Location and characteristics

French charm, Swiss joviality, and German romanticism – those who visit the Upper Rhine Valley can look forward to experiencing the very best these three countries have to offer.

Located in the heart of Europe, the area’s four regions are nestled close together and joined by the enchanting Rhine River, one of Europe’s largest rivers. The river symbolizes the successful transnational cooperation within the three-country region and connects the Upper Rhine Valley’s four beautiful regions: Alsace, France’s smallest region, entices visitors with its world-famous churches and castles, delectable French cuisine, and cozy half-timbered towns; Germany’s southern Palatinate is famous for its wine culture, enchanting lifestyle, and charming atmosphere; the Black Forest, located to the south, is the highest of Germany’s low mountain ranges and home to cuckoo clocks, black forest cake, and the traditional “Bollenhüte” (traditional hats made of felt); and Switzerland’s Basel region allures guests with the lovely and unique city of Basel, ancient Roman settlements, and unforgettable landscapes. 

Untouched landscapes with expansive forests, clear lakes, high peaks, and idyllic trails all characterize the Upper Rhine Valley. Needless to say, this region is a dream for nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, who can discover each region in all its facets while hiking, biking, skiing, climbing, or canoeing. Those who prefer the vivaciousness of city life can meander through bustling cities like Basel, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Strasbourg, Colmar, or Mulhouse. Here, the possibilities are endless, whether you wish to discover the newest European fashions, sip a delicious cappuccino at a charming café, visit one of the fascinating museums, or admire each city’s different architectural styles. The Upper Rhine Valley is also an oasis of peace and harmony for travelers looking to relax; in addition to its numerous wellness packages in historical thermal baths and modern natural spas, the region’s finest restaurants and top hotels promise to treat body, mind, and soul.

But a true Upper Rhine Valley experience doesn’t stop at modern-day pleasures – the region is also home to century-old traditions that can still be experienced today. Visitors are invited to join in on time-honored traditions like the colorful and crazy German Carnival or one of the many delightful wine and harvest festivals or cozy Christmas markets. The only thing as authentic as these celebrations are the locals themselves; visitors looking to truly experience each region’s unique culture are welcome to visit the more rural areas, where the chances of crossing paths and exchanging stories with the locals are very high.

  • Karte URV © URV

The convenient geographical location of the Upper Rhine Valley makes it easy to travel between the regions and cities, all of which are well-connected by large airports, train stations, and roadways. Even those on a tight schedule can discover the Upper Rhine Valley and all its delights; the open-border policy between the three countries cuts travel times considerably, making the region an ideal stop for a short or long-term visit. Whether you find yourself on a whirlwind adventure through Europe or a leisurely tour of the area, a visit to the Upper Rhine Valley is sure to be an experience unlike any other, and one you won’t soon forget!