Berlin-Krakow-Budapest-Vienna is probably the ticket if you enjoyed Bucharest, Croatia, Montenegro, Mostar. Come to think of it, if you enjoyed Bucharest that puts you in a very small club (with me). Hope you saw more in Romania as its a stunning country. I would suggest you look in Hungary at Pecs, Gyor, Eger, Pannonhalma, Sopron, and in Slovakia in Koscie, Banska Bystrica, Banska Stiavnica, Strbske Pleso. Starting in Vienna then to Krakow and then you can do a pretty nice trip through Slovakia to Budapest. When you see the photos of those Slovak towns you will know why this is a good trip. After Budapest or as overnight trips out of Budapest the Hungarian towns are outstanding. My favorite this week is Pecs.
Based on where you have enjoyed you might also like a trip we did in June. We flew into Sofia, Bulgaria and then crossed Bulgaria by car to Istanbul then took a cheap flight back to Budapest. This was our second trip to Bulgaria. The first trip was the typical see the sights trip and it was fantastic, this was a fishing trip where we drove from stream to river in the mountains as we worked our way to Istanbul. Incredible trip.
Was that any help?
When I can, I plan trips around events and festivals. Here is what is going on in Budapest in September
10 – 14: Budapest International Wine Festival. We went last year and it was a lot of fun. Set up around the Castle in Buda. Not a drunken orgy as a is often the case where the booze is free or cheap. This was very well done and just an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. Very nice. http://www.aborfesztival.hu/index.php
19 – 21: The National Gallop (Nemzeti Vágta): They close off the streets that circle Hero’s Square then they lay down dirt and they race the circuit. The uniforms and the horses are amazing. Great fun. They also close Andrassy ut from Hero’s Square to the Oktogon and they turn it into a mile long expanse of tent like booths selling food, crafts and stages with music. I had wanted to go for years and finally made it last year. It was a blast. http://vagta.hu/menu/180/2013
To continue the sales pitch. I will put the quantity and selection of good and diverse quality food in Budapest up against any other city of its size in Europe. You can do neighborhood bistro or Michelin Star. The culture is still authentic and not staged for the tourists (a few exceptions). You can go to a concert or an opera or a musical operetta and be surrounded not by tourists but by Hungarians. Same on the streets. Like the food? I know a lady that teaches cooking classes in her typical Hungarian apartment kitchen. First she takes you to the majestic old market to shop for the ingredients then you sip a little palinka, stir a little, chop a little, sip a little more palina, on and on and in a few hours you have a three course meal at her kitchen table. Its fun.
Adventure? My wife got a kick out of driving the cold war era Russian Tank. Tired? Great spas and bath houses. (yes, I enjoy Budapest)