Vienna or Amsterdam?

Old Jul 8th, 1999, 09:01 AM
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Vienna or Amsterdam?

Hi there! I was wandering, which one do you like most: Amsterdam or Vienna? Why? And, do you think that is possible go solo to those cities, even if you do not know a word in their language?
Thanks a lot!
Old Jul 8th, 1999, 12:30 PM
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I believe I'm the only one on earth (besides my husband, and he doesn't count) who didn't like Amsterdam very much. I was way disappointed. It's interesting but not terribly and it's dirty and unfriendly. Sorry, but that's my opinion, which I know differs from tons of others on this forum.
You certainly can go there by yourself, though, and only speak English. I did like the brown cafes, art museums and the Ann Frank house, but give me Vienna any day.

Vienna is delightful, to me, anyway. A real froth of a city. You can get around there by yourself too and with only English. But I studied the heyday of the Austrian Empire and know lots about its culture and history so I am really drawn to it. Still, I have friends who were terribly bored by Vienna, so these things are always very individual as to tastes.
Old Jul 8th, 1999, 02:24 PM
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I guess I'm the other person in the world who likes Vienna best. Amsterdam has it's charms, but I had a feeling that the sea might rise before I could get out. Vienna, on the other hand, is a city-lover's city. It's parks and promenades and buildings are beautiful, and it's like Paris in having 19th century grand order and sumptiousness (is that a real word?) successfully integrated into a medieval city. It's just a thoroughly enjoyable place to be. Language is not a problem in either place. In addition to all the standard sights in Vienna, I found the Freud museum especially interesting.
Old Jul 8th, 1999, 03:44 PM
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Definitely Vienna.
Old Jul 8th, 1999, 09:24 PM
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I've never been to Vienna so I can't advise between it and Amsterdam...but I call the Dutch the friendliest people in the world (even though I haven't been everywhere in the world). Everyone I met in Amsterdam spoke English very well.
Old Jul 8th, 1999, 10:42 PM
Bill Fleites
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I really liked both Vienna and Amsterdam. But if I had to choose one, I would also vote for Vienna. There is just a lot more to see and do in Vienna. Among them: the Staatsoper (Opera House), Karntner Strasse (pedestrian street), St Stephan's Cathedral, Hofburg Palace, Imperial Apartments, Kaisergruft (tombs of the Habsburgs), the Spanish Riding school (Lipizzaner horses), Kunsthistorisches Museum (Durer, Rubens, Titian, Raphael, Brueghel), and Schonbrunn Palace (second only to Versailles). Not to mention nightly Mozart, and Strauss concerts.
Old Jul 9th, 1999, 07:57 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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I've been to both and should add that my judgement is skewed a bit as I was 23 when I first visited both and was on a very limited budget. As you may imagine, I greatly preferred Amsterdam.

They are 2 very different cities (I recently visited Amsterdam again and still loved it). Vienna is much larger, more of a city whereas Amsterdam seemed more walkable and quaint (in the off season - November - at least). I also get the feeling that I'm somewhere different and special when I'm in Amsterdam, and not so much so in Vienna.

If you like big fountains, impressively large buildings, the opera and arts like that, go to Vienna. If you like to stroll along a canal, duck into a cute bar for a drink, stroll some more, visit a great museum, duck in for another drink, wander and get lost, find a cute restaurant for dinner, duck into a few more bars and then stagger home, go to Amsterdam.

You will have no problem at all in Amsterdam using English.
Old Jul 9th, 1999, 08:35 AM
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In my mind there is no question - Vienna. It is my favorite spot in all of Europe. Of course it doesn't hurt that I studied abroad there a few years ago, but still, it is a great place. Amsterdam is ok, there are so good museums and it is cute, but Vienna is so grandiose. I don't think you would have many problems getting by with just english there either.
Old Jul 9th, 1999, 10:24 AM
dan woodlief
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Can't compare Vienna to Amsterdam as Brian did, since I haven't been to Amsterdam yet. However, I actually found Vienna very walkable compared to some other major cities. It certainly takes a lot less time to get around by foot than it does in Paris, for example. In less than a day, we were able to walk to most of the major sites within the center of the old city, climb the tower of the cathedral, eat lunch, have a piece of Sacher Torte at the Hotel Sacher, and tour the living areas and treasury at the Hofburg. The next day, we went to harder to get to places such as Schonbrunn Palace.
Old Jul 9th, 1999, 11:25 AM
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My 2 cents: I think that Amsterdam is more scenic. One commentator referred to Vienna having a medieval aspect. I never saw it. I went there with visions of the Blue Danube. In fact, the Danube is miles away. To me, the city has that heavy imperial Habsburg quality. Massive and ponderous imperial buildings - Schonnbrun excepted. Both have truly magnificent sites to see and museums to visit. I think 2 reasonable people could differ as to which museums are better. I probably would say Vienna's are somewhat richer. Holland never approached the imperial splendor of Vienna and the Viennese palaces are more opulent. That said, I think Amsterdam is prettier and more romantic, with its 17th century Dutch architecture and all those canals. Amsterdam too presents a more consistent picture of an old city with more homogeneous structure. Vienna was heavily bombed during the war (and many buildings were restored) but much of the city has very modern architecture. Therefore, my vote for Amsterdam.
Also, the opportunity to go bike riding within Amsterdam and the immediate countryside makes for a great experience.

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