Visiting Prague and Budapest

By: Keith Barrett

The capital cities of the Czech Republic and Hungary have been witnessing something of an economic boom in rent years. For a long period after the Second World War both countries were largely inaccessible to travellers from the west, but the breakdown of Communism in the two states has presented opportunities.

Visitors from overseas have been charmed by the two capital cities. As tourist numbers have grown, Prague and Budapest have both seen a rise in the quantity and quality of tourist accommodation. The popularity of the two cities has risen to such a level that they now rival Paris, Rome, Venice and the other established European tourist hotspots.

So, what is it that draws so many visitors to the cities each year?

Prague's focal point is undoubtedly its stunning Charles Bridge.

The medieval stone structure, with towers at either end, is an amazing sight to see. The river crosses the Vltava River and also forms a point of entertainment, with artists and street entertainers being prominent here.

Equally famous is the Astronomical Clock, orginally constructed in the fifteenth century. Located in the Old Town Square, the clock chimes every hour, accompanied by a selection of moving figures.

The city is also renowned for its cultural aspects, with fine museums, wonderful architecture and outstanding theatres. To simply take a stroll around this city is an adventure.

Budapest is actually two cities in one - Buda and Pest sit on opposite banks of the mighty river Danube. The greatest attraction for many visitors is the Castle District, which is found on Castle Hill.

This district of the city contains many of Budapest's most striking buildings and also commands a great view over the rest of the Hungarian capital. From here, one can stand and admire the Hungarian Parliament building, which is modelled on the Houses of Parliament in London.

There are now numerous travel operators running trips to both Prague and Budapest as part of dual city tours. Such tours generally offer good value, ensuring that you are provided by an English-speaking guide who is familiar with Prague and Budapest.

They provide a great way to see two magnificent cities.

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