As a river that connects ten European countries - from the West, to the East; from the most developed, to the regions in development - the Danube is often identified as a symbol of European diversities, but also the trademark of its unity.That doesn't apply only to politics and everyday life, but to culture as well: people living on the banks of the Danube speak around 20 languages, have different religious beliefs and different traditions, but at the same time they all live on the territory of the Roman and Byzantine Empire, near remains of neolith and medieval fortresses, among the monuments of their mutual past.
A visitor to any of the Danube countries, therefore, has a unique chance to explore both the culture of that particular country, and the Danube region in general. There are hundreds of museum on the Danube banks - some are dedicated to national or local history, but some focus on particular topics and traditions, shared by other nations. There is also a chain of fortresses along the river - Roman, Ottoman, or combined; a number of Roman baths, Byzantine churches, medieval towns. Remarkable baroque architecture is also something that is present in all of the Danube countries and can be found from Germany, to Romania.
When it comes to culture in the Danube region, a visitor has a really wide choice. Travelling down the river, one may enjoy unforgettableee architecture of Regensburg (Germany), visit one of 107 Viennese museums (Austria), study the sculptures in an open-air exhibition in Čunovo (Slovakia), or just walk dowartisticallyly perfect Budapest bridges (Hungary). For an interested tourist, there is also an option of exploring vine culture in Ilok (Croatia), standing in the middle of neolithic village in Lepenski Vir (Serbia), and making a tour around Thracian Tomb in Sveshtari (BulgariaGenoesean Fortress in Izmail (Ukraine) or the Cathedral in Turnu Magurele (Romania).
The Danube flows through the countries with significant music tradition, so it offers a number of rock, folk and classical music festivals: Vukovar Chamber Music Festival in Croatia, Bratislava Culture Summer in Slovakia, George Enescu Festival in Bucharest in Romania, or maybe the most famous Sziget Festival in Budapest (Hungary) and EXIT festival in Novi Sad (Serbia), both on the banks of the Danube.
Apart from all the above, the Danube tourist offer also focuses on very specific topics. The Route of Emperors and Kings is an exciting view into European diversity and history, and leads from Regensburg in Germany, via Vienna in Austria, to Budapest in Hungary. The Roman Emperors' Route is based on the fact that Romans conquered Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, and that 19 emperors were born on this territory - the Route leads through old Roman towns, palaces and fortresses in these countries. The same countries also offer The Danube Wine Trail, which aims at exploring wine culture and tradition.
On the banks of the river, festivals are organized to celebrate it, to promote it, or to discover some new segments of its beauty and culture: Danube Festival in Krems (Austria), International Danube Carnival Cultural Festival in Budapest (Hungary), International Danube Festival in Ulm (Germany), The Blue Week (organized by Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania), etc.
Finally, it is inevitable to mention the fact that the Danube is not only a river of art and culture, but also a river that inspired many artists in history. It was the inspiration of the walz "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss, and the motif of The Danube School - a German tradition of landscape painting. Famous Jules Verne wrote a novel "The Danube Pilot", depicting the adventures of a fisherman travelling down the river, and it is mentioned in dozens of movies. In the Bulgarian anthem it is a symbol of the country's natural beauty, while in a famous Croatian pop song it is a symbol of love: "Kiss me where the Danube kiss the sky".