From cultural capitals to river cruises, the Danube is a hotspot of activity in Central and Southern Europe. Running from Germany to the Black Sea, it covers over 2,800 kilometres as it travels through some of Europe’s finest scenery.

Read on to discover 10 unique facts, figures, and interesting features about one of the most important rivers in Europe – the Danube.

view over the Danube river

From churches to cities, the Danube passes some of Europe’s historical and cultural hotspots. Image Source.

1. It flows through or past 10 different countries

As it completes it 2,800km journey from Germany to the Black Sea, the Danube goes through or directly beside 10 different countries. This makes it one of Europe’s most international rivers.

2. It’s the second-longest river in all of Europe

While Russia’s incredible Volga is the longest river in Europe, the Danube falls into a comfortable second place. At almost 2,000 miles, the Danube runs through Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe.

3. Almost 30% of the Danube is located in Hungary

While the Danube begins in German, it’s Hungary that is its true home. More than 30 per cent of the Danube is located in Hungary, making it the best country for enjoying cruises down the river.

4. It provides drinking water for 10 million people

The Danube is one of Europe’s most important sources of fresh drinking water, with more than 10 million people relying on it for everyday life. Unfortunately, the river’s significant shipping traffic is compromising its water quality in some areas.

5. It’s one of Europe’s top tourist destinations

The Danube is a popular location for river cruises, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year from European cities and overseas destinations.

6. It was (and still is) a major shipping route

The Danube is an important shipping route for Central and Eastern Europe. Thanks to its size and convenient path, it’s used by commercial tour boats and transports at the same time.

7. It’s surrounded by great hiking trails

The area surrounding the Danube is incredibly scenic and, thanks to the river’s long length, also very diverse and varied. For almost the entire length of the river, you’ll be able to find walking and mountain biking trails on either side.

8. It starts in Germany’s Black Forest region

The Black Forest region of Germany is where the Danube begins its 2,800km trip to the Black Sea. The Danube begins as several smaller rivers, which meet and become one of Europe’s most important waterways.

9. It empties into the stunning Black Sea

The Danube completes its journey by emptying into the Black Sea on the Romanian coastline. It is one of several major rivers that empty into the Black Sea and provide an important shipping route for cities in the region.

10. It passes through some of Europe’s cultural capitals

From Vienna to Budapest, the Danube cruise holidays passes through some of the most famous and culturally significant cities in Europe. This is one of the reasons the river has grown into Europe’s top cruising destination.