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
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.