A tour of European cities can be an exhilarating experience. Budapest has beautiful architecture, and the centrepiece here is undoubtedly the Danube. A walk along the river and pretty bridges, and a cruise are among the things you must do. The marvellous Hungarian Parliament Building is worth a close look, as are Matthias Church and Buda Castle. You might enjoy Váci Utca, Budapest’s famous pedestrian shopping street. For local flavour, take a Jewish Heritage tour (you can book a guide at budapestbylocals.com), taste wine in the cellars of Buda Castle, or take a wine tour in Etyek, a small wine village north of Budapest. Go on a walking tour of Budapest’s fascinating cave systems and have a meal or drink at the city’s famous ruin pubs in the old Jewish quarter.
In Prague, the draws would be medieval buildings, quirky art and beer. Start with a tour of the Old Town and Josevov, the old Jewish quarter. Take a walk across Charles Bridge, and make sure you visit Prague Castle where you must include St Vitus Cathedral. Vyšehrad (‘upper castle’) is a more relaxed affair. Visit Choco Café, a family-run chocolate factory and café that serves 50 flavours of thick chocolate. Try to take in a drama, opera or ballet performance at the 1783-built Estates Theatre.
Vienna is famous for its classical architecture and concert halls. After ticking off St Stephen’s Cathedral, Schönbrunn Palace and the palace museum of Albertina, the city’s museum quarter has a number of collections to claim your time and attention. You must visit the monastery cellars at the restaurant Augustinerkeller beneath the Albertina. Take a cruise along the Danube canal (which takes you to the older parts of Vienna) and ride on the city’s giant ferris wheel. Don’t come back without tucking into some traditional apfelstrudel. In Salzburg, it’s more or less obligatory to take a Sound of Music tour which takes you to many of the film’s locations (panoramatours.com; from €45). For the rest, visit Mozart’s residence, Salzburg Castle and Salzburg’s beautiful Cathedral Quarter, and take a stroll on the Salzach River. Take a trip up the mountain Mönchsberg for some wonderful views of the city. And you absolutely must take in a Mozart concert (salzburg.info).