European Cities that don't interest you

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6miths
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by 6miths » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:43 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:08 pm
2stepsbehind wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:11 am
Personally:
Tallin
Riga
Vilnius
Minsk
Chisinau
Skopje
Podgorica
Tirana
Gdansk

I haven't heard enough about these cities that would put them on the map and my sense is these cities are less cosmopolitan and potentially more hostile to outsiders.
Tallin Riga Vilnius? Hostile to outsiders? These are 3 of the top tourist destinations in northern Europe. Tallinn is maybe a little small.

All 3 are filled w history. Riga for example has the ruins of the synagogue and the museum of the Soviet occupation. And where the human chain was strung across the Baltics and where the 12 people were shot down by Soviet snipers. Big Art Nouveau district, probably biggest in Europe. Market in former Zeppelin hangers.

Vilnius has one of the oldest universities in Europe and the Shibahara House. Amazing cathedral.

Hostility to visitors? Well the only real problems are p'ss drunk Swedes and Finn's (cheap booze) and (serious problem) it's on the Ryanair and easyJet circuit for British hen and stag cos, who have an awful reputation for misbehaviour. You don't want to be mistaken for them.

Can't speak to the rest but Minsk should be interesting (but if rebuilt in Soviet style post Ww2 might not be).
Agree on Talin and especially Riga. Loved both of these little cities. RIga is a beautiful place and the people were very friendly. The walled town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And with a Lithuanian maternal grandfather, I have to have a soft spot for Vilnius. One of my work colleagues and her husband have a cottage just outside Vilnius and love their time there.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

michaeljc70
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:54 pm

6miths wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:43 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:08 pm
2stepsbehind wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:11 am
Personally:
Tallin
Riga
Vilnius
Minsk
Chisinau
Skopje
Podgorica
Tirana
Gdansk

I haven't heard enough about these cities that would put them on the map and my sense is these cities are less cosmopolitan and potentially more hostile to outsiders.
Tallin Riga Vilnius? Hostile to outsiders? These are 3 of the top tourist destinations in northern Europe. Tallinn is maybe a little small.

All 3 are filled w history. Riga for example has the ruins of the synagogue and the museum of the Soviet occupation. And where the human chain was strung across the Baltics and where the 12 people were shot down by Soviet snipers. Big Art Nouveau district, probably biggest in Europe. Market in former Zeppelin hangers.

Vilnius has one of the oldest universities in Europe and the Shibahara House. Amazing cathedral.

Hostility to visitors? Well the only real problems are p'ss drunk Swedes and Finn's (cheap booze) and (serious problem) it's on the Ryanair and easyJet circuit for British hen and stag cos, who have an awful reputation for misbehaviour. You don't want to be mistaken for them.

Can't speak to the rest but Minsk should be interesting (but if rebuilt in Soviet style post Ww2 might not be).
Agree on Talin and especially Riga. Loved both of these little cities. RIga is a beautiful place and the people were very friendly. The walled town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And with a Lithuanian maternal grandfather, I have to have a soft spot for Vilnius. One of my work colleagues and her husband have a cottage just outside Vilnius and love their time there.
I really like Talinn also. I wouldn't want to spend an extended period of time there, but really liked the architecture.

As to UNESCO world heritage sites, I've found that designation to be hit or miss in terms of a place being of interest to me. Colonia, Uruguay and Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua come to mind as not being terribly exciting (or that much to see).

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nedsaid
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by nedsaid » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:55 pm

Can't say there are places that don't interest me, what I will say is that I favor places that like Americans. I will also say that Central and Eastern Europe are underrated. I was particularly taken by Poland and in particular Krakow. The Polish people were very nice and other travelers have made similar comments.

I would be reluctant to travel to Russia now but have wanted to visit for many years. I would like to see Moscow and St. Petersburg. Wouldn't tackle this on my own but I might go with a tour group.
A fool and his money are good for business.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:02 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:12 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:03 am
expat wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:37 am
Swindon
Haha, but the hotels in Swindon are really cheap. I almost tempted to book there.
There is a train museum which is interesting.

Don't know if Honda plant does tours?

Surrounding countryside is beautiful.
Train museum is a good idea for my next trip. But a Honda plant tour? Not sure. While we were in the Cotswolds area, we did visit Morgan plant. They have some very cool cars. I do wish sometimes that we live in UK to drive one of those cars.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:02 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:55 pm
Can't say there are places that don't interest me, what I will say is that I favor places that like Americans. I will also say that Central and Eastern Europe are underrated. I was particularly taken by Poland and in particular Krakow. The Polish people were very nice and other travelers have made similar comments.

I would be reluctant to travel to Russia now but have wanted to visit for many years. I would like to see Moscow and St. Petersburg. Wouldn't tackle this on my own but I might go with a tour group.
It is possible that an African American might encounter greater hostility in Eastern Europe. Don't know but could imagine it. There is limited experience of non whites in ECE and stereotypes persist. (Poorer eastern suburbs of Berlin have a reputation for racial attacks).

Russia I think you basically have to do a tour. Certainly outside of the big cities.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:06 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:55 pm
Can't say there are places that don't interest me, what I will say is that I favor places that like Americans. I will also say that Central and Eastern Europe are underrated. I was particularly taken by Poland and in particular Krakow. The Polish people were very nice and other travelers have made similar comments.

I would be reluctant to travel to Russia now but have wanted to visit for many years. I would like to see Moscow and St. Petersburg. Wouldn't tackle this on my own but I might go with a tour group.
I was told you can take one of those cruises that make stops to Russia, it’s from one of the ladies I’ve met attending a Marinsky(Russian ballet) dance.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:47 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:02 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:55 pm
Can't say there are places that don't interest me, what I will say is that I favor places that like Americans. I will also say that Central and Eastern Europe are underrated. I was particularly taken by Poland and in particular Krakow. The Polish people were very nice and other travelers have made similar comments.

I would be reluctant to travel to Russia now but have wanted to visit for many years. I would like to see Moscow and St. Petersburg. Wouldn't tackle this on my own but I might go with a tour group.
It is possible that an African American might encounter greater hostility in Eastern Europe. Don't know but could imagine it. There is limited experience of non whites in ECE and stereotypes persist. (Poorer eastern suburbs of Berlin have a reputation for racial attacks).

Russia I think you basically have to do a tour. Certainly outside of the big cities.
Eastern and Central European countries are homogeneous and try to stay this way. This harms them by angering other EU countries and discouraging tourism. An American friend of Indian descent (Asian-Indian, not American-Indian) experienced discrimination in some ECE countries and would not go back. Ironically, I have left the USSR as a refugee, but my recent experiences in ECE were always good. The fact that I am an American elevates my status, while my accent is similar to others in ECE.

Victoria
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nedsaid
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by nedsaid » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:09 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:47 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:02 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:55 pm
Can't say there are places that don't interest me, what I will say is that I favor places that like Americans. I will also say that Central and Eastern Europe are underrated. I was particularly taken by Poland and in particular Krakow. The Polish people were very nice and other travelers have made similar comments.

I would be reluctant to travel to Russia now but have wanted to visit for many years. I would like to see Moscow and St. Petersburg. Wouldn't tackle this on my own but I might go with a tour group.
It is possible that an African American might encounter greater hostility in Eastern Europe. Don't know but could imagine it. There is limited experience of non whites in ECE and stereotypes persist. (Poorer eastern suburbs of Berlin have a reputation for racial attacks).

Russia I think you basically have to do a tour. Certainly outside of the big cities.
Eastern and Central European countries are homogeneous and try to stay this way. This harms them by angering other EU countries and discouraging tourism. An American friend of Indian descent (Asian-Indian, not American-Indian) experienced discrimination in some ECE countries. Ironically, my experience in ECE is always good. The fact that I am an American elevates my status, while my accent is similar to others in ECE.

Victoria
I am white and western European descent, a lot of my heritage is English and German. But even someone like myself has run into shabby treatment a couple of times. In Budapest, I experienced a couple of restaurants where I got cool treatment though otherwise I really liked the city. A hotel clerk in Berlin got a little testy when I asked him for directions. But pretty minor stuff.

Despite the reputation of the French of being rude and unfriendly to Americans, I found the complete opposite to be true. The French people in Paris were very nice and helpful to me. English is ubiquitous in Amsterdam and the people speak English like Americans and not like the Brits. The Dutch seem to like Americans. Prague was terrific too. Budapest, despite my experience at a couple of restaurants, seemed eager to please the tourists. London seemed like home to me despite the accents. Germany in general is friendly to Americans.

As far as racial bias, my guess is that bias in Europe is more ethnic than racial. If you had the wrong accent in certain places, you might get cool treatment. My guess is that African Americans would experience little trouble, particularly in Western Europe. I suppose it would depend upon how far east one went. Been as far east as Poland and Hungary, wouldn't expect much problem even there. Don't know about places like Belarus, Ukraine, or Russia. The thing is, American media is watched many places you would not expect.
A fool and his money are good for business.

halfnine
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by halfnine » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:40 pm

expat wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:37 am
Swindon
Worth it for the laugh :D

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by halfnine » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:48 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:55 pm
Can't say there are places that don't interest me, what I will say is that I favor places that like Americans....
I have traveled to most regions of the world and would have to say its quite rare that I have faced discrimination based on being an American from the locals. Often in well traveled locales Americans are often preferred as they are known to be a bit looser with their wallets and better tippers.

From time to time I have had a bit of hostility from other travelers for being an American though.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by theplayer11 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:16 pm

BeneIRA wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:30 pm
Also, I am a big fan of Budapest, but Prague didn't quite do it for me like I thought it would.
I have heard this a handful of times

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randomizer
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by randomizer » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:21 pm

Off the top of my head, can't think of a single one.

eddot98
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by eddot98 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:28 pm

I find this thread interesting, but a little sad. Might there be a thread on a European blog somewhere that asks the question, What American city do you have no interest in visiting? Which ones might be on their lists?

As far as European cities that don’t interest me, the only ones I can think of are ones where it may be too dangerous to visit at the time, maybe Istanbul now. We have had great pleasure visiting European municipalities that we never heard of until we were in the planning stages of a trip, i. e. Aosta and Courmayeur in Italy. We had heard of Padova, but even though we read about it before going, we were absolutely blown away by the St Anthony of padova cathedral.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:09 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:16 pm
BeneIRA wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:30 pm
Also, I am a big fan of Budapest, but Prague didn't quite do it for me like I thought it would.
I have heard this a handful of times
For each her own. In a week I am leaving for Prague to take an intensive two-week language course. I like the Czech Republic enough to invest time, money, and mental resources to learn Čeština. After half-month in Prague I'll spend half-month in Karlovy Vary sampling spa wellness treatments, including some of the following http://www.spa5.cz/en/treatments/specia ... ments.html .

I enjoyed visiting Hungary too, but I get along better with the Czechs. And the Czech language is easier to learn than the Hungarian. And Czechia is the West-most of the ECE countries, with a long border and strong ties to Germany.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Jeff Albertson
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Jeff Albertson » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:17 pm

Guardian readers on overrated tourist sights:
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017 ... ist-sights
The most overrated spot has to be Waikiki Beach, in Hawaii. You always have this image of sheer perfection and a surfing paradise; yet I will always remember stepping on to the beach and saying to my friend Peter, “It’s just like Blackpool.”
It's been a long time since I was in Blackpool, but the tackiness was unforgettable, in a good way.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Wildebeest » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:55 pm

There are many: All the ones I have not gone to.. .

And of all of the ones in mentioned in this thread, I have visited and I had a wonderful time and thought they were great( of course the ones I did not visit, I did not think were to great). If I had visited them, I might have liked then.

Just when you might think I am all positive: I have been to few cities, towns and dead ends and trying to find a saving grace in e.g. Anchorage, Alaska: It is not easy. I am so glad I do not live in Anchorage ( and I went there in July), but on the other hand if I lived there, I would think I might be happy. However as a tourist: " do not go to Anchorage".
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by KlingKlang » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:07 pm

Just to add something to the thread I'll say Eindhoven in North Brabant in the Netherlands.

If you are an American everyone just assumes that you are there to work at Philips. The old city centre is small and disappointing, the rest of the city looks exactly like a US suburb. I worked there for five months but not at Philips.
Last edited by KlingKlang on Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wildebeest
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Wildebeest » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:11 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:07 pm
Just to add something to the thread I'll say Eindhoven in North Brabant in the Netherlands.

If you are an American everyone just assumes that you are there to work at Philips. The old city centre is small and disappointing, the rest of the city looks exactly like a US suburb.
Did you run into : "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much ?"
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

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KlingKlang
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by KlingKlang » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:25 pm

Wildebeest wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:11 pm
KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:07 pm
Just to add something to the thread I'll say Eindhoven in North Brabant in the Netherlands.

If you are an American everyone just assumes that you are there to work at Philips. The old city centre is small and disappointing, the rest of the city looks exactly like a US suburb.
Did you run into : "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much ?"
No, quite a few of the people were happy to be able to practice their English with a non-accented American (I'm German/Polish/Irish from NE Ohio so if I kept my mouth shut I blended right in). I think that they are afraid of picking up British accents because of all of the BBC channels that they get.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:36 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:25 pm
No, quite a few of the people were happy to be able to practice their English with a non-accented American (I'm German/Polish/Irish from NE Ohio so if I kept my mouth shut I blended right in). I think that they are afraid of picking up British accents because of all of the BBC channels that they get.
Are they preparing for an accent Brexit?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

azurekep
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by azurekep » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:55 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:02 pm
It is possible that an African American might encounter greater hostility in Eastern Europe.
There's always North Korea. ;)

(Dennis Rodman -- for those who don't read the news)

I'd put just about every city in Russia on the Not-Interested list. I imagine lots of boring Soviet-style apartment buildings and heavy industrial buildings. I could be completely wrong, but haven't been motivated to look at photos of any of these cities. Sure, Moscow and St. Petersburg may be different, but I'll stick to the cities and countries with more artistic cultures -- and better scenery.

I find that Europeans love Americans -- their TV shows, their movies and their popular culture. They also love to opine on American politics, and depending on who's in power will either love or hate the President and tell you about it. :D If you agree with them, you're in luck. Otherwise, you can pretend to be Canadian.

Europeans also love to make fun of American stereotypes, like that most Americans are fat, shop at Walmart in tacky clothes, and eat at McDonalds. :D It's fun to play along with them and counter them with European stereotypes. These convos are with the younger crowd. With older folks, just being quiet and polite and trying to speak their language leaves a good impression of Americans and staves off any overt hostility. (Or again, just pretend to be Canadian.)

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:23 am

nedsaid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:09 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:47 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:02 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:55 pm
Can't say there are places that don't interest me, what I will say is that I favor places that like Americans. I will also say that Central and Eastern Europe are underrated. I was particularly taken by Poland and in particular Krakow. The Polish people were very nice and other travelers have made similar comments.

I would be reluctant to travel to Russia now but have wanted to visit for many years. I would like to see Moscow and St. Petersburg. Wouldn't tackle this on my own but I might go with a tour group.
It is possible that an African American might encounter greater hostility in Eastern Europe. Don't know but could imagine it. There is limited experience of non whites in ECE and stereotypes persist. (Poorer eastern suburbs of Berlin have a reputation for racial attacks).

Russia I think you basically have to do a tour. Certainly outside of the big cities.
Eastern and Central European countries are homogeneous and try to stay this way. This harms them by angering other EU countries and discouraging tourism. An American friend of Indian descent (Asian-Indian, not American-Indian) experienced discrimination in some ECE countries. Ironically, my experience in ECE is always good. The fact that I am an American elevates my status, while my accent is similar to others in ECE.

Victoria
I am white and western European descent, a lot of my heritage is English and German. But even someone like myself has run into shabby treatment a couple of times. In Budapest, I experienced a couple of restaurants where I got cool treatment though otherwise I really liked the city. A hotel clerk in Berlin got a little testy when I asked him for directions. But pretty minor stuff.

Despite the reputation of the French of being rude and unfriendly to Americans, I found the complete opposite to be true. The French people in Paris were very nice and helpful to me. English is ubiquitous in Amsterdam and the people speak English like Americans and not like the Brits. The Dutch seem to like Americans. Prague was terrific too. Budapest, despite my experience at a couple of restaurants, seemed eager to please the tourists. London seemed like home to me despite the accents. Germany in general is friendly to Americans.

As far as racial bias, my guess is that bias in Europe is more ethnic than racial. If you had the wrong accent in certain places, you might get cool treatment. My guess is that African Americans would experience little trouble, particularly in Western Europe. I suppose it would depend upon how far east one went. Been as far east as Poland and Hungary, wouldn't expect much problem even there. Don't know about places like Belarus, Ukraine, or Russia. The thing is, American media is watched many places you would not expect.
Actually a lot of Europe is seriously racist especially outside the big cities.

There are not large African populations in most of Europe. Violence against e.g. African students has been noted in a number of places (in particular the former East Germany). Italians can be shockingly racist.

The ethnic thing is just another overlay. There's no tradition of immigration to these places. They used to hate the Jews and the Gypsies, as the 2main identifiable ethnic groups. They still often hate the Jews, but there are almost none left. They still have the Gypsies.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:18 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:47 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:02 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:55 pm
Can't say there are places that don't interest me, what I will say is that I favor places that like Americans. I will also say that Central and Eastern Europe are underrated. I was particularly taken by Poland and in particular Krakow. The Polish people were very nice and other travelers have made similar comments.

I would be reluctant to travel to Russia now but have wanted to visit for many years. I would like to see Moscow and St. Petersburg. Wouldn't tackle this on my own but I might go with a tour group.
It is possible that an African American might encounter greater hostility in Eastern Europe. Don't know but could imagine it. There is limited experience of non whites in ECE and stereotypes persist. (Poorer eastern suburbs of Berlin have a reputation for racial attacks).

Russia I think you basically have to do a tour. Certainly outside of the big cities.
Eastern and Central European countries are homogeneous and try to stay this way. This harms them by angering other EU countries and discouraging tourism. An American friend of Indian descent (Asian-Indian, not American-Indian) experienced discrimination in some ECE countries and would not go back. Ironically, I have left the USSR as a refugee, but my recent experiences in ECE were always good. The fact that I am an American elevates my status, while my accent is similar to others in ECE.

Victoria
Victoria

I think it is migration they discourage, not tourism. The problem is they don't have a mental image of Americans that includes successful Asian Americans.

The unfriendly response to non whites is part of a xenophobia that most ECE countries have. So do Western European ones (a big issue in the brexit vote was Polish and other ece migration to the UK) which has become much more apparent in recent years.

Heck if I go to rural Canada they fulminate about all the immigrants ;-).

We go to international business hotels and watch Bloomberg and BBC world. The local media can be a lot less open minded. A lot of people don't read English or don't consume internationalist English language media.

If you read the Daily Mail or the Daily Express I think you'd be fairly horrified at the xenophobia and "little England ism". The Mail is the largest circulation paper in the UK and is no longer accepted as a reference for Wikipedia due to accuracy issues.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

azurekep
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by azurekep » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:39 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:23 am
Italians can be shockingly racist.
We're talking in gross generalities here. ;)

But I wanted to make the point that due to a relatively recent bad economy, a number of Italians have emigrated to other countries. The ones I've met who have relocated feel very strong (in a positive way) about multiculturalism. They think immigration/emigration and the freedom to travel and live across borders is a wonderful thing worth celebrating.

I think it's just easier when traveling to be polite and respectful and more on the quiet side until one has sized up the other people and then feel more relaxed about being oneself. I still have bad memories about London (an apparent fave of many here) and their chilly treatment. They seemed to dislike anyone with "personality" (a sense of humor and a quick smile -- apparently equating it with "Loud Americans"). I've never felt that way in other countries, and usually in other countries it's the residents who make the first efforts at conversation. And it usually starts with American politics. :D Share a cab with a college student and they'll immediately launch into what's wrong with America. ;)

But I am white, and if I had a visible ethnicity of any sort, my experience may have been different. But the same can be said about many places in the US.

davidsorensen32
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by davidsorensen32 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:44 pm

Absolutely nailed it. Crowds kill the fun. Completely. I wonder why these places don’t impose some sort of control .I would happily pay more to enjoy places with less crowds

jabberwockOG wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:13 am
We increasingly just want to stay home, fortunately we love where we live, or go to places with as few tourists as possible. Like a plague of locusts the incredible volume of unending tour bus hordes these days have totally ruined every major and many minor place that has traditionally been a "tourist" destination. The buses disgorge horde after horde of loud, pushy, rude mostly older tourists, wearing laughably bad hats, and almost always festooned with multiple cameras and a selfie stick.

Last visit to Bryce Canyon, where we have been visiting every 3-4 years for last 25 years, to hike last year in early October (supposed shoulder season) and by mid-morning the tour bus parking lot was full - with approximately 40-50 tour buses. Hell on wheels.

This situation in places that used to be beautiful and relatively peaceful is a depressing reminder of our increasingly over populated planet.

My favorite city in the world - Paris, covered with McDonald's restaurants, graffiti, and choking on tour bus fumes, is a particularly sad example for anyone that remembers what is was like 30 or more years ago.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:56 pm

azurekep wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:39 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:23 am
Italians can be shockingly racist.
We're talking in gross generalities here. ;)
Indeed. Big data points are a non white boss w an Italian husband, and she speaks fluent Italian. Her father in law is great but her mil is very prjudiced against her (her husband confirms this). Also several Italian restaurateurs and shopkeepers here (London) who have told me, without irony, that Italy he been ruined by too many immigrants (let's be honest, they mean people from North and Sub Saharan Africa, plus gypsies). Plus the anti immigrant sentiment in Italian politics.

The thing is few Italians read a daily newspaper. Relatively few speak a foreign language or consume foreign media. This is a very insular country by western European standards.
But I wanted to make the point that due to a relatively recent bad economy, a number of Italians have emigrated to other countries. The ones I've met who have relocated feel very strong (in a positive way) about multiculturalism. They think immigration/emigration and the freedom to travel and live across borders is a wonderful thing worth celebrating.
Younger western Europeans are generally less prejudiced than their parents. And people who emigrated tend to be more open minded than those who remain.
I think it's just easier when traveling to be polite and respectful and more on the quiet side until one has sized up the other people and then feel more relaxed about being oneself. I still have bad memories about London (an apparent fave of many here) and their chilly treatment. They seemed to dislike anyone with "personality" (a sense of humor and a quick smile -- apparently equating it with "Loud Americans"). I've never felt that way in other countries, and usually in other countries it's the residents who make the first efforts at conversation. And it usually starts with American politics. :D Share a cab with a college student and they'll immediately launch into what's wrong with America. ;)

But I am white, and if I had a visible ethnicity of any sort, my experience may have been different. But the same can be said about many places in the US.
Actually Londoners love personality. Americans are generally unaware that the nasal pitch of the North American accent *carries*. And Brits are touchy about perceived criticism by Americans. Chippy. I enjoy their reaction as they denounce Americans and I smile and agree, like a punch that doesn't land ;-).

London is a big city and its exterior manner is brusque and in a hurry. Plus you meet too many pub bores ;-). It's warmer than Paris but not as warm as New York.

If it's any consolation lots of Britain finds London too fast paced, pushy and arrogant ;-).

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:01 pm

linenfort wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:23 am
Chernobyl — maybe I am somewhat interested, but from a distance.
I've heard it gets glowing reviews.
Stay on target...

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:06 pm

Jeff Albertson wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:17 pm
Guardian readers on overrated tourist sights:
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017 ... ist-sights
The most overrated spot has to be Waikiki Beach, in Hawaii. You always have this image of sheer perfection and a surfing paradise; yet I will always remember stepping on to the beach and saying to my friend Peter, “It’s just like Blackpool.”
It's been a long time since I was in Blackpool, but the tackiness was unforgettable, in a good way.
When industrial workers in 19th century Manchester were given Sunday afternoons off, it became the first working class day out destination.

Since cheap flights and package holidays became available to places w reliable sunshine, it has been straight downhill.

It's our Atlantic City. Without redeeming virtues other than a streetcar.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:10 pm

Paris along with anywhere in France are on my "Will never go back" list.
When I've gone to France in the past I was treated rudely even in expensive restaurants - not the experience I want in any place where I am spending my hard earned money. Plenty of other places to travel in the world where people are pleasant.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by linenfort » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:56 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:01 pm
linenfort wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:23 am
Chernobyl — maybe I am somewhat interested, but from a distance.
I've heard it gets glowing reviews.
The guy in your avatar would know. 8-)
Is it too early for an all-bond-portfolio thread?

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:58 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:01 pm
linenfort wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:23 am
Chernobyl — maybe I am somewhat interested, but from a distance.
I've heard it gets glowing reviews.
But these reviews have only half-life.

Victoria
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by dcabler » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:59 pm

walnut wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:36 pm
Frankfurt
+1 It's a place to fly through, unless you're in the banking business.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:00 pm

azurekep wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:55 pm
I'd put just about every city in Russia on the Not-Interested list. I imagine lots of boring Soviet-style apartment buildings and heavy industrial buildings.
vs
Europeans also love to make fun of American stereotypes, like that most Americans are fat, shop at Walmart in tacky clothes, and eat at McDonalds.
Stereotyping without borders?

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:10 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:00 pm
azurekep wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:55 pm
I'd put just about every city in Russia on the Not-Interested list. I imagine lots of boring Soviet-style apartment buildings and heavy industrial buildings.
vs
Europeans also love to make fun of American stereotypes, like that most Americans are fat, shop at Walmart in tacky clothes, and eat at McDonalds.
Stereotyping without borders?

Victoria
St. Petersburg, Russia was one of the most interesting cities in the world I've been to - particularly in touring the extravagant Palaces and Cathedrals - I certainly wouldn't call it "boring" by any means!

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by nedsaid » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:50 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:58 pm
JupiterJones wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:01 pm
linenfort wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:23 am
Chernobyl — maybe I am somewhat interested, but from a distance.
I've heard it gets glowing reviews.
But these reviews have only half-life.

Victoria
It reminds me of a cartoon showing a Soviet newscaster breathlessly saying, "The official death toll in Chernobyl is three, the other 2,000 were not officials."
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by nedsaid » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:53 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:56 pm

The thing is few Italians read a daily newspaper. Relatively few speak a foreign language or consume foreign media. This is a very insular country by western European standards.
I would say there is a pretty big difference between northern Italy and southern Italy. Northern Italy would be more like the rest of western Europe.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by timmy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:02 pm

Dublin :sharebeer

Liverpool 8-)

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by RadAudit » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:12 pm

The thing I liked about London some 44 years ago was the British Museum. With the Elgin marbles and the Egyptian mummies, you could avoid going to Athens and Egypt to see those sights and save money, too. Don't know if they've given them back, yet. They also had some Greek pottery straight out of your art appreciation textbook from college.

Just read an article about the ten worse tourist destinations. Most had to do with too many tourists. One of the larger disappointments was the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris. (That room also had the highest concentration of pickpockets per square inch than any place in the city.)

Although on a recent trip to the Louvre, it was interesting to see how they restored the Winged Victory. And it was fun to find out that Venus de Milo was a pin head (wrong proportions). So, not a complete loss.
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Lynette » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:01 pm

RadAudit wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:12 pm
The thing I liked about London some 44 years ago was the British Museum. With the Elgin marbles and the Egyptian mummies, you could avoid going to Athens and Egypt to see those sights and save money, too. Don't know if they've given them back, yet. They also had some Greek pottery straight out of your art appreciation textbook from college.

Just read an article about the ten worse tourist destinations. Most had to do with too many tourists. One of the larger disappointments was the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris. (That room also had the highest concentration of pickpockets per square inch than any place in the city.)

Although on a recent trip to the Louvre, it was interesting to see how they restored the Winged Victory. And it was fun to find out that Venus de Milo was a pin head (wrong proportions). So, not a complete loss.
I've "done" the sites in London and on one vacation I spent ten glorious days in the British museum and in the British library. As a former South African, I'm always amused at the countries where their former masters, the Brits pop up. Some locals have the same feeling to their former masters as the Eastern Europe. I've heard defenses by the Brits as to why they don't want to give back their pilfered lout that is in the British museum - such as they looked after them better than their former owners.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:04 pm

RadAudit wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:12 pm
Just read an article about the ten worse tourist destinations. Most had to do with too many tourists. One of the larger disappointments was the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris. (That room also had the highest concentration of pickpockets per square inch than any place in the city.)
On my last trip to Paris, I focused on its underground treasures: Archeological Crypt of the Parvis of Notre-Dame, the sewers, and the Catacombs. Only the Catacombs required waiting in line. The sewers were my favorite.

I also have discovered Passy Cemetery, a small beautiful deserted place a short walk from Trocadéro.

If your goal is to avoid tourists you can do it even in Paris in August.

Victoria
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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by remomnyc » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:06 pm

I'm not a big city traveler, but here are a few I don't need to revisit: Athens, Frankfurt, Milan, Zurich.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by azurekep » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:15 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:10 pm
St. Petersburg, Russia was one of the most interesting cities in the world I've been to - particularly in touring the extravagant Palaces and Cathedrals - I certainly wouldn't call it "boring" by any means!
I sort of gave Moscow and St. Petersburg the benefit of the doubt. ;)

It's the other cities I was mainly talking about. Though Murmansk might be kind of fun if one could see nearby Laplanders and reindeer.

But since we've had glowing and half-life reviews of Chernobyl, I thought I'd add Yekaterinburg into the mix. It's known as the "Biological Chernobyl" and Yekaterinburg (ex-Sverdlovsk) is actually in Russia, not Ukraine or Belarus. ;)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sverdlovsk_anthrax_leak

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Cunobelinus » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:22 pm

bubbadog wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:17 pm
We spent three days in Venice this past summer, one would have been plenty.
I once planned to stay in Venice for two or three days, but left after about 10 hours. Mostly, it was the trash everywhere on land and the floating trashbergs clogging the canals that were a turn-off.

I didn't think Madrid was particularly interesting, but it was also at the tail-end of a long trip.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by texasdiver » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:03 pm

Rotterdam
Charleroi
Naples
Milan
Mannheim
Essen
Frankfurt
Yaktusk
Last edited by texasdiver on Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by nedsaid » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:28 pm

My comments, and I suspect Valuethinker's comments, were not to bash people groups or to bash the majorities as bigots. It is sort of a "know before you go" type of thing, it is good to be aware of cultural things such as biases so that you don't "step in it" with a thoughtless comment. No one likes to get caught in a gaffe. It would suffice to say that Europe has a lot of people groups in it and a lot of minority ethnic and racial groups. For example, Spain is grappling with the desires of greater autonomy for its Basque and Catalan minorities. The smaller people groups from old history are all still there in Europe. Countries like Spain and France are not monoliths.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Wildebeest » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:51 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:03 pm
Rotterdam
Charleroi
Naples
Milan
Mannheim
Essen
Frankfurt
Texasdiver,

Good list!

I have been to Rotterdam many years ago and I feel your pain and I thought it was the arm pit of the universe, but I understand things changed and now may the place to go ( I have not gone and I will not revisit), Charleroi is like Anchorage: enough said. Naples is beautiful and texasdiver may have had a bad day. Milan is like Frankfurt so I get texasdiver's drift. Mannheim and Essen: I feel bad for texasdriver he was exposed to this, I am sure there are saving graces, I just do not have it in me to appreciate it.
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by Wolkenspiel » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:58 pm

Surprised/amused to see Frankfurt on so many no-go lists. Sure, the main tourist attractions (Roemerberg, Alt-Sachsenhausen etc) are a bit rubbish, but there's a few handfuls of good to world-class museums, nice walks and parks, good and/or local food/drink and easy access to some of Germany's nicest regions (Rheingau, if nothing else). Hard to see how one couldn't at least have an enjoyable week around there, and I suspect that is true for almost all the cities mentioned, given a little bit of "inside" knowledge - Chernobyl possibly excepted.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by montanagirl » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:02 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:43 am
No one has mentioned a Swiss city yet. I have always wanted to visit Switzerland.
Geneva's ok, but mainly as a bus ride from Chamonix.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by FedGuy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:57 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:06 pm
It's our Atlantic City. Without redeeming virtues other than a streetcar.
Atlantic City doesn't even have a streetcar.

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Re: European Cities that don't interest you

Post by timmy » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:58 am

texasdiver wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:03 pm
Rotterdam
Charleroi
Naples
Milan
Mannheim
Essen
Frankfurt
Yaktusk
Good list.

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