Riding the Subway in Europe

February 15, 2006

For Europeans, a vacation to the US can be expensive because of one thing: they have to rent a car. In the US, (except for Chicago and cities on the East Coast) it is difficult, if not impossible, to get from place to place in a reasonable amount of time without a car. Not so in Europe.

Public transportation in major European cities is a convenient, fast, low stress way to get around. You don’t have to find and pay for parking. You don’t have to navigate unfamiliar streets or traffic. You rarely, if ever, have to think about transit schedules, since buses and subway trains come frequently, often within 2-5 minutes. What’s more, you save money. Beyond the price you’d pay for car rentals, cities like London have begun to charge a fee, about $14, to drive in the city center during the day.

Riding on buses and above-ground trains gives you the opportunity to see the city almost as you would on a tour, at a fraction of the cost.  People of all walks of life from students and business people to tourists regularly take advantage of public transportation. 

Even better, some cities, namely Florence and Venice, are small enough to walk pretty much anywhere. In fact, there are streets in Florence that are closed to traffic. And in Venice, where there are countless small bridges, canals and streets that are only as wide as an arm’s length, cars are impossible.

When you go sightseeing in Europe, travel like a local and hop on a bus or subway train. Of course, taxis are always available for late nights out after dinner or a show.

How to Ride the Paris Metro
How to Ride the London Underground

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