How to Spend 1 Day at the Rhine River
Germany’s longest river, the Rhine flows the length of most of the country and wends its way past major cities, lush wine regions, numerous castles, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. If you only have one day to experience the Rhine, focus on the accessible section between Düsseldorf and Cologne. Here’s your perfect itinerary.
Morning: Düsseldorf Excursions
Begin your day’s Rhine-themed adventures in Düsseldorf. Known for its cutting-edge design and art scenes, the city is also celebrated for its riverside scenery and landmark-packed Old Town (Altstadt). Panoramic tours by boat make it possible to sightsee as you float down the Rhine, while walking tours will typically visit the Altstadt, Rhine Promenade, and landmarks such as Düsseldorf City Hall and St. Lambertus Church. If you’re pressed for time, book a Segway tour to zip around town in just an hour or two.
Afternoon: Cologne Adventures
Given that Cologne is located less than an hour’s drive or train journey south of Düsseldorf, make the most of your brief stay and visit two cities in one day. Famed for its colossal cathedral and its many museums, renowned as a popular destination for chocolate lovers and beer drinkers, cosmopolitan Cologne also boasts an impressive Altstadt of its own. Following your afternoon arrival, book a private walking tour to discover the sights that interest you most.
Evening: The Rhine by Night
Once the sun begins to set, make your way to the Rhine and hop aboard a sightseeing boat: Evening is the perfect time to set sail on a river cruise (and watch the glittering lights of the city’s skyline come on). For a seamless, two-in-one experience, a dinner cruise lets you enjoy a gourmet meal as well as a relaxed sightseeing foray. If you still have energy upon returning to shore, wind down the night with a Kölsch-themed beer tour. A refreshing ale-lager hybrid, Kölsch hails from Cologne and is one of Germany’s most beloved, traditional beer styles.