Bicycling the Danube: Vienna to Budapest
Selected by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of "50 Tours of a Lifetime".
Join us on a bicycle tour that follows the Danube River, from Vienna, and then on to Budapest. Enjoy long, leisurely rides along the longest river in Europe and through farm villages, picture-perfect you'll have time to enjoy natural and man-made sights. Marvel at the "Schlögener Schlinge", visit historic Abbeys and cathedrals in Esztergom, walk through the steep, terraced vineyards of the Wachau, and experience "Hungarian Tuscany". Relish the modern culinary kitchen of three countries.
Extend this tour - check out the 14-day option: Bicycling the Danube from Germany to Budapest tour.View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Welcome to Vienna
Meet us today in Vienna, the largest city in Austria and one of Europe's leading musical centers. It was first a Roman and Celtic settlement, but as the Austro-Hungarian Empire rose to prominence, magnificent Medieval and Baroque architecture became especially prevalent.
Distance: Guided walk. Meals: D
Lodging: Hotel Stefanie
Day 2: Vienna
Highlights: Optional ride, guided walk in Vienna
We'll offer the option of a warm-up ride to test out your bikes and give you plenty of opportunity to explore this amazing city today. Be sure to visit the Hofburg Imperial Palace, home to the ruling Habsburg family for over six centuries or take in a concert at a local church, or concert hall. Perhaps a night at the opera is in order!
Distance: Optional Ride, Guided Walk. Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Stefanie
Day 3: Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia
Highlights: Crossing the former "Iron Curtain"
An easy ride today takes you to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Czechoslovakia was formed from parts of the historic Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918 and came under Soviet domination in 1948. It wasn't until 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, that the country was freed from Soviet control. Bratislava became capital of Slovakia when it separated from the Czech Republic during the "velvet divorce" in 1993. You'll bicycle through the former "Iron Curtain", which would have been prohibited just a few decades ago.
Distance: 73-85km (45-52 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Avance
Day 4: Bratislava to Györ, Hungary
Highlights: Bicycling along the Danube to Hungary
While Györ was a border town early in its history under the Romans, it was an imperial city under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was directly in the path of barbarian invasions through the centuries, and much of the present day city was built by Italian architects after the retreat of the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century. Leaving Slovakia road conditions become noticeably worse, but you are rewarded with pristine, simple villages that will make you feel as though you have traveled back in time.
Distance: 84km (52 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Klastrom
Day 5: Bicycle Györ to Tata
Highlights: Babolna and the "Hungarian Tuscany"
Leaving Gyöor you'll pass through important industrial areas before reaching the Pannonian Basin and Babolna, where Hungary's finest riding horses are bred. The landscape changes here and you'll soon be riding the rolling hills of Transdanubia, also known as the "Hungarian Tuscany". Your destination is the small city of Tata which features a beautiful "old lake" and castle from the 15th century.
Distance: 62km (39 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Kristáaly Imperial Hotel
Day 6: Tata to Esztergom
Highlights: Transdanubian hills, Esztergom
You'll ride just south of the Danube today through the Transdanubian hills. A beautiful landscape that leads you to Esztergom which was the capital of Hungary from the 11th to the mid-13th century, was occupied by the Ottoman Turks for 150 years, and enjoyed a rebirth of baroque architecture after 1700.
Distance: 58km (36 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Bazilika Panzio
Day 7: Esztergom to Budapest
Highlights: Bicycling along the Danube into Budapest
We ride into Budapest today and our hotel is at the foot of the Buda Castle Hill, so you'll be close to most of the sights.
Distance: 84km (52 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Art'otel Budapest
Day 8: Bicycle Tour ends in Budapest
Our tour ends this morning in Budapest. We highly recommend that you take a few days to enjoy all that the city has to offer. Whatever you decide have a wonderful journey.
HighlightsBicycling along Europe's largest river, Vienna, Dinner cruise on the Danube in Budapest, Budapest, The "Hungarian Tuscany", Bavarian hospitality (with beer!)Keep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
IncludesUse of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights' accommodation; 4 dinners (including a dinner cruise on the Danube) with either wine or beer, all breakfasts plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
CountriesAustria, Slovakia, Hungary
Begin/EndVienna / Budapest
Arrive/DepartVienna / Budapest
Total Distance361-373 km (223-230 miles)
Daily DistanceAverage per day of riding 60-62 km (37-38 miles)
Rating201 Mostly flat terrain on bike paths and roads. Most days include mileages of 70 km (44 miles or more). Due to long stretches on bike paths on certain days van support may be less than usual, but still attentive
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Single Supplement Notes Sep 1-8, 2016 $3850 $550 Just a Few Spaces Remain Book it
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
Austria Travel Information Page
Read up on country customs, airport information, culinary specialites, and more!
Books set in Germany
ExperiencePlus! traveler Jeff Berger reviews a book series set in 17th century Bavaria.
Nadine Dirksen shares her ideas for what to do and see in Munich where she lived for over 10 years.
History and Geography of the Danube River
The Danube River has been one of the most significant cultural and historic boundaries in Europe.
Hungary Travel Planner
Read up on country customs, transportation information, culinary specialites, and more!
Meals on Your Bicycle Tour
Information on how meals work on ExperiencePlus! Bicycle tours
A Chance to Enjoy Local Flavor
New York Times Travel highlights Bratislava, a part of our Danube Plus! tour. An excellent place to witness and experience Central European charm without the crowds of Vienna or Budapest.
Food Journal of Vienna
A lineup of mouthwater-inducing photos from meals in Vienna from the Culture-ist.
Sachertorte in Vienna
Vienna, Austria is known for its decadent and flavorful cake called the Sachertorte. This article from Afar Magazine got our mouths watering.
National Geographic Traveler compiled photos of Vienna's neighborhoods in this album
- Austria Travel Information Page
We had a fantastic, once in a lifetime, experience. Our tour leaders were the best. They were very professional and had great positive attitudes, even with a novice cyclist like me. The whole trip was very organized and we never encountered any problems. Our trip down the Danube was first class and we had a blast!!Howard B., Austin, TX