Visit the Danube Bend

The Danube-bend is the most beautiful phase of the Danube. It can be found between Esztergom and the Hungarian capital city, Budapest. If you spend your holiday in Budapest, we highly recommend you visiting this region. It’s easy and fast to approach. You might ask, why is it called bend? The explanation is rather simple: here the river changes its direction from east-western to north-southern creating a great bend. Among tourists, this is one of the most-beloved locations of Hungary. It’s absolutely not surprising thus several natural and historical values can be found here.




In this article we are hoping to bring this magnificent area a bit closer to you. Before we dive peep into the details, we would also like give you a few overlooked reasons to visit the Danube-bend area.

Firstly, the regions closeness to Budapest stands out, the Dunakanyar is conveniently close to Budapest, making it an easy day trip or weekend getaway. With travel times of around 1-2 hours by car, train, or boat, it’s accessible for tourists with limited time. Visiting any town in the area is relatively affordable compared to other European tourist destinations. The cost of transportation, accommodation, and dining is generally lower, making it a budget-friendly option for travellers. In addition, each town and village in the Dunakanyar has its own unique charm, characteristics and attractions.

Exploring places like Vác, Nagymaros, or Zebegény, and Leányfalu provides a variety of experiences, from historic architecture to quaint streets and beautiful parks. Moreover, the region is rich in history, with many towns and landmarks that date back centuries. Visitors can explore medieval castles, such as the Visegrád Citadel, and historical towns like Esztergom, home to Hungary’s largest basilica while learning about the rich history behind them.



1. Visegrád


Stating off with Visegrád, a historic town known for its medieval castle and royal palace. The Visegrád Citadel, perched high on a hill, offers panoramic views of the Danube Bend.
Visegrád’s history is deeply intertwined with Hungary’s medieval past. The town’s name, which means “upper castle” in Slavic, is a testament to its strategic importance throughout the centuries. Visegrád was a significant royal seat and fortress during the reign of King Charles I of Hungary in the 14th century. It was here that the famous 1335 Congress of Visegrád took place, where Charles I hosted the kings of Poland and Bohemia to forge alliances and foster trade.

Visegrád is home to several iconic historical landmarks that draw visitors into its medieval past. The most prominent of these is the Visegrád Citadel, also known as the Upper Castle. Perched high on a hill overlooking the Danube, the Citadel offers breathtaking panoramic views and a glimpse into the town’s storied past. The nearby Lower Castle and Solomon Tower, a 13th-century fortification, add to the historical allure of the area.

Visitors can explore the ruins of the 13th-century fortress, which played a crucial role in Hungary’s medieval history. The Royal Palace of Visegrád, partially reconstructed, provides insight into the life of Hungarian kings. The town also hosts the annual Visegrád International Palace Games, a medieval festival with jousting, archery, and historical reenactments. Today, Visegrád seamlessly blends its historical charm with modern amenities. The town hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating its rich heritage and vibrant community. Visitors can enjoy local cuisine, explore quaint streets, and engage in recreational activities such as biking, hiking, and boating.



2. Esztergom


Esztergom’s history dates back to the Roman era, when it was known as Solva. However, its prominence grew significantly during the Middle Ages. The city served as the capital of Hungary from the 10th to the 13th century and was the birthplace of Saint Stephen, Hungary’s first king and the founder of the Hungarian state. It was here, in 1000 AD, that Stephen was crowned, marking the establishment of Hungary as a Christian kingdom. Even today the city’s religious significance hasn’t dwindled. Esztergom is renowned as the spiritual heart of Hungary. The city is home to the Esztergom Basilica, officially known as the Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven and St Adalbert. This stunning neoclassical cathedral is the largest church in Hungary and the seat of the Hungarian Catholic Church. Its impressive dome and ornate interior make it a must-visit landmark, drawing visitors from around the globe.

Esztergom, one of Hungary’s oldest cities, is home to the magnificent Esztergom Basilica, the largest church in Hungary. The basilica’s impressive dome dominates the skyline, and its interior houses the nation’s largest altar piece. The city was the seat of Hungarian kings and the center of the Catholic Church in Hungary. The Danube Bridge connects Esztergom to the Slovak town of Štúrovo, making it an important border crossing. Visitors can also explore the Christian Museum, which holds a significant collection of ecclesiastical art.


3. Szentendre


Szentendre is a charming town known for its artistic and cultural heritage. Its cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and numerous art galleries make it a popular destination for artists and tourists alike. This picturesque village has several Othodox churches to explore. The Szentendre Open-Air Ethnographic Museum also referred as Skanzen, showcases traditional Hungarian village life with reconstructed buildings and cultural exhibits. The town also hosts various festivals, including the Szentendre Summer Festival, which features music, theater, and dance performances. The scene from the promenade next to the river is priceless.


4. Vác


Vác is the modern hub and center of the Dunakanyar region. Also, one of the oldest. The area around Vác has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with archeological findings indicating settlements from the Bronze Age. However, Vác’s more recorded history begins with the Romans, who recognized the strategic importance of the Danube as a natural boundary and transportation route. The area around Vác has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with archeological findings indicating settlements from the Bronze Age. However, Vác’s more recorded history begins with the Romans, who recognized the strategic importance of the Danube as a natural boundary and transportation route. The 19th century saw Vác becoming a significant hub in Hungary’s burgeoning railway network, with the establishment of the first railway line from Pest to Vác in 1846. This development spurred economic growth and modernization.

Today Vác is a picturesque town with a rich history and Baroque architecture. The Vác Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Michael, is a notable landmark. Visitors can stroll along the Danube promenade and enjoy the scenic views. The town is also home to the Vác Museum, which exhibits local history and culture. The annual Váci Világi Vigalom festival features concerts, cultural events, and street performances, attracting visitors from near and far. Above the city you can also visit the Hermit caverns, a neat carved rock formation in the hill side.



5. Nagymaros


Nagymaros is a tranquil town on the banks of the Danube, opposite Visegrád. It offers stunning views of the Visegrád Citadel and is a popular starting point for hiking and biking trails in the Börzsöny Mountains. The town’s Main Square hosts a weekly farmers’ market, where visitors can purchase local produce and handmade crafts. Nagymaros is also known for its annual events, such as the Nagymaros Wine Festival and the Nagymaros Art Festival.



6. Zebegény

Photo: Károly Kós lookout tower – Zebegény –

Zebegény is a picturesque village nestled in the hills of the Danube Bend. It is known for its scenic beauty and artistic community. The village’s Church of the Ascension, designed by renowned architect Károly Kós, is an architectural gem. Visitors can explore the Szőnyi István Memorial Museum, dedicated to the famous Hungarian painter. Zebegény is also a gateway to hiking trails in the Börzsöny Mountains, offering breathtaking views of the river and surrounding landscape. This lovely town boast with a lookout tower, a fantastic riverbank, and cozy restaurants to try some local cuisine. The confectionery in the middle of the town is a “pilgrimage” sight from the surrounding areas as well.


7. Leányfalu


Leányfalu is a charming village known for its thermal baths and recreational opportunities. The Leányfalu Thermal Bath offers relaxing thermal pools, saunas, and wellness services. The village is also a popular spot for water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding on the Danube. Leányfalu hosts various cultural events and festivals, including the Leányfalu Summer Festival, featuring music, dance, and theater performances.


8. Dömös


Dömös is a small village with a rich natural and cultural heritage. It serves as a starting point for hiking trails to the Rám Gorge, (Unfortunately, this natural wonder is closed off from 2024 for uncertain duration) a popular natural attraction with cascading waterfalls and scenic rock formations. The village’s Romanesque Church of Saint Michael, dating back to the 12th century, is a significant historical site. Dömös is also known for its traditional Hungarian cuisine, with several restaurants offering local specialties.



Programmes in the Danube-bend in July 2024


Guess what? Most of the above-mentioned festivals are organised during this month! So, allow us to present the actualities in 2024. We collected the hottest programmes in the Danube-bend, which you shouldn’t miss. Be sure to continue reading to be updated with the hottest programmes north of Budapest.

Famers Market at Nagymaros – every Saturday


Nagymaros, which can be easily reached even from the capital by train, attracts visitors from near and far to the Main Square every Saturday with its array of local delicacies. In addition to the producer goods from the Danube Bend, the market is brightened by handcrafted products, and features a variety of meats, cheeses, mushrooms, as well as vegetables and microgreens from organic gardens. Not to be missed are the sourdough baked goods, which are simply begging to be tasted. Available all year round, our first recommendation will be open for later visitors.
If you would like to learn more about this event:
(20+) Facebook


Fuego Flamenco -latin dance event- in Leányfalu

photo: fuego flamenco – facebook page

On the evening of 7 JULY, three fantastic flamenco artists will showcase their world on the stage of the Faluház in Leányfalu. The concert will also feature dancers from the Siempre Flamenco international flamenco camp. This evening will bring together two wonderful worlds: the emotional, exhilarating, and unrestrained rhythms and melodies of flamenco will blend with the unique, yearned-for atmosphere of the most beautiful summer evenings in the Danube Bend. For details check out the official Facebook page:
(20+) Fuego Flamenco | Facebook



Dunacsúszás – Danube Slide


For the fourth time 13 JULY, you can slide down the Danube together from Nagymaros to Verőce! You can come with an inflatable duck, shark, or inner tube — the more ridiculous the better— the important thing is to float down to the Verőce beach, where a fantastic pasta party awaits the participants. Gently float down on the Danube as graceful as a unicorn and enjoy the fun. Be sure not to miss out on the most entertaining event on the Danube! For registration and further info be sure to check out the events link below:
Dunacsúszás – 2024 – Dunacsúszás (



Medieval fair and royal tournament in Visegrád


On the second weekend of July between 12 JULY – 14 JULY, history and the glorious past of the town of Visegrád come to life! As part of a series of events commemorating the Visegrád Congress of 1335, nearly a thousand costumed participants will arrive in the former royal seat, where period programs await visitors at four locations within the Visegrád Castle. Banner shows, jousting, sword fights, archery classes, workshops and plenty of history awaits the visitors to this colourful event.
For more details and information check the link below:
főoldal – Visegrádi Nemzetközi Palotajátékok (



Candle Floating in Szentendre


On Saturday, 20 JULY, one of Szentendre’s most spectacular events returns. Alongside a free concert and dance house, visitors can once again marvel at the sight of floating candles on the Danube at night. This event is truly a sight to behold, making this enchanted settlement even more romantic and cozy. The romantic light display on the river will enchant spectators starting from 9:30 PM. Don’t miss this magical evening!
For more details check the link below:
(20+) Gyertyaúsztatás Szentendrén | Facebook



Váci Világi Vigalom – Great Vác Festival


This year marks the 31st anniversary of the first Váci Világi Vigalom festival, which has grown into one of the most impressive summer events in the Danube Bend over the years. From 19 JULY – 21 JULY, the festival offers a multitude of exciting programs featuring fantastic performers such as Bagossy Brothers Company, Szabó Balázs Bandája, Tankcsapda, Majka, and Deák Bill Gyula. The concerts will be held at various locations in the city of Vác. For detailed information, please visit the festival’s website!
XXX Váci Világi Vigalom – Váci Világi Vigalom (



Smokin’ BBQ in Zebegény

Photo: Füstölgő Sarok BBQ – Facebook page

On 26 JULY, join us once again for a musical Smokin’ Dinner Evening on the hill. Enjoy stunning views, a beautiful sunset, and tranquillity at the outdoor location of Füstölgő Sarok BBQ! Enter to a world of rich and spicy tastes of grills and BBQs. The evening will begin with a light summer appetizer, followed by the heavy hitters for the main course: beef ribs and the all-time favorite, Boeuf Bourguignon!
For details of this event be sure to check out the link below:
(20+) Esztergom szénrakodó-Dömös Kajaktúra | Facebook


These are the most interesting programmes which we wanted include on our list, we hope you find some to your liking. Be sure to follow us, next month as well, we wish you a pleasant journey onboard Purpleliner Budapest.