Danube Cycle Path

All information and tour tips for the most popular cycle path in Europe

‘On the beautiful blue Danube’- Johann Strauss appreciated this river so much he dedicated a waltz to it. The Danube is the second largest and second longest river in Europe and has historically combined different cultures as the most important and oldest trade route in Europe.

The classic among the river cycle paths

Today, the Danube Cycle Path is a classic and used by thousands of cyclists every year. The cycle path along the Danube was one of the first river cycle paths and is still one of the most popular. Without significant slopes you can cycle through the beautiful landscapes along the river, which makes the bike path along the Danube very attractive for less trained and families. You can decide for yourself which section is the most beautiful. Every day on the Danube offers something special.

The course of the Danube

The Danube flows though and touches ten countries as it makes its way through Europe: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine and Romania.

The source of the Danube

The origin of the Danube lies in Germany, near Donaueschingen. The source is the union of the rivers Brigach and Breg, which spring from the Black Forest. A well-known German saying is ‘Brigach und Breg bringen die Donau zuweg’ (Brigach and Breg brig the Danube along).

Length of the Danube

The Danube is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga. From the source in Donaueschingen to the mouth of the Black Sea, the river meanders 2850km through Europe.

Height profile

The Danube springs in Donaueschingen at about 680 vertical metres and opens at sea level in the Black Sea.

Cycling on the north or south bank of the Danube

The Danube Cycle Path runs on both the north and south banks. The side can be changed by using bridges or ferries.

Danube Cycle Path in Germany

The most beautiful stages

Donaueschingen – Donauwörth

The cycle tour from Donaueschingen to Donauwörth takes you from the source of the Danube in Donaueschingen and through the fascinating landscape of the Baar. The path trails through the Black Forest and finally through the Swabian Alb. There are many cultural highlights from Oberschwaben to Donauwörth, as well as the wild and romantic Danube River. On the Bavarian Danube from Regensburg, known for its old town, you can taste culinary delights. Then you meet the magnificent Danube breakthrough at Kelheim or the northernmost point of the Danube. Finally the city of Passau is reached, where the Inn and Ilz flow into the Danube and offer a unique natural spectacle.

Donauwörth - Passau

Also on the stage from Donauwörth to Passau about 300 bicycle kilometers are covered. Starting from Donauwörth to Ingolstadt and on to Kelheim, where the magnificent Danube Gorge and the northernmost point of the Danube are on your way. Then it goes on to Regensburg, known for its beautiful old town, which is a World Heritage Site. From Regensburg along the Bavarian Danube, a region that also boasts culinary highlights. Until finally the bishop residence Passau is reached, where Inn and Ilz flow into the Danube and offer a unique natural spectacle.

Danube Cycle Path in Austria

The most beautiful stages
Cyclists on cycle path along the river Danube

Passau – Vienna

In Austria you cycle along the Danube from Passau to Vienna. This part is also known as the ‘classic’ on the Danube. The beautiful landscapes of Austria accompany you on your tour. Visit Baroque cities, fruit trees in the Wachau or modern cultural hotspots like Linz. The Danube bend at Schlögen is a breathtaking spectacle of nature, because here the granite forces the river to make a 180-degree change in direction. The Wachau with the Strudengau and Nibelungengau leave you wanting for nothing where food is concerned. Whether with apricot dumplings or wines you will be spoiled here in the numerous taverns and inns. The destination of this stage is Vienna. The Austrian capital has much to offer. You should not miss the Schönbrunn Palace, the Danube Island or the 1st district with the ring road.

Cyclists having a break at the bank of the river Danube
Tour character
Germany / Austria

Danube Cycle Path with Charm

8 Days | Self-guided tour
Ever dreamed of cycling comfortably through the most beautiful landscapes in Austria? The Eurobike team has put together a bike tour along the Danube cycle path from Passau to Vienna. Best of all: you cycle with ‘charm’.  This means you stay in hotels specially selected for their exceptional locations and facilities. It is the atmosphere of the hotels and the warm hosts that provide a memorable stay. Details about the Danube cycle path with charm The well-known Danube cycle path winds past Baroque cities, orchards and modern cultural hotspots. And an idyllic water landscape is always by your side. A particularly beautiful section awaits you in the Wachau wine region. The majestic Melk Abbey typifies the uniqueness of this section of the route. Travelling through the wine towns of Spitz, Weißenkirchen and past the castle ruins of Dürnstein you will experience the Wachau in all its splendour. Highlights of the cycle tour with charm: Staying in specially selected hotels: Eight stylish hotels await your check-in on the bike tour along the Danube cycle path. In Schärding, the Forstinger family wait to welcome you to their four-star family run hotel. Every host prides themselves on providing typical Austrian hospitality. This is true whether you are staying in the Hotel Residenz in Passau, the Donauschlinge Hotel or in the accommodation at the Linz Domplatz. Each of the charming hosts will make your stay as comfortable as possible. At the Steingenberger Hotel, an in-house spa awaits you! Useful information about the Danube cycle path with charm: The eight-day cycle tour along Europe’s most popular cycle route, the Danube cycle path, takes you along a gentle, tranquil natural backdrop. The cycle path covers flat terrain, on well-developed bike paths with many opportunities to take a break. Perfect for the casual or recreational cyclist! Every day you cover between 40 to 65 kilometres in the saddle. By then you’ll have earned a spritzer and a little pick-me-up at every stop! Tip: If you cycle through the Wachau in apricot season (summer months) you simply must try the Wachau apricot dumplings! They’re called Wachauer Marillenknödel in German!
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Schärding - Vienna

As an alternative to the classic Passau - Vienna section, you can also start in the famous Upper Austrian Baroque city and cycle through the Machland and the Wachau to the German capital on a cycle tour from Schärding to Vienna.

Salzburg – Vienna

The cycle tour from Salzburg to Vienna connects the two cities where Mozart lived and worked. From Salzburg you follow the Salzach River, then continue on the Inn cycle path and finally from Passau on the Danube Cycle Path. Cultural highlights such as the Silent Night Chapel on Oberndorf, the oldest castle in Central Europe in Burghausen are on the way. The last part of the Danube is shortened from Krems by train.

Danube Cycle Path in Slovakia and Hungary

Eurobike-bike in front of field

Vienna - Budapest

From Vienna to Budapest you travel along the Danube in Slovakia and Hungary. Here you follow the marking ‘Euro 6’ or the red ‘C’. You’ll take in no less than three capital cities on this tour – Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. During the early stages of the tour you will cycle through the riparian forests of the Danube floodplains and the Lobau. Many corn and sunflower fields will guide your way. A true natural spectacle is the ‘Szigetköz’ between Mosonmagyarovar and Komárom. Numerous castles and palaces accompany you on this cycling trip to the Hungarian capital.

Read also the travel story from the cycle tour from Vienna to Budapest in our Cycling Blog.

Danube Cycle Path for families

Two cyclists in front of the viennese giant ferris wheel

Perfect bike experience with children along the Danube

The Danube Cycle Path also offers the perfect cycling experience for families. Due to the flat nature of the paths and the accommodation designed for cyclists and families, you can enjoy a variety of cycling tours with children. On shorter stages you can explore the Danube, of course, also take a boat trip. Exciting recreational activities along the way also ensure a successful cycling holiday on the Danube with the whole family.

On the Danube Cycle Path with bike & boat

The special kind of cycling holiday on the Danube

Where, if not on the Danube? Cycling and sailing trips with overnight accommodation in floating hotels offer a very special cycling holiday. You spend the night in a cabin and enjoy the evenings on board relaxing the sun deck. You do not have to pack your suitcase every day, as the ship will accompany you along the way.

Afterwards you will find all our bike & boat tours on the Danube. Take your time and decide on a route with the ship of your choice!

MS Normandie
Danube cycle path
Castle Schoenbuehel
MS Normandie deck
MS Normandie deck
Danube cycle path
Bike & Boat
Town of Passau, Bike & Boat
Danube Cycle Path at Spitz
Schoenbrunn Palace
Tour character

Passau - Vienna - Passau, MS Normandie

8 Days | Self-guided tour
Travelling by bike & boat is particularly popular amongst cyclists. On this holiday, enjoy the wonderful nature along the River Danube by bike whilst being accompanied by your "floating hotel" - the MS Normandie. On this bike & boat holiday, you travel from Passau, the 3 river city, via Upper and Lower Austria all the way to Vienna and back. Enjoy the impressive Danube landscape whilst treating yourself to the many regional specialities as well as the quality Wachau wine. Try the hearty dumplings or the light and sweet 'Most' (apple wine). After a leisurely cycle tour along the Danube, you will arrive in Vienna, a cosmopolitan city. In 2016 Vienna was selected for the sixth time in a row as the best city to live in worldwide.  Cosmopolitan City and a Centre of Music: In three-four time through Vienna There are numerous attractions for you to explore on a city tour by bike. Dive into the long forgotten Habsburg Empire and visit some of the 177 palaces. Historical stately buildings like the gothic style St. Stephen's cathedral, the Imperial Palace, the art nouveau of the Secession building, the famous baroque Schönbrunn palace, town hall and the natural history and art museum are all sites where you can sense the former empire's flair.  In the global capital of music, you can expect a diverse cultural offer ranging from Waltz, light opera and opera to musicals or symphony concerts. You are sure to find somewhere to relax in one of the cosy coffee houses or at the "Wiener Prater", perhaps on its famous and huge giant wheel. Viennese food offers true culinary delights. You sure can round off your bike tour with lots of specialities.  Having packed everything up including all your memories, you get back on board the lovely middle-class boat MS Normandie. You head back into the nature where you can enjoy the enchanting landscape such as the Donau Schlinge and the Wachau. Have a cup of Viennesse coffee in the ship's cosy panorama salon or enjoy some tasty food in the restaurant on the main deck.             
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Tour character

Passau - Budapest - Passau, MS Arlene II

8 Days | Self-guided tour
Where world heritage meets Waltz and Hungarian history. On this bike and boat journey from Passau to Budapest and back you will experience vibrant cities, vineyards and world famous sights. Find yourself surrounded by new cultural charms and experiences every day! You will start your eight-day journey aboard the newly converted MS Arkona, sailing on the beautiful blue Danube. The journey meanders from Passau to Linz, though the world-famous ‘Schlögener Schlinge’ (the impressive moment the river loops back on itself) in the Wachau and waltzes on to Vienna. It continues on to the ‘Danube Bend’ at Visegrád then to Budapest. Cultural experiences are everywhere! Details of the bike and boat tour along the Danube to Budapest Empress Elizabeth of Austria is omnipresent during this combined trip on the Danube, whether in beautiful Vienna or in historic Budapest - where she was once crowned Empress. The MS Arkona takes you to the most famous cities along the Danube. Sample ‘an Achterl’ of wine (1/8 of a litre) among the vines in the Wachau or a Sachertorte with a punch in Vienna – culinary temptations span as far as the eye can see! Further on, the route plan takes in: Budapest, Devin and Bratislava. Cities brimming with history and quaint urban centres just begging to be explored. Highlights at a glance MS Arlene II: The ship was completely renovated in the winter of 2017/18. A modern and elegant atmosphere provides the perfect retreat after a day’s cycling. On the upper deck is a lounge with a cosy restaurant. It’s the ideal spot to enjoy the evening breeze or sip a cocktail or two. National monument in Devin: The Devin Castle in Bratislava is an imposing fortress perched on the rock face where the March and the Danube meet. The magnificent view is certainly worth a visit! Useful information about the cycle tour along the Danube On the eight-day bike and boat tour, you will not only experience culture, but also the spectacular landscapes of the Danube valley. The route runs alongside the well-developed Danube cycle path over flat terrain. For each section of the route, you can cycle comfortably for 25 to 55 kilometres. This combined trip is perfect for beginners or occasional cyclists. Don’t have your own set of wheels? No problem, you can rent one from Eurobike. The experienced team will give you a bike according to your height, weight and personal preferences and you’re ready to go!
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Guided bike tours along the Danube

In the group on Danube Cycle Path

If you like to travel in a group, then you should opt for one of our guided bike tours on the Danube Cycle Path. A tour guide is on site as an organizer and takes care of your concerns. Another companion is always nearby by bus and reliably takes care of the luggage transfer to the next overnight stay. For fans of our bike and boat trips we offer a guided group tour with overnight stay in a charming hotel boat.

Cities on the Danube Cycle Path

Due to the importance of the Danube as a trade route, there are many beautiful and historic cities located along the river.

Donaueschingen Park


Although Donaueschingen is only a small town, it is very important for the Danube region. This is where the famous river springs and made this town famous. The residential town on the edge of the southern Black Forest, with proximity to Lake Constance has much to offer. For instance, the princely Fürstenberg Castle, or the colourful Art Nouveau buildings in the city centre. Even a visitor to the Fürstenberg Brewery will not miss out on the sight seeing programme.



The university town on the Danube is known for the Gothic style Ulm Münster. But in Ulm there is much more to discover, such as the centre with the Ulm Museum, the Music School and the Dreisparten Theatre on Münsterplatz. The fishing district of Ulm Town Hall, the Wiblingen monastery or the Ulm City Wall will make you want to linger.



Where Wörnitz flows into the Danube is Donauwörth, also known as the Bavarian Swabian Donauperle. The Reichsstaße with its pastel-coloured houses and the Riedertor section of the city wall are must-sees. In the Liebfrauenmünster you have the opportunity to climb the 57m high church steeple and enjoy a wonderful view of the city.



Ingolstadt is home to the first university in Bavaria, which opened in March 1472. Take a visit to the well-preserved fortifications. The tourism association also offers an adventure tour to Viktor Frankenstein, an ideal trip for those interested in fairy tales and myths from the history of modern medicine.



The Episcopal city of Regensburg on the Danube is known for its well-preserved centre. Landmarks such as the Stone Bridge or the Gothic cathedral with its twin towers show off the history of the city. Stroll through the squares and markets of the city and enjoy the historic views.



The German border town of Passau is also known as the Three River City. Here the Inn and Ilz flow into the Danube, each with a different colour. Take the opportunity to have a boat trip and experience this spectacle up close. Then we recommend a walk to the Veste Oberhaus, a fortress from the 13th century. There is also a very nice restaurant where you can take in the view and see the three rivers once more.



Schärding is actually on the Inn Cycle Path. However, this baroque city is also a wonderful starting point for a cycle tour along the Danube. Take a stroll over the Silberzeile or visit the Bums’n tavern to eat a ‘Bratl in der Rhein’. Or visit the other numerous sights such as the Passau Gate, the former hospital church and the Linzer Tor.



In Linz, the cultural capital of 2009, history meets modernity. A 20-meter high Trinity Column made from white marble stands in the main square. Three times a day you can also listen to the Linz glockenspiel here. The global company Voesalpine AG has its headquarters in Linz, and offers visitors and insight into the world of steel production.



Melk is home to one of the most famous Abbeys in Austria. Melk Abbey, an 11th century Benedictine monastery, was built in Baroque style. Admire the collegiate church decorated with gold statures or the huge library of medieval manuscripts. The Baroque marble hall with ceiling fresco and red marble walls will amaze you.

Kremser Altstadt


The richly decorated doors, bay windows and architectural treasures bear witness to the history of the former port city of Krems. Due to the unmistakable mountain location, you can already see the Bendiktinerstift Göttweig from the cycle path. It’s a magnet for pilgrims from all over the world. If you like something more comfortable, you should pay a visit to the private distillery Hellerschmid. It offers local Wachau wines and regional specialities. 



The Austrian capital was the cultural and political centre of Europe in the 19th Century. Here, of course, the Empire ruled and has influenced the character of the city. A carriage ride from St Stephen’s Cathedral on the ring road is recommended, because you pass many attractions such as the City Hall, the Vienna Orchestra and the Parliament. Enjoy a Viennese Melange in a classic coffee house. Or taste a Wienerschnitzel (veal) with potato salad in a traditional inn.

Die Donau in Bratislava


The Bratislava Castle, which was the original seat of the rulers and is now a city landmark, can be spotted from afar as you travel along the cycle path. From here you can take in a good view of the city. In the town hall square you can enjoy the flair of the Slovak capital. The Michalska brana (Michael’s Gate), which is the only preserved gate of the city fortifications, is also worth a visit, there’s also a well-known weapons museum here.

Church in Györ


Györ was one of the last outposts before Vienna so was a very important place during the Turkish wars. Even today, the city is one of the most important industrial sites in Hungary. The car factory Audi, and the model railway manufacturer Märklin are situated here. The old town, with the town hall, Kármelita templom (Carmelite Church) or the bishop’s castle are worth seeing. Or enjoy the evening in one of the numerous restaurants with excellent cuisine.

View over the Basilica of Esztergom


Esztergom is one of the oldest cities in Hungary. The Classicist Esztergom Basillica can be spied from afar during your cycle tour. The Cathedral of the Assumption and St. Adalbert is one of the largest churches in Europe. The painting of Mary in heaven is on the altar and was painted by Michelangelo Grioletti. The altarpiece, with dimensions 13.5 x 6.5m is one of the largest in Europe and was painted on canvas.

Parlament in Budapest


The Hungarian capital is also known as the city of nine bridges. The Danube flows directly through the city and divides it into two parts. The towers of the Halászbástya (Fisherman’s Bastion) offer wonderful views of the city. Or stroll along the Széchenyi Chain Bridge into the old town. The castle palace with its large collection Hungarian art is worth a visit. The parliament building is impressive and acts as a landmark for Hungary, sitting directly on the Danube. The Palace of Westminster in London was the inspiration for this neo-Gothic building.

Valerian Höfler
"I am happy to answer your questions about the Danube Cycle Path and the cycling trips we offer along the Danube!"
Valerian Höfler, Customer service
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