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need2travel1

Uniworld's Castles on the Rhine

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Hi All,

 

Two weeks from today DH & I will be boarding Uniworld's River Empress in Basel for our cruise to Amsterdam.  Very excited!!  Any suggestions for things not to miss is Basel?  We'll have the afternoon we arrive (Thursday) & Friday morning before we board the ship free.  Also anything not to be missed w/ our limited free time in any of the ports we're visiting?  (I think we finally figured out which excursions we're taking):)  We'll be stopping at Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, Strasbourg, Speyer, Boppard, Koblenz & Cologne.

 

Basically, any & all tips, suggestions, recommendations, anything welcome!!  

 

Thanks in advance!!

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We did this in 2014. We didn't have much time in Basel because we drove in that afternoon from Zurich. We stopped at Augusta Raurica, a set of Roman ruins outside of Basel, and enjoyed that very much. But if you're staying in Basel and have no car it would be tough to reach.

 

In Basel itself we just walked around and took in the sights. You can climb the church tower for views. There are a lot of nice-sounding museums but we didn't have time to see any of them - next time!

 

In Kayserberg it's about the small-town scenery, and the stork nests though I'm not sure if they are different in summer vs. spring. There is a chocolate shop there where we bought some nice treats.

 

Riquewihr is another cute little town, good for wine tasting. Pick up a bottle or two of local wine - preferably an obscure varietal that you've never heard of, and enjoy something different. Alsatian wine is delicious. Bring a few back for me too!

 

Strasbourg is good for wandering; take the tour to get your bearings then strike out on your own. Make sure to stop off somewhere to try a tarte flambee AKA flammkuchen. There are enough pastry shops and similar if that's your thing. And the cathedral too.

 

Speyer - the church tower isn't as exciting here. Some like the technical museum. Or visit Heidelberg; if you do, tour the student jail, wander the bridge, stop at a cafe, etc.

 

I think you missed the stop at Rudesheim?? You can take the chairlift to the top of the hill if time allows (not sure it will - didn't for us). There is a music box museum I think? Or just wander and look at all of the Weinstube.

 

Boppard is a cute place for an hour's wander. If your itinerary is like ours you won't have much time here.

 

Koblenz has lots to see, again, just wander and discover on your own. The river front is very pleasant. Many go to Marksburg castle from here. Or you can take the cable car to the fortress just across the river.

 

Cologne has museums, pubs, and the cathedral with its very tall spire. It's a good climb with great views.

 

Depending on your flight time in Amsterdam, there may be time for a morning wander before you head home.

 

I did a trip report if you want a preview of what you'll see. There is so much to do and see in this itinerary!

 

 

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I hope you're able to spend some time in Amsterdam post-cruise.  It's a wonderful city.  I did the reverse, and started in Amsterdam.  I was so enthralled with it I'm planning a land vacation there.

 

Roz

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Kaysersberg and Riquewihr sound like an excursion - they are some 20 mls away from the Rhine and not reachable by ship.

 

At Riquewihr try some Gewurztraminer @ Hugel et Fils , 3, rue de la première armée, that is at the intersection of the two main streets in the very centre of town. Try the 2015, if still available. It is one of the best vintages of the last decades.

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Villa Hugel wines are delicious! We order some any time we see their name on a wine list back home. There is a restaurant a few hours north of us in Lake Placid that sells their Riesling by the half-bottle. 🙂 

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Posted (edited)

The Kunstmuseum in Basel has a really excellent collection and is far less crowded than many higher profile art museums in the region. The Van Gough and Monet area was pretty much the two of us and a security guard when we were there. 

 

There is a lot of construction going on in Basel right now and the best route to get somewhere isn't always correct in Google Maps/Apple Maps. 

 

We had good restaurant experiences in Basel at the Union Diner (burgers and such) and then the museum restaurant at the Fondation Beyeler (fresh and local and very creative) 

 

In Koblenz, the 'combi' ticket for cable car and fortress runs about 15 euros and there are some lovely views from the park in front of the fortress. 

Edited by sumiandkage

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We are doing a Scenic Rhine cruise in October and ending in Basel with a similar amount of time to you.

 

Unfortunately our day is a Monday and virtually all museums will be closed.  If you google though, there are lots of self-guided walking tours that take a couple of hours or so, as well as a nice market to stop for lunch.

 

I have also found an iPhone app that is free called iTour Basel.  That also seems to have some self-guided walking tours on it, although I haven't found the time to really look at the app yet.

 

It would be great if you could post a trip report, as we will be going to many of the same towns.

 

We spent last January in Strasbourg, with a visit to Riquewihr.  They are really quite beautiful, especially the half timbered buildings of Le Petite France.  The wine is great too!

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Posted (edited)

djh 1959,

Never did a trip report before but I'll be sure to do one when I get back.

 

 

 

Thanks for all your help everyone!  I've jotted down some of your ideas for reference & quick research before we go.  Now if I could just get myself to start packing......

Edited by need2travel1
addition

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On 7/13/2019 at 7:11 PM, sumiandkage said:

The Kunstmuseum in Basel has a really excellent collection and is far less crowded than many higher profile art museums in the region. The Van Gough and Monet area was pretty much the two of us and a security guard when we were there. 

 

There is a lot of construction going on in Basel right now and the best route to get somewhere isn't always correct in Google Maps/Apple Maps. 

 

We had good restaurant experiences in Basel at the Union Diner (burgers and such) and then the museum restaurant at the Fondation Beyeler (fresh and local and very creative) 

 

In Koblenz, the 'combi' ticket for cable car and fortress runs about 15 euros and there are some lovely views from the park in front of the fortress. 

 

Thanks for the Kunstmuseum recommendation, we may try to work it on the day we get there.  I'm glad you let us know about the construction-I hope we can find our way around.  We're staying at the Hotel Trois Roi & I'm hoping it's not too bad a walk or tram ride to the Old Town.

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45 minutes ago, need2travel1 said:

We're staying at the Hotel Trois Roi & I'm hoping it's not too bad a walk or tram ride to the Old Town.

 

From my map, that's IN the Old Town. No tram necessary!

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11 hours ago, need2travel1 said:

djh 1959,

Never did a trip report before but I'll be sure to do one when I get back.

 

Thanks, I will be looking forward to it.  Have a wonderful time.

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22 hours ago, jpalbny said:

 

From my map, that's IN the Old Town. No tram necessary!

Awesome!  I thought it looked close but wasn't quite sure.  We love to walk & try to skip cabs/public transportation whenever we can.  Last year in Paris we walked from near the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame to the Luxembourg Gardens & back in one afternoon.  I thought our legs were going to fall off!  So glad to hear the Trois Roi is right where we want to be.

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Trois Rois is beautiful and in Old Town with views of the Rhine.  We did not stay there but walked through it.  Very elegant!  Enjoy!  There is also a hop on hop off bus that you can take around Basel.

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18 hours ago, skinnylegs said:

Trois Rois is beautiful and in Old Town with views of the Rhine.  We did not stay there but walked through it.  Very elegant!  Enjoy!  There is also a hop on hop off bus that you can take around Basel.

Great to know, we love hopping on but somehow never hop off til we're back to where we started:)

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