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Written by
Craig Dickson
Craig Dickson

Vienna to Budapest - fantastic Danube Cyclepath alternative!

Our Bike & Boat trips are extremely popular, the Danube Bike & Boat: Passau to Budapest (Carissima) itinerary is so popular that cabin availability for the trip is limited already!  

Don’t worry if you missed the boat this time!

The Danube Cyclepath: Vienna to Budapest is a fantastic alternative trip to appease your Danube river cycle craving. I was fortunate enough to complete the itinerary last August and cannot speak highly enough about it. The cycling was relatively flat for the duration of the trip, with only a small hilly section as you enter Esztergom near the end of the itinerary. The rest of the time you are following the level Danube river meandering through the countryside and visiting towns from Western Europe into Eastern Europe. [caption id="attachment_25364" align="aligncenter" width="695"]Danube Cycle Path The cycle path on Day 7 between Esztergom and Budapest.[/caption] Navigating the itinerary was straightforward as you follow the EuroVelo 6 cycle path for the majority of the route. This cycle path is mostly paved and very well maintained, however, expect the path quality to suffer in the woodland area between Györ and Komarom in Hungary. There is a small section of road cycling as you enter some of the larger towns, which cannot be avoided. However, you will soon find yourself in a local café or your hotel courtyard in no time! [caption id="attachment_25365" align="aligncenter" width="900"]EuroVelo 6 cyclepath sign You follow the EuroVelo 6 cycle path for the majority of the route.[/caption] Everything from the bike hire to the luggage transfer ran smoothly. Macs Adventure’s local partner make all the necessary arrangements to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable trip, what more do you need?!

So, what’s the difference?

The itinerary is similar to its Bike & Boat brother, but instead of staying on a boat, you stay in a selection of smaller family-run accommodations and larger hotels. Staying in accommodations in the heart of each city has its advantages as you have the freedom to explore each location thoroughly. You will start off in typical Austrian Inns, such as the Hotel Gastof Stockl- you can’t miss its bright yellow outer walls! Funky décor and a small swimming pool in the garden add to the character of the accommodation. The restaurant also proved to be the most popular eatery in town and has a good selection of Austrian food, beers and wines. [caption id="attachment_25372" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Bad Deutsch Altenburg - Hotel Stockl Bad Deutsch Altenburg - Hotel Stockl with its yellow facade.[/caption] There are some nights where larger accommodations are used. I stayed in the Hotel Saffron in Bratislava which although nowhere near as homely as the Gasthof Stockl, the professionalism from the staff was inspiring. The location of the hotel was second to none, with the Hlavné námestie (the best-known square in Bratislava), old town and city centre a short walk away. There are also plenty of shops nearby to pick up provisions before departing the city.   [caption id="attachment_25368" align="aligncenter" width="733"]Bratislava at night Bratislava at night[/caption] As you travel into Eastern Europe, you will notice a change in culture, and I found the contrast compelling. I was fortunate enough to stay into the Hotel Bow Garden in Komarom, Slovakia, this is constructed from a Jewish synagogue and an old winery with 155 years of history, in addition to being the only hotel I have ever seen with a bowling alley in the reception area……amazing! [caption id="attachment_25370" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Hotel Bow Garden in Komarom. Hotel Bow Garden in Komarom.[/caption] Amid the hilly landscape of Hungary, you enter Budapest, Hungary’s capital city as you complete the final section of your itinerary. I was booked to stay at another larger hotel in Budapest - Danubius Hotel Flamenco. The staff were terrific and the hotel had all the facilities you would ever need- bar, restaurant, gym and sauna facilities. Located within a park that has a small lake, the hotel is approximately 2 kilometres from the city centre and well-known Buda Castle district. The city is massive, and there is so much to do and see, I would recommend booking an extra night to take in all the sights. Trams and public buses frequently run, however, if you’re not too sore from cycling, I would recommend taking your bike into the centre. The bikes are booked for the duration of your trip so if you are staying 1, 2 or 15 extra nights in Budapest; the bike is all yours! So, don’t give up on booking your Danube adventure just yet! Book up the Danube Cyclepath: Vienna to Budapest to explore the fascinating accommodations and exciting places to visit in the delightful countries of Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

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