Gateway towns

Travel Forums General Talk Gateway towns

1. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2139 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

On another thread I got talking about Auckland, and how it's different to the rest of NZ.

A friend of mine has the theory that anywhere that describes itself as a Gateway is a dump. Lacking merits of its own, somewhere describes itself as "The Gateway To..." as a way of enjoying the reflected glory, or enticing travellers to make it their first overnight stop on the way in, to glean a bit of trade.

What's your experience of Gateway towns? Good or bad. Is my friend justified in his opinion?

2. Posted by Psamathe (Budding Member 67 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

I don't know if Lima considers itself a "gateway" but I regard it as a gateway into the rest of Peru/Andes and I thought it a bit of a dump. Some people enjoy it but given the few districts you can safely move around, these days it's burger/pizza/coffee shop chains (US branding) and not a great deal more (Huaca Pucllana is interesting if you happen to be there but far more interesting similar sites in the north).

In northern Peru I was talking to a Peruvian (living is US but Peruvian) and mentioned how some people enjoy experiencing the food and he commented at how few proper restaurants there are in the areas where travellers can go (safely) and that you need to know where they are and are unlikely to just come across the better ones). And if food is something important to your travels you can get excellent food outside Lima ...

Ian

3. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1702 posts) 4w 1 Star this if you like it!

Not sure if Kendal has ever described itself as the 'Gateway to the Lake District' but, for decades, many others have described it as such. Imo it's not in any way a dump.

Manchester refers to itself as 'Gateway to the North'. I don't much like it personally but I doubt it could be described as a dump nowadays.

Abergavenny, Presteigne, Chepstow and Welshpool have all referred to themselves as the 'Gateway to Wales'. Chepstow def isn't a dump but I reserve judgement on the others!

Glasgow has called itself 'the Gateway to Scotland'. I haven't visited yet (Covid put paid to those plans) so can't offer an opinion.

Then there's Dover........... :-/

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1430 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Methinks your friend generalizes too much. There are some terrific gateway cities, such as New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, Bangkok, Singapore, etc. I would not consider these places to be a "dump." I enjoyed my multiple visits to Auckland, Brisbane, Rome, Buenos Aires, etc. What's a gateway city? One definition is that it serves as the primary, or one of the primary, entry and departure points to a country or region.

5. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 1239 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

There is only two places I can think of that have referred to themselves as a Gateway to... First would be Cairns (gateway to the Barrier Reef) It is not perhaps the most exciting town but it is no dump either and Katoomba (gateway to Blue Mountains) which I think is a rather interesting town;) There some historical buildings, arts centres, local produce and some really nice eateries;)

6. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1347 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I received a postcard recently from a Virtual Tourist friend who's working in Tromso. On the card it describes itself as the 'Gateway to the Arctic'. I've been there and I certainly didn't find the town a dump. It has a couple of interesting museums, the so-called Ice Cathedral, and is a great base for Northern Lights tours (we did one and saw them!)

7. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1430 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

If all goes as planned I'll be in Tromso in August.

8. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1347 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting berner256

If all goes as planned I'll be in Tromso in August.

Then you can let us know if you agree with me that it isn't a dump

9. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1430 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

I've been to a lot of places that many would consider a dump. But the fact is that in most cases people live and work there, by choice or not. For a nonjudgmental traveler these often are fascinating places worth visiting. When in doubt, see for yourself instead of relying on the opinion of others.

10. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 1239 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToonSarah

Quoting berner256

If all goes as planned I'll be in Tromso in August.

Then you can let us know if you agree with me that it isn't a dump

I visited Tromso in their summer, I thought it was a great little city