Best Rhine River Travel Books (from travel to culture to history) to Purchase for Your Trip

March 13, 2018

If you are interested in planning a Rhine River trip in the future, or are planning to take a Rhine River Cruise like we did, then you may be curious about what (if any) travel books you should purchase. 

Before our Rhine River Cruise with Viking I spent a lot of time researching this area. I knew that the tours on Viking would be incredibly cultural, but I wanted to know beforehand what we should expect and have a bit of background knowledge. 

This may sound nerdy, but I have found that the more that I learn and research ahead of time about a place I have never been to the more that I have loved the trip. I love reading different books, watching movies (or you tube videos from other travel bloggers) to learn more about the area that I am going. Often times I find after doing this I am more apt to really appreciate not only the culture (because I understand a little of the history), but the experience and the people and the surroundings even more. Do y'all feel the same way?

Whether you are going on a Rhine River Cruise or planning to spend time exploring the Rhine River on your own here are a few of the best travel books to purchase for your upcoming trip:
Rick Steves travel books are some of my favorites and this new edition of Germany is wonderful! While some of the book is not pertinent to the Rhine River, in general you can learn so much about the area and the places you will see. It's a great resource to have and it may even encourage you to plan another trip to see more of Germany! You can find it HERE
I have to admit that this wasn't one of my favorite books, and yet it provided a lot of information that was really helpful for the trip. It was one of the only books I could find (before our trip) that talked about the different castles and palaces that you will see if you are cruising the Rhine River. While it may not have been a favorite, it was definitely informative and that is why it is making the list for one of the best travel guide books to purchase for this area. A side note: if you take the Viking River Cruise you can purchase a book on this same subject at Marksburg Castle that is a bit more up to date and is a wonderful keepsake. If you want to purchase the book above before your trip you can find it HERE
This easy to read book - it is a children's level reading (it will take you about 15 minutes) includes some unique and different facts about the Rhine River. Available in Kindle Format it costs less than a dollar and will introduce you to some fun facts about the area. For the price alone the book is worth it. You can find it HERE
If you take a Rhine River Cruise than you will definitely spend a few days in the Netherlands. This book, Why the Dutch are Different, is the first book of its kind to: "consider the hidden heart and history of the Netherlands from a modern perspective, the author explores the length and breadth of his adopted homeland and discovers why one of the world's smallest countries is also so significant and so fascinating. It is a self-made country, the Dutch national character shaped by the ongoing battle to keep the water out from the love of dairy and beer to the attitude to nature and the famous tolerance...A personal portrait of a fascinating people, a sideways history and an entertaining travelogue, Why the Dutch are Different is the story of an Englishman who went Dutch. And loved it." Considering that are time in the Netherlands was one of our favorite parts of our Rhine River cruise, I can understand the love that the author found. You will definitely enjoy reading this book! You can purchase it HERE

This book, The Rhine, is available for pre-order and will be available in November. By the same author who wrote, "Why the Dutch are Different" comes a book that will blend both a travelogue and a bit of off-beat and unknown history. You can read more about it and pre-order it HERE
All Along the Rhine is a book that shares over 130 recipes that cover and explain different culinary history and wine making in different Rhine River countries. Throughout this book there are different excerpts, legends, and different folklore that is shared about one of the most famous rivers in the world. If you are interested in learning more about the culture and the wine and food of the Rhine River countries than this book is definitely for you. You can find it HERE
Along with lots of older history, for those interested in World War II history the Rhine River is a fascinating exploration of what Churchill considered to be "the last great heave of war". This book delves into the history that explains that no invading army had attempted to cross the Rhine since Napoleon's era. Second only to the magnitude of the Normandy invasion, this book shares an elaborate description of the combined Allied attack in 1945. You can find it HERE.

Honorable Mentions:
If you are planning to drive around the Rhine River area than this map is one of the best. I heard from several people who have driven along the Rhine River region that they found this to be extremely easy to read, had lots of great tips for travelers, and was incredibly helpful in their travel adventure. You can find it HERE
Depending on where you start your Rhine River cruise and where you end it you may spend a few days in Amsterdam. If so than this travel pocket guide by Rick Steves is a perfect addition to your collection of best Rhine River Travel Guides. You can find it HERE
This is a kid's book, but if you are traveling with family or small children then this book should definitely be included in your books to purchase. As a side note- most of the reviews are poor because it is not clearly labeled a children's book. I would definitely say that it is best suited for 4th to 5th graders. You can find it HERE

I hope that you find this list helpful! What about y'all? Any Rhine River books you would add to this list? Happy Tuesday friends! I hope you have a wonderful day! 

If you are curious about our trip that we took with Viking Cruises in December & January on the Rhine River you can read more by clicking on the posts below:


  1. Thanks for these recommendations!!! I'm definitely saving them to Pinterest in case Andy and I ever get stationed in Europe!

    1. Thanks friend!! :) That is so sweet of you!! I hope you do get stationed in Europe- I have heard from other military families that they loved that season!! :)

      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Ronnie, I am glad you found it!
      Blessings, Rebecca

  5. After reading your article now I'm also interested in planning a Rhine River trip in the nearest future :) Thanks for writing such an inspiring guide! We all know someone who has come back from even a short trip and claims to have been transformed by their travels, the things they saw, the people they met. I'm one of those people ;) In order to find out what is the best thing about traveling, you may just read this post:

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