In Europe, as most visitors do, I travelled extensively. I probably won’t even remember all of the plane, train, bus, car, taxi, etc. rides that I took in those four months. Here are some methods of travel that might make your journey a bit easier.
Obviously, the easiest way to go abroad is by airplane. It is also one of the easiest ways to get from country to country around Europe if you are going a far distance, or are on a time press. Flying around Europe can be insanely cheap. Look at airlines such as RyanAir or easyJet.
Trains are great and usually pretty cheap when trying to get around from city to city. Most places I went in Italy was by train – from Florence to Pisa, Siena, Milan, Venice, Verona – anywhere. The train pictured here was actually in Germany, so trains are definitely a main transportation vehicle in most European countries. (By the way, does this look like the type of girl who gets motion sickness? Nope! I prepared for my problem by buying four tubes of Dramamine motion sickness pills before leaving America.)
The bus was my second-most-used form of transportation. As pictured on the right (on the outside window, so it looks backwards) the Terravision bus is an awesome option for getting from an airport to a city center. I used this when going to London and Barcelona, since the airports were so far away from where I was staying! It’s an easy and cheap option.
If you are lucky enough to make local friends, you might be able to catch a ride in a car or a vespa for a joy ride through the city! I actually had a professor at my university abroad who was nice enough to drive some students to her house for dinner, too. So you can always try to butter up your professors, host family, or anyone else you might know with a vehicle.
Warning: European cars are very small!
If you make a trip to Venice, there is no way around it – you must travel through the water somehow (and not by swimming: apparently that water is at least 20% of the city’s waste)! Venice is the most amazing place I have ever seen, though I did feel trapped after about a day. To get around, you can pay the big bucks to ride a gondola, which is about 120 euro/hour. You can split this price if you have some friends who want to ride with you. The cheaper alternative is a water taxi, which will actually transport you around the water-filled city.
In larger cities, like Paris and London, the subway is a must. My friends and I tried to walk to the sites in London and our legs nearly gave out. So we gave in and got some subway passes. They might be crowded, dirty, full of homeless/odd people, but stay surrounded by friends, keep your belongings close, and you will be just fine!
What is your favorite way to travel?