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Driving Tour Through Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest

13 Days in Central Europe
© Rudy Balasko/iStock/Thinkstock

Although Austria is only slightly larger than 
South Carolina, Vienna still feels like the capital of an empire. The atmosphere is elegant and serene, miraculously unperturbed by the traffic and tourists of the 21st century. The city is an ideal starting point for a trip through central Europe, including this itinerary down the Danube to Budapest and Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.

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Day 1 : Vienna

Arrive and check in at your hotel. Refresh, unpack and have a snack or lunch at Café Sperl.

Walk through the Naschmarkt to the Secession Building, an elegant example of Viennese art nouveau. Klimt’s austere and haunting “Beethoven Frieze” is inside.

Return to your hotel to relax before dinner, or stop at the nearby Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Künste, a small but excellent collection of paintings including Bosch’s monumental and fantastically surreal “Last Judgment.”

Have a traditional Viennese dinner of tafelspitz or wiener schnitzel on the glassed-in patio of Plachutta.

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