Hungary was one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world in the past decade. Despite its relatively small size, the country is home to numerous World Heritage Sites. It is a country that boasts a truly beautiful capital city: Budapest, the "Pearl of the Danube".
A country with old charm in the new world, Hungary is one of Europe's oldest countries. With the River Danube as its pulse, Budapest beats to a rhythm of indomitable spirit cloaked in beauty and charm. And no wonder. The Hungarian capital is exquisitely laid out on both sides of the Danube, claiming one of the most spectacular panoramic views in all of Europe. As well as Budapest, Hungary holds many other attractions for the discerning traveler. Hungary opened its borders to the West before many of its eastern European neighbors, and so has a better-developed hospitality industry, welcoming visitors with its rich and varied cuisine, gorgeous wine regions and steamy thermal spas.
If you want to experience Hungary beyond the big city, a river cruise on the Danube is an ideal way to experience it. Before reaching Budapest, the Danube River is forced through a narrow twisting valley in the pretty Carpathian Basin, known as the Danube Bend, 8 miles from Budapest. The cluster of towns on the bend offers an amazing collection of history, culture and architecture, particularly the small towns of Szentendre, Visegrád and Esztergom. They are situated in an extremely scenic area; the green valleys and hills rise up from these picturesque little towns with their market squares and commanding fortresses. Travelling through the Danube Bend by river cruise or barge you can experience the sights and surroundings of these villages, a definite highlight of any trip to Hungary, with the added expectation of arriving in the beautiful city of Budapest.