River cruising in Europe presents the perfect opportunity to break away from the busy cities and experience the old-world charm of smaller towns. From the colourful, half-timbered houses in the Alsace region, to red-roofed villages tucked in the Czech countryside, these are our top 10 picks for the best places to photograph on a river cruise in Europe (AND the best vantage points, so you can share all of those #nofilterneeded pics on your social channels!):
Located in north-eastern France, stepping foot in Colmar is like jumping right out of the pages of your favourite childhood fairytale. The quaint streets are lined with timber-framed houses, which have become a famous landmark of the area.
Best photo location: Petite Venise
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Nestled deep in Bohemia’s south is one of Europe’s most picturesque towns, Cesky Krumlov. Made up of historic buildings, surrounded by rolling green hills and the glittering Vltava River, Cesky Krumlov surely is a beautiful sight to behold.
Best photo location: Top of Castle Tower, Cloak Bridge and the entry point to the Castle Gardens.
Located in the Ardeche department of Southern France is Viviers, a quaint village filled with pale-stone buildings and a magnificent hilltop cathedral that offers dreamlike panoramas of the Rhone River.
Best photo location: Behind the cathedral, next to the statue of Madonna
On the eastern bank of the Moselle River in the heart of the Bernkastel-Wittlich district is Bernkastel, a charming town made up of half-timber and stone and slate taverns with vineyards and views galore.
Best photo location: The Castle or Old Town
Famous for its historic canal houses with unique gabled facades is Amsterdam – the capital of the Netherlands. Known as the Dancing Houses, you can see these lining the 165 canals in the city.
Best photo location: The Dancing Houses, the Jordaan
Nestled by the Salzach River is Salzburg, the Austrian city filled with domes and spires, clifftop fortresses and mountainous backdrops.
Best photo location: Kapuzinerberg hill or along the Salzburg River
The capital of the Grand Est region (formerly Alsace) in Northeastern France is Strasbourg; the town well-known for its German/French inspired cuisine and being the seat of the European Parliament.
Best photo location: Pont Saint Martin
Close to the Luxembourg border and at the heart of the Moselle wine region is the southwestern city of Trier. Germany’s oldest city, Trier is a city-wide UNESCO World Heritage Site, protecting monuments such as the largest Roman gate outside of Italy, a palace that was built by Emperor Constantine and a sensational bathing complex.
Best photo location: Market Square, Porta Nigra
Known for its old, picturesque port, slate-covered houses, famous painters (including Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet and Eugene Boudin to name a few) and the Sainte-Catherine church – the largest church made out of wood in France – is pretty Honfleur.
Best photo location: Le Vieux Bassin
Germany’s oldest town, Heidelberg, which is set among the forest in the country’s south-west is a photographers dream. Baroque architecture, the flowing Neckar River and the alluring half-ruined hilltop castle all attract more than 11.9million visitors a year.
Best photo location: From the top of the castle, Philosophenweg
Interested in booking a river cruise through Europe? Check out our cruises here.