There are different boat trips on the Vienna Danube that allow you to enjoy lush scenery as much as the thrill of high speed transport and city trips to nearby European capitals Bratislava and Budapest. The best location for a scenic river tour is UNESCO World Heritage site Wachau Valley, which is around thirty minutes from Vienna. For trips to Bratislava and Budapest, the best vehicles to use are high speed catamarans and hydrofoil boats.
Boat Trips On The Danube
If you are travelling Central Europe, you can visit the Slovak capital Bratislava by high speed boat from Vienna. Bratislava and Vienna are the two most closely located capitals in Europe. In little more than one hour you can whizz to Bratislava and back with the Twin City Liner Vienna – Bratislava. I went there with my kids one summer Sunday.
We found we had more than enough time in Bratislava to do sightseeing. Read my story about our catamaran ride and mini danube cruise.
There is a six hour Danube cruise that takes you from Vienna to Budapest and back on a high speed hydrofoil. This is the fastest way to travel by boat between the two cities. It is a good option for people who aren’t sure about doing a full blown Danube cruise but want to dip a toe in the water. Added benefit: You are free to explore both cities at your own speed and taste. Go here for a review and more information on the hydrofoil Vienna – Budapest.
Taking a boat trip on the Vienna Danube connects you with contemporary sites. The boat ride departs from the Danube canal at the north-eastern edge of the city centre. The most impressive site during the Vienna Danube Boat Ride is the United Nations building, the funniest Hundertwasser’s Kunsthaus, and the most relaxing the Prater woodlands and Danube Island. For a romantic insider experience, try Dr. Mai’s Vienna Danube concerts in the summer.
Private trips by boat are possible in Vienna: I picked one of Dr. Mai’s fabulous inventions to lounge on a sofa while floating across Alte Donau (Old Danube). We gained so much insight into real Vienna that a regular Vienna Danube boat ride can’t provide. My kids loved it, and we had a good splash, too. Read my review.
For a truly scenic Danube boat trip, consider one of the many Danube tours through the Wachau Valley, UNESCO World heritage site. The Wachau has earned a place in European history as the site where medieval crusader King Richard Lionheart was held in prison at Duernstein castle. You can see and visit the ruin of Duernstein during some boat trips. Besides, the Wachau is the home of award winning Austrian wine and of all things apricot. More information on doing a Wachau boat trip.
The river Danube is the second longest river in Europe, with more than 2.845 kilometres between the Schwarzwald area in Germany and the Danube river delta at the Black Sea. It is also the most international river in the world as it meanders through 10 different countries.
In Vienna, the Danube was regulated in the 1870ies to prevent Austria’s capital from being flooded. The original Danube bed was transformed into the Old Danube (Alte Donau), now a lake. South of it, the new Danube river bed was created. The long and narrow Danube Island (Donauinsel) separates the Danube from the New Danube (Neue Donau).
Map Of Vienna Danube From Wachau To Budapest
The river danube map below highlights the area between the Wachau Valley and Budapest. Click on the placemarks below for more information about the marked cities and areas.