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Hungary, Slovakia, Austria & Germany

Vienna, Austria


Of course, a beautiful St. Stephen's Cathedral, a fabulous market (Naschmarkt) and great old town.  It time permits, I think it would be interesting to visit the Spanish Riding School of Vienna and witness the training of the Lipizzaners and their riders. In the evening, we purchased a separate excursion to a a concert at the  magnificent Schonbrunn Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Vienna's most visited attraction.

 

Budapest


Highly recommend a 3-night stay in Budapest.  Like all cities in Europe, it has all the big parliament or city hall building plus the many churches, but it also has great cafes, great biking rides and good food.

Recommend  excursions:  Tasty Budapest's Food Tour And Electric Bike Tour With Cafe Stop.  
And don't miss out on what Budapest is known for, the thermal spas:  Széchenyi Spa, Rudas Spa, or Gellert Spa.

The E-Bike tour fabulous  to see all major sites and 2 beautiful garden/parks. Both sides Buda/Pest.  The widest road of Budapest is often nicknamed the Hungarian Champs-Élysées. The Andrássy Avenue was built for the Millennium of 1896, with the purpose of joining the newly-inaugurated Heroes’ Square and the City Park’s buildings to the downtown.

Tram easy to use with google maps $5 for day use. Look at tram number before getting on. Multiple trams use the same track.

Excellent food - 4 Michelin star restaurants, but many small restaurants along every street. Famous food - Galosh   Drink: Palanika, Sor (beer)

One of the coolest things in Budapest is the 'ruin bars,' gathering places carved out of the unoccupied ruins of old buildings after the fall of Communism. The most famous - the Szimpla Kert in the old Jewish Quarter.

Gellert Bath - buy bathing package - robe, towel, soap, slippers, swim hat, entrance included. (Slipper and swim hat required in pool). Thermal - 36 or 40 degrees Celsius. (96-103)

Gellert Hotel: right across bridge from Central Market and great shopping/dining area.  o the tourist market.  Next to hotel is a good Hungarian restaurant right next Szeget, walked up hill to Pauline Monk Church  - the Cave Church. Interesting history. Closed by Communism with cement wall in 1957.

Quaint villages & towns along the river

In each town, AmaWaterways offers a complimentary excursion, typically a walking tour through historic area or a biking trip.
Bratislava:  quaint, idyllic town in Slovakia.
Melk: the incredible abbey with stunning views, artworks, catholic artifacts and over 100,000 medieval books. 

 Durnstein: quaint village well worth the visit. Shops, galleries, cafes and a nice walk. 

 Linz: two choices today.  1st a full day tour to Salzburg OR 1/2 day Linz city center walk and 1/2 day to  Česky Krumlov.
Vilshoen: small quaint town but if you arrive Saturday after 3pm, the town is closed up. AmaWaterways does offer an exclusive lively Oktoberfest event with live music, beer and pretzels. 

Danube: Budapest to Munich

WHEN YOU'RE ON THE RIVER, YOU'LL TRAVEL TO THE VERY HEART OF A REGION. November 10, 2021
By Melinda Bourgeois 

European River Cruises are boutique hotels sailing along the original "highways of Europe" through the cities, towns and quaint villages. It's an exceptionally comfortable and convenient way to travel.  Unpack once and enjoy being transported through Europe, enjoying lectures, concerts, and fabulous dining onboard.

The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe and flows throughout many of the eastern & central European countries, offering cruise-goers a chance to see and experience different cultures, languages, and activities. Each port - from the tiny villages to the giant metropolises - has its own unique charms and adventures in store.

Excursions are included in every port.  The good news is that in bigger towns or cities, there is also free time and sometime overnight stays, consider your own expeditions during free time in Budapest, Vienna,  & Linz.

Weather:  October 29 - November 7: from 40-62 degrees.  Weather was cold but comfortable ! One day of light rain, but an umbrella was sufficient.  Of course, we wore coats, gloves, and scarf.  

Pre/post Cruise add ons: Munich, Prague, 7 day river cruise from Bucharest to Budapest 
Munich: Locations simply don't get any better than Platzl Hotel, next to the Residenz palace and museums and a few steps from Marienplatz and shopping streets.
Be Prepared to Walk! Daily you will take about 8,000 steps and not all will be on smooth sidewalks, historic towns have cobblestones.  And of course, stragtegically most towns were built on higher ground to avoid flooding, so you will have some uphill walks. 

On the boat

River Cruising 
What's Included: like most cruises acoomodations, onboard meals, & entertainment.  Amawaterways also offers a dedicated staff member to wellness. Daily offering stretch classes, circuit training, digestive walks and bike rides.
Onboard Amenities & Activities:
During the day, you can make the most of spacious public areas including the glorious sun deck where you can take a dip in the swimming pool as idyllic scenery passes close to the ship.

Once ashore, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in some of Europe’s hidden gems by taking part in complimentary guided walking or bike tours around the local cities and villages. For all tours, you bring your QUIET VOX device and select a tour style (gentle walkers, active) from reception.

When night falls, river cruises offer low-key entertainment provided by local performers and musicians.

Dining choices: In addition to the meals in the main dining room, Ama offers a Chef's Table, an early-riser continental breakfast, along with a light lunch option, afternoon tea and late-night snack. The food is varied and of a very high standard, which reflects the line's membership in the culinary association La Chaine des Rotisseurs.

What's the difference between the river cruise companies?  Like hotels, each ship includes different
amenities, service levels, food quality and inclusions.  No one would say that a Holiday Inn is the same as the Ritz Carlton and that's the way you should compare River Cruises. 

River Boat Guest Count varies from 125 - 190 and can be a major differentiator for amenities and cabin size.

European river boats can only be of a certain maximum size(approximately 114 feet wide and three passenger decks high) ) to fit through many of the major locks and under bridges along e.g. the Rhine and Danube.

Start Exploring River Cruise Vacations!