Keep Your Devices Charged with a European USB Plug

A European USB plug helps charge your non-European devices such as smartphones, tablets, GPS units, and MP3 players when you’re away from home. European USB adapters could also come with removable adapters for America, Australia, and the U.K., which makes them your ideal travel adapter. Get a European USB charger on eBay if you’re slated for a Europe trip.

Are there different European plug standards?

Countries in Europe ascertain their native electrical outlet and distribution systems. In Italy, for instance, the outlets usually take Type L plugs that have three horizontally-positioned round prongs. These plugs are exclusive to Italy and cannot be used in any other European country. Other types include:

  • Type C: Popularly called the Europlug, this plug has two pins and is used in all European countries, except the UK, Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus.
  • Type E: The Type E plug is used in Belgium, France, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Poland. This two-pin plug is like the Type C plug and comes with a couple of 4.8 mm round pins.
  • Type F: Commonly referred to as Schuko plug, which means safety contact in German, the Type F plug is used in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Norway, Spain, and Eastern Europe.
  • Type G: The Type G plug is primarily used in non-Type C countries, which includes the UK, Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus.
  • Type J: To connect to the electrical outlets in Liechtenstein and Switzerland, you need a Type J which comes with three 4mm rounded pins.
  • Type K: The Type K plug is used exclusively in Greenland and Denmark.
Will a European USB plug damage a non-European device?

No. A European USB adapter works with devices that are made or sold in or outside Europe, it's just the plug standard that varies. However, the charging speeds may not be on par with your device's original charger, especially if the proprietary charger supports fast or quick charging and the third-party European charger doesn't. That said, the European charger would offer much better charging speeds than the power supplied by a laptop computer via USB.

Is a voltage converter necessary?

No. Most travellers assume they require voltage converters for charging their electronic devices in Europe. Generally, mobile phones, laptop computers, tablets, and camera battery chargers function in the 100V to 240V range. This encompasses the standards found in America, Canada, Europe, and several other countries and continents. Most work with varying electric frequencies (50Hz to 60Hz) so you won't need an expensive voltage converter.