Budapest to Nuremberg by River Boat

River cruising is an amazing way to see the world! We recently had the opportunity to experience this fabulous mode of travel and found that it’s also an affordable and inclusive way to visit wonderful destinations all around Europe.

Our journey began in the beautiful Hungarian capital of Budapest. The city of Budapest has two sides, Buda and Pest, each with its own personality. Consider spending an additional day or two in this wonderful city to truly explore. There are a number of hotels conveniently located along the lovely Danube. Finding it easy to walk the city, we enjoyed local restaurants and visited St. Stephen’s Basilica while on foot. We had a lovely evening “illumination” dinner cruise the first night and the following morning was spent listening to the fascinating history of Hungary while on a guided sightseeing tour of the Parliament House. After an easy transfer from our city hotel to our riverboat, a wonderful buffet lunch was served as we prepared to set sail down the Danube. That evening, the boat featured traditional Hungarian dancing and local dancers entertained as we cruised the river and enjoyed the beautiful lights of Budapest from our new vantage point.

The next morning was a tour of Hospital in the Rock as we sailed toward Vienna. Created in the caverns during World War II, the former emergency hospital and secret nuclear bunker is part of an approximately six mile stretch of interconnected caves and cellars beneath Buda Castle Hill. It is now is a fascinating museum to explore.  Upon arriving in Vienna, we had many tour options and chose to visit the country of Slovakia and its beautiful capital city, Bratislava. We were treated to a city tour highlighting the rich history of the area and enjoy lunch and a little shopping around Bratislava before heading back to our floating hotel. In the evening, we were treated to a classical concert in the beautiful Palace Liechtenstein.

One morning we docked in the beautiful small town of Durnstein. This sleepy little town is very quaint and a great place to try a local bakery, visit local churches and shop for trinket and gifts to bring home. Some of our fellow cruisers choose to take the 22 kilometer bike ride from Durnstein to Melk to meet up with the river boat. In Melk, the tour of the Benedictine Abbey was magnificent with beautiful grounds and a fabulous library including medieval manuscripts. The following day after a walking tour of Passau, we traveled via motor coaches to our next destination. Now in Salzburg, with the magnificent mountains all around, we enjoyed a fabulous tour that included visiting various locations where The Sound of Music was filmed.

The final day of our wonderful river cruise tour, we arrived in the medieval city of Regensburg, Germany. Our tour here included a visit to Weltenburg Abbey accessible by local ferry. As we sailed through the scenic Danube Gorge, the views became perfect photo opportunities for the photographers in our group. Our trip concluded in Nuremberg, Germany. Upon disembarking our cruise, we were treated to a tour of both the old and new city areas of Nuremberg as we explored the walled area of the city. Many travelers take advantage of the close proximity to cities like Frankfurt, Berlin and Prague and extend their travel to include many other parts of Europe.

The entire River Cruise experience was wonderful. We can’t wait to go again. Perhaps you, too, will be river cruising soon down the beautiful European Rivers!

Allie Bieniarz is a travel consultant at Lake Zurich Travel. Allie, along with her co-worker Tammy Turpin, experienced her river cruise in November 2014.