Can I drink the tap water on holiday? 💧

So, you’re going on holiday. What a time to be alive.

You’re ready and raring to go. But you’re wondering “Can I drink the tap water on holiday?”.

You don’t want to make any waste but you also want to keep your stomach on your side too.

Don’t worry, we’ve got the low down. We’ll give you some facts and tips about water quality in Europe and beyond.

Plus, we’ll also show you can stay hydrated and healthy with your own reusable water bottle.

Water Quality in Europe 💧

Most people living in Europe already enjoy very good access to high quality drinking water, thanks to over 30 years of EU policy on drinking water quality. 

However, there are still some risks that sometimes crop up. 

Droughts and floods can affect availability and contamination, climate change can affect the water cycle and microplastics from industry or household products can get into the water system. Yuck.

But with the new EU Drinking Water Directive, there should be better quality and monitoring, improved access to information for consumers and a big continent-wide push to use tap water over bottled water. 

Which all help reduce unnecessary waste. Wahey.

Some useful tips for drinking on your holiday 🕶️

Spring Break Vacation GIF

Not this type of drinking…

Drinking contaminated water isn’t high on anyone’s agenda but most of the time, especially in Western Europe, the water is perfectly safe to drink.

So, stop buying your bottles and take your trusty reusable water bottle with you. Saving on your waste and your money.

Just remember that all tap water has trace levels of bacteria (which isn’t always a bad thing). But this means you still need to look after your bottles to stop them getting smelly.

So, make sure you’re giving it a good clean each day and thoroughly dry it too so the bacteria and bad smells don’t build up in the moist bottle interior in the hot weather. An easy clean reusable bottle can be your friend in those times of need.

Oh, and as pretty as they might be, please don’t drink from decorative fountains as this won’t be the safest for you. Plus, you’ll look a little strange to the locals.

Places in Europe where the tap water is safe

Whilst everyone has their own preferences and sometimes things take a little getting used to, here are the places you can drink the water risk-free along with some apps/resources to find water points whilst you’re there.

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece (except the islands)
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City

Source here. You can find places to refill your bottles in the UK with the Refill app.

Places in Europe where you should be careful with water

That said, there are some destinations where you should exercise a little more caution. 

The water might not be contaminated, but it just might take a little longer for your body to get used to it so might make you feel unwell whilst you’re away. The destinations to avoid drinking tap water in Europe are as below:

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Hungary
  • Georgia
  • The Greek Islands
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

A Breakbottle held out by a hand in front of a mountain scape and sea

In these cases, buy your water in larger bottles and fill up your reusables as you go. This helps your water stay cooler whilst you’re out and also stop you making more plastic waste per litre.

And if you’re looking for a bottle that keeps your drinks cold, fits ice like a dream and cleans easily wherever you are, then you’re in the right place. Breakbottle is the perfect easy clean reusable bottle to be your travel hydration ally.

Happy holidaying!

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