Underrated: It’s like Paris, but cheaper; Andrew Fenton; Escape

Hungary – Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue

It’s known as the “Paris of the East”, but even the mighty Seine is no match for Budapest’s stunning setting on a gentle curve in the Danube River. A romantic and cosmopolitan city filled with beautiful neo-baroque, gothic and art nouveau buildings, Budapest blends old world charm with bohemian delights.

Literally a city of two halves – hilly Buda and flat, buzzing Pest – its landmarks date to the 1896 millennial celebrations when the city was remade with large squares, monuments, a magnificent parliament, state opera, grand market hall and Europe’s first subway.

One of the major start and finish points for luxury cruises along the Danube River, travellers arrive here every day from Passau, Vienna and Bratislava, or celebrate in the city after a fortnight exploring the continent on an epic cruise from Amsterdam.

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