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bus, trains or taxi

Travel Forums Europe bus, trains or taxi

1. Posted by ashin (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

what is the best and cheapest way to get around in london, paris and madrid?

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

public transport.

London: underground, light rail, bus.
Paris: Metro
Madrid: haven't been to Madrid yet, but the system should be similar to Paris and London

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


(deleted reply because it ended up in the wrong thread)

[ Edit: Edited on 05-Oct-2009, at 07:39 by t_maia ]

4. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

The best way for sure, is walking.... 100% free. A lot depends on how much time you've got. 2nd best is a pushbike that you hire or borrow. Then a daily 'all' transport (train and bus) ticket bought either daily or three daily.

5. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

For London you could also try the river taxi. An all-day ticket is about £10 and covers a big area. Good place to sit down for lunch too and watch it all roll by. Which reminds me - a small daybag with plenty of water and food will save you a fortune.

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

2nd best is a pushbike that you hire or borrow.

Paris has this amazing system of bikes for rent. It is called Velib.

London isn't very bicycle friendly compared to other European cities, but from what I heard it has gotten significantly better in the last ten years or so.

7. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

For all three cities, if you're staying somewhere central, you could walk from place to place and it'll be free. ;)


The underground is the handiest way to travel around London, and if you are uncertain of the number of trips you'll take etc but don't want to pay too much for cash fares, get an Oyster card (£3) and load the card with some electronic money. With each use, the credit will be deducted appropriately, and don't worry about overpaying at the system automatically cap the maximum amount that you can be charged per day - i.e. the price that you would pay if you buy a 1-day travelcard - and give a small discount too (50p).

There currently isn't any free bike scheme although the mayor of London is keen to have that system set up in the next year.


Metro/RER is the most convenient way to travel, as you won't be stuck in traffic like bus would. The ticket for the metro/bus/tram/RER (in zone 1) is the same and normally costs €1.60 each. If you think you won't use any of the public transport more than 5 times per day, I would suggest buying a carnet of 10 t+ tickets (€11.60) which would be good for 10 trips. If you would, then get a 1-day Mobilis for zone 1-2 (€5.90). The t+ tickets allows you to transfer between bus/tram or metro/RER but not bus/metro etc and the single trip should be completed within 90 minutes. (Note: the carnet of 10 tickets give 10 individual tickets so you can share it with someone quite easily)

If you're considering getting weekly/monthly ticket, unless you're using them from Monday to Sunday or 1st to last day of the month, don't buy them! They won't work, say, midweek to midweek for a week. And you will need to get a Navigo to load the passes on, so it could be more headache than you've bargained for.

Velib' : it's a sort of free bike scheme, if you play to the rule and dare to brave the Parisian traffic. You will need credit card with pin and code for this to work. There's a subscription cost to it (e.g. 1 day - €1, 1 week - €5) and each time you take a bike out, make sure you check it back in to a stand within 30 minutes in order to use it for free. If you go over the 30 minutes cut-off time, there's incremental charges applicable to your credit card. If the bike is lost, there's a hefty find of €150.


Metro is again the most convenient way to travel and similar to Paris, this is the same ticket that's also valid on bus. A single ticket is €1, a ten trip ticket is €7.40. There are tourist passes depending on the number of days too: 1 (€5.20), 2 (€8.80), 3 (€11.60), 5 (€17.60), or 7 (€23.60) days.

I don't recall any free bike scheme when I was in Madrid last year, and there weren't too many people out cycling either.