Itinerary suggestions for a Danube Bend day trip from Budapest.
The Danube is the second largest river in Europe (Volga in Russia is the first), crossing 10 different countries and 4 European capitals. The beauty it gives to any city it crosses is unique. But, before we go into what you can see on a day road trip to the Danube Bend, we need to explain what Danube Bend is. It is, essentially, a point on the Danube, a few kilometers outside of Budapest, where the river makes a sharp curve, creating natural scenery of incredible beauty, with charming little villages just a few kilometers from the bustling city being an ideal choice for travelers!
So, let’s go through these tips on a Danube Bend day trip from Budapest
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Danube Bend day trip from Budapest
The first thing to note about the Danube Bend is that 3 are the benchmark cities of this riverside region: Szentendre, Visegrád, and Esztergom. The distance from Budapest is perfect to do this route on a day road trip, admiring the incredible beauty of the Hungarian Danube River valley province.
Szentendre is the first major riverside town found in the Danube Bend, about 20 km north of Budapest. It is also known as the city of artists due to the abundance of artists it has attracted as well as the museums in the city. Its population is about 30,000. The city is a mixture of cultures, having the greatest influence of Greek and Serbian refugees who moved to the city in the 16th-17th centuries. Even today there are streets in the city with names of Greek origin.
Entering the town, after walking along the riverside promenade, wander the cobbled streets of Szentendre and admire the baroque architecture of the old and impressive buildings. Streets with antique shops that hide the city’s history and unique bistros and cafes stretch from the main square, Fő tér. Colorful buildings, small antique shops, and an impressive Greek Orthodox church create a picturesque image of the small town.
As mentioned above, the city is famous for its impressive and interesting museums. You can visit the Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum with ceramics exhibits or the Ferenczy Museum with different art exhibitions from time to time, while there is also the Japanese garden, a lush green park with a lake, perfect for a relaxing stroll.
Author’s tip: If you want to drink your coffee, beer or eat something, I recommend Dalmát Szamár Bistro! Listen to me and you won’t regret it!
The next stop on the Danube Bend day trip is in the small town of Visegrád. The town is 20 kilometers from Szentendre and a total of 40 kilometers from Budapest and its population is about 2,000. The small riverside town is known for its impressive medieval castle, perched on top of the hill, which the Mongols partially destroyed in the 13th century.
What is worthwhile when visiting Visegrád is to admire the breathtaking view of the entire Danube Bend from the city castle, while you can also have a picnic or hike on special nature trails. There is, also, the Royal Palace Museum (Mátyás Király Múzeuma) which is well worth a visit.
Esztergom is the third and last city of the Danube Bend but also the most historic. It is the first capital of Hungary and a city of great historical importance for the citizens of Hungary. It is about 25 km from Visegrad and 65 km from Budapest and its population reaches 30,000.
The historic capital is famous for the impressive Basilica of St. Stephen. It is the largest church in the country and one of the largest Basilicas in Europe. It is located at the highest point of Esztergom, offering a unique view of the Danube and the entire city. The interior of the church is just as impressive as the exterior architecture, and what steals the show is the church’s unique organ. Surrounding the Basilica, the old castle of Esztergom stretches around it.
Just below the Basilica and before we reach the Danube River is the district of Víziváros (Watertown), which is distinguished by the St Ignatius Church with its two towers.
What we didn’t mention until now about Esztergom is that it is located right on the border between Hungary and Slovakia with the Mária Valéria Bridge being the landmark that separates the two countries. For a better photo of the Basilica, it is definitely worth a trip to the Slovak side!
Finally, it is worth visiting Esztergom’s main square, Széchenyi tér, at the end of the day. Baroque and classicist buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries dominate the square, while Esztergom’s market with local fruit and vegetables takes place in the alleys that run around the square.
This is the route to navigate the Danube Bend, admiring these three towns as well as the unique route through nature, the beauty and uniqueness of the landscape!
Advice for this recommended day trip from Budapest to the Danube Bend
This route is ideal if you are in Budapest and have a day free to see these 3 small towns. There are tours with a guide that do this route from Budapest if you don’t have your own car, or you can also take the train for a unique ride!