Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, world-class classical music scene as well as a nightlife increasingly appreciated among European youth, and last but not least, the natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe's most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to the exceedingly scenic setting, and its architecture it is nicknamed "Paris of the East".
The modern-day Budapest results from the amalgamation of two historic cities lying right opposite each other over the Danube River. Buda is the western (left) bank side, with the high hill atop which the Buda castle sits. Pest is the relatively flat eastern (right) bank side, with the Parliament and numerous other stately buildings, as well as busy streets retaining all their 19th century architectural heritage. In 1987 Budapest was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for the cultural and architectural significance of the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue.
Cruising the Wachau Valley
Sit back and enjoy the ever-changing views as your ship cruises through the Wachau Valley, famous for its apricot groves, Rieslings and natural beauty. Over the eons, the Danube cut a gorge through the foothills of the Boehemian mountains, resulting in a 19-miler (30 Kilometer) stretch of riverine scenery so beautiful, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Landscape. Castle ruins dominate hilltops; baroque church towers appear on the riverbanks, marking historic villages and splendid abbeys; and apricot orchards and vineyards cling to the rocky slopes. Some of Austria's finest whie wines are produced from grapes ripening on the dry-stone terraces above the river, where grapes have been grown for over 2,000 years.
Capital of the Republic of Austria and one of Europe's most visited cities, Vienna (Wien) owes much of its charm and rich history to its splendid location on the banks of the beautiful Danube River. For centuries the gateway between West and East Europe, it was the natural nucleus of the once sprawling Habsburg Empire, and to this day remains Austria's most important commercial and cultural hub. Vienna continues to attract visitors with its many great historic sights, as well as for its busy program of events and entertainment. With an unmistakably cosmopolitan atmosphere, it retains a distinctive charm and flair, an effect accentuated by its fine old architecture, its famous horse-cabs (Fiaker), as well as its splendid street-side cafés with their Viennese coffees and treats.
The small, quaint Austrian city of Melk lies along the banks of the beautiful Danube river, near the Wachau Valley. So small it takes around 15 minutes to cross from one end of town to the otherWith a population of just under six thousand citizens, life is laid back here, making it an ideal port of call on any river cruise.
Melk’s history as a marketplace dates back to 1227, and because of this early trade, the town boasts some incredible architectural examples that are representative of many different periods throughout history. One of the more famous structures is the imposing Stift Melk, an impressive Benedictine monastery perched high atop a hill overlooking the Danube and your river cruise ship.
Passau is located in Eastern Bavaria, on the border Germany- Austria. The three rivers – Danube, Inn and Ilz - lend the city on the Three-River-Conjunction-Point its unique beauty. Because of this water and shipping have always been integral components to life in Passau. Italian Baroque masters created in the 17th century today's city skyline. St. Steven's Cathedral housing the largest cathedral organ in the world. The Baroque design of Passau is dominated by large squares, romantic promenades, winding lanes and majestic bridges. Framed by the Veste Oberhaus castle and the pilgrimage monestary Mariahilf , the historical city centre of Passau looks like a floating ship.
Famous for its beautiful, UNESCO protected old city center "Regensburg is so beautifully situated; this region had to attract a town," wrote Goethe in his Diary of an Italian Voyage. And attract a town it did, but not due to its beautiful location alone. Ambitious and farseeing locals built a bridge (Steinerne Brücke, or Stone Bridge) over the Danube back in the 12th century, making Regensburg an international trading hub. Because so many of the hansome buildings from that period remain, UNESCO declared the old city center a World Heritage Site in 2006.
When people think of Nuremberg, they usually think of gingerbread, toys, Christmas, the Nazi Party Rally Grounds or the Nuremberg Trials. The old town of Nuremberg is much more than this and indeed Nuremberg probably comes closest to many tourists' expectations of a typical German city: on the one hand one can find half-timbered houses, gothic churches within a medieval city wall in the shadow of the towering imperial castle, which was one of the most important residences of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. On the other hand, Nuremberg and the surrounding cities are home to many well-known German companies, e.g. Adidas, Diehl, Playmobil, Puma, etc. Nuremberg can even live up to culinary expectations with breweries and beergardens and its most famous dish, the Nuremberg sausages with Sauerkraut.