Eastern Europe. – I’ve always wanted to cruise the Danube and explore the richly historic cities along the route. Which means that reading about this River Cruise has added an element of desire to my unquenchable wanderlust. Just look at what they offer. Time to start expanding on that 2016 travel calendar …
Danube river cruises promise an unforgettable experience with plenty of sights and culture to be enjoyed along the way. Stretching over 2,888 kilometres, the river meanders through some of the prettiest cities in Europe. For those planning a first time cruise, which you can do with Saga Travel, here are four cities that you won’t want to miss.
The largest city in Eastern Europe is considered by many to be the most beautiful. In the city’s old town, you can marvel at an eclectic mix of Baroque, Neoclassical and Art Nouveau architecture. The Castle District, a collection of historic buildings including the Royal Palace which sits alongside museums and churches, is particularly fascinating. Dotted throughout Budapest, you’ll find the city’s major attraction — geothermal springs which offer a truly relaxing experience. Unwind in these warm waters which are renowned for their rejuvenating properties. Szechenyi Spa Baths is the most popular, set in the gardens of a historic palace
The medieval architecture of the Czech capital provides the perfect setting for a day or two of sightseeing. Visit the Old Town, home to heaps of impressive sights such as the famed astronomical clock — dating back over 600 years. Sat overlooking the city from its hilltop location, a trip to Prague Castle also shouldn’t be missed. Arrive for the changing of the guard and take a guided tour that includes many of the adjoining buildings and churches. After all the sightseeing, relax and unwind at Prague’s beer museum. You can enjoy a taste of the region’s rich heritage with over 30 lagers to choose from.
Slovakia’s charming capital is small enough to explore in one day but with so many sights and nearby attractions, you can be kept busy for weeks. Start your adventure at the compact old town, known as Stare Mesto. The winding streets are lined with colourful 18th century buildings and sidewalk cafes. Stop to admire Bratislava Castle which offers some of the best views of the Danube River from its hilltop location. For the adventurous, a visit to the nearby Slovensky Raj National Park offers rock climbing and hiking along deep gorges. Expect jaw dropping scenery and beautiful waterfalls.
Few cities in Europe offer the opulence and grandeur of Vienna. If you’re on limited time, the many imperial sights can be visited on a hop on, hop off bus tour. You’ll visit the 13th century Hofburg Imperial Palace and the St Stephens Cathedral which took over 300 years to finish. Culture vultures will also love a day spent at the MuseumsQuartier — a huge collection of museums covering modern art to natural history and Austrian culture. Once you’ve explored the sights, take a ride on the Prater wheel, or treat yourself to the city’s famous chocolate dessert, Sachertorte. This is best enjoyed in the square, Stephansplatz, where you can marvel at street performers and soak up the lively atmosphere.
Don’t these Danube cities just guarantee a holiday to remember.
Note – Images by J McSporran and nicubunu.photo, used under Creative Commons license. Written by Carly Conrad, a hydrologist with a passion for travel. She particularly enjoys seeing the world from its most beautiful waters.