Passau is a small city in Bavaria, Germany, close to the Austrian border.

22 things to do

All Places Germany

Fortress Veste Oberhaus

The fortress was built in 1219 by Passau's Prince-Bishops in order to control commerce across the rivers. During the Napoleonic Wars the castle was one of the strongholds against the Austrians (Bavaria sided with Napoleon at the beginning of the war). Due to several changes over the centuries today's castle consists of gothic, renaissance and baroque parts. Today the fortress houses a museum focussing on the history of Passau and its surroundings. It also offers one of the best views over the city and the confluence of the rivers.

SEE   —  +49 851 396800 —  Oberhaus 125

St. Stephen's Cathedral

The cathedral is a baroque building, finished in 1688, but the earliest church on the site was already mentioned in 450. It is the center of the Bishopric of Passau, which during the Holy Roman Empire extended as far as Hungary and was the Empire's largest diocese. St. Stephen's is the largest baroque cathedrals north of the Alps and has the biggest cathedral organ in the world. From May to October there are organ recital every day (besides Sunday) at noon and evening concerts every Thursday at 19:30.

SEE   —  +49 851 3930 —  Residenzplatz 8

Danube Bike Path (EV6)

The Danube Bike Path is a European long-distance cycle route, that begins further upstream the river, but the section between Passau and Vienna is the the most travelled by far. The surface and signage along the route is very good and there are many places that invite the cyclist to stop and have a wine or beer.

DO   —  Map

University of Passau

The University of Passau is well known in Germany for its law degree and the international business programmes. There are German as a foreign courses at the university, as well as other external pay-for courses. Studying at a university in general is free in Germany - that includes all foreigners.

OTHER   —  +49 851 5090 —  Innstraße 41

Hotel Rotel Inn

Only 100 m from the central station and right next to the river Danube and the Danube Bike Path, this relatively inexpensive hotel is very convenient for cyclists, for which the hotel offers special services. The hotel is only open during the warmer month from May to November.

SLEEP   —  +49 851 95160 —  Haissengasse 18

Mediaeval Pillory

At the market place of the Hals district of Passau, a little outside of town, there is a reproduced pillory, a mediaeval form of punishment in which people were exhibited, secured by their hands and neck, to be publicly humiliated and taunted by passers-by.

SEE   —  Marktplatz

Glass Museum

The museum focuses on the most important era of glass manufacturing from 1650-1950 with exhibits from Baroque, Rococo, Art Noveau, Art Deco, and Modernism. Friedrich Dürrenmatt once called it the world's most beautiful glass house.

SEE   —  +49 851 35071 —  Schrottgasse 4


The campsite is right next to the river Ilz and has its own jetty. It is open from the beginning of May to the end September. Because of the narrow roads, it is not possible to bring motorhomes or caravans.

SLEEP   —  +49 851 41457 —  Halser Straße 34

Old City Hall

The Old Town Hall was completed 1405 in Venetian style and has ever since kept its design. The interior is designed in a baroque style. It still houses parts of the city administration.

St. Michael's Church

This baroque church on the river banks gives Passau its typical looks of an Italian town. The church was completed in 1678 and is one of the main centres of the Jesuits in the region.

SEE   —  +49 851 955980 —  Schustergasse

Three Rivers Conjunction Point

Fom the so called ''Ortsspitze'' ("Tip of the Town") at the eastern end of the old town you have the immediate view of the confluence of the three rivers, Danube, Inn, and Ilz.

SEE   —  Ortsspitze

Hotel Weisser Hase

The hotel is in a listed building which was built in 1512. Free wireless internet access throughout the hotel and authentic on-site dining at Restaurant Weisser Hase.

SLEEP   —  +49 851 92110 —  Heiliggeistgasse 1

DJH Youth Hostel Passau

Housed in the fortress ''Veste Oberhaus'', this hostel is probably the cheapest accommodation option in town, and certainly the one with the best view over town.

SLEEP   —  +49 851 493780 —  Oberhaus 125


A beautiful mediaeval city at the shores of the river Danube. Its historical city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety.

OTHER   —  Map


Austia's third largest city lacks the picturesque charm of Salzburg or the imperial grandeur of Vienna, but has a number of draws.

OTHER   —  Map


The small city to the west of Passau is one of the most important destinations of Catholic pilgrimage in Europe.

OTHER   —  Map

Beer festival

Passau has two beer festivals, one in May and one in September, that last one week each.

DO   —  Map


The capital of Austria is a 2:30-3 hours train ride from Passau.

OTHER   —  Map

Hotel Wilder Mann

A very traditional hotel in the old town.

SLEEP   —  +49 851 35071 —  Höllgasse 1


OTHER   —  Map

About Passau

Passau has a population of around 50,000, and an additional 8,000 when university is active. The city is situated at the point where the river Inn and the river Ilz meet the Danube (Donau), and therefore is often called the "Three River City" (Dreiflüssestadt). It is located approx. 2,000 km (1,200 mi) upstream from the estuary of the Danube, at the Austrian border, and enjoys a small but thriving local tourist trade.

The area of Passau was first settled by the Celts, who were living in southern Bavaria ages before the Romans came and founded a fortress here because of the excellent strategic position of the peninsula of Passau. Later on, the fortress grew and Passau became a real city. Much of the money in the city was made from the salt trade with nearby Bohemia (in the present-day Czech Republic), with the salt coming from Bad Reichenhall near Salzburg. In the middle ages, Passau's Saint Stephen's Cathedral was the head of the regional church district, which extended all the way to Hungary. Most of the old buildings have survived to this day and are still in active use.

Nowadays, Passau is known for its historic buildings, its university, and its location at the three rivers, and for the last German train station before Austria. Like much of Bavaria, it's also predominantly Catholic. If you look very closely, however, you can spot Protestant churches.

Most tourists arriving in Passau are on river cruises along the Danube, but there are also many buses that arrive here from all over Germany and Austria. Because Passau is not far from the Czech Republic and Austria, you will meet also a lot of Austrians and Czechs here to work or shop. Although most tourists are native German speakers, you will get around town without much of a problem with only English, given the large number of students.

Source: wikivoyage