Cultural Cities of the Upper Danube (Budapest to Regensburg)
FRC-880062/879972 Danube
8 Nights from
£1,599
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Shortlist
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Day 1
Budapest, Hungary

The River Danube plays a vital role in the build-up of the Hungarian capital of Budapest. It flows right through the heart of the city and has led to the construction of seven magnificent bridges - which connect the old city of Buda, on the right bank, with more modern city of Pest, on the left bank. One of the city’s instantly recognisable highlights is the Hungarian parliament building – a spectacular structure which sits beside the Danube. Venture into Budapest, wander its many streets, and you will discover St. Matthias Church, which was originally built in Romanesque style in the 11th century, but later rebuilt in Gothic style, in the 14th century.

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Day 3
Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava is the Slovakian capital city and is situated in the south-western part of the country. The city is dominated by the four-towered 13th century Bratislava Castle, which provides views over Slovakia and the neighbouring nations of Austria and Hungary. Bratislava Castle was once home to the Austrian royal family until it was destroyed by fire in 1811, but has since been restored. The city is also home to the Gothic castle of St. Martin, which was the site of the coronation of many kings and queens throughout history.

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Day 4
Vienna, Austria

The charming Austrian capital is situated on the River Danube and is a world-renowned centre for classical music, art, theatre and history. Home of the waltz, the Spanish Riding School, Sachertorte and Vienna Boys’ Choir, its central core is easily manageable by foot but excellent public transport is also available. The Schönbrunn Palace is the summer residence of Maria Theresia and the Hapsburgs and is one of the most iconic buildings in this great city.

Before 1806, Vienna was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and later it became the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, in 1918, the capital of independent Austria which emerged from World War I as a republic. During WWII, Vienna was divided into five zones, but the 1955 State Treaty helped the country regain its independence and Vienna was once again the capital of a sovereign Austria.

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Day 5
Wachau Valley, Austria - Melk, Austria

As one of the most beautiful stretches of river in Europe, the Wachau Valley extends for 24 miles along the Danube River between the Austrian towns of Krems and Melk. The scenery here includes hilltop castles, lush vineyards, dense forests and famous medieval monasteries. History can be uncovered from the Stone Age, else well as the periods of the Celts, the Romans and the Hapsburgs.

The Wachau Valley is one of the most prominent tourist destinations of Lower Austria. Along the route, you will find picturesque towns such as Aggstein, Willendorf and Durnstein, where King Richard the Lion-Heart of England was held captive by Duke Leopold V. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wachau is famous for the apricots and grapes grown in the region, both of which are used to produce specialty liquors and wines like dry Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners.

Situated in northeast Austria is the city of Melk – regarded as a gateway to the famous Wachau wine region. It is located at a meeting point of the Danube and Melk rivers and is home to a towering, yellow, baroque Abbey, which sits high above the Danube River. Inside the Abbey, you will find many interesting features including the Melk Cross, Abbey Library, Marble Room, and Collegiate Church. Elsewhere in the city, you will find a number of pretty Renaissance houses and the Schallaburg Castle.

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Day 6
Danube River, Rivers

Flowing a total distance of 1,770 miles, the Danube is regarded as the second longest river in Europe. Flowing from the Black Forest Mountains of western Germany, it can take river cruisers on a journey through some of Europe’s most fascinating towns, cities, and landmarks. It passes through nine countries including: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine. It is known as the river of Mozart symphonies and Strauss waltzes, due to the fact it is lined with castles and fortresses that date back to a period where it provided a border between empires.

Many river cruises begin in the Bavarian city of Passau, but some cruises will combine the Rhine and Danube via the Main Canal.

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Day 7
Passau, Germany - Regensburg, Germany

Resting at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers in Bavaria is the town of Passau. Lying on the border of Austria, Passau offers a unique and eclectic blend of German and Austria Baroque architecture. St Stephen’s Cathedral is the main focus for tourism in Passau and is a true masterpiece of Italian Baroque. The main attractions of the cathedral include a treasury, museum, Italian painted frescoes and the biggest European church organ, boasting 17,774 pipes.

Situated along the banks of the Danube River is the Bavarian city of Regensburg. A cultural centre of Germany, the cities medieval heart is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting one of the most important Gothic churches in Bavaria, St. Peter’s Cathedral. With a stunning 14th century stained glass window and two Romanesque chapels, St. Peter’s in one of the main attractions in Regensburg. Full of history, the city also offers other notable examples of Romanesque architecture, including the Porta Praetoria, which dates back to 179 AD. Despite the repeated bombings of WW2, Regensburg’s medieval buildings and charm has survived, and sustained little damage.

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Day 8
Regensburg, Germany

Situated along the banks of the Danube River is the Bavarian city of Regensburg. A cultural centre of Germany, the cities medieval heart is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting one of the most important Gothic churches in Bavaria, St. Peter’s Cathedral. With a stunning 14th century stained glass window and two Romanesque chapels, St. Peter’s in one of the main attractions in Regensburg. Full of history, the city also offers other notable examples of Romanesque architecture, including the Porta Praetoria, which dates back to 179 AD. Despite the repeated bombings of WW2, Regensburg’s medieval buildings and charm has survived, and sustained little damage.

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