Arriving in Europe

Concourse at Heathrow International Airport London, UK

Airport Arrival…

Upon landing in a country you will have to go through boarder control or customs. You will need your passport and landing card completely filled out. Flight attendants will hand these out on the flight before you land. Some airports are adding automated security gates so you may not need to fill out a landing card. After deplaning, follow signage to baggage claim and border control. 

At boarder control follow signs for non-EU or non-citizen travelers. There you will hand your passport and landing card to a border control agent, they may ask you questions about your travel, such as how long you plan to stay, is this business or pleasure, etc. They’ll stamp your passport and you may proceed to claim your baggage. If you need to change planes for another destination you may go to directly to that  boarding area, providing the flight is is on the same ticket as your arrival flight and you have checked your baggage through to your final destination. 

If you arrive at a Schengen member country and are going to another Schengen member country you will not need to go through boarder control again at the departing or upon arriving at your final destination airport. It is just like flying from California to Illinois. For Schengen countries check our page on ➾ Schengen Agreement.

Obtaining Local Currency …

Shortly after your arrival at your final destination, you will need local currency. You have several options to either get local currency from your bank before you depart or upon arrival. Check with your local bank about their currency rates and foreign transaction fees. If you wait until you arrive at the airport you may use an ATM or or Currency Exchange booth. Please go to our ➾ Money & Banking page for more detailed information on exchanging for local currency. For information on ATM’s go to our ➾ Credit and Debit Card page. You can locate ATM’s at airports by going to our ➾ Airports in Europe page and click on the country and city airport to open their web page. Open terminal maps where you’ll find the locations for all these services.

Public Transportation from the Airport…

You may have multiple choices for transportation from your arrival airport to your hotel or other destination. That choice could depend on the location you are traveling to. In major cities public transit like the metro, tram or bus will get you very close to minimize your waking with baggage. If no transit stops are close there are always taxis and ride share services. 

Express – Express services can typically be a train or bus with no stops until they reach the center of the city. This is the quickest way into the city but, more costly than other forms of public transit and may not drop you close to your final destination.. The waypoint is usually a main train station or city center.

Rail Service, train, subway or tram – Depending on which airport you’re at this could be your best option as many cities have extensive services. Travel time and cost is very good.

Bus – This is usually the lowest in cost but you may need to transfer to another bus depending on your final destination. Many buses serving airports have racks for luggage, others do not.

Rede Share (Uber, Lyft) These services are available in most areas but, check prior to your arrival as some airports have a ban on them picking up and dropping off on airport property. 

Taxi – Always a good choice for door to door deliver but, is more costly that other transportation. There are usually flat fees from most airports to the city so ask your driver before you enter the taxi. There are scammers that will over charge you. Heavy traffic will mean a longer travel time. Try Taxi Fare Finder for cost.

Shuttle – This a good door to door option but, you will have to share a mini van with others passengers. Shuttles will try to coordinate all the passenger stops to the same area of the city. You may be the first or last one dropped off at your destination. Heavy traffic will mean a longer travel time.

Limousine – This is the most comfortable and plushest but, also the most costliest. Again, heavy traffic will make for longer trip but, who cares your traveling first class door to door. Airport web sites can provide contacts for reserving a service.

Public Transportation from the Airport…

After claiming your baggage signs should be visible for transportation services. Follow those signs for trains, buses, metro, shuttles,  taxis, etc.Transportation information for some Europe’s largest arrival airports are listed below. Levels of transportation services and their cost,  travel times into the city are provided. We have omitted private shuttles and limos from the listings as you will need to contact those services directly to establish accurate travel times and cost. For information please go to our ➾Airports in Europe page, scroll down to find the country and city airport and click to open their web page were you will find all transportation information. 

(approximate travel time in minutes / cost in local currency) Bus and taxi time are with normal traffic flow. Times will be more during congested traffic periods.

Rental Cars

You’ll the option to get a rental car at all airports.  Please go to our » » Car & Taxi page.