Passau is a small and quaint university town on the Danube in Bavaria, southern Germany. If you are going there chances are you are either a) under 30 and a student or are visiting friends who study at the university or you are b) part of the 50+ plus crowd of Japanese and North-American tourists who take a cruise on the Danube from Passau to Vienna and Budapest. Another important crowd are the people who visit Passau as part of their cycling holiday along the Danube.
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Passau has three main attractions: the joining of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz, the old town with the cathedral sandwiched in between and the Veste Oberhaus castle overlooking the city from the other side of the Danube.
Passau Cathedral is especially famous for its Organ and during summer there are daily organ concerts.
A typical tourist visit to Passau would involve visiting the cathedral, attend an crgan concert in the cathedral, taking a 3-River-Cruise, going for a stroll around the old town and visit the Veste Oberhaus museum.
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Passau is located on the A3, the main road from Nuremberg to Vienna.
There are some bus connections with the local bus company RBO into the surrounding villages. The most interesting of them is the connection to the village Haidmühle because it allows you to cross the German-Czech border on foot and continue through the Sumava National Park to Cesky Krumlov.
Passau is an important waypoint of the Danuble Cycle Pathway. The most popular stretch of the Cycling Pathway starts here and goes to Vienna and Bratislava respectively.
There are countless cruise companies going up and down the Danube. The easiest to use for short services will be the Wurm+Köck service. There are two boats per week to Vienna and an almost daily service to Linz. The boat carries bicycles and for this reason provides a popular alternative to the train when travelling back to Passau from Vienna after cycling along the Danube.
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There are some local buses in the city, but for exploring the old city you'll have to rely on foot.
The old city between the train station, the university, the Danube and the Inn is actually pretty walkable. There are some steep inclines and some stairs to climb so it is not for the infirm, but apart from that you'll be ok.
Despite being on the Danube Cycling Pathway your options on getting around the city by bike are limited. The steep inclines of the hills surrounding the city and the cobblestone streets make cycling impractical unless you stick to the cycling paths along the Inn and the Danube.
Traditional "Wirtshaus" with over 200 years of history serving local beer, wine and regional specialities. Most mains are around 9 EUR, but some snacks cost less.
|Veste Oberhaus||Veste Oberhaus||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Weisser Hase||Heiliggeistgasse 1||Hotel||-|
|Jugendherberge Passau||Veste Oberhaus 125||Hostel||93|
|Hotel Innsento||Kapuzinerstr. 32||HOTEL||78|
|Haus Panorama||Angerstrasse 59||Guesthouse||89|
|Haus Panorama||Angerstraße 59||HOTEL||-|
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Internet cafes (rates €1.50 to €5 per hour) are starting to become less common due to widespread offers of free wifi by shops, restaurants or cafes. Sometimes it requires minimum consumption but usually it's free within the premises. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too. In general hotels offer internet access. In several cities, projects exist to provide free "community" hotspots for wireless networking. Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.
Several pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (o2 network, €10/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international call prefix in Germany is 00. To dial out of Germany, dial 00, followed by country code, area code, and the telephone number (for example 00 44 1234 567890). If you're using a mobile phone, simply add the plus sign "+" before the country code to call out of Germany (for example +44 1234 567890). The general emergency number is 112 and the additional number for less emergent issues for police is 110.
Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data and HSDPA) and EDGE is also available. UMTS is still somewhat limited to urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won't have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a "T-Punkt"), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area. In most supermarket chains (for example ALDI), there are prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual providers available. These are normally quite cheap to buy, but expensive for international calls (around €1–2/min), but incoming calls are always free and SMS cost around €0.09–0.19. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.
The cheapest way to call abroad from Germany is to use the internet cafés run by immigrants. They sell special calling cards that give the best rate to certain countries as well as offer cheap international calls from phone booths. It is also the cheapest way to call landlines in Germany.
Germany's postal system is very efficient, their logistics branch DHL is one of the best companies in this field world-wide, with domestic post or within a radius of 400 kilometres, send within a day. The website of Deutsche Post has an online calculator for postage fees as well as a post office finder. Stamps are available at post offices and sometimes at newsagents or shops selling postcards. Also stamp vending machines can be found at a lot of places around the cities. You can purchase every stamp you need from this machines. They are unique as they accept every coin from 1 cent to 2 euro but change is only given in stamps. It costs about €40 to send a small package to Australia and €1.70 to send an old-fashioned letter to any place in the world outside of Europe. Within Germany, sending postcards costs €0.45 and standard letters €0.55, within Europe it is €0.65 for a postcard, standard letters to places in Europe cost €0.75. Outside Europe, the prices for sending a postcard or standard letter are €1 and €1.70 respectively. Although you will find the old post offices (mainly in the city centre), most of the smaller neighbourhood post offices are part of a small tobacco shop or grocery store. For larger package, you might consider competitive private companies like UPS, DHL or TNT.
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