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Europe cruise part one: hidden Hungary

Friday, July 8, 2011
TV presenter Carolyne Randoe joined a Scenic Tours' Jewels of Europe river cruise for Getaway. Over the next few weeks you can join her as she soaks up the beauty and history of some of the world's favourite cities.

She boarded Scenic Pearl in Budapest, Hungary's capital, to begin her cruise along the Danube. The grand old river neatly divides Budapest into two main parts: Buda, the more historical side, and Pest, the city's commercial centre.

Seventy percent of Budapest was destroyed or severely damaged in World War II, but it is a thriving city with lots on offer.

It is the only European capital that is also a spa town. There are 120 springs with temperatures ranging between 21°C and 78°C are said to have healing properties and are also very popular social places for locals.

As with most European cities, a good place to get the vibe is at the marketplace. Budapest's Great Market Hall, or central market, is the city's largest indoor market. A great number of stalls sell vegetables, fruit, cheese, caviar and meat. On the first floor you will find souvenir items such as dolls, clothing, pictures and household items.

Once you leave the markets, a visit to one of Budapest's favourite and best shoemakers is interesting. Hungarian cobblers have a great reputation world-wide and those with plenty of cash go to Budapest to have their footwear hand-crafted. Carolyne was very taken with a pair adorned with crystals. Their price tag — a mere $2500!

Gerbeaud's is Budapest's most famous restaurant, coffeehouse and beer hall. It opened in 1858 and has been at its current site since 1870. Beautiful inside and out, it has served millions of people, including royalty, for all those years. Its sweet delicacies have to be seen to be believed. They are nothing short of works of art.

Budapest was a real eye-opener for Carolyne. Join her next week as the cruises to Austria.


Scenic Tours Jewels of Europe river cruise.


Scenic Tours 15-day Jewels of Europe river cruises leave from Amsterdam or Budapest. They start at $6095 per person twin-share and include return flights from major Australian capital cities. This price is based on March 7, 2012, departure. All meals, drinks with meals, sightseeing to suit your personal interests and headsets on tours. They run between March and November.

Prices correct at July 9, 2011.

For further information

Scenic Tours
14/56 Pitt Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: 1300 723 642

Visa: Australians do not require a visa, but passports must have at least 6 months' validity.

Electricity: 220V at 50Hz. Plugs are the European type with two round pins.

Time zone: GMT +2.

Currency: Forint.

Telephone code: +36.

It is recommended travellers see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there may be specific vaccinations recommended for your destination. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended. For further information, visit and

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