Budapest is unlike any other urban landscape in Europe, split down the middle by the Danube and peppered with natural hot springs. Hilly Buda to the west and the plains of Pest to the east abound with ornate and bullet-grazed artifices that betray centuries of cultural significance and upheaval. A past packed full of solemn, joyful, and extraordinary events has built Budapest into an electric and enormously diverse city that really must be seen to be believed, from the world famous baths and coffee houses to the monumental 19th century architecture. These 10 sites will weave the romance, history, and flavors of Budapest into one extraordinary experience.

1. Cruise the Danube

Floating down the iconic river is always a good idea, day or night. The water affords a very different perspective of the city, with the city’s diverse, imposing architecture standing tall between the skyline and the river’s striking blue surface. However, a nighttime boat tour may give you more bang for your buck: seeing the banks of Budapest lit up in the evening is a particularly memorable experience, when the twilight glow enhances the facades, and city lights dance on the water. Take a one-hour cruise for a taste, or make a whole evening of it with a romantic dinner aboard the the danube