Budapest, once Vienna's partner in ruling the Austro-Hungarian empire, feels like the capital of Eastern Europe. It's actually two cities-busy Pest and noble Buda-straddling the Danube and laced together by mighty bridges. Capitalism has taken hold with gusto as shopping boulevards thrive and stone Lenins and cast iron Stalins litter a theme park at the edge of town. Today Gypsy orchestras feature smoking violins, venerable mineral baths are the rage, and 19th century coffeehouses enjoy a renaissance.
"Rick Steves' Europe" offers a fresh perspective on travel, including where to stay, what to see, and how to get around Europe.