Experience the spa culture of Budapest, the champagne night-time cruise on the Danube and the mighty Buda Castle. Then travel to Vienna, immersed in the Old World elegance, Viennese pastries and coffee, Mozart and waltz music and the mighty Danube weaving through it all. End the tour with the dreamy cityscape of Prague's winding lanes, stone bridges and delicate spires, set in the legendary Bohemia. Enjoy the best in classical music, Art Nouveau architecture, and the Black Light Theatre.
The Hungarians appreciate good food. They believe that food elevates the spirit, promotes confidence, and is a comforting symbol of success and status.
There is a saying: "Hungarians may live in a howl but eat like kings, and the English live like kings but eat like beggars".
The Hungarian Rapsody
If you happen to sneeze around Hungarians, they will respond with a cheerful "Legkedvesebb megegészségesedésedre!" That's "Bless you!" in Hungarian, one of the most difficult languages in the world. It shares only few similarities with Finnish and it is like no other language you ever heard. Luckily, you don't need to learn it to have a fabulous time in Hungary. Most Hungarians speak English, although they enjoy teaching foreigners their tongue twisters.
Budapest - Light on the Water
The light and water are the essence of Budapest. There is of course the mighty Danube, the spas and dozens of mineral springs pushing through the ground, but the city is also full of fountains, water sculptures and cascading waterfalls. They create a surreal cityscape, especially when on warm summer evenings the splendor of illuminated buildings and lit-up bridges is mirrored in the Danube.
Near Middle Europe's largest lake, in a romantic setting among the slopes of the Bakony Mountains, stands the world's largest porcelain manufactory. Herend porcelain's design and quality are legendary, and its delicate wares have been treasured by rulers and artists for nearly two centuries. Today, Herend produces over 4,000 patterns of porcelain, while designers keep dreaming up new patterns that retain the old Herend tradition.
The Danube Bend
The Danube Bend (Dunakanyar) is a name given to a string of small riverside towns just north of Budapest. "Danube Bend" is actually a misnomer, since the river doesn't change direction at this point. The Danube, entering Hungary from the northwest, flows in a southeasterly direction for a while, forming the border with Hungary's northern neighbor, Slovakia.
Vienna is a city of music, pastries, waltzes, grand architecture, avant-garde art, parks and wine, but for many people it's the Viennese desserts, rich and luscious tortes, cakes and the whipped cream creations that are reason enough to visit the city.
The Blue Danube
The whole world sighs when it hears the opening notes of Johann Strauss II's "The Blue Danube" waltz. The melody sublimely suggests the flowing waters, the interplay of main current and the little whilrpools you see on the Danube as you walk along its banks.
Mozart in Vienna
The mellifluous sound of Viennese music streams throughout the culturally-rich city as musicians proudly perform the works of the city's most famous musician: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One of Mozart's first concerts was at Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace. The child prodigy was extolled by Austrian royalty, particularly by Empress Maria Theresa. After the performance, he leapt into the empress's lap, hugged and kissed her.
Antiquing in Vienna
From the retro designs of the 60s and 70s to the antiquities of centuries past, Vienna is a treasure trove of vintage goods. The market in Am Hof Plaza is the perfect place to find antique kitchen gadgets, jewelry, toys and vintage clothing.
"Dobro Chut" is what Czechs say to each other before they begin a meal. It means "Bon appetit" or "Hope it tastes good!" Most Czechs enjoy their food very much and mealtimes are special occasions. Czech food is rich and hearty, but if you've never tried it, there are a few things worth knowing.
Prague, with its magnificent castle, its Gothic towers, baroque churches, cobble-stone lanes and Art Nouveau architecture is one of Europe's most visually stunning cities. Long hidden from the world behind the Iron Curtain, since the fall of Communism it has opened up to an ever-increasing number of visitors and today is one of Europe's most popular destinations. With over 1000 years of history, this venerable city in the heart of Europe has seen its share of drama, from its medieval Golden Age, through its 16th century glory days as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, to the Nazi and Soviet dictatorships of the 20th century. Prague is a beautiful and cosmopolitan city. Innovative art galleries, museums, churches, synagogues and stunning architecture compete for a visitor's attention, while music is everywhere, from the Charles Bridge to the many classical music and jazz concerts.
Prague is considered one of Europe's great Jewish cities. Jews have been living here since the 10th century, and by 1708 there were more Jews in Prague than anywhere else in Europe. The Jewish Quarter of Prague contains many preserved historical sites despite a rocky history. In 1689 many of the buildings were destroyed in a fire, and reconstructions never matched the originals. Today most synagogues in the area are a part of the Jewish Museum and contain exhibits.
Architecture and Art in Prague
For art and architecture lovers, wondering around the golden city of Prague must be like walking in paradise. Not only the churches, galleries and museums are full of masterpieces, but the city abounds in architectural splendors that span thousand years, from examples of late medieval, to post modern.
Mozart in Prague
Nothing defines Prague as much as music. Along with Salzburg, Prague is a city inseparably connected with the name of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was in this Bohemian capital that the composer celebrated his greatest triumphs and acclaim. It is said that in Prague, even the street singers understood the arias of Mozart's operas, while the audience in the royal seat of Vienna still overlooked his musical genius.
The region of Bohemia occupies the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands, currently the Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, it often refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in historical contexts, such as the Kingdom of Bohemia. Western Bohemia is a well known spa region with towns like Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Marianske Lazne (Mariensbad) and Frantiskovy Lazne surrounded by green hills, thick forests and cheerful fields of sunflowers.