Hello all, I am in the U.S. Army.. Been to a couple of places for work like Korea, Mexico, and of course Iraq and Kuwait... However, I love to travel and would love to see Europe. I've been doing a little research and right now Prague, Warsaw and Stockholm seem really appealing... Also, they dont use the Euro which I think is a plus.. I'm really into the nightlife and beautiful scenery... Also, I am curious of the "buying power" of the U.S. Dollar in these countries. Where is the dollar the strongest amongst the three? I plan on going for a short trip in late april.. Just 5 days... thanks for any help!
NOT Stockholm for buying power. The cheapest would be Warsaw - but I find Warsaw quite drab and boring. Prague may be a good mix of all you are looking for. Especially for your time to Europe. Prague has good nightlife - the best of all 3 you mentioned. Nice scenery too.
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 22, 2008, at 9:01 AM by coldwarspy ]
Just bc Stockholm, Warshaw and Prague do not use the Euro does not mean they are cheaper.
Heck, London doesn't use the Euro and we all know how expensive that place is. What is more relevant to price levels is the location, the further south and east you get the cheaper it works out. Stockholm is in Scandinavia, along with the UK the most expensive area of Europe.
So if you want it cheap you will be better off with Prague or Warshaw. Personally a have a slight preference for Prague. Berlin could also be interesting to you. At a budget level Prague, Warshaw and Berlin have similar price levels. Prices in Berlin are fast on the rise though, if you ever have wanted to go there for the history do it as long as you can still afford it.
One more thing: Also look at the prices for getting there. Maybe you got friends stationed in Germany who can arrange for you to fly into Ramstein or a similar airbase with military craft. In this case it is highly likely that Prague or Berlin work out to be the best option as they are easier to get to from Southern Germany than Warshaw.
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 22, 2008, at 9:20 AM by t_maia ]
Actually, Stockholm probably would be a good idea at the moment for someone coming from the USA; due to the financial 'crisis', the USD is currently nearly at its highest rate to the SEK in five years (nearly as high as it was at its peak three years ago, and 10% higher than it was five years ago). Compared to the Euro, Czech Koruna and Polish Zloty, it has only gained back what it lost in the last 1.5-2 years, and is still 10-25% lower than it was five years ago.
Of course, that is offset by Sweden by a generally expensive country, but no better time for going to Sweden than right now; it's like there's a built-in 15-25% discount on everything, which might bring it down to roughly the same level of Prague.
On the gripping hand, it's anyone's guess what things will be like by April.
(For reference, here's the graphs for the currency fluctations involved here: USD-EUR, USD-SEK, USD-CZK, USD-PLN.)
I agree with Sander. it's squeaky bum time and no-one knows whats going to be around the next corner. i am planning on getting to Iceland soon as it is indeed a slightly cheaper destination now than a year ago.
If the same is true for Stockholm (I'm sure Sander is right ) then I would also probably choose to go there.
Prague and Warsaw are both cool cities though Prague would be a more attractive place to visit by a fraction
Thanks for the reply!! Prague it is... Also, I am a black american.. Should I brace myself for curious stares(like I encountered in parts of South Korea), or outright racism? Thanks.. Either way, I want to visit the country...
Yep, definitely some stares. Outright racism should be rare and limited to bad areas. (Think of the parts in some US cities where it is a very bad idea to be white.) Double check the location of the hostel in Prague, some hostels that are cheap are in seedy places. If another guest tells you to better not to leave the hostel after dark, they are not kidding.
I would find it hard to believe that Stockholm is cheaper than Prague. Maybe be cheaper than it was last year but iv been to both cities and can say Prague - beer for beer - is cheaper. Besides Prague is nicer looking and better nightlife. BUT the icebar in Stockholm is wicked.
Black man in Central Europe? I wouldnt worry about it but I wouldnt know personally ofcourse. I did hear some comments in a bar in Eastern Europe, that if i heard in the USA the guy would have been thrown out of the bar and banned.
Just relax and have fun. I did have a Afgan guy have a go at me in Prague in October 2001, but it was after we started bombing them, so understandable. But we later drank together and got past it all.
I don't think that anyone said Stcokholm was cheaper than Prague rather that Stockholm is cheaper to visit now thatn in recent years so perhaps it was a good time to go there.
Prague is cool - very attractive, decent beer etc. Tons and tons of tourists mind you.