7 Incredible Countries on the Danube River
In Central and Eastern Europe, you’ll find some of the most spectacular landscapes, architecture - castles, churches and war memorials - as well as some of the most colorful, inviting cultures in the world. But what’s the best way to see it all? An AmaWaterways cruise down the Danube River, of course.
From the beautiful medieval city of Nuremberg, featuring it’s legendary fountain of the market square and the many WWII sites, to the medieval city of Regensburg, to the white marble temple in Walhalla to the Bavarian city of Passau, Germany will delight all of your senses. German cuisine is famous for its traditional recipes that have been lovingly preserved, handed down from generation to generation and has a delicious specialty to suit every palate. A glass of good wine or beer is an important part of any special dining experience. Germany has some 100,000 hectares in 13 wine-growing areas and 1,300 breweries throughout the country producing over 5,000 high-caliber beers.
Austria is more than the sum of its pomp and palaces. Whether you are exploring the scenic town of Melk, “waltzing” through Vienna, cycling the banks of the Danube or walking the cobblestone street of Durnstein, Austria will simply delight. The country has come on in culinary leaps and bounds recently, while staying true to its ethos of careful local sourcing. Vegan, organic, foraged, Slow Food: they are more than just buzzwords. Whether you’re at a farmers market, a retro-style deli, a cool new brunch spot or a Michelin-starred restaurant, the love of the land shines through. Asparagus in spring, Marille (apricots) in summer, mushrooms, game and new wine in autumn – Austria's food swings with the seasons and taste of the source.
The city of Budapest is known as the Queen of the Danube but that’s not all Hungary has to offer. Enjoy a traditional goulash in Puszta, the churches of Mohacs, or the historic architecture of 2,000-year-old Pecs. For wine connoisseurs, don’t miss the Szekszárd wine region, one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary. Traditional music, played on a five-tone diatonic scale on a host of unusual instruments, continues to thrive and Hungarian food remains the most sophisticated style of cooking in Eastern Europe.
Feel the charm of Croatia. The beautiful Baroque Croatian city of Vukovar is situated at the banks of the Vuka and Danube Rivers and is known as the “hero town” for the valor of brave Croatian civilians and volunteers during the 1991 war with Serbia. History buffs won’t want to miss the important war landmarks such as Ovčara Memorial and Eltz Castle. Or, you can opt for wine tasting in Ilok, a center of wine production since Roman times.
Diverse, welcoming and lots of fun – everything you never heard about Serbia is true. Best of all, this landlocked country in the heart of the Balkans is still delightfully off the tourist trail. While the feisty Serbian spirit is embodied in Belgrade’s world-class nightlife and Novi Sad’s epic EXIT Festival, look beyond these historic metropolises and you’ll discover a crucible of cultures and unsullied outdoors ripe for exploration. Whether you choose an historical city tour, or enjoy a taste of the region by sampling Serbian plum brandy, Šlivovitz, and delicious local delights at the Quburich Distillery, there’s lots to enjoy in Serbia’s capital.
Enjoy a full day of scenic cruising as you pass through the Iron Gates, one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. At the Iron Gates, the Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains.
Explore Vidin, one of Bulgaria’s oldest cities, on the way to visit to Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria. Marvel at Belogradchik and its most spectacular rock formations. Or perhaps you’d prefer to visit a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian yogurt and Banitsa, a pastry you will also get to make. There’s plenty of ways to experience Bulgaria. Oh and don’t miss the medieval fortress and temples of Veliko Tarnovo.