There are all sorts of interesting ways of exploring Europe - for example, have you ever considered a river cruise?
The Danube River flows through Central and Eastern Europe, and is a wonderful way to explore a range of countries in one fell swoop.
Here's some information about how your holiday in Europe can incorporate a dreamy trip down the Danube, and which countries you can visit with ease.
All about the Danube
The river itself stretches for some 2,850 kilometres and passes through nine different countries. Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine all share in the Danube River. From Germany's Black Forest to the river mouth at the Black Sea, travelling this river is the journey of a lifetime.
Expect to see a range of beautiful scenery, from craggy mountains to lush green forest. You'll also greet some of Europe's most glittering cities along the way, full of history, glamour and culture.
Meet the treasures of the Danube
Here's a taster of some of the gems you can expect to encounter on a riverboat trip down the Danube.
Budapest, Hungary, is a stunning and culturally rich destination, often referred to the "Paris of the East". You'll see a vast number of fascinating attractions, such as the National Opera House, Parliament Building, Heroes' Square and the Castle District. The history and architecture are breathtaking and the cuisine, in particular the coffee and cake, is to die for.
Then there's Vienna, Austria. This is a truly dazzling city with stunning historical buildings such as the Opera House and Hofburg Theater. However, nothing beats the opulent and extravagant Schönbrunn Palace, with its illustrious past as the summer residence of the royal Habsburg family.
You can also visit a place called Melk in Austria. This is home to a gorgeous Benedictine abbey, home to wonderful artwork, architecture and relics from medieval times.
Some river boat trips will also visit the wonderful city of Salzburg. This is famous for being the birthplace of Mozart, and also for providing the setting of the musical film the Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews. Many of the film's iconic sites can be visited today - perhaps you're eager to see the gorgeous lake or reenact the scene from the glass house?
Passau in Germany is another highlight, with its gorgeous narrow, cobbled lanes and pastel coloured buildings. Explore the churches, cathedrals, old buildings and charming eateries, and soak in the peaceful riverside community feel.
On some trips down the Danube this is followed by a stop off a Regensburg, a well-preserved medieval gem. From churches to towers to stone bridges, courtyards, cathedrals and more, you'll never tire of wandering this gorgeous town's streets.
Germany's Nuremburg is another of the Danube's must-sees. You'll see a number of engineering marvels that have made this part of the river navigable by boat, and then of course, there's the plethora of historical sites relating to World War II. Visit the Palace of Justice where the Nuremburg trials took place, and see former Nazi party strongholds.
What's more? Depending on which river journey you choose, you can visit the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, for a truly unique experience. Its castle and palaces are among some of the highlights.
You can see all of this and more on a boat trip down the Danube, a comfortable and enchanting way of travelling. Travelling by boat is a wonderful way of including multiple destinations into your holiday with minimal stress.
If floating down the tranquil Danube sounds like you, Viking River Cruises heads to all the above-mentioned destinations, and plenty more.
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