan air etc.

By Sea ? The ferries connect Sweden with other destinations such as New Castle, Copenhagen, and St. Petersburg etc.

By Rail ? Trains connect Ostend, Sweden to London. It is also connected to Denmark by Eurostar train.

By Road ? Visitors from UK can drive to Sweden through Demark or Germany

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 200 cigarettes or 250 gm tobacco
2. 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars
3. 1 liter spirit over 22% or 2 liter wine or 32 liter beer
4. Perfumes
5. Gifts up to SEK 1700.

Prohibited Items
Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.



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About The Country

Spain is famous world wide for its flamenco dancers and bullfights. The architecture reflects the Moroccan style. Cave paintings, renaissance cathedrals, Moorish palaces prove the diversity of the country. Spring, fall and early summer are very pleasant here, though summers are hot.

Culture

Spanish is the regional language of Spain. English is also widely spoken here. Over the period of time, Spanish people have become modern in order to gel with the changing times and are no longer conservative. But that hasn?t changed the values, traditions, manners and customs of the locals. People here have two surnames; the first surname can be used to refer to the person. To greet someone, a handshake will do the job. Take a small gift along when visiting someone?s house. Save the flowers for special occasions. Dinner is generally taken very late in the night. People wear casuals most of the time. Men are expected to wear jackets at some restaurants. Swimsuits should be confined to the pools and beaches. Recently a ban has been applied on smoking in public places.

Shopping

Shops open quite early in the morning and stay open late in the evening. In the afternoon, they are closed for lunch or siesta. Porcelain and leather goods are famous and they will be good gifts for friends and family members back home. Bills are to be paid along with the service charges, so tipping is a matter of gratitude.

Electricity

Voltage is 220 volts and frequency is 50 Hz

Getting There

IBERIA is the national airline of Spain. Many other low-cost airlines offer services in the country. There are nearly thirty international airports in Spain, out of which Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante and Malaga are famous.
Madrid located at 13km away from the city has a good bus service every fifteen minutes. Underground service also works to transport passengers to their destinations. Other facilities offered at this airport are duty free shops, bank, restaurant, tourism information, and hotel reservations.

Barcelona is very close to the city, situated at a distance of 3 km only. Buses are available every 15 minutes and trains are available every 20 minutes. Taxis are available throughout the day. Duty free shops, restaurants, bank, car hire and tourism information are available here.

There is a good network of roads connecting Spain north to south. Toll booths are installed in some parts of the country. Carrying few Euros will help smooth sailing at the toll booths. If driving one?s private car, it would be better if the travel insurance covers medical costs too. Carrying a medical kit can prove to be of some help.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos 50 cigars or 250g tobacco (300 cigarettes, 150 cigarillos, 70 cigars and 400g of tobacco for EU nationals)
2. 1litre of spirits if exceeding 22 per cent volume or 2 litres of alcoholic beverage not exceeding 22 per cent volume and 2 litres of wine (1.5 litre exceeding 22 per cent and 3 litres of up to 22 per cent and 5 litres of wine for EU nationals)
3. 250ml eau de toilette and 50g of perfume
4. 500g of coffee or 200g of coffee extract (1000g of coffee and 4000g of coffee extract for EU nationals)
5. 100g of tea or 40g of tea extract
6. Gifts up to the value of approximately ?37.26.



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Travel tips to European Countries: Romania

About the county

Lying in the Southeastern Europe Romania is slowly emerging from the shackles of its dark history. Modern Romania was formed by merging two Principalities i.e. Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859 which were ruled by Ottoman Empire for centuries before. Romania is bordered by Moldova, Ukraine, the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary. Bucharest is the capital of Romania. Transylvania and Moldavia constitute the northern half of the country. Romania?s main attractions include Black Sea Coast, the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania. The Black Sea Coast is popular for its white sandy beaches and offers a perfect experience for families. The Carpathian Mountains are beautiful and covered by dense forests which offer skiing opportunities. There are many health resorts also in Romania. Transylvania is popular for Romanian Spas which have been known for its many healing powers. Local food specialty includes cuisines like ciorba de perisoare (soup with meatballs), ciorba tanancasca (meat with vegetables), lamb bors, giblet soup and a variety of fish soups.

Population & Languages

The population of Romania is around 22.5 million and the official language being spoken is Romanian. The other popular languages are Hungarian and German.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in Southeastern Europe bordering the Black Sea between Bulgaria and Ukraine. It is bordered by Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and Bulgaria to the south. Carpathian Mountains pass through the center of Romania.

Climate

The climate of Romania can be termed as Temperate and it has four seasons. While spring and autumn are cool and pleasant. Summers are very short and hot occurring in July and August. The winters can be harsh and cold with snowfall between December and March. The best months to visit Romania are May and June and September and October.

Local Customs

Handshaking is the common custom. It is also customary to kiss when being introduced to a woman. Mostly all normal European customs apply to Romania also. Dressing is conservative and casual. Smoking is prohibited on public transportation vehicles and theaters. Romanians like smoking themselves and thus like if you gift them cigarettes. Tipping is 5 to 10 percent in restaurant, hotels and taxis.

Attractions

Bucharest: Once used to be known as Paris of the East the city of Bucharest is a city of lights bustling with cafes, night clubs and restaurants. It also has Romanian Opera House and a huge National Museum. The historic sites include the Palace of Parliament, Old Court Church and Athenee Palace Hotel.
Brasov: Not to be missed places are Castles in Transylvania which include Bran Castle, Rasnov Castle and also do miss to see Sighisoara about 90 miles from Brasov, the birth place of Vlad tepes.
Romanian Riviera: This is along the coast of Black Sea which is huge tourist attraction. It is also home to several resorts and Romanian spas famous for their healing powers.

Travel

By Air ? The national airline of Romania is Tarom. Many popular airlines that fly to Bucharest include Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and Swiss. The biggest airport is Bucharest Otopeni Airport which is located like 10 miles north of the city.

By Sea ? Constanta is the major port on the Black Sea. Currently no ferries are being operated. But there are many cruises available which stop at various points of tourist interest like Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Bazias, Giurgiu, Calafat and Bucharest.

By Rail ? There is an international service to Bucharest from Western Europe which runs only in summer months i.e. from June to September, the name of the train service is Wiener Waltzer.

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 200 cigarettes or 200 gm tobacco
2. 200g cocoa and 200g coffee
3. Perfumes, medicines and souvenirs
4. Two cameras, One small movie camera, Twenty Four cassettes, One portable radio, One TV set, One tape recorder, One pair of binoculars and One typewriter.
5. Gifts up to ?175

Prohibited Items
Un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.



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About the county

Portugal was a world power in 15th and 16th century but was reduced to rubbles during an earthquake in 1755, Napoleon?s Invasion and Brazil?s Independence. Sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Spain and bordering Atlantic Ocean by both west and south coast it is popular for its long and varied coastline, sunny climate and the charming towns makes it a traveler?s paradise. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal.

The best thing about Portugal is that despite being a part of modern Europe one can still find the rural dwellings which has stood by time and has preserved its traditions. While modern architectural marvels like high-rise resorts dot the coast in the Southern province of the Algarve, Lisbon on the west coast on the other hand is a crowded city home to many fine tourist resorts. If you want to go back in time you have to just travel few miles north or east where you will see scenic countryside still resemble medieval villages and towns of earlier centuries.

Population & Languages

The population of Portugal is roughly 10.6 million and the official language being spoken is Portuguese. Mirandese is also second officially language spoken in some parts of Portugal.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in Southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It shares the Iberian Peninsula with Spain in north and east and borders Atlantic Ocean by both west and south coast.

Climate

The climate of Portugal can be classified into two. It is oceanic in the north and Mediterranean in the south. It is also one of the warmest countries of Europe. The average temperatures in the mainland are 13?C (55?F) in the north and 18?C (64?F) in the south. Summers are hot and dry. Winters are cold and wet. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Portugal.

Local Customs
Casual dressing is acceptable. But keep in mind not to wear beachwear in towns. Smoking is allowed after meals in Restaurants. Smoking is prohibited in theatres, cinemas and buses. Tipping is 10 to 15 percent in restaurant and hotels and 10 percent to taxis.

Attractions

Castelo de Sao Jorge ? Castle of St. George
Alfama – The oldest part of Lisbon
S? (Cathedral) – first church in Lisbon
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Museum
The Bairro Alto – The Bairro Alto district, an historic enclave dating back to 1513
Monument to the Discoveries – One of the popular attractions in Lisbon is the monument, situated on the riverbank in the Avenida de Brasilia in the district of Belem, which was designed to commemorate the Portuguese Age of Discovery
Tower of Belem – This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Parque das Nacoes
Fatima
Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis – dedicated to Soares dos Reis, the famous sculptor born and bred in Porto
Igreja de Sao Francisco
Solar Vinho do Porto
Vila Nova de Gaia
Frederico de Freitas Museum
Sao Vicente Caves
Cable Car
Cathedral
Whale Museum
Porto Santo
Setubal
Coimbra
Coimbra University
Guimaraes
Guimaraes church and palace
Braganca

Travel

By Air ? The national airline of Portugal is TAP Air Portugal (TP). The airlines operates direct flights to many destinations like Faro, Lisbon and Porto from a number of countries, including Canada, France, Spain, the UK and USA. Portugalia Airlines (NI) operates flights from Europe. Many popular airlines that fly to Poland from UK are British Airways, GB Airways and Monarch Airlines, Easyjet, bmibaby, Jet 2, MyTravelLite, Flybe, Flyglobespan and SATA.The biggest airport is Lisbon International Airport which is located like 4.5 miles north of the city.

By Sea ? The main ports for international passengers are Lisbon, Leixes (Oporto), Funchal (Madeira) and Portim?o (Algarve), served by Cunard, Italia, Linea C, Olympia, P&O and Union Cas

By Rail ? If coming from UK, the fastest way is to get on Eurostar train to Paris and from Paris to Portugal by Sud-Express.

Road ? Spain is the only country sharing border with Portugal. The major border posts are open most of the time now.

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g smoking tobacco for Non-European union countries.
2. 1 liter spirits with alcohol greater than 22%, or 2 liter spirits or aperitifs made of wine less than 22% or sparkling wines or liqueurs, or a proportionate mix of these, and 2 liters of wine
3. perfume up to 50g and 250ml eau de toilette
4. Gifts up to ?175
5. 500g coffee or 100g tea or 40g of tea extract
6. Medicines for personal use

Prohibited Items

Birds and poultry arriving from countries infected with Avian influenza, Un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.



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About the county

Poland is one of the ancient nations that was formed around 10th century. It is Central Europe, east of Europe and most of the area being a flat plane and mountains along the south border. Warsaw is the capital of Poland which was completely destroyed in World War II and was rebuilt from scratch again. Royal Castle of Warsaw which was reconstructed after the world war is a must see attraction. The Lazienky Palace should also be not missed which has an open air theatre and Chopin?s monument. Krakow is the second biggest city of Poland stands as a witness to its medieval era. Poland has a strong liking to music and theatre and thus home to many theatres and opera houses. Popular Polish Cuisines include Zrazy Zawijane (mushroom-stuffed beefsteak rolls in sour cream) served with boiled kasza (buckwheat) and pigs? knuckles.

Population & Languages

The population of Poland is roughly 38.5 million and the official language being spoken is Polish.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment and Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin.

Geographic Location

It is located in Central Europe, east of Germany bordering the Baltic Sea, the Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Climate

The climate of Poland can be termed as Temperate. Winters are severe inland with average temperatures in Warsaw being 23?F (-5?C). Summers are hot inland with average temperatures in July around 66?F (19?C). The precipitation occurs round the year.

Local Customs

Handshaking is the common custom. It is customary to bring flowers if you are going to someone?s house. Dressing is fairly conservative and casual and formal for entertainment in the evening or in a good restaurant. Smoking is prohibited in some public buildings. Tipping is 10 to 15 percent in restaurant, hotels and taxis.

Attractions

Warsaw: The city was completely destroyed in World War II and was completely rebuilt after the war. The popular sights include Historic Museum of Warsaw, the Lazienki Palace with its open air theatre and Chopin?s monuments, and Palace of Culture and Sciences.

Cracow: St. Mary?s Church, Royal Castle, and Royal Cathedral on top of Wawel Hill

Travel

By Air ? The national airline of Romania is LOT Polish Airlines (LO). Many popular airlines that fly to Poland include Aeroflot, Air France, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Easyjet, El Al, Lufthansa, Ryanair, SAS and Swiss Air. The biggest airport is Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport which is located like 6 miles southwest of the city.

By Sea ? Pol Ferries operates connect Poland to Sweden, Denmark and Finland

By Rail ? Polish State Railways (PKP) (website: www.pkp.pl) operates Eurocity trains from Poland various major European cities. But, all services from Western Europe to Poland pass through the Czech Republic, Germany or the Slovak Republic. The main routes link Warsaw with Berlin and Cologne, Budapest, Prague and Vienna. There is also a car-sleeper service from the border of Holland to Poznan/ Warsaw.

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 250 cigarettes or 250 gm tobacco or 50 cigars for Non-European union countries.
2. 800 cigarettes or 200 cigars or 1kg smoking tobacco for EU Countries.
3. 1 liter wine and 1 liter spirits for Non-EU Countries.
4. 10 liter spirits, 90 liter wine and 110 liter beer for EU Countries
5. Perfumes, medicines and cosmetics for personal use
6. Gifts up to ?175

Prohibited Items

Birds and poultry arriving from countries infected with Avian influenza, Un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.



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About the county

Norway, a Nordic country lying on the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula is located in Northern Europe. It also borders Sweden, Finland and Russia. Norway is an outstandingly beautiful country with a long coastline, snowy mountains and breathtaking fjords. Oslo is the capital of Norway and also the largest city. Norway is bestowed with lots of natural beauty encompassing wild forests, historic towns and beautiful fishing villages. The country is very hospitable to the tourists and people are very friendly too. Many tourists are attracted by the famous midnight sun of the Arctic. All three big cities of Norway offer different experiences to visitors. Norway is a place to be for nature lovers and for cultural enthusiasts. Norway is truly one of the greatest tourist destinations of Europe.

Population & Languages

The population of Norway is only 4.6 million and the official languages being spoken are Bokmal Norwegian and Nynorsk Norwegian. Other languages that are also spoken in Norway include S?mi and Finnish.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plugs used are Round pin attachment plug and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.
Geographic Location

It is a Nordic country lying on the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula and located in Northern Europe. It also borders Sweden, Finland and Russia. About two-third area of the Norway is mountains, has around fifty thousand small islands along its coast. It also has one of the longest coastlines in the world.

Climate

The climate of Norway can be termed as Temperate with hot summers and cold overcast winters. The highlands of interior Norway have an arctic like climate with snow, severe wind chill and frost. Most of the rain is along the coastal areas and comes down in winter quite heavily and frequently. Winters are mild too along the coastal areas.

Local Customs

Like any other country Norway has its own customs too. It is customary not to drink until the host makes a toast. It is customary for guests to offer gifts to the host of a meal. Smoking is prohibited in most public areas. Casual dress is acceptable for everyday wear. Tipping the taxi drivers is not customary. Tipping up to five percent is customary for service in restaurants. Porters at railway stations and airports charge per piece, while porters at hotels generally charge around NOK5-10 depending on the number of pieces of luggage.

Attractions

Bergen ? Numerous museums, galleries, aquarium, medieval age buildings, cable car to the top of Bergen?s hills and boat trips to fjords.

Oslo ? Old medieval buildings, churches, modern architecture, museums like Edvard Munch Museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum, art galleries, Vigeland Park, and Akershus Fortress

Fjordland ? Geirangerfjorden known for tiny S-shaped fjord,
Sognefjord ? the longest and the deepest fjord, beautiful villages such as Balestrand and Flam, old stave churches, N?r?yfjord ? Narrowest branch of the Sognefjord and Palteau of Jostedalsbreen glacier

Troms? ? Arctic cathedral, Polaria and Troms? Museum

Travel

By Air ? Many airlines operate to Norway like Braathens SAFE (BU) and SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK), a Scandinavian airline, Air France, British Airways, Finnair, Icelandair, KLM, Lufthansa, Northwest Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair and Swiss Airlines. Oslo International Airport (OSL) (Gardermoen) (website: www.osl.no) is the biggest airport of Norway which is located 30 mile north of Oslo.

Sea – The important passenger ports are Bergen, Kristiansand, Larvik, Oslo and Stavanger. The main sea routes from the UK, operated by Fjord Line and DFDS Seaways respectively, are from Newcastle to Bergen and to Kristiansand.

By Rail ? The country is part of the extensive network of trains connecting the European cities. If you are coming from UK, the connections are from London via Dover/Ostend (via Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden) or Harwich/Hook of Holland, or from Newcastle to Bergen via Stavanger. It is also connected to Sweden throught two routes, with daytime and overnight trains from Copenhagen, Malm and Stockholm.

Duty Free Items
1. 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco products and 200 leaves of cigarette paper for EU countries.
2. 400 cigarettes or 500g of tobacco products and 200 leaves of cigarette paper for Non-EU countries.
3. 1liter of spirits and 1liter of wine or 2liter of wine and 2liter of beer for EU countries.
4. 1liter of spirits and 1liter of wine or 2liter of wine and 2liter of beer for Non-EU countries.
5. 50g perfume or 500 ml eau de toilette
6. Gifts , Food, fruits, medications and flowers for personal use of value up to 3,500 kr

Prohibited Items

Un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.



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About the country

One of the Europe?s smallest sovereign states is The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The north part of the country is blessed with greenery and hills. The Ardennes provides great scenic view. The country is small and all the tourist attractions are within reachable limits. It snows during the winters in Luxembourg, but isn?t as cold as its neighboring countries and the summer is warm which comes in May and lasts till September. Incase of emergency dial 112 or 113.

Culture

Generally handshake is used to greet people. Although majority of the locals speak English, Letzeburgesch is the national language of Luxembourg. French and German is also spoken by many Luxembourgers. When appearing as a guest at someone?s house, it is a good practice to bring along gift or flowers. People are expected to dress in smart casuals, but it would be best to turn up in formals when attending social functions, or clubs. It?s not advised to smoke in public places.

Shopping

Crystals and porcelains of Villeroy and Boch are very famous and the earthenware pottery from Nospelt is a shopper?s must have item from Luxembourg. VAT of 15% is applied to all items purchased other than that from campground, hotel, and restaurant, which charge 3%. Tipping is exempted.

Site Seeing

The capital, Luxembourg is a place to be. Stay for a day or tea to explore the city. Village of Viaden has a cliff top castle which is a famous landmark.

Taxis can be hired to move around the city. They charge 10% extra from 10 pm to 6 am and if hired on Sunday, an extra 25% extra will be charged if hired for the whole day.
Accommodations

Luxembourg has many luxurious hotels, most of which are located in Lux City. Other options are guesthouses which are beautifully decorated with flower and plants.

Travel

The national airline which operates here is Luxair. There are flights from London to Luxembourg every hour. The Luxembourg airport is at a distance of 5km from the city and it takes about 20 minutes to reach there. There are provisions such as duty free shops, bank, tourism information and car hire for the passengers.
Eurostar provides a fast railway service from London, Paris, Belgium, France or Brussels to Luxembourg. Bookings can be made via telephone and ?5 fee is charged for telephonic booking. Check out for offers which are provided on some of the routes. To travel within the country, Inter-Rail pass can be bought which gives the offer of unlimited train travel for 29 countries of Europe.

When driving on road, it is recommended to take the train or ferry service when passing the channel between Dover and Calais. Check out for vacancy before hand especially during the rush hours. While driving, drivers should stay on the right side and there are strict rules for drinking while driving and seat belt.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
2. 1liter of spirits or 2liter of sparkling wine or 2liter of liqueur wine and 2liter of non-sparkling wine
3. 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette
4. 500g of coffee and 200g of coffee extract
5. 100g of tea and 40g of tea extract
6. Tobacco and Alcohol can be carried by visitors over 17 years of age only.



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