Buildings and Schaibling Tower on the side of Inn River near its confluence with Danube
Buildings and Schaibling Tower on the side of Inn River near its confluence with Danube

On the German-Austrian border at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers sits the charming Bavarian city of Passau. Nicknamed the ‘City of Three Rivers’, pretty Passau has made the most of its unique location throughout its fascinating history. For centuries its waterways were vital trading routes, bringing wealth which helped to shape and develop the beautiful old streets here; while today they serve as gateways for visitors stopping-by to take in the city’s historic highlights and cultural delights.

As well as its rivers, Passau is renowned for its colourful architecture and typically Bavarian charm. Wandering the delightful streets of this relatively small and easy to explore city is always a memorable spectacle, with an abundance of sights to uncover. The Altstadt old town district – largely untouched since prince bishops ordered its construction in the 17th century –  is home to a number of soaring towers, stunning palaces, pretty promenades and the gothic-style Town Hall; as well as the iconic St Stephen’s Cathedral. This wonderfully ornate, baroque-style monument is a must-visit to marvel at the huge organ and grand bells alone.

The Vesta Oberhaus, which towers above the city on the northern bank of the Danube, is not to be missed too. Built in the 13th century to guard Passau, this impressive fortress is today a fascinating museum and gallery showcasing the city’s interesting history. Also well worth a visit is the Pilgrimage church ‘Mariahilf’; the glass museum, which exhibits one of the largest glassware collections in the world; and the Innpromenade, where you can take in the pretty parks and ancient tunnels, enjoy some retail therapy and grab a pint of the local brew, and see where the city’s three rivers meet.