Europe’s second largest river flows through an astonishing ten countries on its way to the Black Sea. It is no surprise therefore that the Danube is one of the most popular river cruise destinations in Europe. Discover what awaits you if you choose to cruise the Danube in 2023.
If you’re looking for luggage for your cruise, see our guide to the best suitcases for 7 and 10 day cruises.
From the hills of Germany to the Romanian coastline, the Danube traverses many different landscapes on its journey. In one trip, travellers can hike the enigmatic Black Forest, gaze at charming countryside, and carve a path through historic capital cities such as Budapest, Hungary. Each day brings breath-taking scenery and new vistas to enchant the eyes.
The Danube is a central part of many major European cities, including the capitals Vienna, Bratislava, and Belgrade. These cities are characterised by spectacular architecture, a blend of elaborate old-world grandeur and starkly modern designs. You will also pass through cities that are in themselves a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their architectural heritage, such as pretty Regensburg.
Art and music lovers will find endless delights on a Danube river cruise. From classic performances at grand opera houses to the buzzing nightlife of Bucharest’s Lipscani district, travellers can revel in live music to suit a variety of tastes. At Passau, catch a lunchtime concert at Stephen’s Cathedral to see Europe’s largest pipe organ in action!
Your route also provides plenty of opportunity for exploring the works of world-class artists. Particularly noteworthy is the Gustav Klimt collection in the Belvedere in Vienna.
In addition to lively capitals buzzing with activity, the Danube will bring you to serene cities and towns off the tourist trail. Melk, a picture-perfect destination set in the centre of the Austrian countryside, is a prime example. Here you can relax at a café and soak up the local atmosphere, or hike to the old Benedictine abbey on the hill above the town for utter peace and panoramic views.
At Melk, you can also go wine tasting in the mesmerising Wachau Valley which has been recognised by UNESCO for its natural beauty. Other incredible unique culinary experiences include sheep cheese dumplings in Bratislava, Slovakia’s national dish, exceptional beer and sausages in Germany, and rich goulash in Hungary.
For those with a sweet tooth, no cruise along the Danube would be complete without sampling Austrian apple strudel or mouth-watering sachertorte.
So there you have it: a cruise down the Danube offers it all. Cities and countryside, heritage and contemporary culture, activities and opportunity for rest. However you like to spend your time on holiday, and whatever your interests, you won’t be disappointed with a Danube river cruise in 2023.