travel advice & savings
 
SAVE on RAIL PASSES LOWEST PRICES / FREE SHIPPING on orders over $449!
Now use the Trip Planner to:
  • Find and Buy Rail Passes
  • Find and Book Hostels
Already know which Rail Pass you need?
Click here and buy now!
Special Eurotrip Member Savings!
48 replies
Favourite Places to Avoid
finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

While there’s lots of great places in Europe, there’s a lot opf places that are overhyped or just plan not worth the time and effort. By list of places to avoid includes:

1. Frankfurt: extremely boring. Other than being a major airport and business hub, there is no reason to go here. The only reason I go here now is to change planes. Avoid

2. Marseille: an ugly port town. Better options in the vicinty

3. Berlin: Other than being the capital of Germany and having some chunks of graffitti covered remnants of the Berlin Wall there is no reason to go here (how long do you want to look at concrete?).

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

oldlady
oldlady's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 15
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 5 weeks 18 hours ago.

Well, I disagree with Berlin. It’s not my favorite city but it wouldn’t be on my “avoid” list by any stretch of the imagination.

I haven’t been to any city that I’d tell people to avoid. But the ones I liked least are:

Bucharest
Zurich
Vienna
Milan

All have good points, but there are nearby options that are a lot more interesting, IMO.

Paris, Dublin and Athens would be on my list of places I don’t intend to go back to, but everybody ought to see Paris at least once and Dublin and Athens are is sometimes essential stops if you want to see Ireland or Greece.

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

I agree with Milan, Zurich and Vienna…these are cities we all know by name, so we naturally assume that they most be great.

Milan has some nice architecture but unless you’re a fashion model looking for a job or someone with money to burn, I would not recommend this city. There are far better choices nearby (i.e. Lako Como).

Zurich is a business city. Lots of offices with little charm. Unless you’re depositing large sums of money into a secret account, give this place a pass. Better options would be Bern, where you can join the locals and swim/float round city in the river Aare. It’s lots of fun (don’t forge to stop by the bear pit that gives the city its name)

Vienna I found to be a bit unfriendly and expensive. It has some nice architecture and some great restraurants (especially if you like pastries), but I found the whole place a bit dreary. I prefer Salzburg or any of the mountain villages.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

Feicht
Feicht's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1242
Member: 3972
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 13 weeks 3 days ago.

I’ve never understood all the dislike for Zürich; I think it’s a nice place! Cool museums, the old town is nice, lovely promenades, etc. And I feel like Jason Bourne walking around there too hehe.

I completely disagree about Berlin, too. I don’t normally like “modern” looking cities as much, but I love Berlin! Maybe those who don’t like it only stayed in the west? I really haven’t even been to the western part all that much; all the awesome stuff is in the east, including some of the best museums in the world. I always seem to make some excuse to go back to Berlin.

I totally agree about Frankfurt, however. I hate that damn place. Could be cuz it rained there for like 3 days straight when i was in the area, but good lord… just a modern, New York type place… it felt like I’d been there 100 times before in America. There are nice places around Frankfurt too however, so if you have to be in the area for something, at least you can stay somewhere that’s actually nice.

I’m disappointed so many people don’t seem to like Vienna either; I have to spend a few days there this summer, I hope it’s not too terrible! Smile

I can’t think of any places off the top of my head other than Frankfurt that I really really didn’t like, though. I’d say Brussels, but I was only really just stopping by so I can’t really give a fair assessment.

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 8 weeks ago.

Finnegan:

How are Frankfurt and Marseille “overhyped” if no one ever recommends them? I’ve never heard any hype about Frankfurt, and I think I’m the only person on these boards that recommends Marseille – although I rarely do. The city has undergone a major makeover, and I do think it’s worth a look for a day or two depending on the itinerary.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

positiveman
positiveman's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 305
Member: 377
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.

Berlin, based on my experience, should be on a “must-see” list. Maybe I was just lucky – I had a fantastic introduction with the English walking tour. There is so much history in Berlin, AND, in contrast to cities like Rome, Paris, etc.., Berlin is a living city – not a Disneyfied tourist attraction. Plus it’s cool, in a San Fran kind of way, how it’s made up of a bunch of different little cities within cities, each with different characters.. Berlin has an incredible cultural scene(there were two separate Berlins for a long time competing to outdo each other on the world stage… Now the unified Berlin has 2 of everything – operas, theatres, etc…)

Anybody who says Berlin should be avoided just doesn’t know Berlin.

I’ve never been there, but by all accounts I’ve heard Naples would be close to the top of the avoid list… I’ve met backpackers who got out at trainstation, started walking through town, and literally turned around and went back to catch the next train out….

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 42 weeks 2 days ago.

I enjoyed Naples, but that was many, many years ago. 1978 to be exact.
Was in Berlin for the very first time in 2006, and loved it.
I gotta say, I was less than thrilled with Zurich.

Feicht
Feicht's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1242
Member: 3972
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 13 weeks 3 days ago.
positiveman wrote:

I’ve never been there, but by all accounts I’ve heard Naples would be close to the top of the avoid list… I’ve met backpackers who got out at trainstation, started walking through town, and literally turned around and went back to catch the next train out….

Hehe, funny you mention Naples… I’ve never EVER heard anyone I know recommend the place. My dad was there once with the navy 100 years ago and said it was the roughest looking place he’d ever seen. One of my professors claims that his favourite restaurant in the world is in Naples……..but you couldn’t PAY him any sum of money to be there after dark. I wanna say even Bill Bryson trashes the place, but I could be thinking about somewhere else.

Maybe it’s different if you live there, I dunno. But it seems everyone who goes there only does so because it’s near Pompeii, and they’ve heard of it before and just assume it’s a nice place to be…

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 42 weeks 2 days ago.

The thing is, if you care much about the stuff that used to be in Pompeii, the archeological museum in Naples is a must. But I also went because I really wanted some pizza from Napoli.

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

Maybe overhyped is the wrong word…Frankfurt and Marseille are well known, therefore people automatically assume they are worth visiting. If you have a few months to travel and had never visited Marseille maybe, just maybe, you should include it on your trip plan…but if you only have a few weeks Marseille is not worth it…have you ever heard of anyone who’s ever been to Marseille ever returning again? I haven’t

Naples reminds me of Marseille… big, noisy, dirty and overcrowded. May have been a worthwhile location 200 years ago, but it has no charm and no reason for any traveller to stop in it.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

Feicht
Feicht's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1242
Member: 3972
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 13 weeks 3 days ago.
Cil wrote:
The thing is, if you care much about the stuff that used to be in Pompeii, the archeological museum in Naples is a must. But I also went because I really wanted some pizza from Napoli.

Yeah, good point Cil. I guess I’d stop in for that if I was in the neighborhood… unless it was almost eveningtime

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

Most folks who get pizza in Italy are disappointed…it’s not the stuff served by Pizza Hut. on a sidenote, you can’t just order pasta in Italy, it’s a side dish…it would be like going into steakhouse in the U.S. and ordering just mashed potatoes

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 8 weeks ago.
finnegan wrote:
Maybe overhyped is the wrong word…Frankfurt and Marseille are well known, therefore people automatically assume they are worth visiting. If you have a few months to travel and had never visited Marseille maybe, just maybe, you should include it on your trip plan…but if you only have a few weeks Marseille is not worth it…have you ever heard of anyone who’s ever been to Marseille ever returning again? I haven’t

Oh, I agree 100% that a lot of people wrongly think they’re supposed to go to the places they’ve heard of, but I can’t say I’m aware of any North Americans who’ve been to France and visited Marseille. I don’t think Marseille is that well-known to these inexperienced travelers. And there’s lots of places where people never return, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worth their time. But I do agree that for someone with limited time, they should skip the city and focus on other towns in the region. I’m curious when you visited there.

positiveman wrote:
Berlin, based on my experience, should be on a “must-see” list. Maybe I was just lucky – I had a fantastic introduction with the English walking tour. There is so much history in Berlin, AND, in contrast to cities like Rome, Paris, etc.., Berlin is a living city – not a Disneyfied tourist attraction.

I disagree that Paris has a theme park feel, although if you never leave the Champs Elysées-Rue de Rivoli axis, and you’re only there in August (when the Parisians are all gone), then I can see how the city can seem this way. Same goes for Rome if you’re walking around the historical center during siesta time at the height of summer. But I do agree that Rome is a bit of a museumified city. But not Paris. Paris is undoubtedly urban and alive.

positiveman wrote:
I’ve never been there, but by all accounts I’ve heard Naples would be close to the top of the avoid list… I’ve met backpackers who got out at trainstation, started walking through town, and literally turned around and went back to catch the next train out….

IMO, that’s because the entertainment media in the US has vilified the type of images who’ll see in this city.

Great discussion. We’ve achieved to point out to newbies that there is no universally-accepted list of places to avoid.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

Davy
Davy's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 929
Member: 7334
Joined: 03/15/2008
User offline. Last seen 5 years 9 weeks ago.

Agree with the bulk of people on Milan, was hugely disapointed with it. It has the feal of an industrial city with masses of grafeti.

Vienna is another city that has no sense of atmosphere or buzz about it. Has many nice building’s and a pretty important place in history but that’s about it. For me going and seeing different places is more than just museums and the architecture etc. A large part of travelling is meeting different people and getting a feel for the country, Where as Vienna is bland and unfriendly in my opinion.

Venice is one that falls in to two categories. It is a must see if you are in the area but can become a huge waste of time and a bore if you spend more than a simple day trip there. Again for reasons similar to Vienna.

Another city that i have no real desire to go back to is controversial, Prague. Its pretty much a favourite of the backpacker circuit. But i found it to be overpriced compared to some surrounding city’s and countries. I also think it has kind of sold it’s sole to the devil if you like to attract stag party’s etc. and have numerous drunken foreigners falling about in its street’s.

Mind you i have to agree with LTB there is no real definitive list of place’s to avoid

I am leaving from Glasgow, United Kingdom and traveling for 15 days
Athens, Páros, Náxos, Mýkonos, Náxos, Íos, Thíra
Requesting help with Transport, Nightlife, Food, Sights

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

there is a definitive list and here it is:

- Naples: big dirty ufgly and crowded – Marseille: ditto – Berlin: a dull govt. town – Zurich: a dull business town

I’d rather spend a weekend in Buffalo than any of these places

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 8 weeks ago.

No, that’s your list, and a highly subjective one. Most people will agree with you on Zurich, but the other 3 cities are not definitive, as is evidenced in this thread. Smile


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

Rio…another over rated city IMHO…Sao Luis is way better

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

Feicht
Feicht's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1242
Member: 3972
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 13 weeks 3 days ago.

Davy wrote:
Agree with the bulk of people on Milan, was hugely disapointed with it. It has the feal of an industrial city with masses of grafeti.

Vienna is another city that has no sense of atmosphere or buzz about it. Has many nice building’s and a pretty important place in history but that’s about it. For me going and seeing different places is more than just museums and the architecture etc. A large part of travelling is meeting different people and getting a feel for the country, Where as Vienna is bland and unfriendly in my opinion.

Venice is one that falls in to two categories. It is a must see if you are in the area but can become a huge waste of time and a bore if you spend more than a simple day trip there. Again for reasons similar to Vienna.

Another city that i have no real desire to go back to is controversial, Prague. Its pretty much a favourite of the backpacker circuit. But i found it to be overpriced compared to some surrounding city’s and countries. I also think it has kind of sold it’s sole to the devil if you like to attract stag party’s etc. and have numerous drunken foreigners falling about in its street’s.

Mind you i have to agree with LTB there is no real definitive list of place’s to avoid

I loved Prague, but I will agree with you about the “damn foreigner” problem. It kinda has what I call “level two annoyance factor” Smile Level 1 is common to basically anywhere you’ve heard of: there are a lot of foreigners there, and their cluelessness and crassness is enough to practically make you embarrassed that you’re a “damn foreigner” too. Level TWO is the problem with Prague: not only are there more foreigners than locals in Prague at any given time, many of them are belligerent drunks that in America you’d probably only find at 2am outside of a college bar Wink Add in the “sex-tourism” factor, and yeah… that pretty much speaks for itself.

But that said, I still love Prague Smile One plus side of there being so many annoying/hazardous tourists there is that if you say ANYTHING in Czech to a shopkeeper, they practically give you the key to the store, haha

I am traveling for 51 days
Bath, Haltwhistle, London, Füssen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Speyer, Nördlingen, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Salzburg, Rome, Ostia Antica, Athens, Delphi, Athens
Davy
Davy's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 929
Member: 7334
Joined: 03/15/2008
User offline. Last seen 5 years 9 weeks ago.

Quote:
I loved Prague, but I will agree with you about the “damn foreigner” problem. It kinda has what I call “level two annoyance factor” Smile Level 1 is common to basically anywhere you’ve heard of: there are a lot of foreigners there, and their cluelessness and crassness is enough to practically make you embarrassed that you’re a “damn foreigner” too. Level TWO is the problem with Prague: not only are there more foreigners than locals in Prague at any given time, many of them are belligerent drunks that in America you’d probably only find at 2am outside of a college bar Wink Add in the “sex-tourism” factor, and yeah… that pretty much speaks for itself.

But that said, I still love Prague Smile One plus side of there being so many annoying/hazardous tourists there is that if you say ANYTHING in Czech to a shopkeeper, they practically give you the key to the store, haha

I can fully understand why people love Prague, it has allot of inner beauty. It’s one of those places you wished you had gone to before the dawn of budget airline’s.

If someone offered me a choice between Bratislava and Prague. It would be Bratislava, although I fully expect the majority of people to disagree.

I am leaving from Glasgow, United Kingdom and traveling for 15 days
Athens, Páros, Náxos, Mýkonos, Náxos, Íos, Thíra
Requesting help with Transport, Nightlife, Food, Sights

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

positiveman
positiveman's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 305
Member: 377
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.
luv_the_beach wrote:
No, that’s your list, and a highly subjective one. Most people will agree with you on Zurich, but the other 3 cities are not definitive, as is evidenced in this thread. Smile

Really, the phrasing of this whole thread is a bit dumb.. There’s no definitive anything when it comes to travelling – well, at least travel destinations… That’s a big part of what makes it cool.

But seriously Finnegan, if you don’t like Berlin, fine, hang out in Buffalo. But the crassness of the statement doesn’t make it any more credible.

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

I actually like Buffalo…far more interesting than Berlin, but if I only had a couple of weeks to see America would I include Buffalo in my plans? probably not. Same holds for Berlin and many of the other cities I’ve mentioned. Also my advice would be to spend less time large cities all together. The real flavour of Europe is found in the small towns and villages.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

positiveman
positiveman's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 305
Member: 377
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.

Berlin is without a doubt undeniably one of the top five must-see mega-cool cities in the universe.

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 8 weeks ago.

Big cities have just as much soul and flavour, you just gotta leave the beaten path. Since we’re comparing US cities to European cities (even though Europe has no deserted ghost-towns like Buffalo)…if you were to visit New York, you certainly wouldn’t find the city’s soul in Times Square, or waiting in line with 1 million other tourists at Madam Tussaud’s. Use this to your advantage…all the other tourists are concentrated in certain areas, so go to SoHo or West Village or Brooklyn, and make these areas your own. The same applies to European cities.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.
positiveman wrote:
Berlin is without a doubt undeniably one of the top five must-see mega-cool cities in the universe.

This message brought to you by the Berlin Tourism Board…did you buy shares in Berlin or something? You do live in Germany right? I’m guessing in BERLIN

Berlin is just okay. If I happen to be in the area visiting friends, etc. I may go to Berlin for a day. For me though it’s a bit out of the way fro most people’s three week circular tour of Europe.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

positiveman
positiveman's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 305
Member: 377
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.

Where’s the rolling eyes smiley here?

You might dislike Berlin, but your trying to persuade people to never go there is as dumb as if I tried to persuade people not to ever go to New York cuz I don’t like it cuz I think it’s a suffocating concrete jungle, which I do.. Berlin is without doubt one of the great cities of the world – just like New York..

Between the two, I personally would rather spend time in Berlin any day. No not because “I bought stock in Berlin” – another dumb thing to say… – but because it’s full of history(Berlin was in many ways *THE *epicenter of 20th Century history…, from WWI through WWII throughout the Cold War..), cultural(just one of a few interesting articles about Berlin over the years – dated, but still relevant – http://www.spiegel.d… ), a great alternative scene, and killer night-life.., and it’s big and spread out with lots of different sections and parks, etc.. Berlin is a city that requires a good, full 3-4 days to get to know btw – IMO

All that said, IMO Germany in general is not particularly nice in winter. In fact, I hate winter in northern Europe.. Berlin – like Amsterdam, Paris, etc… is a city best experienced when the weather is nice..

juhav
juhav's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 12
Member: 9730
Joined: 02/02/2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 46 weeks ago.

Helsinki is pretty awful place to visit. However you can even enjoy your time in Helsinki on cold summertime if it’s not raining.

I live there.

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

Since you obviously live in Berlin Positiveman, can you perhaps give us some real examples of places, etc. that makes Berlin worth a detour to the east to go there…

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

oldlady
oldlady's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 15
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 5 weeks 18 hours ago.

Quote:
Helsinki is pretty awful place to visit. However you can even enjoy your time in Helsinki on cold summertime if it’s not raining.

I live there.

I expected not to like Helsinki, but actually enjoyed it. It’s easy to get around, has at least a few interesting things to see and do and everyone I met was helpful and friendly. The people I meet are as important to how I feel about a city as what I see. Vienna is a gorgeous city and there’s lots to see, but I found it cold and unfriendly. Were the nasty comments I heard from local Viennese or German tourists? The backpackers or even the people who can’t afford Gucci loafers must hang out somewhere, but I never found the place.

positiveman
positiveman's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 305
Member: 377
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.

I don’t live in Berlin – but I would love to… I live in Saxony – which was basically traded to the Russians at the end of WWII so we – the West – could have our little enclave in West Berlin……

To anybody going there, I would highly recommend the guided walking tour which at least eight years ago or whatever it was will be listed in Lonely Planet, et al. Some friends of mine were there during the World Cup in ’06(hanging out with them in Berlin after Germany beat Argentina was one of the best times I’ve ever had anywhere..), I recommended this to them, but they did a bike tour instead.. I thought it sounded kind of cheesy, but they loved it..

And that’s the key, if you just walk around Berlin on your own looking at stuff with no idea where you are or what you’re seeing, I can imagine Berlin being kind of less than spectacular.. Hitler’s bunker for ex is under a children’s playground – you’d never know it was there otherwise… But when you’re standing right there, where it happened, and you can see the Brandenburg Gate, the American Embassy, where Albert Speer had his office so Hitler could keep in regular contact with him, etc…, learning those kind of things and standing THERE where it all happened, well I anyway find that kind of stuff neat… More than neat – enthralling…

There were all kinds of examples of stuff like that that I learned and still remember from that tour – on the square at Humboldt Uni, where they burned the books, it rained that night, so they sent soldiers to go get fuel, etc..

During the heavy Allied bombing of Berlin, ironically, one of the main buildings not destroyed was the Luftwaffe HQ – now the home of the Bundesrat…

A few stories of the more remarkable escape attempts at Checkpoint Charlie(which, granted, is a shameless toursist nightmare…) – including the guy who just sped under the gate in an Austin Healey.. The best was the guy from the East who went into the Eastern gate-house, said he was from the West but had forgotten his papers, so was sent back to the West to get them, and gone he was….

And on and on…

And then, after walking an exhausting four hours throught the whole city (and most of the highlightes of 20th Century history..), we stopped on Oranienburgerstraße at a VERY VERY cool bar with a flame-breathing steel dragon for beers and to chat with the guide – an intelligent English guy doing grad studies in architecture or something at the time..

I also remember him saying as we were walking through the city… “Aha, this tram line wasn’t here last week…” – a sign that the city was – and is – still growing and evolving..

And most of that is just dealing with the history of the place. Berlin also has a TREMENDOUS cultural tradition and scene – the Philharmonic, Der Komischer Oper, the Pergamon Museum, and on and on.. The history of Expressionism.. The roaring Berlin of the 20’s… (anybody interested in that time should read Christopher Isherwood’s “Goodbye to Berlin”..) There’s a huge alternative scene there.. Lots of students..

And on and on and on….

As I said though, you need a good 3-4 days to really be able to glimpse beneath the surface and get any insight into Berlin.. But once you do, you’ll see it totally differently.. It’s just a fascinating place. Walking on touristy Ku’damm, you’ll see mega-rich yuppie guys with €500 shoes walking past punks with pink hair and bones in their noses. It’s all right there. And unlike in America, it doesn’t seem such a strange juxtaposition, but rather just normal ole’ Belrin..

If all you want to do is get off the train, find a hostel, and get drunk with other English-speakers from the hostel in an Irish pub, well, yeah, I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to Berlin for that.. (though that’s there too…)

Over the years since my first visit, I’ve been back to Berlin several times, for weekends or just for day-trips…, and for me the place just has a kind of magnetism.. But hey, I like the paintings of Kirchner, and I’m a history buff.., and I just like strolling along the Spree, or Unter den Linden, or through the Tiergarten, or the Pergamon Museum..(less so since it costs like €11 now..)

Berlin btw I’ve slowly been coming to realize, is a GREAT city to see on a bike.. Next time I go I’m gonna take my bike on the train and just cruise around.. It’s a freakin’ huge city, and there’s so much of it I still haven’t seen…

Berlin might not look like it on the surface, but it’s not just another drab German city. I think I would sum up Berlin like this: Berlin is the main or maybe even only instance of anything in Germany IMHO that manages to combine the qualities “German”, and “cool”…

juhav
juhav's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 12
Member: 9730
Joined: 02/02/2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 46 weeks ago.

oldlady wrote:
Quote:
Helsinki is pretty awful place to visit. However you can even enjoy your time in Helsinki on cold summertime if it’s not raining.

I live there.

I expected not to like Helsinki, but actually enjoyed it. It’s easy to get around, has at least a few interesting things to see and do and everyone I met was helpful and friendly.

OK, just a bad joke, sorry. The Times writes that Helsinki is the romantic city, welcome here…

http://www.timesonli…

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

While I commend you Positiveman for being a Homer (i.e. someone who likes to boost and boast about their part of the world), I’m coming at my recommendations as a traveller with limited time and money. Maybe for someone who lives near Berlin, it’s a cool place to visit from time to time, but for someone traveling half way across the world it would be low on the list of “greatest cities in the universe.” We’ll have to agree to disagree.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

positiveman
positiveman's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 305
Member: 377
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.

Sigh…..

What a bore.

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

Sigh…class act…nicht

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

jsak
jsak's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 27
Member: 9378
Joined: 01/22/2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 31 weeks ago.

I also was not a huge fan of Berlin but I know several people who LOVE it. I found it to be slightly cold and depressing. I went to check point Charlie, saw the berlin wall and even partook in a berlin bar crawl. Still, not my favorite place in all of my travels.

Prague was so-so. I expected more due to all the hype. I had a good time there and thought the city was cool, I just wasn’t blown away by it.

I am leaving from Detroit, MI with $5000 for 45 days
London, Zürich, Interlaken, Gimmelwald, Oxford, Athens, Chania, Heraklion, Thíra, Íos, Athens, Vienna, Split, Bol, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Sights
finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

I found Berlin to be a bit unfriendly too… I mean if I was in the area, I would go, but I’m simply saying that for the 1 day it deserves, it’s a bit out of the way…sorry if that offends folks who live in Berlin

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

Don
Don's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 28
Member: 59
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 36 weeks 3 days ago.

Finland has a maudlin quality, rendering it unsuitable as a holiday destination.

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 8 weeks ago.

Are we still having this discussion?

Prague was so-so? Well the city only has one of the best-preserved historical architectures in the entire world…maybe the problem is not the places we visit, but our unrealistic expectations. If we expect to be “blown away” by every place we visit… then maybe urban tourism is not for you. Go to Antarctica next time, on an expedition to the South Pole. If Prague is overun by tourists…well that’s part of the educational experience of traveling. Tourism has made a huge impact in many parts of the world, and the tourism industry has become a fact of life for locals in these areas. Consider this a golden educational experience, rather than a disappointment. After all, we are tourists ourselves, aren’t we? We made that decision to visit the town that everyone raves about, so what did we expect? Did we expect some “Old World” fantasy where everyone still dresses like it’s 1900, and none of the locals have ever experienced a foreigner before? Get real! This is 2009, we live in a highly interconnected world. Did you expect to “get to know the culture” during your two days there, getting drunk at a hostel? I don’t know what else to say. If Prague is too touristy for you, then go off the beaten path. Even in Paris and New York you can leave the areas where tourists are concentrated, to discover the real city. Surely, you can do this in Prague too?!

Berlin is actually a quite popular destination, a lot of people do end up liking the city. Berlin is not Prague architecturally, but the city is widely regarded as a vibrant urban center and a very fascinating one. Just because a couple people didn’t like it, doesnt mean that everyone should avoid it. It’s funny how some people insist that some places should be avoided by everyone, when they’re confronted by others who liked those cities. And for the record: Berlin is a great city. I think some people are getting carried away trying to prove what world travelers they are by bashing every place they’ve been to. That’s a bit pretensious, and a tad ignorant. Get over yourselves!


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

positiveman
positiveman's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 305
Member: 377
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.
finnegan wrote:
I found Berlin to be a bit unfriendly too… I mean if I was in the area, I would go, but I’m simply saying that for the 1 day it deserves, it’s a bit out of the way…sorry if that offends folks who live in Berlin

I don’t live in Berlin you twerp.

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

hmmmm…never said you did live in Berlin. I was speaking generally. Perhaps you should take a time out until you learn how to behave in the presence of adults.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

jsak
jsak's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 27
Member: 9378
Joined: 01/22/2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 31 weeks ago.

I’m pretty sure you need to get over yourself. If you’re going to mock and criticize other people’s comments then maybe you shouldn’t be involved in a forum.

I am leaving from Detroit, MI with $5000 for 45 days
London, Zürich, Interlaken, Gimmelwald, Oxford, Athens, Chania, Heraklion, Thíra, Íos, Athens, Vienna, Split, Bol, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Paris, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Sights
luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 8 weeks ago.

Maybe you shouldn’t participate in forums if you expect everyone to give you a sticker for everything you say. And maybe you shouldn’t be traveling if you’re gonna be disappointed by every place you visit.

I’m not targeting you specifically. Just this attitude that rears its head every now and then when some people feel the need to rate and rank cities and countries, as if we’re talking about movies or restaurants. Like…ugh that place was soooo crowded…(well there’s a reason for that). This entire thread is characterized by a couple people bent on convincing the rest of us why we shouldn’t like certain places that we’ve been to and liked. Again, I agree that some places should be avoided in short itineraries, but this thread has become an excuse for some posters to make some cities their punching bags just because they didn’t like them, and they persist that these cities belong on a “definitive list of places to avoid” despite disagreement from other posters.

Maybe we need to re-examine the reason we travel in the first place.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

Perhaps we should all take a deep breath…lots of people go to Berlin and like it (don’t ask me why). Lots of people think McDonalds is a great restaurant too. Each to his own.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

luv_the_beach
luv_the_beach's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 2028
Member: 193
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 8 weeks ago.

And some people like Buffalo….


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

In relation to Berlin, I’ll take Buffalo everytime…close to the majesty of Niagara Falls, great chicken wings, one of the finest art galleries in America…you should give it a try before knocking it

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

positiveman
positiveman's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 305
Member: 377
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 51 weeks ago.

Why are you on_ eurotrip.com_ if you rank chicken wings in Buffalo higher than seeing the sights in Berlin?

Why am I even bothering responding to your nonsense??…………………………………..

Sigh…, I guess I just can’t stand seeing somebody so obnoxiously clammering that 2+2=5.

Sorry bud, that you didn’t like Berlin is fair enough. But for you to make some claim that it belongs on a list of cities to avoid is not onyl absurd, but just dumb.

As stated, I have no interest in seeing NYC again.., but it’s very clear to me how utterly ridiculous it would be for me to tell people to never bother going there, or to include it on some assanine list of places to avoid visiting…

finnegan
finnegan's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 1016
Member: 9612
Joined: 01/29/2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 26 weeks ago.

Why are you so upset over what I think…perhaps you and your sock puppet should take a break and chill out…sheesh

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

rob_co2
rob_co2's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 777
Member: 893
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 3 years 44 weeks ago.

I think Rome is overrated, mainly because of that crumbling pile of stones they call a coliseum. Need to tear that crap down use the real estate for something better.

Also Brasov

mooselite04
mooselite04's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 12
Member: 9784
Joined: 02/04/2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 45 weeks ago.

Did you find a deal at GTAHotels.com. DON’T COUNT ON IT!! It may be canceled and refunded in a couple of weeks. We have our trip plan on this hotel deal and they have cancel our hotel. Refunded our money and no news on what can be done. They did not stand on their Terms and Conditions. We are stuck with 2 plan tickets non re-fundable.Frown

oldlady
oldlady's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 15
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 5 weeks 18 hours ago.

Quote:
Did you find a deal at GTAHotels.com. DON’T COUNT ON IT!! It may be canceled and refunded in a couple of weeks. We have our trip plan on this hotel deal and they have cancel our hotel. Refunded our money and no news on what can be done. They did not stand on their Terms and Conditions. We are stuck with 2 plan tickets non re-fundable.Frown
So why is having your hotels canceled a problem when you got a full refund? There are hundreds of thousands of hotels in Europe. You can find a hotel room at tourist information at the train station in any European city — even during the busiest of times. You can book mid-range hotels at good prices from this site. You’re certainly not “stuck” with plane tickets.