Should I cycle the Danube?

You may be asking yourself should I ride the Danube? It’s a good question. Firstly some background on us and our trip. We  rode from Passau to Budapest, we had terrific weather in the 30c most days we had fully laden touring bikes with partially laden credit cards. We were camping for the majority of the time.

We are reasonably fit regular cyclists so had a fair bit of experience of riding and camping abroad.

We were aiming to do this in 6 Days which gave us a schedule of circa 100k a day which for us was well achievable.

We did not spend too much time in the Tourist spots except Bratislava we were here more there for the riding.

This teacher had 2 young children and a trailer and was covering 20k a day
This teacher had 2 young children and a trailer and was covering 20k a day

We saw many types of cyclists undertaking the same journey as us from;

  • Beginners  on supermarket bought bikes
  • Large families with lots of kit on various gizmos being towed behind.
  • Round the world travellers who looked stained and battered from the journey
  • A Couple on a tandem celebrating their retirement
Our new heros Helen and Robin who rode to Budapest on a tandem to celebrate retirement - and carried on
Our new heros Helen and Robin who rode to Budapest on a tandem to celebrate retirement – and carried on

All of gods (Merck) people were here enjoying the ride, so why not you?

Robin and Helen Berry on the Thorn Tandem they rode from Dorset and carried on down
Robin and Helen Berry on the Thorn Tandem they rode from Dorset and carried on down

So with not too much equipment and not too an expensive bike the journey is very achievable and accessible to all, you will find much support in your fellow travellers.

The stretches from Passau all the way to Bratislava were very well sign posted and easy to follow offering many refreshment, accommodation and eating stops all reasonably priced (for Europe).

Well sign posted Cycle Danube Eurovelo6
Well sign posted Cycle Danube Eurovelo6

Bratislava was amazing and we stayed on a Boatel on the Danube as a treat for not too much money (a trick we repeated in Budapest).

Boatel - Gracia in Bratislava section of Danube Cycle route
Boatel – Gracia in Bratislava section of Danube Cycle route

We found that in Austria (which is quite a big stretch) that they steadfastly refuse to take any kind of bank card so make sure you have cash, they are taxed heavily on this therefore businesses much prefer cash and indeed it’s an odd nation that makes 90% of its own purchases in cash.

Following the route can be a little challenging but think of it as part of the fun.

The big decision to make is ahould you move from Bratislava to Budapest? If you have a sense of adventure go for it however the tracks were very  poor much of it over off road and very harsh and dangerous when wet I imagine.

We heard tales of many punctures. The Hungarian section also has big road sections that can be busy and dangerous especially when you have acclimatised to the safe paths.

I am going to find a safer route and will post back here or you could pop on a train.

Click here for a different route using the north bank of the Danube on the Slovakia side.

https://www.bikemap.net/en/official/143934-medzinarodna-dunajska-cyklisticka-cesta-slovensko/#/z10/47.7850188,17.7326202/terrain

Hungary however has a very nice foreign vibe about it and the prices are much lower.

Budapest itself is beautiful and has nice bike lanes when you get  to the centre. Well worth a visit.

So whether you are a beginner, a seasoned tourist or a first cat racer you will find something about the route you enjoy.

 

Budapest section of Danube cycling Eurovelo6
Budapest section of Danube cycling Eurovelo6

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