Spend a morning at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
Admire the Dutch master's famous paintings and drawings as well as art by his contemporaries and friends at Amsterdam's world-famous Van Gogh Museum. The museum houses the largest permanent collection of Vincent Van Gogh's works with over 200 paintings on display. You can easily spend 2-3 hours browsing the artworks. And before you leave, don't forget to pick up some exclusive souvenirs at the museum shop.
Best Time to Visit The Van Gogh Museum is one of Amsterdam's most popular attractions. If you want to avoid long queues, go early in the morning (before 11 a.m.) or late afternoon (after 3 p.m.). Avoid peak times like the weekends. Also, the museum can get crowded when it rains because everyone's looking to head indoors.
Marvel at the Cologne Cathedral
The awe-inspiring Cologne Cathedral is a prime example of magnificent Gothic architecture. With a humongous 8,000 square meters of floor space and the capacity to hold 20,000 people, it is an impressive building that dates back to 1248. On the outside, its two massive towers soar to 157 meters. Inside, the spectacular stained-glass windows are considered some of the best in the world.
You Should Know You can climb to the cathedral's roof for breathtaking views of Cologne. However, there is no lift and you'll have to climb more than 500 steps if you want a bird's eye view of the city.
Explore Charming Miltenberg
Miltenberg is a picturesque medieval village on the Main River (pronounced mine). The historic market square, lined with timber buildings, has a unique atmosphere and charm. And high above the city is Mildenburg, an imposing castle dating back to the 12th century, now home to ancient and contemporary artworks in the on-site museum. Miltenberg has one of the longest and prettiest main streets in all of Germany, so keep those camera batteries charged to capture this picture postcard town.
Best Time to Visit The summer months (June to August) have pleasant temperatures and little to no rain with average highs in mid-70s. Perfect for wandering around this stunning medieval town.
Make a Date with History in Nuremberg
Due to its strategic location, Nuremberg has been an important commercial hub since the middle ages. The rich heritage of the second largest city in Bavaria is evident from the historical wonders that dot the Old Town. A museum dedicated to the Nazi-era is a powerful and sobering reminder of the country's history. Another claim to fame is that two German delicacies, gingerbread and Bratwurst (sausages), originated in Nuremberg, so don't forget to sample them.
You Should Know The Nuremberg Furth Card gives you free admission to more than 50 museums and attractions as well as free use of public transport.
Tour Wachau Valley Wineries
For a great day out, take the train from Vienna to Melk. Start by exploring the Benedictine Melk abbey, one of Europe's greatest sights. Then, wander the side streets of the Old Town for a glimpse of the town's rich cultural heritage. Ride bicycles from Melk to Krems, a distance of about 24 miles, admiring the pretty river valley and stopping at wineries along the way to sample local wines.
You Should Know The Melk Abbey hosts some of the world's finest performances, festivals, and carnivals, especially in the spring and summer seasons. Check online to see if there's something going on when you're there.
Eat Sachertorte in Vienna
Now one of Vienna's most celebrated confections, Sachertorte was conceived in the 19th century by Franz Sacher for Prince von Metternich. This dreamy rich chocolate cake with a slither of apricot jam in the center is decorated with a glossy mirror glaze. No visit to Vienna is complete without enjoying this sweet indulgence.
You Should Know Wondering where to get the best Sachertorte in the city? We don't want to start a cake war, so suffice it to say there are several cafes in the center of Vienna (in the Innere Stadt or 1st municipal district) where you can enjoy traditional Sachertorte in an elegant atmosphere.
Enjoy a Romantic Stroll on the Charles Bridge in Prague
Dating back to medieval times, the Charles Bridge is arguably one of Europe's most beautiful. The historic bridge is the oldest one across the Vltava River and forms a part of the Royal Way, the traditional route taken by Czech Kings on coronation day. Stroll along the 500-meter length of the bridge for impressive views of Prague, watch street performers, and perhaps pick up a souvenir from the many kiosks.
Best Time to Visit The warm summer months see a large influx of tourists. The best times to visit Prague are the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds.
Relax at the Gellert Baths in Budapest
The city's grandest spas, the Gellert Baths in Budapest, were built in the early 20th century in Art Nouveau style. Renovated to their former glory in 2008 (after suffering extensive damage during World War II), the baths feature an open-air pool, a Finnish sauna, and an effervescent pool among others. Treat yourself to a massage or spa treatment. We recommend the harmony massage, a calming full-body treatment with warm aromatic oils.
You Should Know The baths are open every day of the week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are sold until one hour before closing. Guests are asked to leave the pools 15 minutes before closing time.
Summer (June, July, August)
Summer has warm and dry weather which allows you to enjoy the full experience of a Danube River Cruise from the boat's deck. but be prepared for large crowds in Europe's best-loved towns.
Fall (September, October, November)
Fall is the ideal time to go on a Danube River Cruise. The summer crowds are gone and there's a bracing nip in the air. You might also snag a great bargain on your cruise fare.
Winter (December, January, February)
Winter (December, January, February) in Europe is freezing, but charming Christmas markets and cities illuminated and decked in holiday finery make for a dazzling experience.
Spring (March, April, May)
Spring is a shoulder season with noticeably fewer tourists crowding the major landmarks, but the weather can be chilly and wet. Parts of the Danube can flood during springtime, preventing riverboats from passing through.