Maybe 10 years ago, but I remember hearing/reading somewhere that if a country wishes to become part of the European Union, one of the basic requirements is to have drinking water running thru their plumbing. I'm not sure how accurate that is. Anyway, in most countries there no problems. Bottled water is pretty cheap because everyone still drinks that instead of tap (wall) water even tho there's nothing wrong with it. But if you're going to Italy, stick to the bottled stuff. They claim their water is good, but I had trouble in either Florence or Naples (or both). If budget conscious, grab a packet of Puritabs before you leave Australia and put that in the tap water. You can buy a 1.5L bottle for as little as Euro0.50 in a supermarket, BUT it's all mineral water and there's still and sparkling. Not sure about the other countries but Germany has a bottle deposit system. Ah, the Aldi's are good novelty value for the German lollies-Gummi bears mmmm ONE MAJOR THING i forgot Paris rail stations are really dangerous in terms of luggage and personal item security. There are a lot of shifty characters just hanging around. They say this more for women, but I'd say it applies to anyone-avoid eye contact with everyone (except of course the uniformed staff if you need to speak with them). If you wish to leave any luggage in the Paris train station facilities, be ready to go through the whole airport security check including x-ray machines. I remember Gare de Nord was a nightmare.