As long as you don't have loads of bags and it's not the middle of rush hour, it's perfectly easy to get the train/tram into (and from) town. Take the LRT train from the airport to Zeytinburnu, then change to the tram that will take you all the way to Sultanahmet and beyond. You can also change at Aksaray, but I recommend Zeytinburnu (even though it will take a bit longer) because it's an easier interchange (just over a bridge) and you're getting onto the tram at the start of its journey (so you're more likely to have space to get on), plus there's an Akbil kiosk if you want to buy one of those multiple-trip gadgets. Otherwise, the trip costs 2.20 YTL for two tokens.
This card is excellent value for money. You get a discount on hotel rooms plus access to any public transport, to most of the museums and even to some of the boat trips on offer. You don't have to worry about tickets, which makes your stay much more relaxed. The hotels on offer suit any of your needs – ranging from two to five stars.
Get yourself a three-day transport ticket from the stand in the airport – it only costs 220Kcs, and pays for the 119 bus to the metro, plus all metro and trams while you’re in town. You can’t buy a ticket on the bus and, if you are foolhardy enough to leave it, attempting to get a ticket once you reach the metro can be somewhat problematic. The ticket machines don’t take notes for the 20Kcs (single journey) ticket, and staff can be reluctant to deal with pesky tourists. Having been to Prague twice, and never been checked for a ticket once, I told my girlfriend we’d be ok to get tickets later… a decision which could have proved costly, as the trams/metros now seem extremely well populated with plain clothed, badge wielding, ticket inspectors. The only reason we escaped on the spot 500Kcs fines was that the inspectors at Muzeum Metro station were over occupied with collecting 4500Kcs from “Reservoir Stag” weekenders… nice personalised t-shirts lads although, in the circumstances, not brilliantly inconspicuous.
Tickets don’t become valid until registered (with a date and time) and the little machines at the entrance to metro stations and on trams.
This journey takes two and half days - 2600 miles - through Illinois, Missouri, crossing the Mississippi twice, wheatfields, missions and pueblos, mountains and deserts. On to Colorado - carving through canyon passages only a few feet wider than the train - then on to New Mexico and Arizona where the scenery is spectacular - and finally arriving at Union Station Los Angeles which is a spectacle in itself. It was a great journey, and we met lots of people from many different states. The train was very comfortable with airline type seats, it was very easy to sleep. The dining car was a great experience too. Will always have memories of Native Americans selling trinkets on the station at Albuquerque, New Mexico.
We booked through STA Travel and the train cost only £65 each. We got a lot of useful tips from a book: Railway Journeys in USA, available in Waterstones. Not worth checking baggage in as you have to wait for it at other end, most people took it on board. The train is very full during summer months but we had lots of space and the price is like the low cost airlines, cheaper when empty. Spent the rest of the holiday in sunny California playing golf and catching up with friends, then flew back to Manchester with BMI via Chicago.
I've lived here for four years as a foreigner and never even seen a robbery or any kind of unpleasantness on the metro. For 2 pesos (not 10) i.e. about 12 pence to get anywhere, often faster than by road, it's unbeatable: safe and clean, (even if a bit old and ropey). Also one of the best places to watch and learn about life here.
Here's a useful tip for those hoping to cut transport costs: avoid Mexico City's metro like the plague - unless you hide your money etc somewhere in your shoes. It's just not worth it. The metro is often overcrowded and overrun by well-organised gangs of
pickpockets, especially places like San Lázaro early in the morning. I was jostled violently and robbed last July, and so was my brother-in-law (a Mexican) a couple of days later - in exactly the same place (he
didn't know of my experience). We should have known better. Never again.
Mexico has just had three new low cost airlines start up their operations. Azteca Airlines, Volaris, and Interjet all offer low cost flight from Mexico City to other parts of Mexico, including the second city, Guadalajara. So take advantage, and explore more of Mexico when you come.
The Roissybus is an express bus service running between Terminals 1, 2 and 3 of Charles de Gaulle airport and the centre of Paris (corner of Rue Auber and Rue Scribe in the Opera area). At around 45 minutes, the journey is longer than the train service that's also available, but if you're staying in the Opera area it’s worth it for the convenience.
A very inexpensive way to get around the city. Marta operates trains and buses and has a flat fare of $1.75 one way. However visitors can purchase a MARTA pass for $10. This pass entitles the bearer to unlimited access on the MARTA system.
The Marta system is safe, clean, and cheap moreover they have their own transit police. As a rule no consuming of drink or food is allowed on Marta they have zero tolerance of anti-social behavior.
For general travel downtown it is best advised to travel by rail, Atlanta operates a park and ride system, stations have more than enough adequate parking spaces and these are free provided you ride the Marta.
This smart card allows you to travel on all the transport system in Hong Kong without the need to worry about carrying the correct amount of small change. It works on the swipe card principle. Available from all metro stations and 7/11 shops.
The initial deposit is 50 HK dollars, minimum credit when purchased is 100HKD. Top up as required.
Some people are a little nervous of the subway, thanks to the terrible reputation it previously had for crime and vandalism. Thankfully, times have changed, and the subway is not only a cheap and efficient way to get around the city, it's a great way to experience the 'real' New York.
The open top bus tours are the best way of getting around Barcelona. There are three interlinked routes, the main two of which set off from the Placa de Catalunya. They take you to all the major attractions like Casa Battllo, La Pedrera, Sagrada Famillia, Park Guell (the main Gaudi buildings), the palaces, the Camp Nou, the Olympic park etc. And it's dead cheap. If the weather's good, use these buses if you can because it'll be too hot on the metro.
Several ticket offices on La Rambla
f arriving by train and going to any city centre hotel I recommend either taxi or tram. The taxi rank and tram station are right next to the station.
Broadmarsh bus station is about 300metres from the rail station, from here you can get long distance coaches. All other buses use the areas around the city centre for stopping. If you use the bus network make sure you have the correct change as NO change is given at all. Be aware when walking/waiting around bus/tram stops as pickpockets are rife, and these areas are extremely crowded.
Nottingham’s public transport is fully integrated and if you are using more than one mode or making various journeys ask for a "Kangaroo ticket" on any bus, tram or suburban train. Its about £4 per day but enables unlimited travel all day within greater Nottingham on all forms of public transport. Well worth it when you consider that it costs £1.20 for a single on the tram, no matter where you get off.
Istanbulites are more than eager to help visitors who appear to be in distress, even without being asked. We found that they were so eager in fact, that they would give us any information, even misleading us, rather than not help.
That's why we were suggested 5 different bus lines to get to the same place by people who actually took the trouble to get off their own bus to show us where they thought we needed to go. It is best to double check before you follow someone's very friendly advice.
The main central areas of Istanbul can quite easily be explored on foot. For longer distances there are taxis, as well as tram and metro systems.
An absolute essential whilst in Istanbul is to take a local ferry across the Bosphorus, for example to Uskudar on the Asian side of the city. The crossing will give magnificent views of many of the historical buildings whilst emphasising the city’s extraordinary setting, which sprawls over several hills. Regular ferries leave Eminonu on the Golden Horn for the Asian side. Tokens are best purchased from the official kiosks and not from touts who will happily overcharge or short-change the unsuspecting tourist before vanishing into the crowds.
To reach other parts of Turkey there are regular train services and a very good bus network offering cheap and frequent departures countrywide. Istanbul’s main otogar (bus station) is situated on the north-western outskirts of the city at Esenler and easily reached by local train.
Feeling nostalgic for London Routemasters? Ever imagined yourself in the cockpit of a Douglas DC3 Dakota or behind the controls of an Istanbul tram? Then a visit to this fascinating transport and industrial museum should be ideal. The museum is a massive personal collection of transportation assembled by the eponymous Turkish industrialist who founded the museum. You can also see speedboats, steam engines, a Formula 1 car, the Sultan's personal railway carriage, and most unexpectedly a Turkish submarine.
Rahmi M Koç Museum, Hasköy Cad. No: 27; Hasköy 80320 - Istanbul
Tel: 212 369 66;
Buses 47, 54HM and 54HT; www.rmk-museum.org.tr
Remember that if you are over 65 and a citizen of an EU country, you travel free on all Budapest public transport, as long as you have proof of age.
As a foreigner you will be targetted by ticket inspectors, and will not be let off by them, as locals often are.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org