Because of the potential for commerce, many inland cities were established and thrived along major navigable rivers. Many of these cities became important centers for trade and crossroads for the movement of goods and people. This installment of cities on rivers includes several former Iron Curtain countries.
Krakow, Poland — This former capital of the region is noted for its friendly and energetic Old Town, almost entirely rebuilt after its destruction in World War II. Krakow is located on the Vistula River, one of Poland’s longest.
Bratislava, Slovakia — The capital of this fairly new country, formed when Czechoslovakia regained its independence and split into two countries, is located on the Danube River, a long and winding waterway which begins in the Black Forest of Germany and empties into the Black Sea. Bratislava is a delightful city with small town charm.
Budapest, Hungary — The Danube River, after leaving Bratislava continues into Hungary and divides the capital, Budapest, into two parts, the Buda hills which contain the Castle District and the lower city of Pest. The two sides are connected by several bridges, the most famous of which is the Chain Bridge.
Prague, Czech Republic — The Paris of the East is a positively beautiful city, located along the Vlatava River. The major bridge which connects the Old Town (Stare Mesto) with Lesser Town (Mala Strana) is the Charles Bridge, a pedestrian-only span which pulses with activity morning, noon, and night.