Wikivoyage:Tourist office/Archives/2014/June

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rent a car in tuscany[edit]

Asked by: 20:18, 4 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I believe major international car rental companies like Avis, Hertz, Sixt, and Europcar have offices at least in Florence and probably in Pisa too. I'd advise you to contact them to see what types of cars they have available and at what rates. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:27, 4 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
One point that would be clear to European but not a Canadian (or US American) is that in Italy, unless you state specifically, you will get a manual not automatic geared car. --Traveler100 (talk) 04:05, 5 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Toronto sightseeing your[edit]

Is there a company that gives tours in the City of Toronto and when do they do it? like in summer? winter? Asked by: 15:46, 15 June 2014 (UTC)Don Musty[reply]

There are a lot of companies offering tours in Toronto. Our article lists a couple notable ones, but I'm sure you can find more easily with a simple Google search. Powers (talk) 15:35, 16 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Terminal fees collected in airports[edit]

Beside the Philippines, in which countries countries do major airports (still) not include terminal fees in plane tickets? Asked by: 02:13, 18 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Some Latin American countries e.g. Uruguay seem to have them, at least officially. But those also frequently have "exit fees" also levied at land borders, so possibly it's not the airport who gets the money. BTW, over there in some cases they seems to have a booth for paying the fee but nobody will ask afterwards whether you've paid it or not (personal experience a month ago). ϒpsilon (talk) 04:28, 18 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
The Manilla International Airport Authority will also start to incorporate the terminal fee into the ticket this fall, with a transition period of one year, so full implementation will be made in October 2015, according to GMA News Online. Chelsclair (talk) 19:41, 26 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Things to do in Bratislava[edit]

In less than two weeks, I'm going to Bratislava, Slovakia, for about three days. This will be my first time in Slovakia. So what is there to see in Bratislava?

One thing I am definitely going to try is to walk across the border to Austria and back. The only other time I have had the opportunity to walk across a national border was when I visited Finnish Lapland and was able to walk to Norway and back.

But what other things are there to do in Bratislava? Things I usually enjoy include: Museums. Art galleries. Large public parks. Interesting architecture. Restaurants serving local food. Pubs.

I find churches or other religious places boring and tedious, with the exception of particularly interesting architecture, such as the cathedral in Palma de Mallorca, which I visited last autumn. I won't have the time or the energy to go to clubs or parties. With the exception of walking to Austria and back, I also won't have the time or the energy to go on hiking or climbing trips. When I was in Kraków, I went on a one-day excursion to the Wieliczka salt mines, which I especially enjoyed. But is there anything like that in Slovakia, accessible from Bratislava within one day?

And lastly, the only tourist guide for Bratislava I could find in Finland was a rather short book covering all of Slovakia, with one section devoted to Bratislava, including only one map, and even that had quite little detail. Are there tourist maps for Bratislava available in Bratislava itself, for example at the railway station, which will be the first place I will be at when entering the city?

Asked by: JIP (talk) 18:40, 18 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Take a look at the Bratislava guide of ours. Sadly it's a bit messy, but it does include names of museums and buildings (and hey, if you feel inspired after your trip, feel free to better it). I can personally recommend the castle. In 2009 it was under renovation, but was impressive from the outside too and now has reopened. The old town with the square was a typical Central European one, quite pleasant. You can also walk across and along Danube. If you want to visit a third country, Hungary is technically not far away - at least not by car - I'm not familiar with the public transportation network over there. Other suggestions for sidetrips can be found in Bratislava#Go next.
If they have a tourist office at the railway station, they will definitely have free maps there. Often hotels have them too - they might actually ask you if you'd like a map when you check in.
Here's our map of Bratislava that you can print out, although right now it looks like there's some bug (the zoom and the map type box are gone, usually they fix it in a couple of days). Mukavaa matkaa! ;) ϒpsilon (talk) 19:02, 18 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the answers! I still have some further questions. Although I will be arriving at the main railway station (hlavna stanica), I will probably have to leave from the Petrzalka railway station, as the next city I am going to is Vienna. Is there a bus connection from the main railway station to the Petrzalka railway station?

How easily do I get to the Slovakian-Austrian border? The article says that there are trains from Bratislava to Austria, but I want to cross the actual border on foot. Getting as close to the border as possible by bus or something like that would be a very good idea, to save on walking time. I intend to spend only a few minutes on the Austrian side before walking back to Bratislava. I am definitely not going to walk from Bratislava to Vienna, although for national capitals, they are situated exceptionally near each other.

Are there any good restaurants in Bratislava serving local Slovakian food? The article only mentioned pubs in the old town. In fact, it said it is rather difficult to find a Slovakian restaurant in Bratislava. I don't mind the price, paying €20 to €25 for a meal and €5 to €7 for a pint of beer is not unacceptable for me - heck, here in Helsinki, if you want to dine well, prices generally start at that level. But I'd rather not be paying something like €40 to €50.

The UFO bar looks like an interesting place to visit. What are its price levels? Is there an entrance fee to the bar itself? What are its opening times?

And lastly, do the locals in Bratislava speak good English? I had no problem communicating with the locals in English in Prague, Kraków or Palma de Mallorca. I am also visiting Stockholm and Vienna on the same trip, but that's no problem for me, as I speak Swedish and German very well. But I don't understand any Slavic language, and I speak only very little Spanish. JIP (talk) 18:43, 19 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I added a link to Bratislava's public transportation company. Most of the content there, including the route planner seems to be in Slovak, though, but with a little imagination it's usable. There seems to be a frequent bus #93 between said railway stations.
The Get out section in the article says that there is a local bus, #901, going across the border to Hainburg a.d. Donau, Austria, confirmed by the route planner. Take the bus and get off just before the border.
For the restaurants, the article recommends a couple of Slovakian restaurants. Unfortunately I can just advise to use Google, or walk/ask around in Bratislava. For the prices: €15 would get you a dish and a beer.
Here is the home page of the UFO bar - it's actually called Ufo, and seems to be on the expensive side (=normal prices in Scandianvia and Switzerland). There's no entrance fee to that bar & restaurant itself. It's open from mid-day until 23:00. It's €6,50 to get up but if you eat it will be subtracted from your bill.
You will not have major problems to get by in English. German is also fairly widespread.
(Alerting User:PrinceGloria, User:FDMS4 and User:Axisstroke. They may have some personal knowledge of Bratislava). ϒpsilon (talk) 14:14, 20 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
I have zilch, sadly. I know there are some connections to Vienna over the river which you may want to take advantage of. Bratislava is always seen as not a particularly exciting destination and there may be a grain of truth innit. Oh, I think this os the city with the "UFO" restaurant atop the bridge, it may be worth getting up there for the view.
You may also want to go to the Tatra mountains and walk over the border to Poland. At any rate, do have fun, and add whatever you discover to our guides evidently sorely needing your help! PrinceGloria (talk) 06:15, 21 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Unfortunately I have not much knownledge either as I avoided it. There was a time where too many Brits, where looking for cheap booze and more dirty stuff.. I have only visited the castle on top once, which has a nice view over the Danube and some hidden restaurant next to a city wall or moat. The ufo was closed back than, but looked cool. One can easily take a boat trip from Vienna to reach it. Best. --Axisstroke (talk) 19:27, 21 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Me neither – spent half a day there, didn't really like it.    FDMS  4    11:33, 25 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

I am now back in Finland after my visit to Bratislava. Here are a few things I encountered on the trip:

  • Walking over the border to Austria is more difficult than I thought. The bus line 901 doesn't allow alighting inside Bratislava, it is only possible to get off the bus in Wolfsthal, which is already about 10 km into Austria. I made the mistake of taking the bus and realised I was in the middle of a very small Austrian town, kilometres away from Bratislava, without any of my belongings, only my wallet and mobile phone. Luckily the bus runs hourly, so after spending half an hour in Wolfsthal I got back to Bratislava. I bought a tourist map of southern Bratislava from the Old Town, and it showed that there should be a small paved road running along the southern shore of the Danube into Austria, which would first follow the Danube Cycle Route and then continue along the Danube while the cycle route itself curves southwards. In reality, the small paved road also takes a very sharp turn south right before the border. The only possible way to walk into Austria along the Danube shore is to walk right into the thick forest, which I really didn't dare attempt. So I had no choice but to follow the road all the way until it merged with the cycle route again, after which I could follow the cycle route into Berg, Austria. After walking a few hundred metres into Austria I turned back and followed the cycle route all the way back to Most SNP. The total trip must have been over 10 km.
  • Restaurant Paparazzi doesn't exist any more. There is a different restaurant where it is supposed to be located, I confirmed this by looking at my travel guide, which had the restaurant's location clearly mapped. Even the paparazzi statue is now located inside restaurant UFO.
  • The centre and Old Town can be very difficult to find one's way in. There must have been at least ten times where I had to walk hundreds of metres along a street just to be able to see a street name sign and know which street it is in the first place. My travel guide's map didn't even have all the street names marked. Without the map I bought from the Old Town I would have been lost.
  • Bratislava Castle and restaurant UFO were definitely among the best experiences in my trip. One really has to visit them both to have a good experience of Bratislava. I also visited the technical museum near the railway station, but it was rather boring, as there were only motor vehicles and all the texts were only in Slovak. Luckily one of the employees decided to give me a guided tour out of his free will, in rather understandable English. I also visited the Slovak National Museum, but it was closing down and the staff were basically closing down the exhibits after I visited them, and in the end they pretty much shoved me out of the museum. Well, it was mostly my fault for trying to visit two museums located so far apart on the same day.
  • In the end, I didn't actually even bother going to Petrzalka railway station. I went to Vienna from the main railway station and used the Vienna S-Bahn to transfer between stations in Vienna. From what I could tell from what the tourist guide said to me at the tourist information office, even getting to Petrzalka railway station would have been rather difficult.
  • My hotel originally looked like it would be in a very central location. This turned out to be very far from the truth. It's located at the intersection of Jaskovy rad and Pratzska streets, about a kilometre or two from the railway station, all uphill. There's a rather easy to follow paved sidewalk along Pratzska to the city centre, but to get to it in the first place, I had to cross the street in a place where the nearest safety crossing is about a kilometre away. The locals just waited for a safe time to cross and walked right across the street, so I did the same.

All in all, Bratislava was a quite interesting experience, and I'm glad I went there, but I'm not sure I'm going there ever again. JIP (talk) 18:40, 10 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Very nice! If you haven't already, you might consider adding this information to the Bratislava article. It looks like it could use some attention, anyway. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:09, 10 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Questions about switching transport[edit]

Now I'm all set for my InterRail trip, except for the parts where I have to switch modes of transport. There are four of them: two in Stockholm, one in Bratislava and one in Vienna. I'm not worried about the one in Bratislava (I have to get from the main railway station to Petrzalka railway station in about two hours), or one of the ones in Stockholm (I have to get from Kungsholmen to Masthamnen in about four hours), but the other one in Stockholm and the one in Vienna worry me.

  • I have to get from the Viking Line terminal in Masthamnen all the way to the Stockholm central railway station in under two hours.
  • I have to get from Wien Meidling to Wien Westbahnhof in under one hour.

I assume both are well possible? I would rather want to walk all the way in Stockholm, and I'm quite a fast walker. But there's one thing: I remember I have to go through Gula gången ("the yellow pathway") to get past Slussen. I always manage to find the end near the city centre, but never the one near Masthamnen. Can anyone give me information about where the heck it is located on the Masthamnen side?

As for the one in Vienna, I have never done this before, and I don't know nearly so much about Vienna as I do about Stockholm. I looked at the Vienna S-Bahn and U-Bahn site, and found that there's a direct connection between the railway stations. This looks like the best option. Will one hour be enough time? How can I buy a ticket?

Asked by: JIP (talk) 19:00, 23 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

If you want to be absolutely sure about making it in Stockholm, there's a shuttle bus from the Viking terminal directly to the railway station - costs SEK45. You can take Tunnelbanan from Slussen to the railway station, I don't think it's much cheaper and you need to get your ticket too. It's about 2.5 km on foot from the harbor to the station which you can make in under two hours. But - year and a half ago I remember them doing some kind of renovation work at Slussen which made driving a bit difficult, and Swedish Wikipedia reveals they're ripping up everything right now so it can be hard/confusing getting through it by any means of transportation.
For Vienna, here's the route planner of the public transportation, a route map and here's the Get around section in our Vienna guide which BTW is pretty good. According to it, tickets are sold at machines and if there is not a time printed on them, they need to be validated/stamped in a stamping machine. As you see in the map, you need to take U6 (the brown line), four stops north from Bahnhof Meidling (until last year this U-bahn station was named "Philadelphiabrücke", now it bears the same name as the railway station so there's a minuscule risk of old signs still around!) to Westbahnhof. I remember Vienna's U-bahn as a quite average, well-working metro system. For details about Vienna, please refer to the colleagues I called upon to reply to your Bratislava question. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:13, 23 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks to ϒpsilon for the clear response this is very well possible under an hour, probably 25 minutes if you walk slowly towards and from the U6. Have a good travel. Best. --Axisstroke (talk) 16:59, 24 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Could someone help me on being able to find this Gula gången from the Masthamnen side? This will be probably the third or fourth time in my life that I'm using it to walk between Masthamnen and the centre. But try as I might, I can never find the Masthamnen side entrance on the first try. I have to use trial and error, which wastes about ten or twenty minutes of my walking time, and upsets me. When I'm coming back, it's easy to find, but then I forget it again when I go there the next year. I've already asked over at the Swedish Wikipedia but got no response. Googling "Gula gången" only provided pictures of it and events held there. Google Maps doesn't even know of the place's existence. I tried to use the street view on Google Maps, but to no help. It only provided the same view as I've seen in person for about two or three times now, which provides no hint whatsoever where it is located. For such a well-known place in Stockholm you'd expect people to be able to actually find it. JIP (talk) 19:52, 24 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Meet our dynamic map! Gula gången is approximately in the middle of that view going from south southeast to north northwest. However remember that as I said they are wrecking Slussen to build a new intersection - and possibly they have started from Gula gången in which case pedestrians would obviously have no business there. Personally I would play it safe and take the sidewalk along the coast (Stadsgårdsleden, Saltsjörampen to the old town) and cross Slussplan. ϒpsilon (talk) 14:15, 25 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Sharm to Jerusalem by bus[edit]

Hi, are excursions from sharm to jerusalem by bus too dangerous? Alas i seem there's no way to fly.. thanx --ulisse0

(Disclaimer: I've never been anywhere in the Middle East so far myself.) I'd say if a "real" travel/tour agency arranges excursions for visitors from Sharm el Sheik to Jerusalem I would assume they know what they are doing and aren't putting their customers in danger. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:39, 24 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]