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Walk Not Ride In Cities Travel Tip

Walk Not Ride: Walking Better and Often Quicker than Public Transport

Travel tip #30

While walking through the streets of Istanbul on a warm and sunny afternoon, I resolutely decide that I was going to get the grid of this place: I was going to figure out how to get around by foot.

Previously, I had been taking public transport – minibuses, buses, the metro – to get between the various districts of Istanbul. This has often been arduous, as the traffic here is regularly gridlocked, and the buses crowded. And at a $1 a ride to use these convoluted means of transportation, a simple round trip takes up 20% of my daily travel funds.

I do not like using public transportation anywhere in the world, and I was tired of paying a dollar each time I want travel around Istanbul. I simply do not have the temperament to sit inside of a steamy and crowded bus as it makes a zillion stops on a journey that would be quicker by foot. It is highly annoying to be sitting inside of a vehicle that utilizes the internal combustion engine while watching people walking by on the sidewalk moving quicker than me. Due the traffic in cities, the public bus is often not faster than walking.

In a grand interplay of irony, an excess of people who desire to move quicker by traveling in vehicles just end up clogging each other’s way and, in the end, move slower than human kind’s most basic means of locomotion: walking.

I love walking, I love traveling on my own steam. Give me a good pair of boots or a bicycle and I will circumnavigate the globe. But traveling by foot in urban centers means that you need to know where you are going. Buses and subways easily connect the dots, they go from point A straight to point B, so you do not need to really know where you are going to use public transport.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- February 19, 2009
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Walking, on the other hand, requires at least a rough sense of your surroundings. But the only way that you can obtain this sense is by wandering around and getting lost.

This is what I did today. I had a fleeting suspicion that the districts of Istanbul that I often travel are not that far away from each other. So I walked from Besiktas to Taksim to Osmanbey, the district where I am staying. I traversed this entire distance in under one hour.

It once took me an hour to just travel from Besiktas to Osmanbey by bus.

In cities, it is often quicker and always cheaper to walk than to take public transport.

Travel tip: Within a reasonable distance it is often quicker to walk than take a city bus.

Travel cheap, travel better, get a map, get lost, and walk!

Related Pages:
Vagabond Journey Travel Tips
Travel on Foot

Walk Not Ride: Walking Better and Often Quicker than Public Transport

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Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3170 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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