The Danube is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga, flowing for 1,771 miles (2,857km) through nine different countries. Before reaching Budapest, it is forced through a narrow twisting valley in the pretty Carpathian Basin, known as the Danube Bend, eight miles (13km) from Budapest.
The cluster of towns on this bend offers an amazing collection of history, culture, and architecture, particularly the small Baroque towns of Szentendre, Visegrad, and Esztergom. The Danube River has been a main artery for trade and transport through Europe for centuries and is one of the reasons Hungary has always been such a sought after territory. Numerous invaders have left their mark on the riverside settlements, from the Romans to the Soviets.
The Danube Bend is an extremely scenic area with green valleys and hills rising up from the river, picturesque little towns with market squares, and commanding fortresses with sweeping views. Many visitors choose to do a boat cruise on the Danube from Budapest, stopping at the little towns along the way.
Because of its close proximity to the capital, many people on holiday in Hungary choose to use Budapest as their base and take day trips to the Danube Bend. Combined with good facilities and easy accessibility, it is one of the more popular destinations in Hungary.