Most of Europe’s longest rivers are located in Russia. This is because Russia has an area of more than 17 million square km. The Volga is by far the longest river in Europe, and several of the other rivers in the top twenty are tributaries of the Volga.
The Top Twenty Longest Rivers in Europe
(1) Volga – 3531 km (2194 miles)
The Volga flows through Central Russia and empties out into the Caspian Sea. It is Europe’s longest river and also Europe’s largest river in terms of discharge. It also has the largest drainage basin of any of Europe’s rivers.
Learn more about the Volga.
(2) Danube – 2860 km (1780 miles)
The Danube flows through much of Central and Southeast Europe. Its course includes parts of or borders with Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine. It empties into the Black Sea.
Learn more about the Danube.
(3) Ural – 2428 km (1509 miles)
The Ural flows through Russia and Kazakhstan, and it forms a border between Europe and Asia. Its source is in the Ural Mountains, and its mouth is the Caspian Sea. Although it is the third-largest river in Europe, it is only the eighteenth-largest in Asia.
Learn more about the Ural.
(4) Dnieper – 2201 km (1368 miles)
The Dnieper (or Dnipro) flows through Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. It drains into the Black Sea. Its source is located in Russia’s Valdai Hills.
(5) Don – 1870 km (1160 miles)
Located in Russia, the Don flows from Central Russia to the Sea of Azov (connected to the Black Sea). Its source is in Novomoskovsk, Russia.
(6) Pechora – 1809 km (1124 miles)
The Pechora’s course takes it from Northwest Russia to the Arctic Ocean. Its source is located in the Ural Mountains, and it has a drainage basin about the same size as the country of Finland.
(7) Kama – 1805 km (1122 miles)
The Kama is the longest tributary of the Volga (see above), and it is located in Russia. Its source is in Russia’s Udmurtia region, and it joins the Volga in the Republic of Tatarstan.
(8) Oka – 1500 km (930 miles)
The Oka is another of the Volga’s tributaries. Its source is located in Oryol Oblast, and it flows into the Volga in Nizhny Novgorod. The Russian capital, Moscow, is located on the Moskva, one of the Oka’s tributaries.
(9) Belaya – 1430 km (890 miles)
A tributary of the Kama (see above), the Belaya is located in Russia. Its source is Iremel a mountain in the Southern Ural Mountains, and it joins the Kama near Neftekamsk.
(10) Dniester – 1362 km (846 miles)
The Dniester flows through Ukraine and Moldova. Its source is in Eastern Beskids in Ukraine, and it flows into the Black Sea at Odessa Oblast. Its course marks part of the border between Ukraine and Moldova.
(11) Rhine – 1236 km (768 miles)
The Rhine is Central and Westrn Europe’s second-longest river. From its source in Switzerland it flows through Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
It flows into the North Sea.
Learn more about the Rhine.
(12) Desna – 1130 km (700 miles)
Flowing through Russia and Ukraine, The Desna is a tributary of the Dnieper (see above). Its source is in the Smolensk Heights in russia, and it joins the Dnieper in Ukraine near Kyiv.
(13) Elbe – 1091 km (678 miles)
The Elbe flows through the Czech Republic and Germany. Its source is located in the Giant Mountains in the north of the Czech Repubic, and it flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven in Geermany.
(14) Donets – 1053 km (654 miles)
The Donets, a tributary of the Don (see above), flows through Russia and Ukraine. Its source is in Belgoros Oblast, Russia, and it joins the Don in Rostov Oblast.
(15) Vistula – 1047 km (651 miles)
The Vistula is the longest river in Poland. Its source is located in the Silesian Beskids mountain range,a nd it flows into the Baltic Sea at Mikoszewo.
(16) Tagus – 1038 km (645 miles)
The Tagus is the Iberian Peninsula’s longest river. It flows through Spain and Portugal. It source in in Spain’s Montes Universales mountain range, and it drains into the Atlantic Ocean near the city of Lisbon in Portugal.
(17) Daugava – 1020 km (630 miles)
The Daugava fows through Russia, Latvia and Belarus. Its source is in Russia’s Valdai Hills, and it drains into the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea).
(18) Loire – 1012 km (629 miles)
The Loire is France’s longest river. Its source is located in the Massif Central, and it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Saint-Nazire. The Loire Valley is often called the Garden of France.
(19) Tisza – 966 km (600 miles)
The Tisza is a tributary of the Danube (see above). Its source is located in the Eastern Carpathians in Ukraine. It flows through parts of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Serbia before joining the Danube near Novi Sad (Serbia).
(20) Mezen – 957 km (533 miles)
Located in Russia, the Mezen’s source is in the Timan Ridge in the Ural Mountains, and the it flows into the White Sea at Mezen Bay.
Discover more about rivers by visiting out Rivers resources page.