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Amsterdam vs. Munich (Netherlands vs. Germany)

Which city and surrounding country would you recommend for a family travelling with young adults? Amsterdam or Munich? We have 7-8 days and would like to spend time in the city, and also travel the country side to see towns, nature, other sites. For those who have been to both, what would you recommend?

Posted by
258 posts

They're both great....and so different, so I guess it depends on the travelers' tastes, preferences, etc. As much as I enjoyed Amsterdam (very pretty city, friendly people, great fun), I'd, personally, choose Munich, w/o a doubt. Such a great, historical, interesting city, with world-class art (not that Amsterdam doesn't have this, too), fantastic museums, cathedrals, car-free/pedestrian plazas, terrific beer, parks, important WWII memorials, etc. But for me, 1 of the MAIN differences/advantages, is that it's a gateway to the alps/S. Bavaria. As pretty as Amsterdam is, the coutryside surrouding it IS pretty flat and just can't compete with the grandeur and sheer beauty of the German/Austrian alps. Especially as you mention "nature" above, for a family traveling w/ young adults., Munich and the surrounding countryside offer endless cultural AND active/hiking/outdoor possibilities. If you could do both, time permitting, adding a day or 2 in Amsterdam to your trip would be a great deal of fun, but if you have 7/8 days max, I'd leave Amsterdam for another trip and dive right into Munich; Bavarian Alps, including Neuschwanstein Castle (1 of Germany's great sites); Salzburg, Austria, etc. I'll be curious to see what others here recommend. Travel preferences are, of course, quite subjective! Good luck w/ your travel planning.

Posted by
12040 posts

To compare cities, I like Amsterdam better. But for the surrounding countryside, Bavaria by far. The rural areas of Holland are mostly reclaimed land... not a whole lot of nature to be found, but lots of industry and modern agriculture. The hinterland of Munich... well, you've got rolling forests, lakes, and those things they call the Alps....

Posted by
693 posts

I've been to both - I love Amsterdam and the countryside but I've only been in tulip season - twice. Any other time of year, I'd go to Munich, hands down; I find the countryside and nature around there more diverse and interesting. The beer is great in both places.

Posted by
2297 posts

james, Germany has won 3 World Cup titles so far. And the Netherlands? The Dutch hold the record for losing the most World Cup finals without ever winning the tournament ...

Posted by
8995 posts

A more accurate measurement would be this:
Ajax Amsterdam was won 4 Champions League trophies, and two Intercontinental Cup trophies. Bayern Munich has also won 4 Champions League trophies, and two Intercontinental Cup trophies. Therefore both cities are wonderful places to visit....flip a coin;)

Posted by
199 posts

B, what are the ages of these young adults? Amsterdam is a great city but there are things you may not want these young adults to see? There's a chance they may observe something more appropriate for adults. If you have no problem stepping up to the plate, being a parent and explaining it to them then by all means go to A'Dam. Both cities are fantastic but Munich wins for countryside. Good luck.

Posted by
3 posts

Tom, Beatrix and Michael,
Now if the World Cup was being HELD in either one of these cities this summer.....well, then we have a different story :-)

Posted by
3696 posts

Have to chime in here too... went to both with my 21 year old daughter. She loved Amsterdam but she really loved Munich... (we have German heritage, maybe that did it) And with the beautiful surrounding countryside I would have to say Munich. As someone suggested, if you can maybe fly into Amsterdam and give the city 2 days to see the highlights that might be fun. I have returned many times to Germany, but never felt the burning desire to return to Amsterdam (although I would if the situation presented itself) Have a great trip!

Posted by
1986 posts

Amsterdam is fine, but even with day trips to surrounding sights, only good for about three days, in my opinion. Not much scenery. Munich with its Marienplatz area is worth three days on its own, plus the convenience of the Alps and foothills just a few hours south, the castles (must see at least once), Garmish, Oberamergau; various Romantic Road villages, Nurnburg. (Forgot to mention Hofbrauhaus or another beer garden). So for me 7 or 8 days its Munich. I would have no hesitation in allowing the "young adults" to go off on their own in either City. Amsterdam "red light district" is pretty tame during th day

Posted by
28082 posts

Hmmm.... I didn't see Germany at all in the World Cup that just finished last week. Netherlands gave an impressive minnow performance but not as impressive as Ireland or Ghana. Australia out (shock!) early, shame Sri Lanka lost, but India is happy. Germany didn't even play. (2011 Cricket World Cup)

Posted by
1986 posts

Nigel
There are a few of us who understood exactly what you were talking about. I mean, who doesnt follow cricket? I didnt see you mention England?

Posted by
700 posts

B:
Have you asked the kids? Get RS DVDs from the local library for Amsterdam and Munich and then decide. If it is still a toss-up, consider that Munich offers day trips ranging from the somber (Dachau) to the self-indulgent frivolity of Neuschwanstein Castle. There are also plenty of other places--Salzburg, Ehrenburg Castel Ensemble, Wieskirche, and Herrenchiemsee.

Posted by
28082 posts

No, Brian, I did not mention England. Poor fielding useless bowling and I don't even want to start on the batting. To go down to Ireland's record century is embarrassing. Good match against India though. The other guys who put on a good show were the W.Indies. When Pakistan wheeled out the good team they were great fun, not so much when they didn't.

Posted by
3 posts

Okay...enough with the comments.(soccer and other)
Keep it to Munich and Amsterdam ..please

Posted by
111 posts

I have been to both Munich and Amsterdam, both are worthy of extended visits. Munich on the most part is a new city, mostly destroyed during the war and rebuilt back to it's historic beauty. However, Amsterdam is truly a unique visitor friendly city. I've been there a multitude of times and still find , or ride a bike or ride atram is so easy. You have obviously research the sites of both and are looking for personal preferences....my vote is Amsterdam.