Now Where the Heck is ‘Centre Ville’?

Here’s a little tidbit to help find your way around a new European town-

When driving to a new city or even walking off the train, one of the main concerns is, “how do I get to the historical part of the city” with all of the landmark sites?

Because most European cities are not based on a grid (far from it), this can be a daunting task.  The cities are not based on a grid system because originally the city built itself around the church.  Therefore, most cities take on a more circular system of roads.

This helps you because when you are in this situation, look for the signs that say “center of town” in the language of the country you are in.  Many times these signs include a picture of a ruin or a church or a castle.  These signs will start from when you exit a highway towards a city, and they will be there when you leave the train station.

This works because the church was the beginning, and the center of town surrounding the church usually also has most of the historical buildings to see.  Rule of thumb:  Look for the signs that read “centre ville”,  “centro”, “zentrum”, “centrum”, and the symbol: