Last updated: 12:00 AM ET, Fri November 06 2015

Opinion Home | River Cruising From a Unique Point of View

  • Melanie Gravdal | November 6, 2015 12:00 AM ET

    5 Things to See Along the Danube

    5 Things to See Along the Danube

    PHOTO: Avalon Expression in Durnstein. (courtesy Avalon Waterways)

    When you embark on a grand voyage of the Danube River (ideally onboard your floating hotel, also known as a river cruise) … A river that bends and winds through 10 countries and four capital cities, you are bound to see and do a lot. Here are just five things you should include on your must-experience list.

    City of Music

    Walk in the footsteps of composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss in Vienna. Once the center of the mighty Habsburg Empire, here you can see the Vienna Boys’ Choir, dazzling Lipizzaner stallions, the neo-renaissance Vienna Opera House and the 150-year-old Ringstrasse.  Before you leave, be sure to enjoy a piece of Sachertorte in one of the classic coffee houses.

    Wachau Valley

    Enjoy the lush, rolling hills of the picturesque and famed Wachau Valley. Take in the view from the comfort of your river cruise ship or take part in a biking tour along the Danube Bike Trail. No matter how you go, by land or sea, you must taste the famous wines of the region. I also recommend taking a hike through the ruins of a castle above Durnstein: A place that once imprisoned England’s King Richard the Lionheart.

    Benedictine Abbey (in Melk, Austria)

    On a rocky cliff that overlooks the Danube sits one of the largest monasteries in Europe: The 11th-century Benedictine Abbey. Behind its ancient walls is a library that invites you to step back in time while you gaze upon an incredible collection of 80,000 books and manuscripts. Many date back to the 15th century.

    Medieval Regensburg

    Founded under the tutelage of Marcus Aurelius, Regensburg is one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities. Two millennia of history have provided this city some of the world’s most interesting and renowned architectural heritage. In fact, Regensburg’s “Old Town” was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006. There, you can happen upon nearly 1,300 listed buildings of “historic interest.”  Also in the city center, nestled along the Danube, you can find Historische Wurstküche (Old Sausage Kitchen), one of Germany’s oldest restaurants.

    Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände

    It’s a tongue twister, but this place is worth the spelling and pronunciation conundrums it imposes. On these former Nazi Party Rally Grounds in Nuremberg is a museum with a permanent exhibition called “Fascination and Terror.” As part of this moving (and dark) experience, visitors are led through the rise and fall of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.


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Melanie Gravdal River Cruising From a Unique Point of View

Melanie Gravdal Obsessed with all-things culture - from entertainment and the arts to customs and cuisine - Melanie Gravdal loves to travel, to see and experience new things, new people and new places that broaden her horizon and view on life. And, for the last two decades, Melanie has made traveling the world a central theme in her career as a communications professional. Working with travel and lifestyle professionals from around the globe, she provides public relations counsel and support ranging from strategic storytelling and branding messaging to pavement-pounding street marketing and special events. Originally from Iowa, Melanie now calls Southern California her home.
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