25 Longest Rivers in Europe

Europe is a birthplace for hundreds of beautiful rivers and streams. The icy mountains of Europe are the main source of water for many rivers. Many of the rivers flow within the valley of mountains, and through many countries. Even tributaries of the longest rivers have notable length. The European part of Russia holds many longest rivers and many notable rivers located entirely in Russia.

1. Volga

The Volga River, the longest river in Europe and the largest in Russia in terms of discharge and watershed. The entire river located in Russia.

The Volga river spread over 3,000 km, as a result, many major reservoirs found along the Volga River. The Volga, widely regarded as the “National River of Russia”. Valai Hills at 225 metres elevation is the water source of the river. It has tributaries including the river Kama, the Oka, the Vetluga, the Sura.

The Cities including Tver, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Samara, Saratov, Volgograd, Astrakhan are located at the bank of the Volga river. The Volga draining into the Caspian sea near Astrakhan city in Russia.

Photo by nour tayeh on Unsplash

2. Danube

Originating in the town of Donaueschingen, in Germany. Danube river at 2,860 km. It is the second-longest river in Europe and the longest river in the European Union. Danube river flowing through 10 countries and more than 15 major cities in eastern and central Europe and draining into the black sea. Many countries use it for agriculture and drinking water. Fish species such as Wels catfish, burbot, pike, zander, huchen and tench found here. Romania occupies 29% of the river basin area while Moldova occupies only 1.6% of the river basin area. Dozens of National Parks found along the Danube river.

3. Ural

Begins at the slopes of the Kruglaya Mountain in South Ural, in Uchalinsky District in Russia. The Ural river at 2,428 km, is the longest in Europe and 18th longest in Asia. The river used for wide range of purpose including irrigation, fishing, drinking water. It has 231,000 km2 (89,000 sq mi) of basin size and discharge average 400 m3/s . Over 60% of the river’s water by melting snow.

Longest Rivers in Europe

RankRiverlength (km)Country
(Flows Through)
1Volga3,692RussiaCaspian Sea
2Danube2,860Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldavia in Czech Republic, UkraineBlack Sea
3Ural2,428Kazakhstan, RussiaCaspian Sea
4Dnieper2,290Russia, Belarus, UkraineBlack Sea
5Don1,950Russia, UkraineSea of Azov
6Pechora1,809RussiaBarents Sea
7Kama1,805RussiaCaspian Sea (Volga)
8Kura1,515Caspian Sea
9Oka1,500RussiaCaspian Sea (Volga)
10Belaya1,430Turkey, Georgia, AzerbaijanCaspian Sea (Volga) (Kama)
11Dniester1,362Ukraine, MoldovaBlack Sea
12Vyatka1,314RussiaCaspian Sea (Volga) (Kama)
13Elbe–Vltava1,252Czech Republic, GermanyNorth Sea
14Rhine1,236Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, NetherlandsNorth Sea
15Vychegda River1,130RussiaWhite Sea
16Desna1,130Russia, UkraineBlack Sea (Dnieper)
17Vychegda1,130RussiaWhite Sea (Northern Dvina)
18Elbe1,091Czech Republic, GermanyNorth Sea
19Aras1,072Turkey, Armenia, Iran, AzerbaijanCaspian Sea (Kura)
20Donets1,050UkraineSea of Azov (Don)
21Vistula1,047PolandBaltic Sea
22Western Dvina1,020Belarus, Latvia, Russia, Lithuania, EstoniaGulf of Riga
23Loire1,013FranceAtlantic Ocean
24Tagus1,007Spain, PortugalAtlantic Ocean
25Sava990Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, SerbiaBlack Sea (Danube)

Interesting facts

  • Russia is the birthplace for many longest rivers and some entire rivers flow through Russia (European Part) and merge directly into the ocean.
  • The Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, and Atlantic oceans are the main mouth of popular rivers.
  • Kama and Oka’s rivers are the main tributaries of the Volga river.
  • Many rivers fed by melting of ice from icy mountains ranges.
  • Hundreds of rivers and streams found in Europe.