This is the country that taught the world about joie de vivre and savoir-faire, about high culture and haute couture.
France has everything a discerning traveler could wish for.
Be sure to take note of the city's eight bridges—many famous sights in and of themselves, which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. Stephen's Basilica for marvellous city views from its viewing platform, or stroll along Váci utca, the main shopping street.
You may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. This morning is free for you to enjoy Hungary's exciting capital.
You may have heard the stereotypes, about haughty French waiters, pervasive cigarette smoking and smelly cheese. Centuries of history have shaped France’s rich heritage, and the buildings speak volumes: from the medieval city of Carcassonne to the Renaissance chateaux of the Loire Valley, and the magnificent 19th century Haussmann boulevards in Paris.
To put the record straight: the waiters are formal rather than friendly, smoking is on the decline, and strong cheeses are decidedly optional. You can imagine scenes of the Belle Epoque at the Moulin Rouge as vividly as World War II battles at Omaha Beach in Normandy.
Get to know Prague over three nights and visit the Hradcany Castle grounds and the Jewish Quarter.
Visit one of the many museums, take a walk to see some of the remaining statues from the communist era, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery, or stroll along Vací Utca main shopping street.
Transfer to your ship and meet your crew at a welcome reception.
Browse the shops for hand-cut crystal or art books, mingle with the locals in Wenceslas Square, an important meeting point and the site of famous demonstrations against the communist regime, or watch performers on Charles Bridge. Perhaps visit the Communist Museum; sample the local plum dumplings and Pilsner; stroll along the banks of the Vltava River; discover the Jewish Quarter; or wander around Prague's medieval Old Town, dating from the 10th century.
Your Cruise Director will have lots of suggestions for things to do.