Bicycling the Danube: Germany 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 Germany to 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 towns such as Regensburg, Passau, Linz, Melk and Esztergom, walk through the steep, terraced vineyards of the Wachau, and experience "Hungarian Tuscany". Relish the modern culinary kitchen of four countries.
***If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 14 days, check out either the 8-day Bicycling the Danube from Germany to Vienna, or the 7-day Bicycling the Danube from Vienna to Budapest tours.***View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Medieval Regensburg
Highlights: Northernmost point of Danube River; Medieval center; welcome dinner together
Meet us today in Regensburg, easily reached by train from the nearby airports of Frankfurt and Munich. Our starting point was a Roman outpost under Marcus Aurelius in 179 AD and marks both the northernmost point of the Roman Empire in Germany and the northernmost extent of the Danube. Its Medieval center is wonderfully preserved. We'll enjoy a welcome dinner together tonight.
Distance: Test ride along the Danube for as long as you'd like. Meals: D.
Lodging: Hotel Muenchner Hof
Day 2: Regensburg to Schwarzach
Highlights: Walhalla Temple, and the Bavarian Countryside
Our first ride today takes us through more Roman settlements and into the Bavarian countryside lifestyle. Take a challenge and climb up to Walhalla Temple. It is not far and you are rewarded with the view back up the river to Regensburg and to the south-east where our ride will take us. Stop for snack at one of the small bakeries or butchers shops. Our destination today is one these picturesque rural towns.
Distance: 67km (42 miles). Meals: B, D. Lodging: Hotel Schwarzacher Hof
Day 3: Schwarzach to Passau
Highlights: Benedictine Monasteries at Metten, Passau and the Inn River
You'll see two Benedictine monasteries today, including one in Metten. Bibliophiles will want to stop for a tour of the library in the Abbey of St. Michael of Metten which features 160,000 volumes including one of the earliest bibles printed in Germany and a 1493 "Nuremberg Chronicle," one of the earliest world history books printed in German and Latin. You'll pass another Benedictine Monastery as you leave Deggendorf on your way to Passau, the gateway to Austria. In Passau the Danube nearly doubles in size, as it is joined by the Inn River. Take time this afternoon to visit Passau's Saint Stephan's Cathedral which houses the largest organ outside of the United States.
Distance: 72 km (45 miles). Meals: B Lodging: Hotel Weisser Hase
Day 4: Passau to Linz, Austria
Highlights: Crossing the border to Austria, spectacular part of the Danube valley
The Danube River and the valley it has formed shape the central transportation artery of Austria. Today and tomorrow you'll ride through the heartland of Austria. Castles perch above the river as we ride one of the most popular routes in Europe. If you've overloaded on history, the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz will be a welcome change - the museum tries to bridge the gap between art, science and technology.
Distance: 99 km (61 miles). Meals: B. Lodging: Hotel Wolfinger
Day 5: Linz to Bad Kreuzen
Highlights: Farmland and vineyards, Danube bike paths, Mauthausen Concentration Camp
You'll leave the river valley to reach your destination today - the modern lodge castel Kreuzen with a beautiful view and Kneipp spa. Those who wish can take time to visit the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The experience is powerful and sobering as you walk up and down the 186 "death stairs." Over 130,000 people who were killed here including Jews, Italians, Russian POWs, criminals, and political prisoners.
Distance: 60km (37 miles). Meals: B, D Lodging: Burg Kreuzen
Day 6: Bad Kreuzen to Dürnstein
Highlights: Vineyards of the Danube, Abbey in Melk, wine tasting
On your way to Dürnstein you'll enter the heartland of Austrian wine country. Stop, photograph, and visit the spectacular baroque Abbey of Melk. A beautiful ride leads you through the medieval villages of the Wachau (UNESCO World Heritage site). You'll visit the cellar and vineyards of one of the area's best producers, and taste some of the traditional white wines they produce.
Distance: 82km (51 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Hotel Richard Löwenherz
Day 7: Dürnstein to Vienna
Highlights: Vienna, former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Enjoy an easy, but long day along the Danube today. You'll reach Vienna via a complex system of bicycle paths that lead directly to your hotel. Vienna is 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: 96km (60 miles). Meals: B, D Lodging: Novotel Wien City
Day 8: Rest day in Vienna
Highlights: Imperial Vienna; Hofburg palace; Viennese pastries
Today is your chance to explore Vienna, one of the great imperial cities of Europe. 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. There is so much to see here we'll provide a briefing this morning, and send you on your way.
Distance: Rest Day. Meals: B, D
Lodging: Novotel Wien City
Day 9: 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: 75km (47 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Hotel Devin
Day 10: 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 11: 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: 58km (36 miles). Meals: B Lodging: Kristáaly Imperial Hotel
Day 12: 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: 54km (34 miles). Meals: B
Lodging: Bazilika Panzio
Day 13: 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: 84 km (52 miles). Meals: B, D
Lodging: Art'otel Budapest
Day 14: 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, Bike paths in Germany and Austria, Cycling in four different countries, Crossing the Iron Curtain by bike, 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; 14 days, 13 nights; 8 dinners (including a dinner cruise on the Danube) with wine or beer, all breakfasts; wine tasting; guided tour Passau. plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
Begin/EndRegensburg, Germany / Budapest, Hungary
Arrive/DepartMunich Airport (MUC) or Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA), Germany / Budapest Ferenc Liszt Int'l Airport (BUD), Hungary
Total Distance831 km (526 miles)
Daily DistanceAverage per riding day 76 km (47 miles)
Rating301 Mostly flat terrain on bike paths and roads. Most days include mileages of 75 km (46 miles or more).
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Single Supplement Notes Jul 2-15, 2015 $5500 $650 Guaranteed to Go Book it Jul 17-30, 2015 $5500 $650 4 More to Guarantee the Departure Book it Aug 13-26, 2015 $5500 $650 5 More to Guarantee the Departure Book it Aug 28-Sep 10, 2015 $5500 $650 Just 2 Spaces Available 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.
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!
Many would argue that the Sachertorte is THE dessert of Vienna and we agree it is hard to go wrong when you combine chocolate, jam and whip cream.
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.
National Geographic Traveler compiled photos of Vienna's neighborhoods in this album
- Austria Travel Information Page
Pretty easy riding, with beautiful scenery, interesting towns and food, good beer and wine, outstanding guides and focus on the particular culture. It was fun experiencing four countries too. Really a once in a lifetime tour. Loved it!Betsy I., Boulder, CO
Love you guys. Make a vacation a real vacation...no worries! And get the best if everythingCheri M., Fort Collins, CO
ExperiencePlus! provides the best biking tours.Milan S. Fairport, NY
Fantastic trip across 4 countries in central Europe. Every day was great but I very much enjoyed the day we rode to Esztergom.Jeffrey C., Pace, FL
We just returned from our trip and I feel compelled to tell you how pleased we were with the trip. The bicycling, scenery, weather, food were perfect. Most importantly, our tour leaders were outstanding. They made a wonderful trip perfect!Lizz V., Sunny Vale, CA
Great trip and route. The hotels were located perfectly within the city centers. And my favorite thing was the ability to navigate the route on my own by following the arrows.Bill H., Raleigh, NC
We had a great time, as always. The guides were the best, the friends to ride with lots of fun and the scenery is beautiful.Mary B., Newport Beach, CA
Thank you again ExperiencePlus! for another delightful adventure!Jan B., Salem, SC
This was an adventure of a lifetime (so far). It was especially moving to me to visit Hungary - the land of my father's birth - and learn first hand about it's history and people. The scenery the entire trip was so beautiful - with the river at our sides and the wind at our back (sometimes). Our tour leaders added so much to our enjoyment. I can't wait for our next ExperiencePlus! trip.Sari R., Glastonbury, CT
The overall experience was fabulous. I liked the ride lengths; the food, particularly in Hungary; the sights; the terrain....) One experience that will stay with me (probably forever) is the visit to Maulthausen Concentration Camp. This was a wonderful trip.Kathy S., San Ramon, CA
This was a fabulous tour. It met all my expectations and then some. I loved the new titanium bikes and the route. Cycling from Passau to Vienna was my favorite part of the route. Being on a smooth, dedicated cycleway with a great group of people was pure pleasure. Our wonderful team of three leaders made it unique and so special!Linda M., Livermore, CA