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Favorite Excursion on a Danube Cruise


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I know that the itinerary and excursions offered for the various cruises may vary. But it seems like they all dock in basically the sames places. We will be on Uniworld Enchanting Danube next week. What were some of your favorite places or activities? We are active and like lots of walking (and eating). In some of the ports our choices seem obvious, but in others its a toss up. But I have found that sometimes the descriptions can be misleading and make something sound better or worse than it actually is and I have received great advice on this site and others from experienced travelers. Thank you

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TwoBoys, please do not miss the concert in Vienna; it was the highlight of the trip

The Salzburg day tour was poorly executed; Linz was delightful with a lunch at a Farm to Table restaurant. The restaurant sits atop a hill and the view is very "Sound of Music"

If you are good riders do consider the cycle options. Uniworld does a great job with having bicycles available for you.

If you have not seen the Cathedral at Melk by all means take the time to see the Cathedral and then mill around in the small town.

Durnstein is tiny and very walk able. There is a gorgeous hotel at the end of the main street. Do stop for a cocktail; it is a Relais and Chateaux property.

Sadly our 3 hour tour of Budapest was a major disappointment on our cruise due to a poor guide who dropped us off at a church and returned hours later. Budapest is the highlight of the trip and you might consider options outside of Uniworld. Budapest is a fabulous city, and you do not want to miss this port.

 

Are you going to stay in Munich, if so do make reservations at the BMW world; They have tours of the museum and the plant.

 

Safe travels!

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We are just finishing the cruise you may be taking. We thoroughly agree with the recommendations posted earlier. Attend the concert the evening you are in Vienna. Wonderful musicians and the selections were very good. We also enjoyed very much the Linz option. Walking tour combined with a visit to the apple cider farm. But you are correct when you say the descriptions do not tell the full story. This tour is better than represented. This is a family farm in the countryside owned for generations. Joseph the owner and his wife are very proud of the farm. They serve a lovely lunch and pour their ciders and distilled spirits. Only Uniworld has this arrangement and it was a highlight. We also enjoyed visiting the museum of fine art in Vienna. They open the museum one hour earlier to Uniworld. But when that part of the tour was over, rather than continue walking, we stayed behind to enjoy the museum for another hour and had a great lunch at Cafe Leopold across the street. Easy to hop a taxi back to the ship. Britislava you can do on your own. No need for a tour at all. And if you are a cyclist, their cycling tours are excellent.

 

 

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We just booked an AMA Danube cruise, so I would be interested for anyone who has had experiences with AMA’s excursions to respond as well. We are very excited to learn all we can!

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Thank you all so much! This is incredibly helpful. Linz sounds lovely and we will plan to hike and perhaps bike. We have 2 nights on our own in Budapest pre-cruise. So fi the ships tour is a bust, we hae time to explore on our own. I booked a food tour and Parliament and made a reservation at a very highly rated restaurant. We will have 4 nights in Prague at the end and I also booked a food tour there and some dinners. I have a bunch of things saved on TripAdvisor including the Pinball Museum in Budapest and the Museum of Communism and House of Terror in Prague.

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Glad you're coming in to Budapest early. Lots to do there. We came in Friday afternoon and had Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday on our own. The ship didn't leave until just before dinner on Monday so we skipped the included tours and went out again on our own. Budapest is great - you can see what we did in our trip report (link in my signature).

 

Agree about the cider tasting in Linz; that was fun. And we enjoyed wandering around Linz on our own in the afternoon. We visited Salzburg on our own after the cruise so we did not need to go from Linz. Glad we did it that way.

 

Thuogh I agree that Bratislava is easy to do on your own, if you have a good guide you may as well stick with them for a bit and hear some stories, history, etc.

 

We didn't have time to hike all the way up to the fortress in Durnstein, which I was bummed about. But there is an ossuary in the public cemetery, just off to the right as you enter town. That can be seen in a few minutes.

 

The hike up to the Westoberhaus in Passau is great too (the fortress that Robin mentioned).

 

We visited Prague last year as a separate trip and it's definitely worth spending a few days. If you want some pictures of Prague to whet your appetite, they are posted in my SmugMug gallery (link below). It is very easy to get around on your own. The food and beer are cheap. The pork knuckles are delicious. The Blue Duck is a great restaurant (U Modre Kachnicky).

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While not a nice pleasant experience, a visit to the Matthausen camp near Linz is unforgettable and thought provoking. I have my doubts that many lines offer this, so you might have to DIY.

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We were on Viking (Budapest to Passau) so I'm not familiar with the Uniworld excursions. I will say, however, as much as we loved Budapest (and we spent extra days there) the highlight of our trip was an excursion to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic. On Viking this is offered as an included optional excursion out of Linz. This town is a UNESCO World Heritage site with great Renaissance architecture. The center of the town is pedestrian only and it has cute little shops and restaurants. There's the castle with the moat where the bears live and the location along the Vltava River is very scenic. We had a walking tour of the historic center of town and then were able to shop, eat, and explore on our own.

To get there we had a scenic ride through the Austrian countryside which we enjoyed as well. If you're interested and Uniworld doesn't offer this as an excursion you could probably arrange something on your own.

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My favorite excursion on our Danube cruise was in Regensburg to the Thurn und Taxis Palace. It was one that we had to pay extra for on our Viking cruise and was apparently only given in the colder months instead of another paid excursion. The rooms of the Palace were amazing, and the history of the family (that still inhabits the place) is very interesting. Also, the trip across the street to the tavern that the family owns and makes their own beer was a real plus.

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I’m surprised to learn that the Uniworld excursion to Salzburg was not pleasant to the poster who reported. We took the full day excursion from Linz on Ama, and enjoyed it very much. First there was a stop in the Austrian Lake District and then onto Salzburg. We Americans horrified the tour guide because we kept on nagging her with Sound of Music questions in Salzburg. Lol. After about an hour walking tour, we were free to explore Salzburg on our own for about 3 -4 hours. We visited the fort, explored the Abbey, and enjoyed a bite to eat while watching the acts at the Music Festival. Very enjoyable, and as I have admitted in the past, this Sound of Music fan, would not return home without visiting Salzburg. [emoji2]

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 7/21/2018 at 2:55 PM, twoboys said:

Thank you all so much! This is incredibly helpful. Linz sounds lovely and we will plan to hike and perhaps bike. We have 2 nights on our own in Budapest pre-cruise. So fi the ships tour is a bust, we hae time to explore on our own. I booked a food tour and Parliament and made a reservation at a very highly rated restaurant. We will have 4 nights in Prague at the end and I also booked a food tour there and some dinners. I have a bunch of things saved on TripAdvisor including the Pinball Museum in Budapest and the Museum of Communism and House of Terror in Prague.

A wonderful restaurant in Budapest is Café Kor... very traditional Hungarian food.  But - it isn't open Sundays, only takes cash - and you probably need a reservation unless you take your chances and arrive early.  It is on the Pest side - not far from the Chain Bridge.  We love to eat there when we are in Budapest...  Popular with the locals (I was chatting with a the cruise director on one of our past holidays, and she always goes there when she goes home to Budapest.  Says it reminds her of her Grandmother's cooking....)

 

There is so much to see in Budapest -  we went to the House of Terror there (didn't know there was one in Prague), visited the Hospital in the Rock, and the Church in the Cave.  The Shoes on the Danube Memorial is easy to find on your own.  Wandering the Market Hall is fun - they have good food and crafts upstairs!!  Look for the Strudel Stall downstairs (so delicious...)  - and they have some great Paprika stalls there as well.   Paprika (if you are looking to bring some home...) - is pretty much the same price everywhere.  You pay more for a fancy tin - but it is the same product in the cloth bags.    The last time we were there, we booked a tour to Statue Park. DH was excited, as the guide picked us up at our hotel in a Trabant - and then DH got to drive it on the way back!!

 

We did the Museum of Communism in Prague... Small, a bit quirky, but a fun place to visit.  If you are heading to the Charles Bridge - go early.  It can get crowded quite early. 

 

If you like local food, look for Chimney Cakes in Budapest & Prague.  I prefer the ones in Budapest (I like Molnar's on Vaci Utca - but there are shops scattered throughout the city...) - but you could always try them in both cities to compare!!

 

Enjoy!!

 

Fran

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