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An American’s Guide To Getting Around In Europe

January 15, 2013

This Article is Posted in Category: Travel

The car is an important part of American culture, and is the favourite mode of transport for many Americans. When it comes to taking a holiday in Europe, however, the high cost of petrol means that there are cheaper travel options. Rather than having the hassle and expense of hiring a car and driving on unfamiliar roads, the following is a list of alternative ways for Americans to get around Europe.

Abduction of Europe

Image: Abduction of Europe (Photo credit: Bernt Rostad)

Trains

The rail network throughout Europe is very impressive, and also surprisingly affordable. Each country has its own range of rail operators and train systems, for example, the famous high-speed TGV in France. Furthermore, the entire continent is linked by rail, meaning you can easily go between countries on the train. You can even get from mainland Europe to the island of Great Britain using the Eurostar which travels through Channel Tunnel. Rail travel is one of the fastest and most comfortable ways to travel throughout Europe, and is normally very reliable.

Underground

Several major European cities also have underground trains that offer an inexpensive way to travel around. Trains arrive every few minutes, travel at high speed, and stop at significant areas. One of the most famous subway systems in Europe is the Paris Metro. With stations all around the city and surrounding suburbs, this is a very convenient travel option for tourists as well as native commuters.

Ferries

Europe has many ferry ports that offer travel between countries. Crossing the North Sea from Britain or Ireland to France, Norway, or the Netherlands can take only a few hours. In addition, many countries offer internal ferry services, for example from mainland Italy to the islands of Sicily, Capri, and Sardinia.

Cycling

Hiring a bicycle is another option for travelling around European cities, but some places are more cycle friendly than others. London has a very good bicycle hire scheme, and many safe cycle lanes, but the country that embraces cycling the most is undoubtedly the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, in particular, cycling is one of the most popular ways to travel. You certainly will not be out of place experiencing the sights of most European cities on a bicycle.

Buses

The various coach services that are available throughout Europe give you the option of covering large distances at a relatively low cost. This is often the transport of choice for backpackers travelling around various European countries.

In addition to the coaches for longer journeys, each country in Europe has its own internal bus service. These buses are a cheap and easy way to travel around cities and their surrounding areas. In the larger European cities there are even specialist tourist buses run by tour companies that will take you on sightseeing trips, complete with a tour guide to point out the most interesting sights.

Walking

Walking is a great way to see European cities, and many of them offer a huge amount to see in a relatively small area. In cities such as Rome and Edinburgh a walking tour will allow you to experience all of the history and architecture on offer at your own pace. When your feet get tired there are always other modes of transport available, such as the tourist buses previously mentioned.

Flying

There are numerous daily internal flights between cities within several European countries, as well as flights between countries. This is a fast, convenient, and comfortable way to travel, although tickets will generally be more expensive than with the other modes of transport such as trains. Having said that, cheap tickets are often available from many operators, and the journey will be shorter.

Europe is a large area geographically, but travelling around it is easy and surprisingly cheap. There are many transport options to choose from, both in individual cities and across the continent as a whole. Knowing how to make the most of these options will ensure that your holiday is enjoyable and hassle free.

This post was written by a guest contributor. About the Author:

Written by Kat Kraetzer, a blogger working in the healthcare industry.

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