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Where to go? Iceland vs Czech Republic?

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May 4th, 2016, 10:45 PM
  #1
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Where to go? Iceland vs Czech Republic?

Hi all,
I'm headed to Europe for the 5th time in a few short weeks. I'm visiting my brother in Holland for a few weeks and would like to go to another European country or two while I'm there. I've already been to Paris, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Brussels, Bruges, Athens, Mykonos, Istanbul, Dublin plus a lot of other small cities within the past two years. I'm stuck between Prague and Reykjavik. I have never been to an Eastern European country(unless Turkey counts) nor Scandinavia. However, Iceland has really interested me lately, but in my research, I've noticed there just isn't much stuff there to do? Prague has been listed as a top destination many times and Reykjavik seems to be up and coming. Is there any good city I should visit for around 3-4 days that is good for female travelers? I am 19-year-old girl and may travel with my sister-in-law, but if not, Reykjavik will have to do. I love history, culture, and new environments. I don't care much about food or beer, so sights are the biggest thing for me, along with safety and budget.
Thank you in advance!
starrysara is offline  
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May 4th, 2016, 10:51 PM
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I also wanted to add that I am looking into Warsaw and Venice again since RyanAir offers cheap flights from a nearby airport. I LOVED Venice and would go back in a heartbeat, but would also prefer to see a new country.
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May 5th, 2016, 01:32 AM
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Reykjavik is a good stopover for flights from North America, but a bit out of the way from other places. Icelandair offers some good deals for city breaks from several European cities, including, I believe, Amsterdam. There are lots of outdoor tours from Reykjavik, and the city has recently gained a reputation for nightlife.
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May 5th, 2016, 06:41 AM
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Reykjavik over Prague hands down.

Whilst (for me) Prague has a very tourist orientated bent, and although cheap with some sites worth seeing, I found Reykjavik to be unlike anywhere I'd been before. I suppose it depends on what type of sights interest you the most.

You'll see natural sights in Iceland that are impossible to see anywhere else, there is a long and well documented history of the island (check out the sagas) and culture (whether it's music art or closeness to their roots) that would keep anyone going for years, let alone a few days.

For 3-4 days I think you'll definitely have your hands full trying to fit in everything you want to do in Reykjavik. It's also incredibly safe and although you say it's "up and coming" I think this is due to a new-found popularity with Americans as the nightlife, galleries, shopping and tours (if you're in to all these type of things) are on a par with any midsize city in Europe and have been since before I first started going there over 10 years ago (blimey I'm getting old...).

I find that Prague has a somewhat familiar feel to it if (as you have) you've visited other major cities in Europe and if you really want a new experience, for me, Prague wouldn't be it. I can't comment on the safety of Prague, other than anecdotal evidence of the kind of low level crimes that go on in any major tourist centre.

The one benefit I find that Prague has over Reykjavik is cost. Prague is cheap and Reykjavik isn't. For me, Reykjavik is worth every penny.

Sounds like a nice problem to have, picking between these two!
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May 5th, 2016, 10:32 AM
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We LOVED Prague--we spent a week there a couple of years ago. We enjoyed some interesting day trips out of town, the amazing Art Nouveau architecture, the incredible "beer scene" and some great food. We also really enjoyed Poland, we stayed one week in Krakow and 3 days in Warsaw. We found Krakow to be much more interesting. and Warsaw was definitely NOT our favorite city. If you fly in to Warsaw, it's a very easy train ride to Krakow. Another plus for Krakow--it's easy to take a day trip to Auschwitz. While not a "fun" day trip, it is very moving and, I believe, an important reminder.

Iceland intrigues me, but I was raised in Alaska and lived there for 50 years, so I don't feel drawn to the natural beauty of Iceland as it's much like Alaska. I've looked at doing a stopover there on our way to Paris, and we might do that on our next trip. It seems to be a fairly expensive country, though.

My choice would be Krakow! If you are interested, PM me and I'll give you a link to our travel blog, which has lots of pictures of the above mentioned cities.

Happy travels!
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May 5th, 2016, 10:41 AM
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Apples and oranges.

For me Prague is one of the most fascinating cities in europe due to the fact that it wasn't razed in WWII. The city grew organically and so you have architecture from all periods intermingled and a real city - not the reconstructions you get in many places, eps in Germany, Austria and other places with a lot of war damage.

Also, it was a unique center for european culture before the wars.

IMHO Iceland is mostly outdoors, natural sights - and not a whole lot of history (which for me is the main reason to go to europe). I'm sure it's very interesting - esp if you go pony trekking - if not, I wouldn;t bother.
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May 6th, 2016, 04:09 AM
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nytraveler - I'm afraid I'm going to have to politely disagree with your summation of Iceland.

I've been half a dozen times to Iceland and never once sat on a pony, but I know that there are people that exist (I can't fathom it myself) that travel to Iceland just to ride one.

As for not having a "whole lot of history", for a place that was settled in the 8th century and has the site of (arguably) the first parliament in the world, along with the sagas, and jockeying for position within Scandinavia (practically permanently) and the US and UK during the world wars, there's plenty to keep a casual history buff entertained.

As you say, it's apples and oranges, but for me Iceland offers an experience that very few other places in Europe (and possibly the world) can offer.
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