top of page

We share experience.

Here I will try to share the experience of preparing for the trip.
  I'm interested in the process of preparing for the next trip.
  I seem to experience each trip three times: twice virtually and once (alas  ) real.
  At the first stage, let's call it a prologue, the idea of a trip is born, a crew is formed, a route is planned, organizational issues are resolved (booking air tickets, car rental, hotels and other places of residence), finally, a detailed plan is drawn up for everyday.
  This stage is virtual, as if you are looking forward to the pleasure of the upcoming trip.
  The second stage is real, the journey itself.
  The third stage is virtual again - an epilogue, you share your impressions, as if reliving what you saw again.

Travel idea.


  At first glance, what could be easier! Without looking, he jabbed his finger at a globe or a map, here's an idea for you! Of course, there are so many places in the world where you haven't been yet! But still we have to measure our desires with our own capabilities.
  The first source or, if you like, a generator of ideas is our past experience, because, first of all, we want to go where we have not been before. Another, immeasurably more productive source of ideas is the vast expanses of the Internet and His Majesty the collective experience, captured in stories and stories. Finally, traditional books, magazines, guidebooks and other literature.
  Quite often the idea of travel is hatched for quite a long time, sometimes for several years, becoming a long-awaited dream. And sometimes an idea is born spontaneously, suddenly, provoked by some event.



Having decided and, if you like, having suffered through the idea of travel, you have taken only the first and, probably, the easiest and simplest step.
  Now comes the hard work of planning or even  designing a travel itinerary.
  Here I will try, perhaps in a somewhat scientific form, to systematize the experience of travel planning.
  First you need to define waypoints (MT) and route configuration.
MTs include:
-airports, train stationsand other public transport facilities;
-attractions and other points of interest,
-accommodations: hotels, motels, apartments, villas.
  According to the configuration, the route can be 1) linear, 2) circular, 3) star-shaped and 4) combined.
  At linear route, you arrive at the starting point, then move to the next point, and so on, and end the route at an end point that is geographically different from the starting point.
  At circular route everything is the same, only the start and end points coincide geographically, i.e. you start and end the route in the same place.
  At star-shaped route you arrive at the starting point, then move to the next points, but each time you return to the starting point again.
Combined route, as you might guess, is any combination of elements of the above configurations.
  So it happened, in our travel practice, all routes were combined and, moreover, combining only circular and star-shaped elements. The reasons for this choice are very pragmatic. The start and end points of a trip are always some major international airport, and if you arrive at one airport and return from another airport, this, as a rule, increases the already considerable cost of air tickets. The same can be said for renting a car: picking up and dropping off a car at different locations also increases the cost of renting a car, sometimes quite significantly.
  So, the first MT, the last one is the airport. For example, on our trip to Portugal and Spain, such a point was the Portela airport in Lisbon, in France - the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, in Italy - Milan's Malpensa.
  Next is the most interesting and painstaking - you have to choose points of interest.
  Here I will also try to classify these points:
- architectural, cultural, religious and fortification objects: palaces, castles, museums, galleries, monuments, sculptures, cathedrals, monasteries and other religious temples, fortresses, cities, individual urban areas and houses, embankments, promenades and paths, bridges, towers, arches, lighthouses, etc. Characteristic examples of points of interest from this category following our travels: the Royal Escorial Palace in Spain, the Château de Chenonceau in France, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence;
- natural objects: parks, gardens, nature reserves, observation decks, zoos, caves, lakes and other bodies of water, beaches, etc. Examples: Yosemite National Park in California, USA, Lake Como in Italy;
- entertainment facilities: theaters, cinemas, stadiums and other sports facilities, entertainment and recreation centers, exhibitions, etc. Examples: Water World Park (SeaWord) in San Diego, USA;
- trade objects: shopping centers and streets, outlets, supermarkets, bazaars, markets, individual shops and boutiques, restaurants, cafes, bars, wineries, etc.
  Having decided on the points of interest, now you have to combine all this into a single route, naturally, adding the so-called technical points (stops for a short rest, parking places, gas stations, etc.). In this case, you will have to return to the beginning more than once, add new points, remove others. Sometimes you have to change the starting point - the airport. Thus, it is an iterative process and requires the use of certain tools. Only a person with phenomenal encyclopedic knowledge is able to do this in his head, without resorting to tools.
  Before we talk about the tools, let me set out a few simple rules that I follow when planning a route.

A car trip is not RACE or even RALLY - it is REST.
Desirable driving time - no more than 3 hours, maximum 6 hours. Accordingly, the daily distance is no more than 200-250 km, maximum - 450-500 km.
The itinerary should be, on the one hand, as detailed as possible, but, on the other hand, should not be a dogma, i.e. there should always be alternatives.

  The simplest travel route planning tool is a simple geographic map. But it is better to start planning a route using specialized road maps. For example, I make the first estimates of the route using the Atlas of European Roads published by Michelin.
  Already at this stage, I summarize the results of route planning in a table - a route schedule (see an example below). This can be a handwritten table on lined sheets of paper, or a computer table made using a text editor (for example, WORD) or a spreadsheet editor (for example, EXCEL).


  For each point, the following is indicated here: date and day of the week, distance in km and approximate travel time from the previous point to this point, estimated time of arrival at the point, name of the point, address or coordinates for the GPS navigator , duration of the stop, various comments (name of hotels, cost of living, opening hours, etc.).
  As a result of the first, estimated, stage of route planning, points and the approximate distance between them are entered into the route schedule.
  Now we need to detail the route. This will require either more detailed local maps of the places where you have to travel, or special computer programs for planning routes, or both.
  Among the maps, I would single out Michelin Travel Publication maps, which are useful primarily for Europe. Here you will find up-to-date road maps of almost every corner of Europe. But do not ignore the maps of local publishers, sometimes they turn out to be more accurate and detailed. So, in France, maps from the AA Touring Map France series helped us. These maps have a slightly larger scale than, for example, Michelin maps: 1:180000 instead of 1:200000. In addition, the maps of the AA series show interesting sights for tourists.
  And in California we were helped by maps from the AAA - American Automobile Association.
  About computer programs first of all i have to mention autoroute from Microsoft itself. None of our road trips were complete without AutoRoute.
  A lot of interesting and useful programs have appeared recently, but I will especially note  google maps, ViaMichelin, Waze.
For a more thorough development of the route , I also use the simulation mode in GPS navigators.

  In conclusion, I emphasize again:  detailed and thorough preparatory study of the route makes auto travel a pleasure, and not hard and dangerous work on unfamiliar roads.

Purchase of air tickets


   So, the route is already there and the first stage, on which the travel budget largely depends, is the purchase of air tickets.
  The price of air tickets depends on the number of passengers, on the level of comfort you expect in flight, and on how far in advance tickets are bought. The point of arrival and departure, as we have already said, can be the same.
  The most expensive and most reliable tickets for regular flights.
Charter flights  is slightly cheaper, but not always available. The owners of charters are travel agencies that rent aircraft to transport their tourists. Therefore, tickets for these flights can only be bought in the travel agencies themselves. The ticket is bought immediately there and back and it can neither be returned nor exchanged.
  Cheapest option - budget airline  (other names are                       , discounter, low-cost carrier, low-cost airline, discount carrier, budget carrier) is an airline that offers extremely low fares in exchange for the rejection of most traditional passenger services. Examples of such companies are EasyJet, AirBerlin, GermanWings, RyanAir.
  As it happens, we usually use regular flights. For at least the last four road trips, we flew exclusively with the Israeli airline El Al (אל-על, El-Al).

   Here is the address of this company:               .
   Here are a few more addresses that we used on the Internet:






  Moreover, if you booked air tickets via the Internet, then there are no more tickets in the airlines as such. Check-in for the flight is based on confirmation that you have paid for your seat on the plane. Such a document is the so-called E-ticket (E-ticket), received by you, as a rule, via E-mail (E-mail). At the same time, when registering, you must present only a passport.
  To get E-ticket/s, or rather a unique number, you need to enter the site you have chosen, follow the specified sequence of actions and make a payment with a credit card. As a rule, sites have versions in Russian, but even if you have chosen a company with an English-language site, the procedure for booking and paying is simple and intuitive.
  Fill in the first and last name fields very carefully. You need to write in Latin letters as indicated in the passport. An error in one letter can be fraught with denial of registration.

Choosing and renting a car


  When preparing a car trip, one of the main stages is car rental.
  At the same time, I categorically exclude the option of using your own car.
  When renting a car, we get not only a means of transportation, but also peace and new impressions from a new car:
- we receive a car in almost perfect technical condition, besides, insured;
- in practice, it often happens that the ordered car is not available and for the same money we get a car of a higher class;
- we are spared from unnecessary attention of the traffic police and other persons, because the numbers on the cars are local or European.

  Here you need to solve two interrelated tasks: 1) which car and 2) where to order.
  First, let's turn again to the classification, in this case, cars.
  Each car rental company usually has its own classification.
  Therefore, we will take as a basis the general classification of the Economic Commission for Europe, presented on Wikipedia:

A - Mini - the smallest cars designed for tight city conditions. Ride quality is often mediocre. Body type is usually 3-door or 5-door hatchback, but sedan is also found. Such models are attractive for their efficiency and the possibility of parking in a limited space. Typical representatives of the class: Smart, Ford Ka, Hyundai i10, Renault Twingo, Peugeot 107.

B - Small - a popular class of small machines. In addition to 3 and 5-door hatchbacks, there are occasionally sedan and even station wagons. Typical representatives: Volkswagen Polo, Seat Ibiza, Hyundai Getz, Renault Clio, Opel Corsa, Peugeot 206, Toyota Yaris, Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta, Fiat Punto.

C - Medium - relatively compact, but quite roomy cars, the most popular in Europe (about a third of all sales). For many years, the Volkswagen Golf has been a trendsetter here, so another name for the class has become the expression golf class. In terms of capacity, it allows you to carry five adults with luggage, but the three of us in the back seat are quite cramped. Body types - hatchback, sedan, station wagon. Typical representatives: Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Opel Astra, Peugeot 307, Mazda 3, Honda Civic, Mercedes-Benz A-class.

D - Larger - medium or family, presented in hatchback, sedan and station wagon bodies, with spacious interiors and voluminous trunks. Typical representatives: Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 407, Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Primera, Toyota Avensis.

E - Executive - often referred to as business class. Usually sedans and station wagons, occasionally hatchbacks. The cars have a spacious interior and a high level of standard equipment. Typical representatives are luxury brands Volvo, Audi A6, BMW 5, Mercedes-Benz E-class, Opel Omega, Peugeot 607, Renault Safrane.

F - Luxury - the models of this group mainly perform representative functions, the bodies are exclusively sedans, the salons are very spacious, the engines are 6-cylinder and higher. Typical representatives: Mercedes-Benz S-class, BMW 7, Audi A8, Lexus LS, Jaguar XJ, Bentley, Rolls-Royce.

S - Sport - this class includes sports cars (two-, rarely four-seater cars with high speed qualities and, accordingly, increased engine power, and a low landing of the body), coupes (cars with high dynamic qualities, but with limited interior and trunk capacity) and convertibles (two-door cars with folding soft or hard top). Typical representatives: Porsche Panamera, Maserati Grand Turismo, Ferrari F5,  Renault Megane CC.

M - Minivan - the class includes minivans - cars with a one-volume cabover (less often - wagon) layout, usually with three rows of seats with no more than 8 passengers (with a driver 9) seats. Cars with a large number of passenger seats are already referred to as minibuses. Typical representatives of minivans: Renault Espace, Fiat Ulisse, Ford Galaxy, Volkswagen Sharan.

J - Jeep - SUVs of various types. Currently, a fairly wide class of cars, called differently: SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle), crossover, MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle), finally, a jeep. A characteristic feature of cars of this class is the combination of all-wheel drive (4X4 wheel formula), high ground clearance with the comfort level of a high-class passenger car. Typical representatives: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, BMW X6, Mazda CX-7.

  In addition to the class itself, important characteristics of the car are also the volume or power of the engine, the type of gearbox (manual / mechanical, automatic, combined), trunk volume.
  Here are a few rules that we follow and whose usefulness has been proven by the experience of our travels.

1. Before choosing a car, you must clearly understand the initial data.
  This is, firstly, the quantitative composition of the crew, including the number and experience of drivers. 

2. The selected vehicle must at least be spacious enough to accommodate the entire crew and luggage. At the beginning of the trip, it is advisable to have some reserve in terms of luggage capacity, since the amount and weight of luggage, as a rule, increases (souvenirs, gifts, etc.). So, for a crew of 2-3 people, a C-Medium class car would be optimal, 4 people or more - the M-Minivan class is already desirable, although for 4 people, but no more, the D-Larger class will be sufficient.

3. Sometimes, depending on the way the car is used and the profile of the roads, it is necessary to increase or decrease the class of the selected car. For example, you can downgrade if you only intend to travel around the city or only travel "light" on flat roads. And, conversely, it is desirable to upgrade the class if a mountainous road profile is expected. And if you have to drive on dirt roads, then here you generally need to think about the J-Jeep class.

  Now, according to the experience of our travels, we will show both successful examples of choosing a car, and not entirely successful ones. Learning from your mistakes is a science for others.

  So, we already know WHAT car and for what trips to choose, but WHERE to choose is no less a difficult question.
  Let's look at the classification again. I divide all companies or agencies providing car rental services into three groups: large transnational or so-called branded companies; local companies;  online companies that allow you to book a car only via the Internet.
  I would classify only eight companies as branded (in alphabetical order): ALAMO, AVIS, BUDGET, ENTERPRISE, EUROPCAR, HERTZ, NATIONAL, THRIFTY.
  Local companies are generally those that serve customers within the same country or region.
  Online companies, as already mentioned, include those companies that allow you to book a car only via the Internet.
  We, as a rule, use the services of branded companies and, lately, order a car rental in advance (up to six months)  and only via the Internet. So, in Germany - from AVIS, and in BeniLux - from EUROPCAR through the online company 
    Here are a few other sites I use

   Now another important topic is the rental car insurance. First, the terminology.
  An insurance deductible is the limitation of your liability to a certain amount. For example, a deductible for renting a car is 1000 euros, which means that if the damage is less than 1000 euros, the cost of repairs is fully paid by you, and if the damage is more than that, your expenses are limited to the size of the franchise. For example, you crushed a car for 2000 euros - you pay 1000 euros, the rest is the insurer.
  Types of insurance:

  1. TLP (Third Liability Protection) or TPL (Third Party Liability) - insurance of a rented car to third parties.

  2. CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) - insurance of a rented car against damage in an accident or acts of vandalism with a deductible (its amount is indicated in the contract). Liability arises regardless of whose fault the accident occurred.

  3. SCDW (Super Collision Damage Waiver). SuperCDW with a zero franchise (sometimes with a reduced franchise).

  4. TP (Theft Protection) or TW (Theft Waiver) - insurance against theft or robbery of a car. The liability of the tenant is measured by the size of the franchise (its size is indicated in the contract).

  5. PAI and SPAI (Personal Accident Insurance and Super Personal Accident Insurance) - insurance for damage to the health of drivers and passengers.

  P.1 is always on. Items 2 and 4 are usually also included by default, if not, you need to take it, it's inexpensive. Item 3 needs to be clarified, and if they say that it is included, it is necessary to check on the papers that it is really included on paper, and not in words. It's not cheap.
  It should also be remembered that insurance usually does not cover damage to wheels (tires and wheels) and the bottom.

  Now a few remarks, or rather advice, in my opinion, very important.
1. In order to receive the ordered car, you must submit:
- the passport;
- driver's license;
- credit card;
- voucher for the ordered car.
  In addition, all additional drivers must present their passport and driver's license.
2. I recommend that you carefully study the rental rules, and in advance. Upon receipt of the car, you still have to sign that you are familiar with them, so it's better to know what you sign.
  Car rental rules - this is a rather voluminous document, written in English at best, which is not easy to understand on the spot even for those who know the language.
3. When accepting a rented car, you should carefully inspect its body yourself for scratches, chips and dents. All defects must be entered by the rental employee in a special form. Ask the employee to sign or stamp the company on their copy of the form.
4. Brand companies usually closely monitor the technical condition of cars. In any case, it will not be superfluous to check the performance of all devices and devices of the car: headlights, brake lights, turn signals, air conditioning, the presence of windshield washer fluid, and so on.
5. While you have not yet left the rental area and the rental employee is still with you, I highly recommend clarifying all the questions that are not clear to you. The rental employee is obliged to instruct you on all aspects of car operation.
6. Be sure to check the amount of fuel and its TYPE (gasoline or diesel) in the tank and the conditions for returning the car prescribed in this regard. As a rule, there are two options: either the rental office gives the car with a full tank and the tenant must return it with the same amount of fuel, or the cost of fuel is paid in advance and you can come to the rental on a light bulb.
  In the first case, rental offices often resort to tricks, telling customers when they return the car that there is a little less fuel than it was when they received it, and insisting on paying for a full tank, and not the amount for the missing amount of fuel. In order not to overpay, you can insist that the fuel is topped up to a normal level.
7. Now you boldly and confidently start your road trip.
  At the end of it, you only need to hand over the car.
  When approaching the airport, you need to look for Car Return signs, and then the parking lot of your company. If the time is working - bring the keys to the rental worker, you will check the level of remaining fuel in the tank and the condition of the car. It is best to request that the inspection be carried out in your presence, all new damages are shown to you and recorded in a special form, which is filled out upon delivery of the car.
  If all is well, ask for a document confirming that the car has been returned safe and sound. For at least one month after the end of the rental, keep all documents, receipts and insurance policies that were given to you when you made out the rental car.
  It happens that you have to rent a car outside the working hours of rental offices. Then the car must be left in a special parking lot, and the keys and documents should be put in a special box. Be sure to take a picture of the car so that the date, time, car and some understandable landmark, for example, a rental office sign, are visible. If there were any damages, also photograph them.
  That's it!

Selection and ordering of lodging and long-term accommodation.


   We have established a standard for booking overnight stays and long stays (hotel, apartment or villa).
  If the period of stay in the same place is more than or equal to 7 nights, we try to book an apartment or a villa. If less - then a hotel.
  First, about hotels. Let me explain using the example of our trip to Portugal and Spain.
  All hotels were booked online, no advance payment, but guaranteed by credit card, with the possibility of cancellation without penalty fees. The main three hotels where we spent the night for two nights (Porto, Salamanca, Seville), we ordered through the Spanish network SolMelia. I have saved the MAS-card of this network. I updated it without any problems, which gave very significant discounts at a very favorable price / quality ratio (2010). So, a double room in 3-star hotels in Porto and Salamanca cost us 55-56 €, and in a 4-star hotel in Seville - 75 €. The price does not include breakfast, but having a MAS card, we received a significant discount on breakfast as well.
At first we tried to find a villa for six people, but for various reasons we could not find a suitable option. Then we lowered the bar of our requirements and tried to look for apartments. Here we succeeded and we already had a choice. We refused some options ourselves, and settled on one acceptable one. The terms of payment were rather strict and risky: it was necessary to pay a 25% advance upon ordering and the rest 4 weeks before entry. In addition, a security deposit of 400 € had to be paid upon receipt of the keys, which, however, is refundable upon return of the keys, provided that the property has not been damaged. Given the price of renting an apartment - only 700 € for seven days for six people, we considered the risk justified.
  On our last road trip to Portugal, we very successfully booked a villa on the site

Roads in Europe.


   When going on a road trip, you must remember that the main transit highways in Europe are toll. It cannot be said that the journey costs a lot of money, rather, on the contrary, it is not at all expensive, especially considering the quality of the roads themselves.
  Of course, you can avoid paying and use the network of free roads, most often passing near high-speed autobahns. But in this case, your speed limit will decrease significantly, and the quality of the road surface will not always be satisfactory.
  Toll roads are in excellent condition, and the permitted speed will allow you to move around the country as quickly as possible.
  There are three toll systems in Europe:
- Vignette - payment for a certain period of time (week, month, year...);
- For a section of the road - payment depending on the distance traveled;
- Special payment - payment for tunnels, bridges, ferries...

  Some European countries use   as a proof of payment vignettes  - special stickers, one part of which should be stuck on the windshield of the car, and the other part should be kept separately. The location of the sticker on the glass is strictly regulated - in which part to glue the vignette, you should check with the seller. It is best to purchase vignettes at border gas stations or relevant points of sale, which are also located near the border. In addition, in some cases it is possible to order a sticker via the Internet.

Payment points  are installed throughout the entire highway and charge directly at the entrance to them. This system is an alternative to vignettes and is common in many European countries.
  About what lies ahead payment points, TOLL signs warn. Gates with barriers are installed across the road:


  If the fare is fixed, then you must pay immediately upon entering the paid section. The price is written, as a rule, on the scoreboard in front of the barrier.
  If the fare depends on the distance travelled, then proceed as follows:
1. When entering a paid section, stop in front of the barrier, press the button on the machine and get a card.
2. After passing through the paid section, drive up to the next gate with a barrier, insert the card into the machine and it shows on the scoreboard the amount you have to pay.
  There are three types of corridors at the payment point: some accept cash, others accept credit cards, and others are for holders of special cards and passes. For example, in Portugal, corridors marked with a stylized white “V” on a green background (Via verde – “green passage”) are reserved for vehicles equipped with a contactless toll reading and automatic payment system – they do not even stop in front of the barrier. We, ordinary tourists traveling in rental cars, need to choose manual payment corridors - they can be marked with the inscription "Via manual" and / or the symbol of the operator or credit card (coins / cash). The corridors are arranged in blocks and are clearly distinguishable.
  In the case of cash payment without an operator, you can use banknotes, coins, and plastic cards. Look at the control panel (they are not the same in all places, there are others) - everything seems to be clear, even in Portuguese:


   In order not to delay a possible queue, try to choose a payment method in advance and prepare money or a card.

  Several years ago, a new way to pay for roads appeared -  contactless electronic system. This method is used on several highways in Israel, Norway and Portugal.
  The following sign informs about the approach to the paid section:
  There are no barriers, you don't need to stop, at the entrance to the paid section, the car numbers are read by the electronic system. There are no traffic lights. The speed limit, for example, in Israel is 110 km/h, but the police fines starting from 130 km/h. Payment - according to the receipt received by mail or withdrawn from the subscriber's account.

  In some European countries there are sections of main roads co special payment: tunnels, bridges, ferries. For example, in France - the Normandy Bridge, the Eurotunnel or the Channel Tunnel, in Portugal - the Vasco da Gama Bridge. The fare is fixed, as a rule, it is necessary to pay immediately at the entrance to the paid section. The price is written on the scoreboard in front of the barrier.

Gas stations.


   You must fill up the rented car at least once.
  Fuel designations are usually European:
Petrol (gasoline, petrol, benzin)
  EuroSuper 98
  EuroSuper 95

Diesel fuel (diesel, gasoleo)
  Diesel E+

  There are several ways to refuel:
- independently, and first we refuel, then we pay through the cashier;
- if there is an employee at the gas station and he is free, then it is not customary to refuel on your own. Money is given to him according to the amount that can be viewed on the scoreboard of the column;
- automatic dispensers accept both money and credit cards. According to the device, the speakers are different, but, as a rule, they have an English language mode.
  If the machine accepts money, then:
- choose the type of fuel;
- number of liters;
- we pay according to the amount on the scoreboard;
- we're refueling.
  If we use a credit card, then:
- insert the card;
- enter the PIN code and press Enter;
- select a column if the machine is one for several columns;
- choose the type of fuel;
- insert the gun into the tank and fill as much as necessary;
- return the gun to its place;
- We take the card and the check.

Parking lots in Europe.


   There are certainly places for free parking in European cities, but sometimes you can spend several hours to find a free parking lot, so it’s safer to use paid parking.

Free parking
You can park your car for free:
- in the places marked with a white dotted line. They usually have markings in the form of lines or rectangles indicating the number and method of setting up cars. Parking must be strictly in accordance with the markings. Some sites are designed for the disabled, as indicated by the generally accepted designation. Parking in such a place is one of the most serious violations in Europe;
- in places where there is no solid white or yellow strip along the sidewalk, of course, in the absence of a sign prohibiting stopping or parking;
- in places marked with the sign P;
- in paid parking lots, during the period when the fee is not charged (night time, weekends);
- there are parking spaces marked with signs that allow free parking for one or two hours, but if there is a parking disc under the windshield on which the stop time is set:
Such a disc is sold at gas stations, in tobacco shops, and is also in a rented car.


Paid parking
There are:
- street with parking machines;
- covered, usually underground;
- intercepting - P+R.

Street parking
Street parking is usually cheaper than indoor parking, but parking time is limited to two hours.
  Moreover, the fee is charged not around the clock, but only at certain times - usually from 9.00 to 15.30 and from 17.00 to 21.00 on weekdays and from 9.00 to 13.30 on Saturdays; On Sunday you can stand for free. Pay hours are written on each machine. If the parking time partially falls on free hours, then the machine, having accepted the money, adds free hours to the paid time and gives the final result.
  The procedure is as follows. Finding a free space, take it and go look for a parking machine.

Typical machine:


   Throw change into the coin acceptor. After each coin, the scoreboard displays the deposited amount and the hour until which
paid for parking. After typing the right time, press the green button and get a parking ticket, which indicates the moment of payment and the end time of the paid parking. Return to the car and put the parking ticket in such a way that everything written on the ticket can be seen through the windshield.
  If necessary, you can return to the car before the end of the paid time and pay for the next two hours, but you must do this, otherwise you will find a fine receipt on the windshield.

Covered parking
Covered parking areas are reported by standard signs with the letter P and a "house" above it:
Almost always the signs have an additional section at the bottom, which says either LIBRE(FREE,FREI) - free, or OCCUPADO(BUSY,BESETZT) - occupied, there are no places. Instead of words, there may be a green line - free, or a red cross - busy.
  Entrance to the parking lot is limited in height by a red and white marker. If the height of your car meets the limit and there are free spaces in the parking lot, then feel free to go ahead.
  At the entrance you will be met by a closed barrier, and to the left of it, at the level of the driver's door window, there is a box with a button and a slot. Without getting out of the car, you press the button and a parking ticket leaves the slot.
  As soon as the ticket gets out, the barrier will open and the countdown for parking will begin. Sometimes a ticket appears without pressing a button, as soon as you stop in front of a closed barrier.


   Moving along the marking arrows on the floor, look for an empty seat. In this regard, we saw a system that we really liked. It was in Zurich.
  At the entrance to each section, the number of free seats is on the scoreboard. Above each place there is also a small colored board: red - occupied, green - free. Moreover, a small scoreboard can be seen from afar.
  In any case, they found a free place - they got up and remembered (better, wrote down, and even better - photographed) the number of the parking space and the floor.
  Surface exits are marked with EXIT(SALIDA, AUSGANG) signs and arrows. There are parking machines near the pedestrian exits, but you have to pay when you pick up the car. Remember the place where you came to the surface, then you enter back here. If you get lost, the name of the parking lot and its address are written on the parking ticket.

   When you return for the car, find the machine and insert the parking ticket into the slot (it usually says TICKET). The display shows the amount to be paid. Three payment methods:
- a trifle - they threw the required amount into the coin acceptor and received a parking ticket back;
- banknotes - insert a banknote into the receiver. The machine gives change, but in small change;
- by credit card - insert the card. You don't need to enter a PIN. The machine will deduct the necessary amount from your account, return both the credit card and the parking ticket.
  If there are any problems, for example, the machine does not read the ticket or does not write the amount of payment, look for the booth of employees in the parking lot. There they will take your money and give you a ticket to leave. To avoid problems, the parking ticket does not need to be crumpled and folded.
  From the moment of payment you have 15 minutes to leave the parking lot. After leaving the parking space, follow the arrows EXIT (SALIDA, AUSGANG).
  At the exit to the surface there is a barrier and a familiar apparatus. We insert a ticket into it, which it irretrievably absorbs, and the barrier opens - the path is free.


Parking P+R (Park&Ride)
"P" or "Park" means to park, and "R" or "Ride" means to drive.
P+R car parks are located on the outskirts of the city near public transport stops (metro stations, buses). The idea behind these car parks is for you to leave your car in a parking lot away from the center and switch to public transport. Thus, the city center is unloaded from private cars, and therefore traffic jams and congestion in the city become less.

bottom of page