Gary’s Favorite Places to People-Watch Around the World — Group 10

                     Squares (plazas, piazzas, places) are great tourist stops. They are usually a beehive of activity, with restaurants, shops, street performers, and often major attractions. They are great places for people-watching and frequently offer a respite from sightseeing since they are places to relax, where the tourist can have a glass of wine or beer or a cup of coffee or tea.

                    In this series, I will list my favorite squares around the world, with the reasons why they are special. I will present them in groups of five (5) although I will not attempt to rank within the group. However, groups are ranked; group 1 is my all-time favorite 5, while group 2 is next, etc.

             Group 10

               Travelers Square, Mont Tremblant, Quebec Province, Canada* — This is the main meeting place in this charming little village known far and wide for its skiing. The clock tower is a village landmark and this is where visitors can enter the pedestrian-only streets filled with restaurants and interesting shops.               

Travelers Square, Mont Tremblant

         Dam Square, Amsterdam, Netherlands* — The reason this square is not ranked higher is that it is an extremely busy transportation hub as well as traffic-laden with private autos. Negotiating the area is somewhat dangerous because of this. There are several important attractions here, including the Royal Palace, and the National Monument.           

National Monument, Amsterdam

        Weinachtmarkt, Basel, Switzerland* — This narrow square is home to Basel’s Public Market. The area is basically a widened city street so it is not conducive to relaxing or stopping for long, although browsing through the vendor stalls is highly recommended.            

Market Square, Basel

        Taksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey* — This square is a major tranportation hub in the Beyoglu section of the city. It is also a popular location for events that attract large crowds. It is also at one end of the Istiklal Caddesi, the major pedestrian-only shopping street in this area.         

Taksim Square, Istanbul

             Pioneer Square, Seattle, Washington, USA* — The oldest part of Seattle, marked by this square which features a totem pole, recalling the Native Americans who inhabited the area, was once a center of activity. Now it is more of a curiosity since the tourists have moved toward the wharf area.              

Pioneer Square, Seattle

          * All these locations are included in my walking tours of each city. Check them out by clicking on “Walking Tour Store.”.

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