The Four Capitals You’ll Visit On A Danube River Cruise
The Danube is unique in Europe for the way it flows through four different capital cities in the space of just a few hundred miles. Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade are all found on the banks of a river that flows through ten different countries in total, and there are itineraries available that allow you to explore each of these metropolises in one trip.
While some stretches of the Danube take you through breathtaking natural spots such as the Wachau Valley and the Danube Delta, it is history and culture that are firmly on the itinerary during a sailing like this. Here is what you can look forward to in these wonderful capitals.
You may think that it will be difficult to truly appreciate a city the size of Vienna during a fleeting stop on a river cruise, but the resplendence of such a beautiful city is almost tangible from the moment you step off the ship. Whether you choose to spend your time admiring the inside and outside of the palatial buildings on the Ringstrasse, soaking up the atmosphere in a traditional coffee house or gazing in awe at some world-class art, you’ll immediately get a feel for what the Austrian capital is like.
Depending on who you choose to sail with, optional excursions could include the chance to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, a guided cycling tour to Klosterneuburg Abbey or a stroll around the Vienna State Opera House.
Dominated by its imposing castle, Bratislava is an interesting and quirky city. The built-up Old Town contrasts with the lush, green banks along the river – serene spots where urban beaches can be found during the summer months. In the surrounding areas, sprawling vineyards spread across the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, whilst the city centre boasts a vibrant nightlife and modern shopping streets.
Shore excursions in the Slovakian capital include dining in a local family home, embarking on a tour that focusses on the city’s Communist-era history and taking a look around the Imperial Schlosshof Palace.
Budapest is easily navigated on foot and, luckily for river cruise passengers, many of the most popular sights and attractions can be found close to the river. The beautiful Széchenyi Chain Bridge links Pest’s trendy ‘ruin bars’ and stately parliament building with Buda’s wonderful castle district where you will find the Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion. The reliable metro service is on-hand to take you away from the city centre to places such as Heroes Square and the Széchenyi Thermal Baths.
Shore excursions from various different cruise lines include guided tours of the Dohány Synagogue, an evening at a Hungarian folklore show, and a horse and carriage ride at Lázár Equestrian Park.
What the Serbian capital lacks in beauty, it certainly makes up for in history. All over the city, you will see reminders of past Empires forged by the Ottomans and Hapsburgs, alongside more sobering reminders of the country’s more recent turbulent past. That’s not to say there aren’t pretty areas though – something demonstrated by the rejuvenated Savamala quarter, which offers riverside walks and views of the Sava and Danube confluence. Your explorations are sure to be fuelled by great value restaurants and bars that may just encourage you to join the locals for an entertaining night.
During your Danube River cruise, you may get the change to join a cycling excursion through Kalemegdan Park, take an exclusive look behind the curtain at the Serbian National Theatre or learn all about the Naïve Art movement in nearby Kovačica.
If you would like the chance to visit these four capital cities (or any number of them), GoRiverCruise can help find the right itinerary for you. Call us on 0800 954 0064 to discuss the different options or click here to send your enquiry to us online.