Bratislava is made up of medieval stone buildings; 18th- and 19th-century palaces; hulking reminders of the Soviet era; and some sleek modern designs, all overseen by the dignified castle on the hill above the river. Local culture also blends old and new: The city, where the aristocrats of Austria and Hungary came for fancy balls, still holds formal dances during Carnival season, but now they also feature Queen cover bands, avant-garde dance troupes, and performance art. Stroll around the tile-roofed Old Town and linger over a glass of local beer at a sidewalk café or hit the galleries, especially Galéria Nedbalka. Take advantage of one of Crystal’s available bikes and ride the gentle trail along the Danube or the city’s forest park. You can ease any sore muscles back onboard the Crystal Mozart, where a spa, beauty salon, and in-suite hors d’oeuvres await.
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