The Wave of the Danube Meets Wave of the Vils River sculpture in Vilshofen, Germany
The Wave of the Danube Meets Wave of the Vils River in Vilshofen, Germany/Dana Rebmann

Europe and art go hand in hand — especially when you’re visiting the iconic cities on the Danube river. We recently took the AmaWaterways Melodies of the Danube river cruise and found that art has a way of popping up all along the river when you least expect it. You don’t even have to step into a museum. Here’s what you’ll see…


Shoes on the Danube memorial in Budapest, Hungary
Dana Rebmann


Budapest, Hungary: This one stopped us in our tracks. In Budapest, Shoes on the Danube is a memorial to victims of the Holocaust, created in 2005 by Hungarian sculptor Gyula Pauer and film director Can Togay. It features 60 pairs of iron shoes in a row along the Danube.


Book of Wisdom sculpture in Vilshofen, Germany
Dana Rebmann

Vilshofen, Germany: If you’re the organized type, grab a map and make your way to the dozen pieces of traditional and modern sculptures scattered throughout town. Compact and easy to stroll, Vilshofen is full of artistic surprises like The Book of Wisdom (above) in front of the Parish Church, and The Wave of the Danube Meets Wave of the Vis River (top).


Man at Work sculpture in Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia: Visitors to the capital of Slovakia love the Instagram-worthy sculptures throughout town. Napoleon’s Soldier Hubert has a way of convincing folks to stop and sit for a stretch, while Man at Work (pictured above) makes it hard not to smile.


Wienerwand Viennese Wall project in Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria: We love the colorful street art that runs along the Danube Canal in Vienna. In fact, street art is encouraged, not frowned upon, by the city. This is part of the Wienerwand, or Viennese Wall project, which gives young artists a space to create legal graffiti.


A sculpture from an open-air museum in Linz, Austria
Flickr/Julian Stallabrass

Linz, Austria: The area along the Danube in Linz is an open-air museum where massive pieces of steel art are displayed in stretches of grass used by locals for everything from picnics to sunset yoga classes. On a river cruise, you might even be able to take in the view without leaving your ship. 

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