How to Spend 2 Days at the Rhine River
One of the world’s great rivers, the Rhine is a sightseeing dream destination: From UNESCO-listed landscapes and vibrant urban centers to picturesque wine regions and centuries-old towns, the river wends its way through some of Germany’s top scenery. Two days offers the perfect introduction to the region. Here’s where to go.
Day 1: Urban Adventures
**Morning:**Happily for time-pressed travelers, two of the Rhine’s major cities—Düsseldorf and Cologne—are located just a quick trip apart. On your first day in the region, set time aside to visit both urban hubs. Begin in Düsseldorf: A morning walking or Segway tour is the perfect way to tour its Old Town (Aldstadt), stroll its Rhine Promenade, and discover its history.
**Afternoon:**In the afternoon, transfer to Cologne, less than an hour’s trip south of Düsseldorf, whether you drive or take public transit. If it’s culture you fancy, visit the city’s soaring cathedral and other Aldstadt highlights. Alternatively, duck into the Cologne Chocolate Museum, which offers a sweet treat for visitors of all ages.
**Evening:**Given that this is a Rhine tour, make sure to get out on the water before day’s end. Evening sightseeing cruises offer a relaxing way to wind down your busy first day, as well as drink in sunset views of the city’s skyline. Book a dinner cruise to enjoy a multicourse meal as you float along.
Day 2: River Explorations
**Morning:**Trade the urban bustle for a relaxing day on the water, and enjoy a stress-free way to sightsee: On your second day in the region, grab breakfast and venture on a hop-on-hop-off-boat tour. Conveniently, numerous itineraries run south between Cologne and Linz am Rhein or Königswinter.
**Afternoon:**This tract of the Rhine is known for its castles, and traveling by boat makes discovering them simple. Disembark along the route to get closer to sights that interest you most. See the dramatic Drachenfels Castle, or explore the colorful, heritage architecture in Linz am Rhein.
**Evening:**On your way back to Cologne, hop off your vessel at Bonn. Known as the birthplace of Beethoven, the former West German capital is rich in heritage and history. Embark on an early evening, custom walking tour—and follow in the world-famous composer’s footsteps—before returning to Cologne.