Amsterdam vs. Prague

Choosing between the whimsical lanes of Amsterdam and the medieval charm of Prague can indeed stir a bit of a dilemma. The serene canals, cycling paths, and modern art scenes of Amsterdam offer a blend of tranquility and contemporary vibes. On the other side, the cobblestone streets, ancient bridges, and historic squares of Prague transport you back in time. How do you decide between a modern, artistic cityscape and a stroll through living history?
Amsterdam vs. Prague

Table of Contents

Ah, the age-old traveler’s debate: modernism or history? Your choice could lead to vastly different yet equally enriching experiences. The tales of yesteryears echoed through Prague’s architecture might enthrall you. Or perhaps the forward-thinking, open-air galleries of Amsterdam could captivate your modern soul. Dive deeper to explore what sets these two incredible cities apart, and which one tugs at your heartstrings the most.

History & Culture

Amsterdam and Prague, both are rich in history but they showcase it in quite different ways.

Amsterdam, known for its artistic heritage, houses some of the most famous museums and art galleries in the world. The city tells its tale through the strokes of Van Gogh’s paintbrush and the poignant words of Anne Frank. Its history is a colorful palette of various eras and cultural movements.

The city’s modern approach to preserving and celebrating its history makes it a vibrant place where past meets present.

Prague, on the other hand, is like a step back in time. The city has preserved its medieval essence, with every stone and spire narrating stories of ancient kings and battles. The heart of Prague beats with legends of old, resonating through its majestic castles and age-old squares. Here, history isn’t just witnessed; it’s felt with every step along its cobblestone streets.

Comparing the cultural richness, Amsterdam’s modern art scene is juxtaposed with Prague’s classical aura. The freedom of expression seen in Amsterdam’s street art and contemporary galleries could ignite the spark of modernism in you. Meanwhile, the classical music concerts and traditional puppet shows of Prague might appeal to your sense of tradition.

In summary, your preference between Amsterdam and Prague could boil down to your taste in experiencing history and culture. Are you charmed by the modern artistic movements or captivated by the classical, historical essence? Each city holds its own magic, waiting to be discovered.

Attractions & Activities

Exploring the attractions and activities of Amsterdam and Prague is like embarking on two distinctly different adventures. Each city offers a rich tapestry of experiences that reflect their unique characters and histories.

In Amsterdam, the canals are the veins of the city, offering boat tours that give you a unique perspective of the urban charm. Cruising along the waterways, you’re introduced to an elegant cityscape adorned with quaint bridges and historic buildings. The city also invites you to hop on a bicycle, the preferred mode of transport, and explore the artistic soul of Amsterdam.

The Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum are jewels in the city’s crown, giving you a peek into the world of classical and modern art.

On the flip side, Prague boasts a medieval allure that is hard to find elsewhere. The iconic Charles Bridge, with its stone statues and lamp-lit ambiance, transports you to a bygone era.

As you wander through the Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, a marvel of medieval engineering, greets you with its hourly show. Beyond the square, the Prague Castle stands as a testament to the city’s long and storied past, offering a splendid overlook of the city.

Activities in Amsterdam tend to lean towards the contemporary. Engage in photography tours capturing the modern architecture, or partake in interactive art installations scattered around the city. The outdoor sculptures of Vondelpark make for a delightful exploration, blending nature with artistry.

Prague’s activities, meanwhile, are a ride through history. Embark on guided tours that delve into the city’s rich past, or enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Vltava River, taking in the picturesque medieval skyline. The allure of historical reenactments at various sites further enriches the experience.

In essence, choosing between Amsterdam and Prague boils down to what excites you more – a modern, artistic exploration or a journey back in time. Each city offers a bevy of attractions and activities that promise to leave a lasting impression.

Eating, Drinking & Nightlife

The gastronomic landscapes of Amsterdam and Prague are as rich and varied as their historical tapestries. Both cities offer a feast for the senses yet with different flavors and atmospheres.

In Amsterdam, the culinary scene is a melting pot of cultures. From hearty traditional Dutch dishes to a vast array of international cuisines, the city caters to every palate. Popular delicacies like Stroopwafels and Poffertjes are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Prague offers a hearty culinary journey with its traditional Czech fare. The city’s historic eateries serve classic dishes like Goulash and Svíčková, providing a warm, comforting meal as you soak in the medieval ambiance around you.

When it comes to drinking, Amsterdam has a thriving craft beer scene with numerous breweries dotting the city. The Dutch also take pride in their quality gin known as Jenever, a must-try for spirit enthusiasts.

On the other side, Prague is often hailed as the beer capital of the world. With a brewing history dating back centuries, the city’s pubs offer a wide range of local beers that are both rich in flavor and tradition.

The nightlife in Amsterdam is diverse and vibrant. From classy cocktail bars to energetic dance clubs, there’s a place for every kind of night owl. The city pulsates with modern beats, welcoming everyone into its lively nocturnal embrace.

Prague, however, offers a more laid-back nightlife experience. The city’s quaint bars and historic taverns provide a cozy retreat for a quiet evening out, although there are also clubs where you can dance the night away to contemporary tunes.

Summarizing, whether you fancy a modern, eclectic dining and nightlife experience in Amsterdam, or a traditional, hearty meal followed by a relaxed evening in Prague, both cities offer unique experiences that cater to a range of preferences.


The shopping landscapes of Amsterdam and Prague reflect their unique cultural and historical backgrounds.

Amsterdam is a haven for those who appreciate a blend of modern design and vintage charm. The city boasts a plethora of trendy boutiques, designer stores, and vintage shops. Particularly, the Nine Streets and Jordaan are famous for their eclectic shops offering a variety of unique finds from fashionable apparel to antique collectibles.

Prague, with its rich history, offers a shopping experience steeped in tradition. The city is renowned for its Bohemian crystal, garnet jewelry, and artisanal toys. The quaint shops in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square are treasure troves of traditional Czech souvenirs and crafts.

Both cities provide a delightful shopping environment. However, while Amsterdam tends to lean towards modern, chic, and sometimes quirky items, Prague offers more traditional, locally crafted goods.

The contrasting shopping scenes in Amsterdam and Prague provide a glimpse into the contemporary and historical souls of these cities. Your shopping adventure in either city will likely leave you with cherished items that hold a story of the place they come from.


The quest for a perfect place to stay is part of the adventure when visiting Amsterdam or Prague. Both cities offer a range of accommodations, each with its own unique charm and characteristics.

In Amsterdam, you can find a blend of historic and modern lodgings. The city is home to elegant canal houses converted into boutique hotels. These provide a quaint, authentic Dutch experience. Additionally, modern hotels and trendy hostels are scattered throughout the city, offering a contemporary stay with sleek designs.

Prague, on the other hand, boasts a wealth of historic accommodations. From medieval buildings turned into luxurious hotels to charming guesthouses, you can find a place that transports you back in time. The ornate architecture and historic ambiance of these accommodations enhance the city’s fairy-tale allure.

Both cities also offer a good range of vacation rentals and apartments. These options provide a home-away-from-home experience, letting you live like a local during your stay.

In terms of location, Amsterdam’s accommodations are often clustered around the city center and popular neighborhoods like Jordaan and De Pijp. In Prague, the Old Town and Lesser Town host a variety of lodgings that put you right in the heart of the city’s historic charm.

In summary, whether you’re enamored by the historic allure of Prague’s accommodations or drawn to the contemporary yet authentic lodgings in Amsterdam, both cities cater to different tastes and experiences, ensuring a memorable stay.

Family-Friendliness & Children’s Activities

When traveling with family, the range of children-friendly activities and the overall family-oriented atmosphere of a destination are crucial. Amsterdam and Prague, each with their distinct charm, offer varied experiences for families.

Amsterdam is known for its educational and interactive museums like the NEMO Science Museum, which is a haven for curious minds. The city’s extensive parks such as Vondelpark also provide a great outdoor escape for families, with ample space for picnics and play.

In Prague, the city’s fairy-tale ambiance is a dream come true for young imaginations. Exploring Prague Castle can feel like stepping into a storybook. Moreover, the city’s Petrin Hill offers a funicular ride to the top, providing a fun activity for kids and a stunning view of the city.

Both cities offer boat tours which can be an exciting way for families to explore the cities from a different perspective. Whether cruising through the canals of Amsterdam or along the Vltava River in Prague, the experience is sure to captivate children and adults alike.

Amsterdam’s flat landscape is great for family bike rides, while Prague’s compact city center makes it easy for families to explore on foot.

Summarizing, both Amsterdam and Prague offer a variety of family-friendly activities and atmospheres. Whether exploring the modern, interactive attractions in Amsterdam or delving into the storybook charm of Prague, families are sure to create lasting memories.

Getting There & Getting Around

The ease of access and navigation through a city significantly impacts the overall travel experience. Both Amsterdam and Prague are well-connected cities, each with its own set of advantages in terms of accessibility and internal transportation.

To reach Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport serves as the main gateway, located 5.6 miles (9 km) southwest of the city. It’s one of Europe’s major airports, with numerous international flights. On the other hand, Prague is served by Václav Havel Airport, situated 7.5 miles (12 km) west of the city center, also well-connected to various international destinations.

In Amsterdam, getting around is a breeze thanks to its extensive network of trams, buses, and ferries. The city is also famous for its bike-friendly streets, making cycling a popular and convenient way to explore.

Prague also boasts an efficient public transportation system comprising trams, buses, and metro lines. The compact nature of the city center also makes walking an enjoyable and practical way to get around.

Both cities offer a variety of passes for public transportation, making it convenient and cost-effective to explore the urban landscapes.

Summarily, whether you prefer the bike-friendly lanes of Amsterdam or the walkable charm of Prague, both cities offer efficient and enjoyable ways to explore their unique landscapes, making them easily accessible to visitors.


The weather can significantly impact the ambiance and overall experience of your trip when visiting Amsterdam or Prague. Understanding the climatic patterns of these cities can help you plan your visit better.

Amsterdam experiences a maritime temperate climate, with mild summers and cool winters. The summer months from June to August see temperatures ranging from 50°F to 72°F (10°C to 22°C). The yearly distribution of rainfall is fairly uniform, with the wettest month being August.

Prague, on the other hand, has a continental climate, characterized by warmer summers and colder winters. During summer (June to August), temperatures in Prague range between 57°F to 79°F (14°C to 26°C). Winters, from December to February, are cold with temperatures dropping between 27°F to 37°F (-3°C to 3°C), and snowfall is common.

While both cities can be visited year-round, the warmer months from May to September are often preferred by tourists for outdoor exploration. However, the charm of snow-covered medieval architecture in Prague during winter or the cozy canal-side cafes in Amsterdam can also provide a unique experience.

In general, if you prefer a milder climate with less temperature extremes, Amsterdam might be more comfortable for you. However, if you don’t mind a wider temperature range and possibly experiencing snow in the winter, Prague could be a fascinating choice. Both cities offer distinct weather experiences, each adding a unique flavor to the ambiance and activities you can enjoy.


Safety is a paramount concern for travelers, and both Amsterdam and Prague are known for being safe and welcoming to visitors.

Amsterdam has a low crime rate, and the city’s well-patrolled, well-lit streets contribute to the sense of safety among locals and visitors alike. Like in any major city, it’s advisable to be cautious of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and on public transport.

Similarly, Prague is also considered safe with low crime rates. The city center is well-patrolled, and emergency services are reliable. However, being vigilant about pickpockets and keeping personal belongings secure is always a good practice.

A unique non-crime-related safety topic in Amsterdam is biking. The city has a well-structured network of bike lanes, making cycling a safe and popular mode of transportation.

In summary, both cities are relatively safe for visitors, with adequate measures in place to ensure public safety. The unique biking culture in Amsterdam provides an added layer of safety and convenience for getting around.


Considering the cost of travel is essential when planning your trip to either Amsterdam or Prague.

In Amsterdam, you may find the cost of living to be higher. Dining out, for example, could cost around €40 per person for a meal, which is approximately $42. Lodging varies widely, but a night in a mid-range hotel might set you back around $260. Transportation is efficient, with a day pass for public transport costing around €8 (around $8.50).

Prague, on the other hand, is often regarded as more budget-friendly. A meal at a mid-range restaurant may cost between CZK 688 (approximately $30). Hotel prices for similar mid-range accommodations average $180 per night. Public transport is also affordable with a day pass priced at around CZK 110 (around $5).

Whether you have a hearty appetite for fine dining and cozy lodgings or you’re traveling on a tighter budget, both cities offer a range of price points to accommodate your needs. The overall cost of your trip may be lower in Prague, while Amsterdam may offer a more premium experience at a higher price point.

Which Is Better – Amsterdam or Prague?

In the quest to choose between Amsterdam and Prague, a myriad of factors come into play, each contributing to the unique allure these destinations hold. Let’s delve into a recapitulation to better understand what each city offers and under what circumstances one might be favored over the other.

The historic and cultural tapestry of Amsterdam is rich with modern artistry and a forward-looking perspective, while Prague enchants with its well-preserved medieval charm. The choice here depends on whether you’re keen on contemporary art or historic allure.

When it comes to attractions and activities, Amsterdam invites with its tranquil canals and bike-friendly streets, whereas Prague mesmerizes with its historic squares and timeless architecture. Your preference for modernity or history could be the decider.

On the beachfront, Amsterdam’s urban beaches offer a slice of seaside atmosphere, while Prague creatively utilizes its riverbanks to provide a beach-like ambiance. The authentic beach experience in Amsterdam may appeal to some, while others might enjoy the makeshift beach atmosphere in Prague.

The culinary scene in Amsterdam is a melting pot of cultures, contrasting Prague’s traditional Czech fare. Nightlife in Amsterdam is vibrant and diverse, while Prague offers a more laid-back, cozy evening experience. Your gastronomic preferences and nightlife style could guide your choice.

Shopping in Amsterdam leans towards modern, chic, and sometimes quirky items, while Prague offers traditional, locally crafted goods. Depending on your shopping preferences, either city could be a shopper’s paradise.

Accommodation in both cities caters to different tastes; Amsterdam with its blend of modern and historic lodgings, and Prague with its medieval charm. Family-friendly activities abound in both, yet they offer different experiences; modern, interactive attractions in Amsterdam versus storybook charm in Prague.

The ease of access and internal transportation in both cities is efficient yet they offer different experiences. Amsterdam’s bike-friendly streets contrast with the compact, walkable charm of Prague.

Weatherwise, Amsterdam’s maritime temperate climate offers milder temperatures as compared to Prague’s continental climate with warmer summers and colder winters. Safety is paramount in both cities with low crime rates, yet the unique biking culture in Amsterdam provides an added layer of safety.

Cost-wise, Amsterdam is on the higher end with premium experiences, while Prague is more budget-friendly yet rich in experiences.

In conclusion, your choice between Amsterdam and Prague boils down to personal preferences and what you seek to experience. For a modern, artistic, and progressive ambiance, Amsterdam is the place to be. However, if a journey back in time to a fairy-tale medieval setting enthralls you, Prague awaits with open arms.