Cruises to Passau

301 Reviews
Passau (Photo:PeterVrabel/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Passau

If you're looking for a unique city to include on your upcoming cruise itinerary to Germany, consider the lovely city of Passau. Arriving in Passau for the first time, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd landed in Italy instead of Germany. The city has a very Italian atmosphere that's led to its nickname, Venice on the Danube. And indeed, Passau was part of the Roman Empire for more than 400 years. When most of the city was destroyed by fire in 1662, it was rebuilt in Italian Baroque style, reflected in the vast cathedral, churches, squares and former homes of wealthy merchants. Today, as you stroll through the pretty streets, you'll notice a plethora of pizza and pasta restaurants rubbing shoulders with eateries that serve up hearty German fare.

While Passau has an undeniably touristy feel, it's a very attractive destination boasting a legacy of wealth built on the salt trade and, during Renaissance times, the crafting of knives and sword blades. The city occupies a unique location on the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz in southeastern Germany, close to the Austrian border, and so it's also known as the City of Three Rivers. But the rivers haven't always been the city's friends: Passau has repeatedly been flooded by Alpine water swept along the Inn. High water marks on the side of the town hall bear witness to the flooding; the highest date back to 1501, 1595 and 1954, the latter marked at more than 10m (32 feet).

Packed on a thin strip of land, Passau is easy to get around -- a major plus for visitors -- thanks to its small size. Beyond the long riverside promenade walk, lined with lookalike souvenir shops and some decent eateries, lies the picture postcard old town, with traffic-free narrow streets made for meandering and many of the main sights. The sightseeing high spot, in more ways than one, is St. Stephen's cathedral, high up in the Old Town, home to the world's largest cathedral organ. Dominating the Danube side, opposite the dock, is the Veste Oberhaus fortress, which is now a multiple-choice castle containing a museum, youth hostel and restaurant.

Typically, riverboats dock in Passau after breakfast for a morning sightseeing tour, and passengers can opt to return for lunch back onboard or stay in town and have a meal independently in one of the many restaurants. River cruisers are then allowed free time to explore on their own before sailing in the late afternoon.

  • More about Passau

  • Why Cruise to Passau?

  • Passau Cruise Port Facilities?

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Viking Egil
Viking Egil (Photo: Viking River Cruises)

7 Night
Danube Waltz

136 Reviews
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Viking Var
Viking Var

7 Night
Romantic Danube

212 Reviews
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Avalon Envision
Avalon Envision (Photo: Avalon Waterways)

6 Night
Christmastime On The Danube

41 Reviews
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Avalon Illumination
Avalon Illumination

15 Night
Magnificent Rivers Of Europe

61 Reviews
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MSC Cruises

7 Night
Legendary Danube

28 Reviews
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7 Night
Danube Waltz

134 Reviews
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7 Night
Danube Christmas Delights

134 Reviews
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7 Night
Christmas On The Danube

173 Reviews
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7 Night
Romantic Danube

173 Reviews
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7 Night
Delights Of The Danube

173 Reviews
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14 Night
Grand European Tour

150 Reviews
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14 Night
Grand European Tour

131 Reviews
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14 Night
Grand European Tour

34 Reviews
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7 Night
Christmas On The Danube

127 Reviews
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15 Night
Magnificent Europe With 1 Night In Amsterdam

41 Reviews
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More about Passau

Why Cruise to Passau?

Pros:

This beautiful, ancient town with its maze of narrow car-free streets is a delightfully walkable place

Cons:

During high season, Passau often fills up with tourists

Bottom Line:

Known as the "Venice on the Danube," Passau is a vibrant and historical village to explore

Passau Cruise Port Facilities?

There is a tourist information center and four public toilets on the dockside. For visitors who don't want to venture too far afield, there are plenty of shops and a wide choice of restaurants across the street, plus attractions that include the Glass Museum, with dazzling exhibits of European glass including Baroque, Rococo, Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces; and the 17th-century St. Paul's Church.

Good to Know?

Some steep, cobbled streets and flights of uneven steps lead down to the Inn River, a popular stop on many guided walking tours, so anyone with disabilities or walking difficulties should check first before setting out. For wheelchair users, the tourist office has produced a map of accessible streets.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The old town, the main tourist hub, is directly opposite the waterfront and easily walkable.

By Bus: The City Bus service is cheap, and the Central Bus Station, on the western side of the Old Town, serves outlying districts. From March to November, a shuttle bus runs from the town hall to the Veste Oberhaus every half hour from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Passau Card, available at the tourist information center on the dock, provides free public transport and entry to museums within a 24-hour period.

By Taxi: There are taxi stands around the town, and you can call Taxizentrale Passau at 0851-5 73 73.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Germany's currency is the euro. The nearest ATM's are a five- to 10-minute walk from the point, in the pedestrian street Ludwigstrasse and at the corner of Heuwinkel and Rosstranke. All major credit cards are accepted in shops, restaurants and cafes.

Language?

German is the official language. English is widely spoken at shops, restaurants and tourist attractions.

Where You're Docked?

River cruise vessels dock at the 14 moorings on Donau Lande, the main waterfront area that is within easy walking distance of the Old Town and main shopping streets.


Passau Cruise Reviews
We chose an excursion at Passau to fly to Neuschwanstein Castle in southern Bavaria, built by mad Ludwig II. The flight over Bavaria was breathtaking - verdant green farm land, woodlands, and hamlets. No straight rRead More
rkwell1968
Interested in the history of this part of Europe. Passau is a small and very quaint town. A great way to start the trip.Read More
Omax2
Started our journey here. Wonderful charm, architecture and Christmas Markets. We spent just enough time here at Passau. This is a city I could relocate to.Read More
ExplorerXII
Picture perfect Christmas Market. Simon of Passau (a confectionary company) gave a presentation on the history of gingerbread that was spectacular (and so, by the way, is their gingerbread).Read More
jerrnussbaum

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