Getting Around Europe

  • Buying your Metro tickets
    Buying your Metro tickets
    by Beausoleil
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    Bus shuttles from Limassol to the...
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    Bus fee in Cyprus
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Most Viewed Transportation in Europe

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    L is for London's congestion charge

    by sourbugger Updated Mar 22, 2014

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    If you drive a car into central London (see map) or hire a car, then you are liable to pay Uncle Ken's (now mad boris's) congestion charge. It operates Monday-Friday in the day and costs TEN QUID a day.

    There are several ways of paying it - so look at the listed website.

    Some car hire companies collect the charge on your behalf - but you must declare to them the days you use it, or you will face some pretty large fines ; and remember that they have your credit card details.

    If you are driving your own car from Europe then you may get away with it. Some countries will not release driver details under European Data Protection acts...but other will.

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    X is for Xrossing the Irish sea

    by sourbugger Updated Mar 22, 2014

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    UK -IRELAND

    P & O now operate the overnight Liverpool-Dublin service

    Most of the sailings are overnight, although some 'daybreaker' sailings are timetabled.

    The company is mainly reliant of freight transport, and takes car and foot passengers as something of a sideline.

    From Birkenhead you board around 8PM, before sailing at 10PM. This gives you chance to settle in to your cabin and enjoy a surprisingly good four course meal in the restaurant. Both of these 'frills' are included in the price of the ticket, as is a cooked breakfast in the morning.

    It's unusual to find a company these days that believes in adding 'frills' rather than taking the 'bare bones' approach to transport.

    They are also often a good bit cheaper than ferries on the shorter Holyhead-Dublin or South Wales - Rosslare routes. Routes from Scotland to Northern Ireland are shorter and cheaper, but you have to go to Scotland first (sorry, that sounds awful doesn't it, but you know what I mean)

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    I is for Ireland's transport woes.....

    by sourbugger Updated Mar 22, 2014

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    A few years ago the EU gave Ireland 45 million Euro for road improvements. One wag commented that this must work out to about 23cent a pothole !

    Ireland is however preparing to massivley invest in it's transport infrastructure :

    With the launch of the glossy 'Transport 21', Ambitious schemes are on the cards.

    The largest chunk of the money will inevitably be spent in Dublin. A two line metro, extensions to the tram (LUAS) and DART systems will all go ahead. St Stephens green will apparantly becom Dublins' answer to 'Grand Central Station'. Therefore expect major delays all over the place (no change there then !).

    There will also be a 'western corridor' stretching from Letterkenny in the north to Waterford in the south, by way of Sligo, Galway, Limerick and Cork.

    Not to be outdone, the railways will also get a boost and the Western rail corridor between Sligo and Cork will be partially reopened.

    All this work comes at a price - expect major delays in the years to come. Expect riches beyond your wildest dreams if you are a concrete supplier.

    UPDATE : 2014. It ain't going to happen in a hurry lads. The economic troika of the EU, IMF and some other suits said NO NO NO ! A few extensions to the LUAS, but that about it.

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    European Railways the best in the world

    by Maryimelda Updated Feb 19, 2014

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    I find the train system in Western and Central Europe is exemplary. If you miss a train, there will be another one along before you know it. You can travel in the luxury of the First Class fast trains such as Thallys, TGV, ICE, Eurostar etc or you can hop on and off the regional trains with no reservations as you wish. There are many bargains to be had if you want to book in advance or if you want to be more flexible in your movements, you can simply turn up and buy a ticket five minutes before a train departs. It is rare (except for night trains) for any of the trains to be full and with the trains that do not have compulsory reservations, if you can't find a seat, you simply stand up until one becomes available.

    Most good discounts come on sale online approx 89-90 days ahead. Get in quick as they sell out fast.
    There are also many local deals in different countries such as the Laender tickets in Germany which allow up to five people to travel on the one ticket for a day within the same region for less than 40 Euro all up.

    For timetables, routes etc. most people agree that the German rail site is the best. It will only give you prices for trains in Germany however. For other prices google up the local train authority in each particular country.

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    European Rail Passes

    by travelfrosch Updated Feb 8, 2014

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    The Eurailpass has become so well known, it is almost the stuff of legend: Non-Europeans pay a few hundred US$, and then ride around Europe all summer at their whim. Unfortunately, this backpackers' dream has has not been the reality for well over a decade. The good news is, you can still save a lot of money if you take a look at the myriad successors to the old Eurailpass, and pick the one that works best for your trip. Here are some of the basics:

    The Eurail Global Pass is the pass closest to the original Eurailpass, allowing 15 days, 21 days, 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months of unlimited rail travel in 18 countries, from Ireland to Finland to Portugal to Greece. Note that not all European countries are covered (most notably Great Britain), and not all trains honor this pass (most notably Thalys and Eurostar trains to/from London).

    The Eurail Flexipass offers 10 or 15 "rail days" of unlimited travel in these 18 countries within a 2 month period. Special rules can apply, e.g. if you board an overnight train after 7PM, you can enter the following day on your pass. Check the website and pass instructions for details.

    The Eurail Selectpass allows you to get 5, 6, 8, 10, or 15 "rail days" in 2 months valid in 3, 4, or 5 connected countries. Check the website for exact rules and instructions.

    In general, lucky travelers under 26 years old can buy a 2nd Class Youth Pass for any of the above combinations for a discount. Us old folks have to buy more expensive 1st Class passes. Adults traveling together, however, can purchase a Saver Pass for a discounted price (sorry young 'uns: you can't get a Youth Saver Pass).

    Finally, there are single country and 2-country passes available, ideal for more concentrated travels. Some of these (such as Swisspasses) can be an excellent value.

    For more information, check out the Eurail website. Also, Rick Steves has an excellent primer on how to purchase and how best to use railpasses. Enjoy!

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    RIMINI, ITALY, AIRPORT TO TOWN

    by DAO Updated Jan 23, 2014


    Visiting Rimini and/or San Marino? This could not be easier or cheaper. Just outside the airport terminal is the stop for Bus number 9. Simply buy a 1-Euro ticket at the snack bar inside and get on the bus. Please remember to validate your ticket with the pictured machine on board. The ticket is good for 90 minutes of travel and is cheaper than a 40-Euro fine. The bus takes about 15 minutes to take you to the main Rimini TRain Station. From there you can take the no. 11 Tram all the way across Rimini, on the same ticket! And Taxis? The expensive thieves are just outside as well. On weekdays the bus service starts from the airport at 6:19am and runs until 1:10am. Weekends start around 7am and still run up until 1am. Excellent service that's economical!

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    Try to Avoid Limassol Taxi Cabs

    by CarolinaShinigami Written Dec 11, 2013

    I am going to tell you a story about my experience about taking a taxi cab in Limassol. Before I tell you my story, my first tip about taking a cab in Limassol is this: USE IT UNLESS IT IS A LAST RESORT! If you have must travel somewhere, buy a day bus pass (They are very cheap to purchase), find a friend who lives in Limassol, or walk, if you can. All these options are better than taking a cab to get around Limassol- One can walk between Old Town and New Town if one is up for it. There are plenty of forms of transportation to get to where you need to go in Limassol other than a taxi.
    My friends (John and Robert) and I were preparing to leave the Sun and Surf Bistro and Bar to go to a club to celebrate a Marine turning 21. In our group, we had another Marine who decided to join our group to go to this birthday party, but he was drunk. Before we decided to go to the club, we decided to walk around New Town, so our drunk Marine could sober up. As we walked, another group of Marines who were going to the birthday party decided to come with us. The group had six people including myself heading to the birthday party. Robert mentioned that the club was in Old Town, so we would have to walk for more than 10 miles to get there. Both John and Robert were dressed to impressed and had dressy shoes; they weren’t going to walk all that way with tired feet. Also, we had a curfew until midnight to return to the ship. We all decided to take a cab to the club.
    It is amazing how many taxis came. When we called for one, six taxis drove up to the group- It was so cut throat that taxis were almost in accidents trying to cut in front of other taxis to try to attract us. One thing about taxis in Limassol is that they are BMW and small. The group determined that it needed two taxis to get to Old Town, so John and Robert with the two other Marines decided to take one taxi whereas I took the another taxi with the drunk Marine (I was the designed walker for the group).
    I am not completely sure about the roads of Limassol, but I knew the main highways well from two days of riding the buses from Old Town to New Town. As my driver took us, he said that he knew were the club was. As we were driving, he took us off the main highway and drove around secondary streets. I asked him again if he knew were we were going, and he said yes. My guess for the round-about is that he knew that he would make less money if he stayed on the main highway. I felt that the trip should have taken fewer than 15 minutes, but the trip took about 40 minutes driving through the back roads.
    As my driver drove upon the club, I told him to stop. Even so, he continued until I said to stop. I had only 20 Euros for the cab ride, and it was getting close to the point that I wouldn’t have enough to pay the fair. As he stopped, I paid attention to the price of the ride- $13 Euro. The drunk Marine and I got out, but the driver wanted 16 Euro. Now, I freaked out because I saw that price of the ride, but he was trying to pull a fast one. He said that I had to pay taxes. I have been in many cabs before, but I have never been in one that charged for taxes. I became frustrated that I was about to say very naughty words that I shall not mention on here because I love IGOUGO. John and Robert saw me becoming angry at the driver. Robert pulled me aside, and John paid for my taxi ride. I felt bad that he paid for my ride because he shouldn’t have to pay for my ride, but he didn’t mind. I told him that I would pay for the next ride after we left the club.
    As I said at the beginning, if you can avoid taking the taxi in Limassol, I would recommend that you do!

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    Cheap air flights.

    by Dizzyhead Updated Aug 16, 2013

    Ryanair flies around all Europe, but not so much in eastern parts of Europé. Not yet at least. But in the western and the South of Europé you can fly almost every where inside Europé. Even to North Africa you can fly. Ryanair is one of the Company which improve the business and put invisible parts of Europé on the map for beginners and experienced travellers.

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    Lease a car in Europe

    by Beausoleil Updated Apr 24, 2013

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    If you are using the car for 21 or more days (17 or more with Citroen), you should consider the buy-back (lease) program. We always do this and it is wonderful. You get the brand new car of your choice. We use the Peugeot 207 automatic for ourselves and also when we have one of our daughters with us. Four people would need the 307 or 407.

    You have full insurance coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance and a new car. We always pick up and drop off in France so we don't have to pay extra charges but you can get the car nearly anyplace in Europe.

    On our last trip someone managed to back into our parked car and put a huge dent in one side. We told the Peugeot folks when we returned the car and they said not to worry about it. We were impressed.

    We have used Auto France the last few times but AutoEurope.com and Kemwel.com also have the Open Europe Lease Program with Peugeot.
    Auto France
    Auto Europe
    Kemwel
    Renault Eurodrive
    Citroen Euro Pass

    Renault has a similar program but we haven't used them. I have heard from others that it works the same way and is equally satisfactory. I can highly recommend the Peugeot program because we've used it so many times and love it.

    If you live in the US, you can call 1 (800) 572-9655 toll free for an estimate. If you live elsewhere, you can visit the autofrance web site I gave above and get a phone number or e-mail them.

    Update: Citroen now has a buy-back (lease) program. It only requires a 17-day stay so if you have a shorter trip, this might be worth exploring. I'm sure AutoFrance, AutoEurope and Kemwell also handle the Citroen program. For trips between 17 and 21 days it is worth a look. We have only used the Peugeot program and I highly recommend it.

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    Trains in Europe

    by Beausoleil Updated Apr 24, 2013

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    Depending on where you live, you may fly to Europe. Once there, you have many choices. We usually lease a car unless we're only visiting cities. If you don't want to drive in Europe, there is a fabulous train system and although the prices differ from country to country, it is an excellent way to get around. Most train stations are in the historic centers of the towns so you can walk anyplace you want to go. If the train station (usually the newer TGV fast trains) is outside town, there will be a shuttle service. It's meant to be convenient.

    Each country has its own train web site so I'll list several. If you only speak English, the German site at the top of the list is the easiest to use.
    Germany Official German Rail site
    France Official French Rail site (site in French only)
    Italy Official Italian Rail site
    Switzerland Official Swiss Rail site
    Hungary and Europe in English Official Hungarian Rail site
    Europe in general Rail Europe Agency site

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    EasyJet is Easy and Enjoyable

    by riorich55 Written Jan 19, 2013

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    On our second trip to Europe we wanted to expand our country list and since they were a bit farther apart then our first trip we added some local airline travel to our itinerary this time around. After asking a few questions on VT forums about various European based airlines and doing some of my own research I found that EasyJet had the best price and routes for our 3 flights.

    I was a little tentative at first and could have gotten even better prices if I had booked sooner, but all in all I still got some really good prices for the flights.

    Our first flight was from Paris Orly to Rome. We arrived in plenty of time from central Paris via the RER and OrlyVal trains. We first checked our 2 bags which combined were several kg under the limit. I had prepaid 11 Euros for each bag and the combined weight needed to be under I believe 44 kg. My wife's alone would have been over 22 kg, but I pack substantially lighter so we had no problem with the limit. Be careful here, because if you are over the limit extra fees apply and they are not inexpensive from what I remember. We then waited in the central area and waited for the gate to be announced. Once it was we walked at a good pace and arrived at the gate just as the 5 passengers who paid extra for early boarding were going through the jet bridge. For all the other passengers we waited in the normal line which was really quick and had the easiest boarding I've experienced in a long time. You can carry on one bag free of charge onto the plane as long as it fits in the overhead or under the seat. With this rule there was plenty of room in the overhead bins and since I had a nice daypack that expands nicely I was able to fit my iPad, camera, camcorder, coat and a couple of other things very easily.

    The plane boarded in a matter of minutes and since we were ready 10 minutes early and all in our seats we took off. So word or warning be there on time and not last minute. If you miss your flight, too bad, no refunds and you will have to buy another ticket. You will get nothing for free on the plane. If you want water, you will get bottled water for a price, any other drinks or snacks, same thing. You can also buy other items on board like various passes, etc.

    The few other things I really liked about the planes were you could pick your own seat and we had no problem on any of our flights getting seats next to each other. I always got my aisle seat in the middle of the plane. The seats don't recline which I really like. I'm tall enough that I hate being squished by someone leaning back into me and I don't recline as I don't like to inconvenience the person behind me. And they don't have those drink carts which clog up to aisles, so if you need to get up and go to the bathroom they won't be in your way.

    Our two other flights were from Milan to Barcelona and from Barcelona to London Gatwick. EasyJet uses the smaller or lesser used terminals (at least in the 4 airports we were in) so getting around the airports was very easy also.

    Bottom Line - One of my favorite airlines.

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    Europe by bus

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Dec 2, 2012

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    Eurolines is the bus company that services most of Western Europe.

    2012 Update: A new bus company is active, especialin the UK, but also for trips across the Channel to several European cities; see magabus.

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    Best way to see the Rhine

    by Maryimelda Written Nov 13, 2012

    This is a wonderful way of seeing some of the most spectacular parts of the Rhine at small cost. I took a KD Ferry from Koblenz to St Goarshausen and it was one of the highlights of my entire European holiday.

    The KD Ferries run between Mainz and Cologne and pass by countless villages and towns with castles in abundance. The countryside around the river is bedecked with vineyards and I could not help wondering how the vineyard workers managed to tend to the vines and pick the grapes standing at what looks to be perilously steep angles. To me it seemed as though they would need to have one leg shorter than the other!

    The reaches of the Rhine between Koblenz and Bingen are often thought to be the very best as regards the very magnificence which is the mighty Rhine.

    Ferries can be boarded at many towns along the way and are not very expensive to ride. They are well equipped and beautifully maintained vessels and I was very fortunate to have the luck of the draw and to travel on a paddle wheeler with quite a bit of history attached.

    Full details of times and costs are available in many languages on the KD website. It is not necessary to book and there is a good selection of food and drinks on board. Travelling downstream is much quicker than travelling upstream and of course if you want to do a day trip, you can always get the frequent trains in the other direction.

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    Beware the Pilatus Gondolas

    by Maryimelda Written Nov 13, 2012

    If you choose to do the golden tour to Pilatus please be warned about the gondolas. When coming down from the mountain you will board a cable car which really affords the most magnificent views over the Alps and Lake Lucerne and of course the lush green mountainsides and valleys.
    When you alight from the cable car you will then be routed to the gondolas to take you on your next leg of the journey. If like me, you have limited mobility of any sort such as arthritic knees you may very well have a difficult time getting on and off the gondolas. They don't stop moving at all and so you have to board very quickly and get off very quickly. I found this very frightening and compounded an already scary situation by not realising that the gondola stops twice on the way down. If you are heading back to Lucerne you need to stay on the gondola till the second stop at Kriens and then hope against hope that there will be an attendant to help you alight quickly and safely. I struggled off at the first stop only to find that I had to get on and off again if I was to get back to Lucerne any time that day. I was not happy.

    The solution to the problem is quite simple. You just need to go down the same way you went up and that is by the cog wheel railway.

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    THE NORTHERNMOST TRAIN STATION IN THE UK

    by DAO Written Oct 10, 2012

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    Thurso Train Station is the end of the line – quite literally. It is the northernmost Rail Station in Great Britain. Located on Princes Street, this small station is they way to travel south to Inverness where you can then access the entire British rail network. The station was opened on 28 July 1874. It was actually selected for closure in the 1960s, but survives to this day so you can travel to the very top of the UK mainland.

    The station itself is open Monday-Saturday 09:50-16:54. For some reason some websites show them opening 1 hour late on Saturday. I base the times on the sign on the wall inside that station. There is a side gate to get to the single platform (of course!) outside of opening hours. You can buy a ticket on the train without any problem.

    During opening hours you have:
    • Rail staff for any questions, tickets, assistance
    • Accessible unisex toilet
    • Induction loop at ticket office window (for hearing impaired passengers)
    • Luggage trolleys
    • Post Box
    • Car park (3 spaces, 1 is handicapped) – 24 hour
    • Taxi rank
    • Public (pay) phone
    • 3 cycle racks. (not covered)

    They also have Left Luggage Lockers for £3 a day. They are accessible Monday - Saturday 10:00-16:30, closed Sundays!

    Thurso station is on the Far North Line and is 154 miles (248 km) north of Inverness.
    After arriving at Thurso the trains often go back to Georgemas Junction and then on to Inverness in around 3 ½ hours. The journey follows the coast line for most of your journey and is arguably the most scenic rail journey in the UK.

    Address: Princes Street, Thurso, Highland, KW14 7DL
    It is about a 5-7 minute walk to shops and accommodation (300m/1000ft). You may want to just walk to most places rather then asking for a taxi.

    For details of onward bus services, visit www.travelinescotland.com or call +44 (0) 871 200 22 33 (24 hours).

    For full details of train times and calling points (stations), please have a look at the National Rail Enquiries Website

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Europe Transportation

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