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how splentiful are restrooms when away from your hotel?

Days are spent walking and walking and sight-seeing. Do most central historic areas of cities and towns have public restrooms marked. Are there attendants like in Egypt where you "tip" for TP?

Posted by
21158 posts

Public restrooms in Europe are a dice roll at best. Most tourist sights will have a restroom somewhere but finding them can be a challenge. Some will have attendants some will not. Most will be marginal by Am standards. You should always carry your own TP and hand wipes. Just good planning.

Posted by
3313 posts

This is a subject worth its own chapter in your guidebook. Actually, most cities have more public restrooms than you find in the US. Paris has coin operated restrooms on the street.

Many have attendents and its polite to tip them - half a Euro or the equivalent.

Museums and other major sites have public restrooms. One benefit of McDonalds being everywhere in Europe is that they have clean restrooms. Finally, blend in at a cafe and find the WC in the back or downstairs.

It's not a bad idea to carry some TP but don't worry about it.

Posted by
8940 posts

Please don't mention Egypt and restrooms in the same sentence :) You'll give me post-traumatic flashback nightmares!

Posted by
21158 posts

.....Actually, most cities have more public restrooms than you find in the US......

Doug, I don't know where you have been traveling in Europe but I find that a hard statement to accept. That just does not fit with our experience of the past fifteen years or so. I do think Europe is getting slightly better but still has a long ways to go to reach American standards for clean and convenience. This past June in Switzerland we did encounter a chain of private bathrooms --- McClean. -- large, spacious, very clean -- 2 Swiss F for women and 1 F for men. Less cleaning I guess. Marcia was blocked entering a stall by an attendant who stepped in to clean it before she used it. Nicest bathrooms anywhere.

Posted by
576 posts

We went to London several years ago and were both amused and impressed with all the bathrooms that displayed framed "Loo of the Year" award plaques on their walls. They were very clean and easy to find at the tube stations. And I've never seen toilets flush sooooo long with sooooo much water...must've been more than 10 gallons a flush in most places. They were a surprise after using the low water flush toilets in America.

Posted by
241 posts

Restrooms just plopped in a neighborhood are rare in Italy. Usually associated with a museum of some sort. In smaller train stations or bus stations they vary from good for a small fee to horrid or in one case non-existent. Sometimes when I must use one in a business such as bar/cafe or whatever I am up front about it and press a euro or two on the staff. That really helps. If I go into a bar/cafe/small restaurant, any place I intend to spend real money, I use the restroom before ordering. No restroom? Sorry, I'll take my business elsewhere.

Posted by
241 posts

have you heard about the 'bathrooms' with a porcelin fixture that is basically a hole in the floor and a two pedestals where you place your feet while you squat? Seems talk of these is taboo here, but it is important for the ladies to know this. These are still common.

Posted by
6898 posts

Lea, since this is the Italy page, I will comment on restrooms in Italy. First, they are toilets and not restrooms or bathrooms as they are here. Second, in the major cities, every eating and drinking establishment will have a toilet. You usually have a beer or something to eat and you can use the toilet. Very few public toilets. All museums have toilets. Most train stations have toilets. Large hotels have them in their lobby. We used them a lot in Florence and Venice. Very few public toilets. We were in Florence for 4 days and didn't see any. In Venice, we saw a few. Many have attendents and there is either a small charge or you tip. Use these if you can because they are the cleanest. Expect the occasional toilet without a toilet seat or TP. It's wise to carry a small roll. In San Gimignano, we encounted the squat toilets in the bus parking area although they do have a handicap stall with a toilet. It's not as bad as it sounds but you do need to be watchful and note where you see them

Posted by
689 posts

Rick usually tells you where the public WC is when he talks of each village. He has never failed me.

Only in Pisa did I find an attendant. I tipped her 1 euro as that was the smallest coin I had. She was overly pleased and even stood guard while I used the facilities! Obviously 1 Euro was a huge tip.

Posted by
683 posts

Somebody on here was saying that US cities have more public restrooms than Eurocities. In our experience, US towns are abysmal in that respect and public rooms are everywhere we have been over there.
There is seldom a need to request additional supplies but there is often such a need in US and almost never anybody to help.