FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Travelling to Europe, need some advices

Page  12>
Author
coyote1086 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 01 November 2007
Country: Canada
Location: Vancouver
Status: Offline
Posts: 2184
Post Options Post Options   Quote coyote1086 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Travelling to Europe, need some advices
    Posted: 13 April 2022 at 23:45
We are planning to travel to Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels + some side trips in August ( hopefully the covid situation is not too bad ). And I understand we have many members living in those areas, so I would like to start asking for some advices about security and things to do and see.

I've been to Europe ( London, Rome/Florence/Pisa/Milan/Genoa, Munich, Greece, Austria ) and fortunately nothing bad happened, even in Rome. But it was many years ago. I heard Paris is bad in terms of pick pockets, do you also need to use RFID blocked wallet/bag ? Will they target camera bags and slash them ? I am planning to get some waist pouch for inside my pants and a neck pouch, just wonder if I should get version with RFID blocked. As for camera bag, planning to use my Lowepro flipside 200AW, which the zipper is on the side close to my back, dunno if they can slash through it though.

It is still in planning stage, but we got air tickets already. I guess I will post more questions later when I can think of something.

Thanks in advance.
James
 



Back to Top
mariuszlo View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 17 December 2007
Country: United States
Location: Jersey City
Status: Online
Posts: 2109
Post Options Post Options   Quote mariuszlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2022 at 00:10
I haven't been to Europe in three years. And taking into account that the last visit was in Poland, that is in this safer part of Europe, I should not comment. But I hope to see a lot of pictures of these pickpockets.
Sony A99II with Sony, Minolta, Sigma, Tamron A lenses, Sony A7R with Minolta MD lenses, Sony A6400 with Sony E lenses.
Back to Top
addy landzaat View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 22 April 2006
Country: Netherlands
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Posts: 12961
Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2022 at 08:06
Poland a "safer part of Europe"? Never heard that before.

Brussels and Amsterdam are in Belgium and the Netherlands. I would consider those countries to be really safe. There are no No-Go areas like in France. Like in all places, there are pick pockets at tourist hot spots - just like in Canada and the US.

I always am surprised about North Americans asking about security in Europe. The biggest risk you'll have in The Netherlands is your bike being stolen

Take the same precautions as you do when you travel in Canada/US. If it makes you feel more secure, bring a RFID protective wallet.
Slashed camera bags are horror stories that do not happen as often as some people say.

Do not worry that much, Europe is safe.

And do not go to Amsterdam unless there is something specific you want to visit. Other cities are much nicer - go to Utrecht and visit Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague by train. We could do a Dyxum Meet
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
Back to Top
pegelli View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Dyxum Administrator

Joined: 02 June 2007
Country: Belgium
Location: Schilde
Status: Offline
Posts: 33755
Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2022 at 08:59
I agree with Addy, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam (and the other major cities in these countries) are generally as safe as the big cities in North America/Canada. Pickpockets are everywhere so you just need to be prudent and don't draw attention to yourself but nothing special as compared to any other tourist hotspot.

In Brussels I would avoid the Molenbeek/Kanaalzone area, not as bad as some areas around Paris but still a slightly higher risk then the other parts of the city.

I also agree that for instance staying in Utrecht is probably cheaper and nicer and all major cities in the Netherlands are easily reached by train for a day-trip.

Enjoy your trip (and the preparation which is half the fun) and I'm all for a Dyxum meet if you feel like you can squeeze it into your program. Let us know.
You can see the April Foolishness 2021 exhibition here Another great show of the talent we have on Dyxum
Back to Top
Bob J View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Dyxum Administrator

Joined: 23 December 2005
Country: United Kingdom
Location: London
Status: Offline
Posts: 27045
Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2022 at 09:53
I do quite a lot of travel to cities in Europe (well over 100 visits).

It is always an idea (wherever you are) to exercise caution - keeping a wallet in an inaccesible pocket, splitting money and card between two or more locations etc.

In all the cities I've visited, I've only been robbed once - I won't name the city as it is not one of the obvious ones and I don't think the risk is higher there than elsewhere...

The theft was opportunist, I was following a map on my tablet to get back to the hotel after a meal out at dusk and it was snatched out of my hand by a cyclist passing me from behind. No violence - and he did it because he could escape quickly.
Back to Top
Howard_S View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 20 March 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Oxford
Status: Offline
Posts: 4167
Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2022 at 10:04
We enjoyed Leiden as a base for a visit to Holland. Again, well connected with all the other centres in NL. Even Brussels is easy to reach.

I was once a victim of a pickpocket attempt in Barcelona's subway (tip, don't carry your wallet in your hip pocket!) and I gave chase (stupid at my age). The guy got above ground and was spotted by three lycra-clad roller-skaters who gave chase, caught him, kicked him with their blades, and retrieved the wallet! Locals are fed up with petty crime too.

My feeling based on many visits to Holland is that you are quite safe. European statistics for robbery are here, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Crime_statistics and I note Belgium is top of the charts - I don't know if much of this is localised to areas that are best avoided.
Howard Stanbury Instagram | Flickr | Web
 



Back to Top
coyote1086 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 01 November 2007
Country: Canada
Location: Vancouver
Status: Offline
Posts: 2184
Post Options Post Options   Quote coyote1086 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2022 at 23:50
Thank you for the advices so far.

I guess my biggest pickpocket concern would be Paris, as I read some stories about them. Looks like I don't need to worry too much about the backpack, as it probably did not happen very often, just make sure do not leave stuff unattended. Again, waist pouch and neck pouch will be used inside clothing and I could get RFID blocked sleeves for passport and credit cards for not too much on Amazon.

As for the travelling, thank you so much for offering dyxum meet, but I will be travelling with family and the time in Amsterdam (2 nights) and Brussels(3 nights) will be tight, so don't think I can leave them.

Current plan :

Will arrive Amsterdam in the afternoon from Paris. Then general walkaround the famous places in Amsterdam ( canal and the buildings, red light district ), 2nd day go to a cheese market (seems not in Amsterdam) and see windmill ( may be somewhere near Rotterdam for the UNESCO one), but it seems there is an area with a few windmills just north of Amsterdam. Day 3, hope to go to Van Gogh museum in the morning, then train to Brussels in the afternoon.

So again, will do a general walkaround in Brussels ( Grand Place and Manneken Pis), what else ? 2nd day, day trip to Bruges, don't know if I could also visit Antwerp, and back to Brussels. 3rd day : day trip to Luxembourg ? does it worth a trip or should I go some place else ? Ghent ?

We are not museum people, will go to a few but will not spend a lot of time there. I like to see the beautiful old towns, squares, old buildings (which we don't have any in Vancouver). Eat some local food and walk the streets. The pictures I see on Google are really pretty, hope I can capture some as well.
Back to Top
addy landzaat View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 22 April 2006
Country: Netherlands
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Posts: 12961
Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2022 at 06:19
Let me give you some information on The Netherlands.

The red light district is a tourist trap. But if you're in Amsterdam it is hard to avoid and free of charge

The Cheesemarket is in the city of Alkmaar - lovely city. The cheesemarket is on fridays: https://www.kaasmarkt.nl/en

The windmills near Rotterdam are Kinderdijk (https://www.kinderdijk.com) and to the north of Amsterdam in Zaandam (https://www.dezaanseschans.nl/en/) - Both are quite touristy. Never been to either.

If you're a Van Gogh fan, yes, got to the Van Gogh Museum.

The places you want to visit are really touristy - so, be aware of pick pockets.

You want to see the beautiful old towns, squares, old buildings - there are a lot of those in The Netherlands. Next to Alkmaar cities like Leiden, Delft, Haarlem and Utrecht are just a train ride away from Amsterdam. As you're just one day in Amsterdam I doubt a visit to these cities fit.

Interesting fact:
You know Vancouver is named after the (not that interesting) Dutch city of Coevorden?

Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
Back to Top
Howard_S View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 20 March 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Oxford
Status: Offline
Posts: 4167
Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2022 at 09:50
If you're going to Alkmaar there is a pretty set of windmills 10km east of the town at Schermerhorn, see http://www.museummolen.nl/en/. These are not as famous as those at Kinderdijk or Zaandam, but they are worth a visit.

Howard Stanbury Instagram | Flickr | Web
Back to Top
coyote1086 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 01 November 2007
Country: Canada
Location: Vancouver
Status: Offline
Posts: 2184
Post Options Post Options   Quote coyote1086 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2022 at 19:37
It looks like I won't be able to visit the cheese markets in Alkmaar/Edam/Gouda because I will arrive Amsterdam on a Friday afternoon. The only one I can go to would be Woerden, though not as big as the others, but this one seems to have real trades there.
Back to Top
addy landzaat View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 22 April 2006
Country: Netherlands
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Posts: 12961
Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2022 at 20:42
The one in Woerden is at Saturday from 11:00. It is a small fortified city with a mill inside the walls and a history that goes back till Roman times. And it will for sure be less touristic. It is about 40/50 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central Station.
https://www.beleefwoerden.com/en/plan-your-visit/practical-information

Maybe I should go there once....
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
Back to Top
angora View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 02 March 2014
Country: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Posts: 4664
Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2022 at 12:52
hope it will become a wonderful journey...

Holland in a rush, quite a challenge. although it's a 'small' country, distances c/b serious, i.e. time consuming, esp. when depending on public transportation. my advice w/b to take your time, enough to also enjoy your 'stay'?! instead of cramming in too many activities? (and only enjoy the pics afterwards, my style ;)).   
(we could mention average travel times if you'd care to know, like, for instance, approx. an hour from Amsterdam to Rotterdam -or vice versa- by train).

crux however will be waiting times and the time to figure out where to go and how to do that.
(an example? to avoid traffic jams, decided to take the train to The Hague, for the funeral of my aunt > arrived after 2 hours. even managed to find the Right! bus stop. long story short- took me well over an hour, after arrival in The Hague, to get from the station to the graveyard, longer than expected, and almost missed the funeral. :S).
not everything is at the very center, not Everywhere a bus departs every 10-15 minutes, not every distance rel. short. etcetera?

in Amsterdam for instance, it's also fairly easy to rent and pick up a bike or scooter/moped. (know nothing about acceptance of foreign driver's licenses for the latter).
https://riderly.com/blog/renting-a-scooter-in-amsterdam-everything-you-need-to-know/
but trams ( trams ) are also a great idea. + metro/subway.


public transport
https://9292.nl/en (no favourite of mine, cryptic?)

you'll need 'this'- Dutch Railways:
https://www.ns.nl/en/journeyplanner/#/ and/or https://www.nsinternational.com/en

+ REALLY annoying:
https://www.ns.nl/en/travel-information/traveling-with-the-ov-chipkaart
(I simply REFUSE to buy a chipkaart / chip card -for emergencies-, for the simple reason the balance will always exceed the actual costs).
I think (?) you'll be able to pay for the bus/tram by bank card as well, it'll cost extra, don't know about credit cards (yet).
all I know is that, for security reasons, you won't be able to pay cash.

at the train stations are ticket machines. you should be able to use a bank card / credit card. (often experienced issues with my particular bank card, not with cards from other banks. (but who said it w/b easy )). and... obviously there are still ticket counters in Amsterdam! elsewhere usually out of fashion.
https://www.ns.nl/en/travel-information/traveling-with-the-ov-chipkaart/ns-ticket-machines.html
https://www.nsinternational.com/en/where-to-buy/stations-selfservice-ticket-machines

https://www.expatica.com/nl/living/transportation/guide-to-public-transport-in-the-netherlands-100594/


as for safety? but nothing promised- (LOL @ Addy with his bike, classic! ), I don't totally agree. in general, no high risk for the Netherlands, quite safe, but not 'Disneyland' either. depends on where, in what neighbourhood, you are and when -at night in particular-. street robberies do occur.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/moving/location/is-amsterdam-safe-1126952/
don't bring your Rolex! + the usual make sure to always shield your pin code, esp. when using cash machines outside. beware of scams or little cameras.

+ the Netherlands may be rel. safe, but there is also a lot of organized crime; from pickpockets, people trying to scan your RFID signal through ... younameit. esp. gangs/families from Romania are infamous and operating throughout Europe. and the bigger, i.e. more crowded, the city, the higher the risk?


big YES to RFID blocking sleeves! -aluminium foil seems to work as well-.
and pouches are a splendid idea! (+ the obvious- never keep all of the money in 1 place, etc. there are also document covers, covering crucial info or even copy-ID apps).
(I happen to have lots of capes, cloaks and cloak-like coats. in a former life, when I still wore fancy clothes, the prefered outfit when I went to the big city, as they covered everything, (hand)bags included. the ultimate recipe? hope you won't be needing a rain poncho though. ). nowadays I wear my (camera) backpack on my belly when in a massive (pre-corona) crowd or turned around on my back. still can be slit open, but no zippers and the like in sight.


as for the OVERRATED red lights- pls check this out? some things have changed.

Addy is right- the most famous w.mills sites of the Netherlands! where all the tourists gather...

https://dutchreview.com/traveling/daytrips/best-windmill-site-in-holland/

https://rachelsruminations.com/kinderdijk-or-zaanse-schans/

https://theorangebackpack.nl/en/netherlands/best-place-to-see-windmills-in-the-netherlands-kinderdijk-or-zaanse-schans/

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/netherlands/kinderdijk-or-zaanse-schan

https://www.reidsguides.com/destinations/europe/netherlands/zannse_schans/index.html

https://www.albertdros.com/short-sessions (watch pics only! the nerve!!)

https://fotografieploeg.nl/offline-cursussen/workshop-landschapsfotografie/

and so on   

(think I would prefer the Zaanse Schans, more scenic?).
but the expert who can tell you all about these, is Paul! aka snegren.


(Poland? I thought Poland w/b civilized enough to take my brandnew shiny Minolta 8000i ashore, broad daylight. and my -late- husband was by no means 'frail', quite tall and broad. nevertheless we were followed and cornered by a bunch of skinheads. I couldn't follow what they were saying, my Polish is not that good, but I do understand the word 'camera'. and saw what they were trying to grab hold of. and chased them off. NOT funny though! deja vu on Dyxum, where I saw that street again, in the center of Gdansk).

love the ending, Howard! hint! always look out for roller-skaters? ;) Belgium unsafe?    news to me!

Back to Top
addy landzaat View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 22 April 2006
Country: Netherlands
Location: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Posts: 12961
Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2022 at 14:29
Originally posted by angora angora wrote:

my brandnew shiny Minolta 8000i
From 1990
Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101
Back to Top
angora View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: 02 March 2014
Country: Netherlands
Status: Offline
Posts: 4664
Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 April 2022 at 17:34
yes! june. bought it the moment it hit the shelves. the 9000 already outdated and the 9000i nothing but a vision, it would take another 2 years for it to appear. (thus making 8000i Minolta's flagship for a while; 1/8000s and came with a free subscription to Minolta Magazine). to my frustration, lacking a DOF preview button, but with an auto double exposure option. which we had so, SO much fun with... in an era when it was a fact (!) that 'photographs never lie!'
even had a Cokin mask to cover part of the frame to make the illusion complete, and 'real'. hilarious! not just ghostly pics.

back then people still paid for their lenses themselves. Marktplaats and E-bay had not been invented yet. and that's why I ended up with Sony. because we had spent a 'MERE FORTUNE' on Minolta lenses. and other stuff. little did I know!


@James- stories about funerals, but the clue was that -because I knew this graveyard, my grandparents burried there as well-, I thought I had made up a schedule, only this time without a car. the clue is that this country gets so much bigger, when relaying on public transportation. it sometimes takes like forever to get to places, if possible anyway. (in the city usually the other way round). + the thing with busses is that they stop. they do that a lot.

so I figured you'd better pick a Dyxumer to drive you around? or from / to sites like Zaanse Schans. ? could car rental be an option? outside the city! parking fees in Amsterdam are OUT-RA-GEOUS! IF you can find a parking space that is! (to give you an idea; to drive across this country, diagonally, will take up to 5 hours, since we are not allowed to fly low, there are speed limits).

and another idea perhaps-
https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/destinations/more-destinations/gouda/cheese-valley-gouda-and-beyond.htm

not every cheese named Gouda, comes from Gouda btw. learned that they call the area around Gouda 'cheese valley' nowadays. but afaik cheese was never produced IN the city of Gouda, i.e. my (4) grandparents, who lived in Gouda, used to buy cheese and butter at farms nearby, in the vicinity of Gouda; Gouda cheese.
Jet might be able to tell you about gems that might be hidden there nowadays?
+ -classic!- places like silver city Schoonhoven and such.
(throw in a tulip, a couple of cows and some clogs, a polder perhaps + a dyke and you'll get the whole picture? ;) picture perfect, NOT!).

if you like the utterly pittoresque, very very dutch, the vicinity of the Zaanse Schans is lovely as well. + the whole enchilada at the IJsselmeer /-lake.
near Amsterdam you'll also find a castle, an old one. (also the most famous one? although I think we have nicer ones. anno 1285. Gravensteen, Ghent dates from 1180).   
so much for TOURIST TRAPS in a nutshell.

https://www.dyxum.com/dforum/cities-marken-netherlands_topic139992.html

https://www.catharinavanmijdrecht.eu/arrangement/day-trip-sailing-2/

https://uitjesvolendam.nl/zeiltocht-markermeer-driegangendiner-marken/ (4 hours, but -too- pricey! -including dinner- )

Back to Top
Dyxum main page >  Forum Home > Dyxum Community > Open Talk Page  12>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.066 seconds.

Monitor calibration strip

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer

In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania

Feel free to contact us if needed.