Europe Local Customs

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    piazza di spagna
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    Handsworth 'Mummers'
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Europe Local Customs

  • Parlez vous francais?

    Paris Local Customs

    The fact that there is for Paris, most popular destination in EU, a tip group "Parlez-vous français? on local customs with about 100 reviews mostly by Anglophones, shows that many visitors in Paris feel, maybe in their subconscious, somewhat uneasy not speaking French. They see the splendors of Paris and would like to know a bit more about the...

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  • Do As Romans Do

    Rome Local Customs

    this was closed during the day in summer we were but it seems a nice place to be inside the villa borghese and a marionnette theater for kids and old alike. the teatro dei burattini at San Carlino It came in 1978 at Torino to begin the story of the theater, and by creating the Teatro Popolare dei Burattini in 1990 it became known as the San...

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  • Urinating

    Amsterdam Local Customs

    There clearly is (or has been) a problem with men and their bladders in Amsterdam. Whether this is linked to inebriated gentlemen falling into canals whilst obeying a call of nature I cannot say. Nevertheless the city has provided metal 'pissoirs' at strategic points. It is thought so important that gentlemen find the appropriate facilities...

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  • Food / Drink

    Barcelona Local Customs

    The locals flock to get all they can of the ham and pasteries that abound around the city. We saw the real store that only sold the jamon, and yes; it is expensive no matter how you cut it, or how thin it is cut.

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  • Gondole, gondoliere, traghetti

    Venice Local Customs

    “Today the weather is triumphant, and my views of life consequently more cheerful. It is so warm that we are going out presently in the gondola, to take up a few dropped stitches. Venice, after all, is incomparable, and during this visit I have penetrated into little slits of streets in every direction on foot. The canals only give one a visiting...

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  • Lifestyle & Habits

    Copenhagen Local Customs

    On the Hop on Hop off bus tour we learned about the garden allotments. In Danish culture the allotment garden has become a symbol of blue-collar culture - with all the positives and negatives associated with that. In Copenhagen an association named "Arbejdernes Værn" (lit. "The Worker's Protection") founded the first allotment gardens in 1891 so...

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  • Drinking

    Dublin Local Customs

    There is a famous saying that god created alcohol so that the Irish won’t take over the world. Indeed, some of the most popular sights in Ireland are alcohol-related such as Whiskey tasting or a visit to the Guinness storehouse. Lorcan (the guy who runs the 1916 rebellion walking tour) said that Dublin’s coat of arms should contain leprechaun hats...

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  • Etiquette

    Vienna Local Customs

    I learned the "Gruss Gott" when I made a stay in a factory of the (catholic) southern Germany i.e. Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. That was half century ago and it seems to me that in Austria as well as in Southern Germany this way of greeting is disappearing. Last year there has been some uproar in Baden-Württemberg because it was said that the...

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  • Food and drink

    Lisbon Local Customs

    Be sure to try the pasteis de Belem (or pasteis de nata) while you're in Lisbon. They are custard tarts and every bakery and cafe sells them. You can sprinkle some powdered sugar on them, and eat them with coffee/tea. They are absolutely delicious and make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert.

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  • Food and Drink

    Berlin Local Customs

    The Internationales Berliner Bierfestival is a blast of a festival held near the Alexanderplatz. I counted 3 separate major stages where bands were playing, and the booths of beer vendors went on for blocks. The beers were from everywhere, with Bavarian and Hessen companies having the strongest showing. But there were also (very good) beers from...

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  • Language

    Stockholm Local Customs

    One of the things Swedes really don't like is someone coming to Sweden speaking any other language than Swedish or English. The way we see it is that we have made an effort to learn the international language and so should everybody else do too.

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  • Eating

    Brussels Local Customs

    Mussels with frites are a national dish in Belgium. We call them "moules casserole" as they are cooked in a "casserole" which is a large pan of minimum 3 liters content. This volume is needed to prepare the usual amount of 1 kg mussels per person. This quantity of mussels contains about 250 gr. of flesh. The crux of the matter is the mussels. They...

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  • Torino's Bull at the Gallery (to be...

    Milan Local Customs

    This bull is depicted in the coat of arms of Torino. You see that there is a hole on its genitals and may wonder why. Well, a tradition says that if you put your right heel on this hole and turn on yourself three times, this will bring you good luck. In the second photo you see my father do it (unwillingly). Hundreds of tourists rotate around the...

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  • Beer!

    Prague Local Customs

    There is a long and rich tradition of brewing in Czech Republic. It is the land of Lager beer. You must enjoy some! Just couple words before you will make decision what to have? 10° and up degrees: A 10 degree means that if the extract in solution were 100% sucrose, it would be 10% of the total weight. Remember that 10 degree beer is about 4%...

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  • Culture

    Madrid Local Customs

    In Spain, there's no need for a special reason to go out and celebrate, it's seems like the city is always prepare to go out and have good time. In Madrid, the official fiestas , by calender , are all through the year. It is different from city to city, but basically , you can find everything almost everywhere.

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  • Beers / Chocolates / Flemish Frites...

    Brugge Local Customs

    I would suggest to VT to stop using the term of "Flemish Frites" which is laughable because Belgians do not distinguish Flemish fritten from Walloon or Brussels frites!!! Even our Flemish or Walloon nationalists do not make such a distinction. On the other hand it is already a big progress that VT did not mention "French fries" as title. The...

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  • Behavior & Superstitions

    Moscow Local Customs

    In Russia, you should never shake hands with someone over a threshold (doorway, gap, etc). If you do, it is considered that something bad will happen between the two parties in the future. Also, when it comes to shaking hands, the best advice is to let the Russian offer their hand first. Often times, men will shake hands with men in Russia, but...

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  • Food and Drink

    Crete Island Local Customs

    This tip is not about any one particular restaurant but a comment on our experience of several restaurants in the eastern end of Crete ( all in the Prefecture of Lasithi). All of these eating places were popular with the locals and/or Greeks and had very few, if any other, non-Greek tourists. We tried two in Piskachefalo and two in Monastiraki and...

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  • Legends and urban stories

    Antwerp Local Customs

    This Art Deco building, owned by the KBC bank, is reckoned to be Europe's oldest skyscraper and was conceived after a visit by the then Mayor to New York. It was modelled on the Empire State Building but because of local restrictions, that no building could overshadow the Cathedral, was built considerably shorter. It's known as the "Farmers Tower"...

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  • Culture

    Warsaw Local Customs

    Poland is famous for a vodka-drinking tradition. Nevertheless, there are some popular Polish beers. One famous brewery is Zywiec which was founded in 1852 and nowadays owned by Heineken. Another well known beer brand is Okocim; an old-established brewery (founded 1845), which is now owned by Carlsberg. Both Zywiec and Okocim lager contain more...

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  • Eating / Drinking

    Edinburgh Local Customs

    When I told one of my friends I was going to Edinburgh, he said "You must try haggis!" I asked him what it was, but he told me (ironically) that I'd better just ordered it in a restaurant in Edinburgh. I looked the meaning up in the Longman dictionary, which read: "haggis: a food eaten in Scotland, made from the heart and other organs of a sheep...

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  • Desserts

    Salzburg Local Customs

    During a visit to Salzburg in December 2010, my girlfriend and I took the opportunity to purchase pieces of Original Sachertorte from the cake shop adjoined to the city's Hotel Sacher. This internationally famous chocolate cake is only produced in Vienna (from where it first originated) and in Salzburg, so it was too good an opportunity to...

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  • Dining and Drinking

    Krakow Local Customs

    Usually I write on VT about museums and monuments. For Krakow I started my comments with one of the best beers I did drink in my life! I discovered the gorgeous dark beer called PORTER from the Okocim brewery when having lunch at the restaurant Europejska located on the north-west corner of the Rynek Glowny market. This beer tastes like a...

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  • Local Food

    Nice Local Customs

    If you like pancakes, crêpes, you HAVE TO EAT SOCCA (Note: this is salty). Socca is a sort of pancake made from chick-pea flour and on a large round (50-70 cm diameter) copper "pie tin" (plaque) and cooked in a very hot wood-fired oven for about six minutes, until the top is golden. The copper is important for spreading the heat evenly. Note: You...

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  • Alcohol

    Tallinn Local Customs

    Estonian beer proved to be really good, even from the point of taste of a spoilt German tongue. I learned that the Purity Law we Germans are so proud of (beer may contain hop, malt, water and yeast, and no other ingredients) is also valid in Estonia. The two biggest brands are Saku and A. Le Coq. The standard beer is a light, not too bitter...

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  • Semana Santa

    Sevilla Local Customs

    In Seville, they take Holy Week very seriously. Every day, at different times during the day, there are parades, and here is what usually happens for each parade: Groups of nazarenos in robes with pointed hoods (if you see them, don't freak out, they're not the KKK!) holding candles exit the church the parade comes from. Some of them walk barefoot...

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  • Food and Drink

    Hamburg Local Customs

    Typically, when people think of German cuisine, they normally think of cliché stand-bys like Wiener Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, and Sausages. But while those foods definitely play a very important part of the heritage and culinary landscape of Germany, it leaves too much room for oversight of dishes where German culture truly shines. One such example?...

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  • A matter of Lingo

    Palma de Mallorca Local Customs

    In Mallorca, anything goes. You will see old men at cafes drinking beer at ten in the morning, and young people going home from clubbing at four. There is supposedly a drinking age, but no one seems to abide by it. They are, for the most part, very nice to foreigners, and many of the people living in Mallorca are British or German expatriats....

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  • Traditions and Habits

    Saint Petersburg Local Customs

    I don't want to hurt someone's feelings or sth I just wanted to say what I saw. As regards cashiers, this is a disaster. Not all of them, but so many cashiers in Petersburg are rude! I mean, I live in Tallinn and our cashiers don't have this strain when serving the customer. So you need to be ready that in museums or eating places you can be met...

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  • FREE TAPAS

    Granada Local Customs

    We'd read about this, but didn't expect it to be as good as it sounds ... but it is ! We went into 5 bars, and in each one we had different tapas with each beer. Now granted they were not all to our taste, but it would be extremely churlish to object to free nosh. Highlights were tortilla, dressed mussells, serrano ham & crisps and bread and...

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  • Legends

    Verona Local Customs

    In the entrance of the building, where you will see the famous (BUT false) balcony , where Giulietta Capelletti met Romeo Montecchi, you will be able to stick your Love-letters on a wall , where you will find already thousands of other love-letters. To post your love-letters there is to be said to be some sort of a guarantee for a love lasting...

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  • No tipping in Finland (but you can leave...

    Helsinki Local Customs

    I don't actually agree with the 'no tipping' custom. Finnish people might not tip very often, but when they do tip, they show that they liked the food, the place and the service - just like anywhere else in the world. You are not obliged to tip a certain amount (e.g. 10-20%), but as a general rule, I leave about 10% tip, if I am happy with the...

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  • shaking head vs nodding

    Sofia Local Customs

    I bet there are already plenty of tips on this topic, but I find it so important that I have decided to start my Sofia page from it. In Bulgaria, like in Macedonia and Albania (I have read this), the head gestures to say "yes" and "no" are inverted in comparison with the rest of European countries. When Bulgarians shake their heads, they mean...

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  • Local people/language

    Glasgow Local Customs

    The presence of 43 university departments of Scots language in German Universities as opposed to zero in English universities somewhat shows up the inequalities of the United Kingdom.Glasgow University has always had its Scots language dept as well as its history dept. and this institution has for centuries been a torch bearer in the...

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  • Macedonian Traditions & Language

    Skopje Local Customs

    There is a large ethnic Albanian population in Macedonia, particularly in the capital Skopje. Most of the Orthodox Christians are and speak Macedonian (a Slavic language), while the ethnic Albanians are of Islamic heritage and speak Albanian (Shqip). This is most evident in the Old City with its several mosques and at places like the Mother Teresa...

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  • Food and Drink

    Düsseldorf Local Customs

    If you go to Düsseldorf you have to know that the city is the "Altbier"-area. Altbier is considered Germany's oldest beer style. It's a dark beer especially brewed in the area around Düsseldorf. Never ever order a Kölsch (from Cologne) in Düsseldorf - the waitress may beat you up ;-) - that could also happen if you order an Altbier in...

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  • Food & Drinks

    Majorca Island Local Customs

    We just returned from Cala Millor resort and had been surprised to discover that practically noone was eating in the diners even as late as 9pm. Tourists and locals were mainly sipping on their drinks for the whole evening. But the meals are still available at any time of the day, so no shame in eating at the time convenient for you. Just don't be...

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  • Food and Drink

    Innsbruck Local Customs

    ... is another well-established Cafe-Konditorei in Innsbruck (the oldest in Innsbruck/Tyrol). Konditorei means pastry shop and you can expect self-made cakes and pastries. The Munding can be found in the old part of the town, leaving the Golden Roof behind you, heading to the Maria-Theresien-street, the last little street of the Old Town will lead...

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  • Laundry

    Dubrovnik Local Customs

    This is typical Mediterranean habbit, drying cloths outdoors at the fresh air. Shouldn't be too sunny but also not too windy and then it's ideal for fast drying. Fresh and slightly salted air gives to a cloths very special smell. Coastal people use this method all year long because winter isn't that cold and rarely snowing. The only problem is...

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  • English Pubs

    York Local Customs

    While people generally know pubs because of the beer, they are inexpensive places to eat. There is an asociation called CAMRA who works to preserve old pubs and after buying their guide I visited Royal Oak and The Blue Bell which are 2 outstanding pubs with beautiful original decoration. Another one Ive been recommended was The Maltings which is a...

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  • Beer rivalry - Lasko or Union?

    Ljubljana Local Customs

    Slovenes are generally quite laid back. But not when it comes to choice of beer. There are two major beers in Slovenia: Laško and Union. Apparently, loyalty for one's beer in Slovenia is somewhat akin to loyalty to one's baseball team in the USA. Showing support for Union in a Laško pub is like showing support for the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx...

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  • people

    Genoa Local Customs

    Raffaele Rubattino was a visionary and the first Italian ship owner to commit his company to steam navigation. He formed the steamship line that would connect Genova to several ports of the Mediterranean and later to Middle East. Rubattino had political ambitions aswell, supporting Giuseppe Garibaldi in consolidation of Italy. The statue is work of...

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  • Geordie - language

    Newcastle upon Tyne Local Customs

    Perhaps more than any other in the country, the Geordie dialect can seem impenetrable to a non-Geordie, (a Geordie being a native of Newcastle). The differences between this and standard English fall into three main groups: - words that are pronounced differently - words that are unique to Geordie - words that are used differently, i.e. in...

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  • Cuisine and Beverages

    Bratislava Local Customs

    On my trips to Slovakia I always tried some of the local beers. One of my favourite Slovak beers is the lager of Zlaty Bazant (Golden Pheasant). The brewery was founded in 1967 in Hurbanovo, and is nowadays owned by Heineken. Another popular Slovak beer is Saris. The brewery was established in 1964 in Velky Saris and taken over by SAB Miller in...

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  • Events

    Pisa Local Customs

    Last Sunday in June - 'Gioco del Ponte' (Bridges Game) . This is probably the most important festival in Pisa. It involves Mediaeval costumes, horseback parades and 12 teams of 20 people attempting to push a 7 ton 'trolley' onto the opposite side of the bridge.

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Europe Local Customs

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