Budapest Opera House: A Spectacular UNESCO Gem in the Heart of Hungary

Behold the grandeur of the Budapest Opera House, an architectural masterpiece nestled in the heart of Hungary. This spectacular UNESCO gem is a testament to the nation’s rich history and cultural heritage. With its ornate interiors, magnificent chandeliers, and impeccable acoustics, the Budapest Opera House stands as a symbol of artistic excellence.


Outside Budpest Opera House

Step inside and immerse yourself in a world of opulence and elegance. Every detail of this historic landmark exudes grandeur, from its marble staircase adorned with intricate carvings to its lavish golden auditorium.

Beyond its architectural splendor, the Budapest Opera House boasts a rich program of opera, ballet, and classical music, attracting renowned performers from across the globe. Whether you are a seasoned opera-goer or a first-time visitor, the mesmerizing performances within these hallowed halls are sure to captivate your soul.

Prepare to be transported to a bygone era of refined artistry and extraordinary talent. Join us as we delve into the fascinating history and enchanting allure of the Budapest Opera House, a cultural treasure that continues to inspire and awe audiences to this day.

History of the Budapest Opera House

The history of the Budapest Opera House dates back to the 19th century when Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was Emperor Franz Joseph I who commissioned the construction of the opera house, seeking to create a cultural haven in the heart of Budapest. The building was designed by renowned Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl, who drew inspiration from a variety of architectural styles, including Renaissance and Baroque.

Budapest Opera House


The construction of the opera house began in 1875 and took nearly a decade to complete. The grand opening ceremony took place on September 27, 1884, with a performance of Ferenc Erkel’s opera, “Bánk bán.” Since then, the Budapest Opera House has been a thriving center for the performing arts, hosting countless world-class productions and attracting audiences from around the globe.

Architecture and design of the Budapest Opera House

As you step inside the Budapest Opera House, you are immediately transported to a world of opulence and elegance. Every detail of this historic landmark exudes grandeur, from its marble staircase adorned with intricate carvings to its lavish golden auditorium. The auditorium, with its horseshoe-shaped layout, features plush velvet seats and a stunning ceiling painting by Károly Lotz, depicting scenes from Greek mythology.


Budapest Opera House Chandelier

One of the most iconic features of the Budapest Opera House is its breathtaking chandelier. Weighing in at over three tons and adorned with thousands of crystals, this magnificent centerpiece adds an extra touch of glamour to the already awe-inspiring surroundings. The acoustics of the opera house are also legendary, thanks to the carefully designed domed ceiling and intricate sound system, ensuring that every note resonates with perfect clarity.

Notable performances and artists at the Budapest Opera House

Over the years, the Budapest Opera House has played host to an impressive lineup of world-renowned performers and productions. From opera legends like Luciano Pavarotti and Maria Callas to ballet stars like Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, the stage of the Budapest Opera House has witnessed countless unforgettable performances.


Budapest Opera House Theatre

One of the most celebrated productions in the history of the Budapest Opera House is Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida,” which has been performed here numerous times to critical acclaim. The opera house is also famous for its productions of works by Hungarian composers, including Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály. Whether you’re a fan of opera, ballet, or classical music, the Budapest Opera House offers a diverse program that caters to all tastes.

Tips for visiting the Budapest Opera House

If you’re planning a visit to the Budapest Opera House, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your experience. Firstly, it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially for popular performances. The opera house offers a range of seating options, from affordable balcony seats to premium orchestra seats, so you can choose according to your budget and preference.

When attending a performance at the Budapest Opera House, it’s customary to dress elegantly. While there is no strict dress code, most guests opt for smart attire, such as suits or cocktail dresses. This adds to the overall sense of occasion and enhances the atmosphere of the evening.

Nearby attractions and activities in Budapest

While the Budapest Opera House is undoubtedly a must-visit attraction in the Hungarian capital, there are plenty of other sights and activities to explore in the vicinity. Just a short walk away is the iconic Hungarian Parliament Building, a stunning example of Neo-Gothic architecture. You can also take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Danube River, admiring the breathtaking views of the city.

For those interested in history and culture, a visit to Buda Castle is highly recommended. This UNESCO World Heritage Site houses the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery, offering a fascinating glimpse into the country’s past. And of course, no visit to Budapest would be complete without indulging in the city’s famous thermal baths, such as the Széchenyi Thermal Bath or the Gellért Thermal Bath.

How to get tickets for performances at the Budapest Opera House

Getting tickets for performances at the Budapest Opera House is relatively straightforward. You can purchase them online through the official website or at the box office on the day of the performance, subject to availability. It’s worth noting that tickets for popular shows tend to sell out quickly, so it’s advisable to book in advance to secure your seats.

The Budapest Opera House also offers guided tours, providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the inner workings of this magnificent institution. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours take you through the various areas of the opera house, including the stage, the dressing rooms, and the orchestra pit. It’s a unique opportunity to gain insight into the world of opera and ballet and learn about the rich history of the Budapest Opera House.

The impact of the Budapest Opera House on Hungarian culture

The Budapest Opera House holds a special place in the hearts of Hungarians, as it has played a significant role in shaping the nation’s cultural identity. Since its opening in 1884, the Opera House has been a beacon of artistic expression, showcasing the immense talent of Hungarian composers, musicians, and performers.

  1. Preserving Hungarian Musical Heritage

The Budapest Opera House has been instrumental in preserving and promoting Hungarian musical heritage. It has served as a platform for showcasing the works of renowned Hungarian composers such as Franz Liszt, Béla Bartók, and Zoltán Kodály. These composers have left an indelible mark on the world of classical music, and their compositions continue to be celebrated within the walls of the Opera House.

The Opera House also hosts productions of traditional Hungarian operas, such as Ferenc Erkel’s “Bánk Bán” and Imre Kálmán’s “Die Csárdásfürstin.” These performances keep alive the rich tradition of Hungarian opera and allow audiences to experience the unique cultural heritage of the country.

  1. Nurturing Talent and Artistic Excellence

The Budapest Opera House has nurtured countless talented performers, providing them with a platform to showcase their skills and launch their careers on an international stage. Many renowned opera singers, ballet dancers, and musicians have started their journey at the Budapest Opera House, honing their craft under the guidance of experienced professionals.

The Opera House’s commitment to artistic excellence is reflected in its rigorous training programs and the meticulous attention given to the selection of performers. This dedication to nurturing talent has contributed to the development of a vibrant artistic community in Hungary and has placed the Budapest Opera House on the global map as a center of excellence.

  1. Cultural Icon and Tourist Attraction

The Budapest Opera House is not only revered by Hungarians but also draws visitors from around the world. Its architectural beauty and rich cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for tourists and art enthusiasts alike. The opulent interiors, with their intricate details and lavish decorations, transport visitors to a world of elegance and sophistication.

The Opera House offers guided tours that provide a glimpse into its history and behind-the-scenes operations. Visitors can explore the grand auditorium, marvel at the stunning frescoes adorning the ceiling, and learn about the technical intricacies that contribute to the exceptional acoustics of the venue. These tours offer a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of Hungary and gain a deeper appreciation for the art of opera and ballet.

Conclusion: The timeless beauty of the Budapest Opera House

The Budapest Opera House stands as a testament to the power of art and its ability to transcend time. Its majestic presence and captivating performances continue to inspire audiences, transporting them to a world of beauty, passion, and emotion. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Budapest Opera House is not only a national treasure but a global symbol of artistic excellence.

Whether you are an opera aficionado or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Hungary, a visit to the Budapest Opera House is an experience that should not be missed. Let the grandeur of its architecture, the enchantment of its performances, and the passion of its artists leave an indelible mark on your soul. Discover why the Budapest Opera House has earned its rightful place as a spectacular UNESCO gem in the heart of Hungary.

You can visit the Budapest Opera House while on a Danube River cruise.  You can visit on your own or join an excursion from your ship.

AMA Waterways cruises the Danube, with 7-night itineraries between Budapest and Nuremberg and Vilshofen to Budapest.  New for 2024 is a round-trip Budapest cruise itinerary.  Discover a wealth of art, history, and cultural treasures as you cruise to some of Europe’s most famous destinations.

Prices include the cruise, all meals, wine and beer with dinner, a 1-hour happy hour each evening, and Wi-Fi.  Multi-choice Excursions are included.

Croisi River Cruises offers 3 – 7-day European River Cruises and is the oldest river cruise line in Europe as well as being family-owned.  The cruise line has over 42 vessels cruising the waterways of Europe.  Danube itineraries include a 5-day and 8-day round trip Vienna cruise on the Danube as well as a 6-day cruise between Passau and Budapest.

Prices include the cruise, all meals, beverage packages with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and Wi-Fi.  Excursions are additional.

A-ROSA CRUISE LINE cruises the Danube, aboard the A-ROSA Donna and A-FLORA, featuring short river cruises with English and German language onboard.  There are no fixed seating or table arrangements on board.  All meals are served as a buffet.  There are chefs at all meals with an open kitchen preparing these dishes as you watch – so everything is fresh.

The ships have bicycles with helmets on board for cycling tours.   A-ROSA is also known for its superior spa facilities onboard.  A-ROSA offers 4-night, 5-night, and 7-night round-trip Passau river cruise itineraries.  There is also a 7-night round-trip Vienna itinerary.  A-ROSA also allows children 15 and under to cruise free with their parents in the same cabin in Cat S and G cabins.  They are limited triple cabins and 1 set of connecting cabins per deck on a few of their ships.

Prices include the cruise, all meals, beverage package with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and Wi-Fi.  Excursions are additional.

For more information on any of the Danube River cruise itineraries or other rivers, please call or email:713 240 6753 or 888 869 7907

Getting Your Fill of San Sebastián, Spain

It’s a smorgasbord of sights, sounds, and tastes that you can feast on in San Sebastián, Spain. An interesting mix of activities can be enjoyed by tourists in this Spanish town known for its beaches, cultural events, local cuisine, and architectural landmarks. It’s a treat to stay here for a short vacation or for a few days right before a cruise.

San Sebastián, also known as the Basque city of Donostia, stretches 20 kilometers from the border of France through the coastal area of Bay of Biscay. The donostiarra population goes up to about half a million, with thousands more adding as tourists arrive. With everything that it offers for people of all ages, it is no wonder that this town is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Spain.

To satisfy you palate, local cuisine can be enjoyed in the many eateries in town. San Sebastián, Spain is also known for its Michelin-star restaurants, so don’t forget to make room in your budget and schedule for a meal or two in these dining places. At night, have a unique gastronomical experience at a Basque cider house and enjoy tapas and drinks in local pintxos bars.

Known as the ‘City by the Bay of Biscay,’ a trip to San Sebastián will not be complete without spending time lazing on the sand and basking under the warm sun. Try the La Concha Beach. It is touted as one of Europe’s most beautiful urban beaches. It lies on the edges of a shell-shaped bay, with its sands stretching one thousand three hundred fifty meters. Here, you can enjoy a host of activities like sea kayaking and swimming. Or, you can choose to simply relax, lounge around, and sunbathe.

For a bit of local flavor, a visit to the Mercado de la Brexta is a must. This is a fresh market with an assortment of bright colors as well as the sounds and smells that stimulate the senses. This market, conveniently located at a shopping center’s basement, is were many of Spain’s best chefs buy their ingredients. If you are looking for local treats that you can bring back to your home country, check out their oil and wine, olives, and Iberian ham.


You also have to see the San Sebastián Cathedral right off Old Town’s southern area. Built in neo-Gothic architecture, this monumental cathedral boasts of richly colored stained glass windows that let ample light in and create an ambiance of reverence and solemnity.

When you’ve had your fill of San Sebastián, there’s more in store for you just an hour away in Bilbao, Spain. Travel through historic Guernica, be amazed at the works of art at the Guggenheim Museum, sample Bilbao’s brand of pintxos, and have a romantic stroll through the historic streets of Old Town.

With a little more time in your hands, it would be ideal to visit San Sebastián, Spain along with other destinations as Bilbao in cruise that takes you from one town to another. You can have a fixed itinerary for your cruise, yet have the freedom to explore each town at your own pace and doing the things that interest you most.

AmaWaterways offers a 7 night Taste of Bordeaux, which features a pre cruise land program with 2 nights in San Sebastian as well as 2 nights in Bilbao. The land program highlights will feature a tour of the town of Blboa and visit to the Guggenheim Museum. After your morning Guggenheim Museum visit, you will continue to Guernica, known throughout the world due to the painting by Pablo Picasso that bears the same name. Two of the most important political symbols of the Basque Country can be found in Guernica – the Biscayan Assembly House and the Guernica Tree. Afterwards arrive in San Sebastian where your stay will feature a visit of the great architecture of the town, including stops at spectacular Good Shepherd of San Sebastián Cathedral and breathtaking Mount Igueldo, as well as the Basilica of St. Mary of the Chorus and the Gothic St. Vincent’s Church, the oldest church in the city.

AmaWaterways offers several wine themed departures during the year and regular cruises on some other dates. Rates start at $3199 per person for a lower deck cabin with window and $4098 for a cabin featuring a French Balcony. Rates include: all sightseeing, meals, wine with dinner, daily happy hour before dinner, free internet and use of bicycles on board. Contact Europeanbarging for information on either the wine themed Bordeaux cruise or the Taste of Bordeaux cruise itinerary at 888-869-7907

Basque’-ing in Bilbao, Spain

A mix of excitement and laid back is what you can find in Bilbao, Spain. There’s a vibrant vibe of shopping in the trendy marketplaces and the nightlife in lively bars. On the other hand, there’s a historic and relaxed feel in the contemporary art and architecture of the museums and old buildings. Exploring this city in the northern part of Spain’s Basque region gives you a versatile selection of activities to engage in for the best European vacation.


Here are some of the places you can visit in Bilbao, Spain:

Museums — the museums in Bilbao are globally acclaimed. The Guggenheim is one of the world’s most popular both for its shape and structure and for the contemporary art work that’s exhibited within its walls. The Museo Bellas Artes chronicles a hundred years of history and ten centuries of art. It showcases works of such artists as Picasso and Goya as well as of more contemporary local artists. Other museums that deserve a slot in your must-visit list are: the Archeological Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Bullfighting Museum

Local Scene — Bilbao is a great place to wine and dine. One Michelin restaurant, Restaurante de Mina, can be found right across from Mercado de la Ribera. It would be necessary to call in for a reservation since the restaurant can only seat less than thirty guests. The gustatory experience is truly extraordinary with meticulously prepared courses using the freshest local ingredients. Those specifically looking to feast on authentic Spanish paella, however, can go to either one of La Barraca’s two Bilbao locations. They offer a dozen paella variants for you to choose from based on your preferred ‘star’ ingredients.

For shopping, there’s Mercado de la Ribera for fresh products and a good dose of local flavor – both food and culture. This is an interesting visit for food lovers and people watchers alike. Fashionistas, on the other hand, can delight their hearts at Choses de Femme and Veritas. To wind up your day after shopping, don’t forget to sample Bilbao’s pintxos too.

Architecture — one of famed architect Frank Gehry’s masterpiece is the Guggenheim in Bilbao. It’s unique shape and titanium construction is a display of the post modern disjointed style that Gehry is known for.

Another architectural work of art is the Azkuna Zentro commercial center. It traces a rich history from its roots as Alhondiga Bilbao, a corn exchange, to a thriving and dynamic multi-purpose venue today.

The old churches are always on the list when it comes to places of architectural curiosity is concerned. The Bilbao Santiago Cathedral is one of the must-visit places when it comes to 15th century architecture.

Nature — Bilbao has its own share of beautiful landscapes and sceneries to enjoy with its mountains and beaches. Just a short 15-minute drive from the city center will give you a picturesque countryside trip and take you to Azurmendi, a three-star Michelin restaurant set right on the mountainside. Those who have visited this restaurant describe the experience of walking through its interiors and being handed extraordinary unique treats – like edible cotton topped with asparagus and gold leaf covered hazelnuts – as being like Alice in Wonderland.

A quick outdoor escape can be enjoyed with a hike in Artxanda Hill and surfing at Sopelana Beach. You can also head on north to marvel at Bilbao’s unique geography and landscapes.

The Best of Basque

Bilbao, Spain is truly a destination for everyone. You have a choice to explore cities that match your own personality or go out of your comfort zone to try something different. Whatever road you take, you will never run out of options to delight your senses and give you the best vacation that you deserve.

AmaWaterways offers a 7 night Taste of Bordeaux, which features a pre cruise land program with 2 nights in Bilbao. A March 25, 2021 departure will be a wine themed Bordeaux itinerary hosted by Award Winning Texas Messina Hof Winery owners – Paul  and Merrill Bonarrigo.  These wine cruises sell out quick, so contact Europeanbarging for information on either the wine themed Bordeaux cruise or the Taste of Bordeaux cruise itinerary at 888-869-7907

Visiting Cultural Cologne’s Top Museums

Cologne, Germany is always worth a visit as it offers new things to discover with every trip. Whether you explore the city on a bike or on foot, you can experience the city’s most beautiful and culturally-enriching sites through the museums of Cologne.

Cologne Cathedral at Night

From Roman Empire relics to the place where Eau de Cologne was born, as well as a museum solely dedicated to chocolate, and collections of some of the world’s greatest art pieces, exploring the city’s museums is like going on a treasure hunt.

For starters, here are some of the top museums in cultural Cologne:

The Roman-Germanic Museum

Situated next to the Cathedral of Cologne, The Roman-Germanic Museum is mainly a collection of archeological artefacts from 1000 centuries of settlement history in Rhineland, as well as Cologne’s Roman heritage. The heart of the collection is literally the famous Dionysus Mosaic.

Built on a Roman villa’s foundations and around the 70 ft2 mosaic unearthed in 1941, the museum has since been open to the public. Other museum highlights include the largest Roman glass vessel collection in the world, the goldsmith art of Merovingians, stone weapons and tools from the Neolithic age, and the 50-ft tall tomb of Roman veteran legionary Lucius Poblicius that dates back to 40 AD.

Museum Ludwig

Josef Haubrich donated his collection of modern art to Cologne at the conclusion of WW II. It included pieces by Emil Nolde, Marc Cha-gall, and Otto Dix. Three decades later, the city received 350 pieces of art as a gift from Peter and Irene Ludwig on condition that a new museum would be built by the city.

The Ludwigs’ donation laid down the foundation for one of Europe’s most significant museums of contemporary and modern art. The museum houses 900 Picassos, the biggest pop art collection outside the United States, and valuable works by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Alexander Rodchenko, among others.


A science center, Cologne’s Odysseum is an experience house of knowledge. It prides itself as a knowledge communication place, and metaphorically uses the epic Odyssey as a journey. It is a museum ideal for inquisitive children.

The museum sees human development as one open ended journey, and science as both progress and problem. Odysseum’s subject is the challenge of how to shape the future. You can experience the adventure of discovering the knowledge about the future through the various experience stations scattered on an area of 5,500 m2.

Cologne Chocolate Museum

Chocolate Museum

The Chocolate Museum is dedicated to, you guessed it right, chocolates! Its 4,000 sq2 m area contains everything you may want to know about your favorite confectionery.

Explore chocolates’ 5,000-year cultural history, and follow the journey of the cocoa bean – from the time it is roasted until it becomes a wrapped chocolate bar! Go through each step of the production process that culminates in a tall, 200-kg fountain of melted chocolate – ready for sampling!

NS Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne – old Nazi prison

Used as headquarters by Nazi Germany’s Secret State Police (more notoriously known as the Gestapo) from 1935 to 1945, the building now houses the NS Documentation Centre of Cologne.

You can pay tribute to the Nazi atrocity victims NS Documentation Centre. Exhibits document Cologne’s own experience under the Nazi regime. Former victims and prisoners wrote over 1,800 inscriptions and epitaphs while trapped inside the prison’s walls.

Wallraf-Richartz Museum

In the year 1824, art collector and university professor Ferdinand Franz Wallraf donated his collection of art works to the city. Johann Heinrich Richartz, a Cologne merchant, then provided the funds for a museum to contain the precious art pieces 30 years later; thus the museum’s name.

Cologne’s oldest museum features European art that spans many centuries – from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century – spread over the museum’s three floors, with each story dedicated to a particular period.

Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum

An ethnographic museum, Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum explores the similarities and differences of past and present world cultures. The museum has two areas: 1) Understanding the World, and 2) Shaping the World.

The exhibits take a look at all sides of different human cultures that include, religion, identity, and living concepts. The interactive multimedia shows let museum visitors immerse themselves in various cultures, and experience different perspectives.


Throughout the city of Cologne’s rich history – beginning with the oldest Roman settlements – churches have been built on the same place where the Kolumba Museum now stands.

During the medieval ages, Saint Kolumba parish was the biggest and most dominant in Cologne. To properly showcase the parish’s power, the magnificent Kolumba Church was built. It stood proud until 1943, when it was demolished tragically – together with the rest of Cologne – by an Allied forces’ air strike. The ruins have mainly remained untouched, except for a diminutive octagonal chapel built by Gottfried Böhm in 1949 to commemorate the bombing.

Farina Fragrance Museum

The oldest fragrance factory in the world lies just across the street from Wallraf-Richartz Museum. More popularly known as Eau de Cologne’s birthplace, Farina Fragrance Museum takes visitors to 3 centuries of fragrance history.

On display are art pieces, furniture, and various authentic objects from the original production site of Johann Maria Farina, an Italian perfumer who created the world renowned scent in 1709. Among his most notable customers were Kings Louis XV and Frederik the Great.

Museum Schnutgen

The Museum Schnutgen features a valuable medieval art collection in one of the oldest churches in Cologne. A lot of pieces in the collection, by themselves, are worth a trip already. These include the expressive St. George Crucifix, the unique filigree ivory carving Comb of St. Heribert, and the magnificent Parler Bust.

The gamut of the exhibits range from stone and wooden sculptures, valuable goldsmith artworks and stained glass to rare textiles and ivories. One distinctive museum feature is its wide, 1,000-year old exhibition space. The aura and stillness of the Romanesque St. Cecilia Church make experiencing the beauty and spiritual vibrancy of the art pieces possible.

German Sports and Olympic Museum

Experience a glorious trip from ancient Greece that will take you all the way to the present, while reminiscing the triumphs and defeats of sports history’s leading athletes.

The permanent exhibits feature medals, clothing, sports equipment that include the Benetton Renault Formula One race car of Michael Schumacher, as well as many other sports memorabilia. Themed areas are dedicated to the Olympiad, new trend sports, and German gymnastics, among others.

Koelnisches Stadtmuseum

The Municipal Museum was built in Dutch Renaissance style back in the 1600s. The armoury was originally used as a weapons arsenal.

Today, it is home to Cologne’s Koelnisches Stadtmuseum that offers an insight into the economic, spiritual, and daily living in Cologne and its people – back from the Middle Ages up to the present day.

The Cathedral Treasury

Cologne Cathedral’s Treasury is arguably Germany’s biggest and richest. Initially intended to be a collection of relics, which were deemed as the real treasure during the Middle Ages, the artistic and monetary value of the settings were not of primary importance.

Not the conventional type of museum of today, practically everything on display are still used ecclesiastically. Contents of the treasury reflect the changes in the history of the cathedral that through centuries survived robberies, and gained gifts from emperors, popes, and bishops.

Devote one visit to tour the museums of Cologne, both the popular and the secluded ones, and you’ll understand why the city is considered as one of the top tourist destinations not only in Germany, but the whole of Europe as well.

Arosa river cruise line offers Rhine and Holland river cruises from 4 – 8 nights and they start and end in Cologne. A pre or post night stay to visit the museums of Cologne would be a great addition to a scenic Rhine River cruise. Booking a short Advent (Christmas Markets) cruise this fall from Cologne, you get the added benefit of enjoying the 7 Christmas Markets that Cologne is known for.

Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market

Contact Europeanbarging to assist in finding the best special offers in booking a river cruise – and hotel accommodations to visit Cologne museums. 888-869-7907

Lyon: Home of Great Food and Architecture in France

No tourist can say he has experienced the best of France without setting foot in the charming city of Lyon. Situated right in the heart of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, it is located where two rivers – the Rhone and the Saone – smoothly meet.

Because of this unique location, the Lyon has become a staple stopover in many Rhone River Cruises, including the Arosa Stella, offering short 5 – 7 night cruises.

The city has been around for quite a while. It was occupied as early as 43 BC, when the Romans turned the land into a village for refugees of war. Today, it is the third largest and most populous city in France, but the influence of the early settlers is beautifully preserved in architecture and art.

Lyon is primarily known today for their exquisite cuisine. But before you indulge in their great food, there are numerous sights you must definitely see.

One of these sights is the Opera Nouvel. This historical landmark showcases the architectural creativity of both the old and modern French. The horseshoe-shaped structure standing today was first built in 1756 and improved in 1985. Despite the different architectural trends, the designers decided to preserve the old building and only make minor renovations. The renovated building turned out to have more efficient use of space inside and has been hailed as one of the most genius works of engineering and architecture in the world.

Other scenic places include the Fourvière Basilica, where you can feast your eyes on grand architectural designs on the outside. Inside is the Museum of Sacred Art, where beautifully crafted masterpieces by talented goldsmiths abound.

The Lyon Cathedral, Basilique Saint-Martin d’Ainay, and Iglesia de St-Nizier are a few other cathedrals that are equally as remarkable.

When going on a Rhone River Cruise, make the most out of your stop in Lyon. The city is best explored on foot or by bike. See the sights, learn the history, and – more importantly – eat the food. Only then can you say that you experienced the best of France.  Check out the Arosa Stella video.

The Arosa Stella offers 5, 6 and 7 night round trip Lyon – Rhone River Cruises, starting at $1079 for 2018 cruises. Rates include the cruise, beverage package, all meals and free Wi-Fi.

For more information contact europeanbarging at 888-869-7907 or River cruise and barge cruise specialist since 1998.