Western Europe

Medieval & Modern History: Amsterdam to Basel Along the Rhine

Wind your way through European history on a riverboat voyage along the magnificent Rhine, from the Netherlands to Switzerland.
Rating (4.67)
Program No. 22560RJ
11 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Flanked by rich history and striking beauty, the Rhine River winds through some of the world’s most charming cities, flowing past medieval ruins, soaring cliffs and terraced vineyards. Immerse yourself in world history and European heritage on this riverboat adventure from the canals of Amsterdam to the art museums of Switzerland. Explore Germany’s medieval old town centers, voyage through the verdant and mountainous Black Forest region and experience the magnificent Rhine Falls.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Discover the Netherlands during expert-led excursions in Amsterdam and Haarlem.
  • Explore the ancient cities and extraordinary landscapes of Germany’s Black Forest region.
  • In Basel, learn about Swiss culture at museums and to a visit of a local school.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Eyewitness Guide Germany
by Eyewitness Guides
Featuring color photography, excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.
All Along the Rhine
by Kay Shaw Nelson
Subtitled "Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland" this tribute to the Rhine Valley complements its history and culture with 130 recipes.
For Strasbourg, Conversations of Friendship and Philosophy
by Jacques Derrida
In this series of essays, the French philosopher and literary theorist reminisces about the city of Strasbourg and the philosophical friendships he developed there over a period of forty years. More than just a personal narrative, however, it is a profound interrogation of the relationship between philosophy and place, friendship and language.
The German Way
by Hyde Flippo
This clever A-to-Z guide to quirks, attitudes, behavior and customs is a terrific resource for travelers seeking insight into why the Germans, Austrians and Swiss do what they do.
A Worldly Art
by Mariet Westermann
This appreciative analysis of Dutch art in its Golden Age (1585-1718) features 100 exemplary illustrations by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals and other Old Masters.
The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
by Robert A. Scott
An enthusiast, Scott delves into the history, design, architecture and wonder of Europe's medieval cathedrals and great Abbey churches.
A Time of Gifts
by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience gives the book particular poignancy.
Amsterdam, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Manfred Wolf (Editor)
Organized by district, these 17 contemporary short stories by modern Dutch writers, including Cees Nooteboom and Geert Mak, are set amid the canals, cafes and neighborhoods of Amsterdam.
The Germans
by Gordon A. Craig
A gifted historian, Craig explores the paradoxes of German identity in this masterful portrait of German life, past and present, with chapters on religion, money, Jews, women, literature and society, Berlin and language.
The Improbable Voyage
by Tristan Jones
Jones, an inveterate Welsh sailor, adventurer and storyteller, channels Eastern Europe circa 1985 in his tale of a tough voyage along the Rhine and Danube to the Black Sea.
Germany, Benelux, Austria, Czech Republic Map
by Michelin Travel Publications
This handy map shows road and river routes from Amsterdam and Berlin to Prague, Vienna, Munich and Salzburg at a scale of 1:1,000,000.
The Burgermeister's Daughter, Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town
by Steven Ozment
Meticulously researched and absorbing, this narrative by a Harvard historian traces the legal battle of the daughter of a well-to-do family who was thrown out of her home and disinherited in 1525.
The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000
by Mark Cioc, William Cronon (Introduction)
A scholarly, well-researched environmental history of the Rhine, particularly its role in European economic and German national history over the past 200 years.
Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City
by Russell Shorto
Russell Shorto opens this delightful ode to an adopted city with his daily journey, by bike of course, through his neighborhood to drop off his toddler son. He spins a tale of a diverse city wrestled from the sea, its coffee shops, canals and its personalities and politics, with panache.
La Place de la Concorde Suisse
by John McPhee
McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Switzerland army to present an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset.
The Blue Flower
by Penelope Fitzgerald
Set in the Age of Goethe, this exquisitely written short novel is a fictional account of the life of the Romantic poet Novalis. It paints a vivid picture of German intellectual and mercantile life in the late 1700s.

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback