Tour Tips

On the Danube from Vienna to Bratislava in a Packraft

Danube in Packraft Model RocketRaft-Spirit

View the Danube downstream

A good start is at the U2 metro station “Donaumarina”. Stairs to the water are available right next to the subway entrance. The boats can be prepared comfortably at the top. The first part of the trip is quite slow to the Kraftwerk Freudenau – because the Danube is dammed up here. There you have to disembark on the left or you take the lock (swimming vest obligation).

An alternative start for the journey is the “Donauinsel”. For this purpose, take bus 92B to the station “Ölhafen” (from U2 metro station “Donaustadtbrücke”). There, continue over the bridge over the “New Danube” to the Danube (a walk of about 10 minutes). There are several places to embark. This saves the disembarking at the power plant Freudenau.

From here on, things continue rapidly. The Danube flows here at 8-9 km/h – faster than anywhere else on its way through Austria. You can enjoy the landscape and the passing ships without any effort.

Every now and then a river cruise ship passes by…

Beware of the fast-speedboat “TwinCity Liner”, which is approaching several times a day. This departs daily from Vienna to Bratislava and returns. The timetable should be studied beforehand. The speedboat creates a powerful wave that is fun in the packraft – keeping distance and driving the main channel (the area between red and green buoy) only at the very edge when the TwinCity Liner approaches. Drives at 60 km/h and is with you in 1 minute after sighting: Here you can find the shipping rules for the Danube.

Red buoy Danube

The buoys mark the channel.

The remaining boats are cumbersome cargo boats. Every now and then a sports motorboat or other paddlers in a kayak and rowing boat meets.

There is an opportunity for a break – apart from the numerous beautiful banks – in Orth an der Donau (about 16.5 km from Vienna). There on the left at the small ferry pier you will find the ship cafe “Struden”. Cake, cold drinks, beer and snack – everything there and a wonderful view over the Danube. Shortly before the ship’s cafe there is a ramp to the left for the comfortable disembarkation. Here the bike ferry also crosses the other bank of the Danube.

Bikerafters (bike and packraft = “Bike-Rafting”) can also finish the tour here and drive over the bike path the 20 km back to Vienna.

Bike rafting: bike and packraft

Alternatively, you could also take the train to Vienna vis-a-vis in Haslau.

Orth Danube Ship Cafe Struden View upstream

Orth an der Donau – Schiffcafe Struden – View upstream

Our boat tour continues after the rest but on the Danube. Countless beautiful places invite you to bathe.

Packraft at Donau-Ufer

Landing is not allowedanywhere in the national park area.

The next opportunity for a break with cool drinks is in Hainburg an der Donau. At the height of Hainburg train station, there are several stairs to end the journey. The current of the Danube is still rapid here. At the stairs there is only a very narrow sweeping water to drive. Further down, however, it is also possible to land in a small harbour bay. Here you can easily pull heavier kayaks out of the water on a ramp. The pure journey time from Vienna to Hainburg is about 4 hours (33km).

Directly at the top of the dam there is a restaurant in summer. Here you can also wait for the train, which goes directly next to it once an hour to Vienna (journey time 1 hour).

After 30 minutes of paddling you pass the beautiful castle ruins of Thebes.

Thebes Castle – on the left the March flows into the Danube

After another hour’s drive, you can take the Danube to Bratislava. It is recommended to get off early on the left bank of the river in front of the first bridge. There is a side arm where you can easily disembark at the jetty or stimrises. Next to it a cafeteria.

There are hardly any opportunities for a comfortable exit in the city of Bratislava. Both sides of the shore are fortified with coarse stones. There are hardly any descents with steps, the embankment is also quite steep. The left bank in the city only has moorings for large ships, which cannot be used with packraft or kayak.

By taxi (or Uber) you go to the unadorned train station “Hlavna stanica”. Train ride to Vienna takes one hour.

Bikerafting on the Danube
Bikerafting on the Danube