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Modes of Transportation Abroad: How to Get from Here to There

by Brooke Thacker
Tram in Vienna Austria | Public Transportation in Europe | AIFS Study Abroad

One of the best parts about studying abroad is the opportunity to travel to amazing places quickly and easily. What’s extra great about studying in Salzburg is that it is really centrally located, making getting to the rest of Europe super easily! The options for transportation abroad are so varied and cheap that in just one day, I took two buses, a train, and a boat for only 40 Euro! I traveled to some really awesome places during my semester in Salzburg and have learned a few good tips and apps to make your life abroad a little bit easier.

Here are 3 methods of transportation you should use abroad to help make your experience seamless:

1. Walking

By far, the mode of transportation I used most in any city abroad I was visiting was walking. It was really important to me that all the shoes I packed for my semester overseas would get me around all day without having my feet kill me. I brought things like tennis shoes, solid sandals, and comfortable, heeled pair of booties. These alone were more than enough to take care of any level of formality and keep me on my toes.

Bonus tech tip: Google Maps is the most reliable app I found to get around on foot. It usually includes all buses, subway, bike, and scooter options, too!

2. Public Transportation

In Salzburg (and any other European city I visited), public transport was always really easy to use. It was also a big money saver compared to taking taxis. I’ve always found it to be clean, safe, and reliable. Normally, I would buy a day or weekend pass, depending on how long I’ll be in the city. I doubt I ever spent more than 15 Euro to get one.

In Salzburg, the bus system is something I have learned to love! AIFS gave us monthly bus passes the entire time we were there. The system is ridiculously simple to figure out and by two weeks in I was a total pro!

Bonus tech tip: Many cities also have apps for public transport! For example, Qando Salzburg tells you stop-by-stop information, route planning, and maps of nearby stops.

For getting to surrounding cities and countries from Salzburg, I used buses and trains. Both are great options for different reasons, and I used both — sometimes on the same trip! Buses are usually cheaper (sometimes way cheaper) in my experience. They can be more eco-friendly and are plenty comfortable, sometimes with outlets and WiFi onboard. Trains can be more reliable, have more options, and generally you have better food and drink options at train stations than bus stops. I recommend both, depending on what you need and want, and what’ll get you where you want to go!

Bonus tech tip: Flixbus was my go-to bus service and you can purchase and show tickets right in the app! ÖBB (the Austrian federal rail system) also has a fabulous app where you can do everything!

3. Flying

While I never flew while studying abroad, many people in my program did. There are budget airlines galore in Europe, with Ryanair and easyJet being the most popular. You can take the city bus right to the Salzburg airport or take a train/bus to Munich or Vienna, two large nearby airports! When I was looking to fly, I found so many options.

Bonus tech tip: Omio is my absolute top recommendation that displays bus, train, and flight options too! If you’re even thinking about studying abroad, just take a look at what Omio offers and you’ll be convinced by how simple it is to get around and see the beauty of Europe!

Tram in Vienna Austria | Public Transportation in Europe | AIFS Study Abroad
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