Public Transit

You can learn a lot about a place from the public transit. You can tell what the city/state prioritizes, what areas have better funding, and how important tourism is vs how many locals rely on public transit.

Areas with a lot of tourism and an emphasis on that will have signs in multiple languages, or at least in the local language and English. There will be some sort of ‘tourist card’ or day/multi-day pass for sale. The main tourist lines will connect the primary sights and skip past the neighborhoods where people actually live; or they’ll start/end in those neighborhoods and serve tourists for only part of the route. The stops will be clearly announced, sometimes in multiple languages, and there will be signage. Measures will be in place to make the system legible to outsiders.

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Tourism at Easter Bunny Speed

I decided to spend Easter in Vienna, because a) I had never been to Austria, and b) it’s an inexpensive three-hour train ride from Budapest. Ah, Europe. I love that train travel is normal here. I’m still getting the hang of it, but it’s such a civilized form of transportation.

I booked a hotel, packed an overnight bag, and walked to the train station around 9am on Saturday. I spent the train ride listening to podcasts and making a checklist of all the things I might like to see in Vienna. By 1pm I had dropped my bag at the hotel, and set myself loose in Vienna to see how much of the checklist I could accomplish!

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