Johann Strauss thought it was blue, Bram Stoker had Dracula cross it and this beautiful feature formed a natural frontier for the Roman Empire. The majestic Danube is one of Europe’s most important waterways – beginning in Germany’s Black Forest and meandering 2,872 kilometres through ten European countries to the Black Sea.
Here are five popular destinations along the Danube.
Often called the Three River City, Passau is popular stop on any Danube river cruise. The cobblestone streets are a delight to explore as you admire the seventeenth century architecture. The must- see attractions include the Cathedral of St Steven, the Gothic Town Hall and the fortress Veste Oberhaus.
One of Europe’s great romantic capitals, it’s hard to resist waltzing along the historic Ringstrasse. Make sure you make the effort to explore the Schonbrunn Palace, the Hofburg and attend an opera at the Staatsoper. The iconic golden statue of Strauss can be admired in Stadtpark.
An often overlooked Austro-Hungarian city, Bratislava is a destination worthy of attention. Big ticket attractions include Bratislava Castle, St Martin’s Cathedral and the Grassalkovich Palace. For views across the whole city, head to the Slavin monument. One of the bridges over the Danube, the Nový most boasts an observation deck.
Standing on the Margaret Bridge over the Danube in Budapest and looking back to the country’s neo-gothic Parliament is a mesmerising sight - if you have the chance definitely take a tour inside the Parliament to admire the interior of this incredible structure. The oldest bridge in the city is the Chain Bridge – it was completed in 1849 and is certainly very beautiful.
Situated in northern Bulgaria on the Romanian border, Ruse is a pleasant city where the Danube serves as a natural border between the two nations – to cross a bridge over the river will take you into Romania. Start your exploration of Ruse at the Freedom Square before heading to the Rock Monastery St Dimitar Basarabovski.