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Changes in previously visited cities

The thread Changes in Murren got me thinking about cities we visited then visited again years apart. Some changes were obvious, but others subtle, such as the appearance of laundromats in Dubrovnik. I remember visiting Budapest in 2002. Not many tourists, the stores closed at noon on Saturday and all day Sunday. We went to the Hungarian National Museum and were literally the only people there, except for the little old lady who followed us around, no uniformed security then. It took us about an hour to find the Church with the Infant of Prague statue, no one could Direct us as no one we encountered spoke English. They did have artists on the Charles Bridge, but not too many. Fast forward to 2014, wow what a different city. Lively, crowded, HOHO buses, New museums, signage for the Infant of Prague Church, souvenir shops galore. Many, many changes. What cities have you been to and noticed changes, good or bad.

Posted by
1277 posts

When I returned to Dublin, my first stop was to go see the Famine Statues..... they were still in process on a previous visit, behind fences.... to be able to see them as intended was breathtaking

Posted by
258 posts

Other than Notre Dame being in restoration, the one thing different that we noticed in Paris last month was the number of electric scooters (like Lime, etc.). What was really fun was that in the evening it seemed to be the preferred way for young couples to get around. The girl rides on front and the boy rides behind reaching around to control it. I don't think Lime had couples in mind on each scooter, but the kids were having a blast. The last night we were having dinner outside in the 7th Arr, and we must have seen 25 couples ride by -- all with big smiles.

Posted by
3884 posts

No one city in particular but the number of large and small cities and towns that have created pedestrian only zones to reduce traffic. I remember driving beneath and through the arches of Segovia’s aqueduct back in the late-70s.

Posted by
13391 posts

Barbara, we both found Budapest about the same time. The biggest difference between then and now is, then everything was coated with black communist soot; and now most of the town gleams. Some other differences:

Most of the bullet holes from WWII and 1956 have been plastered over.
People speaking English
New Trams and Metro Trains
Fewer stand up eateries
More Thai Massage Parlors
The square in front of the Basilica went from a road to a pedestrian zone
Restored Synagogues
Gozsdu Udvar restored
Kiraly utca goes from home improvement street to tourist street
500 sf apartments go from $50K to $200K and up.
New Airport Terminal
Regulated Taxis (yea!!!!)
Way, way, way more tourists.....

Posted by
260 posts

Have done 13 summer Europe trips since 1990, shortest 18 nights, longest 5 months.

Three biggest changes in general across Northern Europe:

1) more Black and Brown people
2) higher BMI's across all demographics
3) more traditional/religious dress

Other things:

4) more 2nd (3rd, 4th, etc) language English speakers.
5) more international foods outlets following Bougie/millennial casual dining trends (poke, Acai bowls, bagels, fancy burgers, vegan, Brunch, avocado toast, etc)
6) fewer grouchy locals in historically grouchy cities.

Maybe some of the above is pandemic related? All in, as a visitor I like the way Europe has evolved.

Posted by
270 posts

I lived in London in the 1990s. The new buildings that have appeared since have included the Shard, the Millennium Bridge, the London Eye, and one or two other sky scrapers in the City of London, and the British Library. There used to be a lot of ugly buildings surrounding St Paul's Cathedral, and these have been replaced by nicer ones. They also installed Temple Bar in the area near St Paul's. Plus County Hall was empty when I lived in London. There were signs on the window warning people not to enter since they used it for police dog training. It now has a hotel, an aquarium and other attractions inside. When I take the train from St Pancras you now pass the enormous Emirates Stadium. So there has been a lot of change in London and I have to say a lot of it for the better.

Posted by
2396 posts

Thank you to everyone who responded. Some interesting posts. I am currently in Croatia and see many changes since our last visit in 2018. Many are due to covid, but most are because of the increase of tourists who have s wonderful country. I remember never seeing a laundromat here, now they are starting to pop up. We haven’t been into the city yet, so I will have to update my post later.

Posted by
834 posts

What I am seeing in Germany (Bayern) reminds me a little of the USA in the 60s-70s. Small family Laden, bakeries and butchers disappearing and replaced by industry firms, big box stores etc. Grocery store chains, central bakeries and butchers with small outlet stores yes, but most of the products come from the large firm (factory). Many small family businesses are disappearing with retirement, reduced patronage, competition etc. COVID has accelerated the trend. It's sad to see so many small family businesses closed and in many cases the location turned into residence or left empty. Opening hours have certainly changed. Remember long Saturdays? Closed for Mittagessen? Now it's 07:00-20:00 6 days a week in many cases. I'm happy most places are still closed on Sundays! Don’t get me wrong there are still many family run businesses with traditional hours. The best are surviving. See it while you can now, but it's not the same anymore.