Stride climate

Top Danube River Attractions

Hungarian Parliament, Budapest

Opera House, Vienna

Salzburg, Austria

Arc de Triomphe, Romania

Belgrade, Serbia

Melk Abbey, Austria

Mirbach Palace, Bratislava

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Top Activities in Danube River


Touring historic ruins and castles


Sampling different European cuisines

Learning medieval history

Hiking in beautiful forests

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Classic Danube River Itineraries

Westbound Danube River Cruise

A Danube river cruise is one of the best ways to see the heart of Europe. With two weeks, you can cover a lot of ground at a more leisurely pace - plus have the opportunity for longer shore excursions which will hit upon both the major cities and smaller attractions.

Day 1: Arrive in your beginning city. Many classic Danube river cruises begin in Budapest or Prague.

Day 2, Prague: Walk across the famous Chain Bridge, visit the Jewish Quarter and see the Old Royal Palace. Enjoy a local meal and overnight stay before taking a scenic drive to Budapest where you will embark your river cruise vessel.

Day 3-4, Budapest: Enjoy the day exploring the city. Take in the architectural marvel that is the Hungarian Parliament building, climb Gellert Hill, walk across any one of Budapest’s famous bridges, explore the Great Market Hall.

Day 5-6, Slovakia: Slovakia is a beautiful country, with massive green forests and hidden castles. Explore the capital of Bratislava and take in the sights from Castle Hill.

Day 7-8, Vienna: Sail from Prague to Vienna, where the cities strong music legacy will come alive. Visit the Opera House, enjoy a classic Viennese pastry as you walk the beautiful streets.

Day 9, Melk: Explore the Benedictine Abbey

Day 10-11, Passau: Optional day trip to Salzburg, or take a walking tour of the city

See All Danube River Cruises »

Eastbound Danube River Cruise

Another popular Danube River option is to travel east, where you will experience Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, as well as some Balkan states, depending on the cruise line.

Day 1, Arrive starting city: Many eastbound Danube River cruises begin in Germany

Day 2, Passau: Take a walking tour and visit St. Stephan’s Cathedral.

Day 3, Salzburg: Take a day trip through the historic city and Sound of Music setting. Set said this evening to begin your Danube river cruise experience.

Day 4, Vienna: Learn the strong music legacy of the city. Visit the Opera House, enjoy a classic Viennese pastry as you walk the beautiful streets.

Day 5, Budapest: Take in the architectural marvel that is the Hungarian Parliament building, climb Gellert Hill, walk across any one of Budapest’s famous bridges, explore the Great Market Hall.

Day 6, Moacs: Still in Hungary, take a day excursion to Pecs with its extensive Turkish influence.

Day 7, Croatia: Enter Croatia and explore the beautiful city of Osijek, which has existed since Neolithic times.

Day 8, Serbia: Explore the city of Belgrade and Kalemegdan Fortress, Nicolas Tesla Museum

Day 9, Bulgaria: Veliko Tarnovo, see the royal castle ruins at Tsaravets Hill

Day 10, Vidin: Continuing through Bulgaria, see the Belogradchik Fortress,

Day 11-12, Romania: End your journey in beautiful Romania. Tour Bucharest, where you’ll see Royal Palace Square, Patriarchal Church, and the famous  Arch of Triumph.

See All Danube River Cruises »

Danube River Cruise Highlights in 1 Week

When you take a river cruise on the Danube, you are surrounded by impressive history from start to finish. Coupled with spectacular views of old and new Europe, it’s a trip that’s sure to inspire.

Day 1-2, Budapest: Take in the architectural marvel that is the Hungarian Parliament building, climb Gellert Hill, walk across any one of Budapest’s famous bridges, explore the Great Market Hall.

Day 3, Bratislava: Enjoy a walking tour of this fascinating, vibrant city, to see Mirbach Palace, and the St Martin Gothic Cathedral.

Day 4, Vienna: Explore the classical music heritage here. Visit the famous Opera House, Hofburg Palace, and tour the Spanish Riding School for a glimpse of the famous Lipizzan horses.

Day 5, Melk: Melk Abbey, wine tasting in the Dürnstein region. Discover the history of Richard the Lionheart.

Day 6, Passau: Tour St. Stephen’s Cathedral and see its main claim to fame: the largest pipe organ in Europe!

Day 7, Nuremberg: In your last stop, visit Zeppelin Field, the Palace of Justice, and explore ancient sites in Old Town.

See All One Week Danube River Cruises »

Reviews of Danube River Tours
95% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 47 Great 17 Average 3 Disappointing 2 Terrible 1
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.6 Transportation
4.5 Meals


Does Not Recommend

Misleading and often just plain dishonest. October 2018


European sojourn

We paid for a 3 week luxury river cruise but received a large group bus trip across Europe with many days of packing and unpacking. I called our Viking representative when we received an email message just 2 days prior to departure that mentioned a possibility of problems with low river levels. I was assured that everything was "normal" In reality, as we learned later from ship personnel, nothing has been normal for at least 3 months. About 2 weeks prior to departure, we received by mail, lovely personalized booklets describing all the details of our voyage on the Viking Lif, which we were to board in Russe, Romania. Instead, we boarded the Viking Aegir but not at Russe, because the Danube was too low. Instead we rode buses upstream to a port on the Romanian side directly opposite our first scheduled stop at Nikopol, Bulgaria. We had a beautiful cruise through the Iron gate gorge, but after three more scheduled stops in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia, our voyage was terminated in Mohacs, Hungary, an unscheduled place two days short of reaching Budapest. So we were herded into buses for a 1.8 hour ride each way to our scheduled stop at Kalocsa. The next day we retraced the journey to Kalocsa and continued an extra 1.5 hours to reach Budapest. We lost the entire morning in Budapest and spent the night at the Marriott hotel. The next day we lost the entire afternoon in that city because we had to take a 4 hour bus ride to Vienna. Where we were put aboard the Viking Embla. Our voyage on that ship ended two steps later at Passau Germany. After a day in Passau we went upriver for a short distance and it seemed that we had entered the canal to take us to the Main river. But much to our surprise, it was a dead end channel for an industrial port. We spent two days there with our balcony room moored tightly against another Viking ship so there was nothing to look at but the scenery at that site was even worse than looking at someone else's window and the balcony was unusable anyway due to the unpleasant odors at that site. The pattern continued with a long round trip bus ride the next day to our scheduled stop at Regensburg and a 3 plus hour trip the following day to Nuremberg where we finally boarded the Viking Lif. A crew member told us that the Lif had not traveled east of Nuremberg for 3 months. We sailed from Nuremberg to scheduled stops in Bamberg, Wurzburg, and Werthiem and then our voyage terminated for good at an unscheduled port in Mainz. Once again we endured a long round trip journey to our next scheduled stop at Koblenz, followed by a 10 plus hour bus trip (with lunch and a walking tour in Cologne) to Amsterdam and a night in a hotel. Despite a promise that our bags would be in our rooms (they did take great care to provide us with tags so they could easily keep our bags organized) all the baggage was dumped in the hotel garage and it took a good 15 minutes of searching to find it and then take it to our rooms ourselves. There is much more, but it would only be more descriptive of the misery of this trip. We know Viking didn't cause the low river levels, but they did not need to lie to us and make us suffer because of it. Read more

Operator Viking River Cruises



Not a vacation and adventure October 2018


Headwater - Cycling the Danube from Vienna to Budapest

Incredible journey through forests, farms, hamlets and cities! Truly the
greatest way to experience a new culture.
Spending 10 quality days with my daughter exploring this beautiful part of
the world.

We were self guided

Make sure your GPS is up to date and your phone is charged. Maps and
directions can be challenging at times, many roads have no signs and
kilometer markers on your bike will be off as soon as you make a single side
trip or wrong turn. GPS got us back on track multiple times.

Research the towns along the way. Many are spectacular and we didn't leave
enough time to explore them.

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Operator Exodus Travels



Cycling the Danube??? October 2018


Headwater - Cycling the Danube from Vienna to Budapest

My son and I cycled from Vienna to Budapest in early June. We had a great
time. The accommodation was fabulous all the way and the cycles were high
quality. The map and other information was very helpful and although we
didn't need it, help would have been at hand if anything had gone wrong. Most
of the cycling we did was on quiet roads or cycle lanes which made us feel
fairly safe. My only warning to prospective cyclists on this holiday is just
to point out that not much of it is actually along the Danube, probably
because there just isn't a decent path going along it I guess. Our highlight
was Gyor. Never heard of it? We hadn't either but it's a real gem.
Bratislava is really charming and Budapest is a city built on a grand scale.
Vienna? We weren't so impressed. Just a little bit too la di dah for our
taste but a city you have to see especially if like us you are big fans of
"The Third Man." Yes, the wheel is still there and yes we did go on it. You
have to, right?
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Operator Exodus Travels



Beautiful scenery, safe cycling October 2018


Headwater - Self-Guided Cycling along the Danube from Passau to Vienna

The vast majority of this trip is in cycle paths separated from road traffic
with some lightly trafficked roads and only very occasional roads with
significant traffic, and even then you are usually separated from them by a
barrier of some type: in fact, if none of the above applies, you're probably
'lost' although that, too, is really difficult to do as the river is hard to
lose and the signage is excellent! A large proportion is on a Euro cycle path
from the Black Sea to the Atlantic and it is very well maintained: UK
councils could learn a thing or two about maintaining safe cycling
environments from the Austrians. The scenery is at times spectacular and
varies from day to day as the river meanders across Austria. The
accommodation we got was generally very good and there was usually somewhere
good to have dinner in the evening. Lunch stops were a bit thin on the ground
but we usually found somewhere. The bicycles were heavy but in very good
nick: the route is mostly flat and any slight downhills outnumber the uphills
- which often related to gaining the altitude required to cross over the
bridges over the river rather than anything else. There are churches in
abundance, from big to small and most towns have a schloss (castle). There
are some spectacular monasteries and when you get to Vienna, it is clear that
it was the centre of the world for quite a long time with monuments and
buildings to show for it! The distances are manageable - on the last day, you
can get a train to cut the distance down to about 50 km but we decided to
cycle from Krems to Vienna (about 90 km) and we survived!
The abbey at Melk is very impressive, and the old castle (ruins) at
Hinterhaus are worth a visit for the view (takes about 30-40 minutes off
saddle to walk up to it just before Spitz).

Not applicable

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Operator Exodus Travels


This is an easy ride; and the route is varied and very attractive. Virtually
none of the cycling is along roads with motor traffic; and I appreciated how
the sign-posted Danube cycle path diverted, from time to time, away from the
river bank to go through fields, woods and quiet villages. The hotels,
baggage transfers and logistics worked very well. I was impressed by the
quality of the accommodation -- and its variety.
The steep valleys and remoteness on the first two days. The Donauschlinge
resort at Schloegen is lovely.

Not applicable.

If you don`t have a GPS app or device, be wary of the (sometimes thin)
written instructions for getting into and out of some of the towns, as
supplied by the Radreisefreunde local organisers. You are given maps as well
as written directions, at the briefing meeting at the beginning. The maps
were generally excellent; but they don`t always correspond to where you`re
staying (they provide for multiple overnight accommodation alternatives --
and in some cases none of those apply to your particular itinerary). I found
difficulty getting out of Melk on the right track; and into the right place
in Vienna on the final day. However, overall, navigation was easy and

Read more

Operator Exodus Travels



The title of the trip was appropriate. October 2018


Headwater - Self-Guided Cycling along the Danube from Passau to Vienna

The organisation worked well. Trip notes and maps together made route finding
easy. The route was varied and interesting; opportunities for eating and
drinking were many. The quality of hotels was good, though only two provided
tea or coffee making facilities in the room. The bikes were well-maintained,
but are rather heavy, so it was a good job the route was mostly flat. There
were no bottle cages provided, which made stopping for water a bit of a faff!
Overall, a very enjoyable week.
too many to mention.

not applicable as it was self-guided.

Make sure you have ridden a bike a lot in recent times. Savlon helps with
saddle soreness. Learn a bit of German, particularly to do with food and
drink. Being able to read a map is essential if you miss the direction signs,
though they are generally pretty clear.

I don't think so.

Read more

Operator Exodus Travels

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