I’m in love with riverfront cities and I’m sure I’m not the only one. There is really something special about them. Water calms me and gives me this positive energy. I really like running, cycling, taking long walks by the river, or just sitting down in a nice restaurant or bar, and having the best time with friends. There are a lot of cities with rivers running through them around the world and I would definitely love to visit every single one of them. For this article, I chose the ones that I’ve already seen and I think you should add them to your bucket list too. These beautiful riverfront towns have definitely a lot to offer, from scenic parks, amazing architecture to museums, best restaurants, and bars. You will fall in love with them just like I did.
1. Chicago, USA
First on my list is Chicago. Windy City will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve spent the most wonderful year there and can’t wait to visit it again. Through the center of Chicago runs the Chicago River. It used to run north into Lake Michigan, but a series of locks now ensures that it flows from Lake Michigan south into the Mississippi River. The Chicago Riverwalk is very popular and one of the most beautiful places in the city. When I was living in Chicago I walked by the river to work every morning and it was really refreshing. You have all these iconic buildings on every side of the river and the view is just priceless. If you’re planning on visiting Chicago during summer, I would recommend you to first take the 75-minute long Architecture Boat Tour that will take you to the city’s most famous landmarks.
Another thing I love about the Riverwalk is the fact that it has a lot of green spaces where you just sit, relax, and maybe listen to some good music. There are plenty of really good restaurants and bars by the river for example City Winery, TinyTapp and Chicago Brewhouse. If you’re not a big fan of boats or walking then you can always rent a bicycle.
Chicago is truly one of the most beautiful riverfront cities I’ve ever been to and I’m sure you would enjoy it too.
If you would like to know more about Windy City and things you can do there, then you should take a look at https://www.choosechicago.com/.
2. Ljubljana, Slovenia
The second most beautiful waterfront town is Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. Slovenia is the country where I was born and grew up and we will always have a special bond. Ljubljana is a lovely small city with a lot of nature and a beautiful castle on the hill. The river that runs through the city is called Ljubljanica. Ljubljana is known for its historical bridges over the river. I would recommend you to visit The Triple Bridge, Dragon Bridge, and the Cobbler’s Bridge. You can always rent a bike or walk around since everything is pretty close. If you like driving around on the boat, then you can definitely do that there and stop in between to have a drink or something nice to eat. There are a lot of really good options when it comes to restaurants and bars. I really like Lolita, Cacao, and Makalonca.
You can get more information at https://www.visitljubljana.com/en/visitors/.
3. Frankfurt am Main, Germany
I’ve just recently visited Frankfurt and I absolutely loved it! If you’re planning a trip to Germany, you should definitely make a stop there. What I’ve noticed immediately was this mixture of old and new, modern architecture. You have these big skyscraper and then in between photogenic medieval houses, a church, and historic administrative buildings.
You will get the best view of the city from the Eiserner Steg (famous iron and concrete footbridge) where you can take awesome instagramable photos. Iron footbridge connects the city center and the Sachsenhausen area where you can find restaurants and a lot of party places. Frankfurt is also a riverfront city as the river Main flows through it. As in other waterfront cities, you can jump on a boat and admire the beautiful skyline. Together on both sides of the river, you will find a cluster of 12 museums (film, art, architecture, ethnography) known as Museumufer (Museum Embankment). I definitely need to check them the next time I’m there.
On both banks of the river, there are a lot of green spaces where you can have a picnic in summer or just meet with your friends and drink some beer.
If I convinced you and you want to add this beautiful city to your travel list then you should check https://www.thecrazytourist.com/25-best-things-frankfurt-germany/.
4. Colmar, France
Probably many of you haven’t heard of Colmar. Colmar is a picturesque small town of the Alsace region in north-eastern France. It is located on the Launch River, a tributary of the Ill. Colmar is one of the prettiest small old towns I’ve ever visited. You have all these small, colorful, and half-timbered houses with a lot of plants everywhere. This waterfront town is known for its really good food and amazing wine. You should definitely visit part of the city called Little Venice. There you will find The Fisherman’s Quay. This is one of the most beautiful streets in Colmar. I’ve explored the city by foot but you can also drive with a boat and take a short cruise down the river. Check this blog post https://jetsettingfools.com/things-to-do-in-colmar-france/ if you’re planning on visiting Colmar.
I’ve visited Basel a couple of times now and I have to say that this city never disappoints. Basel is Switzerland’s second-largest city with a lot of cultural attractions and places you can explore. River Rhine runs through the city and the two sides are joined by 6 bridges. In Basel you will find everything from modern architecture to a historic old town. The old town is famous for Marklplatz, where the bright red Basel Rathaus (Town Hall) is and there you will also find a lot of lovely places to eat and drink. Basel is also home to many museums such as Museum of Antiquities and the Ludwig Collection, Toy Museum, and Museum of Art.
If you’re planning on visiting Basel during summer make sure you take a dip in the river and join the locals who use the current of it to float downstream. So much fun!
I’ve usually visited Basel in November and December and took the time to walk around the Christmas Markets at Barfüsserplatz, Münsterplatz, and Claraplatz. It is definitely worth it.
Visit https://www.basel.com/en/Sightseeing/top-10-sights to plan your next trip to Basel.
The last waterfront city on my list is Budapest. The nickname for this Hungarian capital is “City of Spas”. According to Culture Trip they have more than 118 natural springs. The most famous one is Terme Szechenyi which is one of the largest thermal bath complexes in Central Europe. Budapest is located on the banks of river Danube. By the river you can admire a beautiful panorama with Hungarian parliament building on one side and Buda Castle on the other one.
Very famous is also Margaret Island on the Danube river. You can go there to relax, have a picnic, swim or ride around with bike. It is a perfect place to get away from the city center and enjoy some peace and quiet. You definitely won’t be hungry in Budapest. They have a big variety of restaurants and you can find something for every taste, from high-end restaurants to buffets and street food. You should also try their local wines and beer.
Check https://www.thewholeworldisaplayground.com/best-things-to-do-in-budapest/ to find more tips on what to explore when in Budapest.
These 6 riverfront cities will definitely not disappoint you. I’m excited to visit them again and enjoy the waterfront vibe. Have you ever traveled to these cities? Let me know in the comment section down below.