Passau - Discover this overlooked river city!
Updated: Nov 20
It's easy to imagine the Danube passing through Vienna or Budapest. But, what about the forgotten places along the river like Passau, Germany? Passau is absolutely charming. It’s the kind of town that adds flavor to your travels and fills in cultural gaps that large cities can’t. So, don’t forget Passau!
Passau is considered one of the oldest cities in Bavaria. It’s been inhabited by Celts and was an important Roman town for 400 years. So, you know it’s got history.
The city is also famous for sitting at the confluence of three rivers, the Danube, Ilz and Inn. This natural beauty makes the city an ideal point for river cruises. And it rightly gives Passau its nickname, “City of Three Rivers.”
Must-see: the Largest Organ in Europe
A visit to Passau isn’t complete without seeing St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Located on a lovely square in the city’s old town, you can’t miss the building’s white facade and turquoise domed towers. Inside the cathedral, you’ll find beautiful frescoes, ornate columns and Europe’s largest cathedral organ. With over 17,000 pipes the organ is an unexpected gem.
Take a Soothing Stroll
It doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or a local, walking Passau’s Innpromenade is a relaxing experience. This walkway follows the river Inn and is the perfect place to stroll, have an ice cream or just sit along its banks.
For a real treat, follow the promenade to the confluence of the three rivers. Here you can see the unique colors of each river as they meet. The distinct colors of green, blue and black blend into each as they flow to become one river, the Danube.
Wonderful View of a Wonderful City
Founded in 1219, Veste Oberhaus is a fortification that sits on a hillside above Passau. This historical building holds a museum, restaurant and theater. However, the view of the rivers and the city below are unbeatable. You can either walk up or take a bus to avoid the steep climb. For added romance, go in the evening as the city starts to light up.
Stairway to Heaven
Passau includes a memorable religious pilgrimage church, Mariahilf. This impressive Baroque monastery was built in the 17th century and is dedicated to Saint Mary.
Visitors are welcome to walk up the 321 covered steps on their way to the top. Fortunately, the scenic view and the church’s atmosphere are well worth the journey.
Eat Like a Local
Passau offers plenty of dining options. And, in good German tradition, there are many quality beer gardens in the city. And, for a full Bavarian experience, eat something local and traditional. In Passau, you’ll find an assortment of traditional restaurants serving wurst (sausage) and schnitzel. These are German staples that you simply must try.
Discovering destinations along the Danube like Passau is what makes traveling so fulfilling. This quaint city’s sights, deep history, and river access make the perfect combination.
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