Photo via Joan Nova on Flickr

One of the most beautiful ways to experience Europe is via a river cruise. There is nothing quite as romantic as gliding down the continent’s stunning water ways, taking in the magnificence of European cities from afar. Plus a river cruise allows you to easily stop at multiple breathtaking destinations without having to worry about getting from place to place! There are numerous river cruises in European cities, but here are a few river cruises that have caught our eyes:

The Rhine To Switzerland

Experience the best of Germany, France and Switzerland from the beauty of the Rhine River. Not only does this region have fantastic food, it also boasts the Swiss Alps, UNESCO World Heritage sites, castles, cable cars and more. The cities of Basel and Lucerne are other picture-perfect stops along the way to Switzerland, promising plenty of history and culture. If you have under two weeks and want to see the highlights of these three countries, then you can’t go wrong.

Belgium and Amsterdam

Belgium is one of our favorite countries, in large part due to the food! Chocolate, beer, frites, mussels…you really can’t go wrong! The highlights of any trip to Belgium are Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp, all of which are accessible via a river cruise. What’s more, you can add in stunning stops to Amsterdam and Rotterdam as part of the trip! Don’t miss cycling in Bruges and the fantastic street murals in Brussels.

Vienna and Budapest

Though Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe, it is often overlooked in favor of other more popular destinations. However, a river cruise from Budapest to Vienna will include other stunning stops such as Linz and Durnstein. For a particularly memorable experience, try visiting the cities during Christmas when they are lit up like a fairy tale.


Russia is another travel destination that is high on our bucket list, in large part due to the fascinating culture and history. A two-week river cruise will take you from Moscow to St. Petersburg, stopping at historic monasteries, fairy tale lakes, and historic monasteries. Just don’t forget your visa! You’ll need one to enter Russia and experience its beauty.

Berlin and Prague

Prague was the first destination I traveled to internationally on my own, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. However, now that it has been a decade, Prague is decidedly more touristy then it once was. A river cruise from Prague to Berlin is a great alternative way to experience the beauty of key attractions without all the other travelers bumping into you. Though you won’t be able to go all the way to Berlin, you’ll get close enough to experience the vibrant city as a day trip from your boat.

While most people think about taking the train when they travel to Europe, a river cruise is a fantastic way to go off the beaten track and still experience the highlights of your destination—without all the stress of getting to and from each place. We’re definitely planning a river cruise for 2016!