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DanubeView all tours
More than any other river in the world, the Danube will always conjure thoughts of music. The Danube rises in the Black Forest of Germany and reaches its end in the Black Sea, passing through four capital cities on its way (more than any other river in the world) and ten countries – Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine and Moldova. It has many tributaries, some important rivers themselves. The Danube is all about high culture and the historic cities that appear in close succession along its banks.
Vienna, for instance, is a jewel. Its Ring created by Franz Joseph in the 1860s is a parade of imperial magnificence, opera house after university, palace after cathedral, interspersed with shaded gardens designed for outdoor summer concerts. Yet this is a city centre small enough to walk around easily – though you can take a tour in a horse-drawn carriage. Must-sees include the Hofburg and the Schonbrunn but if you might want to try a must-do, go to the Music House where you can virtually conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on screen – if you get to the end, the orchestra stands up and applauds you!
Bratislava is a tiny city dominated by its castle on the hill and a historic gem. The Old Town is completely pedestrianized which makes for pleasant walking. Besides the Gothic Cathedral and an exquisitely pretty Old Town Hall, look out for the humorous statues – the Good Soldier Schweik’s head emerging from a manhole on the street for instance. Budapest is a city of two halves. Buda is hilly and wooded with Gothic houses and cobbled streets. Pest is all grand boulevards and Baroque buildings including a jewel of an opera house. For music lovers, there are museums to Liszt and Bartok and plenty of concerts on offer. And for everyone there are breath-taking views from the Fisherman’s Bastion perched high above the city where, in the sunshine, the Danube turns a perfect blue.