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Which alternative cities and towns do Fodorites recommend?

Which alternative cities and towns do Fodorites recommend?

May 12th, 2007, 07:14 AM
  #1  
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Which alternative cities and towns do Fodorites recommend?

Today's Wall Street Journal has a feature on accessible alternative citiies and towns in Europe for visitors who are looking for the same historic charm and landscapes that, say, Barcelona and Prague offer, but on a smaller scale, a lower cost, and with no tourist crowds (yet). It was an intriguing thought, and I'm wondering whether our well-traveled Fodorites on this board can offer some suggested lesser-known places they'd recommend, and why.
ckwald is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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Lisbon
kleeblatt is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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If you are considering Amsterdam then you would do well to check out Haarlem, 20 minutes away by train.
hopscotch is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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It'd be interesting to know what the WSJ recommends
flanneruk is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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I would agree with Haarlem but in addition to Amsterdam and certainly not instead of it.

I agree it is an interesting "concept" but the day the WSJ recommends you go to Chicago for the same thing that New York offers but with fewer crowds and cheaper...well, that's when I'll take it seriously.
Dukey is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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Segovia, Spain
Leon, Spain
Viana Do Castelo, Portugal.
Callian, France
Assisi, Italy (low season travel)

Why?...for all the reasons you listed.

BTW, the day the WSJ recommends you go to Chicago for the same thing that New York City offers but with fewer crowds and cheaper...well, that's when I will STOP taking them seriously.

Let's get real; NYC rules.
Viajero2 is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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Regensburg
quokka is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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Dinkelsbuhl instead of Rothenburg
Berchtesgaden instead of Salzburg
Partenkirchen instead of Garmisch
Roskilde instead of Copenhagen
Luebeck or Bremen instead of Hamburg
Any other Italian hilltown instead of San Gimignano

I've got nothing against the bigger towns/cities but the lesser known places I mentioned are every bit as interesting and definitely cheaper.
Zeus is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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OK..what was the WSJ's alternate choice for Paris?

Leon, Spain instead of Madrid or Barcelona??? Sure...
Dukey is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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Leon ? I definitely don't agree.. While it has a magnificent cathedral that is worth the whole visit..it has really nothing else. The parador is beautiful too...but it's just a hotel. You only get to see the outside.
Let's say Salamanca, Valencia, Oviedo ...
kenderina is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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We stayed at the parador in Leon and that was worth the stay, but I agree with kenderina that it doesn't have much else to offer.

Agree that Segovia and Salamanca fit this category, and would also add Girona to the list.
artlover is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Interesting input so far.

OK-- WSJ writer Stan Sesser says "A whole new Europe is opening up to travelers thanks to the expansion of the continent's low coast airlines." I think that's true. Essentially, he thinks, you can get practically the same experience for less cost and less hassle than in the better-known locales. Maybe in some cases, but I am pretty dubious about others.

For example, Girona, Spain is his call as a mini-Barcelona. Surely he jests? Wroclaw, Poland (the former Breslau) stands in for Prague, though he makes it plain that he knows Prague has more to offer. Olbia on the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia substitutes for Porto Cervo. He didn't offer a substitute for Paris, Dukey, and part-way through his article he shifted gears and simply featured some "undiscovered gems" as side trips: Stavanger, Norway; Westport, Ireland; Sylt, Germany; Balaton, Hungary; Bergamo, Italy; Bilbao, Spain; Carcassonne, France; Les Iles d'Hyeres, France; Split, Croatia; and Bari, Italy.

Evidently travel isn't the WSJ's strong suit. But the initial thesis is an interesting concept, as were some of the answers posted here.

Keep it up, & let's see what emerges!

ckwald is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Salamanca, Segovia, Burgos, Santiago de Compostela, San Sabastian, Spain
OReilly is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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Sitges, Spain....beautiful seaside village. Very friendly, lovely food, old fort & cathedral.
airam1 is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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In Italy: Todi, Orvieto, Perugia in Umbria

In France: St Jean de Luz, St. Jean Pied de la Porte, Ainhoa, Biarritz, Bayonne in the Basque region

In Spain (again):
Andalusia, besides the obvious ones of Granada, Cordoba & Seville, visit Baeza, Ubeda, Priego de Cordoba
Extramadura: The entire area, but especially Merida, Guadalupe, Casceres
OReilly is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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I am a firm believer in the old axiom "You can't enjoy a country until your second visit". The "primo" destinations are loaded with "must sees" and they are indeed worth seeing. However, on the second trip you can, in "secondary" locations enjoy the food, the way of life, the attitudes, and the history of the country. And do so without the frantic pace that we tourists inevitabley generate.

I would not argue that San Sebastian is a replacement for Barcelona but I would say that it is a vry classy place with more grace and a terrific place to understand the dynamism of northern Spain and begin to get a feel for one of the "coolest" people lin the world, the Basques. Dresden is not Berlin, but the atmospere will help you understand the residual feelings of WWII. Brno is not Prague but it gives you important insights into what the post USSR republics face.
weber6560 is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 05:16 AM
  #18  
 
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I saw that article too and thought it was great. I don't know if he was saying NOT to go to the main places ever in your life like some have posted here, I think it's a lot of good alternatives.

I've been to all the main places and find it interesting to explore others now. I may go back to the main ones someday, but now it's fun to find new ones.
donw is offline  
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