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  • Writer's pictureLaura Avital

Incredible countries to visit on the Danube River

Have you ever wanted to have a first-hand experience of local European traditions?

River cruising will help you get to know the cities along the river and the history that makes them so unique.

Come see for yourself the notable highlights and landmarks of the grand capitals and charming villages of Europe. Tour guides take you on excursions that will place you amid local life. Spend your day at a bratwurst and beer tasting at the oldest brewery in Nuremberg or discover hidden treasures on a tour of Vienna’s secret spots and sights. Discover the little-known Hungarian wine scene. Maybe you’re looking for something more active? See the beautiful scenery of Austria’s Wachau Valley with a guided bike tour along the Danube.

So, which countries can you visit on a Danube River cruise?

Germany: The journey begins with a guided tour through the beautiful medieval city of Nuremberg where you’ll see the Imperial Castle, the famous town wall and the legendary fountain of the Market Square. For history buffs, there’s a guided tour of the city’s most significant WWII sites, including the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds, and the Nuremberg Trials Memoriam and Courtroom 600 (if the courtroom is not in session).

At Regensburg, you’ll be treated to a guided walking tour through one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities where you’ll see all the city’s architectural highlights, including the Old Town Hall and the Porta Praetoria. And if all that walking makes you hungry, there’s the old Bavarian specialties to satisfy you—beer, sausage, and pretzels.

In Passau, you’ll enjoy a walking tour along cobblestone streets and see Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture as well as St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

If you’re looking to work in a little exercise, choose between a guided bike tour along the Danube, or a guided hike up to the Veste Oberhaus Fortress!

Austria: Stop at the scenic town of Melk, which is celebrated for its magnificent Benedictine Abbey. You can join a guided bike tour that takes you through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley; or go on a walking tour along Dürnstein’s cobblestone streets to the famed Baroque church tower.

No trip to Austria would be complete without a stop in Vienna, “The City of Waltzes.” Visit the majestic Opera House and the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburgs. Plan in advance and we can help you purchase tickets for a musical performance!

Hungary: The city of Budapest is known as the Queen of the Danube, and your tour begins with a visit to the Great Market Hall. The remainder of this tour takes you to both the Buda (hilly) and the Pest (flat) sides of the river. (did you know that is the reason it’s called Budapest?) A hike up to Castle Hill for breathtaking views of the city is also a possibility.

Leaving Budapest, continue your trek through Hungary with a pit-stop in Puszta. Tour a genuine Hungarian csárda (farm) run by world-champion carriage-drivers.

There is so much history to be absorbed in Hungary. You’ll see churches and beautiful historical architecture. Not to mention the scenic views from your balcony! Wine connoisseurs will love the Szekszárd wine region, one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary, established more than 2,000 years ago.

Serbia: In Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, a city tour will include the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. Visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Serbian Royal Family; and then tour the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Marshal Tito, who became the first President of Yugoslavia.

Or enjoy a taste of the region by sampling Serbian plum brandy, Šlivovitz, and delicious local delights at the Quburich Distillery.

(personal note - my great-grandfather drank Šlivovitz into his 90's! I remember going to visit him as a little girl and bringing a bottle each time we went!)

Romania: Enjoy a full day of scenic cruising as you pass through the Iron Gates, one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. At the Iron Gates, the Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains.

Bulgaria: Vidin is one of Bulgaria’s oldest cities. You’ll discover Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria.

Continue on to Belogradchik, one of Bulgaria’s natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations.

Next week, let's explore the Rhine River, Bordeaux and wine!

There are many companies to choose from, but AMA Waterways is one of the best. They are up to date on all new protocols, wine & beer are included with meals and their included shore excursions are unbeatable.

We have amazing promotions for 2021 with AMA Waterways including discounts on cruise fares. Check out our featured cruises and call us for more destinations and to book your river cruise

Be sure to post any questions you might have below, and we'll get right back to you! And if you like this article, give us some love by clicking on the

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