Amsterdam vs. Prague

Old May 19th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Amsterdam vs. Prague

My husband and I are considering a short trip to Europe for about 4 or 5 days sometime in Sept/Oct, but cannot decide between Amsterdam or Prague. We're in our mid-twenties, on moderate budget, very active, and up for just about anything. We've heard great reviews about each place, but do not know of anyone who has been to both. If anyone could make some suggestions that would be great. In fact, we're open to other possibilities as well.

Thanks
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Old May 19th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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ira
 
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Hi eriel,

It's close to a tossup, but I think that I would go with Amsterdam.

Prague is still recovering from having been discovered, while Amsterdam has more experience with tourists.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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I spent a couple of days in each, and I wasn't too enthused about either, but I'll be stopping by Amsterdam again in a few weeks.

Other choices -- have you considered Barcelona? I liked this more than I thought that I would, and this would be a place that I would want to visit again. Obviously, you've got the usual suspects as well. I've also thought that Lisbon is nice, but I've yet to make it there.

These are places that come to mind when I think "Prague/Amsterdam."

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Old May 19th, 2004, 08:17 AM
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Sorry -- I've *heard* that Lisbon is nice. Bad typing.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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I disagree with Ira and I have been to both cities several times.
Prague is no more tourist-clogged than Amsterdam is on some days and I have consistently found Prague and the Czech Republic to be a little cheaper to visit depending on your activities and what your hotel preferences are.

These two cities are VERY different in terms of architecture with Prague having somewhat a more "medieval" feel (which is why they use it for so many movie exteriors..everything from "Amadeus" to the "Bourne Identity" where it "stood in..kinda..for Zurich...and ithas so much baroque/gold leaf adornment in the fabulous churches, etc., that you could die from "gold overload" if you aren't careful. The Castle complex, the Jewish Quarter, the so-called "Old Town" are all fascinating.

But then there is Amsterdam with its very laid back attitude toward "recreation" and the quintessential "Dutch" architecture, one of the richest (in terms of value of works contained) museums ON EARTH in the Rijksmuseum, not to mention the Van Gogh, the Rembrandt, etc., etc.

All up to you..you cannot go wrong with either.

Either would be wonderful but I think it would be helpful if we knew a little of your interests.
 
Old May 20th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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For me, there is no comparison. Prague wins hands down. Yes, Amsterdam has museums, but, to me, seeing canal row house after canal rowhouse was a tremendous bore, compared to the architectural variety and superiority of Prague. Prague would be the perfect place to spend 5 days. You can cover the sights, take a day trip, see cultural events during the main season, etc, etc.. I have spent a total of 2 days in Amsterdam, compared to 8 trips, lasting several weeks, in Prague. I find Prague to be dynamic (up & coming, and ever changing), while Amsterdam has far less substance, and bores me easily.

So, unless smoking recreational substances in a dirty city is your idea of a fun way to blow a few thousand $s, I would choose a place like Prague. (I'm sure there are many who will disagree with me, but that's fine. If you stay away, it will just make the city less crowded when people like me go to visit!)
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Old May 20th, 2004, 02:08 PM
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Having been to both cities Prague hands down.
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Old May 21st, 2004, 01:09 AM
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I've also been to both and I liked Prague better. While in Prague, I had British neighbors (5 guys) of mixed lifestyles who used to go to Amsterdam semi-regularly for vacations, but decided that Prague was much, much better.

I liked Amsterdam OK, but I think there was more variety to see and do in Prague, and I found the food to be much better....better taste, better value. There wasn't much for me in Amsterdam after 2 days. But for my hippie brother....well, that's another story for another day.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 01:48 AM
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I've been to both and love both! Both are extremely beautiful and romantic. Both are great for art and architecture. The history of both is fascinating. The people are warm, friendly, and relaxed. The beer is superlative in both. I can't comment on the club scene, but the guide books show plenty variety in both cities.

So what's different between them? While both have their fun elements, I'd say the variety and opportunity for fun is greater in Amsterdam. Prague affords many more opportunities for fantastic views of the city, though some great views of Amsterdam can be had from a few buildings, like the Westerkerk. I felt Amsterdam had the edge with a huge variety of cuisine (I've been to Amsterdam several times, and haven't had anything but great meals and snacks). Amsterdam has a huge variety of very good large and small museums, not just world leaders like the Rijks and the Van Gogh, but also the Tropics Museum, a cat museum, a theatre museum, canal house museums, the maritime museum, etc. Prague's got the Vltava and its big bridges, while Amsterdam's got such pretty canals and bridges all over (I like plenty of water in a city).

I feel I'm pushing Amsterdam a bit over Prague here. Yes...if push comes to shove, I'd return to Amsterdam before Prague, though I'll most definitely return to both!

The first time I went to Amsterdam, I had a very special feeling the moment I arrived...like finding home, and I have felt that any time I've been there since. For me, it's a place that is very difficult to leave.

Please let us know what you decide on. All the best.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 02:57 AM
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I've been to Amsterdam, the city is a dump, and a really poor reflection on the rest of Holland which is splendid. Besides the Van Goghs which are superb, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to visit Amsterdam.

Prague looks much more charming, if more old fashioned in the sense of its communist roots.

Or you could go somewhere completely different, London - or is that too high budget? Athens - charming, a Mediterranean cross between Amsterdam and Prague perhaps. Some Spanish cities? More suggestions please!
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Old May 25th, 2004, 04:17 AM
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>Prague looks much more charming, if more old fashioned in the sense of its communist roots. <

Hmmmm, and I thought Prague predated Communism.
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Old Jun 1st, 2004, 12:22 PM
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I just returned from Prague and was in Amterdam a couple of years ago. Obviously it depends what you are looking for, but my choice for a return trip would be Amsterdam. Objectively speaking, Prague is beautiful and fascinating, with so much history, gorgeous views, great mix of architecture, etc. Yet for some reason, the city didn't really grab me like I expected - for one thing, I didn't feel like I met an actual Czech person the whole time I was there except for taxi drivers and waiters in restaurants. It is just so full of tourists it almost feels fake at times, like you're on a movie set or at Disneyland. The crazy mix of architecture also lends it a sort of fairy-tale feel. Of course, there are plenty of places off the beaten path that would have a different feel, but I assume you'd be spending a fair amount of time seeing the sights.

Amsterdam, on the other hand, I really loved, from the second we arrived - although there were a lot of tourists, I felt more like I was in a real city and could easily get away to a quiet neighborhood and be far from the hordes of tourists. I also felt like even in the major tourist areas, there were also normal residents going about their daily lives, and I got a much better feel for the city. Although it doesn't have the dramatic vistas and views of Prague, I found the canals and houses very charming and wonderful. And I also thought the dining options were more diverse, and the nightlife was more interesting in Amsterdam.

But again, it's completely an issue of personal preference, and I don't see how you could have a bad time in either place.
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Old Jun 1st, 2004, 12:26 PM
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Have only been to Amsterdam but I did not like it. Agree with the other poster's 'dump' reference. They call it the "Venice of the North" but I call it "Venice on Crack!"

I agree with another poster's recommendation of Barcelona. Unexpectedly became my favorite European city with Edinburgh in a close second.

Brian
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Old Jun 1st, 2004, 02:27 PM
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I've been to both and it's hands up for me. I would take either. The replies on this thread are excellent and candid, much better than you'll find in any guidebook.

This is something like the five blind men who wrote a report describing an elephant, each one having had the opportunity to touch only one part, the trunk, leg, tusk, tail, or ear. Everybody has a different experience.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 01:01 PM
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Although I'm Dutch, I'd absolutely go for Prague. Far more authentic, it's a stunning city! Amsterdam seems to be overcrowded with -let's call them- British drugs tourists. But Amsterdam has also some very nice parts.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 02:13 PM
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While either city is a good choice for a break for a few days, I have a definite leaning towards Prague for many of the reasons already mentioned. Your money will go quite a lot further in Prague too if that is an issue.

I disagree with the poster who said the food in Prague is better. I had some excellent meals in Amsterdam while I found some of the food in Prague to be very salty and the sort of food I imagine my family ate about 50 years ago.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 03:18 PM
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Hi eriel,
I have been to both. I think Prague is my favorite of the two. I was there 10 days last summer and would go back if given the opportunity. I was in Amsterdam a few years ago for about three days (I think) and saw a lot. I would not go back there just for Amsterdam but maybe for Haarlem (sp) since I missed that short side trip. Good museums in Amsterdam, but I think part of the charm of Prague is it is still very "old world" to me. Happy travels!
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