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  #361  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2022, 11:19 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is offline
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Originally Posted by JManc View Post
Berlin's airport reminds me of London's Stanstead, busy but mostly budget airlines (easyjet, ryanair, etc) flying into more secondary cities where as Frankfurt flies far more into major destinations; I have to fly through FRA, CDG or FRA to get to Berlin.
FRA reminds me of AMS. I feel like most of the traffic is pass-through like Amsterdam, while most of Tegel's traffic was Berlin bound.
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  #362  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2022, 3:18 PM
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Frankfurt really isn't going to register for those who don't pay attention to finance or economics. You also have that perspective and that of someone with close ties to Germany but I guarantee, to most casual observers (outside Germany), Frankfurt is just a big city with a busy airport.

As for FRA, it's Lufthansa's hub which explains why it's so busy.
If you ask a soccer buff to name two German cities they'll probably say Munich and Dortmund.
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  #363  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2022, 4:20 PM
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I've been to Frankfurt at least 50 times. Never have I set foot in the city (just passing through with an flight connection). I truly hate that airport. Munich is much better as a transit point. Charles de Gaulle is even worse than Frankfurt airport. Wretched place, always chaotic and filthy.
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  #364  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 2:17 AM
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I completely agree with your assessment of those three airports. Frankfurt on the other hand is a great little city (little in terms of the older core, big in terms of the whole mess of city around it). We mostly see pictures of the dispersed zone of large towers, but the city is much more than that.
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  #365  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 6:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
As Acajack mentioned how small Los Angeles, São Paulo and Mexico City were back in 1900, Berlin was the opposite: its metro area (they still hadn't merged by that time) was getting close to 3 million.

For comparison, London, the largest city in the world, had 6.2 million; New York (plus Hudson and Essex) had 4.2 million, Paris 4 million, Chicago (Cook) 1.8 million, Vienna 1.8 million, Tokyo 1.6 million, Philadelphia 1.6 million, St. Petersburg 1.5 million.

Berlin was once world's 4th largest city.
But then WWII. After the loss of the war Germany was not just split into two but decentralised on top giving rise to the trade in Hamburg, industry to Dusseldorf, business to Frankfurt, politics to Bonn and old money/ culture to Munich. If Berlin had stayed centralised I'm sure it would have become a megacity by now (even after annihilation in WWII).

Vienna is a similar story, once capital of the Hapsburg empire and on track to also become a megacity. But of course it all fractured into the modern day nations of Central Europe after WWI. If you go nowadays to Vienna or Budapest (the second city of Hapsburgia) and witness how grand it all is, whose historic core areas are on par with London or Moscow's (if not larger) you'll think it much larger a city than the 2 million. As Bill Bryson noted about Vienna, if aliens came down they'd think it the world capital.


Vienna is not just the huge palaces, elegant squares, grand vistas and ceremonial routes, but the infill has the most ornate and sizable buildings for block after block:







Your typical Viennese streetblock that just goes on and on endlessly (the usual 6 storeys is equivalent to a modern 9/10 storey), even into the narrow backstreets











Explore:

https://www.google.com/maps/@48.2124...7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@48.2177...7i16384!8i8192

Last edited by muppet; Feb 4, 2022 at 7:31 AM.
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  #366  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 2:29 PM
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Vienna was bigger than NYC until the Civil War, and was one of the European 19th century Big Three, alongside Paris and London. It has an imperial grandeur that's only surpassed by Paris.

Absolutely no comparison to Berlin, or really any West German city.
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  #367  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 2:38 PM
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when will you realize, vienna waits for you?
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  #368  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 2:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
I've been to Frankfurt at least 50 times. Never have I set foot in the city (just passing through with an flight connection).
That's the right move. Frankfurt is a nice place to live, but offers almost nothing to tourists.

There's a tiny, poorly reconstructed old town, and you can walk along the river. That's basically it. Most of Frankfurt has the charm of Dallas.

Frankfurt has a fantastic location, however, and there are tons of interesting and scenic places within easy driving/train distance. Thirty minutes outside of town, you're already in beautiful mountains, with castles and medieval villages.
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  #369  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 3:02 PM
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I loved Vienna when I visited in 2013, for the reasons outlined and illustrated by muppet. It is a fantastic place, with an immense quantity of ornate buildings. Unlike Paris, it isn't overrun by tourists, making it a very pleasant place to visit. Rather light on the nightlife, on the other hand.

Berlin is fabulous for other reasons. The bohemian atmosphere, the juxtaposition of old and new, the sheer oozing of history...

I liked Hamburg much more than I thought I would. I figured it would be drab and industrial...it had the latter, but it wasn't drab at all. Much wealthier than I would have expected (every second car was a Mercedes).
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  #370  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 3:05 PM
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Originally Posted by muppet View Post
But then WWII. After the loss of the war Germany was not just split into two but decentralised on top giving rise to the trade in Hamburg, industry to Dusseldorf, business to Frankfurt, politics to Bonn and old money/ culture to Munich. If Berlin had stayed centralised I'm sure it would have become a megacity by now (even after annihilation in WWII).

Vienna is a similar story, once capital of the Hapsburg empire and on track to also become a megacity. But of course it all fractured into the modern day nations of Central Europe after WWI. If you go nowadays to Vienna or Budapest (the second city of Hapsburgia) and witness how grand it all is, whose historic core areas are on par with London or Moscow's (if not larger) you'll think it much larger a city than the 2 million. As Bill Bryson noted about Vienna, if aliens came down they'd think it the world capital.


Vienna is not just the huge palaces, elegant squares, grand vistas and ceremonial routes, but the infill has the most ornate and sizable buildings for block after block:
Vienna seems "grand" but does not really feel bigger than what it is, IMO. It doesn't feel anything like a London or Paris to me, or even a Barcelona. Berlin feels much larger, albeit with much less in the way of pre-20th century architecture. Vienna is similar to Lisbon.
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  #371  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 3:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
I loved Vienna when I visited in 2013, for the reasons outlined and illustrated by muppet. It is a fantastic place, with an immense quantity of ornate buildings. Unlike Paris, it isn't overrun by tourists, making it a very pleasant place to visit. Rather light on the nightlife, on the other hand.

Berlin is fabulous for other reasons. The bohemian atmosphere, the juxtaposition of old and new, the sheer oozing of history...

I liked Hamburg much more than I thought I would. I figured it would be drab and industrial...it had the latter, but it wasn't drab at all. Much wealthier than I would have expected (every second car was a Mercedes).
I loved Hamburg as well. Beautiful city and it’s indeed wealthy. I was a bit underwhelmed by Munich. It’s beautiful, but it’s a bit dull.
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  #372  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 3:11 PM
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If you're traveling all around the Vienna region, yeah, the city doesn't seem big, as it isn't. Berlin feels much bigger and more expansive, as it is.

But Vienna's core is really huge, amazing and grand. Berlin's traditional core is pretty small.

And yeah, Hamburg feels like the richest German city, but Munich and Stuttgart are richer. I think it's how Hamburgers carry themselves. They don't leave the house without being done-up, and they would never drive a crap car. The elite neighborhoods are full of German stock stereotypes, with tall, blond, dour, well-dressed Protestants.

Sometimes you can't tell household income from outward appearance. Miami is a relatively poor metro (for U.S. standards), the Bay Area is probably the richest U.S. metro, yet Miami feels much richer. Bay Area is full of people wearing Target jeans driving old Hondas and Toyotas.
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  #373  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 4:06 PM
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But Vienna's core is really huge, amazing and grand. Berlin's traditional core is pretty small.

Berlin was a bit of a late-bloomer by European standards, but it still had a million inhabitants by the 1870s, surpassed Vienna by 1890, and had over 2 million by WWI - it was one of the largest cities in the world at the time, so no doubt would have looked the part.

Of course, given WWII destruction and Cold War decay, it's surviving traditional core is relatively small compared to other European cities of its size. Which I think was Muppet's point - had it been spared the mid-20th century, Berlin's core today would probably be more like Vienna's, if not a larger version of it.
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  #374  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 4:14 PM
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Berlin grew out of a cluster of villages, though. It never had a core like Vienna's.

For example, the Tiergarten area (the "downtown" of the former West Berlin) was an important business district pre WW2. But it was distinct from Berlin's core. Vienna doesn't have equivalents. So Berlin has a touch of the multinodal Tokyo/LA/Mexico City type form. The city has gigantic city limits for European standards, and there are multiple historic nodes far from the core.
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  #375  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 4:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Berlin was a bit of a late-bloomer by European standards, but it still had a million inhabitants by the 1870s, surpassed Vienna by 1890, and had over 2 million by WWI - it was one of the largest cities in the world at the time, so no doubt would have looked the part.

Of course, given WWII destruction and Cold War decay, it's surviving traditional core is relatively small compared to other European cities of its size. Which I think was Muppet's point - had it been spared the mid-20th century, Berlin's core today would probably be more like Vienna's, if not a larger version of it.
By the WWI, Berlin was in fact close to 4 million. They hadn't made the merger (Greater Belin Act 1920) and neighbourhoods like Charlottenburg, Neukölln, Pankow were still independent cities.
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  #376  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 5:09 PM
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There's a tiny, poorly reconstructed old town, and you can walk along the river. That's basically it. Most of Frankfurt has the charm of Dallas.
That's a bit of a stretch. Most of the buildings in Frankfurt might be that dull kind of postwar architecture that West Germany hastily threw up, but there are still about 300,000 people living bona fide European urban lives, walking out of their midrise apartments to bars, restaurants and grocery stores. 95% of Dallas is subdivisons, malls and stroads, and that 5% that is somewhat urban are drive-to destinations with things like retail in old warehouses or single storey strips behind diagonal parking.

Frankfurt isn't in the top 10, maybe not even in the top 50 European cities for urban frisson, but if it were magically transported to North America, we'd be singing its praises. I'd put it on the same level as Seattle.
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  #377  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 5:20 PM
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That's a bit of a stretch. Most of the buildings in Frankfurt might be that dull kind of postwar architecture that West Germany hastily threw up, but there are still about 300,000 people living bona fide European urban lives, walking out of their midrise apartments to bars, restaurants and grocery stores. 95% of Dallas is subdivisons, malls and stroads, and that 5% that is somewhat urban are drive-to destinations with things like retail in old warehouses or single storey strips behind diagonal parking.
I meant visitor appeal, not livability or quality of urbanism. Frankfurt is generic and anodyne, and there are no blockbuster attractions.

But yeah, Frankfurt is dense, walkable and transit oriented, and an urban planning miracle by North American standards. Its transit system is outstanding, even for Germany, and the region transitions immediately from dense apartment blocks to forests/farmland.
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  #378  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 6:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I meant visitor appeal, not livability or quality of urbanism. Frankfurt is generic and anodyne, and there are no blockbuster attractions.

But yeah, Frankfurt is dense, walkable and transit oriented, and an urban planning miracle by North American standards. Its transit system is outstanding, even for Germany, and the region transitions immediately from dense apartment blocks to forests/farmland.
This is true. . . I'm always impressed by the various public transit modes that are readily available. . . it's a model for how to do rail transit in the modern age. . .

. . .
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  #379  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 6:41 PM
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public transit in any sizable urban area in Europe (or East Asia) is way, way way better than that in even the largest urban areas in North America.
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  #380  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2022, 6:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
public transit in any sizable urban area in Europe (or East Asia) is way, way way better than that in even the largest urban areas in North America.
I don't agree. There's a huge gap in North America between the best public transit services and the average. New York has better public transit than most places in Europe; really only London and Paris are competitive with it. Tokyo has probably the most advanced urban rail system in the world, but the difference between Tokyo and New York is barely perceptible when compared to the difference between New York and the average U.S. city.
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