Discover the Danube Bend: Private Full-Day Trip from Budapest
Escape the hustle and bustle of Budapest on this private full-day trip to the towns and cities that have made the U-shaped stretch along the river known as the Danube Bend so famous.
On your private tour, you will:
- Enjoy a scenic drive out of Budapest toward the city of Esztergom;
- Visit the majestic Esztergom Basilica, the oldest church in Hungary;
- Admire the Danube Bend from a multitude of angles, for stunning photographs;
- Explore the beautiful castle town of the famously picturesque Visegrad;
- Explore Visegrad Castle, built in a southern-German design;
- Discover the atmospheric town of Szentendre, full of art museums, galleries, and churches;
- Enjoy a relaxing and scenic drive back to your hotel in Budapest.
The Danube Bend or Dunakanyar in Hungarian is a large U-shaped curve in the wide River Danube. It is famous for its panoramic views of the Transdanubian Mountains on the right bank, and the North Hungarian mountain range to the left, as well as the many picturesque towns situated on its banks such as Visegrad, Esztergom, and Szentendre, all of which you will visit on your private tour.
As the second-longest river in Europe, the Danube flows south-easterly 1,770 miles from Germany’s Black Forest mountains to pass through ten countries - more than any other river on Earth - before it empties into the Black Sea. With a watershed area of more than 315,000 miles, the Danube boasts around 30 tributaries of which are dammed - at the last count the total dam tally was 700. More than 83 million people live in the river basin, with around 20 million people relying on the Danube for drinking water.
For centuries, people have depended on this vital artery for trade and transport, for drinking water and fertile soils, and for energy and food. Approximately one-third of the Danube River passes through Hungary’s borders and in Budapest the sympathetic repurposing of wharf buildings, warehouses, and old boatyards is a sign that the city has loosened the chokehold of industry on this resplendent river.
Designated a UNESCO Heritage site in 1991, the listed treasures along the banks are many and include the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, the Liberty Bridge, Buda Castle Hill, Matthias Church, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and Margaret Island.
A vast array of wildlife is supported by the Danube with 42 species of mammals, including otters, minks, and European polecats, and 85 types of fish, including five species of sturgeon, a part of the River’s rich biodiversity. As you drive, be sure to ask your guide about the ways the river was immortalized in the classic Strauss waltz, which has made an appearance in dozens of movies and appropriated into film scores and songs.
Your trip begins when you are picked up from your hotel or a prearranged meeting point in Budapest. During the tour you will visit Esztergom, a town located 46km north of Budapest, which is home to the majestic Esztergom Basilica; the oldest church in Hungary, and the centre of the Roman Catholic faith in the country for centuries.
You will also pay a visit to Visegrad a famous castle town containing a romantic 13th-century citadel with palace ruins initially built in the Renaissance style. Your entrance tickets to the castle are included. Lastly, you’ll stop off in the lovely town of Szentendre. It’s known for its baroque architecture, fabulous churches, colourful array of houses, and quaint, narrow, cobbled streets.
The main square, Fő Tér, and the alleyways are lined with art galleries, museums, cafes, and boutique shops. Just off the square, be sure to visit the 18th-century Greek Orthodox Blagovestenska Church with its elaborate decor and ornate partition screen. Then it is time to enjoy a scenic drive back to Budapest!