Danube – Vienna to Budapest Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishVienna / Budpaest
Distance209 miles/336 kms
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.
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
Day 1: Arrive Vienna
Once you’ve checked-in to your hotel the rest of day is your 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
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. Therafter 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
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 (plus 27 minute train ride)
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
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 – Visegrád, 43 miles/69 kms
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 before arriving in the city of Esztergom, famous for its imposing basilica, the largest in Hungary. The town also has a lovely town square which could be a good place for a coffee break.
A little further on, after rounding a particularly beautiful bend in the river you arrive in the pleasant little town of Visegrád where you will spend the night.
Day 7: Visegrád – Budapest, 28 miles/45 kms
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 boat along the river and into Budapest. This is highly recommended as the view of from the river as you enter the city is particularly stunning. 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
|2018 Arrival Dates|
|Arrivals : Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 04 May to 07 Oct, EXCLUDING 20, 21, 22 July.|
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|Deposit per person||£100|
Board basis: Bed & Breakfast
Maps & route information
Bike hire (see supplements)
Tourist tax (payable locally)
Extra night Vienna, double/twin - July and August (£47)
Extra night Vienna, single - July and August (£80)
Extra night Vienna, double/twin - other dates (£64)
Extra night Vienna, single - other dates (£97)
Extra night Budapest, double/twin (£44)
Extra night Budapest, single (£73)
Bus transfer: Budapest - Vienna*. See notes (£36)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information. (£60)
Electric bike with pannier & lock**. See notes (£132)
* E-bike rental: A €180 deposit will be requested on arrival as a ‘guarantee’ only. This will be returned when you return the bike in good condition.
The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed male and female hybrid models with 21 speeds and comfortable saddle with upright riding position. The bikes come equipped with rear pannier and lock.
Electric bikes are also available. A deposit is required when picking up your e-bike. This will be returned at the end of the trip when the bike has been returned safely and in good condition.
Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own.
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: A mix of good quality 3 and 4 star hotels.
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.
- 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.