3 Locations Not to Miss on The Rhine River
Taking its name from the Celtic word for “raging flood,” the Rhine River is a major waterway through Europe and is where Switzerland, France, and Germany meet. It is a wild river with a 75-foot drop called the Rheinfall near Schaffhausen before becoming calm and navigable at Basel. It is here that most Rhine River cruises start, and if you have the time, you can see the six countries it passes through – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
Along the way, you will learn of the many legends that surround the river, such as the tale of Lorelei, a young maiden who drowned and became a mermaid. You’ll also see ancient castles, vineyards, medieval villages, and old cities that seem caught in days long past.
If you take a river cruise along the Rhine, you want to make sure these three cities are on your port of call, and you have time to do some exploring.
Amsterdam is a lovely city that is filled with tree-lined canals, museums, art galleries, and some of the best cafes in Europe. It is also the city of cyclists, with more than 800,000 bicycles in the city! While you are there consider visiting:
The Artsy Jordaan Neighborhood – considered one of Amsterdam’s most charming areas, this neighborhood is like walking back in time. It features narrow streets that are filled with antique shops, art galleries, bars, restaurants, quaint shops, and courtyards just begging to be explored.
The Museumplein – if you are an art lover, then the Museumplein is the place to go. This is the heart of Amsterdam. Located in the 19th-century district known as Oud-Zuid, you will find the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh, and the Stedelijk Museum, just to name a few. It is an active area of the city with an open square that features exhibits, markets, and a large paddling pool perfect for cooling off in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
The Prinsengracht House – discover what it was like to hide from persecution when you visit the home that hid Anne Frank and her family during World War II. The front of the house is a museum, but the back annex where the family lived has been preserved to give visitors a taste of what life was like.
Located in the heart of Europe in the area once known as Alsace, Strasbourg is a medieval city in France filled with cobblestone streets, timbered houses, and canals. While here, you should visit:
Cathedrale de Notre Dame – not to be confused with the cathedral of the same name in Paris, this gothic cathedral stands over the city as a tribute to the builders of the time. Take a walk up to the bell tower platform for some stunning views of the city and make sure to view the 12th to 14th century-stained glass windows.
Alsatian Museum – learn more about the area known as Alsace in this quaint museum that demonstrates what life was like during the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of the displays include reconstructions of craft workshops, homes, and more.
The Rue des Hallebardes – do a little shopping in this pedestrian area of Strasbourg. And if you are looking for something a little different, make sure you explore the side streets leading off of it. Some of the local and specialty shops are to be found off the beaten path.
Known for its good food, local beer, and friendly atmosphere, Cologne is not to be missed. With the twin-towered Dom Cathedral dominating the skyline and just begging to be explored, you won’t want to miss:
The Chocolate Museum – who doesn’t like chocolate? European chocolate is so very tasty, and you can tour the processing area, taste some samples, and learn about chocolate making. Don’t forget to talk to the staff at the museum. They might just offer you a chocolate bar!
The Hohenzollern Bridge – spanning the Rhine River, this bridge is a great way to get a gorgeous view of Cologne and will lead you to the Rheinboulevard, perfect for catching a quick bite and enjoying the sunset.
Historic Old Town – Cologne traces its roots back to the Roman period. Historic Old Town is filled with architecture and styles that reflect how it’s changed. Here you will find small shops, colorful homes, and cobblestone streets.
So, are you ready to go sailing down the Rhine River and get a taste of historic Europe? Contact us today and let us help you get started planning your Rhine River cruise.