With so many spectacular countries, cities, and small towns to explore, it's always challenging to determine where to go on your next trip and how much to see. I often advise clients not to try to visit too many places on one trip because you'll be exhausted and not really get to enjoy each city. If you're doing a land based trip you'll be packing and unpacking more than you'd like to.
However, on a river cruise you only need to unpack once and every single day you will dock in a charming village or city where you can explore and get a taste of the local culture. Then off you go onto your next stop on your floating boutique hotel.
Below are just some examples of spectacular towns and cities you can visit on a European river cruise and the exclusive experiences you'll enjoy. Some on the Rhine River, others on the Danube or the Rhone, but all equally spectacular...
On the Rhine River...
Riquewihr, France - Think of the fairytale European village from Beauty and the Beast, this is it!! Riquewihr is one of the prettiest villages in France. This romantic little town is hidden between mountains and some of the most famous vineyards in the Alsace region. Its cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful colorful buildings, pastry shops, cheese shops, and wine tasting rooms. The Alsace region of France is a very well known area for the production of white wines. So the only red wine you'll get to taste here is Pinot Noir.
Rüdesheim, Germany - This small town in one of Germany's wine regions lies on the Rhine River and is surrounded by beautiful vineyards. Here you can explore wine cellars, hike or bike along the vineyards and the river, or ride a gondola high above the town for spectacular views. Don't leave Rüdesheim without sitting at an outdoor cafe to enjoy a Rüdesheimer coffee. This delicious local drink is made with sugar, brandy, coffee, whipped cream and chocolate shavings, delicious!
On the Danube River...
Vienna, Austria - This Baroque romantic city offers so much elegance and beautiful views along the Danube River. Vienna is known for its rustic wine taverns and coffee houses. Enjoy a visit to the famous Opera House, or visit one of the famous palaces or museums. A bike tour along the Danube and through the Donaupark is pretty spectacular. Be sure to sample some Viennese coffee and pastries.
Budapest, Hungary - This scenic city in Hungary is a great mix of old and modern world. Explore the city, bathe in a Turkish Bath (these thermal springs with medicinal qualities abound in the city and other parts of Hungary). You may also hike up to Castle Hill on which you will see Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Parliament Square. After dinner, enjoy cruising on the Danube along the glittering riverfront of Budapest. This is one of the most spectacular panoramas on the European rivers.
On the Rhone River...
Lyon, France - Lyon is one of France's oldest cities and is known as the gourmet capital of France. Lyon sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Explore the city along its bike paths on the rivers, walk the pedestrian streets, and visit its beautiful museums and theaters. For foodies, Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France, so there is a huge selection of good restaurants. From Michelin starred restaurants to local bistros, there is no shortage of amazing meals in Lyon. Located between the vineyards of Beaujolais and Burgundy to the north, and Côtes du Rhône to the south, Lyon is also a city where there are plenty of local wines to be sampled.
Beaujolais, France - A river cruise on the Rhone will take you through the enchanting Burgundy and Beaujolais wine regions and down to Provence. Visit the medieval hilltop village of Oingt as well as the home of a local vintner who will invite you for a wine tasting and vineyard tour as you learn about the history of the region’s wine production.
So there you have it... a quick glimpse of the amazing experiences you could have on a European River Cruise. Everyday you will be floating into a new village or city to explore. I promise, you will love it!
Ready to plan your next trip? Complete our Travel Planning Questionnaire, this will allow us to start learning about your travel preferences (all our itineraries are completely customized and tailored to you!), then we will schedule a complimentary consultation and you will have your personalized itinerary within a few days. It's that simple... no endless hours researching on the internet.
I work with my clients on creating personalized travel itineraries while consulting on everything from destinations to excursions and logistics of the trip. Through my personal travel I seek unique activities including private guides and tours for exceptional experiences. More on Belkys