Hungary: Sopron

Located right on the border with Austria, Sopron is one of the oldest towns in the country – it was built by the Romans as Scarbantia, later populated by Hungarians, withstood the Ottoman attacks, burned down to the ground in the 17th century, got rebuilt, was bombed out in WWII, survived socialist ugly industrialization, and finally became a pretty tourist destination it is today. The old town is very compact and within the medieval walls (or what’s left of them). Right in the middle are the ruins of the antique Roman forum. And the cobblestone streets radiating from here are all packed with beautiful baroque buildings and churches, including the spectacular Firewatch Tower. Also, the plague monument, common in many Central European cities, stands proudly on the central square.