So here we are. You have just made your way to the center of town. Maybe it was an accident, or you actually planned it that way. Now we’re gonna talk about getting around. Central stations are great. They are super busy, have tons of shops, and are usually connected to a some form of Metro. Whatever it’s called, it’s your best friend on a trip. This puppy will take you around town for the fraction of the cost you’d be shelling out in taxi tariffs. They are usually well-connected and arriving every 3 to 5 minutes, depending where you are and time of the day. At night and in the evenings, it might be 10 minutes.
All you really need is one card. Most cities have passes that can be purchased for anywhere from 24 hours to 7 days, some even longer. It’s a pass that works on everything for that time. Buses, trams, metros, and in some cases even cover water ferries. Many times, you also get discounts to museums. Always find out what it covers before buying and if there are any perks. When we get cards that also includes free entrance or a discount to, let’s say 2 museums, we choose the most expensive 2 museums to apply that deal to. In doing so, we get the maximum benefit out of the card. Those passes are available for purchase at almost all stations in automated kiosks. Walk up booths are also available, but kiosks are operated in several languages, so no worries. Take your time to figure them out, it’s a breeze.
Sometimes you might even get lucky and the metro will be free for the day. While working on the kiosk in Paris, a girl walked up to us and told is it was a clean air day so all metros were free. (Also, when your card expires don’t toss it as you may be able to reload it for cheaper than buying a new one.) It’s an experience and it is fun. We have never had a problem in any of them. People are generally friendly and mindful of their business. We found the MRT (metro) in Bangkok to be the most organized in terms of everyone ‘waiting their turn’.
As far as safety, there are security cameras at most stations and believe me they are being monitored. Occasionally you will see police or military patrol. I never felt out-of-place or insecure in the stations, even late at night. That being said, it is always a good idea to remain vigilant and watchful of your surroundings.
How can you go to Europe and not ride a tram? If in Lisbon, you can’t skip a ride on the famous Tram 28. It’s a classic tram that has been commissioned since the 1930’s and has the longest route. In fact it is so popular with tourists that there is a cafe fashioned after it. The 28 Café is located near the Castelo de S. Jorge. And how can you go to London and not ride a big, red double-decker? You would be denying yourself an experience. It’s always a great photo opportunity and might just get you where you need to be anyway.
Now get your trunks ready, we are going on a ferry. Well, not really swimming, but just in case it is a little warm out there. Like I said, some ferries are included in the price of your ticket, you just need to check if and where. We took one from Lisbon to Alamada to see Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei, a gigantic statue of Christ, similar to the one in Brazil. This time, the ferry was not included in our card, so we had to buy separately.
Back in Thailand, you may either find yourself on the back of an ox cart, or riding in one of those colorful trikes known as a Tuk Tuk. Those things zoom at high speeds in tight traffic and I am not talking about the ox cart here (although I would like to see that). Tuk tuks are an alternative to the typical taxi and a very popular form of transportation with tourists. Always settle on the price before you get in and you will find out how cheap and fun it can be.
Last but not least, walk if you can. Kat and I did 16 miles on foot the first day in Vienna. Why? You get to see stuff that is off the beaten path and run into things unexpectedly. It gives you a chance to find an out-of-the-way cozy place to enjoy some people watching while rehydrating. You get to know the city and get a better feeling for it. As usual thank you for staying with me. Hope you got something out of this. Comments greatly appreciated. Now pack and get out there!