River and City Guides

A guide to the majestic rivers we traverse and the spectacular destinations along the way...

Exploring the world’s most beautiful waterways and magnificent tows and cities along the way, an Emerald Waterways river cruise provides a feast of cultural experiences and jaw-dropping panoramic views.

We want every single one of our guests to get the absolute maximum from an Emerald Waterways experience, so we have added digestible guides to the cities and waterways our Star-Ships explore.

From the cultural sights you simply must visit to the culinary experiences which will live with you forever – our guides are designed to help you immerse yourself in local life and the local culture. Incorporating our extensive experience journeying the world’s beautiful waterways with local knowledge, every single one of the guides is packed to the gunwales with info you can use before and during an Emerald Waterways river cruise. 

Providing you with background and history, our river and city guides detail how settlers first made their discovery of then unknown lands. Drawing on interesting historical occurrences, we trace the roots of modern-day culture and local traditions.

But it’s not all history lessons, here we’ll discuss where to visit during your trip so that you get the very best from your Emerald Waterways experience. These digestible insights into what you can expect will ensure you don’t miss a thing. From UNESCO Heritage-Listed buildings to culinary experiences that are sure to inspire foodies around the world. Look forward to immersing yourself in local life and culture as we cast a light on our favourite destinations and lesser-known gems.  

River Guides
As Europe's second largest river passing through 10 countries passing breath-taking landscapes and cultural landmarks.
Snaking it's way from Spain, through Portugal, its banks are lined with quaint villages and world-famous vineyards.
Exploring the states of Bavaria the Main River is the primary transportation route for Frankfurts industrial region.
A reminder of the regions historical and eventful past. Witness endless views of fairy-tale landscapes, explore picturesque villages and age-old towns.
Journey through the South of France and uncover the pretty vineyards and historic architecture and relish in the vibrant cafe culture.
City Guides
The quirky, cosmopolitan capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is easily reconisable by its countless canals and even more bicycles.
Belgium’s major economic player, Antwerp’s affluence is immediately recognisable as soon as you step foot in the ornate, beautiful, historic centre.
The French town of Avignon is characterised by the ancient walls, the Palais des Papes which dominate the skyline and a wonderfully laid-back atmosphere.
A UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, the classically Bavarian old town of Bamberg has long sat precariously upon seven church-topped hills.
Switzerland’s stenning city of Basel combines a medley of old world charm and modern wonder.
Serbia's capital city Belgrade is awash with cultural exuberance, with a chaotic past it's now one of the most vibrant cities in Europe.
Diverse, contemporary and artistic, Berlin is one of the great cultural cradles of Europe, a capital city of intense contrast and divisive heritage.
Retaining a small town charm throughout its ancient cobbled streets, lined with  romantic terraces and café-lined squares. Bratislava is one of Europe’s most laid-back yet immersive capital cities.
Nicknamed 'Little Paris', Romanias lively capital is typified by its beautiful boulevards winding between the neo-classical, Bauhaus and art deco buildings.
Hungary’s beautiful capital, lovingly referred to as the Queen of the Danube.
Cologne (Köln) is a city famous for its architecture and cultural delight. It's skyline dominated by the beautiful gothic Cathedral.
With the beautiful backdrop of the shimmering Adriatic Sea, it's hard not to be impressed by Dubrovnik. Surrounded by vast medieval walls, the cobbled streets lead to the captivating Old Town, a World Heritage-listed site.
Rising from the banks of the Danube, the town of Dürnstein is lauded as one of Austria’s most beautiful destinations – offering a wonderful blend of spectacular scenery and immersive local history.
With its magnificent skyscrapers and vast urban parks,Frankfurt is unlike any other city in Germany. Affectionately known as‘Mainhattan’, the city lies on the Main river inthe central German state of Hesse. 
Hoorn’s past and present has been largely shaped by the Dutch Golden Age, when the nation’s military, trade connections, artistic output and scientific discoveries were the envy of the world.
Lisbon pairs dramatic history and wonderful architecture with a uniquely Mediterranean climate. Just a short stroll through Lisbons ancient streets introduces stunning architecture throughout beautiful boulevards and squares.
At the confluence of the Rhône and Saône, Lyon promises much in the way of history and culture. Home to exuberant architecture, excellent food and bustling piazzas that speak of a simpler time.
Showcasing some of Spain’s best-loved customs and traditions, Madrid is an inspiring destination for an immersive city break in Iberia. If you’re thinking of adding a visit to the city to your upcoming Douro river cruise, let our comprehensive Madrid city guide make your decision a whole lot easier.
With its blend of French-Italian culture and Mediterranean appeal, the city is a one-of-a-kind destination, and a must-see on your visit to Provence and the Côte d’Azur.
Paris is among the most visited cities in Europe, and for good reason. Few places on Earth can hold a candle to its long list of cultural highlights and attractions, and whether you’re a dedicated foodie, a budding art critic or a great lover of historic architecture, the city delivers on all fronts.
Affectionately known as the city of three rivers,down to its superb location on the confluence on the Danube, Inn and Ilz. Rich in history and centuries of Bavarian culture can be explored as you navigate your way around this charming, small city.
Built along the hills overlooking the Douro, the city’s historical centre was awarded UNESCO World Heritage. Full of laid back, medieval cobbles, a striking set of bridges, traditional port wine cellars, and architectural marvels.
Home to incredible history, mesmerising architecture and perhaps the finest beer in the world; the Czech Republic’s enigmatic capital, Prague, has rightly earned its position as one of Europe’s most enchanting cities.
Contemporary and forward-thinking, Rotterdam has earned its global reputation for innovation through great hardship, being virtually destroyed during WWII.
Boasting a rich historical and cultural heritage, as well as prime views over the dazzling Rhine river valley, this town is at is at the centre of Rhine Valley’s wine industry; production has thrived in this town for over 1000 years.
Known as La Dorada (The Golden City), the ancient city of Salamanca is recognised around the world for its famous university and historic UNESCO World Heritage Site - Old City.
Fusing the ancient with the modern, Split is a city of great contrast, pinned between the Marjan Hill and the topaz waters of the Adriatic.
Located on the river banks of the Moselle Trier, Germanys oldest town is a historically rich city proudly sitting within the stunning Moselle wine region, the city can be found in a valley of vine-covered red sandstone hills.
Vienna has long been a centre for artistic and cultural excellence. The Austrian culture-rich capital is historically renowned for its contribution to theatre, opera, classical music and the fine arts.