Essential Travel Experience #32 – People Watch in an Old Town Square

    Most cities have their gathering places, spots where people are likely to meet and hang out. Europe is replete with these locations and many of them are actually in the Main Squares of the Old Town. It’s fun to just sit and watch the passers-by, either at a sidewalk cafe or on the edge of fountain.

    You can try to identify the languages being spoken (this can be very difficult in Europe where there are so many different languages) or try to imagine what the people are talking about or saying. The interactions are often comical and certainly entertaining.

     Here are some of the Old Town Squares where this type of behavior reaches its pinnacle:

    In Rynek Glowny, the Old Town Square of Krakow, Poland, the mood is definitely positive and fun-loving.

Old Town Square, Krakow

 Prague’s Main Square is likewise exuberant.

Old Town Square, Prague

 Check out the crowded Grand Place of Brussels.

Grand Place, Brussels

 Munich’s Marienplatz is equally filled with people.

Marienplatz, Munich

London’s Trafalgar Square is also a major gathering place.

Trafalgar Square, London

Bruges’ Main Square is also a very busy place.

Markt Square, Bruges

   In Quebec City, one of the busiest squares is found in Lower Town.

Place Royale, Quebec City

Check out this adorable square in Zhouzhuang, China.

A Square in Zhouzhuang, China

Look at another adorable square in San Gimignano, Italy.

Piazza Cisterna, San Gimignano

St Mark’s Square in Venice was called, by Napoleon, the “drawing room of Europe.”

Piazza San Marco, Venice

In Bratislava, Slovakia, Old Town Square is quaint and reasonably quiet.

Old Town Square, Bratislava

Spain has several grand squares which are the focal point for locals and visitors alike.

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca


Plaza de Corredera, Cordoba

The largest public square in the world is Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, China — it is always crowded with people during the day.

Tiananmen Square, Beijing


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