Rapid transit rail service with double decker trains from Schwechat airport to the city air terminal (near the Hilton and the Wien Mitte station where you have the U3 and U4 underground lines). Costs 9 Euros single and 16 Euros return; journey takes 16 minutes and trains leave the airport twice an hour at .05 and .35.
The British influence on São Paulo has mostly been forgotten - and knocked down - but this is one magnificent reminder: the railway station, now serving a few suburban lines that bring commuters into the city. A British company ran the line that ran between São Paulo and Santos, carrying coffee to the coast; at the end of the 19th century, it was the most profitable railway track on the planet. This striking station could stand anywhere in Britain - or anywhere in the world, in fact, where the British built railways.
It's fast, frequent, well-run, and cheap (about 20 pence for any journey when we were there in August 2005). However, I'd advise travellers to learn the Russian alphabet (at least) as it can be difficult to find your way around the system otherwise. You can't always see the station name from inside the train, and the (Russian) announcements are sometimes not audible. So it's useful to be able to follow the map. You can buy postcards that show the map - handy to carry around if you don't want to bring your guide book. There's a wealth of info on the internet - just type "Moscow Metro" into Google.
The Day Tripper Fare ($15 - about £6) allows use of ferries, trains and buses. It's a great way to see Sydney from the water. Use it to nip round to Darling Harbour. Use it to scoot over and explore the various creeks and landing stages where the rich folk live. When you want a change, ferry back to Circular Quay and just jump on the next route! And when you need a coffee - just take the big Manley Ferry (it has a cafe/kiosk on board). Be sure to take a late afternoon ferry across to somewhere and come back to circular Quay when it is dark to see the buildings all lit up. The view by day and by night are excellent. AND the ticket is valid up until 4am the next morning after the day you buy it. A GREAT way to spend a day exploring!
If you're in Calvi or Ile Rousse on the west coast you can't miss the rickety old train running between the two towns.
You don't see trains like this very often anymore. Noisy as hell, sweltering hot in the summer but the views are stunning as you rattle along the coast with all doors and windows open.
It's basically a Beach Transporter. Helping you get out of the two towns to find lesser populated beaches along the coast.
8 euros for the return trip. Cheaper if you hop off at a beach. Pay at the station or on the train. Calvi to Ile Rousse takes about 45 minutes.
Few European capitals are better connected to their airport. When you walk through the doors of the arrivals area at Kastrup airport, walk straight for a hundred metres. Buy a ticket from the Danish state railways booth (DSB) and take the escalator down to the platform. Trains run regularly and it takes 14 minutes to get to Copenhagen central station.
If you find you’re on the platform where the signs read “Malmø”, don’t get on the train. You’ll head to Sweden if you do. Copenhagen central station is called København H.
Copenhagen Airport has a great website where you can check the status of your flight.
Avoid the main agents – Hertz, Avis etc – instead try Bravocarhire.com. It seems to be a British-based site which puts you in touch with local car hire companies. We were quoted €54 for two days' hire with Spanish firm Niza Cars, a free additional driver and only €4 more to have insurance excess at zero. The international companies were more than €110.
One thing to watch. They give you the car full and you have to bring it back empty. So you pay for the fuel up front.
When you arrive at the airport you have the option of taking a bus, water taxi or an "Alilaguna" boat to Venice. (Alilaguna is the name of the operator.) Especially if you have never been to Venice before, this is a magical way catch your first glimpse of it, unless you are happy and able to pay around £50 for a water taxi. The boat goes round the islands, finally stopping at the Arsenale and San Marco.
This is the best way to get your bearings in Venice, as it goes from one end of the Grand Canale to the other. Take the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Travel Guide, with annotated illustrations for every stage of your journey, you get a marvellous guided tour from the station at one end to San Marco and the Arsenale at the other. Approximately 30 minutes each way, and not too expensive.
Most places along the Grand Canal, including the point where you arrive from the mainland
There are many different tour operators offering coach journeys to visit one, more or all of the major geographical tourist attractions reached within a day's drive of Reykjavik - Gulfoss Falls, Geyser, the unpronounceable place where the European and American tectonic plates meet and so on.
Instead, hire a car from one of many agencies in the city, which will be promptly delivered to your hotel, and make your own tour instead. It's cheaper, and much more exciting, particularly if you head off early in the morning. Ten minutes from the city centre and it's hard to see any evidence of human life at all save the road, and you can appreciate the majesty of the landscape that much more.
Átak Car Rental
tel: 354 554 6040;
fax: 354 554 6081
Chapman's Peak Drive has only recently opened after being closed for a number of years for safety repairs. The drive takes you along the coast where you'll enjoy the most breathtaking scenery in Africa. The best way to approach it is from the South as it's much easier to stop at the viewing points. This drive should definitely be in your top ten list of things to do in Cape Town.
Munich is more or less flat and very well provided with safe cycle paths. So cycling around is at least pleasant if not really good fun and obviously one can cover more ground, taking advantage of the parks including the huge Englischergarten.
Bikes can be rented at a very efficient outfit at the rear of the main station. Passport or D/L identity is required. For occasional use there is an excellent communal bike sysytem run by Deutsche Bahn called Dial-A-Bike. A cellphone is needed. The bikes are conspicous and freely available all round the inner city. One calls the number on the bike, registers (quick and Endlish is spoken) gets a code number to open the bike lock and off you go.
When you reach your destinantion one simply rings again to say where it is and leave the bike locked up. Short-term use is cheap but keeping one for a week would be very expensive. For the adventurous, Sud Bayern has a massive network of cycle trails and one can return on the train with no problem.
For example cycling to Tegernsee would make a great day out; have lunch at the old brewery and catch the train back from the quaint station with its wooden pub.
If hiring a car, when parking it, even in public car parks, be prepared to pay both for parking and for someone to "mind" your car. Once parked, 9 times out of 10 you will be approached by someone who will offer to keep an eye on your car for a small fee. A couple of Rand is an acceptable payment.
There are a million and one bicycle rental stores. It costs next to nothing, and is easily the best way to see Amsterdam. A world-class, cycle-friendly system - it's an enjoyable way of seeing this unique city without having to spend your day in coffee shops or gawping at the ladies of the night.
Central train station and just about anywhere...
To get a great experience of NY, jump on the Staten Island Ferry. It gives you a great view of the downtown skyline, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty. Also, it's free, runs every few minutes, and real New Yorkers will be alongside you. Once you get to Staten Island, get right back on a return ferry and enjoy the fab experience again.
To get a similar view, you could take the Statue of Liberty Ferry, which is not cheap and usually has a long queue. Only take that if you want to tour the Statue of Liberty, which is usually full of kids and queues.
Battery Park, which is very downtown; the end of Manhattan. The park and ferry terminal are very well sign posted.
The card offers unlimited bus, art gallery and swimming pool access for one, two, or three days. I know this doesn't sound spectacular, but consider this:
1) Cabs are horrifically expensive and the bus system, although somewhat antiquated, really works. Therefore you'll have more money to spend on the most expensive pints in the world.
2) These are no ordinary swimming pools. Thermal pools, four levels of hot spa pools (make sure you experience them in order, otherwise you feel as if your having a stroke), Olympic standard pools for true swimmers, there's even a waterslide or two, all naturally heated. And no chlorine red eye.
3) The art galleries are a great place to chill out, and dry out after being caught in one of Reyk's many storms.
- Strætó City Buses
- Reykjavík City Thermal Pools (7)
- Reykjavík Art Museums: Kjarvalsstaðir, Ásmundarsafn, Hafnarhús
- National Gallery of Iceland
- Hafnarfjörður Maritime & Folk Museum
- The Family Park and Reykjavík Zoo
- Árbæjarsafn, The Reykjavík City Museum
- The Sigurjón Ólafsson Art Mueseum
- The Culture House
- National and University Library
- ASÍ Art Museum
- The Living Art Museum
- The Nordic House
Available at various places throughout the city - see website for details: visitreykjavik.is/displayer.asp?cat_id=293
Every 20 min there's a bus, which is run by Lufthansa and takes 25-35 min from Hauptbahnhof (main train station) in the centre to the two terminals at the airport and back. A round-ticket costs €15, one-way €9,50 apiece.
The S-Bahn is very convenient: the airport is served by two different lines, the S1 and the S8, which link the city with its hub every ten minutes. It takes 40 min approximately to Marienplatz or main train station and is pretty well-priced, especially when you aren't alone. Up to five adults and as much family members of one adult which under the age of 14 can use one "Partner-Tages-Karte" (a "partner" day ticket) but pay only €16 for the ticket. And the best is: you can use the ticket the rest of the whole day throughout the city.
Homepage of the Munich Metro Transport Authority (english)
The public transport system in Berlin is very reliable and thanks to the graphic-design of Erik Spiekermann, navigating your way around this city couldn’t be easier. Nevertheless, on our last trip we hired a couple of bikes for the day and cruised the streets from east to west.
We were shocked at how much distance we covered and how many new and interesting places we found. Travelling by bike is cheap and safe. On most streets the cycle lane is on the pavement so you won’t have to worry about cars or buses.
We hired our bikes from Alexanderplatz, under the TV tower (Fernsehturm). This is a good central location to start your journey, north, south, east or west. The bikes were very comfortable and well maintained.
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