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The Best European River Cruise Ports for Culture

9th November 2017

If there’s one thing Europe has steadily flowing, it’s the abundance of lavish architecture, music, art, food, literature and even philosophy that runs throughout its many countries.

You have not fully experienced the profound effect culture has, in forcing reflection on one's own existence, until you’ve seen the the likes of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the golden domes of the Kremlin’s Dormition Cathedral or even the stained glass ceiling of Paris’ Galeries Lafayette.

The most incredible way to experience all of this has to be floating along its many rivers with APT on an award-winning, all-inclusive luxury boat with absolutely EVERYTHING taken care of for you. It’s the best way to make sure that all you’re doing is focusing on soaking up as much rich culture as you can.

Vienna, Austria

When you hear Vienna you think home of the musical greats Mozart, Beethoven and Johann Stauss, and with a musical lineage like that you would be mad to come all this way to not listen to some of the city’s finest. The Viennese Boys’ Choir is world-renowned so try to catch a show when you’re in town. Then it’s time to whet one’s cultural appetite with the intricate paintings of Gustav Klimt at the Gustav Klimt Museum or one of the many other famous painters whose work is also on show there. Another highlight is the atmospheric architecture of the Vienna City Hall, and if you’re around during summer there’s the Vienna Film Festival too look forward to which presents a different film connected to opera each evening.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

From the land of stroopwafels and bicycles, Amsterdam is a city buzzing with life and plenty of architecture, museums and monuments for you to soak up. The first stop on any trip to Amsterdam is of course the Anne Frank House, dedicated exclusively to the Jewish wartime diary and life of Anne Frank. Amsterdam is also home to a number of quirky museums that offer up something a little different to your usual gallery tour, from the Houseboat Museum to the Pipe Museum, there’s even a Biblical Museum too. Though of course any visit to the city of canals wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Hermitage Museum.

Dresden, Germany

First created in 1743, the majority of this wonderful city was rebuilt after heavy WWII bombings however is now notable for the church spires that pierce its skyline, colossal buildings and the yellow and green lick that covers the extensive baroque architecture. You can see much of the city’s stunning architecture up close with highlights including Dresden Frauenkirche, a reconstructed Protestant church and Dresden Castle where the rebuilt royal palace and state art museum reside. If it’s music you’re after then the former cultural showcase of the old GDR, the Dresden Musikfest has a new spirit of adventure, with concerts spread across the city from May to June each year.

Moscow, Russia

The capital city of Russia, Moscow is situated on the Moskva River making it the perfect stop for any river cruise with the added bonus of having just a few palaces and cathedrals to feed your hunger for sumptuous Russian culture. Moscow’s biggest drawcard of course has to be the fortified city known as the Kremlin, at its centre you will find the famous Red Square with its beautiful colourful spires of St Basil’s Cathedral. Then there’s also the State Historical Museum, Pushkin museum and the Kremlin Armoury which is an absolute must do, especially for the royal coaches and armour that look straight out of a fairytale.

Paris, France

Oui oui, Paris! For the last two centuries, world-famous artworks and displays have called the Louvre, the Musee Rodin and the Musee D’Orsay home, but they’re only three of 130 museums in the City of Light. A little known fact is that the Louvre was, before becoming a museum, a medieval fortress and the royal palace of French kings – making it an even more culturally important building to visit. Moving beyond the museums, Paris is the mecca of all things fashion with some of the oldest fashion houses in the world, stop in at Louis Vuitton or Dior on the Champs-Elysées even just to bask in their grandeur. Even the window displays are an experience in themselves. The French pride themselves on creating  beautiful displays – and it’s not uncommon to see strollers stopping to admire them on a weekend.

For information on the latest APT river cruise deals and to book, visit your local Escape Travel store or call 1300 273 482.