Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The museums are full of masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh; charming buildings line the historic canals and city squares, and cozy cafes are everywhere. Cruises from Amsterdam venture down the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, some as far as Budapest. During the height of tulip season, round-trip cruises from Amsterdam focus on the region’s gorgeous tulip fields.
Budapest, Hungary. Buda, on the west bank of the Danube, and Pest, on the east, were separate cities until 1873. Pest’s tree-lined avenues include Andrássy út, a world heritage site that begins at Heroes’ Square. The Castle District of Buda is full of medieval and baroque architecture, including Buda Castle, first occupied in 1265. Week-long cruises of the Danube and 14-day cruises of the Danube, Main and Rhine sail from Budapest.
Paris, France. There’s so much to see, including the graceful Eiffel Tower, the Latin Quarter, Sacre-Coeur, Notre Dame, Place de la Bastille and the Arc de Triomphe. After sightseeing, treat yourself at a café and watch fashionable Parisians go by; or visit the Louvre, the world’s most-visited art museum. Paris is part of a variety of itineraries that sail along the Seine and the Rhone.
Basel, Switzerland. Positioned where the Rhine borders Switzerland, France and Germany, Basel is a crossroads of Europe. Its historical importance is evidenced castles, the remains of a Roman colony, and the Basel Münster, a Catholic cathedral turned Protestant church. Additional sights include the richly decorated Rathaus (city hall) and the Spalentor, the gateway to Old Town Basel.
Nuremberg, Germany. Nuremburg castle towers over the city, much of which was rebuilt after bombing during World War II. Nazi Party rally grounds from the 1930s are now a memorial, with a museum in the unfinished Congress Hall. Nuremberg’s toymaking tradition is celebrated at the Nuremberg Toy Museum, which has toys dating from the Middle Ages. The city is included on many itineraries along the Main and Danube.