The capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, sits next to the Vltava River. Also nicknamed "the City of a Hundred Spires," the city is known for its vibrant Baroque buildings and its Old Town Square. The pedestrian Charles Bridge, which was finished in 1402, features the statues of Catholic saints.
Best Time To Visit According to U.S. World News Travel, the best times to see Prague are in the early fall and spring. At those times, the weather is mild and the crowds taper off.
You Should Know Old Town Square features the Old Town Hall, which was founded in 1338 during the medieval times. Nearby are the baroque buildings in Little Square, and close by is the astronomical clock that strikes the hour every day. You can also visit Prague Castle, which is over 1,000 years old and holds a lot of Czech history.
The second-largest city in Bavaria, Nuremberg is also known as the unofficial capital of Franconia. The lively city is worth exploring, given its history and ongoing energy. River cruise-goers like visiting the town during the Christmas markets, which lend a magical quality to river cruise journeys.
Best Time To Visit If you want to avoid the crowds, visit Nuremberg during the shoulder seasons of April and May or September and October. River cruise prices are lower during this period.
You Should Know Nuremberg Castle was well-renowned during the time the Holy Roman Empire ruled. The castle dates back to the 1300s and is located in Sinwell Tower. See panoramic views of the city from the tower's observation deck. Nuremberg is where the Nazis were brought to justice after the Second World War. Courtroom 600, located at the Justizpalast, is the scene where high-ranking Nazis were tried for their crimes. The courtroom still hears cases inside its chambers.
Regaled as one of Germany's best-preserved medieval cities, Regensburg is best seen on a guided walking tour. The 32-square-mile town, located next to the Danube River, features landmarks and buildings that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
Best Time To Visit To save money on your Czech river cruise, it is best to see Regensburg during the shoulder seasons, or in April and May or September and October. You can avoid the crowds and enjoy sightseeing more.
You Should Know The 12th-century stone bridge in Regensburg crosses the Danube into Old Town. It features 16 arches. A Gothic landmark, the Regensburg Cathedral features singing by the Regensburger Domspatzen choir.
Germany, indeed, has an interesting history. Take a guided city tour to unveil the city's history and buildings. The "Three-Rivers City" sits at the confluence of three rivers – the Danube, the Ilz, and the Inn. When you view the buildings, they represent a combination of Gothic and Baroque designs and architecture.
Best Time To Visit Visiting Passau during the shoulder season, or from April to May or September to October, will give you more time to view the sights with fewer distractions.
You Should Know The Old Town part of Passau was rebuilt after a town fire in the 1600s. Baroque masters renovated the town with their designs. The Cathedral of St. Stephen rises toward the sky showcasing three onion-domed towers. You can see many of Passau's historical sites in Old Town, including the town's museums. The riverfront promenade offers visitors a chance to enjoy the scenery and rest a while.
Melk to Durnstein, Austria
This part of the trip enables you, on some river cruise lines, to bike and see the Austrian landscape. When in Melk, you will get to see the Melk Abbey before you proceed to Durnstein by bike. If you want to experience an exhilarating bike ride, the 20 miles to Durnstein should be included on your bucket list.
Best Time To Visit If you stop at Melk to cycle to Durnstein, the best time to take on this adventure is during a shoulder season, such as April or May, or during a drier time, such as the summer.
You Should Know Melk Abbey is famous for its library, so if you love books, you will want to schedule a visit. Guided bike tours are also an option, they run from Melk to Durnstein. You might also consider taking a river cruise through the wine region leading to Durnstein and taking a guided hike to the castle in Durnstein when you arrive.
Also referred to as the "City of Dreams," Vienna is Austria's capital. Explore the city on foot to see the magnificent facades of the buildings up-close, such as Vienna's State Opera and its city hall. Observe the multi-colored tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral, as they shine vibrantly in the sun.
Best Time To Visit According to U.S. World Travel, the best time to travel to Vienna is during the shoulder season of April and May or from September to October. During this time, the weather is milder and so are the crowds.
You Should Know Vienna is also known as the wine capital of the world because it produces large quantities of wine within the city limits. White wines, such as Rheinriesling and Gruner Veltliner, are extremely popular and are often enjoyed along the city's Wine Trail. More composers have lived in Vienna than any other city in the world. Some of the composers include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Johann Straus, and Beethoven. Many of the apartments of these musicians are now museums.
The capital of
Slovakia, Bratislava sits next to the Danube River. The city is surrounded by forests and mountains that invite both hiking and biking. Bratislava is unique, as it is a pedestrian-only city, and therefore invites walkers to explore its haunts and alleyways, or sit outside the town's lively cafes.
Best Time To Visit The best weather in Bratislava is from April to September. Due to the city's moderate and continental climate, the summers are warm and have little rainfall.
You Should Know Bratislava Castle overlooks the town from its perch on a high hill. Most guided walking tours go through the city's restored historic quarter, where visitors trek over cobblestoned streets and see architectural delights, such as the Gothic designed St. Martin's Cathedral.
Budapest, which is the capital of
Hungary, has an interesting and unique history. The ninth most populated city in the European Union became a metropolis after three cities decided to merge. These three cities included Buda, Pest, and Obuda. The city was originally known as Pest-Buda before it changed its name to its current moniker.
Best Time To Visit The summer, or July especially, is a great time to see Budapest. The days are long, as the sun does not set until about 9:00 pm. Photos can be taken without a flash until around 8:30 p.m.
You Should Know Budapest is a UNESCO World Heritage city and features the remains of the Ancient Roman city of Aquincum. Budapest is also known for its neo-Gothic architecture, you can see the neo-Renaissance townhomes and their decorative facades, which line Andrassy Avenue.
When planning your Czech river cruise, getting to your departure city is straightforward. The most common starting point is Prague, the nation's capital, which is well-served by an international airport with flights from all over the world. From the airport, you can take a taxi, a bus, or even a train to get to the heart of Prague, where most river cruises on the Vltava River commence.
For cruises starting further down the river or on the Elbe, transfers are often provided from Prague or other major entry points. These rivers are well-equipped to handle cruise ships, with ports that have been used for river traffic for centuries, so you can expect smooth sailing from the moment you arrive.
The Perfect Time for a Czech River Cruise
Optimal timing is a key factor when planning a Czech river cruise. Late spring, encompassing May to June, and early fall, spanning September to October, are considered ideal for those seeking mild weather and fewer crowds. During these months, a Czech river cruise offers a comfortable climate, with days warm enough to require only light jackets and evenings cool enough to enjoy a cozy atmosphere on deck. This period strikes a perfect balance for river cruising, allowing for pleasant exploration of the Czech Republic's scenic waterways and historic towns without the congestion of peak tourist times.
The summer months, July and August, introduce a different dynamic to river cruising in the Czech Republic. These months bring warmer temperatures and attract more tourists, resulting in a vibrant, bustling atmosphere along the city vibes and lively riverbanks. However, this also means that popular tourist spots may have longer lines, which could affect your river cruising experience.
Winter, particularly in December, offers a unique charm for a Czech river cruise, with the enchanting Christmas markets in full swing, adding a festive spirit to the journey. However, winter also brings colder weather, and some river cruising operations might reduce their services during this time. Therefore, if your goal is to enjoy good weather while avoiding large crowds, targeting the shoulder seasons surrounding summer is advisable. This timing will allow you to fully appreciate the beauty and charm of the Czech Republic's riverscapes and historic towns during your river cruise.
Experience the Flavors of Czech on a River Cruise
When you're floating down a Czech river, the views aren't the only things that'll capture your heart – the food will, too. Czech cuisine is all about comfort. Expect hearty dishes that warm you up after a day of sightseeing.
You've got to try the classics like 'svícková na smetane,' a marinated beef dish served with a creamy sauce and bread dumplings. And don't miss out on 'goulash,' a stew with meat and onions, often accompanied by more dumplings – they love their dumplings here!
For something sweet, 'trdelník,' a rolled dough wrapped around a stick, grilled, and topped with sugar and nuts, is a treat you'll find at street vendors. It's perfect for a stroll along the deck.
And drinks? Beer is king in the Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell from Plzen is a classic. For something non-alcoholic, try 'kofola', a local soft drink.
If you want to dive deeper into Czech flavors, look for a river cruise that offers onboard cooking classes or local market tours. Some cruises might even stop at riverside towns known for their vineyards or breweries. That way, you can taste the region's best right from the source. Bon appétit, or as the Czechs say, "Dobrou chut!"
Immerse Yourself in Czech Culture
Czech culture is a cool mix of history, tradition, and modern vibes. When you're cruising through the Czech Republic, you'll notice that music, art, and local traditions are huge here. They love their festivals – from the famous Prague Spring International Music Festival to the colorful Easter markets. And if you're around in the winter, the Christmas markets are like stepping into a fairytale with twinkling lights and festive cheer.
Folk traditions are also still alive; in some villages, you can see people wearing traditional costumes for special occasions. Plus, the Czechs have a saying, "Co Cech, to muzikant," which means "Every Czech is a musician," and it's not far from the truth. Music is everywhere.
Be sure to catch a live folk performance or a classical music concert if you can. And don't be shy to join in – Czech people are welcoming and love to share their culture with visitors. It's all part of the Czech charm that'll make your cruise memorable.
Why Book a River Cruise to the Czech Republic?
Thinking about a Czech river cruise? Well, it's a brilliant way to check out what this beautiful country has to offer. When you're on a river cruise, you get to unpack once, and your floating hotel takes you from one awesome place to the next. It's hassle-free travel where you wake up in a new city every day without the stress of train schedules or packing and unpacking.
Cost-wise, you're getting a bang for your buck. Your accommodation, travel between cities, and sometimes even guided tours are all included. Plus, cruising gives you a view of the Czech Republic that you just can't get any other way. You'll glide past landscapes and villages that you'd miss if you were stuck on a bus or a train.
Another cool thing? Sometimes, river cruises have special stops and experiences just for passengers. Think private concerts in historic venues, after-hours access to museums, or dockings at lesser-known towns that are off the beaten path. These are the moments that turn a good trip into an unforgettable journey. And isn't that what travel's all about? So, if you're up for seeing Czech in a unique and relaxed way, a river cruise should be right up your alley.
Ready to Book Your Czech River Cruise?
Ready to see the Czech Republic from a different angle? A river cruise here is not just a trip; it's a front-row seat to some of Europe's most stunning sights and a deep dive into a rich cultural experience. Picture this: waking up to the view of ancient castles, rolling vineyards, and charming villages. Each stop along the river is a new chapter of history and a fresh taste of local life.
Why wait? Whether you're a history buff, a lover of nature, or just in it for relaxation, a Czech river cruise has something special for you. From the historic bridges of Prague to the lush landscapes of Moravia, this journey is packed with moments that'll stick with you long after you've returned home. So, go ahead, book that trip, and get ready for an adventure that combines relaxation with exploration perfectly. Czech it out – your cruise awaits!