Starting high up in the Swiss Alps and flowing through Germany to the Netherlands, the Rhine River travels through some of Europe’s best-loved landscapes, passing majestic hillside castles, pretty medieval towns and lush vineyards.
As one of the longest rivers in Europe, with a length of 760 miles, the Rhine River passes through dozens of breathtaking destinations, each with their own character and must-see marvels.
One of the best ways to experience them is on a Rhine River cruise and next year, you can sail along the picturesque river on a special escape with Strictly Come Dancing star Pasha Kovalev, who will perform for you during a stop in the German city of Koblenz.
To inspire you to take a Rhine River cruise in 2020, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most incredible sights you can see along the Rhine River.
Black Forest, Germany
After crossing from Switzerland into Germany, the Rhine River winds its way through the magical Black Forest.
This region is a classic German landscape of cuckoo clocks, oompah bands and timber houses, and was the inspiration for so many of their legendary fairytales, as well as more modern versions – Neuschwanstein Castle, for example, inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
Petite France, France
Petite France in Strasbourg’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town will transport you back in time to the Middle Ages.
Wide canals are lined with hanging baskets and quaint half-timbered houses – once home to fishermen, tanners and other ancient trades – all criss-crossed by narrow lanes and footbridges. Here, you can step into a corner of the world where time has stood still.
Heidelberg Castle, Germany
An impressive, ornate red-brick castle perched above the river, Heidelberg Castle has inspired artists and writers for centuries, especially the Romantic-era painters.
Famous British artist William Turner adored it, and included its partly crumbled battlements in several of his works. You can visit Heidelberg and its castle on our Rhine River cruise with Pasha Kovalev.
Rhine Gorge, Germany
For nature-lovers, the most unmissable stretch of the Rhine Valley is the Rhine Gorge, a stunning 40 mile length of rolling vineyards, dramatic cliffs and picturesque villages between Bingen am Rhein and Koblenz.
UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site thanks to its historical and cultural importance, as well as the different plants and wildlife that thrive in its fertile microclimate.
Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Germany
High up on a hill above Koblenz is this vast Prussian fortress complex, built to defend against French invaders, which can be reached by a cable car.
On the way up, and once you get to the fortifications, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views over the Rhine River and the vivid greens of the surrounding landscapes.
Electoral Palace, Germany
Koblenz’ Electoral Palace is one of the most significant palaces in French early Classicism style that you’ll find in Germany. Its landscaped gardens, royal history dating back to the 1700s and location by the Rhine River make this attraction a must-visit.
It’s among the palace’s fabulous surroundings that you can see an exclusive performance by Strictly star Pasha Kovalev and his dance partner.
Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Another World Heritage Site, Cologne’s Cathedral is one of the city’s most memorable and recognisable landmarks, thanks to its imposing Gothic architecture.
Step inside to see beautifully detailed stained glass windows and lofty arched ceilings, giving the building an inspirational atmosphere whether you’re religious or not.
Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands
Our Rhine River cruise with Pasha Kovalev ends in Amsterdam, with a visit to the spectacular Keukenhof Gardens.
Often referred to as the ‘Garden of Europe’, during spring some seven million of Holland’s most famous flower – the tulip – sprout from the ground, along with hyacinths and orchids of every colour.
Schloss Drachenburg, Germany
Unlike Heidelberg Castle, this palatial fortress has been carefully maintained and survived the last two centuries intact.
You’ll see its fairytale turrets poking above the treetops as you sail north along the Rhine towards Bonn.
Dusseldorf Old Town, Germany
It might be full of historical buildings, but Düsseldorf Old Town is by no means sleepy – visit for a lively and vibrant atmosphere in the numerous bars.
It’s the perfect place to sample a glass of Düsseldorf’s renowned Altbier (old beer), still brewed from an ancient, traditional recipe.