There is so much to see while cruising along the magnificent Danube River that you likely do not know where to begin or how to fit it all in. To narrow it down a little, here are 16 “can’t miss” stops.
As the Danube Leaves the cover of Germany’s Black Forest, it trolls through the pristinely-preserved medieval town of Regensburg. This bustling university town boasts ancient treasures like the Porta Praetoria – the north gate to the ancient Roman fortress, Castra Regina, built in 179 A.D. During the holidays, Regensburg shines bright with its Christmas market lighting up the historic market square.
Farther downstream, Passau, Austria, is a gem of a city located at the confluence of the rivers Inn, Ilz, and Danube. Cobblestone streets lead the way to St. Stephen’s Cathedral which houses the world’s largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes.
Continuing along, the village of Grein offers excellent photo opportunities, with its turreted houses lining the main square in the shadow of its idyllic castle perched high on a bluff.
Situated in the rolling green hills of the Wachau Valley, Melk is home to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest and most intriguing monasteries. Step out onto the monastic terrace to look out over the Danube and take in the mesmerizing view of the sweeping countryside.
Float through the Wachau wine region to Dürnstein, known for the magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. Above town are the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192.
Vienna, Austria’s capital, is next. The “City of Music” inspired the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, the city has much to offer–the lavish Hofburg Palace, the impressive Vienna Opera House, and the majestic Ring Boulevard, to name just a few. Visitors can waltz their way down shop-lined streets, savor the sounds of an orchestral concert, or delight in a Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel in a neighborhood café. Continue reading