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I Want It All in 13 Days, But I Know I Can't

I Want It All in 13 Days, But I Know I Can't

Sep 12th, 2017, 05:21 AM
  #61  
 
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The very useful site for train information is https://www.seat61.com/
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 05:22 AM
  #62  
 
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Again, don't know what you mean by "Eurail,">

European trains and kind of makes sense.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 07:14 AM
  #63  
 
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What's wrong with Amsterdam?

I thought it was an interesting city, easy to get the feel for in a 4-5 day stay.

But no I wouldn't do it as a "day trip" by train from Paris, that idea doesn't really make sense!
suze is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 10:30 AM
  #64  
 
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Nearly everyone likes Amsterdam on Fodor's posts - I have not been in four years but it could not have changed that much from being my favorite city in Europe - not just for beauty but people watching, etc.

Amsterdam has always been perceived as sleazy by some and was especially so IMO in the 80s and early 90s - but its sheer beauty must still shine.

And I supposed it depends when you visit - summer crowds can be overwhelming in some places. I went to Amsterdam every year for 40 years and saw many changes - good and bad but the ring of canals and stately old buildings lining them are the same.

Now this is not one of Europe's most beautiful cities?-

https://www.google.com/search?q=amst...w=1745&bih=863

Yet some above say the city has dramatically changed for the worse in 4 years since I've been there - I am dubious of this claim but who knows maybe in last 4 years.....
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Sep 12th, 2017, 11:16 AM
  #65  
 
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PalenQ, I'm not averse to Amsterdam, I lived there for 10 years and I still come there often. 4 years has seen the mass tourism steamroller arrive, and it's had a dramatic effect. Tourists will be ok, but the city isn't, especially not the city centre. It always used to be possible to live there, even with a modest income, because there used to be a lot of social housing. Much of this has disappeared. Of course, also because of changes in Dutch housing policy, but the rules have changed in worse ways for the centre of Amsterdam and the last 4 years have been a convergence of factors that have had this effect. One of the most marked is how the small business/shopping landscape has utterly changed. For instance, the Nine Streets area has changed beyond recognition in about 2 years time. 4 years ago, still an area with many independent shops, quirky, off beat, with an iron monger thrown in, bakers, greengrocers, specialist shops for the neighbourhood, not only for tourists. Then the rents were raised as big brands eyed the real estate. So now, those shops are gone and with it the special character of the area and big brands have moved in, selling a tourist version of Amsterdam quirkiness. This is one example, but the same has been happening in the Jordaan, the rest of the canal area, the Pijp, and now also the Kinkerbuurt, which used to be beyond the pale, tourist wise, but is now almost as touristy as the Pijp. All this is to the detriment of the local residents, who see their shops disappear, to be replaced by pancake and waffle places that cater to the munchies. Because that is the one genre of tourism that is still flourishing. Last week, the councillor responsible stated that Amsterdam had not done any overt Amsterdam promotion during the last two years. The general feeling is, that Amsterdam want the revenue from tourist tax and has been aggressively promoting the city, without really considering the sustainability of this particular kind of mass tourism for the city.

In fact, you PalenQ, promote the same faux Amsterdam, with your love of pot and of the RLD. The Amsterdam that you loved has almost disappeared. Of course, the photographs look nice, but the reality on the streets is dire.
menachem is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 11:28 AM
  #66  
 
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Lots of cities like London and Paris facing same things but Amsterdam is smaller so effects on locals are deleterious which I also lament - the old little neighborhood shops and especially bakeries were so nice as were neighborhoods.

But your argument is not with tourists who are welcomed in record numbers - aided and abetted by Amsterdam and Holland Tourist offices no doubt. Rather your argument is with local government who has permitted such drastic transformations.

Don't blame me or casual tourists for it. I indeed will find the 'new' Amsterdam less appealing but most tourists will not. The Red-Light District could be abolished overnight by the City of Amsterdam yet it is about the most visited site in the city - a tourist draw, sad or not as that may be.

I sympathize with locals being priced out of tourist cities but you - Amsterdam- can't have it both ways.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 11:43 AM
  #67  
 
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I guess Amsterdam is more the 'Venice of the North' than ever before?
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Sep 12th, 2017, 12:26 PM
  #68  
 
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"To the detriment of local residents..." No. To the detriment of some of them, yes. But it's local residents also that are pressuring the city to deregulate. It's local residents who want the social housing to disappear or to at least be on less prime real estate. This is something that is happening everywhere. The big brands can pay more rent than a grocery, that's all there is to it. What's happening to Amsterdam isn't on the tourists. It's on the city government, ran by locals.

I can believe that the tourist crowds are immense and irritating. But at last we get to the core of the problem. You're an elitist. You'd like to blame the casual daytripper for being a tourist and not a "traveller" because you don't want to blame who is at fault for Amsterdam's problems. And that's Amsterdam! They could have kept the social housing. They could regulate pot tourism and the RLD into extinction. They chose a different direction.
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Sep 12th, 2017, 12:51 PM
  #69  
 
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I have visited Amsterdam 6-7 times over the years. Always liked it...but,
the last visit ( 3 summers ago) was less enjoyable
Perhaps it was July 's crowds, or unusually hot weather, or extrimly expensive
hotel...or too many cyclists zooming around...

The city ( well, the center) seemed a bit " tired".
danon is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 01:02 PM
  #70  
 
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Well since our OP needs to cut out half the proposed itinerary, maybe they will give Amsterdam a miss this trip!
suze is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 02:03 PM
  #71  
 
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Well this is not the place to get into a haggle over all of this -OP's thread and we've taken it off-kilter too much.

Amsterdam fits perfectly into the London-Paris-Amsterdam troika and the vast majority of tourists will love it or at least like it.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 08:43 PM
  #72  
 
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Why not go to Bruxelles instead? That's a wonderful option.
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Sep 12th, 2017, 09:48 PM
  #73  
 
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"To the detriment of local residents..." No. To the detriment of some of them, yes. But it's local residents also that are pressuring the city to deregulate. It's local residents who want the social housing to disappear or to at least be on less prime real estate.

Not in Amsterdam, marvelousmouse, and this is a battle by local residents that has roots well into the 1970s. The plan then was to construct two freeways right through the then poorest part of Amsterdam. Construction of the the Stopera and the metro right through the Nieuwmarkt area were part of this. That large parts of the former jewish neighbourhood had to be torn down for this was of no concern to the then City Governors, because the jews were gone. It was against this that a popular revolt took place. And it was successful. Ever since, a number of socialist aldermen shaped Amsterdam's housing policy along the lines of "living here is a right, not a favor". Until about 2005, when the government set about to deregulate housing corporations. These, cooperative societies before, with members who could influence housing policy on a city level, and indeed on the neighbourhood level, were replaced by private-public partnerships from which residents were excluded. There was huge opposition to this but it happened anyway. Alongside this, the centre of Amsterdam was declared of "exceptional national value", and rent control was abolished to give big real estate developers a chance to contribute to the preservation of it. All this combined to create the perfect storm if you're an Amsterdam resident. The resentment in neighbourhoods like the Kinkerbuurt or the Spaarnebuurt, where residents see their neighbourhood being taken over by real estate outfits that develop for the short let tourist market or for expats stems from experience with this kind of development.

I was part of a few of the citizen initiatives that protested against all of this and I can tell you that it is was not the residents that wanted deregulation. But I gather that you're more knowledgeable about these Amsterdam issues than I am.
menachem is online now  
Sep 12th, 2017, 09:53 PM
  #74  
 
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And I second Brussels as part of the itinerary. Really nice vibe and good value for money. Compare hotel prices and be amazed.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 05:06 AM
  #75  
 
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Brussels is a city that has a few main great sights but which dissapoints many - do not drop Amsterdam, one of Europe's most goregous cities for it but you may want to break your train journey Paris to Amsterdam for a few hours in Brussels to see the few main sights.

If you want to overnight in Belgium do so in lovely Bruges not Brussels if on a tight schedule.
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 13th, 2017, 05:12 AM
  #76  
 
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Not everyone agrees with you, Pal. IME, Brussels is a fascinating city, with great prices, plenty of culture and activities (beyond what you call "the few main sights), and some of the best food in Europe (surely miles ahead of Amsterdam in that category). Bruges was lovely 25 years ago and maintains some of its appeal, but for me it's Disneyland.

There are myriad other places that interest me in the Pays Bas: Rotterdam, Ghent, Antwerp, Delft, Den Hague, Den Bosch.....far more than Amsterdam these days.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 13th, 2017, 06:13 AM
  #77  
 
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Pays bas is at the exclusion of Belgium St Cirq. Someyears ago we kicked the Dutch back home. Since then if you want to talk about low lands you talk about Benelux.

Gent Antwerpen are Belgian. Non mais.


I fear Amsterdam is turning into some kind of Brugge whilst Bruxelles stays a ' normal ´ city when normal people live. With therefore a few crappy houses here and there.
Whathello is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 06:21 AM
  #78  
 
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I'm talking about the average tourist with limited time - to suggest they go to Brussels or Den Bosch instead of Amsterdam is for what the average tourist wants is just IMO very poor advice. You seem to have little idea of what first-time tourists want to see -put yourself back into a first-time tourist - did you go to Den Bosch or Amsterdam and why?
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 13th, 2017, 06:38 AM
  #79  
 
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I agree with StCirq. I think first time visitors want to see interesting places and they choose what the choose because they've heard of them. The greatest service we can do for them is to let them hear of places they may not have already, where the quality of the experience may be far greater, not steer them onto the well-trampled path (though most residents of Den Bosch are no doubt glad to have Amsterdam serving as a barrier to the ruin of their own city).

Yes, there are the box-ticker tourists who wouldn't dream of bypassing a name. But there are some, I know, who'd love to visit a place that's not unlike it was 25 or more years ago, if only they knew where.
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 13th, 2017, 06:45 AM
  #80  
 
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And extolling the virtues of an Amsterdam you haven't been to in 4+ years is poor advice. You often go on and on about places you haven't set foot in for years, so how is your "advice" useful?

Have you ever even set foot in Den Bosch? Or Rotterdam? I find it unthinkable that any "average tourist," whatever that might be, could possibly land in either place these days and not be enthralled. Without the gnarly hassles of trying to wade around frightfully expensive Amsterdam these days.

I'm not telling anyone not to go to Amsterdam, but there are choices...some of them more rewarding than others. If the "average first-time tourist" wants to go smoke pot and see a RLD, I'm certainly not going to stop them, but there IS more way more to the Benelux (thanks, Whathello!).
StCirq is online now  

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