Danube – Vienna to Budapest Cycling Holiday

  • 4.5
    (9 reviews)
  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely to Moderate
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Vienna / Budpaest
  • Distance

    209 miles/336 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeRivers and Lakes
  • Accommodation

    Superior
  • Tour code

    059-108CAT
Price From £550

Overview

Visit three stunning capital cities on this classic cycling holiday along the Danube River. Ride downstream from imperial Vienna to Bratislava, a small historic city with an intoxicating, cafe-culture vibe. Then it’s on, through Slovakia to Hungary and its capital, Budapest – one of Europe’s most fascinating and exciting cities.

This is a tour that combines the sights and cultures of some of Europe’s most beautiful capitals with a healthy dose of nature and the great outdoors. Following the river you’ll get a great sense of the changing landscape and enjoy the many traditional towns and villages that line its banks.

Cyclists - Danube Cycle Path

The Danube Cycle Path

Highlights include the Imperial city of Vienna, the compact and fascinating old town in the centre of Bratislava, enjoying the peace and quiet of the riverside cycle path itself and of course arriving in the stunning city of Budapest.

The route is mostly flat but with the odd incline along the way. You’ll be cycling on well-maintained cycle paths and some quiet country lanes. Around cities there may be short sections along busy roads.

Itinerary & Map

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Vienna

Johann Strauss - Vienna - Austria

Johann Strauss

Once you’ve checked in to your hotel the rest of day is yours to explore this fascinating city. Visit Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Imperial Palace. You may also want to take in the ‘Riesenrad’, the giant ferris wheel, made famous in the 1949 film, ‘The Third Man’. No trip to Vienna would be complete without enjoying a coffee and cake in one of the city’s elegant coffee houses. In the evening we highly recommend trying the local speciality – Wienerschnitzel. This pan-fried breaded pork cutlet has become popular around the world but this is where it was born. Of course, this is the city of the Waltz and you might wish to attend one of the many Waltzing evenings that take place in the city.

Day 2: Vienna – Bratislava, 42 miles/68 kms

Bratislava - Slavakia

Bratislava

Shortly after leaving the hustle and bustle of Vienna you enter a very different world, cycling through a riverside nature reserve full of diverse flora and fauna. The city suddenly seems a million miles away with the peace and quiet only interrupted by chattering birds. The Romans left their mark around here and we highly recommend stopping at the Carnuntum archaeological park just before the spa town of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg. Thereafter you cycle across the border into Slovakia and follow the riverbank to the country’s charming capital, Bratislava. The medieval town at the city’s heart actually feels more like a large village than a city and the attractive flag-stoned streets are a delight to explore on foot or by bike. Other must-sees include the Castle, which offers fantastic views from its high vantage point and St Martin’s Cathedral, the city’s oldest church. You’ll spend the night in this enchanting city.

Day 3: Bratislava – Mosonmagyaróvàr, 28 miles/45 kms

Danube River

Danube at dusk

Today you have a lovely ride along an idyllic cycle path beside the river. The Danube broadens considerably just after Bratislava and resembles a lake more than a river. It also marks the border between Hungary (southern bank) and Slovakia (Northern bank). Nature holds sway here and the only sounds are your tyres on the tarmac and birdsong. After a while you leave the river and head south to pleasant old town of Mosonmagyaróvàr where you will stop for the night.

Day 4: Mosonmagyaróvàr – Györ, 28 miles/45 kms

Györ

Today’s ride continues along the idyllic Danube cycle path in part but you’ll also cycle through the peaceful Hungarian countryside away from the river. You’ll pass Hedervár Castle and after a relatively easy ride arrive in the lovely old town of Györ where you will spend the night. The charming streets and beautiful town square of this lovely old town are a delight to explore on foot.

Day 5: Györ – Komárno, 40 miles/64 kms

Danube Cycle Path - Hungary

En-route along the Danube

From Györ you return to the Danube and begin to follow the river on the Slovakian side. A raised embankment provides a nice elevated platform for the cycle path, allowing you to admire the surrounding countryside and peaceful river views as you head further east. Your destination today is the town of Komárom or Komárno. This fortress town has two names as it straddles the river and is therefore part Slovakian and part Hungarian.

Day 6: Komárno – Esztergom/Visegrád, 34 to 43 miles/55 to 69 kms

Danube Cycle Path - Esztergom, Hungary

Esztergom, Hungary

The route continues along the embankment cycle path. After a few kilometres you might want to stop at the the Roman fort Kelemantia. From there you pedal on through quiet farming villages alongside the Danube. At Šturovo you cross the bridge to the city of Esztergom. Here you can visit the imposing basilica, the largest in Hungary. The town also has a beautiful town square. You’ll spend the night here or a little further along the river in the town of Visegrád.

Day 7: EsztergomVisegrád – Budapest, 37 to 28 miles/59 to 45 kms

Budapest

Your final ride leads you around the Danube Knee and down to the artists’ island of Szentendre. From here you may opt to take a train (payable locally €3 per person) or a boat along the river and into Budapest (payable locally €10 per person). You can of course opt to complete the journey by bike and cycle into the city centre.

The rest of the day and evening are yours to explore this fascinating city which is actually two cities, Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast it’s time to head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2020 Arrival Dates
Arrivals : Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 01 May to 27 September

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2020 Prices
059-108CAT
Per person
01 May
to
28 Jun
29 Jun
to
30 Aug
31 Aug
to
27 Sep
 
Superior category
Double/twin £591 £568 £591              
Single £807 £784 £807              
Triple £571 £550 £571              
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Deposit per person £100

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation. See practical information
7 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
GPS route data
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Tourist tax (payable locally)
Optional train or boat/ferry Szentendre to Budapest
E-bike: €180 credit card deposit on arrival, payable locally

Supplements

Half board (£124)
Extra night Vienna, double/twin - July and August, superior (£50)
Extra night Vienna, single - July and August, superior (£83)
Extra night Vienna, double/twin - other dates, superior (£65)
Extra night Vienna, single - other dates, superior (£98)
Extra night Budapest, double/twin, superior (£48)
Extra night Budapest, single, superior (£83)
Bus transfer: Budapest - Vienna. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (dep. 9.30am) (£43)
Regular bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£64)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£142)

Practical Information

Bikes

Unisex bike

An example of the female bike used on this tour

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21-24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier and lock.

Electric bikes are also available. Important: A security credit card deposit of €180 will be requested on arrival as a ‘guarantee’ only. This will be returned when you return the bike in good condition.

Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Vienna: NH Danube City
Bratislava: Lindner Hotel Gallery Central
Mosonmagyaróvàr: Hotel Lajta Park
Györ: Hotel Ibis
Komárno: Hotel Bandérium
Visegrád: Hotel Visegrád
Budapest: Lion’s Garden

Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting There

Fly to Vienna, Salzburg, Linz or Munich – all offer good rail connections to Passau. For the journey home fly from Budapest or Vienna. The rail journey from Budapest to Vienna takes 3 hours.

Research flights from the UK here.

Research train timetables here.

Gallery

Current rating for this cycling holiday based on 9 reviews 4.5
  • Date - 25/10/2019
  • Name - Stephanie Bennett
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - The pre-tour service was very efficient with a speedy response to the booking and quick responses to any queries I had.
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Overall, an excellent trip. The quality of the bikes was excellent and all of details we were given were helpful and made for a well organised and enjoyable holiday. The standard of accommodation was excellent on the whole, although my only one complaint would be that the location of hotels in Bratislava and Budapest were not great. Both hotels were a long way from the main city areas, which after a long day cycling was quite hard going. Otherwise a great time had by all!
  • Date - 03/10/2019
  • Name - George Fisher
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - So glad I asked for the GPX file of the route, would have struggled with the navigation without them. Not knowing the bike tyre size, I could not bring a spare inner tube, but brought tools and puncture repair kit. As my pre tour information advised checking tyre pressures each day I assumed there would be a pump on the bike. Not so. Next time I will bring a small pump as well.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - The tour took me out of my comfort zone, but with the GPX file of the route and checking on the internet for my hotel coordinates before I flew out, everything went well. Next time I will bring a pump!
  • Date - 11/09/2019
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - Great service, very responsive to questions
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Fabulous trip, and great bikes provided by Donau (organised through Flexitreks). Routes were well signed, which was just as well because we didn't rate map books provided as they didn't focus on our route and were therefore surprisingly difficult to follow. In the end we ditched the books and stuck to the GPX for guidance which was far simpler. Great choices of hotels, even those which were a bit further out in the bigger cities. Definitely recommend the route, and will soon be looking for another trip for next year.
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : We try our best - thanks!
    Product : Lovely, we're glad you enjoyed your Danube cycling adventure. It's true, that the route booklet can get a little confusing but this is because it describes the routes on both banks as well as all the places of interest along the way. We recommend sitting down with it the night before each ride to plan your route in detail. The GPX tracks require less work as they just lead you along the most popular route so for many these are the way top go.
  • Date - 15/10/2018
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - The pre tour service was great - the staff very helpful and knowledgeable on the phone and all the documentation arrived in good time.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - The organisation of the trip was spot on. Hotel rooms were always ready and luggage waiting for us. We used the downloaded routes and found them easy to follow. With that side pf things organised so well we were left to enjoy the cycling! Hotels varied a little in quality but all were exceptable and all had ample breakfast to set you up for a days cycling. Great trip and would consider trying a different route another year- thanks!
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : Glad to be of service - thank you.

    Product : Always good to hear everything went well, in particular the GPX tracks which are really revolutionizing bike tour navigation. Good to know we still always provide good old fashioned maps and route notes though as a back-up.
  • Date - 28/08/2018
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - Quick & efficient responses
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Lot of cycling through flood plains, couldn't see the Danube too often, last two days were prettier countryside

    The overnight stops were all interesting places
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : It's true that this stretch of the Danube is not quite as pretty as the section between Passau and Vienna but we're glad you found the overnight stops interesting.

    Product : Thanks for the the honest feedback.
  • Date - 12/06/2018
  • Name - Audrey Johnstone
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - Helpful and friendly
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - Excellent holiday and instructions were clear for the start of the holiday.
  • Flexitreks response - Service rating : Which is our aim. Thanks Audrey
    Product : Super, we're glad it all went so well!
  • Date - 22/08/2017
  • Name - William
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - The bikes were good and we had no problems. Alex our contact/guide was very helpful. The accommodation was as described. We would have preferred less travel by public road.
  • Product rating -
    4.0
  • Product comment - Good value for bikes and accommodation
  • Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the feedback William, we're glad you found the cycling holiday to be good value.
  • Date - 26/07/2017
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    5.0
  • Service comment - We think the Flexitreks web site is well designed and allows smooth navigation among the wide range of cycling holidays and trips offered. The Flexitreks team took time to make suggestions on cycling holidays that would interest us both and fit our cycling ability. We felt they knew the product well and spoke in detail about it and they were really friendly. We feel the web site details of the trip we took, described the trip really well.
  • Product rating -
    5.0
  • Product comment - The trip was really great. Discovering 3 European capitals in 7 days is a key point of this trip. That is why we chose it and we were not disapointed.

    The bikes were comfortable and had everything needed for a good ride (bags, 21 gears, etc). We were however a bit bothered by the fact we only had 1 lock.

    The hotels were of a high quality and the staff were helpful no matter what the query was, be it our reservations or where to leave the bikes for the night. We had taken the half board option. The meals were great, with from time to time, a local speciality and the breakfasts had everything and they were copious.

    The guide book was quite complete. The roads were easy to follow, and the manual even had suggestions of detours we could do in order to visit some interesting places/monuments. However, the details on reaching our hotels in towns was sometimes confusing and could have been better. This was no big deal though because we always had our phones with us.

    The roads we cycled on were mostly cycling paths eventhough from time to time we would take a dirt path across the fields.

    Overall, the trip was great and we are already thinking of another trip with Flexitreks.
  • Flexitreks response - Many thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed review. We're so glad you enjoyed the trip so much and look forward to assisting you with planning your next cycling holiday.

  • Date - 10/12/2015
  • Name - Anonymous
  • Service rating -
    4.0
  • Service comment - Good liaison and email response throughout.
  • Product rating -
    3.0
  • Product comment - Very enjoyable cycle trip. Interesting countryside and towns throughout. Carnuntum Roman site a must.
    Directions not as good as could be particularly in the towns and cities - got lost a lot more than between Passau and Vienna. Long term bridge building works outside Bratislava necessitating a very poorly signposted diversion so everyone cycling got lost. Could have done with an insert in route map instructions.
    Half board food choice very rudimentary and disappointing in most hotels even 4*, very poor value - would not recommend. Go with B and B and order dinner from the menu or go out. No tea/coffee in rooms. Will give you a kettle if you ask firmly but nicely so take your teabags!
  • Flexitreks response - Many thanks for your nice comments on our service and for the detailed comments on the trip, as they are most helpful. We will certainly address the route notes for 2016 and see how we can improve these, especially in the towns and cities. Regarding the food - the meal plans for the set half board is probably not 'so exciting' but for those who are on a tight budget it can offer great value for money compared to eating a la carte. That said we will certainly feed your comments about the food back to our local suppliers. Many thanks again, the Flexitreks team.