I'm a few weeks behind with this particular blog post as I returned from the trip back on March 15th. A river cruise on the Danube is our number one recommendation for an itinerary that covers the 3 exceptional cities of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. Add to that the beauty of Salzburg and the Czech Republic’s charming mountain town, Ceský Krumlov. And don't forget grand abbeys and fortresses perched high above the Danube to plentiful iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And the killer line for river cruising...you only unpack ONCE.
This particular cruise was a charter by our host agency and a symposium on group travel. I had been invited to participate on a panel or 2 of advisors hoping to give back to their community and impart fresh knowledge or perspective to our fellow advisors. I discovered a lot of valuable information too, and it reinforced the fact that I am still learning every day, and I hope that never ends.
Combined with keeping up with J5Travel's still heavy workload, this did mean I had to skip out of a couple of tours, but I still managed some great highlight reels. Here's the Top 5 for Vienna to Budapest.
Top 5 - Vienna to Budapest on the Danube
1. Hotel Imperial, Vienna a Luxury Collection property (above)
This hotel has to be considered a jewel in Marriott's portfolio. Originally built as a palace in 1863 and converted into a hotel in 1873, Imperial features an ornate neo-Renaissance architecture, with lavish interiors that have been preserved to maintain its historical charm. The hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, Opus, which serves contemporary Austrian cuisine, and a traditional Viennese coffeehouse, Cafe Imperial, which offers pastries, cakes, and coffee.
What stood out for me was the impeccable service, with a team of staff who provided personalized attention and seemed absolutely committed to making every guest feel special.
Check out the Royal Suite below!
2. Belvedere Gallery, Vienna (above and below)
A private evening viewing at the Belvedere was the special highlight in Vienna. Originally the Belvedere Palaces were the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736). Today, the Belvedere houses the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day including the world's largest number of Gustav Klimt's paintings. The Kiss (below) painted in 1908 is considered his masterpiece.
3. Bratislava, Slovakia (above and below)
Bratislava's Old Town is a charming and quirky area with cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and lively cafes and restaurants. Visitors can stroll through the narrow streets and admire the Baroque architecture. The iconic Bratislava Castle sits atop a hill overlooking the city and the Danube. It was first built in the 9th century and has been rebuilt and expanded many times since.
4. Parliament Building, Budapest (above)
The Hungarian Parliament Building is one of the largest in Europe and features stunning Gothic Revival architecture. Sailing in to Budapest with this incredible edifice right there in front of you is an absolute treat.
5. AmaVerde, our ship (above and below)
This was the third time I have sailed with AmaWaterways. Their vibe remains laid back country club style, all the ships are great, especially if you can spring for the Suite cabins (below), but the crew are what makes this cruise line so special. It's simply exceptional service with a desire from everyone from the captain through to housekeeping to get to know you personally.
If you are ready to take your own river cruise adventure we would love to plan your trip, click the button below to get start planning.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
Follow along on our travel adventures and stay up to date on the latest in the travel industry.