City on Rivers and Canals: countries to navigate in Europe

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Have you ever watched a city from its river? Sometimes the best way to fully appreciate it is to visit it seated comfortably on the seat of a boat being lulled by the waters of the rivers and canals that cross it. Let's start ours river cruise from home"!

Index

  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. Venezia
  4. Budapest
  5. Vienna
  6. Strasbourg
  7. Amsterdam
  8. Copenhagen
  9. Stockholm
  10. Bruges
  11. User questions and comments

London

Il Thames is a London icon. There are many companies that offer mini cruises, some specialized in travel with catering, others making stops with ascent and descent, all perfectly punctual and organized, in pure London style. You will see the wonderful Tower Bridge and the more recent Tate Modern and Tate Britain; you will be delighted by the sight of the Parliament and the Big Ben passing under the famous bridges of the city. You will discover all the wonders of the south bank and the oldest north bank of London, lulled by the waters that allowed the birth of this majestic city.

An excellent solution to admire all this while saving money is the comfortable hop-on hop-off boat that offers a panoramic tour and from which you can get on and off several times in the course of a day. The price is less than € 20,00 per person.
London can be visited all year round, but the best days are certainly in summer. Particularly recommended in June, on the occasion of Trooping the Color, the parade that celebrates the Queen's birthday.




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Paris

Obviously, a ride on the Seine! And then all aboard the bateaux parisiens to admire the mammoth from the river Eiffel Tower, the Place de la Concorde, the Musee d'Orsay, the marvelous Louvre museum and the splendid Notre Dame Cathedral. Oh yes, you can see all the golden splendor of the romantic city par excellence, from the splendid buildings to the marvelous historical monuments. The evening will then become sublime with dinner on board the boat surrounded by the lights of the city, accompanied on your journey by live music.

There are many solutions and prices start at around € 15,00 per person for a 1 hour cruise. Paris is a rather expensive city, but you can save huge amounts by booking in late winter and staying in small vacation rentals near the center.


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Venezia

It is almost right to start with a good one gondola ride to admire the Venetian architectural wonders. With his 121 islands linked by 435 bridges the lagoon city offers a spectacle that is worth seeing from the right perspective.
Do not miss the Bridge of Sighs, navigating the Rio della Canonica, or the Rialto Bridge running through the Grand Canal and let yourself be lulled by Cannaregio and Giudecca while admiring the fabulous Venetian scenery. The list would be too long, so let your gondolier take you!

Venice is a wonderful city to admire at any time of the year, but for a truly unique experience we suggest you visit it in winter, on the occasion of the famous carnival. During your stay, be sure to take a gondola tour. The prices are not exactly cheap (starting from € 33,00 per person - book online), but it is absolutely worth it as it is a unique experience that you can only do in this romantic city.


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Budapest

"The pearl of the Danube" for some, "The Paris of the East" for others, the Hungarian capital is one of the best cities if you want to river vacation. The Danube divides the metropolis exactly in two: on the western bank you can admire the majestic and imposing Buddha, on the eastern one the most chaotic Pest, linked since Chain Bridge, fantastic structure that you can admire at 360 ° from the Danube.
Sailing on the river you will be enchanted by the wonders of the city such as the imposing Parliament building which is reflected in the deep blue of its waters and traveling on a cruise you can also have lunch and have dinner on board accompanied by live music.

The excellent news is that the prices of an evening cruise with drinks included are very cheap, in fact we are talking about € 10,00 per person (book online). Regarding the best time to visit, we can recommend visiting it in winter, on the occasion of pretty Christmas markets, or in spring, when interesting events are celebrated such as Budapest Tavaszi Fesztivál and the Privamera Festival.


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Vienna

Continuing our journey along the Danube, you will be accompanied by swans to the beautiful Vienna which offers organized mini cruises on the canal and along the river, to visit the wonders of its places, with prices starting from € 24,00 per person (more info ).

Walking on the Old Danubesurrounded by gardens and meadows, you can have a romantic picnic on a boat or spend a fun afternoon on the island on the Danube, full of recreational activities. You can also experience the unique experience of holding the helm on MS Admiral Tegetthoff.

In addition to sailing along the Danube, visit all the most beautiful places in the city, such as the Old Town with the Hofburg Palace, Schönbrunn Palace, the Zoo, St. Stephen's Cathedral.
At Christmas Vienna lights up with wonderful lights, so we can only recommend a winter stay, on the occasion of the holidays. Alternatively, you could choose spring and summer, seasons in which the climate improves significantly.


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Strasbourg

We are now moving to France along the River Ill, a tributary of the Rhine, along which the city of Strasbourg. Along the banks of the river you can admire the delightful and romantic neighborhood, the Petite France, with its half-timbered houses that have remained intact over the centuries. On the way you will see the spectacular Covered Bridges, the Vauban dam, the imperial quarter and the European one. You will take a romantic journey immersed in history among the dozens of canals that embrace the city!

If you want to be sure to admire these beauties on a beautiful sunny day, we recommend that you visit the city in the summer.
To explore the best of Strasbourg, we recommend the purchase of the 3-day Pass, which costs around € 24,00 and includes the boat tour and numerous free or discounted admissions to major museums and attractions, including the terrace of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, one of the symbols of the city.


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Amsterdam

Let's move on to the Dutch capital: the beautiful view of the city that the Amstel River offers will leave you breathless. Many of the excursions, in fact, include a boat ride along his 165 channels, built in ancient times to reclaim the city and promote trade. Along the way you can admire the Skinny bridge and the Stopera and have an overview of the whole city.

You will be enchanted by the historic center full of beautiful 700th century houses, 600th century churches, shops and old warehouses. Have fun in the topical places of nightlife, enjoy a romantic night cruise (prices starting from € 13,00), perhaps combining it with an exquisite dinner with tasting of typical wines and cheeses.

When to visit Amsterdam? Surely in spring, when the tulips bloom, an ideal time to visit the Noordoostpolder area and the Keukenhof Garden.

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Copenhagen

We go up towards the colder but equally sublime landscapes of Denmark. You will find a colorful city that you can admire properly from the picturesque Nyhavn canal, in the area of ​​the old port.

This is a place full of atmosphere with its Danish-style houses of many colors that overlook the shore, the buildings of the '600 and' 700, the romantic sailing ships moored at the port. You will see i most beautiful places in the city: the statue of the Little Mermaid, the Opera, the Black Diamond and the spectacular Christiania.

The prices for a cruise in the canals are very affordable, starting from around € 13,00 for 1 hour of navigation.
Being Copenhagen a rather cold city, we suggest you visit it in the summer period (July-August).

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Stockholm

The waters of Stockholm offer an incredible spectacle. There Swedish capital, built on 14 islands and linked by 57 bridges, can only be visited on board a boat. You will be spoiled for choice: the cruise "Under the bridges of Stockholm" or, for lovers of traditions, the "Viking Tour" where you can relive history aboard an authentic launch, and many other types of tours that will allow you to relax enjoying the tranquility of the place and admiring the natural and architectural wonders that Stockholm offers. Discover the available boat tours.

After your cruise experience is over, don't forget to visit other city attractions such as Gamla Stan, City Hall and City Museums, Skansen Open Air Museum, Vasa Museum and Drottningholm Palace.
Also in this case we recommend a visit in the summer, and precisely at the end of June, on the occasion of the Midsummer Festival.

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Bruges

We end our journey through the waters in the beautiful Belgian town, called the "Venice of the North", as well as one of the most romantic cities in Europe, where Lake Minnewater is located, also known as the "lake of lovers".

The swans that run through the canals of the historic center give the trip afairytale atmosphere and accompany visitors on a relaxing experience to discover the ancient splendor of the city.
The best way to understand the city is to walk it as its ancestors did, along the canals, passing under the beautiful bridges, discovering its deepest secrets.

Bruges is a city that surprises, thanks to the beauty of its historic squares (Markt and Burg above all), the Basilica of the Holy Blood, the complex of typical houses known as Begijnhof and the many city museums. The best time to enjoy Bruges and Lake Minnewater in full splendor is spring and summer.

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