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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 13th, 2017, 06:54 AM
  #81  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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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.>

OK scratch Paris and visit Etampes; ditch London and vist St Albans; ditch Venice, Florence and Rome and visit unknown Italian towns. Amsterdam is not unique in changing under the weight of tourism. But it is totally unique in its gorgeous canals and old facades lining them and world-class art museums, etc.

Why did OP pick places like London, Paris, Amsterdam in her wish list - probably because she has been dreaming about visiting those places forever and should or be wondering forever what they were like.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 07:00 AM
  #82  
 
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<>

Could be. Could also very, very well be that she had no idea of what other options there were, y'know? Isn't that in and of itself a reason to come and ask questions on a travel board?
StCirq is online now  
Sep 13th, 2017, 07:03 AM
  #83  
 
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I always have, still do, consider myself lucky when chance leads me to a conversation with someone who can enhance my life by pointing me toward something I had no knowledge of. We all travel in different ways and I'm of the pay-it-forward school of travel and know some appreciate it, as I do. That's what I know. Tired advice is what it is. I prefer quality to quantity.
MmePerdu is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 07:22 AM
  #84  
 
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In The Netherlands, almost all 16th century cities will have canals and harbours, Except for The Hague (not a trading city) and Rotterdam (bombed in 1940). Other than that, go to Leiden, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Haarlem, Alkmaar, Dordrecht, many Frisian cities, Groningen, up to a point and you'll see a similar cityscape, with the architecture that Amsterdam also has.

I know a number of people on the Netherlands subforum try to point out other locations than Amsterdam (or Brugge): I know that I do that not because I hate Amsterdam so much or because it has become super hideous all of a sudden, but because there's much, much more to The Netherlands, and visiting there will nowadays be more fun, and cheaper and will get you a more authentic Dutch experience than staying in Amsterdam will get you.
menachem is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 10:35 AM
  #85  
 
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because I hate Amsterdam so much or because it has become super hideous all of a sudden, but because there's much, much more to The Netherlands, and visiting there will nowadays be more fun, and cheaper and will get you a more authentic Dutch experience than staying in Amsterdam will get you.>

enough of that complete BS - those other small Dutch towns are nice but what is there to do in them but look at their compared to Amsterdam few canals? Shopping streets are produced like cookie-cutters make cookies - all the same.

What Amsterdam has for the foreign tourist other towns do not:

Rijskmuseum - van Gogh Museum - Modern Art Museum - all 3 world-class

Plus dozens of neat smaller museums like the Maritime Museum; Reubens House; Dutch Resistance Museum; Jewish Museum; a branch of St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum; the eclectic Troppen Museum and dozens more
+
Anne Frank House
Dutch Royal Palace
Canal Boat Trips

The Jordaan - never seen anything to compare to this canal-laced area of ancient canalside facades in other Dutch towns (and I've been to them all mentioned above).

Plus many many more canals in central city than any other Dutch town

And things our veteran travelers will diss but which many average travelers will like:

Heineken Experience
Hashish Museum
Sex Museum
The Red-Light District - number one tourist draw in Amsterdam I understand
and
Coffeeshops for those inclined to partake of cannabis sold from a posted menu quite legally - yes I really do like the atmosphere of many and a good place to relax after day of trekking around

And an ecelctic nightlife for all ages- world-class jazz places; famous youth centers like legendary Melkweg (Milky Way) and Paradiso - anyone under 30 will love a night there.

Lots of folks out walking around at all hours of day and night

vs smaller regional towns where they roll up the sidewalks at shops closing times though most other towns will have coffeeshops and pubs and music too - bigger towns like The Hague and Rotterdam of course will have many more and more nightlife, etc.

But there is absolutely no valid reason to say NOT to see Amsterdam and instead go to a smaller town only. First see Amsterdam and if time yes one of those smaller towns.

But enough of this complete nonsense about not visiting Amsterdam and heading to say Den Bosch instead - like skipping New York City and staying in some New Jersey town instead. IowaLacey do NOT miss Amsterdam if going to Netherlands!

One of the very nicest and gorgeous cities in Europe.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 10:45 AM
  #86  
 
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You forgot Leiseplein square and Vondelpark and Tropenmuseum.
suze is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 10:47 AM
  #87  
 
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"But there is absolutely no valid reason to say NOT to see Amsterdam and instead go to a smaller town only."

Saying others' contributions to the discussion aren't "valid" is yet one more reason (among several) to pay no attention to this particular poster. There are perfectly sound reasons to forego Amsterdam in favor of other cities.
MmePerdu is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 10:56 AM
  #88  
 
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Saying others' contributions to the discussion aren't "valid">

no not for what the common first-time tourist is looking for -if you think that you are WAY out of touch with what novice average tourists are looking for - so out of touch to be ridiculous.

Would you stay in Chartres or a smaller French town near Paris and not go to Paris - about the same- whatever can be said of Amsterdam being too touristy applies to Paris to and many other tourist magnets like Venice, Florence, Rome and even central London- yup skip them all and stay in smaller cities with very little to do for the average tourist.

Lacey skip all those famous cities in your starting post and stay in unheard of small towns instead? Sure but that is what some here are proposing as Amsterdam is not unique in what those folks find so problematic.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 11:18 AM
  #89  
 
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Amsterdam is my least favorite of the major European cities I've visited, for what that's worth.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 11:20 AM
  #90  
 
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"Would you stay in Chartres or a smaller French town near Paris and not go to Paris..."

Another example of failure of imagination. I would, in fact, stay outside a city, always have since the beginning, for the ambiance. However I would travel into the city for particular reasons - though you failed to think of that, apparently, as an option.

There are all kinds of travelers, new ones and old ones, though hopefully not so many old ones they have, like PalenQ, forgotten there are even people new to the game who have an imagination. And small towns with plenty to do if you like what they have.
MmePerdu is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 11:37 AM
  #91  
 
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OK you would suggest staying outside of Rome, Venice, Florence, Amsterdam, London, etc and day tripping in?

You would miss the vitality of such cities at night - and be bored as heck in your hotel room? Your choice but most would rather stay in the famous cities where there is a pulse at night and also not spending an hour and $$ commuting each way into the city and back.

I stayed in Haarlem near Amsterdam my last several visits because it was much cheaper and I had stayed in Amsterdam so so many times - but I would never recommend that to a first-time traveler - would you suggest staying in say Padua instead of Venice? Or St Albans instead of London> Not me because there is so much to do at night in those places. But you would and that is your opinion and is as good as mine of course though again I think out of touch with what most first-time travelers want. They want to go up the Eiffel Tower at night or take a Seine boat trip after dark or take in a London theatre at night - or just stroll with many other strollers - things lacking in most smaller nearby towns.

How many guidebooks recommend that? Why not?
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 11:42 AM
  #92  
 
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Here's a current thread talking just about this all - should I stay in Barcelona or outside it? And nearly all say to stay in Barcelona - and that I think is typical for Amsterdam, Paris, London, Venice, etc:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-barcelona.cfm
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 11:45 AM
  #93  
 
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Maybe the bottom line here is that PalenQ is simply not able to see beyond his own narrow preferences, or understand the fact that we're all different, whether on a first trip or a 50th. What he describes as an apparently silly approach is all he can imagine of the possibilities available to us when we travel. And that guidebooks are mostly written for people just like him. The rest of us do better, always have done better, knowing there's a world beyond them. And beyond him, thank god.
MmePerdu is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 12:01 PM
  #94  
 
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Or maybe Amsterdam's really cool?
suze is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 12:02 PM
  #95  
 
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So to be clear Mme Lost - you do recommend for first-time travelers to NOT stay in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Munich, etc and instead to stay in a smaller town outside and commute in? Right?

And you think most first-time travelers would be better off doing that? Based on what? Your opinion - well let's agree to disagree on that and move on.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 12:10 PM
  #96  
 
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"...you...recommend for first-time travelers to NOT stay in London, Paris...most first-time travelers would be better off doing that?"

Not necessarily. I don't recommend anything for everyone all the time. We're all different and THAT'S my point, the part you seem unable to see.
MmePerdu is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 12:21 PM
  #97  
 
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>>no not for what the common first-time tourist is looking for -if you think that you are WAY out of touch with what novice average tourists are looking for - so out of touch to be ridiculous.<<

Now -- THAT is ridiculous. Sorry PQ, but you simply do not play fair w/ people asking for real/usable advice. You recommend places you have never visited, have visited maybe 20 years ago, and once in a while - someplace you've visited in the last decade.

You are always talking up places your 'young French son' enjoys -- omitting the small detail that he is now an adult and has kids of his own.

Or the £15 B&B in SE London -- that charged £15 twenty+ years ago.

Or the London Dungeon - where you have never set foot.

Or that 3 days is more than enough for the typical first timer to London or Paris or Rome and longer than that will bore visitors.

Not helpful . . .
janisj is online now  
Sep 13th, 2017, 12:59 PM
  #98  
 
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If there's anyone around here who's seriously "out of touch," it's our pothead.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 13th, 2017, 01:23 PM
  #99  
 
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Janis has rather emphatically told many a person who was thinking of staying in remote parts of London what a mistake that would be -citing times and costs of commuting, etc. Same with Amsterdam IMO.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 01:41 PM
  #100  
 
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Menachem- thank you for the background. My point was that there had to have been local support for the deregulation, though. Real estate companies and governments are made up of locals more often than not. Locals fall on both sides of the debate. I would have been on your side. I don't like chain stores, and there's nothing as depressing as a historic center that resembles a high end mall more than anything else. But there are plenty of locals here on the opposite side, because of the same reason you mentioned. It costs money to restore and renovate historic properties- money that mom and pop tenants can't fork over. I don't know...I don't like it, but I can see the opposing point of view. Do you want old building torn down or left to deteriorate? because without deep pockets, that's what happens. If you renovate a building like that, it's understandable that you would want a return on your investment.

I love small towns but I travel for museums, and I don't enjoy long commutes. So while I'm not arguing that other parts of NL are less lovely than Amsterdam, I wouldn't stay in a different city to visit Amsterdam museums. I want to walk out of my hotel door and be there. I agree with mmeperdu that one size doesn't fit all but I don't think first time visitors in Paris would want to stay in a less central neighborhood, let alone in Chartres. No one's opinion is invalid- everyone has different preferences- but I can't see recommending a less central location unless it specifically ties in with the OP's interests.

On the other hand, I have actually met a lot of fellow travelers who visit places just because. People who pick a city just because it's a famous city. They don't open a guidebook, they just think Paris sounds romantic. I don't get that, but it happens, so I can see recommending other places if they want to see the "real" NL and don't have a specific interest in Amsterdam.

And another aspect that occurred to me- I certainly think first time tourists can have a skewed view of Europe. You've just got to look at the countless threads on whether or not white sneakers and shorts will make you stand out as an American. I got some really strange questions from friends about Paris especially after I got home. Paris is a major city, not an idyllic fairy tale frozen in time. So sometimes threads here are less about giving advice and more about figuring out what image (or illusion) the OP has in mind for their trip.
marvelousmouse is online now  

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