Europe is home to some of the most culturally and architecturally diverse capitals in the world, many of which are situated next to rivers. Rivers might not be as strategically important as they once were in today’s world, but they still offer visitors the chance to view cities from the water, away from the crowded streets.
Enjoy some peace and tranquility while witnessing unobstructed views of Europe’s most stunning urban scenery by experiencing one of the following river cruises as you travel the continent.
Soak up the Atmosphere in Amsterdam
The Venice of the North unsurprisingly offers some of the best river cruises in Europe. Canals cut through the city centre streets of Amsterdam like a spider web, meaning you can see many of the most iconic landmarks from the water. River cruises sail by a wide range of must-see attractions including Anne Frank’s House, the Heineken Experience and the Rijksmuseum.
The canals themselves are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, meaning there’s no better way to see Amsterdam than by boat. Take a tour in the evening to view the lights of the city bounce off the water.
Relax on the Rhine in Basel
Located in Northwest Switzerland, Basel is one of Europe’s most postcard-perfect cities. Quaint buildings roll up the green hills, and the city is surrounded by stunning landscapes and mountains like Mt. Pilatus and Wasserfallen.
When you fancy heading back to dry land, consider rejuvenating by visiting one of Basel’s numerous spas or an infrared sauna. As the locals would agree, one of the best ways to kick back in Basel is to take a dip in a thermal hot spring.
Romance on the River in Paris
Paris is certainly one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Because the city is synonymous with romance, one of the best ways to spend an evening with your better half is to jump on a cruise that floats down the river Seine. Plenty of operators offer tours both long and short – as little as one hour in some cases – giving you plenty of time to visit land-based landmarks like the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.
If you fancy a longer journey, you can embark on a Seine cruise that takes you by beautiful French cities such as Les Andelys, Honfleur and Rouen.
Dance on the Danube in Prague
Prague may be one of Europe’s party capitals, but there’s plenty of other activities on offer, too. A river cruise is the perfect way to escape the crowded streets for a few hours. If you’re embarking on a journey along the Danube, you’ll likely pass Prague on your way.
If you only have a few hours spare to absorb the sights of the city, take a walk around the old town area to see cobbled streets and stunning architecture.
Take in the Sights from the Thames
London is Europe’s most popular tourist destination, and it’s easy to understand why. It was the world’s most populous city at the turn of the 20th century, when the UK still ruled the largest empire the planet had ever seen. You can only imagine how many things there are to see while you’re here, and a River Thames cruise offers some of the best views of them. Landmarks including Westminster, London Eye and Tower Bridge can be seen from the water.
For more unique ways to explore Europe, take a look at our awesome Coach Travel Network to get around the continent.