Will you be visiting Passau Germany? Maybe on a riverboat cruise or backpacking or road-tripping through Germany?
If you are wondering about Passau Germany and what to do when you visit, you have come to the right place.
I visited Passau Germany on my Viking Grand European Tour, and it was my favorite German city.
Read how to avoid getting sick on a plane if you are flying to Europe.
Known as the “City of Three Rivers” Passau Germany is situated where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube Rivers join one another.
Over 50,000 people call Passau home. Also, Passau literally sits at the German-Austrian border and is the last major German city on the Danube before entering Austria.
If you are flying a long distance to Passau, Germany, read my 7 tips for surviving long haul flights.
Here I have listed for you 7 of the best things to do in Passau Germany. I hope you like the city as much as I do.
Experience Passau like a local by staying at an Airbnb. Get a $55 Airbnb coupon by using my code when you book!
14 Best Things To Do In Passau Germany
Stroll Through The Elegant Cobblestoned Streets
A lot of Old Town Passau Germany is nestled onto a thin peninsula of land that separates the Inn and the Danube Rivers. And there is no better way to learn about Passau than to walk around and explore.
The delightful old-world cobblestoned streets will take you past pastel building facades of delicate rococo architecture.
Passau Germany may even remind you of being in Italy with its medieval Mediterranean architecture.
You will stroll by the underpasses and archways that lead off the main streets and onto to other streets less traveled but no less interesting.
Visit Passau’s Artist’s Alley
You will meander past chic high-end shops and historic buildings sitting side by side. Look for Hollgasse Street.
It is easy to discover, as it is an alleyway with bright rainbow colored cobblestones.
Make it a point to investigate Passau’s Artist’s Alley, a conglomeration of shops and boutiques perfect for that special souvenir. For yourself of someone back home.
Nestled in beautiful architectural surroundings, you will enjoy both the inside and the outside of the buildings.
Visit Die Alstadt
Be sure to make your way to Old City Passau. In the tiny square, there is a magnificent fountain and the medieval Old Bishops’ Residenz.
Throughout Passau’s history, the prince-bishops have lived and ruled from here.
Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral For Baroque Opulence
To date, St. Stephen’s Cathedral ranks as one of the most stunningly beautiful churches I have ever seen.
Ornately decorated in the Baroque style of architecture, it is visually magnificent. You will want to take your time walking around inside so as not to miss out on any tiny architectural detail.
The current church was constructed in the late 1600s and has the finest tapestries and paintings.
The jaw-dropping ornateness of the Baroque interior of St Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau Germany.
Attend An Organ Concert At St Stephen’s Cathedral
St Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau Germany is home to one of the largest pipe organs in the entire world.
It used to be THE largest, but no more. It does, however, retain the honor of having the largest church organ in the world with almost 18,000 pipes!
I was fortunate enough to attend an organ concert while visiting Passau, Germany and the organ sounded like perfection. The acoustics of the cathedral were excellent.
Depending on how much time you have, I highly recommend attending an organ concert at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau, Germany!
Ornate beyond words, the 17,000 pipe organ at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau Germany
Visit St. Paul’s Parish Church
Not nearly as grand and opulent as its cousin, the grand St. Stephen Cathedral, St. Paul Paris Church is worth a look-see.
You will find it by its beautiful pink exterior.
The stunning black altar stands out against the light-colored interior and exterior walls.
Stop And Visit The Alte Rathaus
Rathaus is German for Town Hall. The historically painted building in Passau Germany is built on a former fish market site along the right bank of the Danube River.
Being located on the confluence of three European cities means flooding is always a potential danger for Passau Germany.
You will notice as you explore Passau that there are markings on sides of buildings indicating the high water levels of past floods that invaded Passau.
None is more visible than on the side of the Town Hall. It is a stark reminder of the power the three rivers have over Passau Germany.
Once inside, you can be amazed by the stained glass windows depicting several historical occurrences. And there are also paintings to view by the German artist Ferdinand Wagner.
Here I am in Passau Germany, at the Rathaus, pointing to the floods high water scale on the building’s wall.
Stop By The Passau Glass Museum
Located just steps from the Town Hall, the Glass Museum is the largest bohemian-style European glass collection in the world. It is estimated to hold over 30,000 glass pieces.
If you are into historical glass collections, this is an interesting museum you will want to consider spending time at.
Consisting of four floors worth of both privately held and public glass collections this is a great way to stroll away a few hours while in Passau Germany.
I remember my fellow Viking passengers who visited the glass museum speaking highly of it.
Considering a European river cruise? Read my Viking Grand European Cruise Review, Part 1. And continue reading my Viking Grand European Tour Revier, Part 2.
Lovely Passau with St. Stephen Cathedral Spires in the background.
Visit The Museum Of Modern Art In Passau Germany
If you are a fan of modern art, this may be the museum you want to spend some time at when visiting Passau, Germany!
You will find modern art both a permanent collection by the prominent German artist Worlen. Plus, depending on when you visit, of course, temporary exhibits from local and international artisans.
Explore The Legendary Mariahilf Pilgrimage Church
Legend has it that a Hapsburg emperor prayed incessantly to Mary in this simple church to protect Vienna and his vast empire. And legend also has it that because of his praying to the Virgin Mary, enemy armies withdrew.
Due to this miracle, this modest pilgrimage church is revered and visited by locals and tourists alike who pray for their own intentions.
The church sits atop the hill from Passau on the Inn River. When I visited Passau Germany I walked everywhere as the town and its historical attractions are all quite compact.
If walking, you will walk through Passau and cross the Inn River. What an amazing sight that is, Mariahilf Hill before you and Passau behind you.
This simple Baroque-style church can be reached on foot by climbing the “heavenly ladder,” a 321 foot covered staircase from Passau to the top of the hill.
The walls and stairs are full of thank you’s to the Blessed Virgin for miracles granted in response to fervent praying.
You will see wheelchairs, canes, crutches all around that are no longer needed. Pictures of loved ones cured are on the walls.
If there are infirm, sick, or wheelchair-bound persons in your party that wish to pray at the pilgrimage church an Uber or taxi is the best way to transport them there.
You can see the spires of Mariahilf Pilgrimage Church high on the hill.
Steep Yourself In History At Veste Oberhaus
The Veste Oberhaus is the imposing fortress situated atop St. George’s Hill, between the Danube and Ilz Rivers. From its perch, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Passau and the surrounding countryside.
Not everyone is into climbing the 200 steps to the top so you can rest assured there is a bus you can catch in Passau that will comfortably take you and your traveling party up the hill to Veste Oberhaus.
Check the bus schedule when you are in Passau Germany. I believe it was every 30 minutes during the fall when I was there.
The fortress has been renovated and refortified several times throughout history and retains Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture for you to explore
There is a museum inside the fortress that offers six centuries of history to explore along with historical exhibits about Passau and the wider region around it.
There is also a restaurant for refreshments and a viewing platform on the Observatory Tower for picturing taking.
The magnificent view of the rivers below, charming Passau Germany, and the bucolic countryside are all splendid backdrops.
The mighty fortress, Veste Oberhaus, above Passau Germany.
Take An International Bike Ride Through Two Countries
For a true Bavarian experience, rent a bike and get pedaling.
If you do not ride a bicycle that often, no worries. Besides the traditional bicycle, you can rent an e-bike or a tandem bike.
E-bike does the pedaling for you and is quite a thrilling experience. On a tandem bike, you do have to pedal but there will be two of you to share the load.
You can rent your vehicles in Passau and head off on your own to explore the bucolic German-Austrian countryside or hire a guide.
Begin by riding along the Inn River enjoying unspoiled Bavarian nature and waterscapes along the river.
It will not take very long once you leave Passau Germany for the scenery to change drastically from city to farm fields. You could see corn or wheat fields. And small forests dot the river where birds of all types reside.
Enjoy riding and in a few miles, you will arrive at the German-Austrian border, and the town of Wernstein, Austria.
Historic Wernstein built around a fortress and changed hands several times between Germany and Austria, and today it is situated on the Austrian side of the border.
At Wernstein, cross the bridge over the Inn River and you will resume your bicycling through Austria until you return back to Passau Germany.
Fun fact: to cross the Inn River from Germany into Austria, you are required to get off your bike and walk over the bridge. No riding across the bridge is permitted.
Please confirm whether or not you will need your passport before you begin your international bicycling expedition.
Stroll The Passau Germany Riverfront
Bicycle riding may not be your thing, or you simply do not feel like it on the day you are visiting Passau Germany. No worries. You can simply walk leisurely along Passau’s lovely promenade next to the waterfront.
Walking is a wonderful exercise, and spending time outdoors is always good for our spirits.
Promenade along the Inn River in Passau Germany
Packing Tips For Traveling To Europe
I think that using these useful packing tips will enhance your travel to Europe and help you remain organized while there.
Looking for specific packing recommendations? Read this next: How To Pack Lightly Using Only Carry On Luggage.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring when traveling to Europe. This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors.
It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can keep your most valuable documents safe and secure next to your body.
If you have a pouch already you may not want to or need to invest in a new one, like me. If it does not come with the RFID protection, these RFID sleeves would be handy to prevent identity theft.
This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your current pouch or wallet.
Don’t forget to bring along a universal power adapter on your travel to Amsterdam. This worldwide power plug is a great example and will charge your phone at the end of your busy days.
And this world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time.
This is what you will need when there are several people traveling in your group, or if you bring several electronic devices on your trip that require charging at the same time.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery.
This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips. It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have.
And wow is it fast! I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about. And if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use.
It is made of durable aluminum and is very lightweight and easy to carry. I love mine and I think you will enjoy it too!
I was never a fan of packing cubes until I tried them out! Now I am sold. These Bagail packing cubes are the exact ones I use whenever I travel. I cannot believe how much more organized I am now!
Hydration is so important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels. You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it will fit nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse. Also when filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry.
And the Bobble carbon filter ensures fresh clean water whenever and wherever you fill the Bobble. You can find filter replacements here.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you.
Would not take up much space in your suitcase at all. And you will be receiving a set of two.
You will want to bring a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your international travel. This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water-resistant and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.
It comes in a range of colors to choose from and it is inexpensive as well.
You will be walking more than usual when visiting Paris. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must-have.
These waterproof all-season shoes are extremely affordable and yet fashionable. Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these Air Run high fashion sneakers come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.
You may be visiting Paris in warmer weather, and you may want a pair of sandals to wear exploring. I highly recommend these Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals.
I have several pairs of these exact Vionic sandals in several colors that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable.
I also sometimes bring along my Vionic Tides flip flops. The toe post is so comfortable which makes wearing these super comfortable.
Bring a lightweight scarf or shawl. Scarves and shawls are very popular in Europe, and Passau, Germany is no different. Both men and women wear scarves, both decoratively and as a layering piece to keep warm.
This cotton unisex lightweight scarf is versatile and can be worn in any season. And here’s another option to consider: this lightweight sunscreen shawl scarf would do double duty to protect you from the sun in the warmer seasons as well as being a fashion accessory layering piece.
We all need to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These unisex polarized sunglasses come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.
If you are fond of the aviator-style of sunglasses these polarized aviators may interest you. I like polarized sunglasses because they remove the glare and help you to see things more clearly. This will be very helpful in Paris.
While on your bicycle trip, you may find bike riding is a bit chilly, depending on the season of course. I always do. I suggest this Columbia nylon jacket.
The nylon material will withstand the wind and it is very reasonably priced and comes in a jillion colors.
My hands are always cold when I ride my bicycle and these touchscreen soft lining gloves are a great idea. They have an elastic cuff that will keep the chilly weather of the Inn River at bay.
If you are in need of new luggage, this expandable soft side spinner luggage is affordable and comes in lots of colors. If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this hard-sided luggage set better.
Both sets come with TSA approved zippers locks and 8 wheels per piece. Either will be great for the plane or train or even your car depending on how you plan to travel to Passau, Germany.
I loved my visit to Passau Germany when I visited. It is a lovely Mediterranean-inspired German town that has a lot to offer.
Have you ever visited Passau? Did you fall in love with it as much as I did? What other recommendations do you have for others traveling to Passau?
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