If you've been eyeing a Danube river cruise, you no doubt know that Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is one of the highlights of the classic Danube itinerary. Budapest fascinates with its beautifully preserved architecture, views of the shimmering Danube from Buda hill, luxurious hotels, and nostalgic vibe.
Rediscover Life in Hungary
Hungary, a land of thermal baths, picturesque cities, and a vibrant culinary scene, is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. With a heritage steeped in history and an atmosphere brimming with romance, Hungary is one of my favorite European cities. Whether you're seeking to indulge in luxurious spa treatments, savor exquisite wines, or explore centuries-old architecture, Hungary has it all.
A Curious Heart's Dream: Cultural Immersion
Hungary caters to the culturally curious, offering a multitude of experiences for travelers seeking to enrich their understanding of this unique destination. From the boulevards of Budapest to the charming medieval towns along the Danube River, Hungary promises to captivate your heart and mind.
Hungary's Cultural Essence
Hungary's cultural essence is a vibrant blend of influences from its history as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and its unique Magyar traditions. Budapest, is often called the "Paris of the East" for its fin-de-siècle architecture, grand boulevards, and thriving arts scene. Don't miss the opportunity to explore Buda Castle, soak in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, or take a romantic stroll along the Danube promenade to take in the enchanting views of the city. Remember to also make a stop in the famous market hall: at minimum, you'll want to purchase some famous Hungarian paprika powder to take back home.
Venturing beyond Budapest, Hungary reveals its hidden gems. Visit the charming town of Eger, renowned for its wines and Eger Castle. Explore the historic town of Holloko, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or uncover the mysteries of the medieval Pannonhalma Archabbey, a beautiful Benedictine monastery founded in the year 996.
Cuisine and Wines
No visit to Hungary is complete without savoring its cuisine. Hungarian food is known for its hearty and flavorful dishes, such as goulash, stuffed peppers, and the delectable chimney cake (kürtőskalács). Pair your meal with the country's outstanding wines, including the famous Tokaji Aszú, often referred to as the "wine of kings."
Planning Your Journey
During your river cruise port call in Budapest, chances are that you may enjoy a folk performance onboard in the evening: this is a treat not to be missed! Another classic river cruise highlight is drifting along the Danube at night, with romantic views of Hungary's illuminated parliament building.
Budapest is an ideal city for a Danube river cruise pre- or post-stay. There are luxury and boutique hotel properties to suit every taste, including many with complimentary amenities available only through a Virtuoso advisor. Hungary, a destination that blends the old-world charm of its cities with the natural beauty of its landscapes, is a traveler's dream. From the vibrant streets of Budapest to the serene countryside, Hungary promises an enriching experience that lingers in your memory long after you return home.