Exploring the Rhine by Rail
- Enjoy the artistic city of Amsterdam, full of museums, galleries and canals!
- Make the most of German hospitality with delicious regional cuisines and beers
- Visit historic Strasbourg with its half-timbered houses and fabulous cathedral
- Glide alongside the broad river Rhine as it cuts through beautiful countryside
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade your hotels
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class train tickets with seat reservations
- 11 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Amsterdam combines the pretty quaint streets of a historic market town with the international pull and appeal of a capital city. The net result is a beautiful, bustling city full of world class museums, galleries and restaurants against the backdrop of charming architecture, cobbled squares and the iconic canals. You have an overnight stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton City Centre (or similar), ideally located to make the most of your time in Amsterdam.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will make the short stroll to your waiting train. The mid-morning departure from Amsterdam Centraal will take a little under three hours to get to Cologne, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the green undulations of the Rhine valley.
On arriving at Cologne Hauptbahnhof, situated at the foot of the world famous cathedral, you can drop your bags at the nearby Mondial MGallery Am Dom (or similar) for a 2-night stay, before going out to explore.
With a rich history dating back to the Roman occupation and a varied cityscape, Cologne is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in Europe’s past. The city’s range of museums reflects its historic importance and in addition to its thriving cultural scene, Cologne is famous for its enormous range of restaurants, cafés and bars, some of which line the banks of the Rhine. Prost!
Today’s journey to Rüdesheim includes a ride along what many say is the prettiest section of this mighty river; the Rhine Gorge, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, liberally dotted with castles and medieval villages.
On arrival in Rüdesheim, you will check into Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
Rüdesheim has a pretty old town along the banks of the Rhine, but it is perhaps as one of the centres of the Rheingau wine region that the town is best known. Vineyards have existed in the area since the 14th century and each summer Rüdesheim hosts a wine festival. Even the Brömserburg, the oldest castle in the region at over 1,000 years old, has a wine museum and there are plenty of cafés where you can sit back, relax and sample some of the local produce.
Your train departs Rüdesheim just before midday which means that if the weather is good, you might first want to take a morning stroll along the Reisling Route, one of several local hiking trails. Your train journey takes you via Frankfurt before you catch one of the world’s most iconic trains, the TGV, to whisk you through the countryside on into Strasbourg by late afternoon. On arrival in this charming French city, you will check in to Maison Rouge (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
A mesmerising blend of European history and Europe’s future, Strasbourg caters to all tastes. The fairytale-inspiring neighbourhood of Petite France, complete with medieval taverns teetering over canals, offers an array of winding alleys in which you can happily lose an afternoon, whilst the EU Quarter is home to a selection of impressive modern architecture. Between the two, museums, parks and cafés will vie for your time and attention, whilst most visitors find the beautiful 15th Notre-Dame Cathedral impossible to ignore and impossible to forget.
Take the train to Freiburg via Offenburg. Having checked in at Novotel am Konzerthaus (or similar) for 2 nights, you will have plenty of time to explore this small city which sits at the western edge of the famous Black Forest.
There is plenty of history to keep you interested in Freiburg’s picturesque city centre, from medieval churches to medieval breweries! However, you may want to consider striking out into the beautiful surrounding scenery and with hundreds of walking trails catering to all abilities, a little exploration couldn’t be easier. Also recommended is the Schlossbergbahn funicular railway for spectacular views.
Your final train journey takes you just over the Swiss border where you check in for 2 nights at the Gaia Hotel (or similar).
Uniquely located at the borders of France, Switzerland and Germany, Basel’s history predates these modern nation states and you can still visit the well-preserved Roman theatre at the Augusta Raurica, just a few kilometres from the city centre. If art appeals, Basel offers over 30 museums including the Kunstmuseum Basel which was the first museum open to the public in the world. After a full day of sightseeing, you might want to find a restaurant overlooking the Rhine and reflect on the journey you’ve shared with this mighty river.
It’s time to leave Basel today for your onward journey. You might like to explore more of Switzerland, with a journey on the famous Glacier Express or simply make your way to the airport for a flight home. Whatever your plans, let us know so that we have help arrange an itinerary around you.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne MGallery by Sofitel is located right in the centre of Cologne, close to the famous cathedral and the main station. All of the modern bedrooms feature air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, minibar and satellite TV. The hotel also boasts a restaurant overlooking the cathedral, a sauna, a steam room and a fitness room.
Situated in the pedestrian area around Place Kléber, the historic Maison Rouge features ancient stained-glass windows and rooms decorated with individual character. The rooms at Maison Rouge feature a minibar and satellite TV. Each is serviced by the hotel’s traditional lift and has an en suite bathroom with a bath or shower.
The Novotel Freiburg am Konzerthaus is situated next to the city’s major Concert Hall and offers easy access to the historic old town as well as the station, which is just 100 metres away. The hotel also boasts an indoor pool, a spa area, a restaurant and a bar where you can enjoy drinks and snacks in the evening.
The Gaia is a family-run hotel with an historic façade and contemporary interior, located opposite the main SBB station. There are 86 non-smoking bedrooms, all with free Wi-Fi and a complimentary minibar. Guests can also make use of the hotel’s relaxing spa area and welcoming bar.
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Superbly situated for rail travellers, this American hotel has larger-than-average rooms, a magnificent breakfast and an atmospheric bar. The restaurant, Brasserie Fou, serves a selection of French dishes inspired by Asian cuisine. The famous Dom (cathedral) and old town are a short walk away.
The Sofitel Strasbourg Grand Ile is a modern, comfortable hotel located on a quiet square just a short walk from the city’s historic Cathedral and medieval centre. Tuck in to French and Mediterranean cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant or enjoy a nightcap in the 1940s style bar.
Situated in the heart of the Old Town, on the banks of the Rhine, the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois is one of Europe’s oldest city hotels, where the likes of Napoleon, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Mann and HRH Queen Elizabeth have stayed. There are three on-site restaurants including the Michelin-starred Le Cheval, a games room and a cigar lounge.