When searching for history and culture you embark on a journey along the Danube river. As one of the longest rivers in Europe there are many cities that access the river. But, the best place to start your travels is from memorable and medieval Germany.
As the heartland of the river, the Danube through Germany offers you charming towns that are filled with historic castles, beautiful cathedrals and culture that goes back thousands of years.
As the location of “The Route of Emperors and Kings of Bavaria” there are many towns and villages to explore. However there are three key German towns that you don’t want to miss.
Nuremberg is best known for its role in World War II Germany, the Nazi Rally grounds and the Nuremberg Trials at the Justice Palace. There are many tours and underground experiences offered in Nuremberg for any World War II enthusiasts.
But Nuremberg isn’t just historic, it’s a city of art and culture, there are many attractions to explore including the medieval fortified Nuremberg Castle complex in the altstadt (old town).
A walkable city you can follow the old city walls finding medieval gates and towers, the old town squares and the Hauptmarkts (open markets) that are there for you to explore and immerse in.
If your a foodies then you will definitely want to try the traditional Franconian fare and popular local offerings like lebkuchen German cakes and Nuremberg sausages.
Here’s a tip for you: Plan time to relax at one of the many beer gardens scattered throughout the city of Nuremberg.
Departing Nuremberg you will travel up river to Regensburg. Located where the Danube river meets the Regen and Naab rivers in the eastern part of lower Germany. The 4th largest city in the Bavarian region of Germany it is a cultural center. Discover the role Regensburg played during rule of Germany by the Holy Roman Empire.
A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest “old towns” in Germany. Regensburg attracts visitors to its medieval town filled with historic buildings, gardens and parks. One location that is highly recommended is the Dom Cathedral. Built starting in 1275 and finished in 1869 the complex is primarily made up of Gothic architecture with adjoining chapels that predate the Dom back to the 8th century.
As you walk the town, you will find many medieval churches each offering its own stories. Other recommended visits is the medieval stone bridge which dates back to the 11th century and used during the crusades to cross the Danube.
Not to be missed is one of the oldest public restaurants in the world actively serving guests since the 11th century, the Sausage Kitchen.
Referred to as the “City of Three Rivers” because the Danube joins the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north. Passau is a smaller city but it is well known for its gothic and baroque architecture.
You can’t help but notice walking the cobble-stoned streets of Passau’s die alstadt, old city, the Veste Oberhaus Fortress which can be seen high on a mountain top facing the city.
A highlight of visiting the fortress is the 18th Century viewing platform with fabulous views of historic Passau and the rivers below.
The showstopper here though is the Italian Baroque Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral). Notable as having one of the largest pipe organs in the world with over 17,000 pipes. Concerts are held during the warmer summer months and worth scheduling your visit around to experience the organ in action for yourself.
After leaving Germany, your journey along the Danube’s Route of Emperors and Bavarian Kings will continue from Passau into some of the beautiful river towns of Slovakia and Austria, including Vienna and Salzburg. Plus you’ll finish your cruise in Hungary where you will reach your final destination, Budapest.
There are so many reasons to visit Germany, an enjoyable and unique experience is to travel the inland waterways exploring the towns and villages and other neighboring countries from your boutique floating hotel. Discover if the Danube is a good match for your next river cruise experience.