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Things to do in Rhine River

Things to do in  Rhine River

Welcome to Rhine River

One of Europe’s great waterways, the Rhine River runs all the way from the Alpine mountain ranges of Switzerland to its vast delta on the North Sea. Forming a natural border between Germanic peoples and external influences since Roman times, the river has been an important symbol of German nationalism through history, spawning its own version of romanticism and even forming the basis for Richard Wagner's first opera, “Das Rheingold.” Of the cities it runs through, Cologne is the biggest, with more than a million inhabitants—and it boasts many attractions, among them river cruises that allow visitors to enjoy the views of the city while cruising the calm waters. Select tours from Frankfurt highlight a section of the Rhine Valley that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, punctuated by villages, vineyards, and castles. Downstream from Mainz in the Upper Rhine, you’ll spot naturally occurring river islands. In the Middle Rhine, Koblenz unites the joining of the Moselle River with a gorge that’s part of that UNESCO site; while a little futher down, the magnificent Burg Katz towers over the legendary Lorelei rock. The famed wines of the region are nowhere better than in Boppard, where the sweet eiswein (or icewine) is a local delicacy and can be tasted on a tour. For your best chance of seeing the Rhine in all of its splendor, book a tour or cruise, and ensure easy sailing through the Rhine.

Top 10 attractions in Rhine River

#1
Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)

Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom)

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With its imposing Gothic façade and dramatic twin towers, the Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is the city’s most recognized landmark. Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the magnificent cathedral is one of the most important in Germany and dominates the city skyline.More
#2
Cologne Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum)

Cologne Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum)

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Opened by local chocolatier Hans Imhoff in 1993, theCologne Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum) is devoted to Cologne’s chocolate-making history. This fun family attractions lets visitors peek behind the scenes of a working chocolate factory, learn about the farming of cacao beans, and sample delicious Lindt chocolate.More
#3
Cochem Castle

Cochem Castle

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Standing proud atop its craggy perch 300 feet (91.5 meters) above the River Moselle, Cochem Castle seems to grow organically out of the rock, and it has been that way for a millennium, as its origins lie in the 10th century. Its many massive stone pinnacles, towers, turret, terraces and spires are liberally decorated with colorful frescoes, and a drawbridge sitting on the top of thick defense walls adjoins the castle to the small town of Cochem. Views from the tower across the river and the fertile, rolling countryside are utterly spectacular.Although much of the castle was remodeled in the 19th century, parts of the interior maintain the medieval fantasy with rich adornment by frescoes, stone-carved fireplaces, suits of armor, and ornate gilding on the vaulted ceilings. In summer there are daily falconry shows to continue the medieval vibe alongside banquets around long trestle tables where wenches serve great plates of food and jesters entertain.More
#4
Rhine Tower (Rheinturm)

Rhine Tower (Rheinturm)

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Towering 234 meters over the modern Media Harbor, the futuristic Rhine Tower (Rheinturm) telecommunications tower is Dusseldorf’s tallest building and most distinctive landmark. Built in 1982, the tower quickly became one of the city’s top tourist attractions, with its 172-meter high observation platform offering dramatic panoramic views along the Rhine riverfront, the nearby Old Town (Altstadt) and the sea of high-rises that form Dusseldorf’s commercial district.High-speed elevators take visitors to the top of the tower, where there is also a glass-fronted revolving restaurant, but the views are equally mesmerizing from the outside, with the illuminated tower also serving as the world’s largest digital clock.More
#5
Cologne Old Town (Altstadt)

Cologne Old Town (Altstadt)

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Stretching along the west bank of the Rhine River and presided over by the UNESCO-listed Cologne Cathedral, the Old Town (Altstadt) is both the navigational and historical heart of Cologne. With its colorful old buildings, beautiful Romanesque churches, and scenic riverside promenades, it’s an obvious starting point for any exploration of the city.More
#6
Deutsches Eck (German Corner)

Deutsches Eck (German Corner)

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The triangular spur of land created where the might of the Rhine and Moselle converge is one of the most poignant memorials to German unity in the country. In 1897, an equestrian bronze was placed on this spit in honor of Keizer Willem I with an inscription that read in German: "Never will the Empire be destroyed, so long as you are united and loyal."That statue was badly damaged by American shelling during the Allied advancement in 1945 and was eventually taken down. Following World War II as part of a reparation package, Germany was split into the capitalist west and the communist Democratic Republic, and at this juncture President Heuss of West Germany reinstated Deutsches Eck as a monument to German patriotism by placing the coats of arms and flags of all the regions on display there.After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, three sections of the wall were installed at the site, and in 1993 came a replica of the original statue of Willem I, which was placed on a massive neo-Classical plinth that can be seen for miles around. Recent additions have seen the inclusion of the U.S. flag in honor of the dead of 9/11. In 2002 Deutsches Eck became a UNESCO World Heritage site, and now more than 2 million people journey each year to see the monument.More
#7
Dusseldorf Old Town (Altstadt)

Dusseldorf Old Town (Altstadt)

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The traditional heart of the city and one of Germany’s most famous nightlife districts, Dusseldorf’s Old Town (Altstadt) is where visitors spend the majority of their time, home to many of the city’s top attractions. As well as the scenic Rheinuferpromenade running along the waterfront and the famous Königsallee shopping boulevard just a couple of blocks east, highlights of the Old Town include the Burgplatz, with its landmark castle tower and unique City Monument; the Neander-church and Old City Hall (Rathaus), two of the only buildings still standing after WWII; and a number of museums, including the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and the Filmmuseum.The historic district is at its most atmospheric in the evening hours when locals and tourists gather to drink and dance at “the longest bar in the world” – the nickname given to the almost 300 bars, bier-halles and pubs that stretch throughout the area, built so close together that the bar counters are said to run from one venue to the next. There’s a huge range of nightclubs, music venues and cocktail bars to choose from, but be sure to head to one of the traditional brew pubs to sample local specialty, Altbier, a dark beer brewed in Dusseldorf since the 19th century.More
#8
Museum Ludwig

Museum Ludwig

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The Museum Ludwig, opened in 1976 with a gift of some 350 pieces from the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, which is housed in the same building. While the Wallraf-Richartz exhibited some modern art, the Ludwig was the first museum in Cologne dedicated to contemporary art. Its collection includes pieces by Warhol, Lichtenstein and the largest collection of works by Picasso in the world, many of which were donated or given on personal loan from Pop-Art collectors Peter and Irene Ludwig.The museum's unique architecture is a series of rounded roofs, giving one the impression of a series of steel waves. It is situated in between the Gothic bombast of the Cathedral of Cologne and the Rhine River, and its elegant, modern design is a stunning contrast to the looming imposition of the Cathedral, even more so given the purposes of both institutions.Also emerging from the Wallraf-Richartz museum is the Romano-Germanic Museum. now housed in a building east of the Ludwig. This collection of antiquities leads visitors on a journey into the city's Roman heritage, displaying stone, clay and bronze statuary, mosaic fragments and even remnants of architecture.More
#9
Eltz Castle (Burg Eltz)

Eltz Castle (Burg Eltz)

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One of the lace of fantastical castles perched along waterways near the Rhine, Burg Eltz is Gothic in style, and its many towers and turrets have dominated its lush, green valley since medieval times. Like many of the German Rhineland castles, this could easily have been the model for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, appearing to morph out of its rocky crag and almost completely surrounded by the sinuous curves of the River Eltz.With spots as high as eight stories up, it has its origins in the 13th century, when it was built high above the valley floor for defense purposes. Building continued for centuries, with further expansions being added hundreds of years later.Amazingly, Burg Eltz has been owned by three branches of the same aristocratic family since the 13th century. It's built around a central courtyard and was one of the few castles that escaped the last world war unscathed. Guided tours incorporate the armory, medieval frescoes, masterpieces by Cranach and elaborate wooden carvings of the Knight’s Hall, where generations of the three families have held their celebrations. In fact, so picture-perfect is Burg Eltz that it is featured on the DM500 note of the now-defunct German currency.More
#10
Lorelei Rock (Loreley Rock)

Lorelei Rock (Loreley Rock)

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A riverside highlight, Loreley Rock is one of the Rhine’s most storied landmarks. The slate rock soars some 433 feet (132 meters) in the air, and, according to mythology, was once frequented by a beautiful siren who lured sailors to their deaths. Today, the promontory is a popular sightseeing stop.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days at the Rhine River

How to Spend 3 Days at the Rhine River

Ways to Celebrate the Cologne Carnival

Ways to Celebrate the Cologne Carnival


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