Only take a taxi if you're really desperate. If they get the slightest hint that you're a tourist, they'll take you the very long way round. From the airport take the fast, regular and cheap train and in the centre take the tram, metro or bus.
If you are curious about just how far below sea level the Netherlands is, and have heard rumours about the airport being one of the lowest points, you might take a moment to stop by the Waterloo metro station.
On the wall is a depiction of various points relative to sea level, and as you ascend the stairs you can see tubes containing water for a more visual demonstration of just how far below the sea you are.
Waterlooplein metro station
So Kyoto is all about historical Japan right? Wrong!
Most visitors to Kyoto arrive at the futuristic train station opened in 1997, and it’s virtually a sightseeing stop in its own right. Its myriad of floors contain department stores, food halls, underground shopping, and a great observation deck at the top, perfect for getting the bearings of the city.
Served by all trains of Japan Railways, including shinkansen, Kintetsu Railways and the subway.
This is an all purpose travel card and smart card. You can buy it for HK$150 which is $100 credit and $50 deposit. It can be used on the MTR, KCR, buses, ferries and the peak tram, so there’s no more queuing to buy tickets or trying to find the right change. It can also be used to buy items at the kiosks in the MTR and is accepted at places such as Starbucks and McDonald’s. Top-up terminals are located at all MTR stations.
Any KCR or MTR station
When getting to and from Rio International Airport, you may find it beneficial to get the RealBus. It costs R$5 and will drop you off at your hotel if you tell the driver where you need to go. It’s not very quick but is a good way of meeting other travellers, is air-conditioned and cheap.
Veteran BBC correspondent Mark Tully may have written that “there are no full stops in India” but as punctuation goes, an exclamation mark can come in rather handy now and then. Especially with Delhi’s cocksure autorickshaw wallahs.
Rather than tentatively asking for your destination ("Connaught…? Janpath Market?") a bit of assertiveness ("Red Fort!! Fifty Rupees!!") works wonders for getting to the right place at the right price.
By the way - the tuk tuks and taxis use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) so if they need to fill up you have to get out of the vehicle
Every corner of every street
By all means, take the boat trip out into the Golden Gate and under the bridge, but the best way to experience the bridge is on a bike. There are lots of bike hire shops down by Fisherman's Wharf - shop around, because some are cheaper than those nearest the waterfront. Some also offer a “Bike and Alcatraz" package, which may appeal if you can't get your hands on an Alcatraz ticket (they book up around a week in advance during summer). Maps, directions and ferry times provided by the bike shops.
The bike trail is almost entirely off the road and is a great way to see the Marina district and the waterfront. The bike lane on the bridge is separate from the traffic too, and the views of the bridge towers and the city are superb.
Coast down into Sausalito for lunch (a bit pricey - take a snack with you), then take the ferry back across to San Francisco. More superb city views, especially Coit Tower.
All of these methods of transport were reasonably priced and offered good service.
It also means you can avoid taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, who are more interested in taking you where they want to go rather than where you want to go.
You can get unlimited travel on the vaporetti with a 24-hour pass (10.5 euros) or 72-hour pass (22euros). Considering a single trip on the Grand Canal costs five euros, it’s pretty good value. We got a 24-hour pass on our last day there and it was the best 10 euros we spent.
Any vaporetto ticket station
When taking a taxi make sure the driver uses the meter and, if they decline to do so, simply wait until you get a cab that does. One taxi driver wanted to charge us four times the metered fare to take us from the Royal Palace to the Silom area.
When you arrive at the airport you are greeted with numerous "helpful" locals who are keen to recommend the pre-booked "taxi" service for 700 baht. We took a metered taxi (make sure the meter is working and on) for 400 baht to Bangkok at 2am and paid just 200 baht for the return.
Fast, friendly and affordable service from Spain to Tangiers (or 'Tanger'). The day-trips are inevitably formulaic, with set routes round the old city of Tangiers, but led by well-informed and interesting guides. Even if this is a digression from your travel in Spain, try to fit in the FRS package of one night's stay in Tangiers, which is amazingly cheap and lets you make your own way around the old city and find true bargains in the markets and shops.
Buy a Guia Lumi (city plan with all the bus routes listed in the back) and travel by bus - a great way to see the city and almost guaranteed to be more useful than the spidery metro (especially to go to places like La Boca). Watch out for taxis, and follow the tips on the foreign office website, especially for travel from the airport.
All over BA
Many of the taxi drivers at the airport are on comission from the hostels in Hanoi. They may agree to drive you to the city centre and then tell you your hostel has closed down once you get there. Don't listen to them and insist that they take you to the correct hostel. If they don't, just pay them and get out of the taxi, walk to the nearest bar, and figure out how to walk to your hostel.
It may be worth emailing your hostel and arranging an airport pick-up in advance, most of the larger hotels and many hostels provide this service.
The artwork in Moscow’s metro stations is stunning, and each one has a different theme. The Kievskaya station is especially interesting, as it depicts Ukrainian agriculture and pride. In light of last year's Orange Revolution and Ukraine's desire to join the EU, the station's murals and mosaics are particularly poignant.
You can explore the station and then head up the street to Yolki Polki, one of a chain of restaurants serving decent Russian food at cheap prices (not an easy thing to find in Moscow). Their generous portion of borsht is delicious.
Kievskaya metro station
There are thousands and thousands of taxis in Buenos Aires. They are very, very cheap, reliable and safe. During our three week stay we occasionally took the metro and the bus (el collectivo), both of which were cheap and efficient but the taxis were in a class of their own. Not once were we taken out of our way and the drivers (always happy to chat) invariably used their meters.
It was completely unnecessary to negotiate a price in advance, and quite the opposite of what we'd been led to believe. We were told never to hail them off the street, but we always did. I have never felt safer than I did in Buenos Aires.
Quieter than tuk-tuks, more breezy than using the buses, cheap as chips, better sights and smells and much more in tune with what the locals do.
There are stops all the way up and down the river, they come about every five or six minutes most days
Don't let fear of getting ripped off stop you taking a taxi. Just be prepared to insist they use the meter, rather than giving you a flat-rate quote. Some drivers may refuse, if so, just try another. At least you get air-con when the traffic's bad.
Incidentally, the taxi drivers with Buddhist texts written on their cabs’ ceilings, seem to be more amiable - just an observation.
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