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Cycling the Danube from Passau to Budapest

Listed under Cycling in Passau, Germany.

  • Photo of Cycling the Danube from Passau to Budapest
  • Photo of Cycling the Danube from Passau to Budapest
Photo of Cycling the Danube from Passau to Budapest
Photo by flickr user chris_from_edinburgh
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The longest and most-developed cycling trail in Europe is ideal for novices and/or families.  Most of the way you have a choice of banks to follow, with loads of interesting sites to choose from.  Stay in tiny villages where catering to cyclists is the main industry; visit castles, monasteries, Roman ruins, and a Nazi concentration camp, as well as pass through three national capitals.  Late spring, summer, early autumn.

Written by  BikeBrats.

Other expert and press reviews

“Follow my lieder”

Written by James Mackintosh for The Guardian First published September 6, 2008 I had entered a land of nakedness. The first and entirely unexpected sign was the backside of an old woman emerging from a raspberry bush as I cycled past. The shock caused … Read more...

Written by press. See the full article in The Guardian, 6 September 2008

“The bicycle diaries: dancing by the Danube”

By Douglas Whitehead for The Telegraph First Published 20 Apr 2009 It's taken nearly a month, but on the outskirts of the German city of Passau I finally met my first fellow long-distance cyclist. We recognised each other immediately by the amount of c… Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Go West young person..

I rode it in 2013. Everyone (almost) goes towards Budapest. My advice is start there, and head West - no morning packs of riders to hassle with, which makes the cycling much more pleasant. Avoid late July and August if you can, as that's peak holiday time, and competition for rooms, hotels, pubs, etc is fierce. Check out my full blog on

I wouldnt use a trip company you will pay through the nose, just hire and self-guide

The Hungarian part of the bike path is very nice black top. The only issues I have with the ride is

1) the bit through Bratislava which is a bit scummy (not nasty just a bit industrial)

2) the habit that truck drivers have of chucking their beer bottles out of the window when they have finished with them can generate a bit of broken glass, again not bad but irritating and not something modern tyres cannot handle

The boat back is poor but you can catch the train

I would like to bicycle tour with my wife and 7 year old daughter from Budapest to Passau. How is the path from Budapest to Austria. It seems the rest of the path is excellent. There do not seem to be clear comments on the Hungarian section. Is the majority of the ride in Hungary along the Danube.

Thank you for any information

Paul Jacobsen

2 Replies

Have a look at the routes the tour companies offer - they're not going to send people off onto rocky or unkempt paths. If you have your daughter then look at the easier routes they follow. Most of these companies will give you details about where they take you, and you can use their maps to build your own itinerary. I had a quick look round and there are several options but most of them follow the Danube or the Raba rivers for much of the route. Some of them seem to take a quick spin into Slovakia. This is one of the world's most popular family rides so I would imagine you will be able to find good pathways, or route options that your daughter will have no trouble with.

Trying to find Jake Jacobson - long lost biker friend. Do you speak Russian Jake?

Mark Moselle

Danube Cycle Path: Passau - Vienna

This is one of the most popular and well managed cycle routes though Europe, it travels, along both banks of the Danube between Passau, near the Austrian border and Vienna. Most people plan to complete it in 6 days at about 65 to 70 k a day, but this will depend on your fitness. This is an easy trip suitable for the reasonably fit. Most of the trip is flat or at a slight downhill incline and the route is well marked. If you’re after a bit more excitement there are a number of nice detours up to some hilltop villages, castles and monasteries. Don’t expect to see dramatic scenery: you’ll see the pretty river valley towns, swans, green copses, and a couple of orchards and vineyards. Because it’s easy and accessible it can also be busy, so be careful with your planning. There are some great hotels along the route but many of these are booked up by package tours and you can end up starting your day in a pack if you’re not careful. If you have a real thing about crowds you could cycle west instead. The most difficult thing to plan is which side of the river you want to be on when - there are crossings and ferries, but in some places the intervals between are large and you can see something really interesting on the other bank you’d love to check out.

Vienna to Budapest

Vienna to Budapest is a great trip. Its very easy to cycle from B&B to B&B. Much of it is along the Rhine. Hungary is very cheap and friendly. Its possible to rent a touring bike in Vienna and drop it in Budapest. You can also return to Vienna via a boat on the Rhine. Here is a link to a trip I did. I did not cycle the Passau to Vienna portion. There are others who have and you can find them on the site.

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