Sunday, July 1, 2018

European Transportation 101

This blog post is apart of a series about my European adventure to Paris, Italy and Portugal to celebrate my best friend Liz getting married. I learned so much by planning this trip by myself, with tips from Liz and a shared spreadsheet with my other bestie Steph, I couldn’t let the opportunity by to share what I learned with you!

When I hopped over the pond, I was not fully prepared for the transportation situation. I thought "oh, I'll figure it out when I get there." Yeah that is not in my nature and I'm not sure why I did that. Don't do that! After a red eye flight from Denver to Paris, having to figure out the Paris metro was not fun. BUT I conqured all the transportation and ended up LOVING it! It was so easy once I got the hang of it, and sleep!
Plane - I LOVED Air Portugal they gave you a FULL dinner and a snack on our 7 hour flight from Lisbon to Boston. Norwegian had a lovely new plane, but you had to pay extra for everything. My thoughts are make sure you do your research and do what is best for you and your budget!
Paris Metro

Milan Metro

Lisbon Metro

The Metro - At first intimidating, especially in Paris, but once a map is in front of you and you know where you need to go, it is just like following a maze. First tip is to download maps to your phone and add the stops nearest to your destinations onto your itinerary. This will make it much easier to navigate your way on no sleep, hangry-ness and dehydration.
Walking - On our entire 10 day trip, we ended up walking a total of 50 miles. Each city is incredibly walkable. Or at least walkable and then hop on a metro and off again and walk some more! Plus there is so much to see walking is the best way to see it all.
Rentable Bikes - All around each city there were bikes for you to rent. Download the app and you can find a location of a bike, rent it and drop it wherever you please. If you are looking to get to a place a bit quicker, or cover more miles, this is a great alternative to walking.

Taxi - The My Taxi App is great to use in the larger cities. I saw them available in Paris, Rome and Milan. Otherwise, there are designated Taxi spots around the bus terminals and airports. But I found that the Metro especially in Milan and Lisbon were super easy to use to get to and from the airport. Taxis was a last resort for us.

Bus - Defiantly the hardest mode of transportation for me to master. Since the busses didn't have a map like the metro, my travel brain could NOT figure it out. Thankfully, Steph helped me use the bus to get from our Air B&B to the bus terminal in Florence. Florence did not have a metro. Once she explained it and I did it, I felt like I could work on it....possibly. LOL
I really wish that it was this easy to get around in America. We have a train with a stop about a mile away from our house, but it is just so much easier to hop in the car or call a Lyft. If it was closer would I use it? If work was closer I'd love to bike to it for sure. Maybe not in the winter though!

What do you think about public transportation? Share with me your thoughts and tips in the comments below!


princessdeia said...

Citymapper is a free amazing app. You can get bus timetables, directions for metros, trams and buses. I use it all the time in London and it works in other major cities like Paris

Megan Elvrum said...

Oh that's great! Thank you for the recommendation! My brain would have appreciated that! LOL I tried using Google Maps for the bus and just couldn't get it! xx

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