United Kingdom is a country located in North Europe with name that begins with letter U. Around 8 million people live in the capital London and over 16 million in Greater London – making it the largest metropolitan area in the EU. Many immigrants from the former colonies of the parliamentary monarchy have settled in the island’s urban agglomerations (Manchester-Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds). They make up 8% of the total UK population.
The highest mountain in Great Britain is Ben Nevis in Scotland at 1,344 m, the largest lake in the United Kingdom is Loch Neagh in Northern Ireland.
Swiss and EU citizens need a passport or identity card to enter the EU country United Kingdom, which is not part of the Schengen area.
The British climate is characterized by the humid Atlantic Ocean, abundant winds and the Gulf Stream, which makes the island milder than comparable latitudes. Cold polar air masses over the UK attract tropical warm air masses, making the weather very inconsistent throughout the year – an inexhaustible source of conversation. Most of the precipitation falls in the west and north of Scotland, where it can also snow heavily in the winter months; Most of the hours of sun in the generally not very sun-drenched country are in the south and east of the island; In summer, bathing enthusiasts dare to venture into the average fresh water of 18 ° in the English Channel.
Food and drink
Of course, it doesn’t have to be the sheep’s stomach haggis filled with giblets – the Scottish national dish – to wave off the thought of British cuisine. To save the honor, it should be said: British food is definitely better than its traditionally bad reputation. In addition to fish & chips (by the way, chips are french fries, because our chips are called crisps in English), roast beef and chicken tikka masala (CTM), a type of chicken curry, are also mentioned here. – Never heard? CTM is the UK’s most popular dish, according to a 2001 survey, and it also shows how international the influences of traditional regional cuisines in England, Wales and Scotland have become in the meantime.
The most popular drink on the island is still black tea, the consumption of which is still celebrated in traditional circles every day in the late afternoon.
No special vaccinations are required for the UK. The health system is considered to be very good. However, it is recommended to bring your own pharmacy with you to your own pharmacy.
Left-hand traffic, pub curfew, disciplined queuing: in Great Britain the clocks tick differently in many places than on the continent. Well-established English people in particular are often very traditional; Even if critical voices question the sensibility of the royal family, it is still a “no-go” to do so as a foreigner.
In Scotland you can quickly become unpopular if you disregard the national characteristics of the country and declare the Scots to be English. It is possible, however, that such a faux pas will be reacted quickly and with subtle irony. That would be an example of typical British humor that unites the English and Scots.
The UK is a potential target of terrorist attacks through its active role as a US ally in the war on terror. The British authorities have therefore called for greater vigilance and have published information on crisis scenarios and behavior in an emergency especially for London, which should be viewed before visiting the metropolis (http: //www.londonprepared.gov.uk/). Northern Ireland is also a traditional source of conflict, although the situation there has eased for some time.
Apart from that, the security situation in the UK is considered good. In the larger cities, the usual precautionary measures against theft are recommended.
It is generally forbidden to carry objects that could serve as weapons. This also includes defensive weapons such as pepper spray or blank guns.
All about money
The currency in England is the British pound. It is advisable to enter the country with a basic amount of at least 100 pounds, as you cannot pay with a debit card in all shops or pubs in the country. We recommend withdrawing with an EC card with a secret number. The use of all major credit cards (in shops, restaurants, hotels, etc.) is widespread.
In pubs you don’t usually tip at the counter, as it is common practice in Great Britain to get your own drinks at the counter. Wherever you are served at the table, however, a tip of 10-15% is customary. As we understand it, tips are not a must, but are a sign of recognition for a service.
Here are a few guidelines for better orientation: A budget should be planned for room service and service in the accommodation, the tour guide, as well as local tour guides and bus drivers. One to two euros per day is realistic for each category mentioned, so that you can plan for the entire trip with tips between approx. EUR 30–60, of course in accordance with your own budget and the satisfaction of the service provided.
Other essential information
The electrical voltage in the UK is 240 volts. Schuko plugs often cannot be used. Please bring a three-pin adapter or a world travel plug for your electronic devices.
Cornwall, Scotland and Wales are in the Western European time zone, which means that it is one hour earlier than ours. Since the same summer time regulation applies here as in Austria and Germany, the time difference is one hour all year round.