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  • We landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

  • To get to Europe, Americans need only a passport, plane ticket and money.

  • Airports are well-designed and user-friendly.

  • Notice how easy it is for English-speakers to step right over that

  • language barrier.

  • Here in Amsterdamlike most of Europeeverything's in two languages:

  • Dutch for the locals and English for everyone else.

  • And there's an information desk ready and waiting.

  • "Hello, do you speak English? Do you have a map, please, to go to Amsterdam?"

  • "I'd like to take the train to the center."

  • "OK, best place to go is the..."

  • But even in the Netherlands where everyone seems to speak English,

  • it's polite to learn and use a few key local words.

  • To get your cash, ATMs are the way to go.

  • They provide local currency at the best ratesquick, easy and in English.

  • But each ATM transaction comes with a fee.

  • Minimize these fees by comparing card policies before you leave home

  • and by taking fewer

  • and bigger withdrawals in Europe.

  • It's just like withdrawing cash at homeyou just need your four-digit PIN.

  • But, before you leave, let your bank know you'll be overseas so there's no hang-up

  • in using your card over here.

  • My hotel's in the city center.

  • Getting downtown from European airports on public transportation is easy.

  • You've got options.

  • If you're packing heavy, really tired, or with a small group, a taxi can be the best value.

  • When I'm on my own and packing light,

  • public transittrains and busescan be the best choiceand it's far cheaper. Buses are clearly marked.

  • These days, you'll buy tickets and lots of other things using machines.

  • There's always a button for English. Get comfortable using your credit card

  • and following the prompts.

  • OK, I've got my train ticket to the center.

  • Most European airports have

  • excellent train connections into town.

  • From Schiphol,

  • there's a train into Amsterdam

  • every couple of minutes... and we're downtown in a snap.

  • I find Europe's big iron and glass stations evocative

  • and impressively user-friendly.

  • Most are designed to help visitors get oriented quicklyand are in or near the

  • town center.

  • Tourist information offices

  • are usually in the stationor, just out the front door.

  • As is typical in Europe, many of Amsterdam's buses and trams fan out from the train station.

  • Public transit is so convenient,

  • many Europeans never get around to owning a car.

  • The tram drops us just a couple bridges from our hotel.

  • My hotel is near the downtown action,

  • but peacefully situated over-looking a canal

  • with bikes parked out front and plenty of character. I pay extra for the

  • convenience of a central location.

  • "I'm Rick Steves. I have a reservation." "Welcome."

  • After checking in, I've got my key... and I'm set.

  • "Thank you very much." "Thank you. Enjoy your stay."

  • Okay, now that we're settled in, our next challenge is over-coming jet-lag.

  • Don't take a nap.

  • Jet lag hates bright light, fresh air, and exercise. Get out and walk.

  • I kick off my trips with a "welcome to Europe" stroll.

  • Having changed money, we're ready to dive into the city.

  • While credit cards are widely accepted,

  • I find things just go better with hard cash

  • and many merchants prefer cash.

  • The Euro is the currency used throughout most of the Continent.

  • Over 300 million Europeans have the same coins jangling in their pockets.

We landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.


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B1 中級

歐洲旅遊技巧。抵達歐洲 (European Travel Skills: Arrival in Europe)

  • 724 131
    Chun-Jen Chen 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日