Bicycling the Danube from Germany to Vienna Plus! Budapest

  • Itinerary Summary

    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 Medieval German towns and the vineyards of the Danube in Austria. Along our bicycle route we'll have time to visit historic Abbeys and cathedrals in towns such as Regensburg, Passau, Linz, and Melk.

    If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 13 days, check out our Bicycling the Danube from Germany to Vienna tour, which features the first 8 days of this itinerary.

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    1. 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.

      Daily Mileage: Test ride along the Danube for as long as you'd like.

      Lodging: Hotel Muenchner Hof

    2. Day 2: Regensburg to Deggendorf

      Highlights: Walhalla Temple, and Benedectine Monasteries near Metten

      Our first ride today takes us through more Roman settlements today along with Benedictine monasteries, including one near Metten. Bibliophiles will want to stop for a tour of the library in the Abbey of St. Michael of Metten as among the 160,000 volumes in this historic collection is one of the earliest bibles printed in Germany and a 1493 "Nuremberg Chronicle," one of the earliest printed world history books printed in German and Latin). Dinner on your own tonight. Daily Mileage: 95 km (59 miles) Lodging: Hotel Schwarzacher Hof

    3. Day 3: Deggendorf to Passau

      Highlights: Passau and the Inn River as we enter Austria

      We pass Niederaltaich Benedictine Abbey as we leave Deggendorf this morning on our way to Passau, gateway to Austria. In Passau we see the Danube nearly double in size as it is joined by the Inn River, flowing out of Austria and Germany. Passau is the popular start for Europeans pedaling the Danube river; the section Passau to Vienna is the most pedaled route in Europe! Saint Stephan's Cathedral here also houses the largest organ outside of the United States so it might be worth taking a peek at the impressive instrument. We'll have a guided tour in Passau this afternoon and dinner together tonight. Daily Mileage: 57 km (35 miles) Lodging: Hotel Weisser Hase

    4. Day 4: Crossing the border to Austria

      Highlights: The Famous Danube Valley of Austria

      The Danube River and the valley it has formed shape the central transportation artery of Austria. Today and tomorrow we ride through the heartland of Austria. Castles perch above the river as we ride one of the most famous bicycle routes in Europe. For those who have had too much history, the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz will be a welcome change - stop by this afternoon and visit this museum that tries to bridge the gap between art, science and technology.

      inner on your own this evening. Daily Mileage: 100 km (62 miles)

      Lodging: Hotel Wolfinger

    5. Day 5: Linz to Grein an der Donau

      Highlights: Farmland and vineyards, Danube bike paths, Mauthausen Concentration Camp

      Our route after Linz will include more agriculture on alluvial farmland washed out of the Alps far to the south. Our destination today is a small town, Grein an der Donau. Those who wish can take time to visit the Mauthausen Concentration Camp a powerful and sobering experience as you walk up and down the 186 "death stairs". Over 130,000 people were killed here including Jews, Italians, Russian POWs, criminals and political prisoners. Dinner is together at the hotel. Daily mileage: 63 km (39 miles). Lodging: Burg Kreuzen Betriebs GmbH

    6. Day 6: Grein an der Donau to Dürnstein

      Highlights: Vineyards of the Danube, Abbey in Melk, wine tasting

      On our way to Dürnstein we enter one of the most interesting Austrian wine regions. You'll want to stop, photograph and visit the spectacular baroque Abbey of Melk. We'll taste some of the unique white wines typical of this area before dinner together. Daily mileage: 79 km (49 miles). Lodging: Hotel Richard Löwenherz

    7. Day 7: Dürnstein to Vienna

      Highlights: Vienna, former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

      We'll have an easy day along the Danube today though not without bicycle traffic since this stretch of the Danube Bicycle Path is one of the busiest in the world. We'll arrive tonight in Vienna, the largest city in Austria and one of Europe's leading musical centers, where we will stay for two nights. The city was first a Roman and Celtic settlement, but as the Austro-Hungarian Empire rose to prominence, magnificent Medieval and Baroque architecture became especially prevalent. We'll have dinner together tonight. Daily mileage: 96 km (60 miles) Lodging: Novotel Wien City

    8. Day 8: Rest day in Vienna

      Highlights: Imperial Vienna; Hofburg palace; Viennese pastries

      This is a rest day in Vienna, one of the great imperial cities of Europe. You've earned a rest. There is so much to see here we'll provide a briefing this morning, then you are free to wander and explore this secret capital of Europe where eastern and western European culture has combined to perfection. 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. Dinner on your own tonight. No ride today.

      Lodging: Novotel Wien City

    9. Day 9: Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia

      Highlights: Entering Slovakia

      An easy ride today takes us 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. Not until 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, was the country freed from the Soviets. Bratislava became capital of Slovakia when it separated from the Czech Republic during the "velvet divorce" in 1993. Dinner together this evening. Daily mileage: 75 km (47 miles).

      Lodging: Hotel Devin

    10. Day 10: Bratislava to Györ, Hungary

      Highlights: Bicycling along the Danube to Hungary

      We'll ride by the Benedictine Arch Abbey of Pannonhalma and its winery today on your bicycle ride into Hungary. Enjoy typical Pannonian villages on your way to Györ which was a border town early in its history under the Romans. It was an imperial city under the Austro-Hungarian empire. And was also right in the way of barbarian invasions through the centuries. Much of the present city was built by Italian architects after the retreat of the Ottoman empire in the 17th century. Dinner together this evening. Daily Mileage: 84 km (52 miles) Lodging: Hotel Klastrom

    11. Day 11: Bicycle Gyor to Esztergom

      Highlights: Esztergom

      The towns we bicycle through today were destroyed and rebuilt repeatedly. The bridge over the Danube in Esztergom, for example, was first built in 1895, destroyed by the Germans in 1944 and only rebuilt in 2001. Esztergom was the capital of Hungary for two and a half centuries until the mid 13th century, was occupied by the Ottoman Turks for 150 years and enjoyed a rebirth of baroque architecture after 1700. Dinner on your own this evening. Daily Mileage: 103 km (64 miles) Lodging: Hotel Bazilika

    12. Day 12: 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. We have a special dinner tonight including a cruise on the Danube. Daily Mileage: 84 km (52 miles) Lodging: Art'otel Budapest

    13. Day 13: Bicycle Tour ends in Budapest

      Highlights: 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.

    • Highlights

      Bicycling 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
    • Includes

      13 days, 12 nights; 8 dinners (including a dinner cruise on the Danube) with wine or beer, all breakfasts; wine tasting; guided tour Passau. plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary
    • Begin/End

      Regensburg, Germany / Budapest, Hungary
    • Arrive/Depart

      Munich Airport (MUC) or Frankfurt am Main Airport (FRA), Germany / Budapest Ferenc Liszt Int'l Airport (BUD), Hungary
    • Total Distance

      852 km (526 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      Average per day 86 km (53 miles)
    • Rating

      301 Mostly flat terrain on bike paths and roads. Most days include mileages of 80 km (50 miles) or more. Due to long stretches on bike paths on certain days van support may be less than usual.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Austria Travel Information Page

      Read up on country customs, airport information, culinary specialites, and more!

    • Book Review: The Beggar King

      ExperiencePlus! traveler Jeff Berger reviews the third novel in the Hangman's Daughter series which is set in Regensburg, Germany.

    • Books set in Germany

      ExperiencePlus! traveler Jeff Berger reviews a book series set in 17th century Bavaria.

    • Germany Trip Planner

      Read up on country customs, what to expect while visiting Germany, and more!

    • Hungary Travel Planner

      Read up on country customs, transportation information, culinary specialites, and more!

    • Recipe: Sachertorte

      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.

    • Makos Guba, Hungarian Christmas Dessert

      The Travel Belles provide a recipe from Hungary

    • Nat Geo Traveler Tours of a Lifetime 2011

      ExperiencePlus' Danube tour has received recognition from National Geographic Traveler Magazine, chosen as one of their top 50 tours!

    • 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.

    • Vienna's Neighborhoods

      National Geographic Traveler compiled photos of Vienna's neighborhoods in this album

    • 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

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