Travelling to Britain or Germany soon?

Travelling to Britain or Germany soon?

We constantly get tips from our traveller and a couple just got back from a visit to England and Germany. In this post we mostly cover currency.
You probably know these things but if not perhaps these suggestions and ideas may be helpful to you:
  • Have you just returned home from a previous trip to England and have old one £ coins? You should know they have been taken out of circulation so cab drivers or merchants won’t take them. However, you can go into a bank and exchanged the coins for usable currency, no charge and no problem, so take the those coins with you!
  • Because of a previous Travel Tip we posted in the spring, they took their old 5 £ paper notes to their bank and were able to return them for Canadian currency. The UK is gradually making all of their currency polymer so it would be a good idea to check with the bank before you travel to ensure that you have the currency you can use and spend.
  • They used the tube and buses in London a lot.  They discovered that some of their chip enhanced credit cards worked to pay for transportation.  They were not sure why some worked and others didn’t, but once they had that sorted out it worked very well. The found the cost to be reasonable, for instance they did a day busing around central London tapping the card each time.  The cost averaged to be $3.00 CAD after the exchange and service fee for the day per person. Longer trips to Heathrow for instance were more expensive but very reasonable. The buses don’t take cash, so it is recommended to purchase and oyster card or use your credit card.  They used this method on the tube and the buses. One note, each person needs to have their own card. On the tube you tap in and have to tap out with the same card you tapped in with to open the gate.
  • For people who have not been to London for a few years, their impression was that it is much cleaner than before.  The buses are newer and many of the double decker buses are hybrids so the air is cleaner. They also noted that the city of London has done something to reduce the number of pigeons especially in Trafalgar Square.  Be aware that there is a lot of restoration work being done in the Westminster region so the skyline there is a little less spectacular as they do the much needed clean up.
  • They were warmly greeted by people in Europe generally,  when they identified themselves as Canadian 🇨🇦.
  • Are you going to Hamburg? If yes, them you should get up early on Sunday morning and go to the St. Pauli fish market, it starts at 5:00 AM and ends sharp at 9:30. It is worth the walk through the market. Make sure not to miss Banana Fred, for 10 Euros you get a wicker basket full of fruits and vegetable. The show they put on is worth watching even if you don’t know any German, and if you do understand German apparently the banter is somewhat PG, at least, and very funny.
  • Britain and Europe are not cheap, but the wine and beer are great. The cheese is superb. The local markets are interesting and fun. The culture is interesting and the overall experience is very much worth it.

Thanks K and L for the great tips!

Happy travelling.

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