Looking for a different type of vacation getaway? With a new year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning a river cruise along the Danube River. Venerated in stories and songs, the Danube River is the second-longest river in Europe. It starts in the Black Forest of Germany and ends 1,770 miles away on the Black Sea, passing through 10 countries and some of the most beautiful and historic cities along the way.
There are three cities along the Danube River that we recommend taking some time to see. Most river cruises give you time to explore the cities it stops at. So, while you are in Vienna, Budapest, and Nuremberg, you should take the time to explore, sample the food and take plenty of pictures. Let’s see what each one has to offer.
Known for its rich history and beautiful architecture, Vienna is filled with plenty to see, do, and experience. If you have the chance to spend a few nights there, do so. If you only have a few hours, make sure you visit:
- The Schloss Schonbrunn – one of the most popular sights in Vienna, this is the former imperial summer residence. The formal gardens and zoo are two of the biggest attractions.
- The Belvedere Palace – home of the Austrian Gallery, art lovers will enjoy seeing works by Klimt, Schiele, and Kokoschka.
- The Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral), the Prater’s Giant Ferris Wheel, and the Spanish Riding School, home of the world-famous Lipizzaner horses are also major landmarks you don’t want to miss.
The Danube River splits the city of Budapest into two parts, with many of the sights along the river part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. During your river cruise through the city, you will get to see:
- The Hungarian Academy of Sciences – built-in 1865 on Szechenyi Square, this Renaissance Revival style building was established to nurture language and science studies in the country.
- Buda Castle and Hill – known as the Castle District, Buda Castle is a well-known castle that was captured by the Turks in 1541 and then by the Germans in 1686. The entire area features cobblestone streets, medieval and baroque architecture in the homes and churches surrounding the castle.
- Shoes on The Danube – this bronze sculpture of shoes is a memorial to the Holocaust. It was erected in memory of the Jews that were killed in Budapest during World War II.
- Great Market Hall – no visit is complete without visiting the oldest indoor marketplace in the city. It is one of the most beautiful markets in all of Europe and dates back to 1879.
Known for the war crime tribunals of World War II, Nuremberg was rebuilt after the war and has a rich history to explore. It is also the home of an observatory built by Johannes Mueller. You will probably need to take a shuttle into the city and back to your river cruise ship. While visiting this town that goes from medieval to modern, you should visit:
- Nuremberg Castle – which is hard to miss as it looms over the city. The oldest part of the castle dates back to 1050. There is a tour you can enjoy, but it is conducted in German.
- Hospice of the Holy Spirit – this is one of the oldest working hospitals in the world, dating back to 1332. It is located on the Pegnitz River and has some scenery to photograph.
- The Documentation Centre at the Reich Party Rally Grounds – as part of the city’s history, this center offers history buffs a chance to see how the rallies held by the Nazi Party influenced an entire nation.
- Visit a local bakery for some traditional gingerbread or stop for a pint and bratwurst before leaving the city.
Each season brings something new to the Danube. Reach out today to work together on building your next European vacation on the Danube River.