Join us on a virtual tour of the Rhine and check out the 7 best cities on its banks along the way!
Over 700 miles of beauty
The famous Rhine River begins in the Swiss Alps, forming its border with Austria, Liechtenstein and Germany before passing through part of France and then East Germany. It finally ends in a huge delta spread across the Netherlands. The Rhine is around 760 miles long and is Central Europe's main link to the North Sea, so it's understandable that civilisations have grown up along it over the centuries. Today, many cruise ships take passengers on trips down the Rhine, stopping at several landmarks, towns and cities along the way. These seven cities are some of the best sights along this mighty waterway.
Basel is one of the first cities that the Rhine meets after its source in the Swiss Alps, and it marks the point at which the river changes direction from heading west to heading north, at what is known as the Rhine Knee. The city of Basel is beautiful, with ancient Roman remains, a rich culture and a booming economy, largely due to its location right on the tri-border area of France, Germany and Switzerland. The University of Basel is incredibly prestigious and is Switzerland's oldest. Don't miss the Kunstmuseum, which houses a vast collection of famous artwork, including pieces by Cézanne and Van Gogh.
Located on the upper section of the Rhine, Strasbourg is one of the most enchanting cities in France. It's the capital city of the Grand Est super-region, which is comprised of the old regions of Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine. Not only is Strasbourg the seat of many European institutions, giving it huge political importance, its historic centre on the Grand Île is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Since its territory was disputed between France and Germany for years, many citizens of Strasbourg are bilingual and also speak Alsatian, a regional dialect which has old German origins.
Mainz is a small city situated just a half an hour train ride from Frankfurt. The city has a lot to offer, from the stunning buildings of the Schillerplatz to several museums and its cathedral, which is over 1000 years old! The Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz is one of Germany's largest universities and is also home to one of the best medical schools in the country. Don't forget to check out the detailed, golden interior of the incredible Augustinerkirche, a stunning Catholic church in the city centre, just a few steps from the banks of the Rhine.
Koblenz city is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and its tributary, the Mosselle, marked by the impressive Deutsches Eck monument (pictured). Koblenz is mainly famous for the vast Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, perched on a hilltop on the western side of the river. This incredible building can be reached by a cable car, which takes passengers from the eastern side over the river to the top of the mountain, offering fantastic views along the way. If these views aren't good enough, there is also a special Rhine viewpoint on a wooden platform which juts out from the hillside and is certainly not for the faint-hearted!