Europe is a stunning destination. And. it’s somewhere that everyone should visit at least once in their lives.
The beauty of Europe is that there are so many different cultures all right next to each other. Whether you are looking for mountains or forests, cities or villages, river cruises or boat trips, water or land, you will find it there.
Traveling to Europe for the first time as a senior citizen can be scary though. But, there are some convenient and easy European trips for seniors. Amy of these can help you to enjoy the atmosphere of Europe without the stress of arranging your own trip.
Europe Feels Like a New World
Europe can feel like a whole new world for a first-time visitor.
Each country, and sometimes even each city, can have its own culture. There are parts of Europe that tend to have a lot of people who speak fluent English. But there are some areas where English is far less common.
Some parts of Europe are flat and easy to navigate while others are mountainous and could be a challenge for a senior traveler. In some parts of Europe, it’s easy to find familiar foods. Bit on other parts of the continent, the ‘traditional cuisine’ can seem rather alien. These are things that it’s handy to know about before you travel.
Most of mainland Europe has adopted the Euro. However, there are still some countries that keep their own currency. So it’s useful to know what you need to bring with you currency-wise before you leave.
Tour Operators Make Your Journey Stress-Free
When you work with a company that offers European trips for seniors, the logistics are dealt-with for you. You won’t have to do all that research yourself. Let someone else do the work and you (or your older relatives) can enjoy the fun.
There are many companies that offer European packages. Here are a few of my favorites.
11 Days in Belgium and Holland
Belgium and Holland are wonderful places to visit. Rick Steves Tours offers some great tours. We highly recommend their eleven day tour of the area which takes visitors through Amsterdam, Bruges, Deflt and Ghent.
It’s a walking-heavy tour so you’ll need to be moderately fit. There are some gentle hills and some stairs. But if you are OK with those you’ll find the scenery is incredible. Plus, the architecture is stunning.
Explore the History and Culture of the UK
The UK is full of history and culture and is another place that Rick Steves offers tours of.
You can pick and choose the places to visit. And, depending on whether you want to stay in cities or explore the countryside, there are plenty of options.
The Lake District is a good choice for nature lovers. London and Liverpool are good cities to explore. Blackpool and Brighton are classic tourist destinations on the coast. Finally, Durham is a place with lots of historic buildings. There’s something for everyone.
Whistle-stop Tours for the Highlights of the Usual Sights
If a whistle-stop tour of some of the best sights in Europe is more your thing, then Tourradar offers some great European trips for seniors.
Fly out to London, and see the sights there, before spending the day in Paris. Then on to Burgundy, exploring the Alps for a few days. Next up is Tuscany, Pisa and Rome. After spending a day in Rome, head on to Venice, Innsbruck, Munich and Bavaria. After stopping in the Rhine Valley, you’ll go to Amsterdam and then on to Bruges before returning to London. Shew!
You’ll sample wines, chocolate, and cheese along the way, as well as classic Bavarian beer. It’s a great choice for those who want to explore the best that Europe has to offer. You’ll also need to have the energy and stamina to keep up.
Slower Paced Tours Through All of Europe
If the whistle-stop tour above makes you feel tired thinking about it, try a slightly slower paced tour. There’s also a 22-day tour that hits a few more destinations but spends a little more time at each stop.
This a history-focused tour. You’ll get to spend the day in Paris, Lucerne, Rome, Berlin, and Amsterdam with plenty of other short stops along the way.
You can choose what activities you want to take part in and there are opportunities to go off on your own in some areas. You’ll get to sample the best food, wine and beer, and see some stunning scenery. You can cruise the canals in Venice, see the Tower of Pisa, and take a gentle walk around Amsterdam’s quaint historic streets.
Travel Tips for Seniors Touring in Europe
- Expect to Walk a Lot – In many parts of Europe, people love walking. Some countries, such as the Netherlands, are very flat and are full of cyclists. Some countries are quite hilly but with long, narrow streets. People walk far more in Europe than they do in the USA, and cities tend to have everything you need in close proximity. Be prepared and pack sensible shoes.
- Train Travel is Affordable and Fun – Mainland Europe has good train infrastructure, so getting from one city to another and even one country to another can be quite affordable. A train tour of Europe makes for a good extended holiday.
- Consider the Off-Season – If you’re heading to traditionally popular tourist destinations such as Paris or Rome, then consider doing so during the off-season when hotels are cheaper, the cities are less crowded, and you’ll be able to get a more authentic feel of what the destination is like.
- Learn a Few Words of the Language – While most people in big cities in Europe speak decent English and are quite eager to show off their language skills you will find that a few words of the local language will go a long way. In smaller cafes you might get better prices and service if you try to communicate in the local language, and you’ll find that hospitality is generally warmer when you show you’re making an effort. You don’t have to be fluent, but learning the basics is always helpful!
- Not all Countries use the Euro – Most countries in Mainland Europe use the Euro but there are still a few that have held on to their own currency. Check before you travel and have a little bit of each currency you need if you’re going to several countries. For example, Denmark uses the Krone. Some places accept the Euro too but you will lose out with the exchange rate they offer.
Europe Can Be Whatever You Want it to Be
The best thing about Europe is that each country has retained its own identity. It’s a stunning place that is fun to explore and there’s something for everyone there.
European trips for seniors are fun and vibrant and many operators offer trips for all ages that are designed with seniors in mind. So the kids can come along as well and have fun while the trip is structured to ensure that older travelers are comfortable and well taken care of. European vacations can even be trips where you can bring the elderly parents.
Whether you’re a world-weary traveler who has been there, done that already, or someone who would be heading to europe for the very first time, a good tour operator will help you fall in love with Europe’s culture, sights, sounds and smells.
Tours are great value for money compared to booking everything yourself. Plus, you can get an incredible trip for what works out at about $100 per day in many cases. So why not treat yourself to a vacation experience with a difference in one of the most unique parts of the world.
I highly recommend that you make your first trip to the United Kingdom.
Yes, they’re not on the mainland but it’s just a short ferry ride from Calais and the history and culture is incredible. Plus, you will already be familiar with the language and many of the customs.
Start in London with an obligatory look at Buckingham Palace. Then, head up to York to see the York Minster and walk the walls of the city. Next, continue North to Scotland to see the castles and explore the highlands.
You get three very different places in a short trip. But, you’ll find the people and culture varied too. Sample some Scottish Whisky and enjoy some fish & chips from a country that really does know its fish!
Do you have other tours or trips in Europe that you recommend? Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below. Also, please share on social media if this guide was helpful!