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The guy who wrote the myths about the freeways also wrote the stuff about parking! Parking in Europe is just like parking everywhere else on this planet only a little bit more organized. In the countryside, just do what everyone else is doing: find a spot and park. Larger cites will have parking lots clearly marked, both above and below ground. And the notion that you cannot possibly park in larger cities is completely untrue. By checking the signs along the street and/or by asking passers-by, you can easily tell if a spot is permitted for parking.

There is convenient parking near most every significant monument and sight in Europe. For example, you can drive directly to the courtyard in front of Notre Dame and park underground less than 50 steps from the front doors! The same is true in Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Rome, and Florence, to name just a few cities.

Tip: in most large cities and parking facilities, you can pay by simply inserting your parking ticket and a credit card in machine which operate in all major languages.

In most European cities, each nationality has come up with its own version of pay parking. In France, you find a spot on the street and then walk to the end of the block, insert a coin into a machine and receive a parking ticket which you place on your dashboard; in Germany you do much the same thing using a cool little cardboard clock (available in most shops) which you set to indicate when your arrive, and so on. It's all pretty simple and other drivers will be proud to help you learn the ropes.