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For local transport, the bus is the staple in most cities, towns and suburbs. Heavily subsidized by their governments, you will be shocked at how clean the buses are, that they run on schedule, where the extensive routes go and how roomy they are (the exception; big city buses at rush hour).

Most large cities have metro (subway) systems and sometimes street trams of some sort. Each of these has a different system of ticketing that will take some getting used to. Watch how the locals do it and hopefully you can figure it out. When in doubt, just ask. If you go to Moscow, you should certainly take a Metro ride; the stations have magnificent architecture. The Stockholm T-bana runs largely above ground and is a nice way to see parts of that charming city.

Many cities have one-, two- or three-day tourist passes that allow you to travel on all local transport for a fixed price. They are generally an excellent value. Ask at the tourist office where to buy passes and bus tickets.

Taxis are a popular way of getting around cities for tourists, although I must admit I have rarely use them. They can be expensive but tourists are usually treated fairly in the north. In the south especially you have to be aware of rip-offs. In the east you should agree on a fare before you are underway. Lots of countries have unofficial taxis but you should inquire as to their benefit before getting in one.

Keep in mind scale as well. Most European cities are compact and if you are from the New World or Down Under you might not realize that objects on the map are much closer than they actually appear. Walking is always the best way to get around, and it may be easier than it looks.

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