Guide to Traveling to Europe This Summer
We travel across Europe to find out what works and what doesn't, and how exactly can Americans travel to Europe.
Italy is now open to tourists from the United States. However, getting to Italy is complicated. Most people are required to quarantine for 10 days except if you're taking a quarantine-free flight from the United States. Currently, the following flights qualify:
- Delta, Atlanta to Rome (5 times a week)
- Delta, JFK to Milan (daily)
- Delta, New York to Rome (3 times a week)
- Delta, New York to Venice (2 times a week)
- Delta, Atlanta to Venice (starting July)
- Delta, Boston to Rome (starting August)
- American Airlines, New York to Milan
- American Airlines, New York to Rome
If you take any other flight that is not classified as quarantine-free, you will be required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. If you, however, are able to take one of these flights, there are a few more steps before you can successfully avoid a quarantine:
- Take an RT-PCR COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure.
- Take a Rapid Antigen COVID-19 test at the airport, before boarding. The lines are very long, and we recommend scheduling an appointment on the day of your flight. United passengers can schedule a test here. It takes 1 hour to get your results back, and you will not be allowed to board the flight without your result. This test costs around $200 and is not covered by insurance. The way to avoid this is to take a CDC-approved Rapid Antigen test at home. Try to take it a few hours before your flight.
- Upon arrival in Italy, you're required to take another test, which costs $25. The Italian authorities will hold on to your passport until your results come, and the waiting period is about 1 hour. You can schedule this rapid test pre-departure here.
Before your departure, we recommend filling the Italy & European Union Passenger Locator Form. Upon completion, you will receive a QR code, which will be scanned in Italy. This is mandatory.
Once you're through these tests, you're free to roam Italy without quarantine.
Greece is now open to Americans and most other European countries. As we detailed earlier, Greece is one of the few countries that gave granted exemptions from any tests to vaccinated tourists. To visit Greece:
- Fill in the Greece Passenger Locator Form pre-departure
- Get an RT-PCR COVID-19 test 72 hours before your entry to Greece. The only exemption is if you have proof of COVID-19 vaccination. A vaccination certificate (digital or paper) would exempt you from a test.
- Upon arrival, you might be selected for random testing.
As of June 2021, Greece is only allowing international tourists at certain ports of entry. However, all popular ports are in that list.
Turkey has been open to Americans for a long time now. In fact, there are several nonstop flights from major American cities to Istanbul. To visit Turkey, read our detailed blog post. Here are the high-level steps:
- Fill in the Turkey Health Form pre-departure
- Get an RT-PCR COVID-19 test 72 hours before your entry to Turkey.
Turkey was under a strict lockdown but it's now slowly being lifted. Restaurants and cafes in Turkey are open with limited working hours. Only essential businesses such as grocery are open in Turkey, and a nightly curfew in place between 22:00 and 5:00 on weekdays and from 22:00 on Saturday until 5:00 on Monday.
Croatia has been open to Americans pretty much throughout the lockdown and is mostly open. For those requiring a Croatian visa, read our guide. To visit Croatia:
- Fill in the Croatia Health Declaration Form pre-departure.
- Get an RT-PCR COVID-19 test 48 hours before your flight. You can also take one on arrival, and quarantine until the results come. Alternatively, your vaccine card can substitute this requirement if you're vaccinated.
Every attraction is open in Croatia, and so are the bars, restaurants, and other non-essential businesses. There is no lockdown however most places enforce social distancing.
However, each city is not back to pre-covid life yet. Hvar is mostly deserted, which makes sense it's a predominantly tourist town. Split, on the other hand, is mostly open albeit no indoor dining yet. However, the weather in summer is so good that most people want to stay outdoors. Public transportation is running at regular hours and capacity, and it is easy to commute in most cities.
It's not easy or cheap to find a direct flight to Croatia. Your health declaration form would be checked at each leg of your trip. For example, you're traveling from San Francisco to London and London to Zagreb - you'll be asked to show your health form at 3 places: San Francisco, London, and finally, in Zagreb. It's advisable to print the QR code or save it in your phone as it's not always easy to have internet connectivity to access email in foreign locations.