Travel and mass - your experiences?

Hi all. Recently I’ve been considering doing some sort of solo-adventure sometime after I graduate college, just to get out and see the world before I begin whatever time-consuming career I’ll end up doing; but since that’s a ways down the road, I don’t really have any details thus far.

If this is the wrong section feel free to move it, since this isn’t really a direct question about morality but rather a thread for people to share their experiences with traveling and working around Sunday mass attendance. Has anyone here done, for instance, a trek or drive around Europe and had to look into mass times? Did everyone go smoothly, or was there significant difficulty in hunting down churches? For those of you who have been to eastern Asia or Africa, how difficult was it to find Catholic churches?

And for those of you who didn’t bring a priest along with you (not sure how common that is, but it would be incredibly convenient), did you try to attend mass more than once a week? If so, how did that work out?

Just finished a trip to Europe and have to admit that we planned it so that we could attend Sunday Mass at San Marco in Venice and Notre Dame in Paris. I had looked up Mass times long before we left. Then visited a little town in the Netherlands and had to find a church there. Luckily there was a church within walking distance of our friend’s house.

While we visited churches in almost every city we visited, we didn’t attend Mass at any time other than Sunday. My big disappointment was discovering that the night we attended a Mozart dinner at St. Peter Stiftskeller, in Salzburg, we could have attended Vespers followed by a Solemn High Mass at the church next door. Had we known, we would have planned the dinner for the previous or next night.

I’ve lived in Asia since 1988 and been to many masses in different countries out here - Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and never had a problem finding a Catholic Church.
The longest Mass I attended was in Bali, Indonesia. Every time a prayer, reading, and the homily was spoken in Bahasa someone then stepped forward to translate it into English. The Mass lasted two and a half hours. The Church had no aircon and the temperature was around 35C. I looked like somebody had thrown a bucket of water all over me.

We have travelled extensively through Europe over the years and your will find easy access to Catholic services virtually everywhere you go every day. I will caution you that they dress conservatively, usually the only people in shorts are the tourists and many women cover their heads. Of course, if you are in France the Mass is in French etc, but you will be pleased how easy it is to follow along. We were in Russia a year ago and saw nothing but Orthodox churches which we visited and managed to attend part of a service. Japan is a little more difficult but not impossible and Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden will take some planning ahead of time. I like your plan and I hope it will work our for you,

It is not a challenge at all to find Catholic churches worldwide these days, with MassTimes.Org.

Back in the day, I did it the old fashioned way by going to the local tourist information office in each town and asking. You can probably still do that too.

With a few notable exceptions, a country where it is difficult to find a mass to attend is not a place you want to be. I had difficulty attending mass in Nigeria, Angola, and Libya, for example, but I really doubt that you have any desire to travel to any of those countries at this present moment.

In Europe you will have to try pretty hard to miss mass. Maybe you can get out of reach of a church if you decide to visit Svalbard island or spend any time in remote parts of Lapland. Speaking of which, you should really plan on visiting Svalbard island and the remote parts of Lapland. It is really beautiful and you’d get to see places a little bit more off the beaten track.

This year I had my first holiday while being catholic. So I really wanted to go to mass in Eastern-Germany. I am from the Netherlands. So before the trip I found out where the catholic churches are in that region. Unfortunantely there a not a lot, compared to east-german lutheran churches. The biggest group of believers are lutheran. But luckily a few miles from our staying place there is a catholic church. Small, but I was happy with it. The week after I had to go to a place somewhat further away, these two 2 churches have masses in turns. So the even weeks the first and the uneven weeks the other.

I can handle myself in practical things in the german language, but of course there was no was no way for me to speak all the parts everyone has to do. the Our Father for example I did in Dutch. And also some other parts I know by heart how to put them. Unfortunately there were no liturgybooklets, that would have been really nice, also to find out how they speak all things in German.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit