Budapest Danube River Water Levels

Just like any other river, cruising in Budapest on the Danube is also highly influenced by the water level. In general, low water level occurs at the end of a hot summer and high water levels happen in the spring months when all the snow is melting in the mountain and rivers are carrying the extra water to the Danube.

Budapest River Danube Flood Memorial 1838 Wesselenyi
Budapest Danube Flood Memorial 1838 Wesselenyi

The water levels are generally unpredictable, but fortunately, Hungary’s biggest river has usually a moderated water level changes, just ideal for cruising.

High Water Levels of Danube in Budapest


Since the Danube water level is regulated, floods are extremely rare, however, if the water level grows extremely high, it can prevent cruises getting through under the bridges. Infrequent high water levels can make cruising impossible on the Danube in Budapest. Since the water level grows relatively slow, it is predictable in a few days or weeks in advance, and seldom have the Danube Traffic Authority issued an order to suspend cruising due to high water levels.

Historically, one of the highest water levels of the Danube in Buda-Pest took place during the Great Flood in the 19th century, when many streets of the Hungarian capital got underwater.

Low Water Levels of Danube in Budapest

Too low water level can also lead to problems if the Danube is not deep enough to cruise, water transportation might be blocked by the authorities. In August 2018, the water level hit the bottom records in Budapest, the low water bought several lost and forgotten things to the surface like shipwrecks, world war finds and even silver and gold coins near Erd, Hungary.

As such extreme low levels are very rare Budapest River Cruises can make the most of very reliable water levels throughout the calendar year, as the water level in general in Budapest is steady and optimal for cruising, whether it is a local city river cruise showcasing the panoramic beauty of Danube riverside sights, or a longer luxury cruise coming from the Netherlands or Germany, or from / to Romania.

Notably, Budapest Danube Bend boat tours cannot run in low water levels once the month reaches around October. So if you want to enjoy a Danube river ride to / from the Danube Bend in northern Hungary (Visegrad, Esztergom), plan your trip between April and October to make sure that low water levels in the Danube do not stop you from travelling on the river.

One thought on “Budapest Danube River Water Levels

  • May 4, 2021 at 4:34 PM

    Are the water levels upstream from Budapest especially low right now (beginning May)? Looking to be on the water but saw navigation markers are very close together indicating a narrow channel.


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