The capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, sits next to the Vltava River. Also nicknamed "the City of a Hundred Spires," the city is known for its vibrant Baroque buildings and its Old Town Square. The pedestrian Charles Bridge, which was finished in 1402, features the statues of Catholic saints.
Best Time To Visit According to U.S. World News Travel, the best times to see Prague are in the early fall and spring. At those times, the weather is mild and the crowds taper off.
You Should Know Old Town Square features the Old Town Hall, which was founded in 1338 during the medieval times. Nearby are the baroque buildings in Little Square, and close by is the astronomical clock that strikes the hour every day. You can also visit Prague Castle, which is over 1,000 years old and holds a lot of Czech history.
The second-largest city in Bavaria, Nuremberg is also known as the unofficial capital of Franconia. The lively city is worth exploring, given its history and ongoing energy. River cruise-goers like visiting the town during the Christmas markets, which lend a magical quality to river cruise journeys.
Best Time To Visit If you want to avoid the crowds, visit Nuremberg during the shoulder seasons of April and May or September and October. River cruise prices are lower during this period.
You Should Know Nuremberg Castle was well-renowned during the time the Holy Roman Empire ruled. The castle dates back to the 1300s and is located in Sinwell Tower. See panoramic views of the city from the tower's observation deck. Nuremberg is where the Nazis were brought to justice after the Second World War. Courtroom 600, located at the Justizpalast, is the scene where high-ranking Nazis were tried for their crimes. The courtroom still hears cases inside its chambers.
Regaled as one of Germany's best-preserved medieval cities, Regensburg is best seen on a guided walking tour. The 32-square-mile town, located next to the Danube River, features landmarks and buildings that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
Best Time To Visit To save money on your Czech river cruise, it is best to see Regensburg during the shoulder seasons, or in April and May or September and October. You can avoid the crowds and enjoy sightseeing more.
You Should Know The 12th-century stone bridge in Regensburg crosses the Danube into Old Town. It features 16 arches. A Gothic landmark, the Regensburg Cathedral features singing by the Regensburger Domspatzen choir.
Passau, Germany, indeed, has an interesting history. Take a guided city tour to unveil the city's history and buildings. The "Three-Rivers City" sits at the confluence of three rivers – the Danube, the Ilz, and the Inn. When you view the buildings, they represent a combination of Gothic and Baroque designs and architecture.
Best Time To Visit Visiting Passau during the shoulder season, or from April to May or September to October, will give you more time to view the sights with fewer distractions.
You Should Know The Old Town part of Passau was rebuilt after a town fire in the 1600s. Baroque masters renovated the town with their designs. The Cathedral of St. Stephen rises toward the sky showcasing three onion-domed towers. You can see many of Passau's historical sites in Old Town, including the town's museums. The riverfront promenade offers visitors a chance to enjoy the scenery and rest a while.
Melk to Durnstein, Austria
This part of the trip enables you, on some river cruise lines, to bike and see the Austrian landscape. When in Melk, you will get to see the Melk Abbey before you proceed to Durnstein by bike. If you want to experience an exhilarating bike ride, the 20 miles to Durnstein should be included on your bucket list.
Best Time To Visit If you stop at Melk to cycle to Durnstein, the best time to take on this adventure is during a shoulder season, such as April or May, or during a drier time, such as the summer.
You Should Know Melk Abbey is famous for its library, so if you love books, you will want to schedule a visit. Guided bike tours are also an option, they run from Melk to Durnstein. You might also consider taking a river cruise through the wine region leading to Durnstein and taking a guided hike to the castle in Durnstein when you arrive.
Also referred to as the "City of Dreams," Vienna is Austria's capital. Explore the city on foot to see the magnificent facades of the buildings up-close, such as Vienna's State Opera and its city hall. Observe the multi-colored tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral, as they shine vibrantly in the sun.
Best Time To Visit According to U.S. World Travel, the best time to travel to Vienna is during the shoulder season of April and May or from September to October. During this time, the weather is milder and so are the crowds.
You Should Know Vienna is also known as the wine capital of the world because it produces large quantities of wine within the city limits. White wines, such as Rheinriesling and Gruner Veltliner, are extremely popular and are often enjoyed along the city's Wine Trail. More composers have lived in Vienna than any other city in the world. Some of the composers include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Johann Straus, and Beethoven. Many of the apartments of these musicians are now museums.
The capital of Slovakia, Bratislava sits next to the Danube River. The city is surrounded by forests and mountains that invite both hiking and biking. Bratislava is unique, as it is a pedestrian-only city, and therefore invites walkers to explore its haunts and alleyways, or sit outside the town's lively cafes.
Best Time To Visit The best weather in Bratislava is from April to September. Due to the city's moderate and continental climate, the summers are warm and have little rainfall.
You Should Know Bratislava Castle overlooks the town from its perch on a high hill. Most guided walking tours go through the city's restored historic quarter, where visitors trek over cobblestoned streets and see architectural delights, such as the Gothic designed St. Martin's Cathedral.
Budapest, which is the capital of Hungary, has an interesting and unique history. The ninth most populated city in the European Union became a metropolis after three cities decided to merge. These three cities included Buda, Pest, and Obuda. The city was originally known as Pest-Buda before it changed its name to its current moniker.
Best Time To Visit The summer, or July especially, is a great time to see Budapest. The days are long, as the sun does not set until about 9:00 pm. Photos can be taken without a flash until around 8:30 p.m.
You Should Know Budapest is a UNESCO World Heritage city and features the remains of the Ancient Roman city of Aquincum. Budapest is also known for its neo-Gothic architecture, you can see the neo-Renaissance townhomes and their decorative facades, which line Andrassy Avenue.
If you take a Czech River cruise on the Elbe, be aware - the water level may be lower during June and July. Riverboat operators must adapt to the varying fluctuations on the Elbe River. For example, if the water level is too high, it can trigger a problem with low bridges. If the water is too low, the riverboat may end up running aground. That is why you may want to begin in Prague and travel to Budapest on your river cruise, as you can sail over the Danube, which will make your river cruise trip more predictable.