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Old 06-28-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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Which do you think are the most/least tourist-friendly cities in the world?

For example, which cities have the best public transportation/easiest rent-a-car,bike,etc. system? Which have the most places with signals in several languages? Which have the least so-called "tourist traps"? Which have the friendliest people mostly related to the tourism industry (hotels, cabs, famous sights guides, stores, etc.?)

Which seem genuinely glad to have tourists around or not?

World travelers, please share any positive/negative experiences you had as tourists.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:13 PM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,430,595 times
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I really consider every single city I've ever been to as friendly towards tourists. That said, a few stand out in particular. Those are San Diego, NYC, Chicago, SF, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Venice, Prague, Krakow and Puerto Vallarta. We found all those easiest to get around, with great public transportation option in most of those cities.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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NYC is very visitor friendly. It has a great public transportation system which runs 24/7. Many tourist attractions have signs in several languages and people are generally helpful.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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The worst visitor friendly would probably be Arlington, Texas. They have created a centralized entertainment district that is absolutely no where near any source of public transportation. So unless you're driving, you'll never make it to see the Cowboys play.

That also includes the likes of Tampa, and Jacksonville Florida.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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I had a half-day layover in Rotterdam once, connecting with a channel ferry. I think they stop the clocks there. I was so bored, I actually spent some time reading a part of a book by Herbert Marcuse.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
268 posts, read 716,859 times
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Portland, OR has a fantastic (and cheap!) public transportation system. Anytime I've asked a question there, people have been actually EXCITED to help me out. I've even gotten unsolicited advice on great places to visit in the Portland area.

On the other hand, I found Antwerp, Belgium to be a terribly unfriendly and unhelpful place. I speak excellent French, but as Antwerp is Flemish-speaking, I asked most questions in English (my Flemish attempts were incomprehensible). I attempted to ask a train conductor a question in English, and when it didn't elicit a response, I asked in French. His response came back to me in perfect English, "Don't you speak any Flemish?" and then he walked away.
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Old 07-03-2010, 01:25 PM
Status: "Send HIM back- to Queens!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,287 posts, read 11,142,995 times
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Chicago and London. Had a great time in Antwerp, too. but I didn't make the mistake of speaking French. You don't speak French in Brittany either;stick to English.
For worst infrastructure, I'd have to second Jacksonville.
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,269,594 times
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Cartagena, Colombia is VERY tourist oreinted.. you will very rarely see people that speak english in Colombia but in Cartagena it is not very uncommon.

I don't think you can get more touristy of a city than Miami here in USA.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,164 posts, read 6,333,536 times
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Anchorage Alaska makes both lists.

The tourist industry is a big part of Anchorage's economy. There is lots of shopping and sightseeing.

On the negative side, public transportation sucks. I live 7 miles from the airport. When I was working afternoons at the airport, I would have had to leave the house at 11am in order to get to work on time at 2 pm. Hotels really jack up the prices in the summer. Motel 6 gets $140 a night. The Hilton gets about $300 a night.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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Anywhere in Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and The Netherlands. Those countries are enjoyable and easy to visit. Berlin is also nice and very easy to navigate. Despite huge language barriers, we also had a lovely time in Prague and the Czech Republic. We even managed to navigate a train to a distant castle!
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