The Danube by bike, along the river through 10 countries
08 March 2023
Cycling the Danube: on EuroVelo 6 along the wild river
Travel along the Danube by bike, the second longest river in Europe. A route that takes you through 10 countries, rich in history and culture. The Danube is a wild and majestic river. Sometimes it crosses the heart of countries, sometimes it marks the border of states.
From its source in Germany to its delta in Romania, the Danube evolves, widens and then suddenly shrinks before returning to its original shape. On this journey, you will meet the European capitals by crossing Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade. These impressive cities are major stops on your cycling tour.
Along the Danube by bike, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Bavaria, with its small historic towns with half-timbered houses and chimes. Enjoy Austria’s fine wines and monasteries overlooking the Danube. Relax in Budapest’s many thermal baths while visiting this jewel. Cycle to the vibrant and festive city of Belgrade before enjoying the wilderness of Romania.
The Danube by bike, a route for beginners and family
Cycling along the Danube is a great family project because the route is easy. From its source to Budapest, the itinerary is well developed with good signage (follow the EuroVelo 6 indications) and a difference in altitude accessible to all levels.
On occasion, the route allows you to ride on either side of the Danube. So you can choose what suits you best. Some stages are more sportive because they are a little bit far from the Danube. They are still quite feasible.
Because of its geography, the Danube by bike is a slightly downhill bicycle route. On the way to Romania, the winds are generally favorable to cyclists and invite them to enjoy the landscapes without having to fight against the elements.
Be careful beyond Budapest. While the gradient is still reasonable, the cycling development is not always as good as it used to be. Some sections of the route take the traveler on busy shared roads. From Romania, the route is not yet developed.
You wish to go along the Danube by bike? At Abicyclette Voyages, we propose a cycling trip on the Danube from Passau to Vienna and we can propose you customized trips. We are at your disposal to discuss your project!
What to see on the Danube bike route?
The most beautiful part of the Danube by bike is probably the one between Passau and Budapest. Along the way, the Danube meanders through a landscape that is occasionally hilly and wild.
On the route, the cities are magnificent and offer the traveler a moment of discovery, testimony of a rich and commercial past, intimately linked to the banks of the river.
The imposing city of Ulm
With its 161.5 m height, the church in Ulm has the highest spire in the world. It is possible to climb the steps of the tower to reach a magnificent view of the city and the Danube. The well-preserved old town center with its half-timbered buildings invites you to wander around and complete your visit.
Passau is the last German city before arriving in Austria. At the confluence of the Danube and the Inn and Ilz rivers, the city center lends itself to a stroll with its churches and historic buildings.
The Schlögen meander
This 180-degree loop in the heart of a narrow valley is famous. Hike along the paths to reach the most beautiful viewpoint on the Danube bike route.
With its colorful city center, this small town is a great place to visit. During your stopover, take a swim in the Pleschinger See lake or taste the typical Linz pie, the Linzertorte
This is not a happy visit, but it is a memorial to the victims of the Second World War. The Mauthausen memorial is located in the former concentration camp of the same name. Sadly known for its extreme violence, real or imaginary political opponents were locked up there and exterminated by work.
The Wachau Valley
The Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its wines and picturesque villages. As you cycle along the Danube through the vineyards, look out for ancient fortresses built on top of the surrounding mountains.
The impressive Melk Abbey
Popular with travelers, Melk Abbey is an exceptionally large abbey complex built on a rocky promontory overlooking the Danube. With a library of nearly 100,000 volumes and uniquely decorated rooms, Melk Abbey is a must-see.
The capital of Austria is a city of many facets. When you arrive, you will notice that the modern buildings dominate the natural spaces. Vienna is a lively city with many parks, famous Viennese cafés and airy streets. With its stylish buildings, its theater
The streets of the small Slovak capital are a pleasure to walk through. With its colorful pastel facades and numerous cafés, Bratislava is a great place to live. You will also discover its castle overlooking the Danube and its strange restaurant in the shape of a flying saucer, located above the Most SNP bridge.
With its majestic cathedral perched on its rocky promontory, its magnificent views of the Danube, Esztergom is located just a stone’s throw from the Slovak border. The former capital of Hungary offers a surprising stopover for cyclists passing through.
The Danube loops
North of Budapest, the river takes another 90° turn forming the Danube loops. A striking stage, the wild and mountainous landscape embraces the river offering magnificent views.
Budapest, nicknamed “the pearl of the Danube”, is a jewel. With its emblematic parliament, the fishermen’s bastion and its promenade, the city lends itself to a walk. Take advantage of the many thermal baths to relax on your way. The Széchenyi Spa is the largest and most popular spa in the city.
Practical information about Danube by bike
Are you interested in an adventure along the Danube by bike? If this is your first time on the Danube, we recommend you to read our article with our 8 tips to prepare your first cycling trip.
How long does it take to cycle the Danube?
It all depends on the stages that interest you the most. From Passau to Vienna, the itinerary is usually completed in 8 days. If you want to continue to Budapest, count on 14 days!
Which bike for the Danube by bike?
The EuroVelo 6 itinerary alternates between cycle paths, dirt roads and shared roads with little traffic. For a comfortable cycling trip, opt for a hybrid bike, a mountain bike or a touring bike.
What equipment is needed to travel along the Danube by bike?
During the summer months, the weather along the Danube is usually good. Rain gear is a guarantee that you will be able to cope with the weather. However, you should bring light clothing, a gapette (the cyclist’s cap) and sandals to enjoy the warm days.
When to start on the route?
The route is ideal in spring, late summer and early fall. In the high season, temperatures are usually around 30°C but can reach peaks of around 40°C, making it more difficult for cyclists to move around.
How to get to the route?
The nearest airport to Passau is Munich but intercontinental passengers may well prefer to take the train from Frankfurt International Airport if direct flights are not available to Munich. Vienna & Prague are other options.
At Abicyclette Voyages, we offer personalized trips. Contact us for the preparation of your customized bike trip along the Danube.