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53km (32 miles) NW of Budapest

Formerly a Roman settlement, Esztergom (pronounced Ess-tair-gome), was the seat of the Hungarian kingdom for 300 years. Hungary's first king, István I (Stephen I) renamed from Vajk by German priests, received the crown from the pope in A.D. 1000. He converted Hungary to Catholicism, and Esztergom became the country's center of the early church. Although its glory days are long gone due to invasions from the Mongols and later the Turks, it was rebuilt once again in the 18th and 19th centuries. This quiet town remains the seat of the archbishop primate, known as the "Hungarian Rome."

From Esztergom west all the way to the Austrian border, the Danube marks the border between Hungary and Slovakia, with an international ferry crossing at Esztergom. There's little to entice anyone to stay overnight here with Budapest so close, so I strongly recommend making this a day trip returning to Budapest at the end of the day.