Public Transit

In Europe you may find that public transportation will be your most valuable asset for travel. Europe relies on public transportation for mobility more than we do in the US. You’ll especially want to use public transportation while staying in major cities so you’ll not have need for a rental car.  Larger metropolitan cities, like London, Paris and Berlin, have major commuter traffic in morning and late afternoon hours like in the USA, so avoid using a car ,especially at these times. Remember, European cities are old and have morphed into a pattern of small streets long before the creation of the automobile. Driving in these cities can be confusing, congested and dangerous when you do not know the layout. Finding a place to park can be difficult and costly so don’t turn your trip into frustration when you can move about easily on their transit systems.

The public transportation systems are excellent and you’ll find them highly efficient, easy to use and will take you almost anywhere within a large radius of their cities. You will even find good transit services when traveling outside the city to main attractions. Even in what maybe consider smaller cities, you will find light rail, bus and boat transportation available. 

 Types of Public Transportation…


Suburban Trains
These trains operate out of many of the same main stations that the inter-city trains use. They make stops at many neighborhood stations throughout the cities and suburbs. Some may go out as far as 100 km to towns where a there is heavy demand. Transit passes will be valid on these longer routes but, you must upgrade to a pass that covers the zones furthest away from the city.


Light Rail / Trams / Trolleys
The vehicles run on their own tracks, usually in the middle of a street and do not share them with regular trains. Sometimes they can also be called light rail systems. They are a great way to get around a city and see it’s neighborhoods. Many cities use trams for their city transportation and these are always covered by transit passes.


Ferries / Boats
Some European cities are located on rivers or other bodies of water that transportation over water will be your best choice. Some cities have canals that make traveling them an adventure. There are many choices for traveling by ferry for trips from one country to another. Go to our Boats & Ferries page for more information.


Many European cities offer bicycles rentals for you to pick up at one location and drop off at another. A bike can take you places a car cannot. Please go to our » Bicycling Page for more detailed information.


Metro / UBahn / Underground / Subway
Subways in Europe these are more commonly called Metro’s. They typically travel underground and are usually only used in the largest cities. While they are highly efficient there is no scenery to see as a visitor. However, several can emerge from underground and run for a distance on an elevated track.


City Buses / Trolley Buses
If a train, metro or tram doesn’t get you close enough to your destination, a bus will. Most cities trains and trams are quite extensive but, do not provide coverage bus lines do. Buses routes run regularly and most stops have electronic signs indicating when the next bus and numbered route will arrive. Many cities have special buses for night routes only.

🛴 🛵

Small vehicles like motorized or electric e-scooters can zip you around a city quickly. Many cities have e-scooters where you can rent them at one location and drop them just about anywhere. Some cities may have restrictions on returns. Be courteous and do not leave them in the middle of a sidewalk or any other location where people can easily fall over them and injure themselves.


Aerial Tram / Cable Cars
In some areas the elevation can present challenges for walking or regular vehicles. In mountainous or hilly areas the best way to get up or down may be to use funiculars or cable systems. Transportation on these may be valid on some transit passes but.

While all cities below have major train stations with services to other European cities, the rail category designates suburban and light rail lines with service within the metro area only. Subway lines in some cities become elevated rail lines in certain areas.

City Transit . . .

Forms of transportation available in major tourism cities and links to information, tickets and services.

The Paris Metro

Forms of transportation available in major tourism cities and links to information, tickets and services.

🇳🇱 AMsterdam, Netherlands

Suburban Train: NS
Light Rail / Tram: GVB
Metro / Subway: GVB
City Bus: GVB
Ferry / Boat: GVB
Bicycles: OV-fiets
Transit Cards / Passes:GVB travel cards, OV-chipkaart, I amsterdam City Card, Amsterdam Travel Ticket

🇬🇷 Athens, Greece

Suburban Train: OSE
Light Rail / Tram: Stasy Rail (tramway)
Metro / Subway: OASA
City Bus: OASA
Transit Cards / Passes: Stasy

🇪🇸 Barcelona, Spain

Suburban Train: Renfe (Rodalies)
Light Rail / Tram: TMB , FGC
Metro / Subway: TMB
City Bus: TMB
Bicycle: bicing
Funicular: TMB (Montjuïc), Gelida, Vallvidrera
Aerial Cable: TMB (Montjuïc)
Transit Cards / Passes: BCN Card

🇩🇪 Berlin, Germany

Suburban Train: S-Bahn
Light Rail / Tram: BVG
Metro / Subway: BVG (U-Bahn)
City Bus: BVG
Ferry / Boat: BVG
Bicycle: Likebike, Nextbike, Call a Bike
Aerial Cable: IGS Gondola Car
Transit Cards / Passes: Berlin Welcome Card, Berlin City Tour Card

🇧🇪 Brussels, Belgium

Suburban Train: NMBS/SNCB S Train
Light Rail / Tram: STIB-MIVB
Metro / Subway: STIB-MIVB
Transit Cards / Passes:Brussels Card

🇭🇺 Budapest, Hungary

Suburban Train: BKK (HÉV), MÁV-HÉV
Light Rail / Tram: BKK
Metro / Subway: BKK
City Bus: BKK
Ferry / Boat: BKK
Bicycle: MOL Bubi
Funicular: Buda Castle funicular
Aerial Cable: Zugliget Chairlift
Transit Cards / Passes: Budapest Card, Tickets

🇩🇰 CopenHagen, Denmark

Suburban Train: S-Tog DSB, Rejseplanen
Metro / Subway: DOT, Rejseplanen
City Bus: DOT
Ferry / Boat: Stomma
Bicycle: bycyklen
Transit Cards / Passes: CopenhagenCard , DOT City Pass

🇮🇪 Dublin, Ireland

Suburban Train: Irish Rail DART
Light Rail / Tram: LUAS
City Bus: Dublin Bus
Bicycle: dublinbikes
Transit Cards / Passes: LeapCard

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Edinburgh, Scotland UK

Suburban Train: TfE, National Rail
Light Rail / Tram: Edinburgh Trams
City Bus: Lothian:
Bicycle: Just Eat Cycles
Transit Cards / Passes: PlusBus

🇮🇹 Florence, Italy

Suburban Train: Trenitalia
Light Rail / Tram: ATAF
City Bus: ATAF
Bicycle: Mobike
Transit Cards / Passes: Firenzecard

🇩🇪 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Suburban Train: DB S-Bahn
Light Rail / Tram: RMV
Metro / Subway: RMV (U-Bahn)
City Bus: RMV
Bicycle: Nextbike, Call a Bike
Transit Cards / Passes: Frankfurt Card, Rhine Main Card

🇫🇮 Helsinki, Finland

Suburban Train: HSL (HRT), VR
Light Rail / Tram: HSL
Metro / Subway: HSL
City Bus: HSL
Ferry / Boat: HSL
Bicycle: City Bikes
Transit Cards / Passes: HSL Travel Card, Helsinki Card

🇹🇷 Istanbul, Turkey

Suburban Train: İETT, TCDD
Light Rail / Tram: İETT
Metro / Subway: Metro Istanbul
City Bus: İETT
Ferry / Boat: ido
Bicycle: Isbik
Funicular: Tünel funicular
Transit Cards / Passes: Istanbulkart

🇵🇱 Kraków, Poland

Suburban Train: PKP, Polregio, Koleje Małopolskie
Light Rail / Tram: MPK SA
City Bus: MPK SA
Bicycle: bikeu
Transit Cards / Passes: Kraków Tourists Card

🇺🇦 Kyiv, Ukraine

Suburban Train: YKP, Kyiv Urban Electric Train
Light Rail / Tram: Kyivpastrans
Metro / Subway: Kyiv Metro
City Bus: Kyivpastrans
Trolleybus: Kyivpastrans
Marshrutka: shared taxis vans
Bicycle: Nextbike
Funicular: Kyiv Funicular (Volodymyrska Hill)
Transit Cards / Passes: Kyiv Smart Card

🇵🇹 Lisbon, POrtugal

Suburban Train: CP, Fertagus
Light Rail / Tram: Carris
Metro / Subway: MetroLisboa
City Bus: Carris
Ferry / Boat: TTSL
Bicycle: Gira Bicileats de Lisboa
Funicular: Carris (Glória Funicular, Bica Funicular, Lavra Funicular, Santa Justa Lift)
Transit Cards / Passes:Via Viagem Card

🇬🇧 London, England UK

Suburban Train: National Rail (C2C,Chiltern, GWR, Thameslink, Abelio, Southern, South Wester, Southeastern) , TfL (London Overground, TfL Rail)
Light Rail / Tram: TfL (DLR, Tramlink)
Metro / Subway: TfL(London Underground)
City Bus: TfL
Boat: Thames River Services
Bicycles: Santander Cycles
Aerial Cable: Emirates Air-Line
Transit Cards / Passes: Oyster Car

🇪🇸 Madrid, Spain

Suburban Train: Renfe (Cercanías)
Light Rail / Tram: MLM
Metro / Subway: Metro Madrid
City Bus: EMT Madrid
Suburban Bus Operators
Bicycles: BiciMAD
Aerial Cable: Teleférico de Madrid
Transit Cards / Passes: Madrid Tourist Pass

🇮🇹 Milan, Italy

Suburban Train: S-Lines (Trenord)
Light Rail / Tram: ATM
Metro / Subway: ATM
City Bus: ATM
Bicycle: BikeMi
Transit Cards / Passes: ATM Card

🇷🇺 Moscow, Russia

Suburban Train: MCC AeroExpress
Light Rail / Tram: Moscow Transport
Metro / Subway: MM
City Bus: Moscow Transport
Bicycle: Velobike Moscow
Transit Cards / Passes:Metro Smart Card, Troika Smart Card

🇩🇪 Munich, Germany

Suburban Train: DB S-Bahn
Light Rail / Tram: MVV
U-Bahn / Subway: MVV
City Bus: MVV
Bicycle: Nextbike, Call a Bike
Transit Cards / Passes: City Tour Card

🇫🇷 Nice, France

Suburban Train: SNCF, CP zou
Light Rail / Tram: Lignes d’Azur
City Bus: Lignes d’Azur
Bicycle: vélo bleu
Transit Cards / Passes: Pass SudAzur

🇳🇴 Oslo, Norway

Suburban Train: VY-Line trains
Light Rail / Tram: Ruter
Metro / Subway: Ruter
City Bus: Ruter
Ferry / Boat: NYC
Bicycle: Oslo City Bike
Transit Cards / Passes: Ruter Card, Oslo Pass

🇫🇷 paris, France

Suburban Train: SNCF, RATP (RER)
Light Rail / Tram: RATP
Metro / Subway: RATP
City Bus: RATP
Ferry / Boat: Batobus
Funicular: RATP (Montmartre Funicular)
Transit Cards / Passes: Visite Pass

🇵🇹 Porto, Portugal

Suburban Train:
Light Rail / Tram: STCP
Metro / Subway: Metro do Porto
City Bus: STCP
Funicular: Guindais funicular
Transit Cards / Passes: Porto Card, Andante Card

🇨🇿 Prague, Czechia

Suburban Train: CD České dráhy (Esko Prague)
Light Rail / Tram: DPP
Metro / Subway: DPP
City Bus: PID
Ferry / Boat: PID
Bicycle: Rekola, NextBike
Funicular: Petřín funicular
Transit Cards / Passes: OpenCard

🇮🇹 Rome, Italy

Suburban Train: Trenitalia (R trains)
Light Rail / Tram: ATAC Roma
Metro / Subway: ATAC Roma
City Bus: ATAC Roma
Transit Cards / Passes: Roma Pass, Omnia Pass

🇷🇺 St. Petersburg, Russia

Suburban Train: RZD Russian Railways
Light Rail / Tram: Electrotrans
Metro / Subway: Metro SPB
City Bus / Trolleybus: Electrotrans
Marshrutka: shared taxi vans
Ferry / Boat: Aquabus
Transit Cards / Passes: Podorozhnik Card

🇸🇪 Stockholm, Sweden

Suburban Train: SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik)
Light Rail / Tram: SL
Metro / Subway: SL
City Bus: SL
Ferry / Boat: SL, Stromma
Bicycle: Stockholm City Bikes
Transit Cards / Passes: SL Access Card

🇮🇹 Venice, Italy

Ferry / Boat: ACTV, Alilaguna
Transit Cards / Passes: ACTV Tickets, Venezia Unica City Pass

🇦🇹 Vienna, Austria

Suburban Train: OBB (S-Bahn, R, REX)
Light Rail / Tram: Wiener Linien
Metro / Subway: Wiener Linien
City Bus: Wiener Linien
Ferry / Boat: Twin City Liner
Bicycle: City Bike Wien
Transit Cards / Passes: Wiener Travel Cards, Wien City Card

🇵🇱 Warsaw, Poland

Suburban Train: WKD, SKM, Koleje Mazowieckie
Light Rail / Tram: WTP
Metro / Subway: WTP
City Bus: WTP
Bicycle: Veturilo
Transit Cards / Passes: Warsaw City Card

🇨🇭 Zürich, Switzerland

Suburban Train: ZVV S-Bahn
Light Rail / Tram: VBZ
City Bus: VBZ
Ferry / Boat: ZSG
Bicycle: aoz
Funicular: Polybahn, Seilbahn Rigiblick
Transit Cards / Passes: ZVV Zürich Card, Swiss Travel Pass

Some cities have separate transit authorities or companies that operate the rail and bus services. 

You will find more information about European transit services at;

City Transit & Visitor Passes…

Transit passes are available for purchase in several different forms. These can be purchased online or at airports and stations when you arrive into a city. Other than a permanent travel pass you will need to validate your pass prior to its first use. When inserting your pass into a validation machine it will stamp the date and time. Once you do that you will have 24 hours to use up your first day. So if you validate it at 8:00pm a day use will expire at 8:00pm the next day not at 12:00 midnight.

  • Single Trip Pass – This allows you to use a from of transit once, usually good for two hours and transfers.
  • Multiple Trip Pass – can be purchased for multiple trips on any transit vehicle. Each time you use the card you will need to have it stamped and validated and may be good for up to two hours.
  • Hourly Pass – These may be purchased for unlimited travel for 1, 3 or more hours.
  • Day Pass – typically good for unlimited travel on any transit vehicles for an entire 24 hours from the initial validation.
  • Multiple Day Pass – 2, 3 or 5 day passes are good for unlimited travel on any transit vehicle for each 24 hour day starting from the validation time. Weekly, monthly & yearly passes are available but, are only practical for local residents.
  • Permanent Pass – These will only be of a value if you frequently visit a city. They are permanent cards you load money onto and swipe as you enter a station or vehicle money is withdrawn off the card for the cost of the trip. You can scan these cards at kiosks, read your balance and deposit more money onto them with a credit card or debit card.
London’s Oyster like a charm
Combination Travel and Visitor Passes…

Some cities have visitor and tourists passes that provide a combination of free or discounted services with your transportation pass, eliminating the need to buy additional tickets while saving you money. These passes can have free or discounted entry to museums, attractions and discounts on various local products or services. In some cities these are the only passes offered to tourist, other than a one day, monthly or annual transportation pass available to regular commuters. However, if you plan to spend several days in one city, these passes can save you money depending on how much you plan to use the transportation and how many attractions you’ll see.  Passes below are available for purchase on line at web sites or transit desks or kiosks in airports and train stations, local tourist offices and tobacco shops after you arrive in your city of destination. If you want a combination visitor and transportation pass please check below or go to our ➾ Tourism Card & City Pass section under the ➾ Shopping Online Page, to view available travel and visitor passes.

If you find that one of these visitor or tourists cards do not fit your needs or save you money, you may always purchase various tickets for transportation only as described above.

Many of the major metropolitan cities offer multiple forms of transportation. If the subway doesn’t get you close to your destination a bus, tram or train may. When you want to get form one point to another, subways are fast and efficient but,  you won’t see much of the city. If you have the time find a bus route that travels through the main parts of the city. With a pass you can ride them to the end of their route and turn around and return back from where you started. You will capture more of the city’s sights and the ambience of its neighborhoods.

Most city passes listed below give you the freedom to use any of these forms of transportation. Listed below are links to the transit authorities that run transit systems throughout many of the cities and areas in European countries. We list passes that combined transit and visitor access to transportation, attractions and discounts. If you do not want a combination pass, go to the transit authority web site and click on tickets where you will find tickets for just transportation. If no bundled passes are available, just click on tickets, next to the appropriate authority to view or purchase transit tickets. You can always easily purchase tickets or passes once you arrive at your destination.

Transit Maps for Major European Cities….

Many of the links below are PDF files that you can download, some are just a link to the map at the transit company’s web page.