The longest river in the European Union
The Danube''s source is in the Black Forest of Germany, and it then wends its way to the Black Sea
Several companies offer Danube cruises, including Saga Cruises, Viking Cruises, and Scenic Tours. During the warm, dry summer months, the Danube’s water level can become too low for cruising, and when water levels are high, vessels may not be able to pass under the bridges of the upper Danube, so always check with the cruise operator before you go. You may also want to consider whether booking a riverside cabin with a balcony is worth the extra expense, as the flies around the river and locks can be troublesome, especially in the afternoon.
Budapest is one of the gems of the Danube. This beautiful city has some stunning art nouveau architecture, and fantastic views from the bridges. Taking the water in Budapest has been an essential experience since the Roman times, and there are plenty of bathhouses to choose from, including Turkish, modern, or art nouveau. Hungarian food also lays claim to be one of the most sophisticated in Europe, and whilst under communism it hit fallow times, it is now starting to attract attention once more.
The Parliament building was completed in 1902, and has 691 fabulously decorated rooms. Although you only get to see a selection of these on the guided tours, there are plenty included, such as the Golden Staircase, the Grand Staircase, and the Congress Hall. For something a little offbeat, visit Momento Park, which is now home to all the old communist-era statues that have been consigned to the trash heap elsewhere.
The Iron Gates of the Danube are one of the natural wonders of the Danube. This beautiful gorge marks the boundary between Serbia and Romania. The statue of Decebalus is a 40-metre high rock sculpture carved into the rocks near Orsova. Despite its appearance, it is not that old, and was carved at the behest of Constantin Dragan, who is said to be one of the wealthiest Romanians of all time.